Reading 4 2 14, The Alchemical Tarot Renewed by Robert M Place

Reading 4 2 14, The Alchemical Tarot Renewed by Robert M Place



Position 1 Hanged Man, air, beginning…

Position 2 The Magus, reversed. Fire. changing. maturing

Position 3, the Queen of Vessels, Water of Water, Goddess as grail bearer of the Ocean

Position 4 9 swords, Air, destruction, cutting, moon, sex, completion not quite complete

Position 5 The High Priestess, Sophia, Lifter of the Veil, Bearer of Gnosis, Shekinah, Her of the heavens.



Tarot is an interesting thing. It works on many levels and in many ways. Some even view it as the perfect window into the soul. I don’t believe they are that good, personally…One large aspect of modern Tarot is the Hermetic traditions. The Hermetic traditions center around a form of Gnosticism (see the passages of the Corpus Hermeticum in comparison to Sethian for example cosmological beliefs etc.) centering around a divine priest in the Melchizadeck tradition honoring all priests, but from Thoth. Thoth the A Egyptian God, to Thoth the Atlantean. To a more familiar Hermes and Mercury. As an archetype for all priests the Hermetic tradition then is an interesting one. By archetype we mean more Platonic archetype and not Jungian.

One key principle or more accurately axiom of Hermeticism is “As above, So below.” The concept of macro and microcosm. The universe in miniature and in full expanse, the self and the Self. Hermeticism textually goes back around 2000 years, or approx. 1st Cent CE. Of course all text documents, of such nature are often far older than their written equivalents, oral tradition can date things… but that’s an argument for another time.

Tarot then can be seen through this lens of the Hermetic Axiom. We can see the court cards and number cards as the Microcosm, or the self. The trumps then can be seen as the Macrocosm. The Macrocosm of course can be seen as the Nous or divine mind, the mind of the divine.


The above reading is interesting in that it is composed of three potent Macrocosmic images and two Microcosmic images.

Nous: “Mind”, The soul, not the same as ‘pneuma’ or spirit. It is the part of
the anima that gives us consciousness. The anima as a whole gives life (or
literally movement.. “animates”) to our bodies. Tatian declares the soul as a
special kind of spirit. (See; Tatian’s “Letter to the Greeks’)


Ogdoad: Regarded in some texts as the “eighth kingdom above the hebdomas.” It is the realm of the Demiurgos (or sometimes that is the 7th, with the eighth being that of Sabaoth), as well as usually being the realm of the zodiac
(dodecon). Sometimes it is also seen as the beginning of freedom from the
Archons, and the beginning of connection to the Aeons. Pythagoris says…
“The ogdoad–8–was sacred because it was the number of the first cube, which
form had eight corners, and was the only evenly-even number under 10
(1-2-4-8-4-2-1). Thus, the 8 is divided into two 4’s, each 4 is divided into two
2’s, and each 2 is divided into two 1’s, thereby reestablishing the monad. Among
the keywords of the ogdoad are love, counsel, prudence, law, and convenience.
Among the divinities partaking of its nature were Panarmonia, Rhea, Cibele,
Cadmæa, Dindymene, Orcia, Neptune, Themis, and Euterpe (a Muse).” (Thomas
Taylor’s Theoretic Arithmetic, Thought by one source to be the rarest and most
important compilation of Pythagorean mathematical fragments extant.)

”… the Ogdoad, which is the eighth, and that we might receive that place of
salvation.” (”The Testimony of Truth.” See also; ”A Valentinian
Exposition.”) ) The Sacred ogdoad according to some sources is: Barbelo (deep), Sige (silence), Nous (mind), Veritus (truth), Sermo (word), Vita (life), Homo (man), Ecclesia (church). The last member of the group acts to syncretize the group.


Rba , Rabai – elect priest, chief intator and the ordainer of new Mandaean priests. Holds the office known as rabuta. Compare to the Jewish “rabbi”.

