Author Archives: The Baptists

The Tempe Working Explained (Part Three)

DUNCAN: The third working was my favourite. This was the one in which Tempe presented us each with three images or aspects of ourselves. Later, we carried out what we regarded at the time as an unrelated magical exercise with the tarot, to examine our karma. It was only later we realised that Tempe had predicted exactly the cards that appeared in our tarot spreads. So in his usual way, he had again underscored the significance of an apparently unrelated event with a huge whack of synchronistic meaning.

ALAN: When I asked him if the six images he'd given us were a symbol of our temple, he replied with the Greek letter Gamma and the Latin word 'Felix'. Gamma is the third letter of the Greek alphabet – he gave us three images each, remember. Gamma is also used to denote a variable in mathematical equations. 'Felix' means 'happy' or 'lucky'. So what Tempe seems to be saying is: 'here are three variables related to the happiness of the baptists'. In other words, he's making it clear from the outset that this is about our respective karma. We didn't know it at the time, but he was showing us what we'd have to deal with post-enlightenment.

DUNCAN: It's as if this time he was determined to keep us on track, and was making it very clear from the outset that he was talking about us and our development. But there was also that puzzling series of images where he showed us the Tao with the Yin and Yang curled together like foetuses, and the line formed where their bodies met forming the profile of an old man, the Holy Guardian Angel. And then the rune PERDHRO.

ALAN: The rune is thought to represent mystery or something hidden. I think now that it was pointing to the discovery of the hidden aspect of the self that is revealed during enlightenment. As for the rest of it, I can think of two interpretations: firstly, that the Tao is the Absolute, expressed through the interplay of youth and age or the life-span of the human being; or secondly, that the foetuses are the past or the beginning, the Tao is the present, and the HGA is the future or end-point of human development. Perhaps this is also a general schema representing the three-part depiction of our karma delivered both by Tempe and the tarot exercise.

DUNCAN: That's quite nice. That makes a lot more sense now.

ALAN: The most important aspect of the communication, however, is of course Tempe's prediction of the bad time we would have after enlightenment, dealing with the habits, perspectives and behaviours based on the separate sense of self that had built up in us over a lifetime. In other words, the way that we would both be forced to deal with our unique karma.

DUNCAN: Yes. In both our cases it was exactly as predicted both by Tempe and the tarot.

ALAN: With the separate self-sense gone and replaced by enlightenment, the conceit of karma becomes blindingly obvious; and yet alongside that, for every second of every day, the newly enlightened human being must endure the seemingly endless cycling of their frustrated and pointless beliefs and actions.

DUNCAN: For me, it was mostly about doubt and my clinging to the idea that I was still searching for something. Even though it was evident to me that all of that was truly over, at the same time the habit of questioning and seeking continued to arise obsessively. At the time, I joked about how, if I weren't enlightened, then enlightenment would be a pain in the arse. But I think there's a lot of truth in that joke! Tempe's depiction of my karma certainly helped me understand and deal with what was happening.

ALAN: Given time, of course, this discomfort subsides, as enlightenment slowly but surely has its effect on the personality, allowing old habits to die eventually and new ones – based on wholeness – to take their place.

DUNCAN: The analogy I'd suggest is of a stick of incense: the experience of emptiness is the saltpetre that keeps the stick burning; enlightenment is the fire; and karma is the stick of incense itself, that slowly gets reduced to ash.

The Tempe Working Explained (Part Two)

DUNCAN: Looking over the text of the second working, a lot of it is explicitly concerned with the difficulties of communicating with Tempe. We certainly knew there was a problem, even if we weren't aware at the time exactly what it was.

ALAN: Yes. The vision began with the rune NIED, inverted, which indicates: 'setting off on the wrong path and that to continue in the same manner will result in failure'. Because of the pointless occult speculation we'd forced Tempe into during the last working, this second operation began with completely the wrong intent and expectations.

DUNCAN: We just kept at it, though, until he gave in and started to talk with us. There were some interesting results from the part where you asked him: 'Who is Alan? Who is Duncan?' He stated that you were 'a head on a platter made of a fountain of white light' (i.e. The Baptist's Head!). Me, I was: 'The wand. The snake. The eye in the pyramid'. In March this year, after I'd heard about your enlightenment, I received a spontaneous vision whilst I was meditating in which I saw a vast eye staring at me, and then my soul was transferred into the inside of a pyramid where your soul was already waiting. I've described this in more detail elsewhere, but it's quite clearly a prophecy that my enlightenment would occur after yours. Yet again, Tempe is not predicting a specific event or giving an 'answer' to questions, but throwing out a kind of synchronistic marker – i.e. I'm not 'the eye in the pyramid' in any specific sense, but his provision of this symbol loaded my subsequent vision of the eye and the pyramid with a huge whack of synchronistic meaning than it wouldn't have had otherwise.

ALAN: I was obsessed with finding out whether the speculative articles I wrote after the first working were correct or not. His answers with regard to two of them are non-committal, but I think his response of 'an energy biding its time that is not going in a particular direction' with respect to what I wrote in Unreasonable Foresight is a polite way of saying it's all fantasy. He was telling us a faked alien invasion was not going to happen, and then I insist on asking him how to prepare for it! At this point he gave us the tarot card, THE SUN, which indicates we should enjoy life by concentrating on the positive and looking for its realisation. It was his attempt to get us back on track, but once again it proved futile. As we continue to persist, he gives us the Greek letter Omega, which means 'last'. I think now that he was trying to tell us this nonsense must come to an end!

