Ronald ‘Chalky’ White

a celebration

Prospero’s Book

Ronald M. White

I first began to make notes for this book in 1966. Since then many magical ideas, under one guise or another, have become acceptable to a developing consciousness of the the environment, to a developing physics, and a developing appreciation of the role of consciousness itself.

It has taken a long time to try, and one can only try, to sort and order the material; for the matter of magic is the universe itself.

I have made little attempt to quote and attribute sources; many of them I cannot remember clearly, and to misattribute matters can only cause confusion. After all, it is a fallacy that an attribution or reference makes a statement ‘right’. By adducing sources we can perhaps show how we got there, or so we think. Moving backwards in time to prove something in the present is done all the time, resulting in widely differing interpretations of history or fact: anyway we must try and give some sort of chapter and verse. Yet as we shall see, the Universe has no chapters and verse[s] or division of themes. Everything is there all at once – an endless, timeless (in our sense) lattice of interactions holding all possibilities. But more of the lattice later.

The problem of writing about Magic is that at the end it is very simple. There really, given an initial premise that ‘All things are connected’, is no problem and no mystery other than the ones we, who are bound in linear time, set ourselves.

In order to weave the Cat’s Cradle of Magic, it is necessary, in an attempt to give some sense of it, to be discursive and apparently repetitious. So.

‘ALL THINGS ARE CONNECTED.’

This being so, and the prime dogma of magic, it follows that to track and explore any part is impossible without a knowledge of the whole, for that knowledge of the whole is a constant reference in the discussion of the part and subsumes it.

The perception of magic is therefore a grasp of unity unrepresentable by the sum of its parts. The number of parts into which the study can be broken is as infinite-seeming as the number of elementary particles. Yet one can see ‘heaven in a grain of sand’ (Blake). The poetic vision grasping the truth. So in learning and discussing Magic we begin with a Catch 22. If you don’t know the whole you won’t make sense of the bits. If you make out the bits you won’t know the whole. ‘All parts are one whole weave – finite but without boundaries – immense but immeasurably tiny,’ writes Stephen Hawking.

If everything is interconnected the Creator cannot be outside of Creation. Indeed, the Creator, or, as I prefer, Creatrix, are one and the same thing. Creation cannot observe itself from the outside. In the Magical Universe there is no outside. Nothing is outside creation, not even its Creatrix. The creation, just like the Mother Goddess, IS.

*I use the term Creatrix because the idea of a Great Goddess is common and is a substrate to myth. The idea gives us a way to identify ourselves with [the] Universe.

*It can personalise our relationship. This is of prime importance to the Magician, who needs to operate with a personal goal for his will and work. To try and think without myth is sterile and pettifogging intellectualism. We cannot deny the power of either mind or myth, and the power of myth to shape the mind.

To the Magician the Universe depends on and from its basic Lattice. This is the ever moving background of Creation and its Creatrix. It cannot be otherwise and has, as we shall see, and importantly for such Magic as we can manage, a basic instability. This, for reasons given below, I call the ‘Fool Factor’. It is indeed what Heraclitus got in one: ‘All is flux.’

Within that necessary instability there is the Principle of Latency: and the symbol of the Spiral: and the patterns of branching.

* * * * * *

Knowing the whole is knowing Magic. All else is just knowing about.

It is a fair guess that like a large number of things in the Universe knowing the whole may be never quite possible. Nearly but not precisely there. Nearly Absolute zero but never exactly that. Like recurring decimals, double spirals and so on.

To understand this at the outset is to realise that this oddity is essential to the manifestation of the Magical Universe. We can never solve it completely, not even in the Magical Keys, which we will study later, where the Fool jumps from one place to another, is in two places at once and carries opposite qualities immediately.

All this is one of the reasons that I must jump from one theme to another and keep apparently rehearsing my propositions.

‘Verdict first. Evidence after,’ as the King of Hearts said in that most sensible of books Alice in Wonderland.

Remember Creation and the Creatrix, however we anthropomorphize the principle, are one and the same thing. The Universe, and there’s apparently quite a lot of it at different levels, is an Entity … a spiral itself growing in and out. A musical progression in no time.[1] A harmony of itself, occupying no space/time, and therefore occupying all spaces and times.

