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The Cook Islands (ListenI/ˈkʊk ˈləndz/; Cook Islands Māori: Kūki 'Āirani[3]) is a self-governing parliamentary democracy in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. The 15 small islands have a total land area of 240 square kilometres (92.7 sq mi), but the Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers 1,800,000 square kilometres (690,000 sq mi) of ocean.[4]

The main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga (14,153 in 2006), where there is an international airport. There is a much larger population of Cook Islanders in New Zealand, particularly the North Island. In the 2006 census, 58,008 self-identified as being of ethnic Cook Island Māori descent.[5]

With about 100,000 visitors travelling to the islands in the 2010-11 financial year,[6] tourism is the country's main industry, and the leading element of the economy, far ahead of offshore banking, pearls, and marine and fruit exports.

Defence and foreign affairs are the responsibility of New Zealand, in consultation with the Cook Islands. In recent times, the Cook Islands have adopted an increasingly independent foreign policy. Although Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, they have the status of Cook Islands nationals, which is not given to other New Zealand citizens

The Cook Islands are in the South Pacific Ocean, north-east of New Zealand, between French Polynesia and American Samoa. There are 15 major islands spread over 2.2 million km² of ocean, divided into two distinct groups: the Southern Cook Islands and the Northern Cook Islands of coral atolls.[7]

The islands were formed by volcanic activity; the northern group is older and consists of six atolls (sunken volcanoes topped by coral growth). The climate is moderate to tropical.

The 15 islands and two reefs are grouped as follows:

The Cook Islands were first settled in the 6th century CE by Polynesian people who migrated from nearby Tahiti, to the southeast.[8]

Spanish ships visited the islands in the 16th century; the first written record of contact with the islands came with the sighting of Pukapuka by Spanish sailor Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira in 1595 who called it San Bernardo (Saint Bernard). Portuguese-Spaniard Pedro Fernández de Quirós, made the first recorded European landing in the islands when he set foot on Rakahanga in 1606, calling it Gente Hermosa (Beautiful People).[9]

British navigator Captain James Cook arrived in 1773 and 1777[10] and named the islands the Hervey Islands; the name "Cook Islands", in honour of Cook, appeared on a Russian naval chart published in the 1820s.[11]

In 1813, John Williams, a missionary on the Endeavour (not the same ship as Cook's), made the first recorded sighting of Rarotonga.[12] The first recorded landing on Rarotonga by Europeans was in 1814 by the Cumberland; trouble broke out between the sailors and the Islanders and many were killed on both sides.[13] The islands saw no more Europeans until missionaries arrived from England in 1821. Christianity quickly took hold in the culture and many islanders continue to be Christian believers today.

The Cook Islands became a British protectorate in 1888, due largely to community fears that France might occupy the territory as it had Tahiti. In 1901, the New Zealand Government decided to annex the country despite opposition from the country's traditional chiefs. As many of the islands were independent and ruled by local chiefs, the Cook Islands had no federal statutory law to decide the constitutional constraints regarding whether to agree to the country's annexation. When the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948 came into effect on 1 January 1949, Cook Islanders who were British subjects gained New Zealand citizenship.[14] The country remained a New Zealand protectorate until 1965, when the New Zealand Government decided to offer self-governing status to its colony. In that year, Albert Henry of the Cook Islands Party was elected as the first Prime Minister. Henry led the country until he was accused of vote-rigging. He was succeeded in 1978 by Tom Davis of the Democratic Party.



The languages of the Cook Islands include English, Cook Islands Māori, or "Rarotongan," and Pukapukan. Dialects of Cook Islands Maori include Penrhyn; Rakahanga-Manihiki; the Ngaputoru dialect of Atiu, Mitiaro, and Mauke; the Aitutaki dialect; and the Mangaian dialect. Cook Islands Maori and its dialectic variants are closely related to both Tahitian and to New Zealand Māori. Pukapukan is considered closely related to the Samoan language. English and Cook Islands Maori are official languages of the Cook Islands.


This wood carved figure escaped emasculation, despite its missionary collectors. Only one other comparable example is known, British Museum.

Woodcarving is a common art form in the Cook Islands. The proximity of islands in the southern group helped produce a homogeneous style of carving but which had special developments in each island. Rarotonga is known for its fisherman's gods and staff-gods, Atiu for its wooden seats, Mitiaro, Ma'uke and Atiu for mace and slab gods and Mangaia for its ceremonial adzes. Most of the original wood carvings were either spirited away by early European collectors or were burned in large numbers by missionary zealots. Today, carving is no longer the major art form with the same spiritual and cultural emphasis given to it by the Maori in New Zealand. However, there are continual efforts to interest young people in their heritage and some good work is being turned out under the guidance of older carvers. Atiu, in particular, has a strong tradition of crafts both in carving and local fibre arts such as tapa. Mangaia is the source of many fine adzes carved in a distinctive, idiosyncratic style with the so-called double-k design. Mangaia also produces food pounders carved from the heavy calcite found in its extensive limestone caves.

[edit] Weaving

The outer islands produce traditional weaving of mats, basketware and hats. Particularly fine examples of rito hats are worn by women to church. They are made from the uncurled immature fibre of the coconut palm and are of very high quality. The Polynesian equivalent of Panama hats, they are highly valued and are keenly sought by Polynesian visitors from Tahiti. Often, they are decorated with hatbands made of minuscule pupu shells which are painted and stitched on by hand. Although pupu are found on other islands the collection and use of them in decorative work has become a speciality of Mangaia. The weaving of rito is a speciality of the northern island of Penrhyn.

[edit] Tivaevae

A major art form in the Cook Islands is tivaevae. This is, in essence, the art of handmade Island scenery patchwork quilts. Introduced by the wives of missionaries in the 19th century, the craft grew into a communal activity and is probably one of the main reasons for its popularity.

[edit] Contemporary Art

The Cook Islands has produced internationally recognised contemporary artists, especially in the main island of Rarotonga. Artists include painter (and photographer) Mahiriki Tangaroa, sculptors Eruera (Ted) Nia (originally a film maker) and master carver Mike Tavioni, painter (and Polynesian tattoo enthusiast) Upoko’ina Ian George, Aitutakian-born painter Tim Manavaroa Buchanan, Loretta Reynolds, Judith Kunzlé, Joan Rolls Gragg, Kay George (who is also known for her fabric designs), Apii Rongo, and multi-media, installation and community-project artist Ani O'Neil, all of whom currently live on the main island of Rarotonga. Atiuan-based Andrea Eimke is an artist who works in the medium of tapa and other textiles, and also co-authored the book 'Tivaivai - The Social Fabric of the Cook Islands' with British academic Susanne Kuechler. Many of these artists have studied at university art schools in New Zealand and continue to enjoy close links with the New Zealand art scene.

New Zealand-based Cook Islander artists include Michel Tuffrey, print-maker David Teata, Richard Shortland Cooper, Sylvia Marsters, and Jim Vivieaere.

On Rarotonga, the main commercial galleries are Beachcomber Contemporary Art (Taputapuatea, Avarua) run by Ben Bergman, and The Art Gallery ('Arorangi). The Cook Islands National Museum also exhibits art.

[edit] Wildlife

[edit] Sport

Rugby league is the most popular sport in the Cook Islands.[24] Association football (soccer), Cricket and rugby union are also popular.[citation needed]

[edit] See also

Mount Te Manga

Mount Te Manga


  <> The topic Mount Te Manga is discussed in the following articles:

feature of Rarotonga of the Cook Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean, about 2,100 miles (3,400 km) northeast of New Zealand. Volcanic in origin, it has a rugged interior rising to 2,139 feet (652 metres) at Te Manga. Surrounding its mountainous core is a plain, an ancient raised fringing coral reef covered with sediment. The island itself is fringed by a coral reef.
  • Outline of the Cook Islands
  • Index of Cook Islands-related articles

    Cook Islands - Highest Mountains

    Name Elevation Latitude/Longitude
    1 Te Manga, 653 m -21.236 / -159.764
    2 Te Atukura, 638 m -21.24 / -159.762
    3 Maungatea, 523 m -21.229 / -159.783
    4 Ikurangi, 485 m -21.222 / -159.763
    5 Te Vaakauta, 450 m -21.235 / -159.75
    6 Te Rua Manga, 409 m -21.239 / -159.789
    7 Toroume, 329 m -21.259 / -159.752
    8 Oroenga, 292 m -21.224 / -159.749
    9 Te Tanga, 235 m -21.236 / -159.741
    10 Te Kou, more details:
    179 m -21.242 / -159.777


    Captain James Cook, FRS, RN (7 November 1728[NB 1] – 14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, as well as the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

    Cook joined the British merchant navy as a teenager and joined the Royal Navy in 1755. He saw action in the Seven Years' War, and subsequently surveyed and mapped much of the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River during the siege of Quebec. This helped bring Cook to the attention of the Admiralty and Royal Society. This notice came at a crucial moment in both Cook's career and the direction of British overseas exploration, and led to his commission in 1766 as commander of HM Bark Endeavour for the first of three Pacific voyages.

