A Treatise on Alchemical Magic – 6

March 5, 2007 at 1:05 pm (Occult History)

 William Hayes


Chapter Six: On the Five Lesser Arts Which Comprise Magic

The Great Art of Magic is composed of the Lesser Arts of Purification, Observation, Dissolution, Transformation, and Transcendence

The First Art is the Art of Purification. This does not need elucidation, but application. The signs of success are humility and gentleness. If one has not experienced these signs, then to proceed to the other arts will only cause madness.

The Art of Observation is this: to see within the dream the gates of the invisible.

Although the world appears as a rationally ordered whole, there are certain incongruities, certain illogical appearances that are out of sequence, which is to say, outside of time. You cannot cause these to appear. They will appear of their own accord when and where you least expect them. For this reason, the alchemist must be always attentive to appearance.

These appearances take the form of events. Within the dream all events are not alike. Interwoven in the normal flux of dream events are events of another order.

Those who are filled with desire are like those who are asleep. Even if they have been instructed in the nature of the dream, it will be of no benefit to them. Those without desire have the possibility to discern the actual nature of events and to change the flow of dreaming.

Where men see appearances, the alchemist sees spirits. Spirits are the presences that animate events within the dream. There are innumerable spirits. In character they are like water–they reflect the magician’s own energy. Darkness will find darkness, and light will find light.

Thus the alchemist understands that all activity is daimonic. Nothing in the dream occurs without the presence of spirits. The highest spirits are deities. They can appear anywhere at any time in any form they choose. Their wisdom and goodness are without limit.

Spirits reveal themselves in those events that are outside of time. The alchemist who would perfect the Art of Observation will allow the spirit to lead them to the deity. In this way, one dissolves the dream.

The Art of Dissolution must be practiced with great patience. As the alchemist begins to dissolve the dream, having uncovered the real presence that lies within it, he must carefully guard against elation and depression. For until these threads are cut, there can be no dissolution. Even if his effort come to naught a hundred thousand times, an alchemist must not grow weary. For he who waits calmly at the door will soon enough find it ajar.

The Dissolution is the first Transformation. When what is solid becomes liquid and what is liquid becomes space and what is space becomes solid the whole is known and the sphere is revealed in the circle.  The Imminent and the Transcendent are joined. By the ordinance of all good providence, and the grace of provident goodness the temple of flesh is vanquished and the spirit is set free. It cannot go back – it has found the wind that sweeps the world and the world the wind has never swept.

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