We can remember that the Labyrinth and the spiral are among the earliest intuitions of man about his life and death cycle. They contain in their imagery the first apprehensions of the possibility of some sort of eternity, some idea of the inner processes of creation, and we now know that DNA, the very stuff of life, is a double spiral – the power pack of life, for all spirals store power and information – the power of the hurricane – the information on a CD, etc.

The labyrinth is of itself the archetypal puzzle. It by implication deals with observed progression of linear time and its seasons as set against another scale. The Dream Time as the Australian natives call it, a place where all being and becoming reside latent and in what I call the Eternal Present, of which a great deal more later. It is an ocean of latency, possibility and probability – a fluid wonder world. It is the world of magic in its proper sense – Le Bateleur of the Tarot cards – and so resembles dreaming.

Dreaming has no set scale to our sense of time. We need to dream to escape the tyranny of time and its illusions. (Lack of sleep will be compensated for by waking dreams – hallucinations.) We need our dreams, our nightmares even, to reunite us to the Eternal Ground. All things are latent to the dreamer according to his history in linear times and his Being outside that linear time (his psychological constant as it were). His substrate and unconscious mind, linked to the collective unconscious. This offers a fair vocabulary of dreams and themes.

In dreams, events are presented, usually to the dreamer’s no surprise, wildly out of order and even context where one, indeed, can dream separate events simultaneously as two dream sequences at once. Our world of magic, dealing as it does with the substrate and underpinnings of the Universe, presents a similar picture. It is impossible to describe except in its own terms. Categories and chapters break down; rather like in this essay: Subject and object interchange and things and events can be in two (or sometimes more) places at once.

To some the dream is as important as the life experience. There seems to be an ordinary dreaming where we re-arrange and recover from “the shocks that life is heir to”, then there are the big dreams, powerful statements that comment on and even foreshadow important psychological events and other happenings in our waking world. It is in this dream world, if we are prepared to pay attention that we find answers and indicators, solutions to problems. It is one of the ways to realisation of ourselves and of the finding of our own wholeness of personality.

The foetus in the Womb, after it has quickened, dreams the history of the resonances of the Universe and of its being. That dream and harmony continues somewhere in us all our lives and beyond. It has been called the Ultimate Ground of all being.

Dreams are a labyrinth in which we wander trying, perhaps with Ariadne’s thread to find the centre of our beings. The Eternal Present as I shall call it.

Our waking time is mostly experienced as a linear progression of events with effects following causes. There are sufficient instances of this being only a simplification of experience for us to handle it with care.

Effects sometimes come first causes afterwards. Once more, “Verdict first: evidence after.”

It is a popular truism that coming events cast their shadows before. Suffice to say that taking omens, noting the flight of birds, etc, only means that the latent event has, in some way or somewhere, already taken place. [2]

Eternity and the Eternal Present must be by definition a place where time in our sense of the word does not exist: and therefore space as dimensionality is also suspect. We are, as they say, into a whole different ball game, and the future is taking place in the past, if that makes any sense. All wrapped up in the present.

It is as if the Eternal Viewpoint is at the centre of a circle, and the linear progression of events is the circumference. Occupying the centre the Ringmaster — our magic selves can view before and after the progression, and as a Ringmaster influence it from his Eternal still central position. This is the prime reason for Magic Circles and it follows, the reason for processing the circle and the magical dance. The true mage, dervish or whatever will not be very interested in manipulating quotidian matters, but more concerned with his own understanding, and the understanding beyond knowledge that his position brings.

His ability to remember the future is an addition not a reason to his studies. Indeed the cultivation of what the Buddhists call Siddhis, or paranormal? powers can be seen as a distraction, snare and final illusion, and in such societies are firmly discouraged.

Linear time is a function of organisation. Beginning, development and end. The production of a material order on an undifferentiated background. It is with access to that background, and perhaps what lies even beyond that, that we are concerned. And being concerned with time we are also concerned with consciousness.

A physicist puts it exactly. “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivate from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness,” said Max Planck. There can be no time without consciousness, or an observer, who tautologically by his consciousness is pinned into a temporal corner by his own organisation. Time to the magician, and to science, varies with the relation of one observer to another and the speeds between them.

All time scales are constructs and attempts at organisation.

The Cosmos is observer dependent: it has limited validity, being, as it were, an illusory construction to which the observer orients himself. There then appears to be no constant, even tools of measurement only measure the illusion being themselves part of that illusion.

“All things are flux.”