Seth: ”From Adam three natures were begotten. The first was the irrational, which was Cain’s, the second the rational and just, which was Abel’s, the third the spiritual, which was Seth’s. Now that which is earthly is “according to the image,” that which is psychical according to the ” likeness ” of God, and that
which is spiritual is according to the real nature; and with refer­ence to these three, without the other children of Adam, it was said, “This is the book of the generation of men.” And because Seth was spiritual he neither tends flocks nor tills the soil but produces a child, as spiritual things do. And him, who “hoped
to call upon the name of the Lord” who looked upward and whose “citizenship is in heaven – him the world does not contain.” (Theodotus, Criddle Collection.)

Sethian: It is a name for a specific sect of Gnostics, but also a category created by scholars to refer to a number of sects that are related to Valentinians. The Sethians as a group were known to Hippolytus who dedicated Book Five in his work, ”The Refutation of All Hereseys,” to denouncing them. (See Gaffney) Seth was a character of Gnosticism who represented a savior figure and third son of Adam, founder of the Gnostic race. Generally Sethian works include, “Pistis Sophia,” “Allogenes,” ”The Gospel of Mary,*” “Sentences of Sextus,” “Marsanes,” “Gospel of The Egyptians,*” ”The Apocalypse of Adam,*”
“Origin of The World,” ”The Gospel of Thomas,*” ”The Gospel of Philip,” “The Three Steles of Seth,” “Melchizidek,” ”The Apocryphon of John,” ”The Gospel of Judas,” Trimorphic Protennoia,” the un-named text in the Bruce Codex, and ”Zostrianos.” (Others) Some Sethian works suggest strong ties with
Jewish Gnosticism, as well as Platonic thought, as well as Zoroasterism. (They maintained three principles; darkness below, light above, and spirit in-between, according to work attributed to Dr. Roy Blizzard, University of Texas. See also; ”Sethian Gnosticism, A Literary History,” Turner) see also; ( * Indicates works from the Nag Hammadi Lib., with other works by the same name.)

Sethian Monadology: The system of the monad, constructed through the tetraktys
of the decad, which serves as an underlying philosophy in Sethian Gnosticism. It
is developed from the creation myths. The system is like, and based upon that
of Pythagoreans, and resembles the principles of the ancient Chinese philosophy
of the Tai Chi., which is based upon the ogdoad. The system is based upon
working variations of numerical values. Turner states, ”….vigorous
arithmological speculation on the first ten numbers, but especially the first
four numbers, comprising the Pythagorean tetraktys (the {mode} of the first four
numbers). This was carried on by such Pythagoreanizing Platonists as Theon of
Smyrna and Nicomachus of Gerasa, who in turn depend in part on similar
arithmological and mathematical theories produced by such early first century
Platonist figures as Dercyllides, Adrastos of Aphrodisias (a Peripatetic
commentator on Plato’s Timaeus) and Thrasyllos, a court philosopher under the
Emperor Tiberius. The harmonic ratios produced by these first four numbers and
the geometric entities of point, line, surface, and solid had been applied to
the structure and the creation of the world soul long before by Plato and his
successors in the Old Academy, especially Speusippus and Xenocrates. (See;
Turner, See also; ”The History of Chinese Philosophy, Vol. 2.,” by Fung
Yu-Lan, Princeton, 1953, See also; ”A Valentinian Exposition.”)



The Sufi mystic Ibn al-Arabi drew a diagram similar to the one used to develop a pattern around a khatam (see above). However, Al-Arabi’s diagram’s diagram is concerned with spirituality, not ornamentation. He drew it as part of his explanation that “all phenomena are nothing but manifestations of Being, which is one with God.” Conincidentally, Al-Arabi was born in Spain at around the same time the practice of zillij, mosaic design, was starting to flourish. As Sufism had particular appeal to North Africa, his spirtual use of the pattern may explain the prolific use of the eight-point star and and symetries of eight in Moroccan Islamic patterns.


The number eight was important among Sufi mystics. “The octagon, with a ninth point in the center, is also central to the mystical symbology of Sufism. It is the seal or design which Ernest Scott says ‘reaches for the innermost secrets of man’. Meaning wholeness, power and perfection, this primary geometrical symbol is one which Sufis associate with Shambhala …”

On his website of natural patterns, Ian Alexander refers to the eight-point star as both the Sufi star and the Moroccan star. He offers the following explanation, as quoted from Friday mosque in Iran “Form is symbolised by the square. Expansion is symbolised by the square with triangles pointing outwards (an 8-pointed star). Contraction is symbolised by the square with triangles pointing inwards (a 4-pointed star). The two star-shapes together symbolise the cycle of creation, ‘the breath of the compassionate.’”