    In three voyages Cook sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe. He mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean in greater detail and on a scale not previously achieved. As he progressed on his voyages of discovery he surveyed and named features, and recorded islands and coastlines on European maps for the first time. He displayed a combination of seamanship, superior surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage and an ability to lead men in adverse conditions.

    Cook was killed in Hawaii in a fight with Hawaiians during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific in 1779. He left a legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge which was to influence his successors well into the 20th century and numerous memorials worldwide have been dedicated to him. However, his role in opening areas of the Pacific to colonisation and its subsequent effects on indigenous peoples have been the subject of both political and scholarly debate.


    Cook's first posting was with HMS Eagle, sailing with the rank of master's mate. In October and November 1755 he took part in Eagle's capture of one French warship and the sinking of another, following which he was promoted to boatswain in addition to his other duties.[7] His first temporary command was in March 1756 when he was briefly the master of the Cruizer, a small cutter attached to the Eagle while on patrol.[7][10]

    In June 1757 Cook passed his master's examinations at Trinity House, Deptford, which qualified him to navigate and handle a ship of the King's fleet.[11] He then joined the frigate HMS Solebay as master under Captain Robert Craig.[12]

    During the Seven Years' War, he served in North America as master of Pembroke.[13] In 1758, he took part in the major amphibious assault that captured the Fortress of Louisbourg from the French, after which he participated in the siege of Quebec City and then the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. He showed a talent for surveying and cartography, and was responsible for mapping much of the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River during the siege, thus allowing General Wolfe to make his famous stealth attack on the Plains of Abraham.[6]

    Cook's aptitude for surveying was put to good use mapping the jagged coast of Newfoundland in the 1760s. He surveyed the northwest stretch in 1763 and 1764, the south coast between the Burin Peninsula and Cape Ray in 1765 and 1766, and the west coast in 1767. His five seasons in Newfoundland produced the first large-scale and accurate maps of the island's coasts; they also gave Cook his mastery of practical surveying, achieved under often adverse conditions, and brought him to the attention of the Admiralty and Royal Society at a crucial moment both in his career and in the direction of British overseas discovery. Cook's map would be used into the 20th century—copies of it being referenced by those sailing Newfoundland's waters for 200 years.[14]

    Following on from his exertions in Newfoundland, it was at this time that Cook wrote that he intended to go not only:

    "... farther than any man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for a man to go."[11]


    First voyage (1768–71)

    In 1766, the Royal Society engaged Cook to travel to the Pacific Ocean to observe and record the transit of Venus across the Sun. Cook, at the age of 39, was promoted to lieutenant and named as commander of the expedition.[15][16] The expedition sailed from England in 1768, rounded Cape Horn and continued westward across the Pacific to arrive at Tahiti on 13 April 1769, where the observations of the Venus Transit were made. However, the result of the observations was not as conclusive or accurate as had been hoped. Once the observations were completed, Cook opened the sealed orders which were additional instructions from the Admiralty for the second part of his voyage: to search the south Pacific for signs of the postulated rich southern continent of Terra Australis.[17] Cook then sailed to New Zealand and mapped the complete coastline, making only some minor errors. He then voyaged west, reaching the south-eastern coast of Australia on 19 April 1770, and in doing so his expedition became the first recorded Europeans to have encountered its eastern coastline.[NB 2]

    On 23 April he made his first recorded direct observation of indigenous Australians at Brush Island near Bawley Point, noting in his journal: "...and were so near the Shore as to distinguish several people upon the Sea beach they appear'd to be of a very dark or black Colour but whether this was the real colour of their skins or the C[l]othes they might have on I know not."[18] On 29 April Cook and crew made their first landfall on the mainland of the continent at a place now known as the Kurnell Peninsula, which he named Botany Bay after the unique specimens retrieved by the botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander. It is here that James Cook made first contact with an Aboriginal tribe known as the Gweagal.[19]

    After his departure from Botany Bay he continued northwards, and a mishap occurred, on 11 June, when Endeavour ran aground on a shoal of the Great Barrier Reef, and then "nursed into a river mouth on 18 June 1770.".[20] The ship was badly damaged and his voyage was delayed almost seven weeks while repairs were carried out on the beach (near the docks of modern Cooktown, at the mouth of the Endeavour River).[3] Once repairs were complete the voyage continued, sailing through Torres Strait and on 22 August he landed on Possession Island, where he claimed the entire coastline he had just explored as British territory. He returned to England via Batavia (modern Jakarta, Indonesia), where many in his crew succumbed to malaria, the Cape of Good Hope and the island of Saint Helena, arriving on 12 July 1771.


    Cook's journals were published upon his return, and he became something of a hero among the scientific community. Among the general public, however, the aristocratic botanist Joseph Banks was a bigger hero.[3] Banks even attempted to take command of Cook's second voyage, but removed himself from the voyage before it began, and Johann Reinhold Forster and his son Georg Forster were taken on as scientists for the voyage. Cook's son George was born five days before he left for his second voyage.[21]

    captian james cook voyages



    Second voyage (1772–75) commander.[22][23] Then, in 1772, he was commissioned by the Royal Society to search for the hypothetical Terra Australis. On his first voyage, Cook had demonstrated by circumnavigating New Zealand that it was not attached to a larger landmass to the south. Although he charted almost the entire eastern coastline of Australia, showing it to be continental in size, the Terra Australis was believed to lie further south. Despite this evidence to the contrary, Alexander Dalrymple and others of the Royal Society still believed that this massive southern continent should exist.[24]

    Cook commanded HMS Resolution on this voyage, while Tobias Furneaux commanded its companion ship, HMS Adventure. Cook's expedition circumnavigated the globe at a very high southern latitude, becoming one of the first to cross the Antarctic Circle on 17 January 1773. He also surveyed, mapped and took possession for Britain of South Georgia explored by Anthony de la Roché in 1675, discovered and named Clerke Rocks and the South Sandwich Islands ("Sandwich Land"). In the Antarctic fog, Resolution and Adventure became separated. Furneaux made his way to New Zealand, where he lost some of his men during an encounter with Māori, and eventually sailed back to Britain, while Cook continued to explore the Antarctic, reaching 71°10'S on 31


    Cook almost encountered the mainland of Antarctica, but turned back north towards Tahiti to resupply his ship. He then resumed his southward course in a second fruitless attempt to find the supposed continent. On this leg of the voyage he brought with him a young Tahitian named Omai, who proved to be somewhat less knowledgeable about the Pacific than Tupaia had been on the first voyage. On his return voyage, in 1774 he landed at the Friendly Islands, Easter Island, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu. His reports upon his return home put to rest the popular myth of Terra Australis.[25]

    Another accomplishment of the second voyage was the successful employment of the Larcum Kendall K1 chronometer, which enabled Cook to calculate his longitudinal position with much greater accuracy. Cook's log was full of praise for the watch which he used to make charts of the southern Pacific Ocean that were so remarkably accurate that copies of them were still in use in the mid-20th century.[26]

    Upon his return, Cook was promoted to the rank of captain and given an honorary retirement from the Royal Navy, as an officer in the Greenwich Hospital. His acceptance was reluctant, insisting that he be allowed to quit the post if the opportunity for active duty presented itself.[27] His fame now extended beyond the Admiralty and he was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society and awarded the Copley Gold Medal, painted by Nathaniel Dance-Holland, dined with James Boswell and described in the House of Lords as "the first navigator in Europe".[11] But he could not be kept away from the sea. A third voyage was planned and Cook volunteered to find the Northwest Passage. Cook travelled to the Pacific and hoped to travel east to the Atlantic, while a simultaneous voyage travelled the opposite way.[28]

