BOOK VII - Praxis

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
πρᾶξις - PRAXIS

'To all those who have stood in midnight forests,
in temples, in subterranean chambers, and atop mountains,
invoking the Mysteries . . .'

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
πρᾶξις (praxis) referrs to activity engaged in by the 'Noble 

Arno Breker
The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle held that there were three basic activities of man: theoria, poiesis and praxis.
There corresponded to these kinds of activity three types of knowledge: theoretical, to which the end goal was truth; poietical, to which the end goal was production; and practical, to which the end goal was action.
Aristotle further divided practical knowledge into ethics, economics and politics.
He also distinguished between eupraxia (good praxis) and dyspraxia (bad praxis, misfortune).


Praxis is also key in meditation and spirituality, where emphasis is placed on gaining first-hand experience of concepts and certain areas, such as union with the 'powers', - (the dæmons) - which can only be explored through praxis due to the inability of the finite mind (and its tool, language) to comprehend or express such entities.
Wisdom is always taste - in Latin the word for wisdom comes from the word for taste - so it is something to taste, not something to theorize about.
"Taste and see that the powers are good," and that is wisdom: tasting life.
The mystical tradition is very much a Sophia tradition.

Sophia (Σοφíα, Greek for "wisdom") is a central idea in Hellenistic philosophy and religion, Platonism and Gnosticism. Sophiology is a philosophical concept regarding wisdom.

Almost all Gnostic systems taught that the universe began with an original, unknowable God, referred to as the ONE. From this initial unitary beginning, the ONE spontaneously emanated further Æons, being pairs of progressively 'lesser' beings in sequence. Together with the source from which they emanate they form the Pleroma, or fullness, of the ONE, and thus should not be seen as distinct from the divine, but symbolic abstractions of the divine nature. The transition from the immaterial to the material, from the noumenal to the sensible, is brought about by a flaw, or a passion, or a sin, in one of the Æons.

It is about tasting and trusting experience, rather than institution or dogma.

agathodaimōn - αγαθοδαιμων
The words "dæmon" and "daimôn" are Latinized versions of the Greek "δαίμων", a reference to the daemons of Greek and Hellenistic religion and philosophy. Daemons are benevolent or benign spirits, beings of the same nature as both mortals and gods, similar to 'spirit guides' or the 'gods' themselves (see Plato's Symposium). The Christian use of demon in a strictly malignant sense is not expressed by the term daimon until the 5th century.  Great and powerful figures in Hellenistic times were honoured as a daimon. Homer's use of the words 'theoí' (θεοί: "gods") and daímones (δαίμονες), suggest that while distinct, they are similar in kind. In Plato's Symposium, Socrates explains that love is not a god, but rather a "great daemon", and that "everything daemonic is between divine and mortal" (202d–e), and describes daemons as "interpreting and transporting human things to the gods and divine things to men; entreaties and sacrifices from below, and ordinances and requitals from above..."
The comparable Roman concept is the genius who accompanies and protects a person or presides over a place.

But beware - dæmons can be both good - agathodaimōn - αγαθοδαιμων, servants of the Æons - and evil - kakódaimōn - κακοδαίμων -  servants of the Demiurge and his Archons.

The evil dæmons, however, can easily be identified - because they habitually lie, and alternate between being obsequious and contemptuous.

The uninitiated, (who should not be consulting the 'Books of Foundation' except with a qualified guide), may well meet their own personal dæmon - and the dæmon of the uninitiated is not to be trusted.


Altered states of consciousness are the key to occult powers.

Altered States of Consciousness 
An altered state of consciousness is any mental state induced by physiological, psychological, or pharmacological manoeuvres, or agents, which deviates from the normal waking state of consciousness.
Altered states of consciousness can also be associated with artistic creativity or different focus levels.

The particular state of mind required can be described as 'stopping the internal dialogue' or 'one pointedness'.
It is an extension of the occult trance by other means.
Methods of achieving occult gnosis can be divided into two types.
In the inhibitory mode, the mind is progressively silenced until only a single object of concentration remains.
In the excitatory mode, the mind is raised to a very high pitch of excitement, while concentration on the objective is maintained.
Strong stimulation eventually elicits a reflex inhibition, and paralyzes all but the most central function - the object of concentration.