Origins and Meanings of the Eight-Point Star




While romanticized literature describes the Grail as a chalice, this is a much later derivation, extrapolating from Celtic tradition in which the Grail is described as a platter. Many vessels would have passed through the hands of Jesus in his short lifetime…probably humble clay and wooden bowls such as the famous Nanteos Bowl. This medieval relic, long kept sequested in Wales, is thought to be made of olive wood, and was originally revered in Glastonbury Abbey. According to tradition it was secretly carried away to avoid plundering by agents of Henry VIII. The Nanteos relic is a fragment of wooden bowl credited with miraculous healing powers, with well-attested healing effected as recently as the 1950’s. This also is not the Grail, such a humble vessel with proven powers would perhaps be a stronger candidate for having been used by Jesus. Many manifest vessels can hold Grail power, according to human intention, attunement, and practice, but no single one is the Grail itself.

The Hidden Adept & The Inner Vision


A  Parable of the Spirit

St Joseph of Arimathea




If this metaphysical space is to be known,

such knowledge can be attained only by faith and grace,

not by ‘entering’ but by ‘being entered’

-this is so because the greater must reveal itself to the lesser.

Put differently, that which is immanently ‘Spirit’ can only be known receptively,

through its own intellective vision, and not any derivative faculty such as reason,

feeling or sensation. Reason can only discern conceptually,

at best reducing reality to a dualism of subject and object

(as in the case of Descartes) or catagorical postulate

(as in the case of Kant) or dialectic process

(as in the case of Hegel) – its ‘telos’ will tend to be utopian(as in the case of Marx),

fundamentalist( as in the cases of religious, political or secular dogmatism)

or anthropocentrically consencual (as in the case of Rousseau’s social contract);

while sensation or feeling even where elevated to

the level of empirical ‘science,’ can only discern reality as matter or as psyche,

quantitatively, thereby cutting it off from its transcendent

and qualitative roots, leading to an emphasis on hypertrophic subjectivism

(as in the case of Nietzsche), Psychologism(as in the case of Freud),

or reductive positivism(as in the cases of philosophical positivism and of scientism).

That which transcends us cannot be known reductively

but only by that transcendent faculty which is immanent in us-which in

Tradition is termed the ‘Intellect’

or the Self-knowing Spirit. To know is to discern BEING.

We must empty ourselves or our ‘self’ in order to know who we ARE.

We must return to the sacred emptiness of the space that is our

ontological core in order to know that which truly IS.

–M Ali Lakhani (the Distance between us, found in Sacred Web issue 31) Church of St Mary Magdalene, Chewton Mendip
Church of St Mary Magdalene, Chewton Mendip

In the Western world, a strong belief in the objective truths of religion, which are viewed as incontrovertible, demonstrable facts, is regarded as essential to the life of faith. When asking if somebody is religious, peo- ple often inquire: “Does he or she believe?” as though accepting certain credal propositions was the prime religious activity. Indeed, faith is equated with belief, but this equation is of recent provenance. Origi- nally the meaning of the word faith was akin to trust, as when we say that we have faith in a friend or an ideal. Faith was not an intellectual position but a virtue: it was the careful cultivation, by means of the ritu- als and myths of religion, of the conviction that, despite all the dispirit- ing evidence to the contrary, life had some ultimate meaning and value. The Latin word credo (translated now as “I believe”) seems to have de- rived from the phrase cor dare: to give one’s heart. The Middle English word beleven meant to love. When Christians proclaimed: credo in unum Deum , they were not so much affirming their belief in the existence of a single deity as committing their lives to God. When St. Anselm of Can- terbury prayed in the eleventh century: credo ut intellagam (“I have faith in order that I may understand”), he was not blindly submitting to the doctrines of religion in the hope that one day these incredible asser- tions would make sense today, if he abdicated his critical intelligence. His prayer should really be translated: “I commit myself in order that I may understand.” The meaning of dogma would only be revealed when he lived a fully Christian life, embracing its mythology and rituals whole- heartedly. This attitude is foreign to modernity. Today people feel that before they live a religious life, they must first satisfy themselves intel- lectually of its metaphysical claims. This is sound scientific practice: first you must establish a principle before you can apply it. But it is not the way that religion has traditionally worked.
Karen ARmstrong (Faith an Modernity)




