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FORCE ∆ The Northern

Cosmos & the


Human Body
& by Joel
Hopkinson……………………………………
…………..6

FIRE THE NEWSLETTER OF

AURORA AUSTRALIS
THELEMIC TEMPLE

Issue No. 1
(Summer 2002 e.v.)
Anno IVx

Editorial
“Beauty & strength, leaping laughter & delicious languor,
force & fire, are of us” – Liber AL II: 20
Do What Thou Wilt shall be the Whole of the
ΘΕΛ ΗΜ Α Law –

Welcome to the first issue of Force & Fire, an


irregular journal of Thelemic & magical studies. This
journal is published under the aegis of Aurora
Australis Thelemic Temple, an independent research
facility (also a working magical temple) established to
provide information to genuine seekers about Aleister
Crowley’s magical systems, the implications of Liber
AL vel Legis (The Book of the Law), the 93 Current,
and contemporary magical practice in Australia.

Contents (In seeking a name for this temple, it was decided to


draw on the symbolism of one of our planet’s most
∆ Editorial- Fr. remarkable atmospheric phenomena, those dazzling
sheets of mystical multicoloured lights that ebb and
LVX/NOX………………..1 flow across the clear night sky at the Southern Pole.

∆ Liber Set- The Aurora Australis, being unique to the Southern


Hemisphere where we are situated, and while having
fascinating and significant astronomical and magical
Horus………………………..2 features, also conveniently suggests by its initials the
connection with the magical order of the A.A. itself,
∆ On the Powers of and so seems highly appropriate as the name for our
temple.

Number It should be noted that while the A∴ A∴ T.T. currently


by Aleister has no formal connection with the O.T.O.
Crowley……………………………………… and is not an initiating body, we are operating in
close spiritual synchronism with that Order, and
……3 fraternal relations with local bodies can be said to
exist. Your editor is an O.T.O. initiate (Oceania Lodge -Fr. LVX/NOX
in Sydney). We also maintain fraternal relations with
the Temple of Set in Australia through their Nan
Madol Pylon. In addition, the Temple operates New
Aeon Distribution, a small-scale distribution service
for occult books; and plans to establish Hawk’s Head
Press to publish some specialist material in booklet
form.

