I have been spending time with this book. What I enjoy about it, is that up through the 9 Mysteries it is mostly an interpreted work. Meaning, that personal Gnosis can be gained by interpreting and ingesting the material. In a previous article I went in depth to the Mystery of the Blood. Rather than dig deep on each of the mysteries and what they mean to me, I wanted to give a broader perspective.
After thinking more about it, in my personal Gnosis (with my world view), I have come to think that the first mystery of the Blood is about the Expanded Self, or Daemon. I came to that conclusion due to the mention that the Blood is what “nourishes all carnal manifestations made flesh.”1. In my opinion, this sounds like the Daemon because it is the source of our existence – all that is perceived in the way it renders to each. This is how I see the Daemon, as the battery of experience that sources the Individual’s reality (no two Individual realities may be the same).
Each river of the blood (which would then be the methods by which the Blood reaches the carnal world) is traversed, which to me sounds like a statement of finding every way possible to interact with the expanded sense of Self.
The mystery of the Land, to my understanding, is the stuff that makes up the world I perceive. It is not perception itself, as that comes later in the my interpretation of the Mystery of the Land. This is the gross matter itself.
What I got from the mystery of Sovereignty is the idea that the Ruler (Sovereignty or personal Individuality) is found within, not through the externalized teachings of another, nor of an outside force.
As I read this mystery (the mystery of service), to me it represents service unto the Blood (or as I interpret the Blood as the Daemonic Self). The work mentions a mystery here, the Grail itself is serving something. The Grail and the Land are often used together. The Grail holds the blood and could be thought of as the human experience perhaps: That which holds the flow of the Demon. The Land itself is a product of the perceptions of each person. So if the grail differs from that, then perhaps it is the preceptor itself. But then, why make a distinction between the Grail and the Knight as serving?
Perhaps it is in the words, “For if even the Grail serves, the mystery of the blood surely embraces both the s overe ig n and the knight, and this is why both equally and al ike partake of the mysteries, each according to his nature.”2
That quote identifies two Initiates. One is the Sovereign (the Ruler, the True Individual) and the other is the Knight (the Quester). The quest is the spiritual path, the Knight being the Initiate at an early stage than the Sovereign would be the Individual Realized.
It follows then, that the Grail is the Sovereign. So whom does the Realized Self serve?
Cosmologically, if we accept that there is a Source to the Blood (the Blood being the power behind the personal awareness: the Daemon), then what is its Source? What gives birth to the Daemon (the Supreme Individual)?
The answer I can not say, but it could be supposed that this is the creator of the park of Individuality. For some this could be Set, or Lucifer. I would be lying if I said I knew the answer to this. I struggle with this daily, but I believe the Grail would owe its service to whatever Sourced the Daemon (the Blood).
The Mystery of Will. Who is it that has Will? Is it the flesh me, that has worries and anxiety? Or is it the emotional me that falls in love? Or is it the most expansive form of me, what Socrates called the Daemon? What Crowley called the Holy Guardian Angel?
Finding the answer to the “one-who-wills” is the answer to this mystery.
For me, I believe that the “one-who-wills” is ultimately the most expansive form of me. I have a Personal Gnosis of being beyond the body. What is beyond the body, expands outward through various levels of experience, until ultimately what is there is so expansive it can feel godlike.
This I believe is what I took into every religion and spiritual group on my Knightly Quest for truth. Each time I felt its presence, but each time I mistook it for something “other than me.” My Gnosis at this point, tells me that this was always Me. An expansive form of Me.
This expansive Me (which I make reference to in the word: Daemon) is the true will. Crowley speaks much on the subject of True Will and he sources it with the Holy Guardian Angel – which, in my view, is the same thing as the Personal Daemon.
The Mystery of Nature. Nature and Land go hand in hand here. Land is described as the stuff of perception. Nature is the shape of the Land, or how the land begins to form each way to each person.
The reference in the book to “cycles” gets me thinking in terms of reincarnation. That this Nature, this shape of Land, changes and transmutes over and over again. This could refer to each individual perception, or it could represent the Knight returning to the Quest through incarnation after incarnation – until full realization (Full Gnosis) is realized.
