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Witchcraft vs. Religion
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The Numerology of a Journey Through the Abyss
Article ID: 12808
Age Group: Adult
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Author: T. C. Eisele
Posted: January 25th. 2009
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“The Abyss” is a Qabalistic term for an area in the Tree of Life diagram that divides the upper 3 spheres known as the “Supernals” from the 7 remaining energy centers. The Hebrew name for this area is Daath or “Knowledge” and to cross it is symbolic of annihilating the bonds of earthly existence, which are expressed in the lower portion of the Tree by such relative polarities as Might and Mercy and in our normal consciousness by concepts like good and evil. Among the Supernal spheres it is the one known as Binah or “Understanding” that directly borders the Abyss, hence when an Initiate has passed through the vacuum of Daath the normal logic of the material world is eclipsed and a higher comprehension of the true nature of existence is attained.
Upon successfully crossing the Abyss and arriving in the realm of “Understanding, ” it is said the Adept has attained the grade known as Magister Templi or “Master of the Temple.” After the 20th Century Mystic and Writer Aleister Crowley made his journey across the expanse of Daath he took the Magickal name of V.V.V.V.V, which is an acronym for the Latin expression Vi Veri Vniversum Vivus Vici or “Through personal truth I have conquered the Universe in this lifetime.” This quotation is from the play “Doctor Faustus” by the German Poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and when using it Crowley often arranged the 5 V’s into the following pattern:
His reason for rendering the letters this way was because he felt the resulting image resembled the footprints of a Camel in the sand, a perspective drawn from the fact that the path on the Tree of Life passing through the area of Daath or “The Abyss” is attributed the Hebrew letter Gimel meaning “a Camel”. In using such imagery, Crowley was attempting to present a vivid picture of the difficult path toward Spiritual enlightenment by comparing it to the journey of a Camel as it passes through the hardships of the desert.
Now that the symbolic significance of the 5 V’s has been established I would next like to talk briefly about the Astral Plane, after which I will then give an account of my own experience of the Abyss as well as how I came to be guided by the footprints of the Camel.
The Planes of Perception
An important part of the Magickal experience involves journeying into the Astral plane or the world of Dreams. There are several classical techniques for entering this dimension, all of which entail different styles of meditative practice such as Scrying, Pathworking on the Tree of Life, and Tattwa visualization.
In each of the above activities, the symbolism of the Qabalah and the Tree of Life (including The Abyss) are animated within the perceptions of the practitioner so that the various levels of the human psyche can be activated and then experienced. For the uninitiated this may sound like fantasy, but in the Qabalah the Astral realm is referred to as “Foundation” and represents the roots of our material existence. Another way of expressing this would be to say the Astral reality constitutes the tangibility of our perceptions and ideas in relation to the physical world of matter we commonly recognize.
It is very easy to misunderstand the nature of the astral plane, especially if one attempts to place the World of Dreams within the same context as the material realm. On the other hand, even though these dimensions have their definite differences, the Astral and Material realities are nevertheless symbiotically connected. This condition is reflected in the fact that the 32nd or concluding path of the Tree of Life connects the aforementioned Astral sphere called “Foundation” to the material Earth sphere called “Kingdom.”
What is important to realize here is that by acknowledging the connection dreams have to the material world, a more solid “Foundation” can be established for affecting the “Kingdom” of our physical existence.
Theoretically it is easy enough to explain how the Astral and Material worlds interact in that their relationship represents the esoteric connection between any idea and its subsequent manifestation. Where it gets tricky though is exactly when these worlds overlap, as well as to what degree the activities in one dimension impact upon the other. It is generally believed by Modern Magicians that the phenomenon of synchronicity or “meaningful coincidence” represents the common ground between dreams and reality. As a result, the conscious recognition of any profoundly serendipitous event would effectively put one in the position to experience what we normally think of as “reality” in a truly unique and creative way. It is this type of synchronistic awareness or “Quantum State” that I will be describing in the following story.
I was at home one evening watching a movie on television when a friend and fellow Magician called me on his cell phone from the Strand Bookstore. He had just discovered a well-preserved, hardcover edition of “Magick Book 4 Parts I-IV” by Aleister Crowley and was wondering if I was interested in buying it. I was currently trying to build a collection of Crowley’s works so I appreciated my friend’s intentions, however, since my finances were low instead of accepting his offer I was forced to confess that I didn’t have the money.
“That’s not a problem, ” he replied, “I know someone who works here so there shouldn’t be any difficulty in getting the book put on hold for as long as 2 weeks.”
“In that case go ahead” I said, convinced I would be able to come up with the money in the allotted time.