DUNCAN: After this he falls silent and I start to sense explicitly that he doesn't want to answer these sorts of questions.

ALAN: Didn't stop us, though. We take his presentation of the rune ANSUZ to mean the ability to sail through the coming crisis. But this probably meant at the time 'will you please just let go of all that crap!'

DUNCAN: And next there's some interesting stuff about the 'false messiah', which was the meaning we took from the references to the Yemen in the first working. Including that freaky bit when he gave me the number '555' at exactly the same moment as you were looking at the clock (which I couldn't see) and had noticed the time was '5:55'.

ALAN: It's not there in the original commentary, due to our confusion, but 555 is a number that represents me, as discussed in my magical record. It all makes complete sense once you consider that I am the 'false messiah' who 'is imprisoned at the moment' – i.e. I'm not enlightened! The false messiah is also described as 'a head on a stick', which I think demonstrates Tempe's sense of humour. I ask him when I should set up a new magical order and he replies with an image of tunnels at the end of which is something nasty. As I discussed elsewhere, this simply means: 'When you're enlightened'.

DUNCAN: He combined that last image with a specific message: 'You are with someone. An older figure. Near water or on a boat. It is positive. 33'.

17'N 92'E

ALAN: 33 = Indian, blessing. This is quite obviously the eighty year-old guru I met in India.

DUNCAN: Which brings us to those freaky co-ordinates! '1792. 1813 or 1830.'

ALAN: Tempe's answer here is stunningly precise. On the day of my enlightenment, I travelled to the Andaman Islands, which match the first set of co-ordinates: 17'N 92'E. It was here that I formulated the idea of Open Enlightenment (OE), the new 'magical order'. 18'N 30'E is the border of Egypt and Sudan, where I ended my around the world trip at Abu Simbel. This is without doubt the most mind-blowingly accurate prediction Tempe has made, which he provided at a time when I was actually planning to travel the world in the opposite direction.

DUNCAN: I went on-line and checked it out for myself, and I think it needs pointing out that the co-ordinates are not spot on. The first set, for instance, are actually somewhere at sea to the north-west of the Andaman Islands. But both sets are obviously in the right area. It is quite mind-boggling, especially given that neither of us at the time had any detailed understanding of longitude and latitude and – as you say – your travel plans were completely different back then.

18'N 30'E

ALAN: When I asked him if there were anything else he gave me the word 'Caesar'. Whilst attending a beach party in the Andaman Islands, I saw a man dressed as Julius Caesar. Tempe also mentioned 'a boat' and 'swallows'. In April, I visited Thailand and on a white-water rafting trip (which most certainly involved a boat), a man struck up a spontaneous conversation with me about swallows. These were separate events from my meeting with the guru. So, again, we're left wondering whether Tempe's predictions are just synchronicities, or whether it's better to consider some of them as referring to a number of events but rolled into one answer.

DUNCAN: In the next part of the working we waste a lot more time on pointless questions, but as we turn to the theme of when we're going to get enlightened the answers become more revealing again.

ALAN: The meaning of the answer in my case is even now not entirely clear. He describes an unusual character like 'the German character Eszett surmounted by a cross', which we've not been able to trace.

DUNCAN: I think now that this might have been ɮ or lezh, a symbol for 'the voiced alveolar lateral fricative', the guttural L-sound that in Classical Arabic is represented by the letter Dad. Mo
st people pronounce this sound with the left side of the tongue. The Prophet Mohammed, reputedly, could pronounce it on both sides at once. This symbol might therefore be taken to mean: 'something that only a prophet can'. It's not clear, is it? What Tempe said regarding my case, however, was a bit more obvious: 'A honey bee. A dart. A lance.' After I heard of your enlightenment, I contacted my Holy Guardian Angel and asked what I needed to do in order to finish up the process. My HGA communicates through the runes and the answer I received was: TIR (inverted), BEORC, WUNJO. In all his communications, my HGA has used WUNJO to represent enlightenment. BEORC resembles the letter 'B'. TIR is in the shape of an arrow. Tempe, then, was looking forward to this message from my HGA, but the 'bee' is actually a 'B', and the 'dart' or 'lance' isn't literal, but the symbolic representation of an arrow that is TIR. It's that same mode of synchronicity rather than literal prediction.

ALAN: After this I asked him whether out work was related to the prophecy of Crowley's successor given in The Book of the Law. Tempe replied with an image of plants and bulbs that flower and die with no trace, yet return the next year. And then the image of a monk. I think this makes it clear that our work is a different but successive expression of the tradition of magick. We didn't grasp this at the time, though, and it seems from this point as if Tempe has finally had enough and becomes frustrated with the method of communication.

DUNCAN: Our attempts at allowing him to possess us physically proved pretty lame, although some of the stuff he said when speaking through you seems clear enough.

ALAN: Yeah: 'The basis is to advance, not to stall and wonder… It is done. I'm gone.' He's being pretty explicit. We've spent the most part of this second working wasting his and our time with the pointless speculative occult fantasy.

DUNCAN: Luckily we got mostly back on track in the third working. Those synchronicities with the tarot in the third working were pretty amazing, even at the time.

ALAN: Yes, but now I've got some new stuff to add…

The Tempe Working Explained (Part One)

On the 15th June, 2009, we attempted contact with an astral representative of the Great White Brotherhood, the universal body of enlightened beings. We were successful. On two further occasions the operation was repeated and we communicated with the spirit known as 'Tempe' a total of three times. During each, Tempe made a number of predictions that seemed especially to concern what would occur on Alan's impending trip around the world. Over the course of these workings, and almost in spite of our really stupid questions, it became obvious that Tempe only really cared about one thing: enlightenment.