The Mystery of Polarity. Liber Nigri Solis states this mystery as the birth of Will. How does one’s Will manifest? As I read this passage, I felt my own Gnosis on this subject. This is the Antinomian aspect of the path.
Polarity offers up different choices, which always can boil down to: Desire and Aversion. Like the Masonic Pillars of Boaz and Jachin, or the Hermetic pillars mapped to the opposite sides of the Tree of Life, or as in the Eastern concept of Yin & Yang; there is opposition at all times.
I believe that most people fall into a delusion of opposition: they fight for something at times, but mostly they succumb to the world’s illusion. The Quest is forgotten and replaced with the ebb and flow of the dualistic world.
There is a moment, when that ebb and flow stirs a strong emotion in the Initiate. There’s an aversion to something. That moment is the Opportunity to break free. I think of it as an opportunity as it isn’t always realized. Within my own life there were times I “rebelled,” but I didn’t change who I was enough to really consider it an understanding of my Will.
When applied spiritually, rebelling against the filters I was raised with (Christianity) and putting it to death within me, that’s when I came to the removal of the filter and found my own Void. This process of anger fueled Antinomianism, drew me out of the mundane and complacent. I hated the old ways.
In time, however, the old ways were seen as old clothes. I didn’t Hate them. I didn’t dwell upon repeatedly burning them. I had no need to repeatedly burn these old filters. They were already gone. To dwell upon my hatred towards the Christian faith was simply a waste of my time.
I believe that the idea conveyed in Polarity is the combination of everything afore mentioned. That the Blood (the guidance of our path) enabled us to find our Will, by producing the conditions of Polarity that would trigger a response to remove the compliance to the carnal, material world. This Polarity was created through the Land (the stuff of creation), shaping the Land (Nature) in a way that gave the opportunity for waking up.
This process of waking up from the cares of the world into the Light of Personal Gnosis, is the Quest that leads to Sovereignty.
The Mystery of Memory. I believe this mystery to be about Self-Analysis. “The unexamined life is not worth living,” says Socrates. How did I become like I am? What brought me here? What wounds led me to this point in time? I was led by wounds, as I’m sure everyone on the Left Hand Path is. What brought us here?
Remembering those events, their causes, and the solutions that came about through our engagement with the process of life, is what I believe this to refer to.
As the work reads, “the Blood heals the very wound that reveals it.”3 Such wounds can either bleed us out, or make us stronger. The stronger find the spiritual quest appealing and let go of the unnecessary things holding the person back. The Sacrifices are great, but the rewards even greater.
I value Self-Analysis, which as a process has allowed me to ingest my past to understand my own personal Cosmology.
The Mystery of Immortality. I believe this final mystery is speaking to the Spark of Individuality. A reference is made here to the stone of Lapis Exilis (the stone of exile), which was the gift of the Morning Star. It seems quite clear that this refers to the idea of Lucifer, removing himself from the group-thought of a creator being. In offering the same possibility of choice to humanity, humans can also chose to become Individuals.
This Individuality, to me, is not simply a human being who feels isolated from the rest. There’s a greater depth here, the depth of true existence. My personal gnosis has taught me that I am greater than the body. This expanded sense of me, culminates to the idea of the Daemon (the Holy Guardian Angel of Crowley).
Crowley called this final completion the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. To me, it is best understood as the completion of Self in the form of the greatest (most expansive) with the Initiates Awareness. In other words, one becomes the Daemon. The Blood itself.
To these, the secret head is but the skull rendering mute testimony to the will of Life figured as destruction. On its forehead it bears the mark of Life-in-Death and Death-in-Life, the same mark placed upon all those who undertake the lonely Quest for the Grail, and who have overcome themselves and achieved the supreme, final victory even over their own Otherness.Ibid. pp. 59
This idea of Life in Death and Death in Life feels like a relevant image of the spiritual Quest: the Individual is born (made alive) and in equal proportion the old self overcome is put to proverbial Death (lost, or let go). At this state I believe the Individual is not the human experience, but instead the Daemonic experience – the most expansive experience available. The completion of the Soul.
These are simply my interpretation of the Nine Mysteries outlined in the work Liber Nigri Solis.