During the next week I was plagued by a series of financial setbacks, including a bounced check and 3 of my client appointments being cancelled at the last minute. I was starting to worry about not being able to afford the book when my friend unexpectedly called to tell me he could have the deadline extended for another few days if I needed it. Even though I still didn’t have the money, the timing of his call gave me hope so I told him to go ahead.
A little later that same day, on the way to the East village to visit some friends, I happened across a Silver Mercedes parked on the street with a license plate that read VWV37V. At this point I should explain that an important part of my Magickal work involves noticing Qabalistic codes contained in the license plates of cars (see Chapter 2) and the one on this Mercedes was a hum dinger! Right there before my eyes was a rendition of the 5 V’s motto Aleister Crowley had taken as his Magickal Name upon crossing the Abyss!
With a minimum of effort I could immediately identify 4 V’s from the numbers and letters in the plate due to the fact that the Hebrew letter Vav can be translated into English as either V or W. The number 37 could be transformed into the 5th V as a result of it being the numerical total of the Hebrew name HBL or “Abel, ” the sacrificed “Son” of Adam and Eve and a forerunner of the Christ prototype. This concept of the “Son” is also expressed by the letter V in the Mystical formula of the Tetragrammaton (IHVH) whereby the Father and Mother (I and H) create a Son (V) and Daughter (the second H) to symbolize the Divine Creative power. Thus by exegesis the total of 37 can be transformed into the letter V.
I now had no doubt that the book at the Strand would be mine, after all, how could I think otherwise since Crowley’s Magister Templi title had just been thrust in front of me by the Universe? This feeling was confirmed the very next morning when a client who owed me for several sessions called to announce he was ready to settle our business.
Despite my optimism, what transpired over the next couple of days was both curious and disappointing. My financial woes continued as the client who had promised payment of his outstanding bill didn’t show up and the replacement for the bounced check of the previous week was delayed in the mail. In addition there had been some more last minute appointment cancellations, so that now it was the final day the book would be on hold and I still didn’t have the money.
I was starting to seriously consider that perhaps none of my hopes were meant to pan out when the phone ringing interrupted my thoughts. It was another friend and former business partner on the line and after a few minutes of conversation I casually mentioned what was going on with the book. I was explaining my theory of how it was most likely a lesson in detachment when to my utter surprise this friend offered to buy me the book.
“No way, ” I said, “If I were meant to have it then I would’ve manifested the money.”
“But you have manifested the money because I am willing to give you the book as a gift, ” he replied. I was stunned, but what else could I do except express my thanks at his generosity and then rush over to the Strand to meet him?
After our rendezvous I was walking along Broadway toward the subway at Union Square when an auspicious feeling came over me. The 844-page tome in my shoulder bag represented not only the potential for new knowledge, but also the weight of responsibility that comes with a commitment to a Spiritual Path.
If the story were to have ended here I might have gone on thinking the whole business was about nothing more than a series of synchronicities leading up to getting something I wanted. The powers that be were merely letting me know I was on the right path just like they’d done many times before. It would have been easy to just accept my “good luck” and leave it at that, but the story doesn’t end with my acquiring the book.
Even though I’ve experienced numerous such twists of fate over the last few years to the extent that I’ve pretty much come to expect the Gods to intervene if I really need something, in just about every instance I have always wondered how could such things happen and why me? In this case my managing to get the book was only the beginning, this particular foray into the wormhole of synchronicity ended up going considerably deeper than I expected.
Since I was originally notified about the book a serious lull had started to develop in my professional career. Client appointments were dwindling, the last 6 classes I’d offered had managed to draw only 1 person each, and the search for a publisher for my second book seemed to be stuck in the mud. Money was tight and as I walked to the health food store on a broiling July day I found myself working very hard to resist getting caught up in the frustration simmering inside of me. I couldn’t help but wonder if my sighting of that license plate from a few weeks before had really been a sign of luck, or if instead I was merely downwind from a camel heading into the Abyss? As I tried to gain some perspective about this sudden turn of events, the figure of a lone raven darting by drew my attention to the license plate of a nearby-parked car that read 66VS93.
Something inside me received a jolt and my mind started to race. Had I discovered another 5 V’s? As my eyes moved from left to right I immediately saw 3 V’s because of the correlation of each of the first two sixes in the plate to the traditional numerical value for the Hebrew letter Vav. A 4th V could be arrived at by changing the letter S to its Hebrew equivalent of Samekh, whereby its classical numerical value of 60 could then be reduced through the use of AIQ BKR or The Qabalah of the 9 Chambers” to another 6 (see Chapter 2) . In order to come up with the final V it would only be necessary to compute the difference between the last two digits (9 and 3) .