Within these pages we will be reprinting some classic


and less accessible Aleister Crowley material;
various non-confidential papers relating to Thelema
and the O.T.O. system; & we hope to include original
notes and speculations on some more controversial
areas such as ‘Typhonian’ Thelema. We will also
LIBER SET- HORUS
print news, reviews and practical ritual material from [Note: The following ritual is reprinted from an
time to time. American OTO newsletter, possibly Scarlet Woman
Camp. Details of date and issue of publication are not
This journal will of necessity be a part-time venture, available but we would be happy to acknowledge
produced on a low to non-existent budget, hence will these if the relevant author would provide them]
appear irregularly, but Force & Fire welcomes “…But she said: the ordeals I write not: the rituals
contributions in its areas of interest and will print shall be half known and half concealed: the Law is for
them subject to relevance and a reasonable degree all.” – Liber AL vel Legis I.34
of literacy.
((The temple is ringed with 13 black candles.
Relevant subjects are Thelemic and Typhonian Mournful music is played. Isis, or Nuit, is robed in
magick, ritual magick in history, theory and practice, white and gold. Osiris, or Hadit is robed in White. Set-
Qabalah, Eastern and Western traditions of magick Horus is robed black over red. In the north is the
and mysticism, the Left Hand Path, and general news sword of Set; in the South, concealed, is the phallus
and views on pagan and magical events in Australia of Osiris. Isis and Osiris stand together in the East,
today.) facing outward. Set stands in the West, facing
inward.
We are pleased to present in this issue an original Banishings. Music. The ritual opens.))
piece by Joel Hopkinson (of Brisbane Qld), which
makes some suggestive connections between Isis: My Lord Osiris, let us face the rising Sun, for day
symbolisms of the traditional Teutonic mythology and awakens.
subtle body exercises of the Eastern tradition. Other Osiris: The Sun rises not, but sets.
potential contributors should regard Joel’s essay as a Set- Horus (whispers): The Son rises not, but Set.
sample of the standard we are looking for in the
future. ((Set walks stealthily to the North and picks up the
sword. He steps behind Osiris and taps him upon the
Letters of comment are also welcome, as are head))
enquiries from aspirants who wish to know more
about the systems of O.T.O. & AA. Art contributions Set-Horus: Thus I slay thee!
that fit our subject matter are also most welcome.
((Set taps Osiris upon the arm))
At present we are not on the World Wide Web, but as
the journal develops, a web version may be made Set: I divide thy body, and throw it into the Nile.
available. Force & Fire will be free of charge
and hence will be unable to pay for contributions. ((Set taps the limbs and trunk of Osiris in turn. Osiris
assumes his own god-form, then falls, face up, in the
Send all comments and contributions to: Fr. position of the hanged man. Set forcefully turns Isis
around)).
LVX/NOX, Force & Fire, PO Box A281,
Sydney South, NSW 1235. Australia. Set: I have slain Osiris thy husband and divided his
body, that I might have thee.
Special note: This first issue is being sent for perusal
to some who may not wish to continue to receive it, Isis: I am as though slain myself. But, beware! The
whether due to philosophical differences or knowledge of me is the knowledge of death.
otherwise. If you do not wish to receive future issues, Set: I am alone; there is no God where I am.
please advise by sending a brief note to the editorial
address above. ((Set tears off the robe of Isis and forces her to her
knees. She acknowledges him with a kiss, lifting his
Love is the Law, Love Under Will robe))
Isis: But, remember: knowledge of me is the human Will which illumined by the Essence of the
knowledge of death. Three first letters can put forth Jod (the hand, symbol
of force beginning to manifest and vice-regent of the
((Set takes of Isis as he wills. She whispers:) first letter of the great Name) unto Tau the Universe
of Matter. This is the Law of Creation, the Eternal
Isis – the knowledge of death. Hexagram of Life. Yet it must never be forgotten that
((Set falls into a deep slumber. Isis arises and divides no mystery can be utterly understood by man. I have
the remains of her robe into bandages. She revealed to you an Arcanum; but behind it are
approaches Osirisand binds his wounds)) Arcana, and Arcana of Arcana: until the Infinite is
Finite, and the Circle is the Square. Yet are they not
Isis: Osiris, my husband, I have restored thy limbs many Arcana, but one Arcanum. Even as the seven
that were cast into the Nile. But thy organ of colours are lesser functions of the Light: as the
generation I have found not. chemical elements themselves (as the men of
science now begin to see) are all mere forms and
(Isis searches the temple and discovers the types of pervading Self.
concealed phallos. She returns to Osiris and binds it So also is it the first knowledge of a child, that he is
to his body)) different from the persons and things around him.
And that is the very symbol and Sigil that he is born
Isis: This organ have I fashioned by my magick, by in Sin. The first illusion of a child: and ah! The last