Hermetic Gnosis
Thus strong inhibition and strong excitation end up creating the same effect - the one-pointed consciousness, or gnosis.
There are, as can be divined from the above, two methods of reaching occult gnosis, - the upright or the averse.
Let the mind become as a flame or let the mind become a pool of still water.
It is during these moments of single-pointed concentration, or gnosis, that beliefs can be implanted, and the 'life force' and the 'true will' be induced to manifest.

γνῶσις - Gnosis is the common Greek noun for knowledge. In mysticism, mystery religions and Gnosticism gnosis generally signifies a spiritual knowledge or occult knowledge, in the sense of mystical enlightenment or "insight". Gnosis teaches a deliverance of man from the constraints of earthly existence through insight into an essential relationship, as spirit, with a supra-mundane plane of mystical union.


Evocation is the art of dealing with beings or entities by various acts which contact them.
The beings which may be safely contacted by the initiated are the Archons, (but not the Archons of the Demiurge), some Elementals and Daimons (agathodaimōn - αγαθοδαιμων).
Such entities may be associated with talismans, places, animals, objects, persons, incense smoke, or may be mobile in the aether.
It is not the case that such entities are limited to obsessions and complexes in the human mind.
Although such beings customarily have their origin in the astral, and in the mind (in lesser forms), they may also become attached to objects and places in the form of spirits, or "vibrations", or may exert action at a distance in the form of fetishes.
The True Will
Hagal Rune
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014

These beings consist of a portion or aspect of the 'True Will' or the 'life force' attached to some aetheric matter, the whole of which may, or may not, be attached to ordinary matter.
Evocation may be further defined as the summoning of such partial beings to accomplish some purpose.
They may be used to cause change in oneself, change in others, or change in the universe.
The advantages of using a semi-independent being rather than trying to effect a transformation directly by the will are several: the entity will continue to fulfill its function independently until its life force dissipates.
Being sentient, it can adapt itself to a task in a way that a non-conscious simple magical action cannot.
During moments of the possession by certain entities an individual may be the recipient of inspirations, abilities, and knowledge not normally accessible to him.
Entities may be drawn from three sources - those which are discovered clairvoyantly, those whose characteristics are given in genuine and accepted writings, and those which an individual may wish to liberate himself, from his own psyche.
In all cases, establishing a relationship with an entity follows a similar process of evocation.
Firstly the attributes of the entity, its type, scope, name, appearance and characteristics must be placed in the mind, or made known to the mind.

Automatic Writing
Automatic drawing or writing, where a stylus is allowed to move under inspiration across a surface, may help to uncover the nature of a clairvoyantly discovered being.
In the case of a 'created being' or 'thought-form', the following procedure is used: the individual assembles the ingredients of a composite 'sigil' of the being's desired attributes.
A sigil (from Latin sigillum "seal") is a symbol used in magic. The term has usually referred to a type of pictorial signature of an entity; in modern usage it refers to a symbolic representation of the magician's desired outcome. The most common method of creating the sigils of certain entities is to use kameas (magic squares) - the names of the entities are converted to numbers, which are then located on the magic square. The locations are then connected by lines, forming an abstract figure.
A thought form is a being or object which is created through sheer spiritual or mental discipline alone.
It is defined as any mind created apparition.
These are magic formations generated by a powerful concentration of thought.

It is a materialized thought that has taken physical, apparently material form.
Those of limited experience and knowledge, however, must be warned that if a thought-form is endowed with enough vitality to be capable of playing the part of a real being, it tends to free itself from its maker's control.
This happens nearly mechanically, just as the child, when his body is completed and able to live apart, leaves its mother's womb.

Sigil of Thoth-Hermes
As can be imagined, to a weak sentient being, strong 'thought-forms' can be very dangerous, and can be responsible for possession and obsession.
A name and an image, and if desired, a characteristic number can also be selected for the elemental.
Secondly, the will and perception are focused as intently as possible (by some gnostic method) on the elemental's 'sigils' or characteristics, so that these take on a portion of the magician's life force, and begin autonomous existence.
This is customarily followed by some form of self-banishing, or even exorcism, to restore the individual's consciousness to normal, before he recommences everyday activities.

