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Concerning the Seven Chakras

Issued by the Thelemic Order and Temple of the Golden Dawn May, 1991 e.v.

In Association with New Falcon Publications and the Israel Regardie Foundation, Inc.

By Sir David Cherubim and John M. Demmitt III of the Novus Ordo Aureae Aurora Copyright (C) 1991 e.v.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

In the Art and Science of Yoga there is an internal initiatory system that is recognized through the awakening and development of the subtle energies of certain nerve centers known as the Chakras (or Cakkrams). Although there is literally a chakra (cakkra) for every nerve in the body, the particular chakras that the Yogi (or practitioner of Yoga) is most concerned with are the Seven Chakras. These are seven Wheels of subtile force which the Yogi endeavors to initiate into whirling motion, to awaken their subtle energies and vitalize his consciousness with their occult currents of force. This is accomplished by way of awakening the Primary Nerve Current known as the Kundalini or Serpent Power. In the Royal Art of Magick this Kundalini is termed the Astral Light and is also represented by a Serpent. It is the Azoth of the Sages, a subjective, electro-magnetic current in man. To sublimate, control and direct the occult influences of this Astral Light is the fundamental operation of the Art of Magick. This Serpent (Kundalini) is a phallic symbol, representing the creative force of reproduction or sexual energy. The Kundalini is sexual energy, also called Shakti (Power) in the Sanskrit tongue.

The Chakras, which are also called Padmas (or Lotuses), are the occult centers of cosmic energy in the human body. They are not really a part of the human body, but rather correspond to certain parts of it, thus we call them occult (secret). The Chakras are secret centers which generate Prana and are a part of what is termed the Subtile Body. As lotuses they exist upside down until the Kundalini passes over them which makes them right side up. It is an essential object of the training of the Magician of the New Order of the Golden Dawn to arouse the Serpent Power, and thereby energize and develop the subtle energies of the interior Chakras. Any proper system of initiation must necessarily awaken the conscious experience of these secret centers at some level, as they represent the true initiation of the Yogi or Magician which is actually an internal operation of self-initiation.

There are seven steps to this internal initiatory operation. These seven steps correspond with many magical principles, for the number seven is a most powerful and divine number, embracing many significant philosophical ideas. There are seven Steps of Initiation in the New Order of the Golden Dawn (Novus Ordo Aureae Aurora); seven sacred Astrological Planets; seven Alkhemical Metals; seven Gods or Elohim; Seven letters in the Names of Therion and Babalon; and seven letters in the names of the Alkhemical Principles of Vitriol, Mercury, and Sulphur. The symbol of the Golden Dawn is a Cross (4) and a Triangle (3), hinting at the number seven. Also in the mundane world the number seven appears constantly: seven Days of the Week, seven principal Colors, and seven Musical Tones. Also Netzach, the Seventh Sephira on the Tree of Life, represents the Devotion of the Magician to perform the Great Work and is attributed to Venus which is the Planet of Love; and Love is the supreme object of the Great Work of the initiation of a Yogi or Magician. Yet this is not "the love of a romance made in heaven;" it is not necessarily the love between two lovers, though such a condition indeed indicates the essence of the matter. It is rather the love symbolized by the uniting of all opposites in the Universe, represented by such ancient symbols as the Hexagram, the Rosy Cross, the Crux Ansata (Ankh), or the symbol of Venus itself. Also Netzach is the Sphere of the Occult Intelligence, and it indicates that special Victory that results from consecrating or dedicating the physical senses to the Supreme Operation of the Great Work.

The Chakras are further called the seven Inner Senses which the Magician energizes by means of awakening, refining and exalting the Kundalini (Sexual Force). They are further called the seven Interior Stars, and as such they are centers of the seven primary forces or essences of the Universe. These essences are the Elohim (Gods) or principal Forces of Nature which created all things by the One Power of Lux (Light). These seven Gods are represented by the seven Double Letters of the Hebrew or Angelic Alphabet and therefore correspond with the particular Atus of Thoth which these letters are attributed to. Man can make genuine contact with the Elohim of Nature by arousing the Power of the Kundalini and energizing his Inner Senses (Chakras) by way of meditating on the particular Atus of Thoth (Tarot Cards) which correspond with the seven Chakras. These seven Chakras (Inner Senses) are, in fact, the Abodes of the Gods in man.