And it is so that Creation cannot observe itself from outside there being no outside. It can only observe itself from inside. We parallel this position. We cannot get outside ourselves to observe ourselves, even input from others has to be considered in the context of our own beings and psyches, not only the psyche of the person or observer trying to communicate with us. We can try and unite with the rest of creation and its eternal ground. In a way we are there already, but we still, whilst alive are an experiencing and observing entity; a unit always bound in some measure to our inside life.

Now importantly if all things are in flux, stasis is impossible. Were anywhere stasis to prevail the flux would be broken and everything would instantly cease to exist. I call the flux, as you know, the Lattice.

To a certain extent I must refer to Physics, which astonishingly is rediscovering the basis of magic on its own terms. Our present generation has gotten used to the improbabilities of present scientific speculation. One such is the “Uncertainty Principle”. We magicians call this the Fool Factor and it is represented in all magic, and has to be reckoned with. Generals who fight wars are well aware of it. “The Fog of War” they call it.

And betting, gambling, all games of chance recognise it. It is the Snark of Lewis Carroll and should it ever become a Boojum we would all vanish quite away.

Absolute zero is probably a Boojum, if it exists at all. (It can’t exist. One of the rare can’ts.)

Science now recognises our antique friend the Fool by calling it Chaos: and they are trying to determine some sort of rule whereby Chaos/the Fool operates. We’ll talk more of the Fool later, perhaps as a Lord of Misrule as he was recognised [as] in Tudor and earlier times. An apt name.

In many traditions not only the Gods but the Fool dances; for dancing is a Key to Magic, and the Fool is the Premier Figure. (For the Lattice is a dance.)

Magic is sympathetic and the best way to sympathise with the Lattice is That Dance; the weaving Cat’s Cradle of Creation. (In and out and round about.)

It is no intention of mine here to write a history of the dance. Suffice it that there are the spiralling labyrinth dances and the round dances all designed to enter and be at one with the weaving movements of the lattice.

One of the most important of dance motions is Widdershins. In popular fancy such movement is connected with Witchcraft, and this is a correct assumption so far as the Traditional Craft is concerned. However recent groups of “White” witches do not dance this way which is a pity, and loses them the essential ground for communicating with their Unconscious Mind, and indeed the Collective Unconscious.

I am aware that these are Jungian terms, but I think there are no better and Jung was aware of the basic ground of magic. He was also aware of the Widdershins motion and its value and effects. These have, by some, been taken to be malevolent: it is true as stated above that this motion depresses the conscious chattering function of the mind and raises the unconscious to consideration and effect. It has again been said that chaos resides in the nether consciousness; and in a way this may be a chaotic half truth. At any rate being in close touch with the instinctive areas of our minds and our more primitive psychic parts is where the true business of magic will lie. Surely it is part of our business that we can, and indeed for mental health, be able to walk from top to bottom of our minds and be not afraid of what we may find there.

Widdershins is where the left is right. Ballroom dancers circle the floor this way, as do circus acts, most race courses follow such a path, or ‘cursus’ in Latin (from which our verb ‘to curse’ comes). It must be noticed, and is doubtless the origin of the malevolence of Widdershins, that the instincts raised to action through the will and ultimately beyond it are an important part of practical magic. The instincts and emotions that can overpower, like hate, can by such movement be amplified and transmitted. So, it depends on use; but hate, violence and wickedness have their opposites in love, peace, and care and compassion: these are also instincts.

In this context let it be noted the Circus figures are all magical in origin; and of course the Fool is of Prime importance. In fact, as we will further discover, the circus is the Universe in miniature. Its moving spirit the Ringmaster; its clown and Fairy Goddesses; the tumbling of acrobats and trapezes weaving a lattice in the big top; the fluxions of order and disorder; the passions of the horses corralled and controlled by the riding ladies; the recognisable, even today, affinities with the Cretan dances and bull dances in the honour of the Great Goddess. It’s all there in the circus tradition, a microcosm of the magic universe.

Also, and rather interestingly, the centre of the circle in the Circus is traditionally a five pointed star, a pentagram. This has crucial symbolism for us. Its five points symbolise: Birth, Initiation, Consummation, Rest, Repose. The Fool with his irreverent and apparently uncoordinated companions imply contact with spontaneity and a joyful serendipity. The Circus is in some part and manner a microcosm of the Eternal Dance.