the will of Thoth. By Buit, Hadit, and Ra Hoor Khuit, I illusion of the Magus. (Who is also, occultly, the child)
say unto thee, Arise. After days of silence, and of fasting, and of absolute
darkness: long after consciousness of self has failed:
((Isis places herself upon Osiris. Osiris is restored to long, long, after all desire, and hope, and mere belief
life. Both stand.)) in the existence of the universe has become merged
in the central consciousness of Divine Light: persists
Osiris: (bows) You have conceived by this. Feed the this fatal illusion of division, of separation, of death.
dead god, that the crowned and conquering child For this is the deepest and most occult meaning of
may Arise. the word “Death” and the lie to it is given direct in the
Tarot, that noble compendium of Truth, by the fact
((Isis places her chalice at the mouth of Set, that the 13th key is Death, and 13 in the Hebrew
removing his outer robe. Set-Horus consumes the tongue is Achad, Unity.
elixir.))
Set-Horus: I am killed and reborn. Yet the metaphysical nature of this Truth of Universal
Isis: Set is dead. Behold, the god of the new aeon! Unity is so involved in itself, so infinite in the terms it
employs and connotes, that the exact converse is
((Horus moves to the East, facing outward, Isis and equally true. To declare God incapable of self-
Osiris move to the West, facing inward)). contradiction is to limit and blaspheme God: for limit
is the only evil. And, indeed, the idea of God must,
Osiris: He is risen! from its very nature, transcend not merely the
computations, but the very laws of mathematics,
metaphysics, and nature itself.
ON THE POWERS OF It is written “That which is, and that which is not, and
NUMBER that which is beyond both”. Here again is the primal
A Manuscript Fragment written by Triad expressed. And these three are included in
Kether. Now Kether is the point, the atom, the
Aleister Crowley, c. 1899 e.v. Beginning: the Inscrutable Height, the Smooth Point,
Lux Simplicissima; these are its names; yet a point is
IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN! infinitely small; and Kether is the reflection at a point
1 of the infinitely large, the Boundless ocean of the Ain
Berashith: In the Beginning. Soph Aur. Yet this in its turn is but a veil, and a veil of
The Lord of Creation: the Light of Osiris: The Spirit of veils.
the Invisible: the Father, the Logos, and the Holy
Breath: these Three are One. Consider, then thyself.
This is the Triad of Eternity: Light, Life, and Love. In the mysteries of old it was said unto the Aspirant:
Light is the Monad: the first manifestation of that Who art thou? For to this question no reply is
negative Abyss of [the] Boundless. possible. And this is a certain great mystery.
Life is the Dyad: the inward and outward breath. Love It was found by them of old time that the meditation
is the Triad: the conjunction and the realization. upon the Highest filled and surrounded them with
Without the knowledge of the Unity, expressed or thick darkness: that with increasing will, and
explained by Trinity, all magical knowledge is evil. aspiration more intense, a certain light withdrew them
Without the identity of the Soul of the Magus with this into its glory; that by formulating a deliberate refusal
Unity in himself, it is vain. For the letters BRA to be satisfied with this result it was possible to pierce
precede those of ShITh. Now Sh is the fire of the
through the dazzling zones of light unto another state symbolised therein. Hence the letter Beth means
which could not be classed under either head: and “House”, for it is the material formulation or abode of
moreover, that in this condition time ceased, and that thought of the Father. The Tarot Key is the High
they returned to human consciousness at the same Priestess. She is [???] and her book is his tablet, that
moment that they left it. This is perhaps the supreme is in this aspect of the dyad as the creative force in
physical test, whereby the doubting, faithless, human matter. But she is also Isis, seated between the
soul may know that his long task is at an end, and pillars of the temple, expounder of the mysteries.
that the goal is won. Above the Mercy Seat beyond Advanced initiates can prove easily that this card of
the Cherubim, beyond the Glory: that is his House: symbolical of Chokmah; which again is the dyad and
the House of his Father. Isis in her aspect as the visible beginning of things.
The Catholic Church has grasped this dogma in great
Into what stupendous ideas has this mere physical purity. The Virgin Mary, herself immaculate,
and verbal contemplation of unity not lead us? formulates the Christ (in his aspect as Adam Qadmon
the Universe undefiled) by the influx of the Divine
On the tomb of Christian Rozencreutz were these Spirit or breath. By the Virgin do our prayers ascend
words: Hoc compendium universi unus mihi unto the throne; by Chokmah only, say the Qabalists,
sepulorum feci. can we at all grasp Kether. Now this card is the occult
link between the human life and the Divine Light. The
Herein is also a great wonder. The compendium of High Priestess is the Higher Soul of Man, and his
