Sunday, 25 October 2015

The Lapis Ritual

Whilst here in Singapore, several of us have visitations from a departed colleague Barrington Vincent Sherman, and we had visions of a ritual based upon the axis of a star and the appearance in our visions of a lapis coloured dragonfly.  For this, and the that fact that our pilgrimage and ritual series to Egypt looms closely upon the horizon and for various other reasons, we were determined to perform the ritual of

Liber Liberi vel Lapdis Lazuli
Adumbratio Kabbalae Aegyptiorum
'being the Voluntary Emancipation of a certain Exempt Adept from his Adeptship. These are the Birth Words of the Master of the Temple. The nature of this book is sufficiently explained by its title. Its seven chapters are referred to the seven planets in the following order: Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Sol, Mercury, Luna, Venus. Given in magical language an account of the Initiation of a Master of the Temple.
This is the only parallel, for Beauty of Ecstasy, to "Liber LXV".' Also known as The Book of Lapis Lazuli.

Mines, in what is known as the Badakshan area of Afghanistan today, were being worked for Lapis at least six thousand years ago.  This source of Lapis may be the oldest continually worked set of mines in the world, as the same mines operating today supplied the sought-after stone to the pharaohs.  Believed to have occult powers, Lapis Lazuli was often made into amulets and talismans.  In Ur, kings were known to sharpen their swords on it, believing from this they would become invulnerable.  The stone was also used by the Assyrians and Persians for making seals.

The Sumerians believed that Lapis Lazuli contained the spirits of the deities.  In ancient Egypt it was often used as an inscription stone for various passages from "The Book of the Dead" wherein the 140th chapter it states that Lapis in the shape of an eye and set in gold was an amulet of great power.  Egyptians regarded it as the stone of the gods, partly because it reminded them of the starry heavens, but also because, as shown in the Papyrus Ebers, it had medicinal properties that improved eyesight when worn in the form of the Eye of Horus amulet or when powdered around the eyes as many Egyptian did.

Lapis Lazuli was one of the stones in the "Breastplate of Judgement" of Aaron, as described in the Bible.  In ancient times, Lapis Lazuli was known as Sapphire (not to be confused with today's blue corundum variety Sapphire).  Ancient writers such as Pliny refer to "sapphirus" as a stone speckled with flects of gold -- obviously a reference to Lapis Lazuli.
Long ago, Lapis was used to make the pigment called Ultramarine, which literally meant "beyond the sea".  It was used by medieval artists for the blue cloak of the Virgin Mary.  Due to its rarity and expense, today that color pigment is usually now synthetically made.

The Vision and the Voice page 108 states
if one of these were to cast off his cloak he should behold the brilliance of the lady of the Æthyr; but they will not.
And yet again there is another cause wherefore He hath permitted them to enter thus far within the frontiers of Eden, so that
His thought should never swerve from compassion.
But do thou behold the brilliance of Love, that casteth forth seven stars upon thine head from her right hand, and crowneth thee with a crown of seven roses. Behold! She is seated upon the throne of turquoise and lapis lazuli, and she is like a flawless emerald, and upon the pillars that support the canopy of her throne are sculptured the Ram, and the Sparrow, and the Cat, and a strange fish.
Behold! How she shineth!
Behold! How her glances have kindled all these fires that have blown about the heavens!
Yet remember that in every one there goeth forth for a witness the justice of the Most High.
Is not Libra the House of Venus?
And there goeth forth a sickle that shall reap every flower.
Is not Saturn exalted in Libra?
Daleth, Lamed, Tau.
And therefore was he a fool who uttered her name in his heart, for the root of evil is the root of breath, and the speech in the silence was a lie.

Also in
The Book of the Law
33. Be ready to fly or to smite!
34. But your holy place shall be untouched throughout the centuries: though with fire and sword it be burnt down & shattered, yet an invisible house there standeth, and shall stand until the fall of the Great Equinox; when Hrumachis shall arise and the double-wanded one assume my throne and place. Another prophet shall arise, and bring fresh fever from the skies; another woman shall awakethe lust & worship of the Snake; another soul of God and beast shall mingle in the globed priest; another sacrifice shall stain the tomb; another king shall reign; and blessing no longer be poured To the Hawk-headed mystical Lord!
51. There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace is of silver and gold; lapis lazuli & jasper are there; and all rare scents; jasmine & rose, and the emblems of death. Let him enter in turn or at once the four gates; let him stand on the floor of the palace. Will he not sink? Amn. Ho! warrior, if thy servant sink? But there are means and means. Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me.

Additionally, Just a year prior to his death, Raoul Loveday, the Thelemic Saint, had the following poem published in Oxford Poetry, 1922:

“Sing now of London

At fall of dusk;

A summer dragonfly-

Crept from the husk.

Dragonfly, on whose wing 

Run golden wires;

So, down a street pavement,

Lamps throw their fires.

Dragonfly, whose wing is pricked 

By many a spark;

Electric eyes of taxis

Bright through the dark.
Dragonfly, whose life is

Cold and brief as dew,

Drone now for London dusk,

Soon dead too.”

Echoing the fate of our dear Barrington.

The next day we had a visit from this little fellow… A lapis coloured Dragonfly, who centred it attention upon the focus of our ceremonial work,. Dragonflyies are rarely seen in Singapore and never to so persistently hang around people in a residential area.