    Third vo

    On his last voyage, Cook once again commanded HMS Resolution, while Captain Charles Clerke commanded HMS Discovery. Ostensibly, the voyage was planned to return Omai to Tahiti; this is what the general public believed, as he had become a favourite curiosity in London. Principally the purpose of the voyage was an attempt to discover the famed Northwest Passage.[29] After returning Omai, Cook travelled north and in 1778 became the first European to visit the Hawaiian Islands. In passing and after initial landfall in January 1778 at Waimea harbour, Kauai, Cook named the archipelago the "Sandwich Islands" after the fourth Earl of Sandwich—the acting First Lord of the Admiralty.[30]

    From the South Pacific, he went northeast to explore the west coast of North America north of the Spanish settlements in Alta California. He made landfall at approximately 44°30′ north latitude, near Cape Foulweather on the Oregon coast, which he named. Bad weather forced his ships south to about 43° north before they could begin their exploration of the coast northward.[31] He unknowingly sailed past the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and soon after entered Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island. He anchored near the First Nations village of Yuquot. Cook's two ships spent about a month in Nootka Sound, from 29 March to 26 April 1778, in what Cook called Ship Cove, now Resolution Cove,[32] at the south end of Bligh Island, about 5 miles (8 km) east across Nootka Sound from Yuquot, a Nuu-chah-nulth village (whose chief Cook did not identify but may have been Maquinna). Relations between Cook's crew of the people of Yuquot were cordial if sometimes strained. In trading, the people of Yuquot demanded much more valuable items than the usual trinkets that had worked for Cook's crew in Hawaii. Metal objects were much desired, but the lead, pewter, and tin traded at first soon fell into disrepute. The most valuable items the British received in trade were sea otter pelts. Over the month-long stay the Yuquot "hosts" essentially controlled the trade with the British vessels, instead of vice versa. Generally the natives visited the British vessels at Resolution Cove instead of the British visiting the village of Yuquot at Friendly Cove.[33]

    After leaving Nootka Sound, Cook explored and mapped the coast all the way to the Bering Strait, on the way identifying what came to be known as Cook Inlet in Alaska. It has been said that, in a single visit, Cook charted the majority of the North American northwest coastline on world maps for the first time, determined the extent of Alaska and closed the gaps in Russian (from the West) and Spanish (from the South) exploratory probes of the Northern limits of the Pacific.[11]

    The Bering Strait proved to be impassable, although he made several attempts to sail through it. He became increasingly frustrated on this voyage, and perhaps began to suffer from a stomach ailment; it has been speculated that this led to irrational behaviour towards his crew, such as forcing them to eat walrus meat, which they found inedible.[34]

    Cook returned to Hawaii in 1779. After sailing around the archipelago for some eight weeks, he made landfall at Kealakekua Bay, on 'Hawaii Island', largest island in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Cook's arrival coincided with the Makahiki, a Hawaiian harvest festival of worship for the Polynesian god Lono. Coincidentally the form of Cook's ship, HMS Resolution, or more particularly the mast formation, sails and rigging, resembled certain significant artifacts that formed part of the season of worship.[3][34] Similarly, Cook's clockwise route around the island of Hawaii before making landfall resembled the processions that took place in a clockwise direction around the island during the Lono festivals. It has been argued (most extensively by Marshall Sahlins) that such coincidences were the reasons for Cook's (and to a limited extent, his crew's) initial deification by some Hawaiians who treated Cook as an incarnation of Lono.[35] Though this view was first suggested by members of Cook's expedition, the idea that any Hawaiians understood Cook to be Lono, and the evidence presented in support of it was challenged in 1992.[34][36]


    After a month's stay, Cook got under sail again to resume his exploration of the Northern Pacific. However, shortly after leaving Hawaii Island, the foremast of the Resolution broke and the ships returned to Kealakekua Bay for repairs. It has been hypothesised that the return to the islands by Cook's expedition was not just unexpected by the Hawaiians, but also unwelcome because the season of Lono had recently ended (presuming that they associated Cook with Lono and Makahiki). In any case, tensions rose and a number of quarrels broke out between the Europeans and Hawaiians. On 14 February at Kealakekua Bay, some Hawaiians took one of Cook's small boats. Normally, as thefts were quite common in Tahiti and the other islands, Cook would have taken hostages until the stolen articles were returned.[3] Indeed, he attempted to take hostage the King of Hawaiʻi, Kalaniʻōpuʻu. The Hawaiians prevented this, and Cook's men had to retreat to the beach. As Cook turned his back to help launch the boats, he was struck on the head by the villagers and then stabbed to death as he fell on his face in the surf.[37] Hawaiian tradition says that he was killed by a chief named Kalanimanokahoowaha or Kanaina.[38] The Hawaiians dragged his body away. Four of the Marines with Cook were also killed and two wounded in the confrontation.

     retained by their chiefs and elders. Following the practice of the time, Cook's body underwent funerary rituals similar to those reserved for the chiefs and highest elders of the society. The body was disembowelled, baked to facilitate removal of the flesh, and the bones were carefully cleaned for preservation as religious icons in a fashion somewhat reminiscent of the treatment of European saints in the Middle Ages. Some of Cook's remains, disclosing some corroborating evidence to this effect, were eventually returned to the British for a formal burial at sea following an appeal by the crew.[40]

    Clerke took over the expedition and made a final attempt to pass through the Bering Strait.[41] Following the death of Clerke, Resolution and Discovery returned home in October 1780 commanded by John Gore, a veteran of Cook's first voyage, and Captain James King.[42] Cook's account of his third and final voyage was completed upon their return by King.

    David Samwell, who sailed with Cook on the Resolution, wrote of him:

    He was a modest man, and rather bashful; of an agreeable lively conversation, sensible and intelligent. In temper he was somewhat hasty, but of a disposition the most friendly, benevolent and humane. His person was above six feet high: and, though a good looking man, he was plain both in dress and appearance. His face was full of expression: his nose extremely well shaped: his eyes which were small and of a brown cast, were quick and piercing; his eyebrows prominent, which gave his countenance altogether an air of austerity.[43]

    Navigation and science

    Cook's 12 years sailing around the Pacific Ocean contributed much to European knowledge of the area. Several islands such as Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) were encountered for the first time by Europeans, and his more accurate navigational charting of large areas of the Pacific was a major achievement.[44]

    To create accurate maps, latitude and longitude need to be known. Navigators had been able to work out latitude accurately for centuries by measuring the angle of the sun or a star above the horizon with an instrument such as a backstaff or quadrant. Longitude was more difficult to measure accurately because it requires precise knowledge of the time difference between points on the surface of the earth. The Earth turns a full 360 degrees relative to the sun each day. Thus longitude corresponds to time: 15 degrees every hour, or 1 degree every 4 minutes.[45]

    Cook gathered accurate longitude measurements during his first voyage due to his navigational skills, the help of astronomer Charles Green and by using the newly published Nautical Almanac tables, via the lunar distance method—measuring the angular distance from the moon to either the sun during daytime or one of eight bright stars during night-time to determine the time at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and comparing that to his local time determined via the altitude of the sun, moon, or stars. On his second voyage Cook used the K1 chronometer made by Larcum Kendall, which was the shape of a large pocket watch, 5 inches (13 cm) in diameter. It was a copy of the H4 clock made by John Harrison, which proved to be the first to keep accurate time at sea when used on the ship Deptford's journey to Jamaica, 1761–62.[46]

    Cook succeeded in circumnavigating the world on his first voyage without losing a single man to scurvy, an unusual accomplishment at the time. He tested several preventive measures but the most important was frequent replenishment of fresh food.[47] It was for presenting a paper on this aspect of the voyage to the Royal Society that he was presented with the Copley Medal in 1776.[48][49] Ever the observer, Cook was the first European to have extensive contact with various people of the Pacific. He correctly concluded there was a relationship among all the people in the Pacific, despite their being separated by thousands of miles of ocean (see Malayo-Polynesian languages). Cook came up with the theory that Polynesians originated from Asia, which was later proved to be correct by scientist Bryan Sykes.[50] In New Zealand the coming of Cook is often used to signify the onset of colonisation.[3][5]

    Cook was accompanied on his voyages by many scientists, whose observations and discoveries added to the importance of the voyages. Joseph Banks, a botanist, went on the first voyage along with fellow botanist Daniel Solander from Sweden. Between them they collected over 3,000 plant species.[51] Banks became one of the strongest promoters of the settlement of Australia by the British, based on his own personal observations.[52][53]

    There were also several artists on the first voyage. Sydney Parkinson was involved in many of the drawings, completing 264 drawings before his death near the end of the voyage. They were of immense scientific value to British botanists.[3][54] Cook's second expedition included the artist William Hodges, who produced notable landscape paintings of Tahiti, Easter Island, and other locations.