We provided a commentary to the three workings as they were recorded. Alan even went so far as to write three speculative articles and an additional commentary. At this current time (August, 2009) the majority of the predictions have come to fruition but have thrown a completely different light on those yet to happen. Furthermore, the fulfilment of the prophecies to date has demonstrated just how wrong our previous interpretations of Tempe's predictions were, and just how much bullshit (read: 'insane occult conspiracy') we projected onto some of Tempe's answers.

So, here is the Tempe working explained, with the benefit of more recent events.

The First Working

DUNCAN: I've really been looking forward to you writing this up. The parts of the prophecies that directly concerned me I've already mentioned in passing elsewhere, but most of what Tempe said seemed to be about you, so I'm fascinated to hear how it has come true. Or not. So, come on then: what new light can you shed on the first working?

ALAN: Okay. Well, then: Tempe first appeared to us holding a book and a crucifix. The book contained a table, six squares by six. The name of the book was Lemegeton. The number of the book was 16. The cross was 23.

Tempe

DUNCAN: This puzzled us at the time…

ALAN: But we worked out that 'book' = 16 = 'camel', 'magus' and 'Kamael' – i.e. my magical name – i.e. me! The cross = 23 = 'Tempe'. So, I am the book and Tempe is the cross. The cross represents the concept of the messiah, which we'll come back to later. The numbers in the six by six table, remember, add up to 666.

DUNCAN: I've never mentioned it before, Alan, but I suppose you've noticed you have the same initials as Aleister Crowley. I didn't like to draw attention to it, because I thought you might start to think you were the next messiah or something…

ALAN: After this was the part about my meeting in the following March with a 'king' or 'caesar', a member of The Great White Brotherhood. Tempe suggested he would wear some kind of snake adornment. He would be jovial, welcoming, dressed in white and have the number 60. Well, on March 6th I met the Advaita Vedanta guru Arunachala Ramana during my travels in India. He was certainly enlightened (and in this sense a 'king' or 'caesar' and a part of the Great White Brotherhood). He looked a bit like Father Christmas ('jovial'), had two tattoos (one of which was a scroll, which was perhaps the 'twisted snake') and, as a guru, was certainly a 'hierophant' ( = 60).

DUNCAN: That is pretty amazing, because I don't think either of us expected your enlightenment to come so quickly. When Tempe said that you would meet a guru, I assumed it was someone who would simply help you along – not the person who would help you finish up. A hierophant indeed!

ALAN: But it's all there in what Tempe actually said. He also gave the guru the number 61 = 'supreme ritual'. Finishing up the process of enlightenment is the supreme ritual, and – as Tempe also predicted – this has taken me in a completely new direction since then, with the start of the Open Enlightenment (OE) project.

DUNCAN: Okay, I'm looking at the text, and at this point Tempe goes into a lot of grim stuff about 'The Adversary', 'giant squids' and 'Black Brothers'…

ALAN: Yes. It's clear now that The Adversary and 'NONE' (which was the name Tempe gave it – hey, there's a big clue there in the name) are not literal entities, but are my visionary or astral encounters with the embodiment of fear and therefore ignorance. The Adversary is defeated by each individual at the moment of enlightenment. 'NONE' is therefore the master of those people who can only view the world through the lens of fear and of those who consciously resist enlightenment, sometimes called the Black Brothers.

DUNCAN: You're not so hot now on the notion of an actual conspiracy?

ALAN: No, because the description Tempe gave us of what makes a Black Brother indicates that the Black Brother isn't concerned with keeping the world unenlightened; rather, he's simply self-obsessed. The Black Brotherhood is not actively working to 'unenlighten' the world; it simply wishes to promote its own debased and ignorant interests. Unfortunately, a misunderstanding takes root in our interpretation of Tempe at this point in the text. Although Tempe seems to talk about literal Black Brothers, he is actually using the Great White Brotherhood and Black Brotherhood as symbols for enlightenment and ignorance from this point onwards. For instance: when I asked him whether the battle would be fought in people's minds, he replied with a specific image of a single mala bead turning into my head. Quite clearly, what he meant was that the battle is actually going to take place only within my head! Tempe was, in effect, only ever interested in talking about our (mine and yours) enlightenment. A bit later on he gives us an image of the 'aura' of the White Brotherhood with too much 'black' in it, and vice versa… So if the White Brotherhood is enlightenment and the Black Brotherhood is ignorance, then Tempe is simply giving us an accurate description of where we both were at the time in the process of enlightenment: the penultimate stage of enlightenment is precisely when emptiness arises and passes away in real time – i.e. enlightenment and ignorance are mixed up!

DUNCAN: I certainly remember the way Tempe seemed to be ducking various questions at this point, as if he deemed them not worthy of an answer.

ALAN: Because they were the wrong questions. Remember the part where he said it wasn't about one of the sides winning, but about them both operating in the correct way, because one of the sides was operating incorrectly?

DUNCAN: We never did get to the bottom of that…

ALAN: Well, 'not operating correctly' simply means 'not enlightened yet'! He was just telling us that we had some work left to do.

DUNCAN: The imagery turns a bit utopian and messianic after this point, as I recall: 'Sunrise over the earth. Intense light over the whole planet…'

ALAN: Enlightenment, again. Both in a personal sense and a global sense, with regard to the aims of the OE project that was the result of my enlightenment.

