The Psycho-Sexual Substance of the Shadow

The substance or “tarot” of the astral plane is the basis of magick and of all magical operations. The word ‘tarot’ is considered by many to be unknown origin and of dubious meaning: it has been associated almost exclusively with the curious symbolic fortune-telling cards used in divination and sorcery. But the word has a far more extensive connotation. By a qabalistic method of permutation known as Temurah, the word ‘tarot’ signifies ‘law’ (tora), ‘wheel’ (rota), and ‘principle’ or ‘essence’ (taro). Its derivation may be traced to the name of the ancient Egyptian goddess Ta-Urt, which means the Mother of Revolutions, or Cycles of Time. She was the type of periodic law, and, by inference, of duration or eternity. The tarot of a thing is therefore the essence of a thing, its inmost nature, its principle, the law of its being. It is in this primal sense that the term ‘tarot’ is used in this book where it denotes the essentially sexual nature of man’s occult anatomy.

A glance at the accompanying figure will show this tarot links up with the major occult power-zones in the human organism. It is necessary to be conversant with this map of magical marmas in order to understand the precise nature of the Shadow upon which the Cults here discussed are ultimately based. Further, it is worth noting – though it is unwise to attach too great a significance to the fact – that the sum total of the letters attributed to these marmas is three hundred and sixty suggesting the full cycle of electro- magnetic forces that circulate in the astral anatomy of man.

Commencing from the head and proceeding downward we note, first of all, the marma, chakra, or wheel of magical energy known as the ajna chakra. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘third eye’, the seat of the mystical vision of things unseen; of other dimensions and extra-terrestrial planes of existence. The qabalistic letter-graph of ajna is ayin, meaning ‘an eye’.  This organ is also known as the Eye of Shiva. When thus eye opens (i.e. when this chakra, or lotus, blooms) the world of appearances is said to disappear, revealing in its stead the substream of Reality upon which is reared the edifice of phenomenal illusion. As usch, ajna is the Eye of the Light

Diagram 1. The psycho-sexual Tarots of the Human Cross

of Pure Consciousness, which in the Chinese magical tarot – the Yi King – is symbolized by the trigram, Lî. This solar light is balanced by that of the moon in the next marma on the descending scale which is situated at the base of the brain, at the back of the head. Aleister Crowley notes that this is the cerebral seat of the sexual energies in man. The Chaldean qabalah attributes the letter qoph to this region, and its numerical value, 100, combines the initials P(hallus) and K(teis), which are those of the magical instruments employed in the creation of illusion. The symbolism of the moon on the Tree of Life comprehends the sexual functions, the lunar Sephirotic focus being Yesod, which means ‘Foundation’, for the phenomenal world is founded on sexuality. The esoteric interpretation of this lunar symbolism will become apparent in due course. The qoph zone is situated opposite the wheel or tarot known as the Visuddha chakra, which has affinity with the Word and the vibration of the Word, for it is in the region of the throat – or its subtle counterpart – that the Word is made flesh through the sexual vibrations flowing from qoph. The Chinese trigram, sun, represents air; in this case the perfumed or kalas of creative breath. These perfumes or emanations, in their turn, receive an influx from the ajna chakra which is the seat of the Will in man. In the ajna chakra are the 15 kalas, and the shadow – or reflection – of the 16th.

These two marmas, the one in the region of the ‘third eye’, the other in the qoph zone, formulate respectively the Will and the Word, both of which fuse in the Visuddha chakra to pronounce the Ineffable Name. This is the region of the ‘Giants’, the Nephilim, who procreate by Will alone, which mythical fact is relevant because the numbers of these two marmasayin and qoph – have the value of 170 is the number of the Chaldaean word npil, meaning, ‘a giant’. Also 170 is the number of itzo, ‘a bed’, which illuminates verse 66 (chapter 2) of AL:

“Work and be our bed in working!

Thrill with the joy of life and death!

Ah! Thy death shall be lovely: whoso seeth it shall be glad.

Thy death shall be the seal of the promise of our age long love.”

For it is at the qoph zone that the Will achieves its apotheosis, dying to itself in the very act of endowing the Word with flesh.

The Chinese trigram corresponding to the lunar light of qoph is Khan. The hexagrams resulting from the union of sun and moon are the last two in the series of 64 hexagrams that constitute the Book of Changes or Yi King. Similarly, the ajna and the qoph marmas are the last of the series of power-zones in the subtle human anatomy.