    A number of the junior officers who served under Cook went on to distinctive accomplishments of their own. William Bligh, Cook's sailing master, was given command of HMS Bounty in 1787 to sail to Tahiti and return with breadfruit. Bligh is most known for the mutiny of his crew which resulted in his being set adrift in 1789. He later became governor of New South Wales, where he was subject of another mutiny—the only successful armed takeover of an Australian colonial government.[55] George Vancouver, one of Cook's midshipmen, later led a voyage of exploration to the Pacific Coast of North America from 1791 to 1794.[56] In honour of his former commander, Vancouver's new ship was also christened Discovery. George Dixon sailed under Cook on his third expedition, and later commanded an expedition of his own.[57]

    His contributions to knowledge were internationally recognised during his lifetime. In 1779, while the American colonies were at war with Britain in their war for independence, Benjamin Franklin wrote to captains of American warships at sea, recommending that if they came into contact with Cook's vessel, they were to:

    ...not consider her an enemy, nor suffer any plunder to be made of the effects contained in her, nor obstruct her immediate return to England by detaining her or sending her into any other part of Europe or to America; but that you treat the said Captain Cook and his people with all civility and kindness, . . . as common friends to mankind.[58]

    Unknown to Franklin, Cook had met his death a month before this "passport" was written.


    US coin, the 1928 Hawaiian Sesquicentennial half dollar bears an image of Cook. Minted during the celebration marking the 150th anniversary of his discovery of the islands, its low mintage (10,008) has made this example of Early United States commemorative coins both scarce and expensive.[59] The site where he was killed in Hawaii is marked by a white obelisk, built in 1874, and about 25 square feet (2.3 m2) of land around it is chained off. This land, though in Hawaii, has been given to the United Kingdom. Therefore, the site is officially a part of the UK.[60] A nearby town is named Captain Cook, Hawaii as well as several businesses. The Apollo 15 command module Endeavour was named after Cook's ship, HMS Endeavour,[61] as is the space shuttle Endeavour.[62] Another shuttle, Discovery, is named after Cook's HMS Discovery.[63]

    The first tertiary education institution in North Queensland, Australia was named after him, with James Cook University opening in Townsville in 1970.[64] In Australian rhyming slang the expression "Captain Cook" means "look".[65] Numerous institutions, landmarks and place names reflect the importance of Cook's contribution to knowledge of geography. These include the Cook Islands, the Cook Strait, Cook Inlet, and the Cook crater on the Moon.[66] Aoraki/Mount Cook, the highest summit in New Zealand, is named for him.[67] Another Mount Cook is on the border between the US state of Alaska and the Canadian Yukon Territory, and is designated Boundary Peak 182 as one of the official Boundary Peaks of the Hay–Herbert Treaty.[68]


     Easby Moor overlooking his boyhood village of Great Ayton.[71] In 1978, on the 250th anniversary of Cook's birth, at the site of his birthplace in Marton, the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, which is located within Stewart Park, was opened. A granite vase just to the south of the museum marks the approximate spot where he was born.[72] Tributes also abound in post-industrial Middlesbrough, and include a primary school,[73] shopping square[74] and the Bottle 'O Notes a public artwork by Claes Oldenburg erected in the town's Central Gardens in 1993. Also named after Cook is the James Cook University Hospital, a major teaching hospital opened in 2003.[75]


    The Royal Research Ship RRS James Cook was built in 2006 to replace the RRS Charles Darwin in the UK's Royal Research Fleet[76] and Stepney Historical Trust has placed a plaque on Free Trade Wharf in the Highway, Shadwell to commemorate his life in the East End of London.

    See also

    Pages in category "Mountains of Hawaii"

    The following 19 pages are in this category, out of 19 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).

    Mauna Loa (play /ˌmɔːnə ˈl.ə/ or /ˌmnə ˈl.ə/; Hawaiian: [ˈmɔunə ˈlowə]) is one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi in the Pacific Ocean, and the largest on Earth in terms of volume and area covered. It is an active shield volcano, with a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles (75,000 km3),[2] although its peak is about 120 feet (37 m) lower than that of its neighbor, Mauna Kea. The Hawaiian name "Mauna Loa" means "Long Mountain".[3] Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are silica-poor, and very fluid; eruptions tend to be non-explosive and the volcano has relatively shallow slopes.

    Mauna Loa has probably been erupting for at least 700,000 years, and may have emerged above sea level about 400,000 years ago. The oldest-known dated rocks are not older than 200,000 years.[4] The volcano's magma comes from the Hawaii hotspot, which has been responsible for the creation of the Hawaiian island chain over tens of millions of years. The slow drift of the Pacific Plate will eventually carry Mauna Loa away from the hotspot within 500,000 to one million years from now, at which point it will become extinct.

    Mauna Loa's most recent eruption occurred from March 24, 1984, through April 15, 1984. No recent eruptions of the volcano have caused fatalities, but eruptions in 1926 and 1950 destroyed villages, and the city of Hilo is partly built on lava flows from the late 19th century. In view of the hazards it poses to population centers, Mauna Loa is part of the Decade Volcanoes program, which encourages studies of the most dangerous volcanoes. Mauna Loa has been intensively monitored by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory since 1912. Observations of the atmosphere are undertaken at the Mauna Loa Observatory, and of the Sun at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory, both located near its summit. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park covers the summit and the southeastern flank of the volcano, including a separate volcano, Kīlauea.



    Kīlauea[2] (play /klˈ.ə/; Hawaiian: [ˈkiːlɔuˈwɛjə]) is a volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, and one of five shield volcanoes that together form the island of Hawaiʻi. Kīlauea means "spewing" or "much spreading" in the Hawaiian language, referring to its frequent outpouring of lava. The Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone has been continuously erupting in the eastern rift zone since 1983, making it the longest rift-zone eruption of the last 200 years. Thirty-five eruptions have taken place since 1952, not including the current episode. Lava less than 1000 years old covers 90% of Kīlauea,[3] and the volume of erupted material is large enough to pave a road around the world three times.

    Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet[4] and an invaluable resource for volcanologists who are able to study it up close due to its exclusively non-violent effusive activity. Since 2008, rising emissions of sulphur dioxide from the Halemaʻumaʻu crater at Kīlauea's summit have led to increased levels of volcanic smog and air quality concerns. Located within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Kīlauea is visited by millions of tourists each year, making it the most visited attraction in Hawaii and the most visited volcano in the world.

    Despite its relative safety for researchers and visitors alike,[5] Kīlauea is regarded by the USGS as the most dangerous volcano in the U.S.[6] In 2010-2011, lava destroyed several houses in the Kalapana area.[7] In March 2012, lava from Kīlauea completed the destruction of the Royal Gardens subdivision by burning the last remaining home there.[8] According to the United States Geological Survey, the Volcanic-Alert Level for Kīlauea as of April, 2012 is "Watch".[9] A Watch status is used to designate escalating unrest or a minor eruption underway that poses limited hazards.

