The Temple of Babalon is the Foundation Temple of Ordo Astri, an Independent Thelemic magical Order based in the UK. The Temple of Babalon website is here to provide audio podcasts for those with a serious interest in Thelema, Hermetic and magical philosophy, practical magick, mysticism, and the occult.
Episode 21: We continue with the extraordinary fiction writing of Lord
Dunsany. His early tale, Journey of the King, explored realms of Qabalah,
magick and the Nightside years before Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Grant did so
in a more technical manner. Here is the second and final part of the story,
Journey of the King, from Time and the
Gods by Lord Dunsany.
Episode 20: We will discuss the extraordinary fiction writing of Lord Dunsany. His early tale, Journey of the King, explored and even illustrated realms of Qabalah, magick and the Nightside years before Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Grant did so in a more technical manner. I will be reading the entire story, Journey of the King, Part Two of Time and the Gods by Lord Dunsany.
Episode 19: In this special Equinox edition, we will discuss Liber 373, our seven rites and seven seals of the Dragon Star. We will reveal how the Dragon Star is a series of tantrik Initiations that has its basis in the Qabalah and the Hermetic Tree of Life, and how the Elizabethan sorcerer and alchemist John Dee provided the blueprint for this. We will also take a look at the Magick of Earth and Stars—for locations both terrestrial and celestial are vital to any tantrik Initiation. Episode 19 also features two newly recorded performances on guitar of compositions by Francisco Tárrega (Spanish) and Heitor Villa-Lobos (Brazilian).
Episode 18: We will discuss Thelemic mysticism, with a particular emphasis on the practical side of things. The saints and sages down the ages were not all ‘up in the clouds’. We will demonstrate this with some readings from The Confessions of Jacob Boehme. Boehme had some encouraging and helpful advice to anyone facing the trials and tribulations of the spiritual path. We will of course provide plenty of comparative readings from the Egyptian Book of the Law, Liber AL vel Legis.
Episode 17: We will look at a new book to be released at Easter this year, entitled The Phoenix and other Stellar Rites of Initiation. I shall read from the Introduction, augmenting it with additional asides and anecdotes. Heather Carmen joins me in a dramatisation of some of the Phoenix Ritual. We also include here Astrology of the Holy Guardian Angel Part Two. We shall cover what Edwin C. Steinbrecher called “Alien Powers” in a natal horoscope. In our book, Hermetic Astrology, we call these Outer Gateways, borrowing a term used by Kenneth Grant to describe the three outer planets: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Episode 16: We can now move on to the grade of Dominus Liminis. At this juncture it seems timely to investigate relations between the Holy Guardian Angel and the astrological natal chart. We will therefore include an overview of the subject of Hermetic Astrology—one that is frequently neglected by modern students, and sometimes even completely ignored. We will use as case studies the horoscopes of two men that started out the best of friends but ended up sworn enemies—Samuel Liddel MacGregor Mathers and Aleister Crowley.
We can now move on to the grade of Philosophus 4=7. At this juncture it seems timely to look at the subject of building an Astral Temple. The magical temple is conceived as a pyramid in the grade of Neophyte, but it does not stop there. The “Z” formula by which the Probationer passes to Neophyte is used for talismans, evocation and all manner of magical work. We will therefore take a look at the whole matter of Initiation in the Outer Order or Golden Dawn. We will examine the role played by the Qliphoth in the Great Work, the use of traditional visionary material such as the book of Daniel and the Revelation or Apocalypse, and how these themes are resumed in the Egyptian Book of the Law, Liber AL vel Legis.
In episode 12 of this series we discussed the new book, Dreaming Thelema of Kenneth Grant and H. P. Lovecraft. The book features 17 surrealist paintings created as part of the project. It also includes three complete short stories by H. P. Lovecraft: Nyarlathotep, The Crawling Chaos, and The Haunter of the Dark, plus a reconstruction of the Lovecraftian Necronomicon. For this current podcast episode we depart from the usual lecture style of these talks to read all of one of the short stories, The Haunter of the Dark. The story is broadcast in two parts; the second part is given in episode 14. The two episodes have been released simultaneously, to mark the entry of the Sun into Scorpio and the commencent of the Samhain or Halloween season.
The first ten minutes or so of this podcast comprises a lecture on the grade of Practicus, the third Initiated degree. We will be discussing various aspects of the grade work and Ordo Astri, the Order of the Star. There follows a highly entertaining, illustrated talk focussed on the new book, "Dreaming Thelema of Kenneth Grant and H. P. Lovecraft". This includes readings from two H. P. Lovecraft stories written in the 1920’s, "The Festival" and "The Call of Cthulhu". The final section concerns the Art of Gematria, and includes an unexpected appearance by Aleister Crowley!
Temple of Babalon Podcast, Episode 11: Thelema: Romance of the Magical Orders. "What is a valid magical Order?” “What is Thelema?” These are frequently asked questions. As there seems to be so much doubt and confusion around Thelemic magical Orders, Oliver St. John takes the bold step of defining what constitutes “validity” in so far as that can be ascertained. He also provide an in-depth examination of what Thelema really is, as opposed to what is commonly believed about it. There will be a discussion of the Rosicrucian ideal, the magical philosophy and cosmology of Thelema, and the Magisterium, in other terms, the secret rites of Initiation.
This podcast episode features an in-depth interview with Oliver St. John, who is usually the host of this podcast. Oliver St. John is the author of books on a range of esoteric subjects, including the magical philosophy of Thelema, Hermetic Qabalah, ritual magick, esoteric astrology and the Tarot. He is also the founder of Ordo Astri, an international magical Order, based in England UK. The guest host and interviewer for this episode is Heather Spare.