Diagram 2. The Tree of Life: The Cosmic Power-Zones and the Afro-Tantric Kalas

The next major marmas are located in the palms of the hands. The hands are the focus of intense streams of ojas or magical power. In the left palm the ojas is negative, passive, feminine. In the right palm, it is positive, active, masculine. When the palms are in close contact, as in prayerful mudras of the hands, there is an interchange and free flow of energy between the twin terminals. The Adept can inform the circuit thus formed with a current of will that sweeps through the body, cleansing it off accumulated poisons. He can also draw down ojas from ajna and qoph, concentrating it in the right and left hands, and by the placing of the palms upon certain marmas of another person’s body, can kill or cure at a touch.

The numerical value of the Chaldean word for palm – kaph – is 20, which is also the number of the word for hand (yod). The two palms together, therefore, total 40, a number that yields highly significant qabalistic correspondences. Forty is the number of Gual, meaning ‘liberator’. This is a title of Yesod, the lunar and specifically sexual power-zone on the Tree of Life (see diagram. The connection between these ideas is evident; the palm (or hand) is the liberator of sexual energy in the priest or the priestess during the scared rites. In profane sexual activity the connection is no less obvious. Furthermore, 40 is the number of Id IHVH, the Hand of the Eternal, also of mem, the mystical water, blood or wine that is drawn off by the hand in the rite involving the priestess in her lunar phase. The combination of these ideas reveals the magical import of the hand, and particularly palm.

The palm is used specially to arouse the marmas in one’s own marmas in one’s own or another’s body. When the Adept stimulates the subtle power-zones in the body of a specially prepared priestess, he causes the Fire Snake to manifest at the level, or in the dimension corresponding to that of his manipulations. He can thus exalt the Kundalini from its abode at the base of the spine to any marmas he may choose. When it rises to the ajna the woman then becomes an inspired priestess, a seeress or scared oracle gifted with clairvoyance; she sees into the past and into the future. In certain Kaula Cults of the Left-Hand Path, where the worship of the Goddess is performed exclusively at the level of the muladharachakra, the priestess, after concentrating ojas in the palm of her left hand, arouses the Fire Sanke and, not taking it up the spine, sees clairvoyantly with her womb. This she does during the time of catamenia, when the astral forces are able to assume almost tangible form from the effluvia emanating from her vaginal vibrations. Crowley alludes to this phenomenon in his commentary on the word qoph: ‘The Hebrew letter Qoph represents the “hysterical” sealed womb at night; the womb “sees things” in the glamour of physiological upset, while the Sun lurks.

The seat of the Fire Snake is in the vulva which is — as it were — the second eye. It is represented in the Chinese system by the trigram Khwan, and the kalas or effluvia of this eye are represented by the trigram Tui. This eye also is ayin whose number, seventy, represents the material aspect of seven, the number of the Primal Goddess. Among other correspondences are the words LIL, meaning night, and SVD, meaning ‘the Secret’ also a couch or seat, the god Set, a sacred chest, ark, box or sarcophagus, all of which evoke ideas of death and, mystically, life in death. Furthermore, in AL the word Khabs (ChBs, a star, 70) is described as ‘the name of my House’, meaning that the star is the name of the abode of the Fire Snake. This is so, for the star is the Star of ShT, or Set. Furthermore, it is written: “The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs. Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!”. The gddess is speaking and she is telling the priest that The Star is in the place of magical power (i.e. the queue or tail of the goddess), not vice versa; an exhortation to worship the Star, Set, i.e. arouse the Fire Snake so that the light of the goddess bathes the priest ‘in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat’.

Finally, seventy is the number of IIN, meaning ‘wine’, the inebriating fluid of which it is written: ‘To worship me take wine and strange drugs.” Wine is assimilated to the symbolism of the kalas or ophidian emanations that are generated and rendered vibrant by the magical invocation of the Fire Snake. The sud or ‘secret’ eye is that mysterious organ about which many dark hints appear in the literature of the occult; it is usually associated with abhorrent mysteries, witchcraft and sorcery. This eye is also feminine and it is represented by the anus of the goat, for Capricorn is the astro-glyph of the Scarlet Woman when she is used in the Rite for building up magical power on the inner planes. It is represented by the Chinese trigram Kân. Eliphas Levi refers to this formula in his Transcendental Magic, and Crowley – perhaps more than any other magician – used it repeatedly. When applied to the male the formula is debased to black magic and is condemned by the Tantrics although its widespread use among the Arabs and the Greeks of anitiquity suggests that its value as a practical magical formula is so great that no compunction was felt in employing it. The correct interpretation of the ‘unmentionable vessel’ – as Crowley calls it in his Magical Record – is, as I have explained in Aleister Crowley & the Hidden God, the organ of the priestess during its lunar phase, and its formula is that of materialization; hence its connection with the element Earth, for the formula ‘earths’ or reifies the current in tangible phenomena.