    Like all Hawaiian volcanoes, Kīlauea was created as the Pacific tectonic plate moved over the Hawaiian hotspot in the Earth's underlying mantle.[10] The Hawaii island volcanoes are merely the most recent evidence of this process that, over 70 million years, has created the 6,000 km (3,700 mi)-long Hawaiian – Emperor Seamount chain.[11] The prevailing, though not completely settled, view is that the hotspot has been largely stationary within the planet's mantle for much, if not all of the Cenozoic Era.[11][12] However, while Hawaiian volcanism is well-understood and extensively studied, there remains no definite explanation of the mechanism that causes the hotspot effect.[13]

    Kīlauea is one of five subaerial volcanoes that make up the island of Hawaiʻi, created by the Hawaii hotspot.[1] The oldest volcano on the island, Kohala, is more than a million years old,[14] and Kīlauea, the youngest, is believed to be between 300,000 and 600,000 years of age;[1] Lōʻihi Seamount on the island's flank is even younger, but has yet to breach the surface.[15] Thus it is the second youngest volcano in the Hawaiian – Emperor seamount chain, a chain of shield volcanoes and seamounts extending from Hawaii to the Kuril–Kamchatka Trench in Russia.[16]

    Because Kīlauea lies on the southern flank of Mauna Loa, and because it lacks a distinct peak, Kīlauea was originally considered a satellite of the much larger volcano. However, analysis of chemical differences between the lavas from the two volcanoes show that they have separate magma chambers, and thus distinctly different; nonetheless, their proximity lends then certain common aspects. The most apparent relation is that high activity at one volcano generally coincides with low activity at the other. For instance, between 1934 and 1952, Kīlauea was dormant and Mauna Loa was active, while from 1952 to 1974, the reverse was true. This is not always strictly true; the 1984 eruption of Mauna Loa started during an eruption at Kīlauea, but had no discernible effect on the Kīlauea eruption. The recent inflation of Mauna Loa's summit (an indication of lava welling up under its structure and a precursor to an eruption) began on the same day as a new large lava flow broke out at Kīlauea's Puʻu Ōʻō crater. Geologists have suggested that a "pulse" of magma entering Mauna Loa's deep plumbing system could have increased pressure inside Kīlauea and triggered the eruption.[17]

    Kīlauea lacks a topographical prominence, appearing only as a bulge on the southeastern flank of the nearby Mauna Loa; both native Hawaiians and early geologists considered it an active satellite of its more massive neighbor, and the discovery of its independent magma chamber and construction is a relatively recent occurrence. The volcano is estimated to have first erupted 300,000 to 600,000 years ago, and has since stayed active, never experiencing any prolonged period or rest. The bulk of Kīlauea consists of cooled lava flows, occasionally intermittent with volcanic ash products from explosive eruptions.[18] Following the pattern of Hawaiian volcanics, Kīlauea would have started out as young submarine volcano, gradually building itself up through subsurface eruptions of alkali basalt before emerging from the sea with a series of explosive eruptions[19] about 50,000 to 100,000 years ago.[18]

    Since then, the volcano's activity has likely been as it is now, a continual stream of effusive Hawaiian eruptions of the same pattern as its activity in the last 200 or 300 years. Eruptions at Kīlauea generally occur at one of three places: its summit caldera, its eastern rift zone, and its southwestern rift zone. Kīlauea's summit has been built up by a large number of localized eruptions. The volcano has a large caldera, but it is unknown if the caldera was always there or if it a recent feature, and it is possible that it has come and went throughout Kīlauea's eruptive history. The majority of Kīlauean activity actually occurs at one of its two rift zones. However, because these eruptions are not localized, they occur across the entire length of the rift zones, and have built up low-lying ridges extending from the volcano's summit out to 125 km (78 mi) east and 35 km (22 mi) southwest.[18]

    At most 600,000 years old, Kīlauea is still quite young for a Hawaiian volcano;[1] the oldest volcano on the island, the northwestern Kohala, experienced almost 900,000 years of activity before going extinct.[14] The volcano's foreseeable future activity will likely be much like it has been for the past 50,000 to 100,000 years; continued Hawaiian activty and occasional explosive eruptions will continue to heighten Kīlauea's summit and build up its rift zones, and likely fill and reform its summit caldera. It is likely to remain active in its current state of activity for the rest of human history.[18]

    [edit] Approaches

    From Hilo, the Hawaii Belt Road, Route 11, heads south to Keaʻau, then turns westward to begin the climb to the Kīlauea caldera. For some 20 miles (32 km) the road runs relatively straight, making a very gradual 4,000-foot (1,200 m) ascent. However, most of this climb is actually on the heavily vegetated, cloud forest flank of Mauna Loa. The crossing onto lava flows issued from Kīlauea is not until about 1-mile (1.6 km) west of Glenwood, 18 miles (29 km) from Hilo. The verdant, forested Mauna Loa flows are several thousand years old, whereas the lightly vegetated Kīlauea flows are only 350 to 500 years old.



    Driving south from Kailua-Kona on the west coast of Hawaiʻi, Kīlauea is 98 miles (158 km) distant along the Hawaii Belt Road, which passes through Kaʻū, the southernmost district of the island. After passing around the southern end of Mauna Loa's lengthy lower flank, the highway then turns northeast towards Kīlauea. The route through Kaʻū is different from the verdant forests seen when coming from Hilo: The route from the south approaches Kīlauea through the Kaʻū Desert, on the volcano's leeward slope. Kīlauea's height of 4,000 feet (1,200 m) is sufficient to force most of the moisture out of the impinging northeasterly trade winds, leaving much of Kaʻū in the rain shadow of the "low" mountain, creating a desert effect. The desert effect is also produced by the acid rain resulting from sulfur dioxide emitted by the volcano. This area is also the very active southwest rift zone of Kīlauea, a prolific ash producer. Winds redistribute the ash, causing dust storms and dunes barren of most vegetation.

    As from the Hilo side, the long gradual climb from near sea level to the summit is actually all on the flank of Mauna Loa. Not until the Sulfur Bank scarp (the northwestern edge of Kīlauea Caldera), near the intersection of Crater Rim Drive in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, does the road cross over onto Kīlauea. From near Punaluʻu at the coast to the caldera at the summit, the highway parallels the line of contact between the two volcanoes — always less than 1-mile (1.6 km) southeast of that line.

    [edit] Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

    Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park encompasses a portion of Kīlauea, and the Kīlauea Visitor Center is located near the margin of the summit caldera, overlooking a large pit crater called Halema`uma`u. The roughly circular caldera measures 3x5 km (or 6x6 km, including the outermost ring faults). The Visitor Center features exhibits about volcano, the plants and animals in the park, and the island's cultural history.

    [edit] Activity

    The volcano erupts frequently, with written records recording historical eruptions as early as 1820. In an earlier episode around 1790, an eruption killed a party of warriors and their families.[20] These soldiers were part of the army controlled by Keōua Kuahuʻula, the last chief on the island to resist Kamehameha I. In 1825, Admiral Lord Byron, cousin of the famous poet, visited the volcano.[21] His campsite, still known as "Byron's Ledge" is located at coordinates

    19°24′54While Kīlauea is currently known for its largely non-explosive eruptions, it has had large explosive eruptions in the past.[22] The most recent of such explosive eruptions occurred in 1924, when magma interacted with groundwater as the long-standing lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater drained. Eruption columns are inferred to have risen at least as high as 9 km (5.6 mi) and possibly up to 15–20 km (9–12 miles)—much higher than the cruising altitude of airliners. One of the most spectacular episodes of Kīlauea lava fountaining occurred in 1959 during the Kīlauea Iki eruption. Lava sprayed nearly 580 meters (1900 ft) high. Eruptions from Kīlauea also are known for creating vog (volcanic smog), which usually affects parts of Hawaii, but can extend over many areas of the Hawaiian Islands whenever winds come out of the south or southeast.

    Eruptions at Kīlauea occur primarily either from the summit caldera or along either of the East and Southwest rift zones that extend from the caldera and run approximately parallel to the coastline. In recent decades, eruptions have been continuous, with many of the lava flows reaching to the Pacific Ocean shore. About 90% of the surface of Kīlauea is lava flows less than 1,100 years old; 70% of the surface is younger than 600 years. There were 45 eruptions of Kīlauea in the 20th century.

    [edit] Mauna Ulu eruption (1969–74)

    The Mauna Ulu eruption of Kīlauea began on May 24, 1969, and ended on July 22, 1974. At the time, Mauna Ulu was the longest flank eruption of any Hawaiian volcano in recorded history. The eruption created a new vent, covered massive amounts of land with lava, and added new land to the island. The eruption first started as a fissure between two pit craters, ʻĀloʻi and ʻAlae, where the Mauna Ulu shield would eventually form. Both pāhoehoe and ʻaʻā lava erupted from the volcano. Early on, fountains of lava burst out as much as 540 meters (1772 ft) high. In early 1973, an earthquake occurred that caused Kīlauea to stop erupting near the original Mauna Ulu site and instead erupt near the craters Pauahi and Hiʻiaka. However, the eruption site soon returned to normal.

