Our "rituals of the elements"
Quick (hah!) layout of the aforementioned C.'.G.'. "rituals of the elements" (from memory, so I hope I don't screw it up here) -- those not interested in such things can safely skip on to the next post (once there is one). :)
The whole thing is a sort of unpacking of AC's (& Rose's) Horus Invocation, as a matrix for the Order current for a given year. It works like so:
The notion is that the Thelemic year ends with the energies of that year's Order current "earthed," but also spent...not so different from the state of the world on March 19-20, 1904 EV (at, ahem, the close of Pisces), and calling for the performance of the Supreme Ritual (AC's & Rose's, as written) every March 20. That ritual is itself (as maybe everybody knows, but I found it striking when I first noticed it some years ago) constructed as a climb up the Tree through all five elements:
* the Confession and Section I ("humblest" of all) invoking Earth (Malkuth);
* Section II (stronger) invoking Air (Tiphareth -- note the confirmation in its last paragraph, beginning with "Behold! I stand in the midst": where he's standing, what he's looking at from below);
* Section III, Water, Binah;
* Section IV, Fire, Chokmah,
* and finally the "adoration impromptu," spoken in Kether as the utterance of RHK for the New Aeon (or, for us, the coming Order year). Note too the binding of the four elements, and Tarot Aces, in Kether.
The (formerly) exhausted aspirant -- standing in for humanity, AC in March 1904, and the Order itself -- has climbed the Tree through all five elements, and is prepared to bring that current through the Order as a whole over the course of the next year.
That having been the Spirit rite, the remaining four are the ones I wrote for the remaining elements: the Vernal Equinox (Fire Ritual or Festival of Dominion, sacred to the Two of Wands (itself attributed to the first decanate of Aries, of course), held at Noon (for Fire) and set in Chokmah); the Summer Solstice (Water Ritual or Festival of Love, sacred to the Two of Cups (first decan of Cancer), held at Sunset (for Water*) and set in Binah); the Autumnal Equinox (Air Ritual or Festival of Peace, sacred to the Two of Swords (first decan of Libra), held at Dawn (for Air) and set in Tiphareth); and Winter Solstice (Earth Ritual or Festival of Change**, sacred to the Two of Disks (first decan of Capricorn), held at Midnight (for Earth) and set in Malkuth)...winding down, through the season of Change, to the need for the next Horus invocation at 20 March, and back up the Tree we go.
The rituals themselves are little Eleusis-like playlets, set in the sephiroth noted above. Each features the four relevant Tarot court cards as stand-ins for the relevant grades -- the four Knights (as Magi) in Chokmah, four Queens (as Magisteri) in Binah, four Princes (as Adepti) in Tiphareth, and four Princesses (as Neophytes) in Malkuth. Each ritual is led by the one you'd expect: Knight of Wands, Queen of Cups, Prince of Swords, and Princess of Disks, respectively. Each one features a demand that the "inhabitants" state their Will...to which the Magi immediately reply, "In a word, our Will is Dominion," the Magisteri (a little more hesitantly, but same formula), "Love," the Adepti (pausing for consultation), "Peace," and the Neophytes (who shouldn't even be consorting, and can barely motivate themselves to respond), vaguely replying "Change" -- the four names of the rites, of course, and also of the Twos attributed to the relevant decans.
Finally, each features an invocatory section from the Supreme Ritual: Fire from Confession to Section IV, Water only to Section III, Air only to Section II, and Earth only the Confession and Section I.
All of this is waaaaay more information than most readers wanted. For those curious, I'll be including the text of the rites themselves in the next Consciousness Cycle novel, In The Nightmare Village, due out in 2005 or 2006 (I hope I hope).
93 93/93 -- AJ
* Held this year by a swimming pool...behind a house on "Sunset" Boulevard. Heh. If you're wondering whether the beach wouldn't have been better, see isomeme's recent thread, "Hymenaeus Beta." :)
** When I first thought of writing "rituals of the elements," years ago, I started by seeing whether the Tarot cards attributed to the first decan of each cardinal sign (the Twos) would yield a satisfying result. Hmm: Fire, Spring, Dominion, so far so good; Water, Summer, Love, that'll do (reminded me fondly of a long-ago conversation with laurellady, in fact); Air, Autumn, Peace, I sorta like that; then Earth, Winter, Change, and I got goosebumps. And can you imagine how I felt when, last winter, I first heard Tori Amos's song "Winter"? -- "things are gon-na chaaaange... / my, dear." Darn it, I love Magick. :)