Widdershins motion is used by Dervishes and other ecstatic sects, the object of their exercises being to contact just that ground of eternal being, unifying the mind and the various levels of the psyche.

The motions of proper magic should have the same purpose. We need the bright sun of the intellect for necessary order to construct our lives in this time scale. But such ordering can be overdone and leads to disorders (particularly of the mind). We need some base line for our brain waves. Some great discoveries have been made when the unconscious, given its chance, propels some insight or solution to a hitherto baffling problem into the conscious mind and its striving intellect, which had until that point been baffled.

All parts of our minds have their importance and their place. The relation of the Mage to the Cosmic Dance, and his understanding of it, his immersion in it, is the prime focus of his endeavours.

From the foregoing it can be seen that any attempt at proper magic must be operated through a real concern for working with [the] Universal Lattice and so operating out of the very thing the Mage is working for.

At the cost of considerable repetition, and there must be a great deal of it in this MS, we can press on with a quick look at magic cosmology.

HOW A MAGICIAN LOOKS AT THE WORLD

Firstly, it is not there to bend to his will! It is there to be discovered and used. As it contains all things the lattice pattern, the groundwork of all seeming and being, is both infinite and inexhaustible.

The magician’s task is to “Go with it”: to be with it , and from it to make his magic way in understanding and harmony.

The more ferocious the will the more ferocious will be the reaction. I have just mentioned ‘serendipity’, which means acting out the ground of being where things arise naturally, latching on to it apparently without effort and doing everything right.

A magician who knows no truth in his work will father lies. The opposites operate against him. He must realise that Good is balanced by bad. If he fails to understand this his work will fail.

Evil is there to balance good. It could not be otherwise in a projected world of opposites. The blood-boltered daily news reports few happy events and of course no non-events, the grist of our daily bread of life. A peaceful life, a life within the understanding of these things, is the ultimate non-event, at least in our news-hungry society.

Despite the bitter truths of the opposites, there is room for joy and love: for in a strange way, “All is well and all manner of things are well” (Juliana of Norwich) .

MORE ON THE FOOL FACTOR

Magic is all about the utilisation of chance and change; of being aware of what is “Latent” in the Universe, and of going “with it”: opening doors to possibilities, “Casements unto faery seas forlorn”.

The Fool is chance and Latency.

From this factor we can immediately see that there can never be a complete resolution of the Keys of Magic, always there will be some uncertainty; and always there will be movement, sometimes the Fool will appear in two places at the same time and have twin attributes (an old idea now respectable in Physics).

There is no such thing as stasis. Nothing in the Universe (or the Multiverse if you like) is ever still or could be: any total stillness anywhere and everything would cease to exist immediately. Who can be sure in the ever-shifting Lattice where, at any one moment, an object is: or where the Fool dances. Bear in mind also that any one moment is an illusion brought about [by] the observer observing or trying to observe it and generally failing. Witnesses’ event descriptions are notably faulty and inaccurate.

The Fool’s dance is everywhere at once. We can only ignore him at our peril. “The best laid plans of mice and men,” etc.

A quick digression follows: we can see by extension that evolutions is only possible with the fool factor. A space exists or comes into existence from Latency and a species evolves (at once) to fill it and observe it.

A great deal of the above may sound just mysterious nonsense; and it is. The tool of language does not, outside poetry and art, possess the ability to express the apparent contradictions in the Magician’s world view.

“I can believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” says the Red Queen in Alice Through the Looking- Glass. It is a looking-glass world we are gazing at in this essay: or a film, to use a modern metaphor, with as many split screens as you like.

Catch 22’s abound. If everything can rebound on one, why not do nothing?

I never said “Do nothing”, I said “Be with it”. Non-action does not mean doing nothing. Contrariwise: it means being vigorous in the right way: sensing the latency, feeling the lattice shift, and at the right moment: “Strike while the iron is hot”, as the proverb says. Much magic wisdom is in proverbs, both at a human and supra-human level. “In action watch the timing” (Lao Tse).

Metaphysics and marvels! Wonderful material for the immaterial and the excited discussion of nothing. However, to continue.

On action or apparent lack of it. Buddhism describes it simply as ‘Right Action’. Taoism: “The sage does nothing & therefore does everything.” It’s where you start from that counts, and one rarely starts from the right place. So the first step in Magic is to find the ‘right place’. This of course is nowhere and everywhere. “I suspect everyone and no one.” Our Goon shows and Inspector Clouseaus are full of good advice. The ridiculous is the fountain of sanity. Use it, it will never run dry. But always remember: in the shifting lattice, who can be sure, at any one moment, where an object or a thought is? and further remember the illusion of linear time.