DUNCAN: And the cathedral, which reflects in its architecture the union of all the traditions…

ALAN: Again, it represents both the personal experience of enli
ghtenment (because the event itself is literally the realisation that enlightenment is beyond all and any tradition), and the vision of the global progress of enlightenment that is the object of OE.

DUNCAN: So if the cathedral is not strictly literal, does this mean we've still got to physically build it? And what about the 'three hares': are we still okay with the hares as the OE logo?

ALAN: The hares are fine, but it's clear now that they too are a symbol that encompasses both my impending personal enlightenment (the 'underworld experience', or 'initiation' which was part of Tempe's original message about the hare) plus the transpersonal aspect of the OE project.

DUNCAN: People we've spoken with so far have already raised the question whether Tempe's cathedral might be a bit too – erm – 'kitsch' or 'retro' to deserve to exist in reality.

ALAN: The whole premise of OE rests on a recognition that enlightenment is the root of all religion. For the general public, this would be a whole new perspective on history. It's only with this perspective on the past that the 'cathedral' of enlightenment can be built.

DUNCAN: So you're making me wonder – yet again – whether this thing needs literally to be built, or whether Tempe was pointing to a new historical perspective rather than actual bricks and mortar…

ALAN: From the start, the idea that Tempe was predicting the actual building of a 'cathedral' (or Open Enlightenment Centre as I prefer to call it) was irrelevant. I just wanted to build it, and even more so now! It will be an architectural rendering of the enlightenment experience. So who knows, maybe Tempe was also predicting the literal building of the 'cathedral'…

DUNCAN: What about the stuff that comes after this in the text: 2012, peak oil, global warming?

ALAN: The stuff about solar flares and sunspots relates to an argument I'd recently had online with an idiotic Voudon priest, which boiled down to the issue of confusing the planes. Tempe was showing us here that confusing the planes may prove an obstacle to educating the public about the nature of enlightenment. That other stuff you mention was, I'm afraid, just a brief interlude of pointless occult speculation. Tempe's symbolism simply points to self-centred interests and ignorance as the source of the world's problems.

DUNCAN: Tempe's saying there's nothing special about 2012, then. It's just the usual greed, ignorance and fear. Business as usual.

ALAN: But he tries to steer us back on course with the next part of the message: the 'poisoned fish' from 'Yemen'.

DUNCAN: I never knew Yemen had such a thriving fishing industry until Tempe clued us in…

ALAN: We sussed at the time that 'fish' = 24 = 'truth', 'word', and that the ichthys (Greek for 'fish') was a secret symbol for Christ to the early Christians. He also gave us the number 44 = 'prophet'. Remember how Tempe appeared at the beginning with a crucifix in his right hand? Furthermore, Yemen is not only important biblically, but has also been home to numerous Jewish and Islamic messianic movements over the centuries. Tempe is therefore pointing out here how enlightenment (the 'truth' or 'word') has been firstly ill-conceived and then intentionally degenerated ('the poisoned fish') in regard to past, orthodox religion. The messianic movements of the past have failed. He returns to this theme in the second working.

DUNCAN: So that just leaves the stuff about the moon, the alien tripods, and perhaps some form of faked alien invasion engineered by The Black Brotherhood…

ALAN: Whatever that's about, it obviously hasn't happened yet, but we have a better grasp now on Tempe's perspective. He referred to 'healing lunar light' and gave us the number 34 = 'purple', 'mother', 'beautiful', 'vision', 'flower'. Based on what has gone before, it's likely that Tempe is talking strictly in terms of enlightenment. Tempe is representing enlightenment as a 'purple light'. The presence of a 'hare' has been noted by numerous cultures in the markings on the moon's surface. The hare, of course, is the symbol for OE. So perhaps 2012 will see an increase in public education regarding enlightenment.

DUNCAN: I've been reading about the importance of the colour purple during the Byzantine Empire. Byzantium was the place where the Greek tradition survived in Europe from the fall of the Roman Empire right through to the middle ages. Its rulers wore purple robes that no one else was allowed to wear and there was also a chamber made of purple stone in the Great Palace where the Empress was taken to give birth. The 'caesars' of Byzantium therefore had a special word to describe themselves: porphyrogennetos, which means 'born in the purple'. So purple came to signify legitimacy and the continuation of the Greek tradition. Interesting… So much for the alien invasion, then?

ALAN: My best, conservative guess at this time is that there will be public hysteria around aliens, no doubt tied in with the 2012 myth, and a few ignorant individuals will make a lot of money off the back of it. That's probably all Tempe is saying.

DUNCAN: Which brings us finally to 'the gnome with the pineapple'. So, did you meet any fruit-bearing dwarfs on your travels, or not?

ALAN: Unsurprisingly, it's not as simple as that. In Verkala, in India, I met an entrepreneur who identified himself as a 'gnome'. (I told this story in detail in The Great Work Accomplished.) But it wasn't until later, at the beginning of March, that I met Arunachala Ramana and became enlightened (as Tempe predicted). The gnome was certainly someone I met on my travels, but perhaps the entrepreneur who identified himself as such was just a synchronicity, whereas Arunachala was the 'actual gnome'. Or maybe Tempe's predictions are a series of synchronicities that he has presented together, from which we have concluded he was describing one event when in fact he wasn't. There's more stuff in the second working that seems to support this idea…

DUNCAN: Nice. And I can't wait to find out whether those geographical co-ordinates that Tempe gave us in the second working actually check out or not!

