| The first encounter I had with Elevenstar occurred in
the late 1970's with a soundless voice telling me, 'The thrones must be
Usually the voice isn't so cryptic, but since it wasn't going to elaborate, I filed the statement away in memory. The meaning would come over the next few months in the form of unlearned knowledge, without many visual or audible clues. The information concerned both theory and practice, purpose and methodology, as any complete magickal Working must have.
The practice part manifested on several occasions in which I participated, and on several others conducted by colleagues elsewhere. I was present for the ritual at Winterstar in 1985 at Atwood Lake, Ohio, at the Math of Chrystal Humm in Spencer, New York in 1987, and at the Harmonic Convergence public ritual in August, 1987 in Seattle, Washington. These were all group rituals, but the rite can be adapted for individual use.
The Thrones correspond to the Spheres on the Tree of Life, plus the non-Sphere of Daath; eleven in all. A throne is the mastery and practice of a given Sphere in the life of a Magickian-Priest. With dedication to the Elevenstar, the mastery and practice extends itself to monitor and adjust the global operation of that Sphere.
A full course of Initiation ensures knowledge of the essence of the Spheres, whether or not the tradition includes Qaballah as a formal pert of its course. Elevenstar aims to coordinate Magickally a collegium of practitioners world- wide who operate a particular Sphere in mastery within their personal lives and who assume responsibility for that Sphere's function in the lives of our species. The practitioners don't have to know each other personally on the physical plane or have to live in a single area. The minimum number of people required to manifest the Elevenstar is twenty-one; two for each Sphere and one for Daath. There is no maximum limit on the number of participants.
The Elevenstar collegium is a talisman of Priests who effect the development of humanity directly via their own self-evolutionary work. It's a prototype of the species we are developing into, Homo veritas, and serves as both a Magickal model and a seed-crystal around which the new species can form itself. As it grows, it radiates its influence to touch those who are on the brink of change and encourages the awakening of all human souls.
The Elevenstar activates that part of our DNA which enables the functioning of double consciousness without undue effort and practice; while Homo sapiens individuals can become Homo veritas by dint of Will and hard work, the next generation can be born as Homo veritas.
In order to understand the nature of the Elevenstar formation, each point of the star is assigned a Sphere of the Tree of Life; the following gable gives the Sphere, its corresponding godform, and the pair of Tarot Trumps that characterize its nature.
Considering the factors together can give a holographic clue to the nature of each Throne. An important thing to remember is that the points are arranged in a circle; there is no linear hierarchy is in the Tree of Life. The Thrones are equally powerful, important, and necessary.
Nuit is the starry night sky, arching above the Earth. She is the space(Universe)-time(Aeon) continuum, everything that exists in physical reality. Her Sphere is Malkuth, the Kingdom. Initiated perception sees physical reality as an expression of the absolute, the tangible result of the play of the four elements, the three gunas, the ten Spheres, or any other combination of forces. Nuit/Malkuth includes subatomic particles and the binding forces of the atom as well as all existing galactic clusters and everything in between.
The Cosmos is an illusion springing from the reality of Nothingness; nevertheless, this illusion/Maya/Malkuth is the object of Magickal work. We work in Maya to assist its changes; we devote our time in the flesh to guarding and assisting the course of evolution throughout the world.
There are some Initiates who haven't achieved the proper appreciation of physical reality, preferring to 'only work on the Astral.' The earthing is the most important part of Magick; it completes the circuit of energy that's necessary for change. Unearthed by the Initiate, the energy seeks its own grounding. The means it uses to ground may be twisted, damaged or destroyed.
Nuit as the image of the Kingdom puts the importance of the physical world in its proper perspective. She is vast, beyond the ability of our finest scientific instruments to encompass Her. It is a royal and holy condition, to be part of the body of Nuit.
Hadit is the point of view that experiences the starry night-sky and the space-time continuum that is Nuit. His Sphere is Yesod. This is the Sphere of Lunar energies, the Racial Unconscious, the Astral planes, atavisms, and emotions. Hadit is a dimensionless point of awareness, the ultimate self-consciousness. The Sphere of Yesod is the base of Hadit's nature, but by no means is it the limitation of that nature. Emotions convince us of our reality--'I feel, therefore I am.' The Trumps, Lust and The Hermit, indicate the type of balance to be achieved in mastering this Throne.