    [edit] Sum

    In the early morning of March 19, 2008, Halemaʻumaʻu experienced its first explosive event since 1924 and the first eruption in the Kīlauea caldera since September 1982. A steam vent that had recently opened near the overlook area exploded, generating a magnitude 3.7 earthquake, and scattering rocks over a 75-acre (300,000 m2) area. A small amount of ash was also reported at a nearby community. The explosion debris covered part of Crater Rim Drive and damaged Halemaʻumaʻu overlook. The explosion did not release any lava, which suggests to scientists that it was driven by hydrothermal or gas sources. The new crater currently hosts a long-term lava lake.[23]

    This explosion event followed increased sulfur dioxide gas levels from the Halemaʻumaʻu crater. The dangerous increase of sulfur dioxide gas has prompted closures of Crater Rim Drive between Kīlauea Military Camp south/southeast to Chain of Craters Road, Crater Rim Trail from Kīlauea Military Camp southsoutheast to Chain of Craters Road, and all trails leading to Halemaʻumaʻu crater, including those from Byron Ledge, ʻIliahi (Sandalwood) Trail, and Kaʻū Desert Trail.[24]

    Early in the morning of March 24, 2008, the white gas ejection changed to brown-gray ash, and lava particles were thrown from the vent, forming Pele's hair, Pele's tears, and 4-inch (100 mm) lava spatters around the vent. This is the first time fresh lava has been erupted in the crater since 1982.

    [edit] Vent eruption and lava flows

    [edit] 1983-2012

    The current Kīlauea eruption began on January 3, 1983, along the East rift zone at the Pu'u 'Ō'ō vent, where vigorous fountaining built up Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone and sent lava flows downslope. In 1986, activity shifted downrift to a new vent, named Kupaianaha ("mysterious" or "astonishing" in Hawaiian), where it took on a more effusive character. Kupaianaha built into a low, broad shield rather than a cone, and tube-fed lava flows extended 11 to 12 km to the sea. In 1992, the eruption moved back to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, but continued in the same manner, covering nearly all of the 1983-86 lava flows and large areas of coastline.[25] This eruption has covered over 117 km² of land on the southern flank of Kīlauea and has built out into the sea 2 km² (230 hectares) of new land. Since 1983 more than 2.7 km³ of lava has been erupted, making the 1983-to-present eruption the largest historically known for Kīlauea. 189 structures have been destroyed.

    [edit] Kamoamoa Fissure Eruption

    At 1:42 p.m. on March 5, 2011, Puʻu ʻŌʻō began to rapidly deflate followed 18 minutes later by Kīlauea's summit. As magma began to drain from both, harmonic tremors substantially increased along the east rift zone. As the magma continued to drain away, Puʻu ʻŌʻō suffered several collapses as its crater floor continued to subside. At 5:15 p.m. a new eruption was observed to have begun from a fissure located between Napau Crater and Puʻu ʻŌʻō.[26] At the same time, the lava stream to the coastal flows turned sluggish, and by March 7, all activity at Kalapana had stopped.[27] The new eruption was given the name of the 'Kamoamoa Fissure Eruption' by volcanologists, and a National Park ranger stated that the volume of lava being produced by the vents was estimated to be five times that of the previous eruption on the East Rift, with the new vents generating about 2.5 million cubic meters of molten rock a day. About 120 acres were said to have been covered with lava by March 8, all within the National Park in a remote area.[28]

    [edit] Property damage

    Lava flows in 1987 buried much of the Royal Gardens subdivision, which was near the boundary of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The 1990 lava flows were notable for their destruction; the towns of Kalapana and Kaimū were totally destroyed, as were Kaimū Bay, Kalapana black sand beach, and a large section of Route 130, which now abruptly dead-ends at the lava flow.

    Lava from Kīlauea destroyed three abandoned houses in the week of February 25, 2008, in a nearly deserted neighborhood.[29] On the night of March 5, 2008, lava from the flows again reached the ocean off the Puna coast, creating a spectacular show of light and color. Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense officials set up a viewing center nearby for the public to observe the phenomenon; however, the site was covered with lava July 17, 2010, by a flow that was heading east towards houses near the Kalapana Gardens subdivision built on the 1990 lava flows, with one home at that time being evacuated as a precaution.[30] The home was destroyed by lava July 25; it was reportedly the first occupied home to be claimed by the volcano in a decade, although 17 abandoned "structures" in the Royal Gardens subdivision had been overrun by lava in 2008-09. Lava also reached the ocean and again entered the water.[31]

    On November 27, 2010, another home near Kalapana Gardens was destroyed as a result of a slow-moving Kilauea lava flow. The house had already been evacuated. The relocated public viewing area was closed as a precaution. Other lava flows were reported in the region but none directly threatened the remaining homes in the subdivision at that time. Lava continued to flow into the water at the Puhi o Kalaikini ocean entry.[7]

    January 17, 2011, saw another Kalapana area home taken by the lava. The homeowner, who had worked for years to replant the three-acre lot that the home was built on, was quoted as saying "We'll probably be back to start over."[32][33]


    For Native Hawaiians, Kīlauea is considered the "body" of Pele, the volcano goddess of ancient Hawaiian legend.[34] Several lava formations are named after her, including Pele's tears (small droplets of lava that cool in the air and retain their teardrop shapes) and Pele's hair (thin, brittle strands of volcanic glass that often form during the explosions that accompany a lava flow as it enters the ocean).[35]

    In Hawaiian mythology, Kīlauea is where most of the conflict between Pele and the rain god Kamapuaʻa took place. Halemaʻumaʻu, "House of the ʻamaʻumaʻu fern", derives its name from the final struggle between the two gods: since it was the favorite residence of Pele, Kamapuaʻa, hard-pressed by Pele's ability to make lava spout from the ground at will, covered it with the fronds of the fern. Choking from the smoke which could not escape anymore, Pele emerged. Realizing that each could threaten the other with destruction, the gods had to call their fight a draw and divided the island between them: Kamapuaʻa got the windward northeastern side, and Pele got the drier Kona (or leeward) side. The rusty singed appearance of the young fronds of the ʻamaʻumaʻu was said to be a product of the legendary struggle.

    THE 19.4 FACTOR

    Hyperdimensional physics

    Richard Hoagland has proposed a form of physics he calls 'hyperdimensional physics'[22][23] which, supported by the work of pseudoscientific overunity claimant Thomas E. Bearden,[24] he claims to represent the full implementation of James Clerk Maxwell's original 20 quaternion equations,[25] instead of the reduced Maxwell's equations as amended by Oliver Heaviside commonly taught today. These ideas are rejected by the mainstream physics community as unfounded.

    A tenet of these views holds that vast amounts of energy originating from dimensions we cannot perceive are available at latitudes 19.5° both south and north on the Sun and every planet in the solar system. Hoagland points to the colossal volcano, Olympus Mons, on Mars, as the supreme example, in addition to Earth's biggest volcano, Mauna Loa on the island of Hawaiʻi, and the Anticyclonic storm on Jupiter. The center of Olympus Mons is at 18.3°N 227°E.and the massive shield spans 14°N to 24°N.[26] Jupiter's Great Red Spot is centered at 22°S. According to Hoagland,[27] an essential prediction of his theory is that a massive planet is yet to be discovered in the solar system. To date, no research conducted in mainstream astronomy would appear to substantiate these theories.


    Hawaii and the Star tetrahedron

    In the early 1990s Richard Hoagland, a former NASA scientist, had become intrigued by what appeared, in NASA photographs, to be a number of Pyramids and a Sphinx clustered together in a region called Cydonia on the surface of Mars. As his research continued he recognized that Cydonia sits astride the 19.5-degree latitude on Mars, and that furthermore so does the ‘eye’ on Jupiter and the most active volcanoes on Earth which are on The Big Island of Hawaii. (Also on Earth the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan of Mexico sit on the 19.5 line). He was pondering these coincidences when another researcher, Drunvalo Melchizedek, who was primarily interested in sacred geometry, noticed that if you place a Star Tetrahedron (which is composed of 2 interlocking 4-sided tetrahedrons) so that it fits inside a sphere with its points touching the surface of the sphere, then if the two opposite points of the tetrahedrons are the ‘poles’ of this sphere, then the other points of the tetrahedrons touch the sphere at 19.5 degrees north and south of the ‘equator’.