The last major bodily marma is associated with the element Fire; either the fire of the Goddess in sexual heat, or that hidden and volcanic energy glyphed by the most sacred letter of the qabalistic alphabet – yod — the number 10. Yod is the point or bindu created by the fusion of the phallus (I) and the kteis (O); hence IO. The Chinese trigram corresponding to the element, fire, is that of Kân.

The sexual tarot of the complete human being thus forms the qabalistic cross of the four quarters which is also the circle, for the total numeration of the letters of the marmas is 360, the number of degrees in a circle.

The cross of the four quarters was the symbol – in the earliest cults – of the place of intersection between Spirit and Matter. It is the emblem of Baron Samedhi, of Maitre Carrefour, the Lord of the Crossroads and God of the Dead, who has to be evoked before the spirit-world can be entered.

This scheme of sexual tarots comprehends also the eight trigrams which form, in permutation, the 8×8 (64) hexagrams of the most ancient Chinese system of magic. The human body is thus a compendium of, and the basis for, all the major occult systems, as well as being the substance of the shadow in which the world of phenomenal being appears to undergo its ceaseless transformations.

These are in all 16 astro-sexaul tattvas or tarots – 8 in the female organism and 8 in the male – and they form the basic tattva – pattern, which, together with their etheric counterparts form the 32 tarots. These are the primal occult power-zones whereupon was founded the qabalistic Tree of Life with its 32 Paths, and, long ages earlier, the 64 Fa or principles of Chinese mysticism, where they are identified with the hexagrams of the Yi Ying.

The most perfect tarot-pattern for magical purposes, however, is the Chaldaea-qabalistic scheme which comprises the IO Sephiroth or cosmic power-zones with their 22 rays or paths leading into the depths of human consciousness and uniting each individual centre with its fellow star by an infinitely ramifying network of astro-magnetic vibrations. The Ten Sephiroth represent the cosmic or planetray power-zones, seats of power conveying the influence from transplutonic regions veiled by the triple Veil of the Negative: Ain, Ain Soph, Ain Soph Aur which are Nothingness, Limitlessness, and Limitless Light (the LVX of the Gnotics).

The planetary power-zones are Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Mercury, Venus, and Luna. Each has its primal ray, kala, or magical influence, each is radiant. Various god-forms are ascribed to each of these seats of power: Harpocrates or Nuit, to the Ain: Hadit or Set to Pluto; Dagon or Nodens to Neptune; Choronzon to Uranus; Maut or Isis to Saturn; Amoun to Jupiter; Horus to Mars; Asar or Ra to Sol; Hathor to Venus; Anubis to Mercury; Shu to Luna.

The 22 kalas, rays, or paths are projections or vehicles of the cosmic energies in the psycho-sexual network of the human body. They not only convey the Primal Kala from the transplutonic aethyrs but are themselves forms of this kala which, passing through the prism of a particular cosmic power-zone condenses and radiates its influence into the subtle aura of the earth. To each path or ray is assigned a qabalistic value and an elemental or stellar sign. The eleventh path, which is of particular importance in the present era, is ascribed to the element Air or Space and to the letter aleph. This kala is symbolized by the double-headed eagle, symbol of the Holy Ghost. It is the Path of the Child – Hoor-paar-Kraat – the Babe in the Egg. Its elemental attribution is akasha, or Spirit, the black egg of which is typified by the crocodile, Sebek, which links it with the kala of Set.

The 12th kala is the Path of the Magus ruked over by Mercury and symbolized by the Phallus. It represents the fluidic basis of all forms of transmission and its gabalistic symbol is Beth and the Wand of the Magician. It is ascribed to the Messenger, and the cynocephalus or ape of Thoth is the cognate symbol.

