(12/1981-01/1982) The Four Rivers of Paradise

The Four Rivers of Paradise

by Caliph Hymenaeus Alpha X°
(December 1981 – January 1982)

Part One

One day, some years ago, the lady I was living with at the time, who happened to be a member of the Book of the Month club, said laughingly, “As a prize, I could get you a copy of the Bible. But of course you do not read the Bible, do you?”

Item: Genesis 2. “From Eden a river flowed to water the park, which on leaving the park (Da’ath – the Visudha chakra) branched into four streams. The name of the first is Pison.”  = 446. Check your Sepher Sephiroth – just like Aleister Crowley laid it out for you. (Note: at this point we go into technical equations. 66 = , a “Ship.” You are now reading the ship’s code book.) But to get to the Visudha chakra, you have to bring the energy down through the Brahma chakra (or Sahasara chakra, depending – ), but in the Qabala we call it Kether. ( = 620 – the Crown.) This energy is called “Mezla” ( = the influence from most high = 78.)

Once this energy hits Da’ath ( = 474) – you must understand, of course, that the psychic body does not exist until created – it splits into four rivers. The first of which is Pison. Like I said. It goes from your throat chakra to your right shoulder. Geburah. Check column LVI in your 777. This happens to be fire, sight, Mars, and the South. To resume from Genesis 2. “. . . Pison, the one which flows all round the land of Havilah (translation: Mars) where there is gold – fine gold in that land! with pearls and beryls; the name of the second is Ghihon ( = 77).” It is West. It goes to your left shoulder and is called Chesed. Jupiter.To be continued. If there is a continuity.

 Part Two

Okay. Back to Genesis 2. Your education is about to begin.

This is the story of the four rivers of Paradise.

Sometimes known as the Map of Atlantis.We have gone through Pison and Ghihon. Technically Mezla is not one of the rivers, but the Source, like the Ganges.

The third river is Hiddekel ( = 139). This goes from the Visudha chakra to the Anahata chakra (translation: to Tiphereth – your heart, Sun, life, compassion, beauty; also known as the Spider, Pelican, and/or 5= 6, depending). It is East.

The fourth river is Pharath. The Euphrates. It is the North (and we will remember the relation of Nuit to the North, as of Hadit to the South). It is  = 680. It is the path from the Visudha chakra to Yesod. The Foundation. The World card in the Tarot. You. The person who took this incarnation. The Cosmic Dancer. And we will remember Revelation 16, verse 12, “The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its waters were dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.”

And who are the kings from the East? Well, we happen to be the Order of the Temple of the Orient. And it is written (AL III:45), speaking of the Scarlet Woman, “Then will I lift her to pinnacles of power: then will I breed from her a child mightier than all the kings of the earth. I will fill her with joy: with my force shall she see & strike at the worship of Nu; she shall achieve Hadit.”There is a very great mystery here. Well, the way this article got started was that one day this gal I was living with said, “I don’t understand that.” Meaning the sentence, “. . . she shall achieve Hadit.” I just looked at her strangely. My god, this woman had been into Thelema for thirty years. But it is like Aleister Crowley wrote to Karl Germer once, “It is incredible, but after all these years you do not know how Magick works.” It does take a certain knack.

For example, at the O.T.O. Tarot reading booth at the Ren(naissance) Faire recently there was a certain couple. He had invented his own Tarot deck and I saw no objection. After all, how many times during that fantastic year of 1969-1970 did I say to anyone who would listen, and there were damn few – sorry, just ran out of space.

Part Three

Okay, Genesis 2, part three. The Four Rivers of Paradise.

So this guy had invented his own Tarot. And that is okay. After all how many times during that fantastic year of 1969–1970 e.v. did I say to anyone who would listen, “When we get this Tarot deck published, it will cause a whole new psychic vibration in the Universe”? And this is exactly what happened, and that is good. Unfortunately something else happened which is not good. Because this guy’s old lady came over to me when I was reading Tarot cards at Ren. Faire (I drop back on the Waite or Rider deck on occasion just for variety. If anybody can find a set of the Manley P. Hall deck, for God’s sake forward it to me — I lost mine.) and laid out a spread. It was rather interesting. After all, every Tarot reader has their own way of reading the psychic mirrors we call Tarot. But then she started to explain to me how she was going to change the cards around on the Tree of Life. Unfortunately, that is verboten. For a very simple reason. Those twenty–two cards, the twenty–two Major Arcana, happen to represent various aspects of your psychic body. For example, Binah happens to be the pituitary gland in the back of your head. Sometime I must explain to you why Pisces is represented by a double moon that represents the back of your cranial cavity. Or why the Hierophant, the Taurus card, goes from Chokmah (your Agna chakra) to Chesed.But Aleister Crowley says it better. Note 1, page 7, Magick in Theory and Practice (the original), he says:

One who ought to have known better [Frater Achad] tried to improve the Tree of Life by turning the Serpent of Wisdom upside down! Yet he could not make his scheme symmetrical: his little remaining good sense revolted at the supreme atrocities. Yet he succeeded in reducing the whole Magical Alphabet to nonsense, and shewing that he had never understood its real meaning.

The absurdity of any such disturbance of the Paths is evident to any sober student from such examples as the following: Binah, the Supernal Understanding, is connected with Tiphereth, the Human Consciousness, by Zain, Gemini, the Oracles of the Gods, or the Intuition. That is, the attribution represents a psychological fact: to replace it by the Devil is either humor or plain idiocy. Again, the “Fortitude,” Leo, balances Majesty and Mercy with Strength and Severity. What sense is there in putting “Death,” the Scorpion, in its stead?If you see what I mean.

Part Four

So, Genesis 2, part four. The Four Rivers of Paradise and why each Tarot card represents a mirror of your psychic body. In the Egyptian pyramid mysteries, there were twenty–two Pylons (a Pylon is a gate), the twenty–second of which was invisible. That is what we would call The Fool. Twenty–two Pylons, twenty–two Major Atu of Thoth in the Tarot. If you could not find the Invisible One, you were obviously not an initiate. You were also dead. But I will explain that some other time. In the Orient, that is what is called a joke.

But what is not a joke is the Kabbalah Denudata. Personally I use the Mathers edition (London: 1951). On plate viii, facing page 41, there are two hexagrams. The upper is ARIK ANPIN (or Macroprosopus, if you prefer), and the lower is ZAUIR ANPIN (you, Microprosopus).

Now, the doctrine is this. There is a Cosmic Psychic Body, what you might call “God,” Macroprosopus; us, before we took our incarnation. And then there is you, Microprosopus, the individual, male or female as the case may be. And since your small psychic body is but a reflection of that Vast Countenance, obviously it must change as that body changes. This is the key to the Precession of the Equinoxes. The Cosmic Psychic Body changes one aspect every 2000 years, which is reflected in what we call Tarot. In this aeon, it is the transfer of the Aries card with the Aquarius card. If this is not true, then the Book of the Law is wrong, and Thelema is a lie.

But it is impossible for the Book of the Law to be wrong: for it is written (AL III:19) “That stélé they call the Abomination of Desolation . . .” — and where have we heard that before? Try your Book of Daniel or the Apocalypse of St John. Which brings us to the question as to whether the Book of the Law happens to be the Seven Thunders of Revelation. Revelation 10:

Then I saw another strong angel descend from heaven; he was clad in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, his face like the sun, his limbs like columns of fire, and a small scroll open in his hand. He set his right foot on the sea, his left upon the earth [note Temperance card, Waite deck] and shouted like a lion roaring: and at his shout seven thunders gave voice. After the seven thunders had spoken, I was going to write it down; but I heard a voice from heaven saying “Seal up what the seven thunders said, do not write it.”

Which makes us about the middle of the Apocalypse when the appalling abomination will be set up in the temple. And when is that? Daniel 10:14, “So I asked, ‘O my lord, what is to be the last phase before the end?'” When the “appalling abomination had been set up.” If you were a pious Jew with the gift of prophecy in the Babylonian captivity and looked down to the end of Time and saw the Stélé of Revealing of a Prince of Egypt exalted on the High Altar of the Holy of Hollies, as we do every time we enter the Temple, you would freak out. So did Daniel.Anyone else want to know if I read the Bible? Crowley memorized it.

– H.A. 777

Note: Originally published in The Magical Link, Volume 1 Number 12 & Volume 2 Number 1; also published inThelema Lodge Calendar, October 2001 and November 2001