Tempe: Instructions for Use

Tempe: Astral Representative of The Great White Brotherhood.

Tempe is an astral representative of the Great White Brotherhood. As his name suggests, he exists outside of time and possesses powers of prediction and foresight. As a member of the Great White Brotherhood his principle concern is The Great Work, or the enlightenment of others. As such, questions pertaining to future events are a nuisance to him; but he is more than happy to dispense strong trance to the aspirant, or information that will prove useful to individual magical development.

The baptists’ history with Tempe can be read in the following articles: Part 1, Part 2, A Short Commentary and Part 3.

The method for contacting Tempe is simple: furnish the altar with his seal (see picture); banish the working space; and burn some incense (abramelin is apt, as is anything of a mercurial nature). Adopt a meditative posture and then invoke Tempe by inviting him to join you. (I leave the details up to your imagination.)

Close your eyes and wait for contact. This may be experienced as a direct vision of Tempe, or you may simply feel a strong trance coming on. The session will conclude naturally with the end of the vision or trance.

As the aim of this working is not specifically a vision, Tempe may be invoked before each daily meditation session as a meditative aid.

The Tempe Working – Part Three

On November 1st, 2008, Alan wondered if it would be prudent to attempt contact again with Tempe, an astral representative of the Great White Brotherhood (considering the balls-up he and Duncan made of it last time). Alan consulted the tarot and drew The Sun. There was no better sign for the baptists to commence.

Third Contact

[Temple banished with IAO. Incense with correspondences to the star-sign Gemini is burning. Alan delivers an ad hoc invocation. Silence. Invokes again. Silence.]

ALAN: Are you getting anything?

DUNCAN: I am. I'm trying to make sense of it.

ALAN: What are you seeing?

TEMPE: Hermes. Relaxing.

DUNCAN: He's leaning against something. Tempe is appearing as Hermes.

[Hermes = Mercury, which is the ruling planet of Gemini, from which the baptists' temple takes its name.]

TEMPE: Psi.

ALAN: That means 'astral'.

TEMPE: There are three aspects to Geur.

[Geur is Duncan's magical name.]

TEMPE: The first is a roulette table where the stake has been lost and is being taken away. The second is scarred flesh. The third is a circuit or course on a map. These are the three aspects.

ALAN: Losing at gambling… scar tissue… and a race course?

DUNCAN: Yes! How did you know it was a race course?

ALAN: It just sounded like one.

TEMPE: There are three aspects of Kamael.

[Kamael is Alan's magical name.]

TEMPE: Pyramids. An armoured tank. A housefly (a bluebottle).

ALAN: Ask him to explain the fly.

TEMPE: Evolutionary change. Forms of life evolve and the fly is one stage of this. But these life-forms are not evolving in a naturalistic sequence. They are diverted from the natural sequence at an early stage. Forms of life evolve that are non-naturalistic.

DUNCAN: I can see 'non-natural' life-forms: they look like cartoon animations. It's as if I'm seeing a course of evolution that has produced different forms of life – we wouldn't even necessarily recognise them as such. It's tricky; these images are arising as a flow, and I'm plucking at specific ones. So when I said 'pyramids', there was also stuff like 'Egyptian gods'. I'm waiting until the stream of images changes to something quite different before remarking what I see. There was an armoured tank with lots of war symbolism: a military-looking insignia of a hawk, battle charts…

ALAN: A hawk insignia?

DUNCAN: Yeah.

Circle into Three

ALAN: A falcon, maybe?

DUNCAN: Could be. It's very stylised. It faces with its beak to the left. And then the housefly, with the notion of insects evolving in a sequence.

ALAN: A new kind of life never seen before?

DUNCAN: Yeah.

ALAN: Do these images represent our current position?

TEMPE: The pattern at the centre of a circle divided into three equal portions.

DUNCAN: I'm in a trance-state. The pattern is changing.

TEMPE: The pattern at the centre of a circle divided into six equal portions.

A circle into six.

ALAN: Is it about an increase in complexity?

TEMPE: Three aspects of Geur. Three of Kamael. Six in total.

ALAN: Is this a symbol of our temple?

TEMPE: The letter Gamma. The word Felix.

[Gamma is the third letter of the Greek alphabet and is often used to denote a variable. Felix is Latin for 'happy' or 'lucky'. Is Tempe presenting three variables related to happiness for each baptist?]

ALAN: Do you have any messages for us?

TEMPE: The symbol of the Tao. The yin and yang are curled like foetuses. The line formed where their bodies meet is the profile of an old man. The old man is the Holy Guardian Angel.

ALAN: What is the foetus aspect?

TEMPE: The eternal child.

ALAN: What is 'the eternal child'?

TEMPE: It is the energy. The yin and yang and the old man are parts of the structure.

ALAN: Is this a picture of what a human is?

DUNCAN: He definitely seems to be trying to show me some sort of schema.

Magical schema?

TEMPE: The rune PERDHRO.

[Perdhro is the fourteenth rune of the Elder Futhark. There is no consensus on a traditional meaning, but it is usually thought to represent mystery or something hidden. It may relate to discovering a hidden aspect to the self.]

DUNCAN: The rune is connected with the schema.

ALAN: A schema for magick?

DUNCAN: Possibly… [Sighs.]

ALAN: What's the matter?

DUNCAN: Emotional stuff. A sense of frustration. The idea that we're not using him properly.

ALAN: Tempe, how are we supposed to use you properly?