Soaring upwards
Can be like reaching down

Pushing forward

Can be like pushing back

Going right

Can be like Going left

Within is within

All things begin

And end at the cross roads

–GraalBaum 2013



This world-mountain was Nizir to the Chaldeans, Olympus to the Greeks, Hara Berezaiti to the Persians of the Avesta, the later Alborz and Elburz; a transfer, as says Mme. Ragozin, of ‘mythical heavenly geography to the earth.’ This mountain—the solar hill of the Egyptians—we shall again refer to in the next two or three chapters. At its apex springs, the heaven tree on which the solar bird is perched. From its roots spring the waters of life—the celestial sea, which, rushing adown the firmament, supplies the ocean which circumscribes the earth or falls directly in rain. At their fountain these springs are guarded by a goddess. In Egypt Nut, the goddess of the oversea, leans from the branches of the heavenly persea and pours forth the celestial water. In the Vedas, Yama, lord of the waters, sits in the highest heaven in the midst of the heavenly ocean under the tree of life, which drops the nectar Soma, and here, on the ‘navel of the waters,’ matter first took form. In the Norse, the central tree Yggdrasil has at its roots the spring of knowledge guarded by the Norns, the northern Fates; two swans the parents of all those of earth, float there. In Chaldea the mighty tree of Eridu, centre of the world, springs by the waters. The Avesta gives a very complete picture—Iran is at the centre of the seven countries of the world; it was the first created, and so beautiful, that were it not that God has implanted in all men a love for their own land, all nations would crowd into this the loveliest land. To the east somewhere, but still at the centre of the world, rises the ‘Lofty Mountain,’ from which all the mountains of the earth have grown, ‘High Haraiti;’ at its

summit is the gathering place of waters, out of which spring the two trees, the heavenly Haoma (Soma), and another tree which bears all the seeds that germinate on earth. This heavenly mountain is called ‘Navel of Waters,’ for the fountain of all waters springs there, guarded by a majestic and beneficent goddess. In Buddhist accounts, the waters issue in four streams like the

Eden from this reservoir, and flow to the cardinal points, each making one complete circuit in its descent. In the Persian Bundahish there are two of these heavenly rivers flowing east and west. To the Hindus the Ganges is such a heavenly stream. ‘The stream of heaven was called by the Greeks Achelous.’ The Nile in Egypt, the Hoang-Ho in China, and the Jordan to the Jews, seem to have been celestial rivers. This mountain of heaven is often figured in Christian art with the four rivers issuing from under the Throne of God.

Sir John Maundeville gives an account of the earthly Paradise quite perfect in its detailed scheme. It is the highest place on earth, nearly reaching to the circle of the moon (as in Dante), and the flood did not reach it. ‘And in the highest place, exactly in the middle, is a well that casts out the four streams’—Ganges, Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates. ‘And men there beyond say that all the sweet waters of the world above and beneath take their beginning from the well of Paradise, and out of that well all water come and go.


“It helps me to speak, although I hate speaking.  My classes help me very much too.  I have learned more theology in three months of teaching than in four years of studying.  But talking also helps my prayer–at least in the sense that it inviscerates the mysteries of faith more deeply into my soul.  It is very important to live your faith by confessing it, and one of the best ways to confess it is to preach it.”

–Thomas Merton

“Nothing of the mystery realm is revealed in its truth to the one who has not first fine-tuned their conduct. For the path to mystery wisdom is blanketed with snake spirits who watch to see who is walking up that road to acquire holiness. This is not unlike thorns that watch over the path leading to the rose. And these snake spirits will not permit passage to those who are not worthy.