Lust means more than just sexual desire. It is the universal force of attraction that permits shapes to maintain coherence in the constant dance of Matter/energy. Lust is the voice of Nuit calling to Hadit, the yearning of Hadit for union with Nuit. The force of Lust permits the perception of the interconnectedness of all things in a vast, glittering webwork.
The Hermit is the essence of the single unit, complete in itself, a seed, a cell that contains all potential proliferation and growth. Ordinary perception sees the hermit as solitary and isolated, out of contact with others, dwelling apart in the wilderness. Initiated consciousness sees the Hermit as the Universe contained within the self-aware point of view. The desire of Lust is fulfilled in the completion and self-sufficiency of the Hermit.
This Trump pair indicates the formula for mastery of Yesod. As Sri Ramakrishna once expressed it, 'Which is better--to taste the sugar or to be the sugar?' A fine balance of the tension of desire with the relaxation of fulfillment will enable the point of view to be sane, healthy, and to maintain a true vision of the Work. If we work with distorted vision in the Astral realms, the manifestations in the physical world will be distorted also. Magick works by bringing events into physical existence through energizing Astral constructs of the desired manifestations.
It is in and from the Astral menstruum that we fashion the armature or framework around which matter-energy takes form. With sanity and balance ruling the Throne of Hadit, the manifestations of the Elevenstar are pre-formed precisely on the Astral, leading to precise and accurate actualization on the physical plane.
Ra-Hoor-Khuit is the hawk-headed representation of the sun, Ra, as Warrior. The Sphere of his Throne is Tiphereth and the designated Trump pair is The Sun and The Moon.
The Warrior is the person who is aware of the environment and remains ready for correct action. As Castaneda's Don Juan Matus says, 'A warrior must be impeccable.' This means that the Warrior deals with internal imperfections and weaknesses, correcting them before the environment's forces can destroy the Warrior through these breaches in his/her spiritual integument.
This Throne operates through the combination of the Sun and the Moon. Ra-Hoor- Khuit is a solar god. In the latitudes of Egypt, the sun can be devastating to human life, burning, fierce, relentless. So it is with the force of True Will. Nothing can balk True Will of its manifestation.
The Moon shines by reflected light, generating none of its own. The Warrior of the Throne of Ra-Hoor-Khuit becomes Will-in-action; when this Magickal transformation happens, the Warrior's bodies and faculties reflect the fire of Will. One becomes the channel for Will, and in the process, becomes Will itself. This is the Sun. One's bodies align with the purpose of channelling Will, and in the process of the channelling, reflect the internal flow in their beauty of form. This is the Moon.
The Throne of Ra-Hoor-Khuit coordinates all the Thrones in the process of manifesting Will, that is, carrying out the purposes of the Elevenstar collegium. In practical terms, the Throne takes the myriad of possibilities presented by the Throne of Pan (Chesed) and chooses which strands of events are to become mainstream reality. This choice is made by the entire Elevenstar acting through the Throne of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. The essence of this Throne is harmony and balance, wherein harmony is the correct proportion of influences from all the Spheres.
The Throne of Pan represents Chesed (Mercy) on the Tree, and its Trump pair is The Devil and The Tower. There seems to be an incongruence here; Chesed is Mercy, and is traditionally attributed to Jupiter. These images are more benign than those of the Devil, the Tower, and Pan.
However, Pan is the All-Begetter as well as the All-Devourer. The Devil is the surprise of existence. The joy of surprise enriches the sense of humor (Jove-iality) which is so necessary to the Throne of Pan.
One function of this Throne is to maintain the proper level of levity in Elevenstar. Too much gravity paralyzes action. Gravity makes one pompous and stodgy if allowed to exceed its proper measure. Thus the thunderous laughter of Pan in the Sphere of Chesed destroys the evil of taking oneself too seriously.
The Tower is the force of destruction. In its function of architect and judge, Chesed must choose what needs to be cleared away from the building site, or what part of the block is chiseled away so the statue can emerge. The Tower card in the Thoth deck depicts the Eye of Shiva blasting the tower of false certitude. ('My mind's made up, so don't bother me with the facts.') The Throne of Pan keeps an open mind in the Elevenstar by maintaining impartiality and balance in discovering and presenting the options of action to all the Spheres.