the universal unity is only completed as a sepulchre aspiration unto the Divine. The denial of the Virgin is
for “myself”. therefore no less than the unpardonable sin: for it is
the denial of the Holy Spirit in oneself.
And this is the supreme, the impossible, the
necessary task of the Magus. It is the Beginning of all While on this subject, it is necessary for a moment to
things; the regeneration of the soul; the Resurrection turn to the question of the woman-symbol in the
of the Body; the indwelling of the Holy Ghost; and the divine One. The Christians, by translating all the
formation of the mysterious Star of Light, which must names of God in the Bible as if they were identical,
abide in the midst of the Temple of the Rosy-Cross. have robbed their translation of its greatest use. But
Therefore is this number 1 given into the Tarot Key of they dare not deny, that the name Elohim in Genesis
the Magus. His arms are extended: he has four I.1 is a feminine plural and governs a feminine plural
implements: yet he is one – one and alone. He is verb. “God”, therefore, in the creation of heaven and
clothed with the body of flesh: but in him dwells the earth, is not by any means the Single and Supreme
Spirit of the Eternal Gods. Deity. Of course, the mala-fides of these “translators”
must follow as a matter of course. They were not
He is the central point of the Cross: the Jeheshua: ignorant: but they were not fools: and their salaries
the Lux of the Universe: the Star of the were well worth keeping. It is curious too to watch
Unconquerable Will. In Oriental Symbolism he is the how the idea of woman has been deliberately kept
Swastika, and the Buddha: yet he is occultly Isis, out of all honour and prominence, more especially in
bewailing her loss unto Amoun. Amoun, the Supreme the Christian religion. For the Catholic Church, while
and Concealed Unity; it is Nature that cries aloud retaining the person of the Virgin Mary, yet by its
“Here is division: here is death: How long, O Lord, political influence did much to retard the
how long?” emancipation of women.
And it is the slain Osiris who answers her: “I am he
that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for Now in consideration of the Divine One, it is
evermore, Amen: and behold the Keys of Hell and of ridiculous to assign sex, which, even on lower planes,
Death.” is a misleading and unscientific classification. In the
last chapter we have shown how the ideas of division
Thus far concerning the Universal Unity. must recede as we approach the shrine. How much
more, then, the ideas of distinction! The idea of sex,
2 when duly spiritualized, resolves itself into that of the
Having come thus far, it will be evident to you that two pillars, the active and the passive, fire and water,
this formidable number is the key of all evil. It is the mercy and severity. To oppose either of these
Sigillum of limitation. The horns of the Goat of Khem conceptions to the other; to claim one and one only
are two: these are the dual contending forces. Not for the God-head is to define God as the Unbalanced
those of Good against Evil; there is no such Force, that is as a Devil.
contention, for, mathematically, two forces acting in
opposite directions are equal if no motion results; and In effect, those who have passed their youth in an
even if we consider that evil is being gradually earnest Christian family, preferably of the Evangelical
pushed back, the forces are at least commensurable. Church or Plymouth Brother persuasion, will realize
No, therefore, no: the contending forces are those of how awful a demon rules in these assemblies (I
evil in itself: Satan divided against Satan. expressly exclude individuals from these remarks).
Hatred, intolerance, contending force often leading to
Yet there is an aspect of the dyad which is not evil. division, jealousy, hysteria when opposed,
The figure 2 is in shape almost identical with the respectability, carnal reason in spiritual things; these
Coptic aspirate and the inward and outward breath is are the signs of the denial of womanhood. [The
following sentence appears in Crowley’s hand at the Contemplate also the twin serpents of Egypt and the
bottom of the page: ‘This of course only applies to Caduceus: for above them is the Winged Globe, and
symbolism; in sociology the debasement of woman is the Flying Shaft of Light.
the sign of civilisation.”] My friend, the Chevalier S.L.
Macgregor Mathers has written in his invaluable 3
“Kabbalah Unveiled” on this subject with far more
eloquence and fire than I can bring – but his work is In our first chapter we have treated of the Triad as
long since out of print: and the heel of the woman is the expression of the Supreme Unity. It is now our
still bruised by the serpent of bigotry and ignorance. It duty to consider it in relation to itself. Love we
is true that in the Universe there is an arrangement announced to be the Triadic principle – that which
where the woman-symbol is thrust down into Yesod joins and produces, Isis, Osiris and Horus. For Isis is
and Malkuth. It is among the Qliphoth, the devils, the the Dyad in her immaculate conception. But in the
lords of putrefaction and decay! Birth of Horus is nothing mysterious; just as two and
one made three. No longer is the circle extended into