Seeing the 5 V’s again was a synchronicity that was both inspirational and foreboding. Under the sweltering summer sun the idea of being in a dessert with the tracks of a camel stretching out before me felt quite real, so real in fact that what I saw next in the shimmering heat stunned me. Attached to an SUV a few parking spots away was a license plate that read simply, “HORUS, ” which is the name of the Egyptian God of War. I could barely contain myself as I looked around in excitement. The only thing that could have made this situation more dramatic would’ve been if the Hawk-headed God himself had actually appeared.
Something was undoubtedly speaking to me through these events I’ve just described, but what really brought the situation to the level of an epiphany was when I remembered the final two digits of the 5 V plate I just saw were 93. This was a number that Crowley had determined through Greek Qabalah was the value of both Agapi (Love) and Thelema (Will) , as well as the numeration for the Hebrew spelling of the name Aiwaz (OIVZ) , the Praeter-human intelligence that communicated “The Book of the Law” to him in 1904.
Technically referred to as “Liber AL vel Legis, ” “The Book of the Law” is considered by many to be a Holy Book describing the beginning of a New Aeon presided over by Horus, the name on the second license plate who is not only the Egyptian God of War but also the resurrected Son of Isis and Osiris and therefore a version of the Christ archetype in Egyptian Mythology. This last point sent a chill up my spine when I remembered that the first 5V plate I had seen also offered a connection to the Christ prototype through a link with the number 37 (VWV37V) .
The death and resurrection symbolism within all that I’d witnessed so far seemed clear enough, yet what did any of it mean in terms of my actual life at this point in time? On a mundane level the symbol of Horus could have been an indication of how I simply needed to be tougher in the face of the difficulties I was experiencing so that I could re-emerge in a more successful form. But what if I really were transiting the Abyss? Additional confirmation that I was in fact passing through the realm of Daath came in the ensuing days when I encountered 3 more license plate containing the 5 V’s. The first of these read CLV 2366 and could be analyzed as follows:
The values of C and L after they are translated into the Hebrew letters Kaph and Lamed would be 20 and 30 respectively. If these numbers were then multiplied together the sum would be 600, which could next be reduced through AIQ BKR or the Qabalah of the 9 Chambers to 6 (see Chapter 2) . Multiplying the numbers 2 and 3 would produce a second 6, so that when the V and two 6’s remaining in the plate are added the result will be 5 V’s.
The next 5V license plate I encountered read DJV 6663. The three 6’s on the right side each correspond to the value of the Hebrew letter Vav so that when combined with the letter V on the left would create 4 V’s. Of the two remaining letters in the plate, D can be translated into Hebrew as Daleth with a value of 4 and J is one of three English letters (the other two being Y and I) that correspond to the Hebrew letter Yod with a value of 10. The sum of Daleth (4) and Yod (10) plus the value of the remaining number 3 on the extreme right equal 17, with the difference between the digits 1 and 7 being 6, a total that would then gives us our 5th V.
What made the sighting of the preceding 5 V license plate particularly special was that it occurred on the day of my Venus return, a term in Astrology used to describe when the planet associated with the Goddess of Love and Occult Wisdom has traversed the entire zodiac and come back to the same position it was on the day when you were born (in my case 21 degrees Leo) .
Aside from seeing a fourth 5V license plate on this auspicious day, I also ended up noticing an additional plate that had a special Astrological link as well. The plate read DYZ 6464 and originally caught my eye because 64 corresponds to the numerical total of the Hebrew word NVGH or “Nogah, ” which translates as “brightness” and is used as a euphemism for Venus in the Qabalah. The repetition of 64 would obviously signify my Venus return, while the remaining letters of D, Y, and Z (Daleth, Yod, and Zayin in Hebrew) have a combined Qabalistic numerology of 21or the exact degree in Leo where my Venus return occurred.
The fifth and final 5 V license plate I encountered read CVG 6516. If the 5 and 1 between the pair of 6’s on the right hand side are added together, then there will be 3 sixes or 3 V’s on that side. The letter V on the left would give us 4 V’s, with the 5th or final one coming after the remaining letters on that side are translated into Hebrew as Kaph (C) and Gimel (G) and then multiplied (20 X 3 respectively) to equal 60 or 6 if the Qabalah of the 9 Chambers is simultaneously employed.
”Magick is getting into communication with individuals who exist on a higher plane than ours. Mysticism is the raising of oneself to their level.”