    The star-tetrahedron inside a sphere, showing coordinate points

    The Star Tetrahedron is significant because it is one of the shapes that energetic interdimensional vehicles, known as the ‘Merkaba’ or ‘Light-body’, manifest as. At Planet Earth’s 19.5-degree latitude we have the intersection between the light body of the planet with its surface, and since light-bodies have the ability to connect us to other dimensions, at this latitude we have an energetic predisposition for inter-dimensional experience. Hence the massive volcanoes on Mars, the eye and Moon of Jupiter, two volcanoes on Venus, a ‘dark spot’ on Neptune, dark cloud bands on Saturn and the Volcanoes of Hawaii.

    Jupiter’s red spot and Moon at 19.5 degrees latitude south
    (Courtesy of NASA)




    the secret bridge


    The sushumna runs up and down the central axis of the body within the spine, between the crown (top of the head) and sacrum. The sushumna is also connected to all seven primary chakras via the "stems," which provides each chakra with this vital energy.

    This primary current runs "between the sun and earth" - "from heaven above and earth below."

    As Above, So Below.

    This current induces other currents at right angles to itself, which flow between the spine and the outer edges of our etheric body (aura.) Thus we have a vital etheric body consisting of an interweaving mesh of stream of energy with the spinal current as an axis. This axis actually holds the "etheric body" (our aura) together and gives it coherent form. Think of this like a magnet surrounded by lines of force in which the metal fillings are drawn into a pattern and held in place in a magnetic field.


    Besides the sushumna, there are two additional energy channels that play an important role in our energy system. These channels are known in Sanskrit as: "ida" and "pingala."

    The pingala channel is the carrier of solar energy. It is full of heat and drive. It begins on the right hand side of the Root chakra and ends in the upper area of the right nostril.

    The ida channel is the carrier of the cool and calming lunar energy. It begins on the left hand side of the Root chakra and ends in the left nostril.

    These two channels wind their way around the sushumna from the Root chakra to the nose, meeting at the 6th chakra and polarizing each of the chakras in between, thus contributing to their spin (see Figure 6 above).

    Only when one attempts to arouse the energy latent in the inner layers does the dangerous serpent fire begin to show itself. Think of this serpent fire as a ball or sphere of fire, or energy, and the ball is made up of layers, like a ball within a ball within a ball within a ball, etc.

    The harmless fire of the outer skin of the ball or sphere travels up the spinal column using the three lines of sushumna, ida and pingala simultaneously.

    "It is the pure Akasha that passes up Sushumna and its two aspects flow in Ida and Pingala...Ida and Pingala play along the curved wall of the spinal cord...They are the positive and the negative, the sun and the moon...They have there distinct paths of their own, otherwise they would radiate all over the body." - Madame Blavatsky "The Secret Doctrine"

    C.S. Leadbeater in "The Hidden Life in Freemasonry" explains it this way: " the First Degree, it effects the Ida, or feminine aspects of the force, thus making it easier for the person to control passion and emotions; in the Second Degree, it is the Pingala, or masculine aspect which is strengthened in order to facilitate control of the mind; but in the Third Degree, it is the central energy itself, the Sushumna, which is aroused, thereby opening the way for the influence of the pure spirit on high. It is passing up through this channel of the Sushumna that a yogi leaves his physical body at will in such a manner that he can retain full consciousness on higher planes and bring back into his physical brain a clear memory of the experience."

    The wings of the caduceus depicted in Figure 7 is a symbolic representation of this astral flight.

    - Now you know the hidden (secret) meaning behind the caduceus symbol :-)

    I repeat, at the center of each chakra, in its deepest point, there is a stem-like channel that extends to the spine and merges with it. The chakras are connected to the sushumna via these stems, which provides each chakra with "vital energy."

    In Figure 8 above, you can see the general location of the flower-like chakras, their respective stem, and the location of their connection to the spinal cord.

    As you can see, the stem bends downwards, it droops if you will, in the coeliac (or solar plexus) cardiac (heart) plexus, and the throat plexus. The reason for this involves the cerebro-spinal and sympathetic nervous systems, which I am not going to explain here.

    Before we leave this segment,
    it should be noted that the Crown Chakra is NOT connected with any of the sympathetic plexus of the physical body.

    The Crown Chakra is associated with the pineal gland and pituitary body and is related to the development of the brain and spinal system of nerves.

    The pineal gland is separated from the pituitary gland by a heavy cartilaginous tissue. For many, the astral vortices corresponding to the 6th and 7th chakras converge upon the pituitary body - the pituitary body being the only direct link between the physical and the higher planes.

    For another type of people, the pituitary vortex is bent, or slanted until it coincides with the pineal organ, which is vivified and made into a line of communication directly with the lower mental plane without having to pass through the intermediate astral plane in the ordinary way.

    The goal here is to develop and bridge the 6th and 7th chakras, creating an avenue of communication between them. This connecting link is called the antahkarana, or simply, the psychic bridge.

    The antahkarana is the link between your personality and your Higher SELF.

    As you develop these higher chakras, this psychic bridge is enlarged and strengthened, and so will be your intuitive powers or abilities. Note: This break-through in separation between the higher and lower halves of the head center is NOT like cutting through or puncturing the bone or tissue; This channel or bridge is created in the psychic areas and NOT in the physical sense.

    The 6th chakra is associated with the pituitary gland, and the 7th chakra is associated with the pineal gland.

    Some text say the 6th chakra (Pituitary Gland) is the human Third Eye, whereas other text say the Pineal Gland is the human Third Eye, with biological evidence to suggest that perhaps it WAS a real, physical-biological Third Eye at one time long ago during our early mammalian evolution. I find this theory very interesting.

    So what is it?

    After musing over a wealth of research information, I think they may be one of the same, meaning, they work in tandum with each other.
    You cannot SEE with your Third Eye without developing both the pituitary and pineal glands simultaneously. In other words, only when the 6th and 7th chakras are developed will the Third Eye open for you to see with.



    Secret Fire: The Relationship Between Kundalini, Kabbalah, and Alchemy

    by Mark Stavish, M.A.

    All Rights Reserved. Copyright Mark Stavish 1997.

    11 March 1997


    The following exercises are designed to assist in freeing the most potent energy known to humanity and resident in creation. They are not designed for someone with little or no esoteric experience. In general, it would be advisable to have at lest one to two years of practical, daily experience with the Middle Pillar and/or Pentagram Rituals; in addition, an equal amount of time with the Hexagram Rituals. Several working of the 32ndthrough 24th Paths on the Tree of Life would also be desirable[1], and regular practice of once a week or so of “Rising on the Planes”[2]. Common sense, a willingness to “Make haste slowly”, and a balanced lifestyle may be the best protection against any unpleasant side effects of these, or other, esoteric practices[3]. It is very important that you keep a diary of your practices and experiences with the exercises given.

    The amount of time it will take to experience the Secret Fire is unknown, although preparation is the best guarantee of success. The amount of time given to each exercise should not exceed more than 15 or 20 minutes in the beginning, and then 30 or 45 minutes after the first half year or so. It is also strongly advised that anyone undertaking these exercises also maintain a regular, daily usage of spagyric tinctures for each of the planetary qualities of the day it is used. This additional, slow, and methodical cleansing of the subtle psychic channels will aid in relieving some of side-effects of esoteric work. The nightly application of “Dream Yoga” is also suggested, as this will attune the student to the qualities of the day while sleeping, aid in interior contacts, and may shed light on particular problems of the Work.[

    While this may seem like a lot of work, it is not. Tinctures are fairly easy to make, all that is required is their regular use. This takes no more time than swallowing a vitamin. Dream yoga is done as we are falling asleep anyhow, no additional time required for this either. What is does take is regularity, commitment, and perseverance. Qualities that assure, albeit confer, adepthood.