Human Sacrifice
Sacrifice has been used in the past to create fear or terror, or to invoke the gnosis of pain in support of Goetic type evocations, however, this method easily exhausts itself, and the people involved may end up wading in oceans of blood, much as the Aztecs did, for very little result.
Blood sacrifice is most effective, and most easily controlled by the use of one's own blood, which is customarily allowed to fall upon the 'sigil' or talisman.
However, the power to control blood sacrifice usually brings with it the wisdom to avoid it in favor of other methods.
Conjuration to visible appearances to prove to oneself, or others, the objective reality of entities is an ill-considered act.
The conditions necessary for its appearance will always allow the retention of the belief that such things are the result of hypnosis, hallucination or delusion, indeed they are an hallucination, for such beings do not normally have a physical appearance, and have to be persuaded to assume one.
Fasting, sleep, and sensory deprivation combined with drugs and clouds of incense smoke will usually provide an entity with sufficiently sensitive and malleable media in which to manifest an image if this is really required.


The ultimate invocation, that of the ONE, cannot be performed.
The paradox is that as the ONE has no dualized qualities, there are no attributes by which to invoke it.
To give it one quality is merely to deny it another.
As an observant dualistic being once said: 'I am that I am not'.

Pantheon of Gods
There are many maps of the mind (psychocosms), most of which are inconsistent, contradictory, and based on highly fanciful theories.
Many use the symbology of 'god-forms', for all mythology embodies a psychology.
A complete mythic pantheon can represent all of man's mental characteristics.
Individuals will often use a pantheon of gods as the basis for invoking some particular insight or ability, as these myths provide the most explicit and developed formulation of the particular idea's extant, however it is possible to use almost anything from the archetypes of the collective unconscious.
If the magician taps a deep enough level of power, these forms may manifest with sufficient force to convince the mind of the objective existence of the 'god'.
Yet the aim of invocation is temporary possession by the 'god' (care must be taken if this is to be achieved), communication from the 'god' (channelling), and manifestation of the 'god's' powers, - rather than the formation a religious cults.
The actual method of invocation may be described as a total immersion in the qualities pertaining to the desired 'god-form'.
One invokes these qualities in every conceivable way.
The individual first programs himself into identity with the 'god' by arranging all his experiences to coincide with its nature.
In the most elaborate form of ritual he may surround himself with the sounds, smells, colors instruments, memories, numbers, symbols, music, and poetry suggestive of the 'god' or entity.
Secondly he unites his life force to the 'god-image' with which he has united his mind.
This is accomplished with techniques from the gnosis.


Before engaging in the various techniques of occult science it is necessary to understand the relationship of the physical body to the occult  forces.
In some ways the human body reflects the divisions of the occult cosmos - the 'planes' - and these divisions are represented by various 'power centres' to be found in the body.


There are seven main energy centers, having a direct affect on the state of the physical and emotional health of sentient humans.

These centers of energy govern certain zones of the body; they convey energy between dimensions (or planes of existence), and are centers of subtle forces, and generate occult energy and higher consciousness.
The energy centers are deep within the body, and are swirling centers of power relating to the higher spiritual planes.
The planes of existence, other than the physical plane, are non-material states of existence that transcend and inter-penetrate that which is considered to be, by sentient incarnated beings, the physical universe.
These subtle planes, 'worlds' or dimensions not only inter-penetrate the physical planets, solar systems, and all the physical structures of the universe, but also inter-penetrate themselves
This inter-penetration of planes culminates in the universe itself as a physical structured, dynamic and evolving expression, emanated through a series of steadily denser stages, becoming progressively more material and embodied.
The emanation was originated, at the dawn of the universe's manifestation, (cosmogenesis) in the ONE, which sent out - from the 'un-manifested absolute', beyond comprehension, - the dynamic force of creative energy into the abyss of the 'undifferentiated'.