Not everyone is worthy of approaching the mysteries of Torah, which requires battling with whatever wrongness lingers within us. Only then — after one has worked strenuously on one’s character — can one achieve the fullness of the wisdom and gift of true wholeness. You should not think that anyone who wishes to leap into the mystery realms can simply do so, and that you can know the wisdom of the unknown without mastering first the wisdom of the known. So many of us simply want to jump into the mystery realm without working on ourselves first, wanting to skip the basic wisdom and discipline and immediately study Kabbalah. Of such it is written: “Woe onto the one who builds his house void of balance; and his upper chambers without good judgment” (Jeremiah 22:13).

Rather, you must enter this realm of study in its proper sequence: first through the courtyard, then into the house, then to the upper chambers, and then within the chambers of chambers. But if you wish to jump ahead of the cycles and leap straight into the chamber within chambers of the upper realms without cleansing what is unwholesome within you and without removing the impediments that block your inner vision‚ know that you will taste the flaming swords of the Cherubim who are assigned to guard the path to the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:24).  After all, who can taste the nut without first breaking off the shell?”

–From Hakdahmaht Chemdat Tzvee ahl Teekoonay Zohar: translated by Gershon Winkler

“Those who seek to enter the Orchard should know that it is a very harmful, dangerous space to visit. Therefore, first make certain that in your daily life you pursue peace and harmony in all of your relationships; that you do not create an atmosphere of terror in your home; that you do not be too demanding and exacting in your relating with members of your family, not concerning even a major issue, and certainly not a minor one; and God forbid do not flare up in rage at them. And do not ever chastise your children with anger.

Also steer clear of conceit and self-aggrandizing behavior, especially when it comes to doing the sacred work. For it is in the course of performing the sacred work that we become most prone to conceit and feelings of superiority. And when you make love to your partner first prepare your mind and heart so that you do not make love solely for your own pleasure to the neglect of the needs of your partner. And at night when you go to sleep, liberate your mind from all the tumult of your thoughts and concerns of this world, so that your soul can ascend with ease to the upper worlds and be clear enough to receive the continuous flux of divine wisdom that emanates from there. Finally, as you seek to learn how to enter the Orchard, seek also to learn how to leave the Orchard and return. For the mystery lies not only in the entering, but as much in the leaving.”

–From the 16th-century Rabbi Chayyim Vital in his introduction to Etz Chayyim, toward the end

The spirit of the human being loves purity, but his mind disturbs it. His reason loves the silence but his desires drive it away. If he were able always to neutralise his desires, his mind would naturally become pure. The six desires (those of the five senses and the imagination) would not develop and the three poisons (greed, anger and stupidity) would be taken away and disappear.

The reason why people are unable to achieve this is that their minds are not purified and their desires are not neutralised. If someone is able to neutralise his desires and looks at his reason, these desires are no longer his; if he looks down at his body, it is no longer his; if he looks further away to the outward things, they are things that do not concern him.

When he understands these three things, they will appear only a void to him. This beholding of the void will awaken the idea of nothingness. Without such nothingness, there is no void. When the idea of empty space has disappeared, also that of nothingness will disappear, and when the idea of nothingness has disappeared, then, clearly, the state of permanent silence will follow. In that state of rest and independent of place, how would desire be able to develop? And if desire no longer develops, there is true silence and rest. This true silence becomes a permanent property, and in this state, everything is comprehended as to its essence; yes, this true and permanent property becomes the ruler of human nature. In such a continuous representation and permanent silence, there is permanent purity and rest.

He who has this absolute purity, will gradually come into the true Dao. And once he has arrived there, he will be called master of Dao. Although he is called master of Dao, he does not really think that he has become master of anything. Because he is accomplishing the transformation of all things, he is called master of Dao. He who is able to understand this, is also able to pass on the holy Dao to others.

‘Book of Purity’ by Ko Juan (AD 222-272)

“But I made answer unto them; O ye Fishers, who lap up your filth, no fisher am I who fishes for fish, and I was not formed for an eater of filth (non vegan). A fisher am I of souls who bear witness to Life”

Yeshu as quoted from chapter 36 of the Ancient Aramaic Nazorean Prophets scroll

Shuma Hiya Nirmala Tabata Yeshu, uMaryam, Amin

The name of Life is pronounced over thee, O life giving Nourishment of Yeshu and Maryam.