The 13th kala is that of the Virgin, the High Priestess who has special affinity with the moon and with the essence contained in the lunar radiations of the female. It is the sphere of the unawakened (i.e. entranced or sleeping) Isis, or of Artemis, the Huntress, with her dogs.

The 14th kala, represented by the alchemical element, Salt is that of the Great Mother and her offspring. It represents the Wife, the continuity of life and inheritance of blood which unites all forms of nature. The White Eagle typifies the alchemical salt, the white tincture of the nature of silver. Its qabalistic value is daleth, meaning ‘a door’, the vaginal orifice of the Wife as also of all manifested life. The ruling cosmic influence in Venus.

The 15th kala, Hé, is also attributed to the Mother and to the five-pointed star of physical reproduction: the double blood of the Mother represented by the glyph of Aquarius with its twin streams of life-giving fluid. In the old systems of initiation which obtained during the previous aeon, this kala was ascribed to the Ruler who represents the alchemical element Sulphur. The ruler now, however, is ascribed to the 28th ray. It is significant that Aquarius, the star-complex symbolic of the twin streams of magico-mystical energy in man links, not the Spheres of Yesod and Netzach (Luna and Venus) as formerly, but the Spehre of the Zodiac (Chokmah) and the Sun-Son (Tiphareth), thus yielding the key of this Aeon’s formula. It is not the limited Venusian ray that is blended with the Moon of illusion and witchcraft to produce the glamour of objective existence, but the perfect blending of the stellar current, represented by Chokmah, with that of the solar-phallic consciousness in man. In other words, the influx of stellar energies from beyond the solar system is streaming in to illumine the Sun of our system, wjich is none other than Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the Crowned and Conquering Child, Horus triumphant.

The next ray carries these energies from Chokmah to Chesed via the Son-Priest, typified by Taurus. Chesed is the vehicle of Jupiter the ‘King’, thus indicating that the rule of the Child or Son-Priest is to be established in the current aeon. The ray complementary to that of Aquarius is characterized by the twins – Set-Horus – ruled by the energies of Zain, the Sword. The twin powers of the 15th kala are thereby perfectly balanced by the ‘twins’: the 17th kala through the medium of the High Priest, the 16th kala. Here is the crux of the system of kalas as manifested in the present Aquarian Age, and the key to the mystical formulae of the Aeon of Horus as represented in Crowley’s Cult of Love under Will.

The 16th kala is the supreme and final kala in the ancient system of Tantra. It is the culmination of the 15th, which was known in Akkad as Ishtar, the Goddess 15. The kala was expressed by and through the ‘goddess’ in the form of the virgin or unawakened priestess in her oracular phase.

In the Aeon of Isis, even as today in the Aeon of Horus, the Mother still represents the 15th kala under the form of the dual essences of life represented by the sign Aquarius.

The mystical kalas of the Kaula Circle flowered at the time of the full moon, i.e. when the priestess assumed her lunar or oracular phase. This represents the stellar consciousness in its lunar phase under the dominance of Pisces, which ruled a former aeon. Now, in the Aeon of Horus, it is her ‘son’ – the High Priest – who invokes the kalas of Nuit via the Woman girt with the sword, the Woman pregnant with the twins who give voice to the oracle of the mighty gods. The emphasis is upon the intervention of the male, not as the Father – Osiris – as in the previous aeon, but as the son or child, Horus. The 16th kala is therefore the pivot around which the entire system of stars or essences revolves, and the remaining 16 that go to compose the system of 32 Paths are reflections of these 16 in various degrees of outwardly directed energy.

The Virgin, the Whore, and the Mother are represented by the 13th, 14th, and 15th kalas respectively; in the 16th kala these three of the feminine formula are gathered together and invoked by the Son-Priest represented by The Beast (i.e. Taurus). In ancient Egyptian symbolism, Taurus – the ‘bull’ of the mother – was not only her consort, he was also her son (Horus), and his twin brother – Set – was hidden within him: ‘For two things are done and a third thing is begun. Isis and Osiris are given over to incest and adultery. Horus leaps up thrice armed from the womb of his mother. Harpocrates his twin is hidden within him. SET is his holy covenant, that he shall display in the great day of M.A.A.T., whose name is Truth.

This passage contains the entire doctrine of the New Aeon, even to the adumbration of the future Aeon of Maat which is due to follow upon the present era.