The Throne of Babalon supervises the initiating force of Netzach; the Trumps are The Priestess and The Hierophant. The Throne of Babalon focuses the Magickal Current on all the Spheres. Her influence causes quantum leaps of comprehension.
The Sphere of Netzach is linked with Venus. It concerns relationships and creativity. Initiation can be seen as progressive stages in the relationship of the individual with the Cosmos. In Elevenstar, the Throne of Babalon inspires all the Thrones to continue internal development so that the function of the Thrones becomes more efficient and effective.
Netzach is the basic Sphere of Sex Magick, one of the most powerful ways of Initiating, though not necessarily one-on-one with the candidate. A general approach is the use of Sex Magick to activate one's own Hierophantic ability and power. One is then capable of radiating the Initiatory energy without having to plan specific actions. On the other hand, Initiation through making love with the candidate can be effective if all conditions are right. It's wise to remember that a Magickal link is formed with everyone with whom you have sex. This link provides the channel through which Initiatory energy is transferred. The link works both ways, so it pays to be selective in choosing partners.
It's also wise to remember that a Hierophant need not know more than the candidate in order to be effective--the Hierophant need only know the candidate. In this knowing, one works the Priest/ess emphasis using intuitive empathy to deal with colleagues Angel-to-Angel, or at the level of our starry natures.
The Trumps of the Priestess and the Hierophant aren't redundant. Both deal with the Initiatory process but from different directions; in simple terms, the Priestess is the carrot and the Hierophant is the stick.
The Throne of Babalon supervises Initiatory energies both internally with the Elevenstar and externally with the human race at large. An example of the Priestess mode is the vision of Homo veritas; the knowledge that human evolution doesn't end with Homo sapiens enables us to consciously direct, for the first time in our history, our transition into a new species. An example of the Hierophant mode is Nightmare, a dark type of Elevenstar initiation: surround the deliberately obtuse, the spiritually stubborn sleepers with images of their fears and atavisms, and they gladly choose to awaken.
A balance is struck between the modes of Priestess and Hierophant. On the Tree, both Trumps pertain to paths that cross the Abyss; the Priestess links Kether and Tiphereth, the Hierophant links Chokmah and Chesed. The Throne- holders of Babalon might find that a secret lures better than a statement.
The Throne of Shaitan-Aiwass commands the Sphere of Geburah. The Trumps are The Magus and The Star.
Although Geburah is traditionally considered a martial Sphere, the essence of it is strength, not aggression. The function of the Throne of Shaitan-Aiwass is to provide power, endurance, and duration to the Elevenstar Working (Vishnu/preserver aspect) and to remove all interference with the manifestation of Will (a Shiva/destroyer aspect.)
The throne-holders of Shaitan-Aiwass deal with power and power-sources. This Throne requires the ability to recognize power psychically and to be able to channel it into the Work Magickally. Most Initiates of my acquaintance can sense a power-place or power-object. The Throne-holders of Shaitan-Aiwass refine and intensify this sense through a yoga peculiar to this Sphere. They become the power through union with it, then direct themselves totally into the Work at hand.
The Geburah function here is to link the Work with the inevitability of Will/Tao/Magickal Current. The Magus speaks his word Òso the falsehood thereof ensnares the souls of men. This is so because all words are false in that no work can completely encompass and express the truth. The Star represents the Magickal current.
If the Work at hand is spoken and spoken of as truly as possible, it will manifest. The Magickian becomes the Word as he/she becomes the power. Information (the Word of the Magus) combined with power (the Current represented by the Star) is a major way of Magickal operation. This way of Geburah uses the Logos formula reshaped for the New Aeon: The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.
The Throne of Therion (the Beast) expresses Hod on the Tree, and its Trumps are The Emperor and The Empress.
Hod is associated with the godforms of Mercury, Hermes, Tehuti, Hanuman, etc. The Beast is a figure taken from the Book of Revelations to represent a humanity responsible for its own destiny, an unfallen species which needs no salvation other than its own awakening. Our growing mental, emotional, and moral complexities have outpaced our understanding and wisdom. These complexities , ungrasped and unprocessed, give rise to the Nightside of our nature and to the concepts of evil and sin.
