III. Katagôgê - Descent of the Soul

0. Nous - Mind

Hear: You are the Firstborn Child of She Who Underlies the Earth and Him in Heaven, and from Them you have a threefold Soul. Within you is the Seed of the Eternal Gods, and you shall be the Maker, Framer of your world, residing in the center.

Visualize a flashing bolt of fiery lightning that descends from Heaven. But as the Beam moves downward, slowly lower both your hands into the sign of prayer before your face. When the Ray has reached your crown, it stops and swells into a glowing sphere enveloping your head with dazzling radiance like a nimbus or a halo. As it does, intone:

Nous {Nou=s} = Mind
See your head draw in Celestial Light as would the roots of an inverted Tree of Knowledge. For this is the Light of Intuition, Gnostic Sight, by which you understand what is. Let the Lightning Bolt become a Golden Chain that links your soul to Heaven.

Other chants:

Phanês {Fa/nhs} = Phanês

Erôs {)/Erws} = Erôs (Love)

iôê zanôphie {iwh zanwfie} (v.m.): "the spirit who enters me"

1. Logistikon - Rational Soul

A. Harmonia

After several minutes more, the Ray descends down through your head in seven rainbow colors: violet, indigo, then blue and green, then yellow, orange and red. As it descends, intone the vowels in the pitches of the Lyre's seven strings, singing a descending major scale (from mi to fa):
aeêiouô {aehiouw} (v.m.; see the Appendix "Harmonic Considerations" for the best pitches to use): "first origin of my origin"
The ray illuminates your head until your face shines brightly like the sky, for it's the Radiant Vehicle of your soul. Behold: your head is round, an image of the Heaven's starry vault.

Thought must spread out from the star-like center of the Mind, and reach out through the Soul into the three dimensions of extended Space. This is a Harmony connecting that which is Above and that which is Below. Hear the Harmony of the Heavens.

Your Intellect resides between intelligible Forms above, which are eternal and unchanging, and perceptible objects below, which are both transient and changing. Each of these two kingdoms has its own Existence and Identity and Difference, but your Intellect can bring the two together, to be objects of your thought and speech.

When Eros comes into your brain, you seek for immortality, but through the Love of Wisdom (Philosophia); therefore let the Shining Ray illuminate your thoughts and lead you on to Wisdom, for it is the virtue that resides here.

Other chants:

harmonia {a(rmoni/a} = fitting together, harmony

dianoia {dia/noia, dianoi/a} = discursive reason

B. Sphere of Same

The Ray divides in two Divine Rotations round the Axle of Necessity. One turns horizontal and winds clockwise, turning left to right around you. See it now expand into a sphere.

Whenever you exhale, it rotates to the right becoming dark; whenever you inhale, the sphere continues to turn right, becoming light. It turns continuously, smoothly, but growing light and dark with every breath. Quietly or silently repeat with every breath:

iepseria {iepseria} (on exhalation): v.m. "dark"

alapie {alapie} (on inhalation): v.m. "luminous"

Behold the Cyclic Breathing of the Kosmos, that transforms Eternity and makes it Measured Time. Unfathomable Eternity is thus enshrined and makes a moving Image for our adoration. Thus each pole transforms into its opposite within the turning wheel of Time. The Fixed Stars rotate round our Mother Earth each day, and alternating night and day instruct us in the laws of One and Two and hence of all the numbers.

See the Sphere of Same, the sphere in which we recognize, in which we know when this is that. By means of it we may achieve true knowledge, certainty and science. Thus we rightly think and speak of Being. Feel the Light of Heaven strengthen your ability to know what is.

Other chants:

Nux {Nu/c} = Night (on exhalation); Hêmera {(Hme/ra} = Day (on inhalation)

Atropos {)/Atropos} = "Inevitable" (one of the Fates). This incantation should be done with full intonation while exhaling.

C. Sphere of Other

When you inhale again, observe the second Ray and see it turn obliquely to the first, and wrap around from right to left, or counterclockwise, but within the Sphere of Same. Within this band appear the Zodiac's stars. The circle grows into the Sphere of Other, carried rightward by the Sphere of Same, and yet still moving slowly to the left across it at a slant. Intone:
adamalôr {adamalwr} (v.m.): "shining with Heavenly Light"
It carries seven fiery Wanderers, who move within the Zodiac and have a spiral path created from the twofold motion of the Spheres. These lights are radiant shrines in honor of the Gods. Each turns within itself and thinks its proper thoughts.

Upon the Sphere of Same, which rotates to the right, observe the Seven Wanderers, creeping back toward the left along an undulating path; each goes at its own rate and so their pattern always changes.

Most prominent of all the Wanderers is the Sun, and in its yearly spiral rise and fall we see the cycle of all living things, which come to be but pass away again. For such is life beneath the Moon. See the turning of the Spheres, the spiral motion of the Wanderers, the cycles of all life.

For through the motion of the Sphere of Other, do we learn how to discriminate, to judge when this is not that. Thus we form opinion and belief about the things of sense. And thereby may we think and speak of all that changes, though such thoughts and words are never certain. Feel the Ray enliven your ability to understand the world and life.