On each of the seven Chakras there is said to be a Sanskrit syllable which represents one or several of mystick sounds, the vibration of which activates the occult energies of the Chakra. In the centre of the Chakra is a Sanskrit letter which represents the root (bija) of a Mantra which is inscribed on the petals of the Chakra. Each letter of the Mantra inscribed in the petals indicates the subtle energies which rule the Chakra. The letters on the petals are symbols of the breathing of the Kundalini, and for this reason we can use those letters by way of Mantra to awaken the Serpent Power.

Of the seven Chakras, it may be stated that only six are really visible to the inner eye of the Yogi or Magician. Sahasrara, the seventh Chakra, is an invisible and ineffable center of cosmic energy and cannot really be classified as a Chakra per se. Yet it is with this Invisible Chakra that the Yogi or Magician seeks to unite his consciousness, that he may be one with the most divine essence of which that Invisible Chakra is a symbol. This seventh Chakra represents the True Self of the Yogi or Magician, his Silent Self which is a Selfless Self, eternally beyond all identification, and yet is it the actual living essence of all things celestial and terrestrial.

The seven Chakras of Yoga are: the Muladhara (Root Chakra), the Svadhistthana (Navel Chakra), the Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra), the Anahata (Heart Chakra), the Visuddhi (Throat Chakra), the Ajna (Pineal Chakra), and the Sahasrara (Crown Chakra). By way of analogy, these seven Chakras correspond with the seven principal forms of Yoga proper. These are: Muladhara (Hatha Yoga), Svadhistthana (Karma Yoga), Manipura (Bhakti Yoga), Anahata (Gnana Yoga), Visuddhi (Mantra Yoga), Ajna (Laya Yoga) and Sahasrara (Raja Yoga). Hatha concerns the yoga of the body; Karma concerns the yoga of action; Bhakti concerns the yoga of devotion; Gnana concerns the yoga of the mind; Mantra concerns the yoga of sound; Laya concerns the yoga of the Chakras; and Raja concerns the yoga of the Will.

Let the student be warned that the Chakras themselves should never be concentrated or meditated upon as individual centers, unless this be done by one who is already balanced and poised in his True Self (Atman). Otherwise the student may cause an imbalance to his nervous system and hinder his own spiritual development. It is better to develop the subtle energies of the seven Chakras by way of mantra, symbol or ceremony. The Initiation Ceremonies of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn are designed in such sense to develop these subtle energies to their fullest in an effective and harmonious manner.

The Atus of Thoth (Tarot Cards), which correspond with the seven Chakras, are appropriate magical symbols by which the Magician can individually concentrate and meditate upon the Chakras without creating an imbalance to his nervous system. These Atus of Thoth are doors to the subtle pranic energies which the Chakras generate; they are magical links to the cosmic energies which constitute the universe in man. They are literally Talismans of the Gods, magical links to unite the Magician with the Powers of Nature by which he may partake their Ageless Wisdom and experience that Wisdom made flesh. The Atus of Thoth which correspond with the seven Chakras are listed below. They are a part of the Major Arcana (Major Secrets) of Tarot (Tarot Cards numbered 0-21).

Let us now study the seven Chakras individually. In each section there is given various correspondences for each Chakra, to assist us in the development of our knowledge and understanding concerning the subtle energies which generate from each Chakra. We shall begin with the Muladhara Chakra and end with the Sahasrara Chakra, in the Crown of the Infinite which represents the attainment of the Great Work.

The First Chakra, called the Muladhara, is located between the anus and the penis, at the base of the spine. It is the pranic center that contains the Mystick Energy of the Kundalini (Serpent Force). It is said that the Kundalini is wrapped three and one half times around a central Lingam, a phallic energy source contained in the Muladhara Chakra. The energizing of this Chakra is the first real step of initiation, and then the process of awakening and controlling the Kundalini begins. It is the application and control of this Serpent Power that allows the Magician to explore and understand the Nature and Powers of his own being. The only way to properly control this energy is through the development of the understanding and power of one's true nature. The Muladhara Chakra (Lotus of 4 Petals) corresponds with the Planet Saturn, the Element of Earth (Prithivi Tattwa), Alkhemical Lead, and the Atu of Thoth called "The Universe" (or "The World"). Its special symbol is the Square; its Hindu Deity (God) is Brahma; its Shakti (Goddess) is Dakini; and its Sanskrit root letter is LAM. In the Initiation System of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Muladhara Chakra pertains to the Grade of Zelator (Also called Magician). It is in the Ceremony of the Zelator that the subtle energy of this Chakra is awakened and then refined by the initiate.