Tehuti and the other Mercurial gods (glyphs for inquiry, thought and memory) taught Magick, science, art and craft to mankind. Our difficulties stem from ignorance, not from Original Sin. Hermes is a healing godform, Hanuman a loyal assistant; Mercury is logic and communication.
One function of the Throne of Therion is to reason, to manipulate facts, events, and patterns in ever-changing constellations, then communicating the configurations which exhibit the most logic to the other Thrones for consideration. Thinking alone is rarely an adequate base for action; it works best in conjunction with intuition and instinct.
Another function of the Throne is the monitoring of health--of the individual, of the Elevenstar collegium and of the species as a whole. Healing is accomplished through balance and proper infusions of energy.
A third function of the Throne of Therion is teaching. Teaching differs from Initiation in that teaching presents a description of an experience to a person; with Initiation, a person lives through the experience. Knowing the description of an event can help one recognize the event when it happens, but in no way can a description substitute for the experience itself.
The Emperor and The Empress describe the attitude and methods suited to this Throne. The Emperor is a figure of responsibility and power. The Empress is a figure of generosity and care. These Trumps reflect the influence of Chesed (Pan) in the processes of Hod/Therion. Intellection is guided by the more spiritual faculty of intuition. Responsibility governs the processes of reason; a running comparison of theory with fact keeps thinking true. Communication of rational truth is kept lucid and as simple as possible.
In practice, the Throne of Therion processes options for action, assessing the merits of each choice, and presenting the findings of its work to the other Thrones. It considers ways of implementing a chosen manifestation; it considers ways of presenting information.
The teaching function of Elevenstar is not essentially concerned with educating the general public (although obvious opportunities are not to be neglected); rather, information is to be made available to Initiates, Adepts and Priests who may qualify and have an interest in the Elevenstar Working. Internal education is the main area of concern with this Throne, not through didactic statement, but rather through discussion and demonstration.
The Throne of Will is attributed to Chokmah on the Tree; its Trumps are The Chariot and Fortune. The concern of this Throne is with the evolutionary next step of humanity, and this concern is dealt with by the linking with the species as a whole through the DNA.
This Throne requires psychic contact with the human DNA in order to activate the next segments beyond their present operations. This is done by using the sphere of awareness or the molecular level and learning about the particular glow that characterizes activation. One then projects energy into the atoms at the edge of the glow, causing the light of activation to spread.
The Trumps of The Chariot and Fortune both depict wheels, which signify go-ing or progress as well as a helix when the wheels move sideways along their axles as they rotate. The wheels reflect the expanding universe with galaxies coalescing as starry bubble-froth as well as the Primum Mobile aspect of Chokmah.The Chariot images Krishna as Arjuna's charioteer in the Bhagavad-Gita while Fortune's wheel is akin to the inexorable Jagernath cart of Shiva.
In the matter of human evolution, the Throne of Will guides our self-development. Humanity today differs from historical and prehistorical humanity in that our technology permits us to control our environment to a greater extent. This environmental control has increased the number of mutagens we live with, as well a s providing the means of recombinant DNA research, and worldwide instantaneous communications. The technology of change on all planes increases in its performance and subsequent benefits according to the amount of information freely available about it.
We have the means to shape ourselves in accord with our highest visions. That we have yet to do so indicates the nature of the task of thus Throne. In conjunction with the Thrones of Pan, Therion, and Love in particular, the Work of the Throne of Will concerns the shaping and sharing of what humanity is coming to be--a self-conscious species that acts ethically toward itself, its home planet, and all other species it contacts.
The Throne of Love accommodates Binah; its Trumps are The Lovers and Art.
The essence of love is union; the Work of this Throne is to unite past, present and future in one eternal mode of being. The Trumps for this Throne are the two most obviously alchemical cards in the Tarot.
Alchemy deals with transformation; in the Elevenstar, we transform a divided and competitive species into a cooperative, consciously unified one by achieving these qualities as individuals and then applying them Magickally. We are at a point of technological development where old formulae of living need not apply. 'By the sweat of thy brow shalt thou earn thy bread' spoke of a time when human and animal labor were the only means of agriculture, construction, travel and materials-processing. Today, our machines and computers could provide the necessities and luxuries of life for everyone were it not for the concepts of profit, wealth and exclusivity.