Other chants:

Klôthô {Klwqw/} = "Spinner" (one of the Fates)

doxa {do/ca} = opinion

rôgueu anami pelêgeôn adapa eiôph {rwgueu anami pelhgewn adapa eiwf} (v.m.): "revolution of untiring service by the Heavenly Bodies"

2. Thumoeides - Spirited Soul

Now draw the Light Beam down your spine and through your neck. Know your neck to be the Guardian of the Boundary between the mortal soul below and the immortal parts above. The part above we share with Gods in Heaven; the part below we share with everything that lives, a gift of Earthly Gods. For we cannot survive upon this Earth without the lower part.

The Ray descends down to your Heart, the point of balance, joining what's above and what's below. But as you inhale, feel your breath flow like a glowing gas into the branches of your lungs. As you exhale it expands into a warmly glowing golden sphere. Lower both your hands in prayer position to your heart and then intone:

iôie êô aua {iwie hw aua} (v.m.): "wind-like"
Here is housed the center of all Feelings and Sensations. The Heart rules in the world of life, for it's your Inner Sun, which rules the Fiery Planets of your Soul. Feel this glow expanding to take in all creatures living in the Water, Earth and Air. Smell the living incense, fragrant Breath of Life.

When Eros comes into your Heart, you seek for immortality through Fame and Reputation. The virtue that He brings is Fortitude or Courage, and this Energy gives strength to all our deeds.

Other chants:

Lakhêsis {La/xhsis} = "Apportioner" (one of the Fates)

thumos {qumo/s} = heart, spirit, courage

aisthêsis {ai)/sqhsis} = sensation

3. Epithumetikon - Appetitive Soul

Draw the Ray down yet again, descending down your spine and through your Diaphragm, the Fence between your Feeling Soul above and that below, which seeks to love and grow.

And when the Ray has reached your solar plexus, housed between your diaphragm and navel, it expands into a glowing silver sphere. Whenever you inhale it fills your belly, but as you exhale the glow spreads out in undulating waves of light. Now lower both your hands in prayer position to your navel and intone:

ôôô aaa eee {www aaa eee} (v.m.): "water of water, the first of water in me"
This Soul we share with plants, who, like us, seek for sustenance to live and grow. And your first nourishment came from your Mother through your navel. Taste the Nectar, the Ambrosia, the Elixir of all Life.

The Virtue of this Soul is Temperance, which means the proper mix, as of the wine and water. For too little is as faulty as too much; moderation in all things is Lord Apollo's rule. This Beam enlivens every healthy appetite.

When Eros enters here, your love for immortality creates desire for having children. Truly, all life comes from the Oceanic Womb. The Heavenly Lightning gathers in this Womb before enkindling the Vessel that's within the Earth.

Other chants:

Hekatê {(Eka/th} = Hekatê

epithumia {e)piqumi/a} = desire, yearning, longing

phuô {fu/w} = I bring forth, make grow, beget

4. Sôma - Body

The Ray emerges from the bottom of your spine - the fruit of an inverted Tree of Life - and it continues down your legs. Your legs are the foundation of your being, as the Elements are the foundation of all Earthly life. Feel the solid substance of your body planted on our Mother Earth. Lower both your arms down to your sides, and hold your palms toward the Earth. The Ray descends down to your knees and grows into a glowing sphere. Intone:
uê uôê {uh uwh} (v.m.): "earth of earth, the first of the earth in me"
Behold, the Elements are moving chaotically in the Receptacle below, and so Celestial Light must yet continue down to balance them and bring them into order, altering proportions, ordering the motions in the six directions (forward, backward, leftward, rightward, up and down). Just so the Sphere of Same drags round the Sphere of Other and its Wanderers, and Heaven's Ray illuminates the churning Crater down below.

Thus Life exists by Reason and Necessity: for Reason brings some purpose into energetic motion. But do not forget that neither is supreme, nor can destroy the other, for some Chance and Chaos always will remain. And this is good, because without it Reason would be out of touch with life upon the Earth, for Reason may persuade Necessity, but never rule Her. Thus Necessity provides the Force of Life, and Reason gives it Purpose.

Other chants:

Gaia, Gê {Gai=a, Gh=} = Earth

sôma {sw/ma} = body

5. Holon - The Whole

Cross your arms upon your chest and stand awhile, maintaining in your mind the shining column and the glowing globes on it; continue to observe the motion of the Spheres of Same and Other. Then intone:
uêi aui euôie {uhi aui euwie} (v.m.): "my complete body ... which was formed by a noble arm and an incorruptible right hand in a world without light and yet radiant, without soul and yet alive with soul"
When you are done, inhale a final, long deep breath, and then allow the light to fade, or continue on with the Ascent.

Other chants:

holon {o(/lon} = whole, universe

Return to Holodemiurgia Table of Contents

Return to Biblioteca Arcana page

Send comments about this page
Last updated: Tue Aug 18 19:10:30 EDT 1998