Ever since my speaking engagement on the Claustrum Oil, which was held at the San Bernardino Valley Scottish Rite on May 4, 2019, I have been continually posting my research on the Astral Realm within my Facebook page Immortal Light. Needless to say, countless Freemasons have responded in several ways; like, “your Astral Body post has nothing to do with Freemasonry,” or “Why do you keep posting about Astral Travel; it has nothing to do with the Craft; and sadly, many even left the Facebook page because they considered my posting unMasonic. Well, I now want to go on record and state that the studies of the Astral Realm are actually Masonic, and go back to our foundation; of which I will clearly illustrate within this article.
Toward the end of my lecture on the Claustrum Oil, I made mention of my future desire to have another lecture, within a year or two, on the reasons for raising our vibrational levels, and higher levels of consciousness. Well, think about it, it is common knowledge that those who seek a higher vibrational level, practice seminal retention, or preserving the Claustrum Oil. The aim is simple, to reach a higher level of consciousness in order to explore the Astral Realm, etc.
Thirty three degree Freemason Manly P. Hall clearly illustrated this point again and again in his book Secret Teachings of all Ages, (1928); like when he referenced H.P. Blavatsky to explain the concept of man being a microcosm within the great universe:
“Man is a little world–a microcosm inside the great universe. Like a fetus, he is suspended, by all his three spirits, in the matrix of the macrocosmos; and while his terrestrial body is in constant sympathy with its parent earth, his astral soul lives in unison with the sidereal anima mundi. He is in it, as it is in him, for the world-pervading element fills all space, and is space itself, only shoreless and infinite. As to his third spirit, the divine, what is it but an infinitesimal ray, one of the countless radiations proceeding directly from the Highest Cause–the Spiritual Light of the World? This is the trinity of organic and inorganic nature–the spiritual and the physical, which are three in one, and of which Proclus says that ‘The first monad is the Eternal God; the second, eternity; the third, the paradigm, or pattern of the universe;’ the three constituting the Intelligible Triad” (Hall, p. 73).
In short, man’s human body lives “in constant sympathy with its parent earth,” yet, his astral soul lives within the anima mundi. The term anima mundi refers to the world soul, “The world soul (Latin: anima mundi) is, according to several systems of thought, an intrinsic connection between all living things on the planet, which relates to the world in much the same way as the soul is connected to the human body.” As such, man lives in this world soul, just as the world soul lives in man. And yet there is a “third spirit” as well; it being “the divine,” or “spiritual light of the world.” This therefore is the trinity of organic and inorganic nature,” the “spiritual and the physical,” all three being apart of the one intelligent traid (Hall, p. 73).
To better explain, at birth the divine nature of man has been temporarily disconnected from himself, and bound by the material realm. Yet, at death, he awakens from this “dream of physical existence and reunites” with himself once more. This process is known as the “wheel of life and death.” Nevertheless, after being initiated into a full understanding of the mysteries, the “law of birth and death is transcended.” Consequently, “This is at once the primary purpose and the consummate achievement of the Mysteries: that man shall become aware of and consciously be reunited with the divine source of himself without tasting of physical dissolution.” Did you get that last part? In essence, man is reunited with himself without having to experience physical death (Hall, p. 76).
In fact, the picture shown to the left is of an ancient Masonic apron, which Hall clearly explained, “the center of the apron is occupied by the compass and square, representative of the Macrocosm and the microcosm,” and the circular black and white serpent represented “astral light.” Furthermore, the “acacia branch with seven sprigs” signified “the life centers of the superior and inferior man.” And most interestingly, the skull and bones is a continual reminder that a philosophical death awaits the spiritual nature of man (Hall, p. 78).
In like manner, animals, plants and even minerals are considered sacred, primarily because of their sensitivity to that “mysterious agency in Nature” known as “astral fire,” which we know today as electricity or even magnetism. In fact, “various parasitic growths” in plants, and certain minerals, radium and Lodgestone in particular, are “susceptible to this cosmic electric fire, or universal life force.” Most interestingly, during the Middle Ages, history records that magicians often surrounded themselves with “bats, spiders, snakes” and even monkeys, only because they were able to tap into their life forces. Moreover, it was believed in many “ancient schools of wisdom” that insects and reptiles “germinated out of the evil nature of man.” Human beings, on the other hand, could gain intelligence, so hate would no longer taint the souls development. Several American Indian tribes held the legend of ‘Spider Man,’ which connected the earth to the heavenly realms above through the use of its web. This idea is further supported by the “secret schools of India,” whose beliefs connected “the realms of light with those of darkness” through the use of webs. These deities were known as “Spider Gods,” who were ruled by the “Great Spider.” As such, the builders of this “cosmic system” were held together by threads of a web, known as the “invisible force” (Hall, p. 87).
In the same way, the seven-headed serpent is representative of God, who manifested the seven spirits of Elohim to create the universe. The coils of the serpent signify the orbits and motion of the celestial bodies; similar to the serpent twisted around an egg, which is a very common symbol within the “ancient Mystery schools.” The serpent surrounding the egg depiction also represents the “motion of the sun around the earth,” like the “bands of astral light,” or the “great magical agent” that moves around the earth continuously (Hall, p. 88).
