RISING ON THE PLANES

 


Two operations come under the heading of Rising on the Planes. The first is the traditionally known operation, which is referred to in [The Sword and the Serpent], Chapter III. In its pristine conception it is a technique of meditation for Adepti Pleni (full Adepti Minores), involving at its culmination the use of the Briatic consciousness. The usually accepted apogee of this experiment is the mystical experience of Tiphareth in Briah.
Some occult writers have referred to an extension of the practice, involving culmination higher upon the central column of the Tree.

The operation has come into use for those below the status of full Adept, that is to say, those in whom the Briatic consciousness is not yet awakened: but it is emphasized here that by its very nature it is specifically for full Adepti.

In all cases the operation is conducted by means of simple key-symbols; those traditionally used by the A.S.
are as follows:-



The first symbol: a black and white chequered pavement, in which the forces of light and of darkness are perfectly equilibriated. This is not only the initial symbol but is also the "homing" symbol, Malkuth.



The second symbol: a Tau cross of heavy form with slightly incurved sides and top. The cross is black; upon it at
the junction of the arms is a single drop of blood. Thirty- second Path.



The third symbol: an upward-pointing equilateral triangle, mist-blue with silver sparkles, supporting a silver
crescent with horns uppermost. Yesod.



The fourth symbol: an arrow, barbed and flighted, speeding vertically upward. Clear brilliant blue with flashing
white detail. Twenty-Fifth Path.



The fifth symbol: interlacing squares of red and white, as upon the Tessera, concentric with a golden circle which passes through the corner of each square. Tiphareth.

After any desired preliminaries, the God-form Posture is assumed, the eyes are closed, and the Breath is established. The symbols are reviewed in sequence without consideration of their meaning; for the first, third and fifth symbol respect ively, the appropriate Divine Name is vibrated aloud. The black and white pavement is then established below. The operator formulates clearly the intention of rising through the Gates of the central column into Tiphareth. The work itself is carried out without advertence to this specific intention, the volition to rise being all that is required. The second symbol is established in the higher area of mental vision,
and the spiritual ascent begins.

Imminent entry into a Sephirah produces a feeling of stress. This is followed by a spontaneous change of symbol signalling actual entrance, with sensations relating to the Sephirah in question: one may be "born into" Yesod, "raised up" into Tiphareth.

The second and fourth symbols will need to be deliberately established, the third and fifth symbols will appear
spontaneously. Thus is fulfilled the Passing of the Tau and the Following of the Arrow. When Tiphareth is entered, a state of ecstasy may supervene. It is not unknown for physical levitation to occur at such a time, but it is a grave defect. Rising on the Planes can indeed be used as a basis for physical levitation, but then
the experiment is somewhat differently undertaken.

The inwardness of Rising on the Planes should not be taken to imply that it is necessarily experienced in complete spiritual isolation throughout, neither is it to be thought that the Adept is bound to passivity in Tiphareth. The Adept is master in this work, not servant.

For the willed return to normal consciousness the first symbol is again employed: however, the mode in which the symbol is to be used is personal to each operator.

II


The second operation which is known as Rising on the Planes does not consist in any progression from one Sephirah to another, nor in traversing any of the Paths: it is concerned entirely with the experience of one or another planetary Sephirah (one only of the planetary Sephiroth being selected for the work on any given occasion.)

This practice is open to all insofar as each is able to achieve it. For further on this second operation, see Works Undertaken Through Astral Projection where it is detailed*.

 

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* And that would be here:

Rising on the Planes.

The commencement of this operation takes place on the physical plane. The place of woiking is prepared as the operator may be able to devise, in accordance with the symbolism of the planetary Sephirah intended as the sphere of operation: with the appropriate colours, the number and pattern of arrange-
ment of lights, suitable incense, and perhaps music. If desired, the lineal figure attributed to the sphere of operation may be marked out upon the floor, of such size that the operator may lie down within it: a floor cloth with that figure could be utilised, or the figure could be outlined in chalk or tapes as convenient. It is not intended to serve as an astral defence. If a lineal figure is employed, the lights should be positioned at its points. This gives a good example for the placing of lights, even when a lineal figure is not used.