The above definition is taken from the edition of “Magick Book IV” referred to in this story. An accompanying footnote further explains how the quote is from a letter sent by Crowley to Karl Germer dated June 21, 1947 (the year of Crowley’s death) . This is interesting because I saw the first 5V license plate on June 21, 2008, exactly 61 years after the date of the letter. The Hebrew Numerology of 61 is in turn quite poignant in regards to my journey through the Abyss because it represents the value of two words, AIN or “The Great Void” and ANI or “The Self.”
Another 5 V’s?
In the same strange way that I knew my acquisition of “Magick Book IV” was ultimately going to be about more than simply getting something I needed, I also felt the above date of June 21, 1947 should be examined a little more closely after having discovered its connection to my first license plate sighting.
I will begin by pointing out that June is the 6th month so by classical analogy it would correspond to the Hebrew letter “V.” The 4 digits comprising the year of 1947 total 21, which if added to the number 21 associated with the date would yield 42, a sum that can be reduced to another 6 by adding 4 + 2.
The period between my first and last sightings of the license plates involved date from June 21 to August 11 and represent a total of 51 days, the sum of 5 and 1 being 6. The English numerology of my pen name (T.C. Eisele) is 33 and if these digits were added together the total would be another 6. If we now take this current pair of 6’s and combine them with the pair of 6’s derived from the date mentioned above, the result would be a total of 4 V’s.
A 5th V could be produced by taking the numerology of my birth date of September 28, 1956, which reduces to 22, and adding it to my full birth certificate name of Thomas Conklin Eisele, which reduces to 11 in English Numerology. The sum of this personal information is 33 and if these digits are then added together the total will be another 6.
The numbers used to arrive at this last example of 5 V’s are drawn from two sources. The first is a timeline that begins in the year Crowley died and progresses to the sightings of the various license plates in this story, while the second derives from the numerology of my pen name and birth certificate information.
One way of interpreting this data would be to say it shows an esoteric continuation between the consciousness of Aleister Crowley and that of my self, a condition thought of in many Eastern Traditions as symbolizing the nature of the Buddha within us both. Another way to think about this last example of the 5 V’s as well as the series of license plates described throughout the story would be to say it all represents the combination to a lock securing the vault where the secret of True Initiation is kept. Now that I have been allowed access to this sacred place, what remains is for me to cross the threshold, embrace the journey, and endure until the end.
Vi Veri Vniversum Vivus Vici.
“Through personal truth I have conquered the Universe in this lifetime.”
In Esoteric lore, the Crossing of the Abyss has always been traditionally thought of as a phenomenon of the Astral Plane. On the other hand, having seen the 5 V’s on 5 different occasions in my daily life perhaps the power of synchronicity was revealing to me that the Astral and Material worlds are a single reality? I pondered this idea for no more than an instant when a voice inside my head emphatically declared, “Of course they are a single reality. Where is the line that separates the worlds of thought and action? Because of the physiological processes involved in brain function isn’t thought merely another sort of action?”
While multiple obstacles are waiting for any Adept who enters the Abyss, the crux of the journey into “Knowledge” is that everything must eventually boil down to surrendering our preconceived ideas about both self and reality. Although Initiation is a phenomenon of the mind, often the quickest way for the mind to be transformed is when our notions about the relationship between the mental and physical are challenged by synchronistic events.
The way my desire for the Crowley Book seemed to pass in and out of potentially being satisfied was a perfect illustration of the illusion or “Maya” of earthly existence. I had made the common mistake of focusing on the book as something that was separate from myself, when what needed to be realized was how this object was already a part of me because of the way its status shifted to accommodate my circumstances.
I was particularly slow in comprehending this point because even after acquiring the book I continued to look upon the recurring synchronicities of the 5 V license plates as the actions of something beyond me. This is why it was necessary for me to be pulled into the Abyss in the first place. The assumptions I had about the objective world and its phenomenon were fundamentally incorrect and had to be exposed so that I could eventually come to “Understand” the actual subjective nature of reality.
I (or rather my Higher Self) was creating all this stuff so that my subsequent journey through Daath was ultimately about the reconciliation between individual and Universal consciousness in order to attain a fuller knowledge of True Being.
This is perhaps why I saw one of the 5 V’s as well as another synchronistic plate on the day of my Venus return. The Goddess of Love and Occult Wisdom (which is really just an archetypal aspect of self that represents the ability to attract the love of the Universe) was beckoning me toward the oasis of “Understanding” located on the other side of the Abyss, a landmark that has now become a recognizable speck in the distance since I’ve found the trail of the camel.
T. C. Eisele
Location: New York, New York
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