To put it another way, the Egyptians considered the cat sacred, like that of the cat goddess Bast, who was worshipped at a temple in Bubastis, Egypt. Cats represented the “magnetic forces of nature,” and their “astral fire” was symbolized by its three shades of fur, and eyes with different colors; which was why priests surrounded themselves with these animals. What’s more, cat’s have also come to represent eternity, chiefly because they curled up into a ball with their “head and tail touching,” like that of Ouroboros. Likewise, “among the Greek and Latins, the cat was sacred to the goddess Diana,” while the Buddhist religion related it to the “lower astral forces,” due to it being absent upon the “death of the great Buddha” (Hall, p. 91).
Then again, the mysteries teach that the “rays of the celestial bodies” have a striking influence within the lower worlds. “Astral virtues,” especially when combined with “celestial activity,” contribute to the wellbeing of man. Although, generally speaking, very little is truly known about this magical process. Regardless, modern researchers are slowly beginning to reexamine their own understanding of these ancient practices; only because their current understanding has its flaws. Here we see that Hall is clearly illustrating the relationship between the metals and the planetary orbs, when he wrote, “the Egyptians… considered iron to be the bone of Mars and the lodestone the bone of Horus. By analogy, lead would be the physical skeleton of Saturn, copper of Venus, quicksilver of Mercury, gold of the sun, silver of the moon, and antimony of the earth. It is possible that uranium will prove to be the metal of Uranus and radium to be the metal of Neptune.” All of which affect the human body’s relationship to the astral realm (Hall, p. 99).
So too did Hall relate the topic of ceremonial magic, which is the “ancient art of invoking and controlling spirits,” to that of communicating with the “invisible inhabitants” of the astral realms. In fact, out of this development came the art of White and Black Magic; White being good and Black being bad, or more plainly stated, the purpose for such use. In time however, like most human behaviors, we see the infiltration of this Magic (black Magic) to the development of a “state religion” to control the people. Whereas, White Magic encouraged the “spiritual activities of the individual;” it reads, “Thus Black Magic dictated the state religion and paralyzed the intellectual and spiritual activities of the individual by demanding his complete and unhesitating acquiescence in the dogma formulated by the priestcraft.” Likewise, the practice of White or Black Magic most certainly depended on the abilities of the individual adept to “control the universal life force.” Eliphas Levi referred to this universal force as “the great magical agent or astral light,” and “by the manipulation of this fluidic essence the phenomena of transcendentalism” was produced. In fact, the “hermaphroditic Goat of Mendes” is a created composite creature representative of the astral light;” an identical representation of Baphomet, of mystical pantheos “ceremonial Magic;” and “the Templars” more than likely “obtained it from the Arabians” (Hall, p. 101).
Paracelsus, referred to incubus (a male demon who seeks carnal pleasure) and succubus (a female demon who seeks carnal pleasure) as “parasitical creatures” that live upon the “evil thoughts and emotions of the astral body;” both of these terms are the basis for sorcery and black magic. Moreover, these larvae become even more powerful by those with imaginative powers. Ancient sages referred to these invisible forces of evil as the “cause of vice,” who prey on the “morally weak and continually incite them to excesses of a degrading nature.” Therefore, through his senses, man becomes deadened, which allows these forces of evil from the astral plane to play havoc on humanity (Hall, p. 108).
To clarify, Paracelsus referred to incubus and succubus as vampires; either living or dead. The purpose of such behavior is to prolong its existence upon the “physical plane by robbing the living” energies from each devotee. Nevertheless, “a healthy and pure person cannot become obsessed by them, because such larvae can only act upon men” if allowed by their ignorance of such forces, and its true intent; “a healthy mind is a castle that cannot be invaded without the will of its master.” Unhealthy passions from both men and women create these unsavory cravings, which produces “bad thoughts” that are injurious to the human brain. These thoughts further “sharpen the animal intellect and suffocate the moral” senses. You see, evil spirits are obsessed with those human beings who possess an “animal nature.” Yet, the mind that is “illuminated by the spirit of truth cannot be possessed.” No, only those people “who are habitually guided by their own lower impulses may become subjected to their influences” (Hall, p. 108).
In fact, there is a vital substance within nature from which all things subsist; it is called archaeus, or more plainly stated, the “vital life force.” This power “is synonymous with the astral light or spiritual air.” In detail, Eliphas Levi wrote,
Light, that creative agent, the vibrations of which are the movement and life of all things; light, latent in the universal ether, radiating about absorbing centres, which, being saturated thereby, project movement and life in their turn, so forming creative currents; light, astralized in the stars, animalized in animals, humanized in human beings; light, which vegetates all plants, glistens in metals, produces all forms of Nature and equilibrates all by the laws of universal sympathy–this is the light which exhibits the phenomena of magnetism, divined by Paracelsus, which tinctures the blood, being released from the air as it is inhaled and discharged by the hermetic bellows of the lungs” (Hall, p. 110).