I The Physical Plane (Kingdom)

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
The physical plane or physical universe refers to the visible reality of space and time, energy and matter: the physical universe is the lowest or densest of a series of planes of existence.
After the physical plane is the aetheric plane ,and both of these planes are connected to make up the first plane.
When the physical body dies the aetheric body is left behind, and the soul forms into an astral body on the astral plane.
This plane relates to the Root Centre

II Astral Plane (Foundation)

The astral plane is a plane intermediate between the material and the higher planes
The astral plane is where consciousness goes after physical death. 
In Islam this plane is named the 'barzakh, olam mithal' or intermediate world.
The astral plane can be visited consciously through astral projection, meditation, near death experience, lucid dreaming, or other means.
In the astral world exist, temporarily, all those sentient physical entities for whom sleep involves a separation of the physical body for a time from the higher bodies.

While sentient humans "sleep", the individual lives in the astral body, either fully conscious and active, or partly conscious and semi-dormant, as the case may be, according to the individual's evolutionary growth; when the individual "wakes", the physical and the higher bodies are interlocked again, and the individuals cease to be inhabitants of the astral plane.
When  an individual is dreaming they are not really in the same world as when they are conscious - in the physical - although the two worlds merge into one another.
While dreaming, the individual is really in the astral plane.
The astral plane is further divided into seven sub-planes that take the form of planar surfaces when approached from a distance, separated by immense coloured "buffer zones".
These sub-planes are endlessly repeating ruled Cartesian grids, tiled with a single signature pattern that is different for each plane.
Higher planes have bright, colorful patterns, whereas lower planes appear far duller.
Every detail of these patterns acts as a consistent portal to a different area inside the plane, which itself comprises many separate realms. 
The astral may also be entered by means of long tubes that bear visual similarity to these planes, and conjectures that the grids and tubes are in fact the same structures approached from a different perceptual angle.
Nearly all individuals enter the astral planes after death.
The astral plane is a plane intermediate between the material and the higher planes
It is the world of the planetary spheres, and is populated by immaterial beings.
The Astral Plane is formed of diffuse matter of a very tenuous, probabilistic nature.
It consists of all the possibilities which have not yet become solid realities.
It is the "medium" by which the "non-existent" Will translates itself into "real" effects.
It forms a sort of backdrop out of which real events and real thoughts materialize.
Because aetheric events on the Astral Plane are only partially evolved into material existence, they do not have a precise location in space or time.
They do not have a precise mass or energy either, and at that point do not necessarily affect the physical plane.
From the aetheric realm of nascent possibility only what we call sensible, causal, probable, or normal events usually come into existence - yet, as we are centres of the 'True Will' ourselves, we can sometimes call very unlikely coincidences, or unexpected events into existence by manipulating the aether.
Such is occult science
Even the physical sciences have begun to blunder into the astral plane with their discoveries of quantum indeterminacy and virtual processes in subatomic matter.
It is the aether, deriving from the Astral, which surrounds the central core of the life force, with which the magician is concerned.
Its normal function is as a thought intermediary, yet its properties are so infinitely mutable that almost anything can be accomplished with it.
Thought gives it shape, and the 'True Will' gives it power.
Thus are will and perception extended into areas of time and space beyond the physical limitations of the material body.
The most basic rule on the astral plane is that “thoughts are things”.

The Astral plane includes the 'Summerland'
As the name suggests, the Summerland is a place of beauty and peace, where everything people hold close to their hearts is preserved in its fullest beauty for eternity.
It contains wide fields of rolling green hills, lush grass and elegant park-lands.
This plane relates to the Sacral Center

III Mental Plane

The mental plane is divided into seven sub-planes.
In the mental world one formulates a thought and it is instantly transmitted to the mind of another without any expression in the form of words, therefore on that plane language does not matter in the least.
The mental plane, as its name implies, is that which belongs to consciousness working as thought; not of the mind as it works through the brain, but as it works through its own world, unencumbered with physical spirit-matter.
This plane relates to the Solar Plexus Centre

IV The Plane of Pure Consciousness

This is a realm of 'pure consciousness'

In the Plane of Pure Consciousness sentient beings cast off the delusion of the self, and enter a realization of unity.
It is a plane of persistent, conscious, spiritual awareness.
This plane relates to the Heart Center.