TEMPE: A person falling asleep. But as they fall asleep their eyes change into the ever-wakeful eyes of a Tibetan Buddha.

ALAN: The person fell asleep but remained aware?

DUNCAN: They 'fell awake'.

ALAN: Tempe, what do you make of the idea that you sponsor our temples, or that each temple we establish makes a link with an astral representative of the A∴A∴ and uses that representative as a means of introducing new candidates to mystical experience?

TEMPE: Arrowheads moving in different directions. The representatives are waiting for the opportunity. Each arrowhead is a fractal or hologram of a single being.

ALAN: Would his be a good way of using you?

TEMPE: Felix. The sea-horse.

ALAN: A sea-horse?

DUNCAN: The only thing I know about sea-horses is that the males give birth.

ALAN: Okay. Tempe is male, isn't he? So would it be correct procedure for people invited to our temple to make contact with you, and for you to dispense a trance state to them as you did for us?

DUNCAN: I'm experiencing a deep trance state… He wants you to meditate, Alan.

ALAN: Okay.

[The baptists enter trance for several minutes.]

ALAN: Has he gone?

DUNCAN: What do you think? Does it feel like he's gone?

ALAN: Don't know. What are you getting? Do you think he's gone?

DUNCAN: Yeah.

ALAN: No more conversation? I wanted to ask him loads more shit! When I ask him questions he gets frustrated; that's not what he's here for, is it? He's here to get people enlightened, but I think in a practical sense. What would happen if we invoked Tempe and meditated? I think that's possibly what he wants.

DUNCAN: There was something going on with all those models he was handing out, wasn't there?

ALAN: You're going to have to draw all those.

DUNCAN: Suppose so.

ALAN: Do you think that when we write up Part Three for the site…

DUNCAN: Is this 'Part Three', then?

ALAN: Yeah – isn't it? We invoked him and he told us some shit. We should put up instructions for people on how to use him.

DUNCAN: Sounds good.

ALAN: He said there are spirits just queuing up to help people.

DUNCAN: Aspects of himself.

ALAN: All people have to do is download the instructions, say the invocation and meditate. It could be a meditation aid.

DUNCAN: We could ask people to tell us if they get results.

ALAN: It seems to be what he wants. When we asked him if we should use him like that, you went into a trance and then he told me to meditate. It's a pretty straightforward answer, isn't it?

Three Hours Later

Alan had been consulting his tarot cards all day, seeking guidance on the magical acts the baptists had planned – such as scrying the Enochian aethyrs with the aid of ketamine (reports to follow). Alan then remembered a method for determining the 'karma' of an individual using the tarot deck (see note, below). Having found the method insightful in the past, he determined to repeat the act and discover Duncan's 'karma'.

The operation is conducted only once. Six cards are determined on the basis of birth date:

  Alan Duncan
The Archetype Card XI Strength VI The Lovers
The Character Card Page of Wands Queen of Cups
The Root Card Ace of Wands Ace of Swords
The Personal Card Six of Wands (Victory) Ten of Swords (Ruin)
The Preceding Personal Card Five of Wands (Strife) Nine of Swords (Cruelty)
The Progressive Personal Card Seven of Wands (Valour) Two of Disks (Change)

The baptists were discussing how uncannily accurate the picture this method supplied of the way in which each of them creates karma. It should be recalled that karma means 'action', and refers to habitual patterns of reaction that arise from a person's fundamental ignorance (or their unenlightened state).

In Duncan's case (Cruelty, Ruin, Change) this takes the form of assuming an overly-critical or negative view of everything, which seeks to bring about change only on the basis of destruction or denial. Alan's karma (Conflict, Victory, Valour) takes the form of viewing the world in terms of challenges, which are mastered by an act of will, but typically culminate in over-ambition.

Whilst the baptists were pondering their cards ('three each'; 'six in total') it suddenly became obvious that the images in Tempe's message were a clear prefiguration – i.e. Cruelty = 'scar tissue'; Ruin = 'losing everything at roulette'; Change = 'the race course' (the two of disks is typically portrayed in a 'figure of eight' pattern); Strife = 'pyramids' (the lofty goals Alan sets himself); Victory = 'battle tank'; Valour = 'evolution on a different course' (the 'over-reaching' in which Alan indulges).

Two of Pentacles or Disks

Having realised this, the baptists' tiny minds were once more well and truly blown – because Tempe had again demonstrated his validity and omniscience, and seemed to suggest that a full understanding of their karma would prove an essential variable in the baptists' attainment of happiness.

Note

The method of divination described is supplied in an appendix, 'Determining Your Tarot Symbols', to Aleister Crowley & J.F.C. Fuller, The Treasure House of Images (Tempe, Arizona: New Falcon, 1994), p.135f. It was published prior to this in Christopher S. Hyatt, The Secrets of Western Tantra (Tempe, Arizona: New Falcon, 1989). And luckily (or unluckily, if you're a beneficiary of the estate of Dr. Hyatt) it also appears in Christopher S. Hyatt & Lon Milo DuQuette, Sex Magic, Tantra & Tarot (Tempe, Arizona: New Falcon, 1991), p.55f, which some naughty person has splurged onto the internet for all of us to make use of – although it has by now been reprinted and recycled so many times its authorship must be dubious to say the least. However – the baptists thoroughly recommend that you give the exercise a try, whatever source you choose.

Advanced Magick for Beginners – Book Launch Coverage

occultists

Alan’s book Advanced Magick for Beginners was given a thorough launching last Thursday night at The Atlantis Bookshop in Museum Street, London, the city’s oldest occult bookseller.