THE EFFECTS OF [THE] WIDDERSHINS DANCE

One of the effects of an anti-clockwise motion if prolonged and particularly if assisted by humming or some rhythmic device or beat (preferably hypnotic, simple and repetitive) is to promote a sense of displacement. This is of supreme importance. One feels that one is outside oneself or at a little distance from oneself. This is invariably to the left side and somewhat above. We meet this phenomenon in the so-called Near Death Experience, and similar disassociated states. Sometimes it can be drug induced. The known effects of displacement also include the suspension of a linear time sense. (Margin: An effect produced by some poems.) The ability, however dimly, to divine and see a different world and a different order become Present. One of the effects of this state is to trigger small lights, mostly red, which appear and disappear if one is working in the dark. They are lattice nodal points; photons if you like; winking in and out of existence. They are a certain sign of contact between dimensions.

Likewise Widdershins motions has its effect in the ‘here and now’ environment. Sometimes at a Hallowe’en festival, or other meeting where prolonged dancing and mind displacement has taken place, a high pitched whistling ululation will initiate a drop in ambient temperature and bring a rising breeze. The temperature drop occurs in most magic work as power is leeched from one’s surroundings. “Whistling for a wind” was a common practice among sailors. It must have worked sufficiently often for it continuously to be practised. Anyway, witches were famous for bringing winds, or magic mists for that matter, though they have not received so popular a press.

The temperature drop, the rising wind point to the fact that Widdershins motion can create a small low pressure area: and anyway Witches were supposed to raise storms. Remember winds in a low pressure area go anti-clockwise (in the Northern Hemisphere).

(Margin: Leftwise motion actually creates a low pressure area. Thus shamans and rainmakers worked hard to produce one or its beginnings, knowing that the rotation of the earth* could amplify their efforts in time and produce life giving rain. *This was I think empirical knowledge, not knowing [about] the rotating earth.

Occurrences like these are held to be occult and to indicate some alien order of being. I know that these are the natural order of things; and they go to show that some way away from our linear time, there is another or complimentary order of things.

In the Magic Circle there is the resonance of all being amplified and connected up to the harmony of the Universe.

To the student of magic it seems that there is some sort of flux where all events possible in all possible dimensions, or even lack of them, are held Latent and wait for triggering.

Those that manifest are dependent on our character and history. A good fortune teller knows this. Given their past and their characters the future is guessable. This is not magic, it is a sort of headology. But the magician knows that just as the past has happened so has the future. The knack is knowing where to look. Some ways have already been suggested.

Much of the so-called occult phenomena, like prevision, seeing or knowing events taking place at a distance, the appearance of ghosts, fields of force which vary from horror to love, the atmospheric ambience of such ghosts, all point to nodes and interactions with other- or perhaps more importantly no-dimensions.

It is a common matter whenever some possibility of importance is latent and nearby that strange co-incidences start to happen. Things happen out of linear sequence. Sometimes we are absolutely and idiotically sure of quite chancy matters: or we know that something will happen, maybe near, maybe quite far away: and Lo! it does. Sometimes whole blocks of events are presented out of sequence. The effect comes first, the cause after. Once again the dictum of the King of Hearts: “Verdict first, evidence after.”

C. G. Jung who was well aware of these effects called them acausal co-incidence, and as it [is] such a good name (I first came across it in 1966) I shall use it henceforth.

Now we are entering a different world to the merely material. Already a picture of a different order is building up.

It seems that lessons learnt by a European rat can simultaneously be mastered by an American rat. R. Sheldrake who has studied this gives it the name ‘resonance’. Another good name, and I shall use it, rather than ‘interactive nodal influence’, a lattice term.

We are affected by our surroundings, and that includes non-material matters like thought- patterns, feelings and atmosphere. Ideas in these areas can be transmitted non-verbally and apparently instantaneously. The number of discoveries made virtually simultaneously by people who do not know each other and live half a planet away is considerable. The once much-derided sympathetic magic is another example of resonance as are some of the events of evolution. By extension all this hints at another picture of the world.