The Qabalists lay stress on the number 2 as being a line, nor is the point reflected: the process is that of
produced by the reflection of the Unity: while Eliphaz mere addition. The triangle also is the simplest plane
Levi, the most suggestive as the most literary of all figure. Therefore is the Tarot Key called the Empress:
writers on magic, although not the least obscure, the Queen of Radiant Beauty and Love; having the
calls particular attention to the important dogmas moon at her feet, for she is above mere increase and
which the Qabalists so mysteriously discussed in the decrease; with the crown of twelve stars upon her
phrase “running and returning”. It is the lunge and the head for the Glory of Kether (since Hoa, a title of
recovery; the attraction and repulsion of the magnet. Kether, adds up to 12). The further mystery of the
This dogma is perhaps the most practical of any that number 12 may be studied under that chapter. For
have been given to the outer world: and it is the present, consider that 3+4=7 the planets; 3x4=12
assuredly the least understood. Levi himself carried it the Zodiac; and that 3 represents the Supernal Triad,
into every action of his life and it is curious to observe and the Mother Letters, while 4 answers to the
how his editors fail to recognise in his practice the Elements, and the Letters of the Ineffable Name.
doctrine they have found in his writings. Dr Westcott,
himself an expert Qabalist, actually calls attention to She is clothed with the Sun, the Light of Osiris, born
the circumstance that Levi adds a postscript to his in her from that Glory above; clothing her with Light
“Magical Ritual” disclaiming and renouncing magic, and Love to formulate the new life, Horus, the
and advocating simple faith in the true Church. He Emperor, the Tetragrammaton.
further speaks of Levi’s “two minds”. Now this kind of
duality is mere vacillation and had Levi been such a Yet this is not a uniting and completion of the two
man he could not have been the Magus he natures; but a materialization thereof, for the farther
undoubtedly was. But he knew to a nicety how to we recede from our Unity, the more material and
withdraw himself, so that the reflex of the current was liable to error do we become. Not that evil can enter
not hostile to him: more, that he withdrew the rays into the formula of Horus; yet is his flaming symbol
into his own aura, so as to gain, rather than lose set up as against that evil which has not yet arisen.
energy by the cycle of an operation.
The Sephira Binah, to which the number three is
It is impossible to break a suspension bridge by allotted, is perhaps as treated by Qabalists, the most
causing a body of men to jump heavily upon it: but, if formidable of the greater mysteries. The darkness
their weight is applied and released in regular and severity of her aspect is especially strange and
alteration, the bridge will begin to heave, and the forbidding. Yet a great difference is made between
continued motion would ultimately cause its AMA who is barren (symbolical of the forty-two-fold
destruction. This law of nature goes ever deeper. It is name of God, and of the Assessors of the Dead in
found, for example, that such a thing as constant Egyptian ritual) and the fruitful AIMA who contains in
sound cannot be perceived. A monotone prolonged herself BN the son who is (consonantly with our
beyond a certain limit breaks itself up into a formula for Horus) the name Tetragrammaton in the
succession of waves. A falling column of water shows World of Assiah, IVD-HH-VV-HH. This glorified
the corresponding effect. It is one of the laws of limit. aspect is sufficiently explained by the Tarot Key. Let
Flux and reflux are of its essence. Working, therefore, us rather follow the Great Mother in her darkness and
at the operations of material magic, it is most suffering.
necessary to obey this fundamental law. Nor must we
mistake it for the law of equilibrium. It is balance, In stellar writing, the finger of God has traced this
true, but in a different dimension. The third dimension mystery in the eclipse of the Moon, who is in one
of balance contains a most profound arcanum, which aspect Isis, and has been universally acclaimed by
has never been, which can never be, revealed or poets as virgin. Here we strike the symbolism of the
profaned. For it is a mystery which transcends Dragon. This at once suggests the Apocalyptic
equally the words of the mouth and the thought of the account; but we must remember that we are not
brain. dealing with the mother, but with the virgin. The name
BINH itself is a compound of BN and IH the Son and
the United Father and Mother and is therefore
referred rather to AIMA. We must look back to
Genesis for the true formula underlying this Sorrow. It underworld. The threefold model implies a three by
is written “and darkness was upon the face of the three model. The upper or sky-world Asgard includes
deep.” Now the “Great Sea” is one of the most usual its tributary worlds (Vanaheim & Ljossalfrheim).
titles of Binah. The lunar symbolism of this dark AMA Midgard includes Jotunheim and Muspelheim.
is then best shewn by saying that she is the dark side Niflheim or perhaps Niflhel to include Svartalfheim
of the moon. and Nidvellir.