Binah is traditionally the Sphere of Time, of Saturn. In the mastery of this Sphere, the Throne of Love sees the unity of our species from its dim origins to its translation beyond the physical plane. From our beginnings we grow numerous and scatter, settling far-flung places, diverging in habits, languages and customs. We adapt to climates of all types.
We adopt a psychologically correct religion for the needs of our times; institutions which encrust religions try to preserve outmoded forms. We transcend sectarianism when freedom of inquiry prevails and science flourishes. Science produces technology, technology changes our ways of living and therefore of ways of seeing the universe and our place in it. Attitudes and instincts which helped us survive in pre-technological times are deliberately changed into power-sources for creativity, guided by the vision of ourselves-to-be.
If news stories and current events seem to contradict this description, the Work of the Throne of Love lies in the area of contradiction.
The Lovers is attributed to Zain, a sword, and to the sign of Gemini--a depiction of humanity's present condition of a people divided against itself. The Art card links with Sagittarius and through the imagery of the archer, the components of bow and arrow combine in action to become a single engine of accuracy, velocity, and penetration.
The secret of unity lies in shared Work.
The task of the Throne of Truth is to attune itself to the Tao/Magickal Current/Will. Our physical bodies, our minds, our aesthetic sense, our art, all attest to the Intelligence which informs existence. We are the essence of and the vehicles for the Will of Intelligence and of Intelligence itself.
Intelligence means, according to Webster, 'the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations; the skilled use of reason; the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly...; ' information (concerning an enemy). I broaden the last to include any type of information. Attunement to Intelligence is attunement to one's deepest self, the core of Nothingness at the heart of all things.
The Trumps give us a hint of the necessary viewpoint for the Throne of Truth. The Fool is the Zero, the innocent youth, one who is open to everything and experienced in nothing. There are no expectations, prejudices or preconceptions. Adjustment is the card of balance, proportionality and aesthetics. The Throne of Truth is totally open to the flow of existence from nonexistence; the flow radiates through the Throne to the Elevenstar in balanced rays. Anyone operating from the throne of Truth will radiate to the general environment also, but since the throne operates in the Vision of No Difference, the dynamics of the Elevenstar are projected onto the planet at large--all the better to link with.
The duties of this Throne are the most abstract and mystical of the Elevenstar and can only be detected in operation through an aura of intense life about the operants, an aura that generates feeling of excitement, peace, joy and wonder without any particular color to them.
In practical terms, the Throne of Truth requires a condition of no-mind meditation in its Priests. All available personal time is to be devoted to this meditation until the practice evolves to constancy during all other activities. The Throne of Truth is a dangerous responsibility since any imbalance can sever connections with the other Spheres and Thrones. In the collegium of Elevenstar, Thrones assist each other.
The Throne of Heru-Pa-Kraat controls Daath and its cards are The Hanged Man and Death.
The extra-arboreal Sphere of Daath is sometimes called Knowledge; an attribute of Heru-Pa-Kraat is silence. The four powers of the Sphinx are: Know, Will, Dare, and Keep Silent. The task of the Throne of Daath is to maintain the invisibility of the Elevenstar.
This invisibility is not only to prevent intrusion by the unawakened, but to maintain the proper aesthetics of Elevenstar's nature. Our Work is necessarily behind the scenes; other groups, Orders, covens, etc. can have the honors of interfacing with the general public.
The Throne of Heru-Pa-Kraat uses the images of The Hanged Man and Death to accomplish invisibility. The Hanged Man (Mem, water) recalls the reflective and refractive properties of water: keep moving and you'll not be seen; flow and you'll be invisible. The Trump Death (Nun, fish) maintains invisibility beyond the realms of the physical planes. There are individuals who have achieved initiation into certain aspects of Magick but who have not achieved the necessary spiritual transformation. Sometimes these incomplete ones seek out groups in which they sense power, hoping to fasten onto the power-source for their own imbalanced intentions.