May all be blessed, peaceful and happy, may all be free of pain, resentment and fear. May we have infinite gratitude, patience and compassion for all who are above, equal and below us. May we be doctor, medicine and nurse, for all the confused, sick and sad. May all the virtue aquired by us, flow freely to all those in need.

May everyone find the path to peace, May everyone become pure and perfect, May everyone find the treasury of Life! May Kushta bless you and kepp you…Amin

Good is the Good to the good, and They settle their nature upon those who love their name. We will seek and find, and will pray and be heard.

We have sought and found, we prayed and were heard in thy presence, my Lord Yeshu and Maryam d-Hiya, Lords of Healings.


–The Gnostic Prayer book

From what I read on the website, I understand that the Harry Potter books use symbols to tell about how a person can reach “heaven” or whatever you may refer to it as. I understand how the characters and their actions tell how someone may be liberated by killing the “Voldemort” within us. But my question is how does one reach liberation in everyday life.


I feel honoured to be asked this question, as this is the most important question (in my opinion) in the universe. It is an extremely beautiful question!

I hope you will understand that this is also a question that can’t really ever be answered. This is the question that everyone has to answer for himself! Liberation is an inner process; it’s often referred to as Alchemy, which means converting the lead that we are into the everlasting gold of the Universal Creative Spirit.

The Bible quotes Jesus, who is our prototype for the inner process, as saying I will destroy this temple and build it up again in three days [stages]. In other words, in both examples there is a process of breaking down, and a process of building up. Both these actions have to be performed by ourselves.

What I’m saying is that liberation is a deeply radical process which changes our whole being totally, completely and utterly. And WE have to do it ourselves. No one’s going to do it for us, because that would be against one of the most fundamental principles of the Universal Spirit: Absolute Freedom. This also means we can’t be tricked or fooled into doing anything we don’t want or trust completely. The Path of Liberation is safe! It’s in our own hands, and we can do it at our own pace.

However, there are rules to it, like anything else we try to do. You have made the first move in this dialogue which I hope will last many years. I want to be able to explain the rules to you, but in such a way that you feel totally comfortable about everything, and that you see the reason for the rules, and understand completely what you’re doing.

You might be alarmed at my statement “many years”. I want to be frank and open with you right from the start. Transmuting a mortal, biological person into an immortal, Divine Child of God is an immensely long journey. But you must know that quote I’ve seen in so many homes (on the toilet wall, usually): a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

So let’s not think too much about the length of the journey, but on that first step.

Well, Liberation is achieved in four main stages:

1. Insight

2. Yearning for Liberation

3. Self-surrender

4. the New Mode of Life

5. Liberation

Just briefly:

Insight means understanding the Path, understanding Liberation, understanding the imprisonment we’re in. It’s the MENTAL process.

Yearning for Liberation means that when we understand the need for liberation, for return to God, we start to WANT it very much. We focus our heart on it. This is a DESIRE or astral process.

Self-surrender means surrendering our whole being to the Divine Self in the heart. This Divine Self is symbolised by Harry Potter, born in Godric’s Hollow, God’s hollow place: the heart. A New Soul is born, but this is like a foetus, without consciousness, and completely dependent. We have to care for this inner God as the most precious thing in our life, and we must place its interests before ours. The force of life we call ETHERIC and so this is the etheric process.

The New Mode of Life means living life as the humble, selfless servant of the Inner God. This Inner God gradually grows in strength and starts to become conscious. This means we can begin to understand what he wants, and when we do what he tells us in our heart, our mode of life becomes magical. It becomes pure, unselfish, loving, caring, and wise. In other words, we start complying with the Universal Plan of Creation. We start to carry out God’s Plan in the PHYSICAL plane.

The above paragraphs possibly raise a great number of questions (which is great) but for now I just want you to understand that this process starts of on the mental level, then moves into the desire or astral level, then the etheric, then finally the physical.

What this means in practical terms is that you must fully understand the Path before you can start to go it. To become an Alchemist in the laboratory of your own body you must become an apprentice first, to learn what it’s all about.