The Second Chakra is called the Svadhistthana, and is located on the spine directly behind the area about one inch below the navel. It is the Center that controls the sensations. It is necessary for the Magician to learn to master these sensations so that physical distractions do not interfere with his Will. He must also refine these sensations so that he can heighten his perception of the Universe. This is also the Center where the Magician learns the Force of Will that overcomes all conflicts and leads to all progress. It is the Center of Action. The Svadhistthana Chakra (Lotus of 6 Petals) corresponds with the Planet Mars, the Element of Water (Apas Tattwa), Alkhemical Iron, and the Atu of Thoth called "The Tower." Its special symbol is the Crescent Moon; its Hindu Deity is Vishnu (Hari); its Shakti is Rakini; and its Sanskrit root letter is VAM. In the Initiation System of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Svadhistthana Chakra pertains to the Grade of Adeptus Major (Also called Master Magician). It is in the Ceremony of the Major Adept that the subtle energy of this Chakra is awakened and refined by the initiate.

The Third Chakra is called the Manipura, and is located on the spine at the height of the solar plexus. It is the Center from which the Will of the Magician is transformed by Love to become one with the Will of the Whole Universe. The Magician must do the Great Work with love under will, as a sacrament to all, so that all may partake the force of his essence, that he may assist all in the essential task of cosmic evolution. This is also the center where the Magician cultivates complete harmony between his soul, mind and body. The Manipura Chakra (Lotus of 10 Petals) corresponds with the Planet Jupiter, the Element of Fire (Tejas or Agni Tattwa), Alkhemical Tin, and the Atu of Thoth called "Fortune" (or "The Wheel of Fortune"). Its special symbol is the Triangle; its Hindu Deity is Rudra; its Shakti is Lakini; its Sanskrit root letter is RAM. In the Initiation System of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Manipura Chakra pertains to the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus (Perfect Magician). It is in the Ceremony of the Adeptus Exemptus that the subtle energy of this Chakra is awakened and refined by the initiate.

The Fourth Chakra is called the Anahata, and is located on the spine at the height of the heart. It is the Center of all Centers, and is the place where the Magician is first able to have direct communication with his True Self (or Atman). It is the symbolic center of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel and marks the true beginnings of Adepthood. The Anahata Chakra (Lotus of 12 Petals) corresponds with the Sun, the Element of Air (Vayu Tattwa), Alkhemical Gold, and the Atu of Thoth called "The Sun.". Its special symbol is the Circle; its Hindu Deity is Isha; its Shakti is Kakini; its Sanskrit Root letter is YAM. In the Initiation System of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Anahata Chakra pertains to the Grade of Adeptus Minor (Also called Adept Magician). It is in the Ceremony of the Adeptus Minor that the subtle energy of this Chakra is awakened and refined by the initiate.

The Fifth Chakra is called the Visuddhi (or Visuddha), and is located on the spine at the height of the throat. This is the Center of the Spiritual Consciousness, of the awareness of that which is beyond and greater than the mind. It is the sphere of the Magician's essential Understanding of the Universe as a Cosmic Play (Lila) of the Gods, that is, a direct subtle manifestation of the Cosmic Forces of the Infinite Universe. The Visuddhi Chakra (Lotus of 16 Petals) corresponds with the Planet Venus, the Element of Spirit (Akasha Tattwa), Alkhemical Copper, and the Atu of Thoth called "The Empress". Its special symbol is the Egg; its Hindu Deity is Sada-shiva; its Shakti is Shakini; its Sanskrit root letter is HAM. In the Initiation System of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, Visuddhi pertains to the Grade of Magister Templi, who is the Master of the Law of Sorrow (Dukkha) and of the Mystery of Joy (Ananda).

The Sixth Chakra is called the Ajna, and is located behind the area between the eyebrows, in the pineal center of the brain. This is the Third Eye that is often talked about in reference to psychic and occult perception. It is, in one sense, the Center of the Astral Consciousness. It is in this center that the Magician is finally able to completely master the various elements of his nature, for now he has obtained the Wisdom of Ages. He sees in the light of truth all the internal subtleties of the various currents which are affecting him and his environment and he is able to direct those currents in such manner necessary for him to create change in accordance with his True Will. It is the center by which the True Will of the Magician is able to become completely manifest, and the Magician is able to exert the Force of his True Will to create that environment which is so necessary for the execution of that One Will. The Ajna Chakra (Lotus of 2 Petals) corresponds with the Moon, Alkhemical Silver, and the Atu of Thoth called "The Priestess." Its special symbol is the Eye; its Hindu Deity is Shiva; its Shakti is Hakini; its Sanskrit root letter is OM. In the Initiation System of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Ajna Chakra pertains to the Grade of Magus, who is the Master of the Law of Change (Anicca).