V The Lower Spiritual Plane

The Lower spiritual plane is split into many sub-planes, and on these planes live entities who are more advanced in development and status than sentient humans.
This spiritual plane is the plane of the Archons.
This plane relates to the Throat Centre.

VI The Higher Spiritual Plane

The higher spiritual plane is split into many sub-planes, and on these planes live entities who are more advanced in development and status than sentient humans.
The spiritual plane is the plane of the Aeons - our home.
This plane relates to the Brow Centre.

VII Divine Plane

All souls come into being on the divine plane, and then descend down through the lower planes, however souls will work their way back to the divine plane.
On the divine plane souls can be opened to conscious communication with the sphere of the divine known as the Absolute and receive knowledge about the nature of reality.
This plane relates to the Crown.


The Crown

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
This is the center of pure consciousness, within which there is neither object nor subject and is symbolized by the lotus.
Located at the top of the head, the crown center will not open until all six of the other chakras are opened and 'balanced'.
The crown chakra controls the pineal gland.
It is represented by the color white and it involves issues of inner wisdom.
Its role may be envisioned somewhat similarly to that of the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones to communicate to the rest of the endocrine system and also connects to the central nervous system via the hypothalamus.
The thalamus is has a key role in the physical basis of consciousness.
This center is related to meditation, and mental action related to universal consciousness and "beingness".

The Forehead Centre - (the Third Eye)

This center corresponds to the colors violet, indigo or deep blue.
Located between your eyebrows in the center of the forehead, the forehead centre, or 'third eye',  relates to the pituitary gland and  psychic ability.
When this center is blocked, it can affect the head, eyes, and brain.
This center, known as the 'third eye', is linked to the pineal gland.
The pineal gland is a light sensitive gland that produces the hormone melatonin which regulates sleep and waking up.
This center's  key issues involve balancing the higher and lower selves and trusting inner guidance.
It's inner aspect relates to the access of intuition and mentally this centre deals with visual consciousness.
Emotionally, this centre deals with clarity on an intuitive level.

The Throat Centre

Located at the top of the throat, the throat chakra relates to creativity, self-expression, and the creative arts, including music, art, and writing.
When its center is blocked, your throat, ears, eyes, nose, and mouth may be affected.
This center may be understood as relating to communication and growth through expression. This center is paralleled to the thyroid, a gland that is also in the throat and which produces thyroid hormone, responsible for growth and maturation.
Physically, the center governs communication, emotionally it governs independence, mentally it governs fluent thought, and spiritually, it governs a sense of security.
It plays an important role in the art of lucid dreaming.

The Heart Center

This center is related to the thymus.
Located in the center of the chest, and in the middle of your shoulder blades, the heart center relates to emotions such as love, honesty, and caring.
If it becomes blocked, it can affect the heart, lungs, and breathing.
It also rules your thymus gland.
The thymus is an element of the immune system as well as being part of the endocrine system.
It is the site of maturation of the T cells responsible for fending off disease and may be adversely affected by stress.
The heart center is related to the colors green or pink.
Key issues involving the heart center involve complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection and well-being.
Physically it governs circulation, emotionally it governs unconditional love for the self and others, mentally it governs passion, and spiritually it governs devotion.

The Solar Plexus Centre

This center  is related to the metabolic and digestive systems.
Located below the breastbone and above the navel, the solar plexus center is where channellers obtain their psychic information.
It is believed to correspond to Islets of Langerhans, which are groups of cells in the pancreas, as well as the outer adrenal glands and the adrenal cortex.
These play a valuable role in digestion, the conversion of food matter into energy for the body. The color that corresponds to this center is yellow.
Key issues governed by the solar plexus center are issues of personal power, fear, anxiety, opinion-formation, introversion, and transition from simple or base emotions to complex. Physically, it governs digestion, mentally it governs personal power, emotionally it governs expansiveness, and spiritually, all matters of growth.