However, insight isn’t just intellectual learning. The word explains itself: it is sight within our self. Insight means understanding with our whole being. Insight is achieved by learning from experience. It’s achieved by putting something into practice. For example a mother may be overprotective of a child. The one day something terrible happens. The child has a bad accident because it comes across something it hasn’t had experience with. The mother has protected the child so much that when it faces danger it doesn’t know what to do. Insight is when the mother realises her mistake.

So before the process can start, before the journey can begin, you have to know what you’re facing, AND have insight into what works and what doesn’t.

In the case of liberation, it’s insight into how much we are in a prison. If you’re born in a prison and you’re happy there, you’re not going to be liberated, obviously. But when you feel unhappy and try to escape, which is very difficult, you’ll start to experience the walls of the prison very painfully. So insight is exploring the prison, not seeing a way out, and suffering the pain of imprisonment. That doesn’t sound very attractive, but only when we realise how strong and restrictive our prison is can we develop enough yearning to be able to escape.

Now I want to give you a practical suggestion. How do we bring the Path of Liberation into everyday life?

Keeping in mind that the beginning of the Path is on the mental plane, my advice is for you to think with great joy and excitement that you’re preparing to start a long journey. Just as you know that you have to make thorough preparations when you go on a camping trip somewhere far away, so you do for the Path. But the important thing here is to get excited about it, feel the anticipation, feel the expectation of a journey that will take you to the Heart of God, to a state where you’ll be able to do something permanent and real for the millions of people suffering in this world; to a state where your heart will be so filled with Love for God and humanity, that you think it must burst in the ecstasy of it.

Hans Andréa

We have purified our hands in Kushta In the Name of the Living Gods!

We have purified our hands in Kushta and our lips in faith.

We have uttered words of radiance and were absorbed in thoughts of Light.

Thou, my Lord Yeshu d-Hiya, art blessed and praised and thy praise is established.

Great is the strength of Life; abounding the glory of the mighty Life! Honor rests upon the Uthras who sit in glory.

This is prayer and praise which came to them from the great place of Light and the everlasting Abode.

We praise with it when we have risen from our sleep, before any have spoken falsehood.

For anyone who prays this prayer there will be forgiving of sins and transgressions in the great place of Light and in the everlasting Abode.

And Life is transcendant.

Extract from the Mandaean text, Qulasta (Hymns of Praise)

Form, sound, and taste and touch

And smell’s arisings are only

Like a castle of the gandharvas

Like dream or like illusion

Like an illusory person

And like a mere reflection

Pleasant and unpleasant

Even if they arise,

Where and what are they?

–The Mulamadhyamakakarikas


“What does it mean to know and experience my own ‘nothingness.’?

It is not enough to turn away in disgust from my illusions and faults
and mistakes, to separate myself from them as if they were not, and as
if I were someone other than myself.  This kind of self-annihilation is
only a worse illusion, it is a pretended humility which, by saying ‘I am
nothing’ I mean in effect ‘I wish I were not what I am.'”

–Thomas Merton


Those who see me as form

Those who know me as words

Are dwelling on wrong paths.

These persons have not seen me.

What is meant by the buddhas

Is the view of dharmata.

The leaders are dharmakaya.

Dharmata is not a knowable,

So consciousness cannot know it.

–The Diamond Sutra


A Gandharva (Sanskrit) or Gandhabba (Pāli) is one of the lowest-ranking devas in Buddhist theology. They are classed among the Cāturmahārājikakāyika devas, and are subject to the Great King Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Guardian of the East. Beings are reborn among the Gandharvas as a consequence of having practiced the most basic form of ethics (Janavasabha-sutta, DN.18). It was considered embarrassing for a monk to be born in no better birth than that of a gandharva.

Gandharvas can fly through the air, and are known for their skill as musicians. They are connected with trees and flowers, and are described as dwelling in the scents of bark, sap, and blossom. They are among the beings of the wilderness that might disturb a monk meditating alone.

The terms gandharva and yakṣa are sometimes used for the same person; yakṣa in these cases is the more general term, including a variety of lower deities.