There is, it seems, an acausal instant world available to us if we know to set about it. This explains why some people are lucky, why others seem to be blessèd, live a charmed life and so on. They seem to have an inbuilt unconscious knowledge to sense and profit by opportunities in the acausal world; or even to glimpse its lattice workings and its latency pattern. They know by instinct when the time is ripe for action. They do not even have to be aware of this ability.

The taking of omens and the study of them is a method for divining the possible outcome of an enterprise. Is it already latent, already available? is it dangerous to proceed (on a journey for example)? and so on.

But if one is ‘with it’, running along with the sense of serendipity – that wonderful moment when all things flow right of their own accord – no omens are needed.

However, a magical caveat: it would be unwise to assume the success or otherwise of an enterprise because of the presence of favourable or unfavourable omens. They merely indicate that the possibilities are latent – the rest, as always, is up to us.

(It has been considered that all possibilities are actualised and are ready and available, one merely needs to choose, the rest follows. The untaken choices are still acted out in some different plane of a different but similar self. This ancient idea has some relevance to magical theory and is contained in it, but I have never proved it; so it remains as speculation.)

Remember it is for us to interpret signs and omens aright and then apply right action.

It may be a lucky day but if you do nothing then nothing will happen. If you try too hard or do too much all will be a mess and go wrong.

The combination and, as usual, interaction of the above results in a ‘latency pattern’. Every individual and indeed enterprise has such a pattern. This is also a branching pattern, and depends as we saw on our past, habits, and character. We come up to a junction; which branch we take depends on these subtle patterns.

A branch is generally presaged by co-incidences and, if we can read them, omens. The branch we take partly cancels out other decisions, but there can be cross-overs at a later date when interactive branching patterns cross like the diagram below.

Once we adopt a path other paths follow and other branches occur in an almost inevitable sequence. As said, changeover is possible, but the time must be ripe and the crossover be recognised. At the end of one’s branching patterns is the end of the individual’s life: that too can be prevised and presaged, and frequent instances of this occur.

The core problem in writing about magic is in expressing just what you want to say. It can never be adequate, nor ever just right: precisely the poet’s problem. What can be said can never be the thing itself. It can point, lead and direct but not completely explain.

‘The Tao that can be told is not the Eternal Tao.’ [3]

Our blocks and counters of words are but airy symbols capable of being misunderstood, or understood in ways we never planned. We must hope to hold in our word patterns some sense that will say more than the words: an underrun of meaning inexplicable in just those mere words.

This is the task and definition of poetry, to resonate deep images in a receiving mind.

Resonance is important. With our spells, some make superficial sense; others are gibberish, but for that very reason: that behind the rattle and bray of the sounds some super sense and feeling of deep significance is invoked and evoked. Good nonsense poetry can have the same effect. Thus invocation is vitally important to waken the super senses of the mind to their possibilities. Mantras, the intonations of the Mass, and the driving power of some music, strange chants and ululations, all contribute to this effect (distancing oneself from one’s Self, if you like).

As much as the Lattice weaves a pattern which [is] always the same but never quite the same, so as I write these notes I rephrase earlier material, add more, and then refer again to previous ideas in similar but slightly different forms: the same but never quite the same, a repetitious weave of notions and ideas, none of which can be worked out closely, for if one looks too closely it disappeas.

So far we have seen that there is an Otherworld (or many of them) which interpenetrate our five sense world.

The notion of Otherworld is ancient; probably as old as humanity. Attempts to study it, find it and explore it and its peculiar properties were the wellspring of magic, from which studies a belief in ‘magic’ arose. From this also rose the concept of the Gods.

Simple animism, the idea that everything was alive in some sense (an insight now once again on its way to respectability) required the organising power of the Gods. It explained much: luck, personality – you either have it or you haven’t – qualities recognised in the ‘Baraka’ of the Arabs: the Gods are with you: ‘Mana’ of [the Polynesians]; Charisma; any personality enhancement (for good or evil). This recognition that some subjects are more sensitive to the Lattice patterns and have an instinctive understanding of its branching patterns and latent power was a recognition of the Magician. In early societies the figure was the ‘Shaman’. (A grotesque distortion of the shaman can be seen at any Evangelical Rally where there is a faith healer or thaumaturge; intent sadly on lining his pockets by the misuse of his powers.)

However the true mage is aware of the possibilities of any enterprise and the psychological forces operating on us. These were called the ‘Gods’, who exist supra space and time and communicate in what are still Arcane paths.

