Mishkan ha-Echad

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Qlippoth and the Golden Dawn

The Qlippoth ("shells") are an area of Golden Dawn study and practice that is often ignored or glossed over. Working with the darker aspects of the universe and ourselves are something that most Right Hand Path magicians want little to do with.

And yet it is an essential part of the ultimate ascent up the Tree. We cannot, for example, fully understand Geburah, in particular, if we do not understand the Qlippoth. We are also missing a key to the puzzle of all the Sephiroth by not understanding what went wrong with the Breaking of the Vessels.

The Qlippothic forces are the extremes. They are what happens when balance is not reached or kept. Therefore we inadvertently encounter them throughout our path, and particularly in the Golden Dawn system in those grades that are not on the Middle Pillar, and yet also in every grade when we get too little or too much of an element, planetary power, etc.

The Qlippoth are parts of us and parts of the universe that are not as they should be. They are what went wrong, what is going wrong, and what might go wrong in the future. They are evil, the potential for evil, and good brought to such an extreme that it has become a new evil of its own.

During some work with the archangel Gabriel he showed me his role as lord over the Qlippoth. He told me that he stands in the West, the place of the Hiereus, because it is there he watches over and guards against the Multitudes. He is the key into our subconscious and also our guide for working with Qlippothic forces.

Gabriel attributed Qlippothic work to the 6=5 grade, which applies with the role of Geburah as the source of evil in Qabalistic tradition. The 4=7 grade receives a dim reflection of these forces within the Outer Order, and this is the grade attributed to the office of Hiereus. In a sense the Hiereus protects against the Qlippoth at the Western part of Malkuth on the temple floor, the place that is the Kether of the Qlippothic Tree, and yet also protects the Outer Order against the Qlippothic forces that emanate from Geburah.

Gabriel can show several techniques for Qlippothic work, most of which are understandably risky and quite terrifying to even think about, let alone actually do, but he also works as a protector, a shield against the shadow, a light within the darkness.

Personally I liken some of this work to the binding of Cacodaemons in the Enochian system, an equally ignored area, and yet a very powerful one. I plan to publish a full technique and guide for such Cacodaemon work in Enochian Magic in Practice, hopefully later this year.

Unfortunately a number of Golden Dawn orders and temples have axed or ignored Qlippothic work, fearful of what it entails. A great deal of caution needs to be applied to even studying these forces, of course, let alone working with them, but that is no reason to completely avoid the subject altogether - a subject that was part of the original Golden Dawn syllabus, even if only in a cursory form.

I think part of of the misunderstanding comes from the forbidding of "evil magic" in the 0=0 Oath, which some magicians think entails any and all Qlippothic work. Of course, there are some who work with the Qlippoth in the sense of black magic, to cause injury and harm to others, and so forth, but this is actually allowing that Qlippothic force to have power over the magician, rather than balancing it within themselves.

Some people think they need to work with the Qlippoth in the sense of making pacts with demons, but that is not true at all. The point is to understand, bind and balance them, and most of this work takes place internally, even if it involves an external demonstration through ritual magic.

As Gabriel indicated, this is high grade work and requires lots of preparation, which comes from prior initiations, lots of personal magical and spiritual work, and a healthy dose of introspection. It is not for the faint-hearted, nor the untested, and it has just as much power to destroy a magician who does not watch where they tread as it has to bring about a greater balance within them.

For those who are truly ready, however, it can prove very rewarding.
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