The Seventh and final Chakra is the Sahasrara, or Brahmarandhra. It is symbolically located above the head. This transcendent sphere represents the continuation of the Force of Kundalini beyond that of the physical being. It is the sphere of the Cosmic Consciousness in which the Magician dissolves in the eternal essence of the Infinite Light. It is called the supreme dwelling- place of Shiva, "whiter than the full moon". In this highest Chakra there is said to exist a great Triangle of Mystery, in the center of which there is said to be "a great void" (Shunya), the symbol of the Formless Light of the Eternal which is beyond all form; it is the Qabalistic Ain Soph.

Little else can be said concerning the transcendent nature of the Sahasrara Chakra, as the exalted essence of this sphere is beyond all reason and above the comprehension of those who have not directly experienced its transcendent force. The Sahasrara Chakra (Lotus of 1,000 or 1,001 Petals) corresponds with the Planet Mercury, Alkhemical Quicksilver, and the Atu of Thoth called "The Magician." Its special symbol is the Crown; its Hindu Deity is Parabrahma. The fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, from A to La, go round and round its so-called thousand petals twenty times. It is important to understand that the Sahasrara is not really a Chakra; it is a metaphorical, ineffable center of the infinite all. In the Initiation System of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Sahasrara Chakra pertains to the Grade of Ipsissimus, who is the Master of the Law of Unsubstantiality (Anatta) which concerns the Mystery of Selflessness, called also the Mystery of Pan (Mystery of All).

The six Chakras, from Muladhara to Ajna, produce 50 petals in all. These fifty petals correspond with the 50 Gates of Understanding which the Magician must enter and pass up through to attain Ain Soph or the Infinite. These are the 50 Gates of Intelligence mentioned in the Sepher Yetzirah (or Book of Formation) which is an ancient text of Qabalistic science. Tradition states that the Sepher Yetzirah was written down in Hebrew by a man named Akibha ben Joseph, who was a Rabbi of the first century and who founded the first Qabalistic School. However, we need proclaim, that the Sepher Yetzirah did not really originate in the mind of a man. The Sepher Yetzirah is as eternal as the Ageless Wisdom which was never born and will never die. The 50 Gates of Understanding which the Sepher Yetzirah communicates are eternal portals to the Infinite which the Magicians of all ages have had to pass through to attain the infinite heights of Ain Soph.

The number 50 is the value of the Hebrew letter Nun which corresponds with the Atu of Thoth called "Death". This correspondence indicates that to attain Ain Soph is an operation of death or dissolution. No man can behold the Infinite; he must first be completely dissolved in the starry essence of his soul; he must die to himself and awaken in a Selfless Self beyond all identification. Now 50 (Petals) + 6 (Chakras) = 56. This is the special number of NU (Nuit), Our Lady of the Stars. (Read Liber Legis I: 24.) Nuit is Ain Soph or the Infinite. This indicates that the 50 Gates (Petals) of Understanding, which make up the Six Chakras, are the occult portals which the Magician need enter and pass up through to attain union with Nuit, that is, to attain union with Infinite Space and the Infinite Stars thereof.

Now there are certain Centers of Prana called Nadis. Nadis are subtle nerve channels of cosmic energy. The various petals of the seven Chakras are said to be Nadis of a special kind. Prana is the vital energy which maintains all life and it is the subtle link between the visible and the invisible. The Nadis are a network of tubes and may be defined as the luminous arteries. The word Nadis is derived from the Sanskrit "nad" which means movement. There are said to exist innumerable Nadis all over the Subtile Body of man. Prana circulates in the Nadis, governed by the currents of the Sun and Moon and other invisible powers in the Subtile Body. Purification of the Nadis is one of the most fundamental exercises of Yoga proper. It is accomplished by the practices of Asana (Posture) and Pranayama (Regulation of Breath). Such purification is called Sadhana (Discipline).

There are three principal Nadis: Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. Sushumna is situated in the inside of the cerebro-spinal axis, the Merudanda, and may be said to be next to the spinal marrow. It begins from the lowest center of the human body, the First Chakra called Muladhara (5 cm. above the anus and 5 cm. behind the penis). It then passes through the next five Chakras, and then leads to the Sahasrara Chakra. The Chakras are said to be on the vertebral column in Sushumna. Sushumna sparkles like a string of jewels. Through it passes the Kundalini, the Power of Liberation (Mukti).