Since one must have died, in the Initiatory sense of the word, to be a Priest of Elevenstar, the Death Trump will strike terror into the incomplete ones, since they fear this type of death. The Ego is not only slain in the Abyss, but reconstructed according to Will and placed in its proper position within the individual. There is a definite death of the Ego in the process of mastery, and this the incomplete ones avoid--else they would be complete.
The twenty-first priest who works the Throne of Daath posts him/herself at the gateway to the Nightside of the Tree, Since Maya is dualistic, every positive force is balanced by its reciprocal negative force. The shadow-world of the Nightside of the Tree has a sentience of its own; at times it tries to establish its mirror-reality of Dayside events as mainstream reality.
The duty of the twenty-first Priest is to monitor for any such attempt as well as for any imbalance of forces. To do this, one must become familiar with the Nightside on a conscious basis. One method of doing this is to use the sigils and names from Kenneth Grant's Nightside of Eden and the Shadow Tarot by Linda Falorio. Other methods may be devised from the ingenuity of the practitioner.
Those who wish to operate a particular throne will be able to find the Elevenstar. Throne-holders are not to recruit others to this Work, but are required to provide the necessary information to sincere enquirers. Acknowledgement by current Throne-holders of the aspirant's mastery of his/her chosen Throne is all that's required for an aspirant to become a participant. This is open to debate.
The length of time any person operates a particular Throne should be limited to a year. As mentioned before, all participants should be capable of operating from any Throne; a limited term for holding a single Throne will prevent individual and group imbalance. In such a practice will the Elevenstar be as protean and flexible as the Work demands. When the time comes to change to new Thrones, trust the Current to provide the omens and portents to indicate which one it should be. Trust your intuition. The Current will guide you and your colleagues to adjust in harmony.
Regarding the Elevenstar ritual itself, at this phase of Elevenstar's development--participants do not have to be Throne holders. The more throne holders who are participants the better, though, since like attracts like. The nature of Elevenstar rituals is such that they inspire and instruct the participants about the Thrones, thus providing a greater likelihood that participants will become Throne-holders.
Depending on the number of ritualists available, there may be multiple representations of the Thrones, or a need for a ritualist to represent more than one Throne. All participants call the god-names of the Thrones in unison, so a precise match of numbers isn't crucial.
The following format is a suggested method; improvised variations are fine, as long as they work.
Materials: Eleven votive candles, a tray of sand or earth, a bowl of water, incense.
In preparation for the ritual, participants wash their hands before entering the Temple. When the ritualists are assembled, a time is spent in meditation. These acts serve to clear the attention from other concerns and ready it for the work at hand.
Though a traditional banishment is unnecessary for this rite, there is a procedure that gathers in and concentrates awareness and energy in the ritual space. The god-names and gestures proceed widdershins (counterclockwise) at the beginning of the rite for ingathering, and deosil (clockwise) at the end for distributing the forces. All stand in a circle. The tray of sand/earth and the other materials are at the center of the circle for distributing the forces.
South--Shaitan; SE--Heru-Pa-Kraat; East--Ra-Hoor-Khuit; NE--Hadit; North-- Nuit; NW--Maat; West--Babalon; SW--Aiwass. Touch the ground with both hands.
(Actions and gestures are up to you; each ritualist should turn in place to face the direction of each name invoked.)
Kindle the incense and pass it from hand to hand around the circle; each one breathes upon the smoke, saying, Abrahadabra. The thrones must be filled.
Place the incense centrally in the tray of sand/earth.
Pass the bowl of water likewise. Each participant sprinkles a few drops toward the center of the circle, saying, Abrahadabra. The Thrones shall be filled.
Place the bowl next to the tray, to the West of it.
Each candle is lit, passed around the circle, then placed in its appropriate position in the tray according to the order given previously. With each candle, chant and clap (*) as it is passed around.
Fill the Throne of the World, Lady Nuit ** Lady Nuit**.
After the last candle has been place in the tray, join hands and circle dance to this chant:
'As the fire burns,
After three repetitions, all touch the earth with both hands, then perform the dispersal:
South--Shaitan; SW--Aiwass; West--Babalon; NW--Maat; North--Nuit; NE--Hadit; East--Ra-Hoor-Khuit; SE--Heru-Pa-Kraat.
Again touch the earth with both hands. Extinguish the candles, douse the incense in the tray, and depart.