Legend of the Glyph #1/2
To Mecca thou hast turned in prayer with aching heart
and eyes that burn: Ah Haji, whither wilt thou turn when
thou art there, when thou art there?
— J. E. Flecker, Gates of Damascus
It’s amazing to see how things get back to you and what distorted forms they take, what odd transformations they undergo. I was at a party recently where I overheard some teenagers talking about a group of arcane magicians who tramped about the countryside in and around Our Fair City, summoning up strange forces to drive a great magical machine to who knows what end. I was most stunned by the fact that the good folks over at Rumor Control got it almost exactly right. But let us set the story completely straight.
It all began a long time ago, in a small park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Denver, Colorado. An adept of the Art Magickal told me a curious story about a group of well-to-do magicians who found themselves in the position of being city planners and developers in the 1920s and ’30s. According to my friend, these folks constructed a large-scale device designed to capture the psychic forces of the city itself and to direct them to a location where they could be refined and manipulated to various ends, the least of which was the acquisition of personal wealth for the members. A wild story indeed, but it got me thinking… Could we design a similar device and place it upon the landscape of a given city, intent upon providing a magical force of harmony and balance thereto? Could we build a magical machine to Make Everything Okay? This is how the project known as “The Glyph” came to be.
We began as small group of students of mysteries East and West that consisted of an anthropologist, an artist, an alchemist, a scholar and a teacher. We’ve grown a bit and now have an even broader mix of talents and people. Several of us are Qi Gong and Kundalini Yoga instructors; a few are card-carrying O.T.O. members; most hold degrees in Reiki. We met and discussed matters of general import to the Western Esoteric tradition until we concocted the full details of the Project and began its implementation.
Obtaining a few satellite maps of our city, we looked them over carefully, looking for various likely arrangements of geographical features. We knew that the butte rising just north of the center of town was long regarded as a power spot of sorts by the natives of this region, this reputation being due to more than just the curious deposits of columnar basalt. As we desired to build a device to produce harmony and balance, we chose a hexagram for the basic form such that it would answer to Tipareth on the Tree of Life. We were quite simply amazed at how naturally it all clicked into place, this great figure spanning about 2 ½ miles to a leg, each point landing squarely in an accessible and symbolically significant location.
Our membership being a cross-section of NeoPlatonists of the Aurum Solis school, the O.T.O. and the Golden Dawn, we assigned a planetary force to each point, expecting them to invoke the Apollonian Ideal as the Sun at the center. Following Marsilio Ficino’s lead, we sought to compartmentalize the psyche (whether of a city or of an individual) into the seven visible heavenly bodies and to erect a vast astral temple wherein to bring them to productive balance.
It began on a bright Father’s Day morning at dawn with the Aurum Solis Salutation to the Sun:
“All hail, life-enkindling sun, child of creation’s lord!
O’, thou lone, all-seeing eye of the vault celestial,
extend thy light that I may see, but dim thy glory
that I be not blinded.
“Unmask thy countenance, O’ God of Light, for I am a lover of truth and would behold the spiritual essence concealed in thy golden disk.
“So reveal unto my perception thy shining and inmost nature,
even that high spirit which infuses thee and is one with the
primal flame of mine own being.
“Life-enkindling sun, child of creation’s lord — Salutations and praises unto thee!”
We had previously prepared a collection of artifacts manufactured of metals sacred to the Sun and decorated with appropriate sigils and divine names. These we ceremoniously drove into the ground at the precise locations as we laid out the figure in the land, saving the central key piece to which the others were tied by magical sympathy. In four hours, the initial construction was complete, but it took us another 14 weeks to complete the series of planetary chargings designed to kick the device into gear. By the time we finished, we knew we had done something grand and set out to document it as thoroughly as possible, making the results of our researches available to all who might wish to evaluate them. To that end we launched a large website, wrote a book, and have designed a collection of related materials.
But now that it was built, what all could we do with it? Obviously, its principle function was to provide a harmonizing force for the place in which it operates, but we knew it could be much more. As the device is laid out in the manner of the familiar hexagram used by the Golden Dawn in their ritual of the Hexagram, we knew that it could theoretically be used to create invocations of planetary forces on a good scale, and this it seems to do. These are accomplished by the simple expedient of circumambulation, token sacrifice and planetary invocations using either a balanced method or an unbalanced method.
It is explained thusly in The Book of the Glyph:
“Our method is illustrated below. In the following diagram, the force of Mercury is being invoked, but note that it can also be said that its opposite force, that of Jupiter is also being invoked, such that a balance is being struck, as it were. This is essentially the Golden Dawn formula for Invocation.”
“To clarify the above diagram a bit, the first triangle, pictured at the left, is drawn in a clockwise fashion from the top point to return there. The tracing finger (or ritual item, as might be the case) then crosses directly to the opposite point, where the other triangle (shown in the center) is traced, also clockwise. The downward arrow in the completed diagram is to indicate the path of the tracing as it moves from the completed first triangle to the point where the second triangle is begun.
“Below, we show a method whereby a hexagram can be drawn such that one force is being invoked while its opposite force is being banished, and such a method is a part of the Glyph’s mechanics, but has a special use that will be dealt with later on in this volume. One can readily see that the only difference is that the second triangle is traced in a counterclockwise manner relative to the first.”
We refer to these methods as balanced (where both opposites are invoked) and unbalanced (where one is invoked and its opposite is banished). In the vast majority of cases, a balanced working was what we were after, but it came to our minds that unbalanced circumambulations would have suitable uses as well.
The best occasion for an unbalanced working that we have found is in the performance of a sphere working, where the operator is stationed at one point of the Glyph while the balance of the party is circumambulating it either physically or in an astral sense. This ongoing research project forms part of the core discipline.
In the three years since the inception of this project, a great deal of material has been gathered indicating some success in our endeavor. There is, for example, an ongoing program wherein folks blessed with clairvoyant faculties can view the device from afar and allow us to record their descriptions. So far, the results of that project have been a good success. The first wave of such folks correctly deduced the size, shape, location and even a few specific features at a time when there was still very little in print. We have currently narrowed the scope of this project to reflect the large volume of data that is now published or on its way there.
Additionally, a series of High Holidays has been constructed to honor The Glyph’s “duty cycle” of nine months “on” and three months “off,” the centerpiece of which is the annual “Glyphest” held at the Summer Solstice. As it has been our express intention to interest others in this type of project — hopefully to create enough enthusiasm to sustain similar projects in other cities. We use this gathering to swap information and give presentations. I suppose we would be remiss to mention the raging party that follows…
Why did we do this? We believe in public service. As the police attempt to keep the peace in their fashion, as business developers plan for economic vibrancy and as each citizen and denizen contributes what he or she has to their community, so we too believe that we have something to add: magick.
If you feel you can add something to your town in this way, why not dialogue with us? Our website (located at http://www.companionsoftheglyph.org or http://www.geocities.com/athens/oracle/8465) holds an archive of Glyph related materials and lore, a complete collection of planetary correspondences optimized for our particular flavor of planetary magick, a discussion group and just about everything anyone would need to get a project like this afloat anywhere. Won’t you join us?
©2006 Frater Auxilior Arti. Edited by Sheta Kaey.
Frater Auxilior Arti (nee Fr. Adsum Iterum) is an initiate of the Astrum Sophia, co-founder of the Companions of the Glyph and author of the Book of the Glyph and PRAXIS: The 2nd Book of the Glyph. A life-long student of the paranormal, he brings a scientific/Fortean viewpoint to the subject, a thing he feels is sadly neglected. You can find his Facebook page here.