The fortunate individual who knows quite instinctively the paths and patterns of the lattice, who resides in the certitude of recognition, has that confidence of soul that has marked great men and women who work with the consequences of the human or even animal state. The best of these, out of their instinctive understanding, are those whose compassion and care are beyond the ordinary human capacity.

In antiquity, and now again today, the notion of a collective unconscious out of which substrate arise differentiated consciousnesses pinned to their own linear time base was a deeply held belief. This is particularly so where a tribal myth and tribal consciousness respecting and living with that myth existed.

These apprehensions of a continuum beyond personalness, the body and mind where the true and deeper existence functions, are the very stuff of soul itself.

A short poem may help to illustrate this:

Luggage

Who are me?
A transit of identities
A name, a label
“Wanted on Voyage”:

And the rest?
Just a puzzled computer in a skull
Ambulant on yet another strange
Forked being:
While somewhere
In the deepest hold
Self beneath self
Is.
The eternal luggage.

To the Magician we are made of three elements: Mind, Body, and Soul. Mind and body can sometimes be considered together, particularly taking note of the power of the mind over the body: to cure it or wreck it.

Then there is the power of mind over mind. We all know people who are mentally dominating, and those, already mentioned, who have charisma, baraka. These have a confidence of soul that informs, strengthens and enlightens the mind. The power of mind over mind is the magician’s aim, as is the power of mind over matter.

But at the end there is the Soul, which is an integral part of the Being of the Eternal Present and the Eternal Ground of All Being.

To the magician the recent interest in Near Death Experiences is nothing strange. The experiences are well documented, historically, religiously and magically. They are taken as fact.

That there are other, parallel and displaced conditions is central to the ability to see from afar, to bilocate (a sort of soul quantum) and to influence the mundane world through the shifting displacements of the lattice. This other world has been divined but not defined by an odd researcher, now dead himself, T. C. Lethbridge, who found the existence of timeless strata above our temporal existence. [4]

A point of interest missed by students of NDEs is that the initial displacements into Eternity are invariably about 5–6 feet upwards and to the left. [5] This is extremely important, and suggests, paradoxically but to a follower of this manuscript quite logically, that what is being experienced is a substrate or unconscious/collective unconscious phenomenon common to all sentients, and perhaps all life forms. Again, to remind ourselves: Widdershins is the leftwise motion enabling us to connect to the grounds of our being: its identity with the whole, and not the individual ego. [6]

Again it is described in the Elysian Fields; the happy hunting grounds; the dream time; the Tibetan Bardo; the Egyptian afterlife as seen on tomb paintings and so on.

It is the common experience of the soul at rest with itself.

Unquiet spirits occupy an unquiet land: feel separate and desperately lonely in a plain of ashes and stench (the Hell variously pictured in the past). For an unquiet spirit is is a deprivation of comfort in death. Perhaps a shackling to old world places – a haunting.

Christian ideas are a mish-mash and frequently misleading or even cruel: but they have the idea of such a place as purgatory.

Here in displacement, we come again upon the most difficult of concepts for the mind: a place where there is no time – no progression of events – a jumbled dream: a place where the blind can see, the adult be a child again, the lame can run, and pain physically does not exist. It is the land of the soul: over the rainbow and the crystal castle and the streams of pure water where old friends meet before passing into forgetfulness and rest.

This is the eternal ground of All Being, which follows from the acceptance of the interconnection of all things.

Given what has gone before we must consider that the esoteric European tradition has been mostly lost. But enough remains in the mysterious keys. So there is still much magical knowledge; and it is mirrored in other disciplines. Left-handed (left again!) Tantra still contains the tradition of Universal magic, and an examination of it and other more local magical practices is of value and importance. [7] So we approach the more practical part of this book.

Notes

1. Linear Time, that is. [Return]

2. This is the power of Tragedy. The experience of inevitability, which every one of us at some time in our lives has experienced. Once a process has started it must run on to its end, for that end is contained without alteration in its beginning. [Return]

3. [From Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Tao Te Ching, first published 1989 – Cartazdon] [Return]

4. With pendulum experiments [Return]

5. Described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead [Return]

6. So is on the next turn of the spiral upwards [Return]

7. Left-handed Tantra and true Witchcraft are so similar as to be the same. Voodoo is very similar. [Return]

(To be continued in Part 2)

© The Estate of Ronald M. White

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