DESUNT CETERA To the modern Druids, the three worlds are described
in the Barddas as Annwvn the underworld, Abred this
world and Gwynbvid the upper-world. Although a
fourth world Cerguant ‘the face of the sun’ is added.

The three worlds can be related to parts of the body


as used in Hindu and Taoist practices. Firstly there is
Asgard, realm of the gods. This relates to the head
as the seat of consciousness. Ancient Northern
Europeans saw the head as harbouring the life
THE NORTHERN essence. For this reason, the practice of collecting
the heads of the slain was used by ancient Scythians,
COSMOS & THE Celts and Germanics.
HUMAN BODY Secondly we have Midgard as the chest. Midgard is
By Joel Hopkinson the realm of humans, the world of flesh and material
(2000 Gjoll Hobkynsson ) things. Thirdly Niflheim the underworld is the
abdomen. It contains the lower chakras.
The following is the result of some of my intuitions
This threefold system can also be related to the three
and experiences while working with Teutonic
castes mentioned in the Rigsmal ‘Tale of Rig’.
mythology. As a modern person I have many
Heimdall as Rig is the father of all humans as
interests including comparative religion, mythology, qi
explained in this myth. His three sons relate to the
gong and Taoism. This led me to see comparisons
worlds as such: Thrall the serf or servant relates to
between the Northern cosmos as described in the
the abdomen and the underworld. Karl the craftsman
Poetic and Prose Eddas; and Taoist/Buddhist subtle
and yeoman farmer is the chest/solar plexus and
body exercises. Further research provided clues that
Midgard. Earl the noble person and warrior is the
led me to see the Norse myths in an entirely different
head. Notice also the relationship between the
light. I thought I would share my intuitions with others
descriptions of Rig. He is kunngir ‘knowing’ = the
and see what they thought. They are an entirely
head; rammr ‘tough’ = the chest; and lastly ‘vigorous’
modern reconstruction of mine, and not part of any
for the abdomen.
secret tradition.
In Taoist Qi gong the head, chest and abdomen form
In Buddhism, Taoism and modern paganism, the
the basis of the three Dan Tiens. These are areas of
microcosm is said to relate to the macrocosm. This is
power in the body and form the basis of more
reflected in such sayings as “As above, so below”
complex exercises in Chinese internal alchemy. The
and such. In Buddhism when the Buddha achieved
three Dan Tiens are as follows:
enlightenment it is said that the sun and moon rose
within his body. Using these clues I began to relate
The Taoists call The Upper Dan Tien ‘the Crystal
the Northern cosmos to the human body and its
Palace’. But is also called Ni-Wan ‘mud-pill’, a
subtle energy system. In the Snorri Sturluson’s
Chinese rendering of the Buddhist Sanskrit ‘Nirvana’.
“Prose Edda” (1) we are introduced to very rich
This is in the middle of the head, behind the eyes and
imagery describing the world-view of the pagan
above the palate. This includes the middle of the
Scandinavians. By drawing and trying to map this
brain, the hypothalamus, the pineal and pituitary
ancient world-view, I began to see patterns
glands. I correlate this region with Asgard, specifically
remerging and correlations with work from other
Hlidskialf, Odin’s throne of clairvoyance. The Chinese
mythologies or religions. Finally after years of
Crystal Palace is obviously the Norse Asgard and it
meditation and research my findings are presented to
has relationships with the Crystal Tower in Celtic
the public.
mythology (like the one where Merlin retired), and the
Sacred Enclosure (see a previous article about the
The Three Worlds martial banners of the Irish Fianna)(3).