The Sacral Center

The Sacral Center is located just below the navel, near the genitals, in the sacrum (hence the name) and is considered to correspond to the testes or the ovaries that produce the various sex hormones involved in the reproductive cycle.
The sacral center controls sexual energy and reproduction and may affect health when out of balance.
It influences the release of adrenaline in the body.
This center also controls what is known as the cells of Leydig, testicular or ovarian cells that secrete testosterone.
This important center is also considered to be related to, more generally, the genitourinary system and the adrenals.
The key issues involving the sacral center are relationships, violence, addictions, basic emotional needs, and pleasure.
Physically,  the sacral center governs reproduction, mentally it governs creativity, emotionally it governs joy, and spiritually it governs enthusiasm.

The Root Centre

This center is said to relate to the gonads and the adrenal medulla, responsible for the fight-or-flight response when survival is under threat.
It relates to your physical strength.
The root center is related to instinct, security, survival and also to basic human potentiality.
Physically, the root center governs sexuality, mentally it governs stability, emotionally it governs sensuality, and spiritually it governs a sense of security.
This center influences the anus, kidneys, accumulation of sperm and the sexual organs.
Meditation on this center also controls attachment to luxury, deception, pride, envy, selfishness.
Release of energy in this center is often explosive, and can lead to feelings of irritability, psychological instability, erratic sleeping patterns, or extreme passion, being overly talkative and easily enraged.
This center is associated with the zodiacal earth sign of Capricorn.
It is in this centre, at the perineum, that the coiled serpent of libidinal energy resides.

The Coiled Serpent

The Coiled Serpent is a sleeping, dormant potential force in the human organism.
It is one of the components of the 'subtle body', which consists of energy channels, centers (psychic centers), and subtle energy.
The  Serpent is coiled up at the base of the spine, at the perineum.
The Coiled Serpent is a residual power of pure desire.
Through meditation, and various esoteric practices, the Coiled Serpent is awakened, and can rise up and travel up the body until it reaches the top of the head.
The progress of Coiled Serpent through the different centres leads to different levels of awakening and mystical experience, until the Coiled Serpent finally reaches the top of the head, and the crown, producing a profound mystical experience.
The Coiled Serpent energy is the natural energy of the Self, where Self is the universal consciousness present in every being, however, the individual mind of thoughts cloaks this natural energy from unadulterated expression.
The Coiled Serpent is connected with the zodiacal air sign of Aquarius
How is the awakening of the coiled serpent triggered ?
There are two broad approaches to awakening the coiled serpent: active and passive.
The active approach involves systematic physical exercises and techniques of concentration, visualization, breath control and meditation.
The passive approach is a path of surrender where a sentient human lets go of all the impediments to the awakening rather than trying to actively awaken the coiled serpent
A chief part of the passive approach is where one sentient human's serpent is awakened by another who already has had the experience.

Physical and Psychological Effects

The following are common signs of an awakened coiled serpent.
Involuntary jerks, tremors, shaking, itching, tingling, and crawling sensations, especially in the arms and legs
Energy rushes or feelings of electricity circulating the body
Intense heat (sweating) or cold, especially as energy is experienced passing through the chakras
Visions or sounds at times associated with a particular power center.
Diminished or conversely extreme sexual desire, sometimes leading to a state of constant or whole-body orgasm
Emotional numbness
Mood swings with periods of depression
Pains in different areas of the body, especially back and neck
Sensitivity to light, sound, and touch
Trance-like and altered states of consciousness
Disrupted sleep pattern (periods of insomnia or oversleeping)
Loss of appetite or overeating
Bliss, feelings of universal connectivity and transcendent awareness.
To engage in the various techniques of occult science it is necessary for the centers of power to be opened.
This is performed by 'raising the coiled serpent'.
This should not be performed in one, single process, which can be very dangerous, and often results in psychosis.
Each center should be opened, after lengthy study and contemplation, in the order in which they appear in the human body, starting with the Root Center (Kingdom) and ending with the Crown, which can only be opened when all the other centers have been successfully opened.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014

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