The operator, established within his place of working, now meditates upon the sphere and its significance, while he drinks in the essential qualities of the symbolism which surrounds him.

He traces the invoking heptagram of the sphere after due meditation, vibrating the Divine Name or Magical Formula appropriate thereto. He states his intention clearly, of rising in the particular sphere.

Having assumed the Earth posture and performed the Rousing, he proceeds with Helionic projection. Once out of the physical body he begins to rise without delay, and continues the ascent as far as he is able. This is not such an ascent as can be pictured as the astral equivalent of going up into the sky of the material world. The exercise is actually a device, of a kind frequently found in mysticism, to enable the operator to reach levels of being which are higher in the sense of finer or more inward, levels of the Astral Light which manifest them-
selves to more inward planes of the psyche of the operator.

As he rises, landscapes or parts of landscapes may appear.peopled or not: sometimes as coming to sight out of an intermittent mist, or as isles in the sea; sometimes abruptly terminating as precipitous cliffs or unfinished buildings. Often, on the lower levels especially, he will encounter scenes so material-seemingand realistic that he will find it difficult to recall that he is not travelling in the physical world. This is not strange, for just as his physical body experiences the outer world as "real," because of similar density, so his astral body finds a corresponding reality in some of the astral regions. Always, however, in this work, he will perceive that the scenes and entities partake essentially in the nature of the sphere of operation, though this will be manifested by them in varying modes. Thus he should be able from these visions to learn something of the sphere in which he is rising: but always he should continue the ascent, and should not for anything he sees or hears leave it. The higher he goes, however, the more difficult it will be for him to maintain his upward progress. At last there will come a time when the Light itself will seem to thrust him downwards. At this stage he should will more of his
astral substance to return to his physical body:* this voluntary refining of the astral vehicle may permit him to rise still higher, but if it does not, he should cease struggling to ascend further. Sooner or later, he reaches a "high point" consistent with his stage of development. Cessation of the attempt to ascend will at once mitigate the contrary impulse of the Light. He should maintain himself in equilibrium at that level, experiencing the
ambiencepassively. When sated or simply tired, he should not set off on other lines of exploration, but should return directly to his body. The return accomplished, he should as usual perform the Rousing in the Earth posture;then, standing, he should trace the banishing heptagram of the sphere of operation, vibrating therewith the appropriate Divine Name.

The experience of the full Adept is not considered in these notes. The Adeptus Minor who is not a full Adept should be able by virtue of his initiations to penetrate to that highest Yetziratic region of the sphere where the influences of the Briatic level are strongly discernable: if he were not aware that he lacks as yet the Briatic consciousness, he would imagine himself to have penetrated to the World of Briah itself. Those of lesser status wii be able to rise through the Yetziratic planes and sub-planes in the sphere as far as their personal development permits. These planes and sub-planes are comprised in two main regions, the Higher and Lower
Astral: but although these main regions are distinct in character, there is no sharp change or boundary in the transitional
phase between them, and some of the Higher Astral regions of the sphere should be accessible to many who are not yet Adepti Minores.

If the ascent were carried out as a purely imaginative exercise (as is sometimes advocated), the operator might of course conceive of himself as rising to any nominal level of a Sephirah, regardless of his state of advancement; but Helionic rising is quite another matter. The actuality of the experience must be viewed soberly. Some will rise to the Higher Astral level of a sphere, others will attain less but cannot do other than
benefit by the effort. Neither the labour required nor the reward to be gained should be underestimated however. The beauty and sublimity of the World of Yetzirah are frequently misprized by occultists. In terms of exoteric spirituality the Higher Astral in general is experienced as that which the greater part of the human race would interpret as the "happiness of Heaven"; in other words, it represents the highest bliss and beauty which human nature is capable of experiencing as long as it is wholly dependent for that experience upon a cause conceived of as external to itself.

 

 

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** Although it is common practice when any considerable astral journey is to be undertaken, to send back some Nephesh substancs to the physical body by an initial swift act of will, more can, end in certain circumstances should, be sent back at a later stage. Hence the instructions in the text.