The 18th Path, or Ray, is symbolized by the letter Cheth which is also the numeral eight; it represents the height, or summit, of the mysterious processes that have preceded it. This kalas is under the aegis of Cancer – the primal Creative Power – which balances, on the left side of the Tree, the kala of the High Priest, on the right. This primal Power is linked directly with the High Priest by the reciprocal Path, 19, which is to the Priest what the 14th kala is to the Priestess.

The 19th ray is typified by the lion-servant, Teth, the solar-phallic power which counterbalances the Daleth-Door symbolism of the Priestess. The combination of the Beast, in the form of the lion-serpent, with the Priestess or Whore – the Venusian door or gate- generates the secret seed represented by Virgo, the hermit, the spermatozoon that is the essence of the 20th kala. This confers upon the Priest the title of the All-Father, Three-in-One, represented by Jupiter the King who presides over the 21st kala. Thus is the Venusian Force fulfilled in the Path of the Balance (Libra). This has a special significance in the New Aeon Cults for the letter L is the secret glyph of this kala, and, together with Aleph (the eleventh kala that is also the first) constitutes AL, the key number – 31 – of The Book of the Law, the grimoire or magical enchiridion of the New Aeon.

Immediately after this critical stage in the rite the priest is alsin in the ‘water’, or blood, of the 23rd kala. There he undergoes the transformation typified by Scorpio on the 24th Path, Scorpio is associated with the sexual energies in the human body, and it is by virtue of the sexual machinery of the female – represented by the Dragon of Corruption (Scorpio) – that the link between the Sun (Tiphereth) and the Moon (Yesod) is effected by the 25th kala. Tiphereth is the solar-female, conjunction of power-zones that creates the conditions of full manifestation represented by the Goat, Capricornus, who rules the 26th kala. This is the Beast of the Tarot of the Egyptians represented by or as ‘the Devil’, Baphomet, the symbolism of whose ‘secret eye’ has been explained. Capricorn is also the zoomorphic totem of the Scarlet Woman and the ‘Symbol of that gigantic power whose colour is scarlet, and who has affinity with Capricorn, or Babalon. The esoteric gloss upon the symbolism of the Goat in relation to the formula of the Scarlet Woman is to be found in the Tantric Tradition where the goat is scared to Kali, whose talisman is blood. This kala has important affinities with the lunar cycle as it manifests through the Priestess at the time of the occultation of the sun, hence the symbolism of the ‘blind’ or hidden eye. It is this sanguine ray that forms the basis of the 27th kala, which is dominated by Mars, a god that was originally related to blood split in sexual assault and the blood denoting the right – or ‘rite’ – time for magical copulation. The later association of Mars with war, and with bloodshed in violence, was made by those who failed to understand the nature of the primitive mysteries.

The 28th ray is ascribed to Aries, the Ruler, the omnipotent kala represented in Alchemy by the Red Tincture, the fiery element of the cosmos whose element, Sulphur, well typifies that metal which is of the nature of gold. The 28th kala is thus the complement of the kala of the Whore or Priestess – the 14th or Venusian kala – and of the White Eagle of the Alchemists which represents the continuity of life and inheritance of blood uniting all forms of nature: the White Tincture of the nature of silver. The Ruler originally typified the 15th kala which is now under the aegis of the Star Set-Isis, as already explained. The power of the Ruler flows directly on to the Sphere of Malkuth, the Kingdom of Earth itself, the 10th kala that conceals the transplutonic of the first kala, Kether. The vehicle or menstruum of the Ruler’s energy is the 29th kala, under the aegis of Qoph, the Piscean vibration discussed previously in connection with the psycho-sexual energies at the base of the cerebellum. It is presided over by the Moon and Balances (Libra) – the 30th kala – which is principally solar though with mercurial and lunar undertones.

The 31st kala is especially relevant to the symbolism of the New Aeon. It is the Path of the Fire Snake and of the Spirit of Flame which links the power-zone of Mercury – the male generative energy – with that of the Earth herself (the 10th kala, or muladharachakra) which is the abode of the material Fire Snake, as Yesod (the 9th kala, or svadisthanachakra) is that of the astral Fire Snake. Thirty-one is the number of AL, the key of the Book of Law, and one third of 93, the supreme magical formula of Thelema (Love under Will). In reverse, AL (meaning ‘God’) is LA (meaning ‘Not’ or Nuit) and its number 31, also in reverse, becomes 13, the number of Unity and of the Virgin or entranced priestess.

