sub figurâ IX
A∴A∴ Publication in Class B
absolutely necessary that all experiments should be recorded in detail during,
or immediately after, their performance.
highly important to note the physical and mental condition of the experimenter
and place of all experiments must be noted; also the state of the weather, and
generally all conditions which might conceivably have any result upon the
experiment either as adjuvants to or causes of the result, or as inhibiting it,
or as sources of error.
A∴ A∴ will not take official notice of any experiments which are
not thus properly recorded.
It is not
necessary at this stage for us to declare fully the ultimate end of our
researches; nor indeed would it be understood by those who have not become
proficient in these elementary courses.
experimenter is encouraged to use his own intelligence, and not to rely upon
any other person or persons, however distinguished, even among
record should be intelligibly prepared so that others may benefit from its
“John St. John” published in the first number of The Equinox
is an example of this kind of record by a very advanced student. It is not as
simply written as we could wish, but will show the method.
scientific the record is, the better.
Yet the emotions should be noted, as being some of the
Let then the record be written with sincerity and care, and with
practice it will be found more and more to approximate to the
Take a pack
of (78) Tarot playing cards. Shuffle; cut. Draw one card. Without looking at
it, try to name it. Write down the card you name, and the actual card. Repeat,
and tabulate results.
experiment is probably easier with an old genuine pack of Tarot cards,
preferably a pack used for divination by some one who really understood the
that one should expect to name the right card once in 78 times. Also be careful
to exclude all possibilities of obtaining the knowledge through the ordinary
senses of sight and touch, or even smell.
There was once a man whose finger-tips were so sensitive that he
could feel the shape and position of the pips, and so judge the card
better to try first, the easier form of the experiment, by guessing only the
that in 78 experiments you should obtain 22 trumps and 14 of each other suit;
so that, without any clairvoyance at all, you can guess right twice in 7 times
(roughly) by calling trumps each time.
some cards are harmonious.
Thus it would not be a bad error to call the five of Swords
(“The Lord of Defeat”) instead of the ten of Swords (“The
Lord of Ruin”). But to call the Lord of Love (2 Cups) for the Lord of
Strife (5 Wands) would show that you were getting nothing right.
Similarly, a card ruled by Mars would be harmonious with a 5, a
card of Gemini with “The Lovers.”
harmonies must be thoroughly learnt, according to the numerous tables given in
progress, you will find that you are able to distinguish the suit correctly
three times in four and that very few indeed inharmonious errors occur, while
in 78 experiments you are able to name the card aright as many as 15 or 20
have reached this stage, you may be admitted for examination; and in the event
of your passing, you will be given more complex and difficult
learn to sit perfectly still with every muscle tense for long
wear no garment that interferes with the posture in any of these
position: (The God). Sit in a chair; head up, back straight, knees together,
hands on knees, eyes closed.
position: (The Dragon). Kneel; buttocks resting on the heels, toes turned back,
back and head straight, hands on thighs.
position: (The Ibis). Stand; hold left ankle with right hand (and alternately
practise right ankle in left hand, &c.), free forefinger on
position: (The Thunderbolt). Sit: left heel pressing up anus, right foot poised
on its toes, the heel covering the phallus; arms stretched out over the knees:
head and back straight.
things will happen to you while you are practising these positions; they must
be carefully analysed and described.
the duration of practice, the severity of the pain (if any) which accompanies
it, the degree of rigidity attained, and any other pertinent
have progressed up to the point that a saucer filled to the brim with water and
poised upon the head does not spill one drop during a whole hour, and when you
can no longer perceive the slightest tremor in any muscle; when, in short, you
are perfectly steady and easy, you will be admitted for examination; and,
should you pass, you will be instructed in more complex and difficult
Pranayama— Regularisation of the Breathing
At rest in
one of your positions, close the right nostril with the thumb of the right hand
and breathe out slowly and completely through the left nostril, while your
watch marks 20 seconds. Breathe in through the same nostril for 10 seconds.
Changing hands, repeat with the other nostril. Let this be continuous for one
is quite easy to you, increase the periods to 30 and 15 seconds.
is quite easy to you, but not before, breathe out for 15 seconds, in for 15
seconds, and hold the breath for 15 seconds.
can do this with perfect ease and comfort for a whole hour, practice breathing
out for 40, in for 20 seconds.
attained, practice breathing out for 20, in for 10, holding the breath for 30
When this has become perfectly easy to you, you may be admitted
for examination, and should you pass, you will be instructed in more complex
and difficult practices.
find that the presence of food in the stomach, even in small quantities, makes
the practices very difficult.
careful never to overstrain your powers; especially never get so short of
breath that you are compelled to breathe out jerkily or rapidly.
after depth, fulness, and regularity of breathing.
remarkable phenomena will very probably occur during these practices. They must
be carefully analysed and recorded.
