I have sold out of the advance edition of my first book. It is called Initiation into the Left Hand Path. There are only 45 signed and numbered copies of this in existence.
Featuring original artwork by Tasha Menary. The book contains four Left Hand Path ceremonies. The first three are solo rites and the final ceremony is a group ritual. A new edition will be released later in 2015. Follow me on Twitter @JeremyCrow to stay informed on new releases.
Darkness Visible Study Group
Welcome to the seventh and final lesson in the DVSG archives! This one goes into the Precession of the Equinoxes. This is related to the wobble of the Earth on it's axis. According to the Mayan Long Count Calendar, we are about to complete one full wobble, or a Great Year. To supplement this lesson, I am sharing a video I made discussing the Galactic Alignment that is supposed to occur on December 21, 2012. I hope you've enjoyed these lessons and go on to explore my more recent articles as well as the rest of the material on this site!
Archive of Lesson 7 - Aeons and the Age of Aquarius
Each solar year, the sun appears to move through each of the constellations of the zodiac in turn. Due to the gradual tilting of the Earth on its axis, it isn't exactly the same every year. About every 2000 years, the cycle is shifted by a whole sign of the zodiac. For about the past 2000 years, on the morning of the spring equinox the sun has been rising in the sign of Pisces. Recently it has started rising in the sign of Aquarius. This process is called the "procession of the equinoxes." The period of time between each of these shifts is called an "Age." This is where the term "Age of Aquarius" comes from.
Astrologers have attributed significance to these Ages. They claim that the sign of the zodiac determines the defining characteristics of the time period. There are also those who claim that the transition periods (which last over a hundred years) are periods of such difficulty that special people, or "Prophets," are born to help ease humanity through them. Whether you believe this to be literally true or not, it is quite an inspiring way to look at not only history, but what is happening right here and now. The following oversimplified account is the result of my own personal studies and meditations on the subject. I have focused primarily on what we now term as "Western".
Lets start with the Sumerian culture. This culture existed in the Age of Gemini, the Twins. Next came the Egyptian culture, existing in the Age of Taurus, the Bull. After that came the Jewish era in the Age of Aries, the Ram. The next big movement was Christian which existed in the Age of Pisces, the Fish. Finally we come to the present. We are currently in the Age of Aquarius, the Water Bearer - a human figure.
The transition between the Sumerian and the Egyptian culture is symbolized by the betrayal of Enlil by his brother Enki. This story, somewhat modified, ended up in the book of Genesis as the story of Cain murdering his brother Abel. Where there used to be two brothers (corresponding to Gemini) they became only one. In this story, Cain is so hated for ushering in this Aeonic change that to prevent Cain from being murdered, God had to mark him with a symbol of protection. This is the enigmatic Mark of Cain. Another interesting point is that Cain went on to become a nomadic cattle herder. Cattle of course corresponding to Taurus, the Bull.
The next such transition occurred between the Egyptian and Jewish cultures. The Prophet of the new Age of Aries was Moses. Moses was raised as Egyptian royalty. He had the benefit of learning the secret mysteries reserved only for the priesthood and those of royal blood. He lead the slaves out of Egypt. These freed slaves ended up becoming the Jews. The pivotal moment came when Moses went up on the mountain and received the knowledge of how the Age of Aries was to play out. When he came down with this knowledge (aka "gnosis"), he found his people worshiping a golden calf. A calf is a newborn cow or bull, corresponding to Taurus. When he saw this, he realized that they were not yet ready to make such a drastic change all at once. Perhaps they would have even killed him for preaching these revolutionary ideas. He smashed the tablets containing the knowledge and went back up the mountain to received the knowledge in a set of negative statements (i.e. what not to do.) These were the 10 Commandments, or the Law. The original corpus of knowledge wasn't lost. It was passed on in secret through the priesthood. This knowledge is what we now know of as the Kabalah.
The next major transition was from the Jewish to the Christian Era. Here we see Jesus Christ as the Prophet. He is often referred to as the "Lamb of God." The lamb corresponds to Aries the Ram. Jesus upset people with his radical teachings to such an extent that he actually did get killed. The murder of Jesus as the lamb is symbolic of the end of the Age of Aries. Ever since his death, his followers have used the symbol of the fish, corresponding to Pisces, to identify themselves as Christian. While Jesus was alive, he abolished the old Law and gave us only two commandments: To love God with all your hearts and to Love your neighbor as yourself.
The next transition brings us to the present. There are several possibilities for who the "Prophet" may be. There are many who believe that Aleister Crowley was the one to reveal the pattern of the Age of Aquarius. He certainly felt himself to be the Prophet of the new "Aeon" as he called it. There is a strong case for this. He certainly shocked a lot of people! He also delivered a sacred scripture, called the Book of the Law. He also left a lot of teachings behind. The religion that he created, called Thelema (which means "Will" in Greek,) is very focused on the divinity within humanity. This is quite appropriate seeing as the symbol of Aquarius is a human carrying a vessel filled with water. Those following the way taught by Crowley has continued to grow since "The Beast" (as he called himself) shed his physical body.
Another possibility could be that there is no single Prophet for this Age, seeing as Aquarius indicates individuality. This could indicate that we each have to become the Prophet for ourselves. However, this still connects with the message Aleister Crowley transmitted. "Every man and every woman is a star." At the core of Thelema is the concept that we each need to connect with the god within to discover our "True Will" or purpose in life. This is often described poetically with the phrase "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel." We are then to direct all of our energy towards achieving that purpose. "Thou hast no right by to do thy Will." Like Moses and Jesus, Crowley also threw out the previous Law and replaced it with a new one. Crowley transmitted the commandment that: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." and "Love is the Law, Love under Will." While there may not be a lot of people who identify themselves as Thelemites when you compare it to mainstream religions, there are quite a few who are following the basic concepts of the philosophy. In other words, there are more and more people who are taking their salvation into their own hands.
It is also possible that the Age of Aquarius is to be an age of secularism and therefore having a religious prophet would be nonsensical. It is interesting to note that Crowley created a system he described as "Scientific Illuminism" and having "The method of Science; the aim of Religion." Personally, I like to think that this Age is to be the one where we discard the concept of "vicarious atonement" (achieving salvation through the action of another) in favor of taking control of our own fate.
Just as a final note, it is obvious that Judaism did not go away when Jesus came along. It is also clear that Christianity will not just go away with the coming of this new Age either. The "formula" of the previous Ages still retain much of their effectiveness. Moses, for instance, partook of the Age of Gemini formula when he worked so closely with his brother Aaron. All of the Prophets of new Ages were Adepts of the previous formula. It is advisable for those looking to work the new formula to study the old as well. We can learn quite a bit from those who have chosen to continue working in the formula of a previous Age.
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The above Tarot image is one of the 22 Major Arcana cards used by the Whare-Ra Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in New Zealand.
One method of learning the Tarot is to colour your own set of images. Read an article about this here. Throughout this site are all 22 images that you can save to your computer and print out for colouring. Just right-click on the image and select "Save Image."
This is the twenty-first in the series. Clicking directly on the image will bring you to the page on this site that contains the next image in the traditional sequence. I have also created a Site Map based on this sequence to provide an easy method of finding any specific Tarot image.