Thirty-one thus links the Fire Snake with the cosmic power-zones through the medium of the High Priestess who reverses the magical current, i.e. exalts the Fire Snake to the spheres of transplutonic radiance before flooding the earth – the ‘Kingdom’, Malkuth – with the light of Cosmic Consciousness.

The final stage of this entire complex formula of kalas is fulfilled, or ‘earthed’, in the 32nd kala, which is the complete projection in material terms of the 16th kala which it doubles or reflects. It is in fact the projection of the ‘Stone’ of which the Alchemists speak. The whole is summed up in the glyph of the Tau, or Sign of the Cross, this being the Point of Return to the Source of All. Tau is the Sigil of the god Set, whose formula has now been completed.

The foregoing explanation, long as it has been, explains one use of the Tree of Life as a magical engine and as a living map of cosmic kalas flowing into the solar system from beyond the veils of the Ain; from voides beyond space. The links and inter-relations of these cosmic influences can be apprehended by reference to the eight marmas or power-zones in the human body and the 16 kalas which they generate; also by the 32 (4×8) astral tarots of the Tree of Life no less than by the 64 (8×8) Fa of the Chinese Yi King. In the Tantric system an analogy to the kalas on the Tree may be discerned in the yantra of the Goddess Dakshinakalika, where the 15 steps of her ‘yoni’ represent the lunar kalas which culminate in the central bindu, the 16th kala.

The Tree of Life in its schematic form represents the ganglionic complexity of the psycho-sexual anatomy of man with particular reference to the endocrine system and its secretions. Initiates have for many ages been aware that this system has a subtle affinity with the chakras referred to by the ancient Hindus and Chinese, by seers or rishis who were able to see clairvoyantly – by the use of the ajnachakra – the scintillant web of brilliance that coursed through the denser masses of its shadowy physical counterpart. Dion Fortune stressed the analogy; in her novel, Moon Magic, she explains the processes of sexual magick through the polarized activity of these glandular secretions. The endocrine systems in the microcosm therefore mirrors the macrocosmic marmas and sandhis existing as event-acts in extra-physical, non-spatial, dimensions. The Tree of Life, in this sense, becomes an esoteric instrument delineating the transmission of cosmic energies and their condensation and storage in the planetary power-zones (i.e. the Sephiroth), which, in turn, act as prismatic radiators through which the kalas of the zones ray out for distribution throughout the occult anatomy of man.

Michael Bertiaux, a present day Initiate, has well described the mechanics of such an occult instrument:

There are physical machines which serve as anchors or groundings for astral machines. This might take the form of a diagram on paper, which shows the outline of an astral machine, or it might be a mathematical formula which gives the operational nature (what it is and how it works) of an astral, mental, or intuitional machine.

It is essential to bear in mind this dynamic and magical use of the Tree when assigning to the Sephiroth and Paths the various formulae of the tarotic arcana. The designs of the Atus, for instance, are delineations of the ceaseless inflow and outflow of cosmic energies and their interrelation with the ‘magical mirror’ of man’s psycho-sexual. This is particularly evident in Crowley’s design where the symbolism is patently of an alchemical and psycho-sexual nature. The use of the Tree merely as a ‘filling cabinet’, or some similar static of reference, is contrary to the whole esoteric tradition, yet this attitude is adopted by all but a few of the so-called initiated Cults working with these currents today. In past ages, as in the Tantric Cults of India, China, and Mongolia, as well as in the Draconian Cults of Egypt, the Tree existed – not necessarily in the form in which we know it today – as the secret vevers of African cults, the yantras of Indian Tantra, no less than in the ancient Fa symbols of the Chinese which have come down to us as the 8 trigrams and 64 hexagrams of the Yi King. It is the interrelation of macrocosmic and microcosmic forces, and their ramifying course through the subtle anatomy of the human body, that underlies the traditional glyphs of the Mysteries now largely stylized to such an extent that their true meaning has been effectively concealed from all but initiates. It is due largely to the works of Adepts like Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, Austin Spare, and the continuation of their work in the cults founded or inspired by them that the genuine occult tradition was not totally lost to the Western world.

On the other hand, the purely passive use of the Tree of Life proves also of value in illumining the nature of ancient cults and their relation to the present day manifestations of them. This will become apparent when we consider the primal African cults from which Voodoo and Obeah emerged to become fully effective generators of magical energy.