The concept of the three worlds is extremely archaic The Middle Dan Tien is variously described as in the
and is shared by many cultures. Specifically the Heart or in the Solar Plexus. I prefer the solar plexus,
Germans, Celts, Turko-Tartars, North and Central as it is not good to store too much energy in the
Asians. (2). For the Northern correspondences I have heart. The solar plexus is also called the brain of the
used Asgard for the Upper world, Midgard for the abdomen. It contains cells very much like brain cells,
middle world, and Niflheim or Niflhel for the
which are used to subconsciously control the intricate
functions of the organs and ducts in the abdomen. The Three Wells
The Lower Dan Tien is two inches below the navel. It
is also called the Hara and is our centre of balance. The tree has three roots and three wells. The three
The umbilical cord was attached to our navels before wells are also related to the three Dan Tiens in
we were born. Although this cord has been removed Chinese qi gong. The three Dan Tiens as mentioned
after birth, the connections that transported before are part of the third eye, the solar plexus and
nourishment around our bodies still exist in our adult the navel. The three wells are found in Asgard (the
bodies on a subtle level. head), Midgard (the chest), and Niflheim (the
abdomen).
Yggdrasil The three wells of springs are the Well of Wyrd, the
Well of Wisdom and the Seething Cauldron. The Well
The concept of a World-Tree I common to many of Wyrd is also called the Well of Urd the eldest
cultures as well. The Central Pillar is found among Nornir. The Well of Urd (pronounced Aurth) is where
the peoples of Arctic and North America, the the Nornir deal out fate and the gods make oaths.
Samoyed, the Ainu, Central and North Asia, the The Well of Wisdom is where Mimir guards
Germans and Scandinavians. To the Abakan Tartars Gjallarhorn; a draught from this spring is the mead of
the World-tree was a white birch with seven poetry. Lastly Hvergelmir ‘seething cauldron’ or
branches, growing on a mountain. This sevenfold ‘roaring kettle’ is the well of the underworld. Inside
correspondence reveals a Mesopotamian influence; a seethe the four serpents Goin, Moin, Grabak and
more archaic model related to the shamanic practices Grafvolluth. The dragon Nidhogg lies underneath the
of Central Asia would be a Yggdrasil with nine Well and gnaws on the third root of Yggdrasil.
branches. Odin hitching his eight-legged horse
Sleipnir to Yggdrasil is also a feature of Mongol and The three wells probably have a similar use as the
Siberian Tartar mythology (2). The exact species of Chinese Three Cauldrons. The passage about the
Yggdrasil is called into question. The most common Norni using the milk-white water of the Well of Urd to
theory is that is an ash. The ash tree is a tall and heal Yggdrasil begins to sound like Taoist Longevity
straight tree that is very impressive. However, others practices. Interestingly, Caitlin Matthews has also
have postulated that Yggdrasil is evergreen and found references to three wells in Celtic mythology
therefore must be a yew. Other versions include the (4) so perhaps we are looking at a common tradition.
birch or pine (2). According to the mythology, though,
Yggdrasil is evergreen because of the white clay from
the Well of Urdr that is put on its trunk and branches Mead of Poetry
by the Nornir (1). Possibly the world tree has different
correspondences depending on the level it is on. For The mead of inspiration could refer to the yogic soma
example, it could be visualised as a yew in the or the Taoist jade elixir of immortality. This really
underworld, and an ash in Midgard. In Mongol refers to saliva produced in the mouth while the
mythology, the Tengeri or gods feed on the fruit of individual is deep in meditation. This saliva is
the tree (2) This clue has led me to believe that supposed to be magically charged with life energy
Yggdrasil might also be the tree on which Idunn’s and is described as having a sweet, honey-like taste.
apples of youth grow. But then the ash and yew also
have fruits.
Nine Worlds
I postulate that Yggdrasil the great cosmic tree could
be related to the spinal column. The spine is the There are nine worlds or realms in the Northern
cosmic pillar in Chinese Taoism and this by no cosmos. They are interesting to compare with the
stretch of the imagination could refer to the World nine centres or nine pools of energy within the body.
Tree. Under its roots lies a dragon, Nidhogg, just as The centres are slightly different from the seven
in Kundalini yoga, a serpent lies at the base of the chakras as given in Hindu texts although there are
spine. Other animals also live in the tree and they are some crossovers. The ninefold system is used in
a topic for future articles, but for now the eagle at the Taoist Qi Gong and Buddhist Ninjitsu kuji-kiri. My
crown with a falcon sitting on the eagle’s third eye theory is that the sevenfold Hindu system as made
also seems to support a theory that the animals could popular by Western writers is a blind to trick the
be codes or kennings for glands, organs or chakras. uninitiated. Looking at different pictures or
Yggdrasil is the horse of Odin or the vehicle of our descriptions of the chakras we find that some show
super consciousness, just as the spine, central the chakras as: crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar
nervous system and glands can be trained to help us plexus, sacral and base with the sacral centre as the
achieve higher forms of consciousness. genitals. Other versions have the sacral centre as the
navel. However, this is a debate for another time.
The honeydew collected from Yggdrasil that feeds