Geraldine Beskin, the charming and dauntingly erudite proprietrix of Atlantis, played host to a diverse audience of occultists in the function room below the shop where Crowley and Spare themselves, in all likelihood, once enjoyed wine and nibbles.

Among the attendees were arch chaos magician Peter Mastin; the mysterious managing director of Aeon Books (the book’s publisher; referred to henceforth as ‘The Publisher’); and there was also a live telephone link-up with The Kite, who rang to deliver congratulations from his distant western abode.

Alan holds forth.

Despite the wide variety of magical traditions represented among the audience, all were agreed that Advanced Magick for Beginners offers a fresh approach and an intriguing challenge to the practice of magick in the twenty-first century.

Listen to Alan’s introductory talk.

Download MP3 file.

Alan describes the development of the book and its solution to the dead-end of postmodern magick. The recording also includes contributions from Geraldine Beskin, Peter Mastin, and The Publisher.

Hellenic Dream Analysis

Alan on the Technique

In Book IX of The Republic, Socrates urges us to explore our innermost thoughts and dreams as a means of gaining personal insight. The instruction is so simple it is often overlooked, because we are told simply to ponder our dreams. So, providing a dream is recalled in its entirety and in detail, it should be possible to apply the reason alone, in a non-interpretive fashion, to puzzle out the meaning of a dream to gain insight.

I have experimented on myself using this method to great benefit. The practice is simple, although it can require a lot of work, especially if you are not used to exercising understanding (and the truth is, most of us are not). The golden rule: if you still don't understand the dream, more questions are required. For instance:

  • How many parts or stages are in the dream?
  • Who are the players and what are their roles?
  • What states of mind are in play during each event?
  • What exactly is occurring, and what is your reaction?
  • Are the events and your reactions reasonable?

Drawing the dream and writing down phrases used (even if not accurately recalled) and the attendant feelings is a must; most people simply do not have the capacity to puzzle out all of the elements in their mind alone. In addition to this, performing the exercise on your own can be difficult as a result of the false beliefs you might have about yourself – the message can often be obscured by it.

Last week, I introduced Duncan to the method. We began by drawing his dream and writing down its details. I continued to ask Duncan questions about the dream until a meaning came to the fore. Below is an account of the dream, followed by what Duncan felt about each of its elements. We then present the remainder of the exercise in a question-and-answer format.

The Dream

Duncan's dream.

It's lunchtime. I go with friends to our usual café. The café serves curry, but that's too much for me at lunchtime. I'm sitting against the wall, and my friends get up – for the toilet, probably – when a man takes the chair opposite and tells me how much he hates me. He's sick of seeing me and my sort in the café.

I want to hit him, but he's too big. So I try to talk my way out of trouble. I flatter him, empathise; he responds at first, but isn't completely fooled: 'Don't think you can talk your way out of this,' he says, and I realise I'll probably get beaten up in a moment.

But the scene shifts. Now I'm standing in a pub carpark next to my parents' house. The man in the café and some younger friends have committed a burglary. They're making their escape across the carpark. Shaking with nerves, I dial the police on my mobile. There seems no chance the police will get here in time, but to my surprise a sergeant arrives and arrests the burglars.

'I didn't expect that to work out so well,' I'm thinking.

Reflecting on the Dream

At first, in the café, things feel familiar and comfortable. I'm happy. I don't want the curry, but I don't have to have it. There's a sense that serving curry lowers the tone of the place and attracts the wrong crowd, but I'm with my friends and the atmosphere seems okay, so I'm not troubled by this at first.

It all changes when the man comes over. He's older than me: late forties, early fifties. Cropped hair. Thick neck. Built like the proverbial brick shit-house. His hatred of me is palpable, and I know at once I can do little to change it. I want to hit him, but know he'll demolish me. I hate myself for trying to talk my way out of the situation, because this is not my genuine impulse. Instead, I'd prefer to smack him.

If my friends had stayed at the table this wouldn't have happened. If the café didn't serve curry, probably the man wouldn't have come in. But I don't blame anyone; my overriding feeling is the self-disgust at having to talk my way out rather than acting. Although I'm very skilful at talking to him, it doesn't quite work. He's not fooled. This adds weight to my feeling that trying to talk my way out is only a weak and ineffectual course of action.

Then the scene shifts, and I'm in a place I immediately recognise. My parents actually do live next door to a pub. Occasionally there's a disturbance at night, so although I'm on 'home turf' the scene in this part of the dream has the potential for violence, as well as feeling familiar and safer than the previous scene in the café.

When I see that the man has committed a burglary, I realise that now I have a 'legitimate premise'. I can now take action and call the police. But I still feel disgusted at myself, because this is obviously 'passive-aggressive'. I'm getting the police to do my dirty work without putting myself at physical risk. I've got that sick, nervous feeling as I dial, because although I've got a golden chance to get back at the man, the chances of the police arriving in time are minimal.

As it turns out, they arrive at once. There is a sensation of pride and satisfaction in the way I've managed to get things to work out: the man is taken away without me getting beaten up. But the satisfaction is still tinged heavily with disgust. I haven't acted on my genuine impulses; instead, I've simply waited for a situation to arise where he's in the wrong. Oddly, I feel somehow responsible; it's as if I've tricked him into committing the burglary and sealing his own fate purely for my convenience.

Questions

ALAN: The dream is clearly in two parts: the café scene, and the car park scene. Would you say the course of action you wish to take, but fail to, in the café scene – namely smack the guy in the face – is an appropriate course of action based on his actions, the setting, etc?