Dharana— Control of Thought
the mind to concentrate itself upon a single simple object imagined.
The five tatwas are useful for this purpose; they are: a black
oval; a blue disk; a silver crescent; a yellow square; a red
combinations of simple objects; e.g., a black oval within a yellow
square, and so on.
simple moving objects, such as a pendulum swinging, a wheel revolving, &c.
Avoid living objects.
combinations of moving objects, e.g., a piston rising and falling while
a pendulum is swinging. The relation between the two movements should be varied
in different experiments.
Or even a system of fly-wheels, eccentrics, and
these practices the mind must be absolutely confined to the object determined
upon; no other thought must be allowed to intrude upon the consciousness. The
moving systems must be regular and harmonious.
carefully the duration of the experiments, the number and nature of the
intruding thoughts, the tendency of the object itself to depart from the course
laid out for it, and any other phenomena which may present themselves. Avoid
overstrain. This is very important.
imagine living objects; as a man, preferably some man known to, and respected
intervals of these experiments you may try to imagine the objects of the other
senses, and to concentrate upon them.
For example, try to imagine the taste of chocolate, the smell of
roses, the feeling of velvet, the sound of a waterfall, or the ticking of a
finally to shut out all objects of any of the senses, and prevent all thoughts
arising in your mind. When you feel that you have attained some success in
these practices, apply for examination, and should you pass, more complex and
difficult practices will be prescribed for you.
desirable that you should discover for yourself your physical
To this end
ascertain for how many hours you can subsist without food or drink before your
working capacity is seriously interfered with.
how much alcohol you can take, and what forms of drunkenness assail
how far you can walk without once stopping; likewise with dancing, swimming,
for how many hours you can do without sleep.
endurance with various gymnastic exercises, club-swinging and so
for how long you can keep silence.
any other capacities and aptitudes which may occur to you.
these things be carefully and conscientiously recorded; for according to your
powers will it be demanded of you.
A Course of Reading
of most of the foregoing practices will not at first be clear to you; but at
least (who will deny it?) they will have trained you in determination,
accuracy, introspection, and many other qualities which are valuable to all men
in their ordinary avocations, so that in no case will your time have been
That you may
gain some insight into the nature of the Great Work which lies beyond these
elementary trifles, however, we should mention that an intelligent person may
gather more than a hint of its nature from the following books, which are to be
taken as serious and learned contributions to the study of Nature, though not
necessarily to be implicitly relied upon.
The Yi King [S.B.E. Series, Oxford University Press].
The Tao Teh King [S.B.E. Series].
Tannhauser by A. Crowley.
The Voice of the Silence.
Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekânanda.
The Shiva Sanhita.
The Aphorisms of Patanjali.
The Sword of Song.
The Book of the Dead.
Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie.
The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.
The Hathayoga Pradipika.
Erdmann’s History of Philosophy.
The Spiritual Guide of Molinos.
The Star in the West (Captain Fuller).
The Dhammapada [S.B.E. Series, Oxford University Press].
The Questions of King Milinda [S.B.E. Series].
777 vel Prolegomena, &c.
Varieties of Religious Experience (James).
Konx Om Pax.
study of these books will enable the pupil to speak in the language of his
master and facilitate communication with him.
should endeavour to discover the fundamental harmony of these very varied
works; for this purpose he will find it best to study the most extreme
divergences side by side.
He may at
any time that he wishes apply for examination in this course of
whole of this elementary study and practice, he will do wisely to seek out, and
attach himself to, a master, one competent to correct him and advise him. Nor
should he be discouraged by the difficulty of finding such a
further remember that he must in no wise rely upon, or believe in, that master.
He must rely entirely upon himself, and credit nothing whatever but that which
lies within his own knowledge and experience.
As in the
beginning, so at the end, we here insist upon the vital importance of the
written record as the only possible check upon error derived from the various
qualities of the experimenter.
the work be accomplished duly; yea, let it be accomplished duly.
[If any really important or remarkable results should occur, or if any great
difficulty presents itself, the A∴ A∴ should be at once informed
of the circumstances.]