Within the Sushumna is a subtle Nadi, the Vajrini, and within it a still subtler one, the Citrini. The interior of the Citrini is called the Brahma Nadi. It is not a separate Nadi in the usual sense, but only a vivara, a hollow passage. The opening of this Citrini Nadi is the door through which the Kundalini enters the Royal Road, Kula Marga, on its way to the Crown Above and it is known as Brahma-Dvara.

It is said that the Kundalini sleeps until awakened in the Muladhara Chakra, closing with its mouth the entrance to the Sushumna. When the Kundalini (Shakti) is awakened, by way of proper initiation, She enters the Royal Way in the central Nadi (Sushumna) to embrace her Lord Shiva above in the Brahmarandhra (Sahasrara Chakra). By this sacramental embrace and union of cosmic forces above and below, Shakti and Shiva are said to make "floods of nectar flow."

The Kundalini is called the Supreme Shakti (Parashakti), or Supreme Goddess, dwelling in man. Shiva is the Supreme God, the masculine idea of Godhead, whereas the Kundalini is the feminine idea of Godhead. To unite Shiva and Shakti is the Supreme Operation of the Great Work (Magnum Opus) in the Art and Science of Yoga proper. This is accomplished by controlling the sexual energy which should retain its subtile form and ascend upward with the ascending Prana instead of descending under the form of seminal liquid. Kundalini then rises through the Sushumna and pierces each petal of the seven Chakras which then rise up erect, blossoming into full Lotuses.

Ida and Pingala, like Sushumna, start in the Muladhara Chakra and rise towards the Chakra in the forehead (Ajna), but with an inverse, serpentine movement which causes them to pass from left to right and inversely, surrounding each Chakra without passing through it like the Sushumna. Ida is to the left; it is lunar and feminine. Pingala is to the right; it is solar and masculine. Ida and Pingala meet at the Muladhara Chakra and again at the Ajna where they form a plaited knot -- and enter the Central Nadi (Sushumna). Thereafter they separate and flow separately.

Ida and Pingala are to be annihilated in the process of awakening the Kundalini Power. That is, they are to be emptied of their Prana, so that the Prana can be forced to pass through the Sushumna. This is the method of the Great Work itself, to unite the two equal opposites and thereby annihilate their individual modes of being to be reborn in a third principle which partakes of the essences of both opposites, yet abiding independently of them in the center of its own universe. From a Thelemic point of view, it is the uniting of the two infinities called Nuit and Hadit for the birth of their child Ra-Hoor-Khuit, a Unity which includes and heads all things. It is the death of division -- the dissolution of all opposites -- for which sake there is creation. As it is written in our Most Holy Book of the New Aeon, "For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all." (Read Liber Legis, The Book of the Law, I: 29-30.)

The Chakras themselves, after a manner of speaking, are slain by the Yogi or Magician as he raises his Kundalini Power below to unite his particular consciousness with the infinite consciousness above. In other words, he becomes the master of the various subtle energies which generate from the Chakras. He stands above them as the Sun stands above the clouds. He is no more below to be deceived by clouds of illusion so that he cannot see the Light of the Cosmic Self; but he stands above all clouds of illusion in the Celestial Light itself. He is crowned with the Wisdom of Ages; he is a knower of the One Object of all Knowledge and Initiation called L.V.X., Lux, the Light of the Cross.

Concerning the magical system of the Golden Dawn, Dr. Israel Regardie had this to say, "If one idea more than any other is persistently stressed from the beginning of one's initiation into this magical system, that idea is in the word Light ... For it is by that Light that the golden banner of the inner life may be exalted; it is in Light where lies healing, and the power of growth."

Through the proper scientific application of the initiatory process as represented by the awakening of the Kundalini Power and the consequent activation and development of the subtle energies of the seven Chakras, the Magician can partake the sublime Mysteries of the Eternal Light, to be nourished in his soul with the Celestial Glory of the Stars, and to attain the Cosmic Consciousness which is the Life which abides in Light. Thus shall he be united with his True Self in the Infinite. And so shall he duly accomplish the Great Work. In nomine Novus Ordo Aureae Aurora, Sic sit vobis!

Love is the law, love under will.

Copyright © by The Book of THOTH - The complete guide to the Tarot, Magick and the Occult All Right Reserved.

Published on: 2005-08-20 (10506 reads)

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