DUNCAN: It's a struggle to answer this question. It really is. Because it was my original impulse, I would say that smacking the guy is the more genuine course of action to take. It's what I wanted to do. So in that sense it's appropriate. Talking my way out of trouble isn't what I immediately wanted or thought of doing; it's a compromise with the initial impulse. But having said that, and having thought about it some more, talking my way out is definitely more realistic. And the guy is bigger than me, and we're in a public place, and there is a chance that by talking I can get out of there without any punches being thrown, so – yes, I suppose this is the appropriate thing to be doing, and the urge to smack him is something it's better that I suppress.

ALAN: In the car park scene, the bad guy has robbed a house and is then arrested. How would you describe this course of events? What does it mean that he gets arrested thanks to your actions?

DUNCAN: I'm ambivalent about the way I act in this part, and that makes it hard to wrap my head around what is objectively going on. But the course of events, I suppose, is that the bad guy has committed a crime with his mates, I call the police, and he is taken away. My perception of this chain of events is tied up with a lot of feelings about my 'responsibility' for the guy committing the crime in the first place (although there's nothing in the dream, apart from my feelin
gs, to substantiate this), and also thoughts about whether I'm acting 'genuinely' or in a cowardly way. But part of me is genuinely pleased by the outcome. So, once again it seems I've done the right thing – despite my angst – and that Justice has been served.

ALAN: So would you say that the self-disgust evident in the second scene is justified?

DUNCAN: Not now I've thought about it, no. There's nothing to support it, now that I've reflected on it.

ALAN: What does this mean regarding your self-image in the first scene, then?

DUNCAN: It's very negative, isn't it? And it seems silly now, that I should base my self-image on the extent to which I fulfil my immediate impulses – as if the most immediate impulse were always the best, which it's quite clearly not! My negative self-image has no foundation. Wow. It's good shit this, isn't it?

ALAN: Is it not very interesting that this false belief you have about yourself – which you will need to clarify shortly – is the very thing that prevents you from understanding the dream correctly? What do you think that might mean about the nature of false belief?

DUNCAN: Yes, it's very striking! Especially when you're on the receiving end, and you realise the reason you can't see properly is because you've been squinting so hard. What this says to me about false belief is that although it feels as if it's impossible to detect, it's actually right there in your face all along. I was reading about astral projection the other day, and the guy who wrote the book was saying how, on the astral plane, 'to think' becomes to act, and 'to believe' becomes to perceive. False beliefs are hidden from us when we're awake, but believing is perceiving when we're dreaming, so in dreams we get to see false beliefs in action. We see them extremely 'up close', but they can be recognised.

ALAN: If you could sum up the message of the dream – and remember, the symbols are very specific; for instance, the 'cops and robbers' scene – then what would it be?

DUNCAN: That if I'm assualted (as is likely in some form or another, from time to time, through no fault of my own) then my use of the real and effective powers that lie at my disposal to restore justice needn't be an occasion for guilt or self-disgust. How's that? Am I cured? I don't have to pay you for this, do I?

ALAN: Try harder.

DUNCAN: Aw, you knob-jockey! If you were a real analyst, you'd spend some time exploring why I called you that. All right: it means that I hate myself because I believe I deal with things really badly.

ALAN: Even though you don't. In fact, you deal with things correctly, yes? Isn't it funny that you get frustrated and angry the closer we get to attacking your cherished false belief? The next step, Dunc, is to consider the dynamics of the dream, and to look for recent examples in real life that share those dynamics. A sure-fire way of accomplishing this is to recall a time when you attempted to achieve something personally meaningful, and the problems you encountered. For now though, we'll leave it here. That's a grand please. And you called me a knob-jockey because your parents dressed you as a girl until you were fifteen.

Duncan on How the Technique Differs from Psychoanalysis

Most contemporary models of dream-analysis are based on the Freudian psychoanalytic approach, which views dreams as symbolic representations of unconscious thoughts. The Hellenic technique is superficially similar in approach to psychoanalysis – i.e. the account of the dream is collected in as much detail as possible, and then its imagery and feelings are explored. However, in psychoanalysis free association is used to relate the symbolism of the dream to the dreamer's waking life and experience. In psychoanalysis there is the assumption that our understanding of the dream is incomplete until we relate its imagery to our waking experience.

The Hellenic approach, on the other hand, assumes that the dream-imagery is in a form already perfectly amenable to understanding. Instead, the emphasis is on the emotional state of the dreamer within the dream, which supplies pointers to what is preventing the dreamer from recognising the dream's meaning.

What I found hard to grasp, when Alan worked on my dream in this way, was the idea that the Good and the True are embedded in the dream. It was hard to adapt to the non-Freudian notion that my actions could be judged on their efficacy within the dream itself, and didn't need to be looked at in relation to some hidden factor in 'my unconscious'. For instance, I was concerned with whether I was acting 'genuinely' rather than simply for the Good. Concern with 'the genuine' assumes a difference between the manifest and some other domain of truth or meaning outside the dream and my experience.

This is the crux of the difference between the Hellenic approach and psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis assumes the dream is a true expression of only a part of the self – e.g. of the unconscious, the shadow, or some other sub-personality. From this perspective the dream is never sufficient to express its own meaning and elucidation must be sought elsewhere. In other words, within the psychoanalytic model (and other models based upon it, such as Jungian analytical psychology or Gestalt psychotherapy) an individual's dream is at best only a relative expression of the truth.