This vital energy is found in the “spiritual body of the earth.” In truth, two bodies exist within nature, one that is visible, while the other is invisible. The invisible body “consists of an ethereal counterpart of the human form;” it is the vehicle of the “vital life force,” more commonly referred to as a “vital body.” Most interestingly, this “etheric shadow” does not dissipate upon death, “but remains until the physical form is entirely disintegrated.” Under those circumstances, an etheric double would often remain around a graveyard as a ghost, and is now far more “susceptible to impulses” from the ether, and both positive and negative interactions. In particular, derangements from an “astral light body” may be the cause of so much distress and ailments in people today. Similarly, “Paracelsus taught that a person with a morbid mental attitude could poison his own etheric nature;” with the etheric double diverting its own natural vital life force into a disease of the flesh (Hall, p. 110).
In particular, the vital life force, or archaeus, was called the vaccine, or mumia, by Paracelsus. This vaccine becomes the “vehicle of a semi-astral virus.” Thus, “anything which serves as a medium for the transmission of the archaeus, whether it be organic or inorganic, truly physical or partly spiritualized, was termed a mumia.” Mumia is the ether, or “the universal form.” The sciences of today have accepted this “hypothetical substance,” which serves as the “medium between the realm of vital energy and that of organic and inorganic substance” (Hall, p. 110).
Conversaily, the LeDiable, or devil, looked similar to Pan, with the horns of a ram, “legs and feet of a goat or a dragon,” and the “body of a man.” This demon looking creature carried a candle or a torch, and was “symbolic of the magic powers of the astral light,” or “universal mirror, in which the divine forces are reflected in an inverted” state. Yet “this torch is a false light;” as it guides the “unillumined souls to their own undoing.” Equally important, Typhon is depicted as “a winged creature composed of a hog, a man, a bat, a crocodile and a hippopotamus,” which stands in the “midst of its own destructiveness” based on a “man’s own misdeeds” (Hall, p. 131).
Hall also wrote about the historical theory that both Rosicrucians and Theosophists students had attained “supernatural powers,” which allowed them to be “citizens of two worlds;” they were able to use their “physical bodies for expression on the material plane,” as well as being able to function “in a mysterious ethereal body” that was “not subject to the limitations of time or distance.” This astral form aided them to “function in the invisible realm of Nature;” and while operating in another realm they were well beyond the reach of the profane (Hall, p. 140).
At the same time, “in alchemy there are three symbolic substances: mercury, sulphur, and salt.” These substances are aided by a “fourth mysterious life principle” and it is “called Azoth.” Thus, “3 times 3, plus Azoth,” or “the mysterious universal life force,” equates to 10, which is the sacred Tetractys of Pythagoras. This invisible eternal fire, or magnetism, is often referred to as “astral light” (Hall, p. 155). Conversely, Paracelsus gave some ardent advise regarding the use of the astral elements,
I wish to warn the reader, who might be inclined to try any of the alchemical prescriptions… not to do so… because, although I know from personal experience that these prescriptions are not only allegorically but literally true, and will prove successful in the hands of an alchemist, they would only cause a waste of time and money in the hands of one who has not the necessary qualifications. A person who wants to be an alchemist must have in himself the ‘magnesia,’ which means, the magnetic power to attract and ‘coagulate’ invisible astral elements” (Hall, p. 156).
Nevertheless, we see that the “Dionysiac Architects” constructed their buildings to create a distinct impression that was “consistent with the purpose for which the structure itself was designed.” Like the Pythagoreans, who “believed it possible by combinations of straight lines and curves to induce any desired mental attitude or emotion.” Therefore, they produced buildings that were “harmonious with the structure of universal life.” Such a building “would also become an oracle” of the cosmos. Similarly, an early building like this would have been prepared to house a magical item, like that of the “Ark of the Covenant” within its domain. Indeed, “by their shape and arrangement” it would be “so attuned to the vibrations of the invisible world” that it would catch the amplified “voices of the ages imprinted upon and eternally existent in the substance of the astral light” (Hall, p. 174).
Given these points, we also see Dr. Rudolph Steiner discussed incarnations of the first human were formed out of the “element of fire.” As has been noted, earthly man radiated his “inner being outwards” by the use of this “force of the element of fire.” To be sure, the “evolving man,” which is the archetype of man on the astral plane, continues to be developed in each human based on his conditioning, which is used to help complete the creative word that comes out of the mouth of each being (Hall, 185)
With this in mind, Freemasonry, in general, must look closer into the topic of the Astral Realm, and perhaps take the lessons from all levels of the Craft to better understand and explore this incredible topic; in order to attain a higher level of consciousness. We are so thankful to Manly P. Hall and other Masonic authors for their wisdom on this topic.
So Mote It Be!
Blue Lodge Master Mason – Scottish Rite Mason – York Rite Mason – Knight Mason – Allied Mason – York Rite College – Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest – Red Cross of Constantine – Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis.