As all the Golden Dawners out there would know, the Equinox is (almost) upon us 🙂
Maybe it’s cos of the season, maybe cos I’m finally wigging out after years of weird mental contortions, or maybe I’m inspired by the higher forces and at one with it all, but today I am doing what the little voice in my head told me to. Specifically, sharing this Equinox ceremony from our Tikkun Order. Based on the GD Equinox it can be performed by non-initiates very well and does have a wonderful effect. Its aim is to promote and foster reconciliation throughout the world, an aim naturally resonant with the macrocosmic spiritual force at Equinox time. I hope it inspires some action towards this aim in those who read and perform it or any ritual based on it. A discreet PDF copy can be downloaded here. Enjoy 🙂
Equinox of Reconciliation
Preparation: All people, guests and members should be asked to ‘bring’ with them for reconciliation ONE set of ‘opposites’ that are in conflict throughout the world. For example,
- Economic Growth/the Environment
Each set of opposites should be written upon a small piece of paper. The papers are taken into the circle by each person ready for work upon them.
Circle Layout: Four elemental quarter altars, central altar. Altar at East should be expanded and have images of the Divine upon it. People coming are invited to bring their own small image which may be placed on this altar if they wish. The central altar has circular bowl in centre to receive papers. Around the bowl are the four elemental symbols; rose, a flame (easily handled), wine and bread.
Roles: Four elemental/quarter roles, which may be shared or doubled up if needed: East (leader), North, West and South.
All roles are clearly assigned and an outline of ritual given to guests. Before the circle begins, the lamps and incense are lit. The four elemental symbols are cleansed and then linked to elemental powers and returned to central altar.
The circle is opened any regular circle opening ceremony which includes
the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram or equivalent.
East or other Member: Asks everyone to come and stand around central altar. Announces the intention and asks for divine aid through spontaneous words on the evening.
East or other Member: Leads all in a process to inwardly and astrally expand the circle to include all parts of the world.
East or other Member: Asks all to return to their places.
East or other Member: Leads all in a process to get everyone to hold the two pieces of paper with opposites one in each palm. Then to ‘tune’ into them and their energies and the conflict between them. Then in silence to move and place the two papers at either the East/West or North/South altars, depending on how it feels best. So for example, China at North and Tibet at South, or China at East and Tibet at West. All now return to places.
East: Comes to Central Altar and invokes Maat/Tham-est/Themis Goddess of Balance, right order, justice and life lived through adherence to the divine principles.
Returns to East.
As invocation ends all stand ready (including guests) to step a little closer to the altar as officers step towards it.
East: “Through Air (takes step towards central altar, carrying papers)
West: and Water (takes step towards central altar, carrying papers)
North: Through Fire (takes step towards central altar, carrying papers)
South: and Earth” (takes step towards central altar, carrying papers)
East: “Through Light (another step)
West: and Dark (another step)
North: Through Heat (another step)
South: and Cold” (another step)
East: “May East come to West (come to altar and places papers in bowl)
West: and West to East. (come to altar and places papers in bowl)
North: May the heavens (come to altar and places papers in bowl)
South: and the earth embrace.” (come to altar and places papers in bowl)
All: “and peace reign throughout”.
East: “through Birth
North: and Preservation
West: Through Death
South: and Redemption”
All: “May opposites unite as one.”
East: “For there are no opposites in the world of love; no words for ‘you’ and ‘I’.”
Pause in silence.
East picks up bowl of reconciled opposites and with entire group moves to east. East stands before eastern altar and inscribes with bowl an invoking Air Pentagram saying:
“Through the unity of love and by the clarity of our will we bring reconciliation to the East of our world.”
Pause in silence.
East gives bowl to the North. Group moves around circle to North where North repeats process inscribing invoking Fire pentagram and saying:
“Through the unity of love and by the grace of our passions we bring reconciliation to the North of our world.”
Pause in silence.
North gives bowl to the West. Group moves around circle to West where West repeats process inscribing invoking Water pentagram and saying:
“Through the unity of love and by the depth of our emotions we bring reconciliation to the West of our world.”
Pause in silence.
West gives bowl to the South. Group moves around circle to South where South repeats process inscribing invoking Earth pentagram and saying:
“Through the unity of love and with our willing bodies we bring reconciliation to the South of our world.”
Pause in silence.
South gives bowl to the East.
Group moves around circle to East and then back to centre. Where East repeats process inscribing spirit active and passive pentagrams and saying:
“Through the unity of love and by our sacred spirit we bring reconciliation throughout our world.”
Pause in silence.
“Sacred Ones of all present, inner touch of the ineffable within our lives, we pray and ask that reconciliation is enacted throughout our world. To this end we stand before you with open hearts and ready hands – show us now, we ask – each and everyone one of us – how we can live and breathe, embody and enact reconciliation in our lives.”
Pause in silence.
East or other member invite all present, if they wish, to briefly share any commitment to reconciliation they wish to make.
After each person has spoken group responds with “Amen”.
When all have finished, East says:
“Let us share this communion of the elements to enact our commitments through our minds, passions, emotions and body – supported and blessed by Air…’
East picks up rose, inhales. She then passes to person to her right, making eye contact. This person inhales and passes it on in same manner.
After rose returns, East places it back and picks up candle and says: “And by Fire”. She feels the flame and passes it on like Rose.
The same occurs with Earth and Water sacraments.
East: gives thanks to Maat.
Circle is now closed using appropriate Circle Closing.
Notes and Inner Work
The aim of the Equinox is to (1) create an energetic sphere of reconciliation on the inner planes that will, like the homeopathic drop, promote and foster reconciliation throughout the world, and (2) to enact the spirit of reconciliation in the daily lives of all present for the following six months. This energetic ‘drop’ is first created by the magical actions of the ceremony (drawing on the natural balancing energy of the Equinox) and then sent out into the macrocosmic world.
The structure of the ceremony in some ways follows the Golden Dawn Equinox. However, since we are not working with a pre-existing astral temple and inner plane contacts certain keys aspects of the Golden Dawn procedure are omitted. The inner work for the sections that are taken from the Golden Dawn ceremony by and large are similar and you are referred to the relevant GD instructional paper.
Inclusion of LRH in the standard opening. This is required as we are affecting the astral realm beyond the elemental principles.
Expansion of circle to include the world. This is done via visualisation and will; the opening will connect the sphere of the temple to Perth and this procedure draws from that and expands to include the whole world. This should be done strongly and for as long as the person leading feels required.
Invoking the Opposites. This process should be led in such a way that the opposites are fully felt. So for example, the full mind set of Northern Ireland Protestantism should be energised when concentrating on that. No higher forces should be invoked. The lower emotional levels alone should be worked with. The spoken direction should focus solely upon images, emotions and energies – this will draw out the astral and etheric energies alone. Ideally the two pieces of paper should be very charged at the end of the process, so much though they seem to repel each other.
Invocation of Maat/Tham-est/Themis. As per the Golden Dawn, Maat is the Goddess of the Equinox. She is invoked her to provide the higher ‘third’ energy to reconcile and unite the opposites (see the Neophyte Ceremony explanation). See notes on invocation for the inner work required here. The invocation should be particularly directed above and into the central altar.
Officer Oppositions. The Air/Water and Fire/Earth process utilises the Golden Dawn inner working with two important differences. Firstly, there is no Godform around the officer to open and collect the energy of the element. So the officer needs to open and fill their own sphere of sensation (aura) with the appropriate energy. Secondly, the papers are taken with the officer as they move to the central altar. These should be held out in front of the officer and form an opposition to the papers opposite. It is only by the will of the officers and the blessings of Maat that the two opposites can move towards each other. Therefore it is important that each officer tune into the Maat invocation.
The last set of three, (East/West) is where the opposites are moved into one another. There are two crucial points here. Firstly, the inner work required is different to the Golden Dawn. Since we are not trying to create a linkage and impact upon the sphere of the temple with the macrocosmic inner powers, the terms ‘East’ and ‘West’, ‘heavens’ and ‘earth’ are here symbolic of all the opposites the officers are holding. The officer is not invoking and bringing forth the perimeter of the temple as they do in the GD. They are holding and cradling and moving the opposites they hold into the sphere of the bowl and the presence of the opposing number. At this stage the two opposites still exist, co-terminus with each other, not changed, but in peace.
Solar Circling: This follows the procedure of the Golden Dawn. The four officers draw in the macrocosmic power of the sun at the Equinox. This brings forth the perfect balance of the Equinox and thus unites all opposites as One. The inner work here is to invoke through the auric sphere the power of the Sun related to the quarter. This is done through visualisation and mental apprehension. So the East visualises the sun rising and the draws through both that image and the mental plane qualities of birth into the bowl. The other officers do likewise with their own aspects. The inner work here can be found in the Golden Dawn notes, plus I have written more on it in By Names and Images.
Sending the Reconciliation to the World. The inner work here is to take the power and blessings linked to bowl and to send them to all directions of world. This may be accomplished largely through visualisation and will. An important point is the inclusion of the four selves of all present as the vehicle for this reconciliation to be enacted.
Receiving and Speaking Our Commitments and Communion: This stage of the ritual grounds the previous point; our received and spoken commitments will cause changes in our lives over the next six months. In one sense all present are the ‘material bases’ for the magic of reconciliation just enacted. It moves through us for the Equinox period. To ensure we can live up to this process and to make sure it occurs in balance, we receive Communion. It will be noted that during the ceremony the Communion has not been blessed at the quarters, like in the Golden Dawn ceremony, but at the central altar. This is because we are not seeking to connect our circle with the inner plane temple. Rather, the Communion becomes blessed with the power of Maat and She will come into our minds, passion, emotions and bodies to enable us to enact our commitment and earth the reconciliation magic. The elemental powers (linked to the symbols before the ceremony starts) are enlarged and empowered by Maat (relating also to spirit). Thus reconciliation in our lives is supported by the elemental powers.