Among the notable gandharvas are mentioned (in DN.20 and DN.32) Panāda, Opamañña, Naḷa, Cittasena, Rājā. Janesabha is probably the same as Janavasabha, a rebirth of King Bimbisāra of Magadha. Mātali the Gandharva is the charioteer for Śakra.

Timbarū was a chieftain of the gandharvas. There is a romantic story told about the love between his daughter Bhaddā Suriyavaccasā (Sanskrit: Bhadrā Sūryavarcasā) and another gandharva, Pañcasikha (Sanskrit: Pañcaśikha). Pañcasikha fell in love with Suriyavaccasā when he saw her dancing before Śakra, but she was then in love with Sikhandī (or Sikhaddi), son of Mātali the charioteer. Pañcasikha then went to Timbarū’s home and played a melody on his lute of beluva-wood, on which he had great skill, and sang a love-song in which he interwove themes about the Buddha and his Arhats.

Later, Śakra prevailed upon Pañcasikha to intercede with the Buddha so that Śakra might have an audience with him. As a reward for Pañcasikha’s services, Śakra was able to get Suriyavaccasā, already pleased with Pañcasikha’s display of skill and devotion, to agree to marry Pañcasikha.

Pañcasikha also acts as a messenger for the Four Heavenly Kings, conveying news from them to Mātali, the latter representing Śakra and the Trāyastriṃśa devas.

Gandharva or gandhabba is also used in a completely different sense, referring to a being (or, strictly speaking, part of the causal continuum of consciousness) in a liminal state between birth and death.

“Prayer then means yearning for the simple presence of God, for a personal understanding of his word, for knowledge of his will and for capacity to hear and obey him.  It is thus something much more than uttering petitions for good things external to our own deepest

–Thomas Merton

Prayer too often just becomes asking the divine for “stuff.” Gimme, Gimme, God gimme this, God I want that. Obviously this is a childish act. If we liken the divine to a person we can see prayer in this form is merely like a child asking for candy, a new toy or some other unnecessary item. I am sure we all do this for a brief moment. But as Merton mentions, prayer can be so much more.

Many seekers of the divine embrace ritual. Ritual itself is great. However the seeker too often and easily becomes devoted to the ritual, instead of the divine. This “false” barrier between the divine and the seeker only serves to produce a false separation. Really there is no separation between the divine and us. So there is no need for ritual at all; all we need do is simply “open our mouths” or our eyes, our “hearts.” Ritual of course can help in this process, but should never be allowed to “replace” God.

Prayer then can still be an act of asking, an act where one is conversing. Arguably the most powerful way to commune with the divine is to “talk” to it! Thus perhaps prayer can be asking, wanting and needing. Instead of simply asking like a child for candy, our asking can be one of sounding out our thoughts, our feelings. Then we are treating the divine as a friend, a confidant, a wise listener. Then we are treating the divine with respect, honesty and with an adult approach. We can then help ourselves by solidifying in our selves what we want. Of course whether we “get” what we want is another story. The divine will give what is best for us, not what we want, the two are not always the same, are they not?

Just some thoughts.


I bow down and render praise to Malala, the Word, Yeshu the Radiant, and all Mamitrans, teachers & initiators, and all Judges of the Light who weigh the hearts of the faithful.

* I bow down and render praise to Manda d-Hiya, the Gnosis of Life, Miryai-Noorah the Maiden of Light – the Gnosis of Life who healeth the elect and calleth the pure home, and to all who bring harmony & love.

* I bow down and render praise to Sam-Ziwa-Dakia, the Pure Shining Preserver, the Light Mind, and all enlightened Mamitrans and Apostles, and to the shining One, Mani our guide, source of Light and branch of the living, the great tree all of which gives healing.

(Blessed be all the Wisdoms of Light.)

–Manichaean Prayer

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Three times)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O All-Holy Trinity, have mercy on us; O Lord, wash away our sins; O Master, forgive us our iniquities; O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for thy Name’s sake.

Lord have mercy! (Three times)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

–Orthodox Christian


“Lord of the loving heart, may mine be loving too,
Lord of the gentle heart, may mine be gentle too.
Lord of the willing feet, may mine be willing too,
So may I grow more like you
In all I say or do.  Amen”

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