We are still dealing with the grade of Zelator, the second Initiated degree. The grade of Zelator is symbolised by Yesod on the Hermetic Tree of Life, and symbolises the full entry into Yetzirah, the Qabalistic world better known as the Astral Plane. We will be discussing various aspects of the grade work. In addition, we will discuss the technique of magical pathworking. There is an experiential element here too, as we will illustrate magical pathworking with a guided visualisation of the 32nd path of Tav.
We now pass from the grade of Neophyte to that of Zelator, the second Initiated degree. The grade of Zelator is symbolised by Yesod on the Hermetic Tree of Life, so sometimes the 2=9 grade or Second Degree is called the grade of Air. This seems an appropriate time to discuss Enochian Magick and, in particular, the magical operation called the Skrying of the Thirty Aethyrs or Aires. Later on, we will present a reading of the Oracle of Babalon and the Second Call of Spirit, in the Angelic language.
Who or what is this Devil, adored by the witches? The term itself, “Witches Sabbath”, is archaic and bound up with many false trails. A Catholic clergyman dreamed up ‘Witchcraft’ in the 15th century – and all the trappings of frogs, black cats and women riding upon broomsticks. It was the same notion that sent thousands of women and men to the stake. The Witches Sabbath is an example of confusion confounded with error, as the Sabbath is the Jewish name for the seventh day on which the Lord was said to have rested after creating the universe, as according to the book of Genesis. That day is Saturday, Shabbathai, which is also the Hebrew name for the sphere of Saturn – the astrological ruling planet of Capricorn, the Goat-footed God. Capricorn corresponds to the Hebrew letter Ayin, “an eye”. Every-thing is in the eye of the beholder, and those who truly ‘see’ the Witches Sabbath, so-called, are specially chosen. Is there any magical sense or meaning in the Witches Sabbath? It takes someone with a peculiar genius to find one. And that person was the extraordinary writer on the occult, Kenneth Grant.
Previously we explored some of the work of a Neophyte in the magical grade of Earth, especially the formula of magical talismans. We went into detail concerning the Golden Dawn Z Formula or magick of light, and along the way gave some consideration to the work of Kenneth Grant and the magick of the Nightside. Here we continue with the grade of Neophyte, and will complete our discussion of magical talismans with a dramatisation of the ceremonial method of consecrating and charging a talisman with the powers of Mercury, under the auspices of Hermes-Thoth or Tahuti, the god of magick, writing and knowledge.
Temple of Babalon Podcast 05: Previously we explored the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and the Middle Pillar Exercise. We now pass from the grade of Probationer to that of Neophyte, the first Initiated degree. The grade of Neophyte is symbolised by Malkuth on the Hermetic Tree of Life, so sometimes the 1=10 grade or First Degree is called the grade of Earth. At the level of Neophyte, the work greatly expands in scope, and becomes very complex. We won’t be able to cover everything that goes on in the Neophyte grade in this broadcast, but we will discuss some of the more important aspects, including the consecration and charging of magical talismans. The formula of magical talismans is of particular concern to the Neophyte, for it is identical to the formula of Initiation at any level of so-called attainment. As we are going to discuss the Magick of Light, we will also afford a little time to discussing the Magick of Night – that is, the Nightside narrative of the late Kenneth Grant, whose writings have popularised what is known as the left-hand path.
Temple of Babalon Podcast 04: Previously we explored the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram in detail. Continuing with the Foundation work of a Probationer, we will now discuss a cornerstone of modern Hermetic Tantra-Yoga, known as the Middle Pillar Exercise. Later in the broadcast, Heather Carmen will take us through a step-by-step guide to the Middle Pillar Exercise, as it is taught and practiced in the Independent Thelemic Order of Ordo Astri. So, assuming you have fortified your astrosome or body of light with the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram – or even if you have not yet got round to doing that – then make yourself comfortable and prepare for illumination!
Temple of Babalon Podcast 03: On the Libra Equinox of 2014 we published a new edition of Ritual Magick—The Rites and Ceremonies of Hermetic Light. The book takes theory into practice, revealing a unique system of magical Initiation. Included is an entire volume of Enochian Magick, with a detailed guide to Initiation and the system of Thirty Aethyrs, as well as an exposition on Enochian Sexual Magick. The book now includes advanced operations, such as Goetic Evocation and a full ceremonial Thelemic Mass. In this series of Temple of Babalon podcasts we will provide an overview, and no doubt some previously unpublished anecdotes, concerning each of the grades of Initiation. We begin here with the Foundation, the work of a Probationer to the Order. Heather Carmen will take us through a step-by-step guide to the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram.
Temple of Babalon Podcast Episode 02: On 23 May 1587 Elizabethan mage John Dee and his
clairvoyant assistant Edward Kelly performed a simple rite for the purpose of
instruction “in the understanding and practice of wisdom”. The result was a
beautiful and truly remarkable oracle received from the Goddess Babalon, whose
mystery is that she is a harlot, loved by many, and yet remains forever a
virgin. In this second episode of the Temple of Babalon Podcast, we will first
discuss who or what Babalon is. Her name is well known to Thelemites as well as
anyone that has studied and worked the Enochian magical system, but here we
will investigate her relation with the vastly ancient mystery cults of the
Goddess. Along the way we will also attempt to dispel some of the popular myths
that have grown around the magical work of John Dee and Edward Kelly in
relation to Babalon. Our first guest, Heather Carmen, will read the Oracle of
Babalon that was received by John Dee and Edward Kelly.