the bees and the white clay of the Well of Urdr that If the nine worlds can be related to nine centres what
regenerates the World –Tree bear some would they be?
resemblances to Taoist and yogic practices that claim
longevity or immortality as their reward.
Starting with Asgard (in the ninefold model I use Hui-Yin the gate of death and life in the Chinese
Asgard to specifically indicate the dwellings of the system.
Aesir), I relate the realm of the gods to the crown.
This is a tricky one because as we shall explore in The sacral or genital centre I relate to Nidavellir the
other articles the realm of the gods is a complex realm of the dwarves. This correspondence reminds
mythological symbol and can be related to Qi Gong me of the myth of Freyja and the Brisingamen. This is
practices such as various Crystal Palace and Twelve called Kuan Yuan ‘ovarian palace’ in women and Jing
Chamber exercises. Note that the twelve chambers Gong ‘sperm palace’ in men.
of Taoist practice could possible relate to twelve
mead-halls in Asgard of which Valholl and Folkvang Lastly Svartalfrheim I relate to the navel. Mostly I
are two. The crown is called Pai-Hui or Bai-Hui in choose this correspondence because it is the last
Chinese. available place. This is one area of my thesis where
more research is necessary for this very complex
The third eye relates to Vanaheim. This is the realm system to be working properly. The navel is also
of the Vanir, an ancient race who practice Seidhr- called Chi-Chung.
craft. Practitioners of Seidhr are spakona or
‘prophetesses’. Niord, Freyr and Freyja were Vanir Jormungandr
hostages for Mimir and Hoenir. Interestingly a giant The world serpent Jormungandr could be a serpent
also called Mimir protects the Well of Wisdom, the of energy that circles the body, which is called the
same well that Odin exchanges one of his eyes for a microcosmic orbit in the Taoist tradition, and which is
draught. Thus old One-eye could be trying to show us further described in the works of Mantak Chia. The
a correspondence with the psychic third eye. It is also serpent biting its tail is a common symbol in Western
interesting to compare the correspondences between alchemy. Note that Jormunggndr is in the sea
Vanaheim, Freyja, her magical falcon costume, between Midgard and Jotunheim, thus it is between
Seidhr and its relationship with divination, the third the flesh body (Midgard) and the aura (Jotunheim).
eye and its relationship to psychic ability, and the eye
of Horus from Egyptian lore. The third eye was well
known in Hindu Yoga and is called Yin Tang by the Bifrost
Chinese.
The rainbow bridge guarded by Heimdall. Although
I use Jotunheim for a correspondence with the Aura. not a realm, Bifrost has a special place in Norse
Jotunheim is also called Utgard (out-gard i.e. outside mythology. The colours of the rainbow are tempting
of Midgard – the body). Jotunheim is the realm of the to relate to the seven ray visualisations but this is
giants. On one level it is a realm of danger and stretching the mythology too far.
conflict but here is also romance, treasure and
wisdom in the depths of Jotunheim. Thus we must For the sake of the vision of the Northern cosmos
explore our external environment for these mapping the human body, I would place Bifrost a
adventures. Jotunheim is also described in mythology bridge over the gap between Midgard and Asgard. In
as being a development of Gunningagap the Hindu Yoga and Taoist Qi Gong, there is a gap
Yawning Chasm or Great Void. The aura is Wei-Chi between the body and the head in the mouth. This
in Chinese. gap is covered during meditation by pressing the
tongue against the palate. The tongue is also
I place Ljossalfrheim the realm of the elves as a applying pressure of the palate, which massages the
throat correspondence. In the Hindu system the pituitary gland above it. As the pituitary gland and
throat has an air correspondence, and elves are the related area is the Crystal Palace in Chinese
creatures of the air element in ceremonial magick. practice, it is not difficult to correlate this with Asgard.
The throat is Tan Tiu in the Chinese system.
Afterword
Muspelheim the realm of fire I place in the heart. The
heart relates to the element of fire in the Hindu four
plus one elemental system, as well as the Chinese Of course, there is much more, and this is only
five-elemental system. The heart is Shuan Chung or scratching the surface of a rich mythology that
Sha Zhong in Chinese. possibly conceals many cunning secrets. The
ancients might never have thought of anything like
Midgard I use as a solar plexus correspondence. It what I have described above, but it is a measure of
relates to the Middle Dan Tien in the solar plexus. this culture’s strength that it can be reinterpreted to
Midgard is the realm of humans. The solar plexus is correlate with sophisticated internal alchemy
called Chung Wan or Chung Kung in Taoist techniques. I look forward to exploring this new world
exercises. I have discovered. And I look forward to seeing how
others experience the above meditations.
The base centre I relate to Niflheim the underworld. I
do not separate the area of Hel from Niflheim and to Bibliography
express this I sometimes use the word Miflhel. This is 1. Sturluson, S. THE PROSE EDDA.
where Hvergelmir and Nidhoggr dwell. The base is 2. Eliade, M. SHAMANISM. Princeton
University Press, 1964.
3. Hopkinson, J. “The Banners of the Fianna”.
Touchstone magazine, UK.
4. Mathews, C., & Matthews, J.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CELTIC WISDOM.
5. Chia, M. TAOIST WAYS TO TRANSFORM
STRESS INTO VITALITY. Huntington, NY:
Healing Tao Books, 1985.

Next Issue: “Maat Heru: The Symbolism of the Eyes


of Horus” by Fr. LVX/NOX.

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