    Best of luck in your practices. In the Bonds of Esotericism,

    Ora et labora,

    Mark Stavish

    Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

    April 1997




    In the Western esoteric practices there is an apparent knowledge gap regarding the role of esoteric practices and their effects on the subtle, and not so subtle, bodies of practitioners. In the East, all practices, whether designated as such or not, are designed to awaken the semi-dormant energy resident in all creation, and ‘living beings’in particular. This energy is known as “Kundalini”, “The Serpent Fire”, and the “Dragon” depending on tradition. Extreme care has been taken, despite contradictions between systems, to chart the effects of exercises on this latent energy, and how it ‘flows’ through the physical, emotional, and psychic body, at what stages, and in relation to which exercises. Such a detailed analysis is lacking in modern Western estotericism.

    For modern kabbalists, the most common introduction to ceremonial magic is through the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and the Middle Pillar Exercise. The purpose of this paper is twofold: to show how this, and related exercise can stimulate the Secret Fire, and to suggest exercises for its regulation by esoteric students who are engaged in a Hermetic path, such as general studies or alchemy, who may have experienced its awakening and are in need of simple and direct exercises for its regulation.

    Theoretical Background

    The majority of modern esoteric students are familiar with the Middle Pillarexercise, as such, it will be the fundamental basis for much of this article. In addition, the Sepher Yetzirah, and a limited number of alchemical references will be made.

    The basis of kabbalah is that through increasing levels of density, humanity came into its present state of physical incarnation and psychic evolution. Through rituals, exercises, and meditations, the energy latent in creation generally, and the body of the practitioner in particular, can be “awakened”, purified, and directed. This energy can then be used for spiritual development, psychic expansion, or physical health and improvement.

    Creation - “In the Beginning …”

    Creation is seen to have taken place, in Western kabbalistic and alchemical terms, in the following process.

    The Divine mind of God, the Absolute, or in Hebrew the Ain Soph Aur (Limitless Light), through a series of expansions and contractions establishes the boundaries of Creation. The first world is the most subtle, and closest to the original state of non-existence, and is Atzilooth. This is called the world of Fire, because of the lively, undefined, and almost uncontrollable nature of fire. Next is Briah, or the World of Archetypes and forms as our human mind can grasp them. It is symbolized as the World of Air, and is the result as a barrier world that is formed by the creation of the next World, Yetzirah, or Water. This is the highly psychic and emotionally charged world immediately behind the veil of material existence, or Assiah. Also known as the World of Earth, because of the solid, concrete nature of material life.

    The purpose of this scheme, is to show that creation occurs in increasingly dense levels of energy-matter, from the most subtle, or Fire, to the most dense, or Earth. Within this context of increasing density, there also arises a series of ten planes or levels of consciousness which combines with energy-matter, known as Sepheroth, or spheres of being. They occur in a pattern of: unity, reflection, polarity, reflection, polarity, unity, reflection, polarity, unity, and finally materialization. This basic idea of unity-polarity-and re-harmonizing, is the basis of kabbalistic and alchemical practices, and is derived from the observation of Nature.

    Each World is a reflection to a denser or more subtle degree than the one before or after it. Each Sepheroth is a reflection, in part, of what proceeds or follows it. However, since each reflection is only partial, or slightly distorted, each Sphere takes on its own unique characteristics. Only the so-called “Middle Four Sphereoth”have the ability to harmonize or reflect in total all of the energies of creation, on some level.

    This ‘zigzag’ of Creation is called the “Lightning Flash”. The return of energy from dense matter, back through the various stages, Sepherith, and Worlds of Creation is known as the “Path of the Serpent” because of its reverse, or complimentary ‘zigzag’ nature back up this diagram called the Tree of Life.

    For the alchemist, somewhere between the third and fourth level, or sphere of creation, energy takes on the characteristic that will allow for the formation of matter at some future state, or level ten. This energy is called Prima Materia, Chaosin the Bible, Spiritus Mundi (Spirit of the Earth), and others. Here, duality is made complete, and genuine polarity exists, as opposed to simple the potential, or idea, of polarity that had existed previously. Energy is divided into active and passive modes, with the active energy constituting the energies of life, and the passive one the energy of matter. In “The Golden Chain of Homer”, the active energy is called Niterand the passive energy is called Salt.

    The energy of Life manifests in two forms, Fire and Air. While both are predominately active in nature, fire is the more active of the two, with Air being slightly passive because of the partial Water Element in its makeup. Potential Matter manifests its energy as Water and Earth. These Elements have nothing to do with the material bodies of the same name, and as such are capitalized and called “Elemental” to distinguish them from the earth we walk on, water we drink, air we breath, and fire we cook with. They are in fact, energetic states, each with their own unique characteristics, as well as each of the previously mentioned ten levels of consciousness within them. The Elements also have preferred ways of interacting with each other, to form the Three Principles of alchemy. There are in fact, forty different ways energy-matter-consciousness can manifest in our world.

    The Three Essentials are the alchemical principles of Sulpher, Mercury, and Salt. Like the “Elements” these principle concepts are to be thought of a“Philosophical” and not literally as chemical elements or compounds. The Alchemical Sulphur, or Soul, of a things predominates in the animating principles of energy (Fire) and intelligence (Air); Alchemical Salt, or the physical body of a thing, predominates in unconscious forces, psychic, and instinctual intelligence (Water) and solid matter (Earth); Alchemical Mercury, or general life force, predominates in intelligence (Air) and instinctual forces, and psychic energy (Water), as such it is the link, or bridge, between the higher forces of Sulphur and the lower body of matter.

    In the mineral realm the dominant energy is that of Earth, a little Water, and very little Air or Fire. In the vegetable realm, the dominant energy is Water and Air, but little Fire and Earth. In the animal realm, the dominant force element is Fire, then Air, but little Earth. These qualities need to be understood as they have been defined for the following information to be of any use to the practicing, or aspiring, Hermeticist. For example, using the above definitions, we can say that the plant realm has an abundance of instinctual energy (Water) and intelligence, i.e. a specific function (Air), but little direct energy (Fire), as this is received passively from the sun; and little hard, physical, matter (Earth).

    In the East as in the West, the idea of principle Elements and Philosophic Principles are expressed in more or less the same manner. This original undifferentiated energy from creation is often called in Indian philosophy, and modern occult, and New Age circles, asakasha, or Spirit. However, akasha, consists of two (2) aspects, one active as we have noted, Niter, and the other passive, Salt. The energies of Niter are also referred to as the force of Kundalini, or spiritual forces. In alchemy, this is the Secret Fire. To the Salt, belongs the force of Prana, or Vital Energy.

    The function of the Vital energy is to maintain physical life forms and existence. It is completely instinctual and unconscious and is heavily influenced by cosmic cycles, astrological pulses, and other natural phenomena. The function of the Secret Fire is to increase in humanity, the only place where it is present, its sense of self, or“I”. At the lowest level or functioning, this is the ego, at its highest, it is Divinity incarnate, as both are two sides of the same coin. One is ‘self’ in relation to the physical world and others; the other is ‘self’ in relationship to all of Creation and as a co-creator.

    In the vast majority of humanity, this Secret Fire, or liberating energy of self-consciousness, lies dormant, asleep at the base of the spine, coiled like a serpent. Only a small amount manages to escape, reaching a sepherothic level, or so-calledchakra, thus creating a loci of consciousness for each person. If it reaches the top of the skull, and beyond, a spiritual awakening can occur, allowing for a descent and re-ascent of the energy, during which the psychic centers can be awakened allowing for the manifestation of psychic powers and related phenomena.

    The Secret Fire ascends as a result of a temporary weakening of the Vital Energy in the physical body. This is why so many spiritual awakenings take place under great physical stress, times of illness, or near-death-experiences. When the Secret Fire will ascend through the various psychic-physical currents causing it to be enveloped in a sphere of luminous light.

    The experiencing of the Secret Fire, as a result of the suppression of the physical body’s Vital Energy, can create condition which manifests in various forms:

    -Some perceive the bright light as an angel, their Higher Self, or “Holy Guardian Angel”, others as a spiritual teacher.

    -Astral projection may result, along with perception of the immediate surroundings.

    -Uncontrolled physical movements may also result, typical of so-called ‘kundalini phenomena’: shaking, rapid breathing, swinging of the torso, uncontrolled giddiness, and sitting straight upright in the Pharonic position.

    After a period of time, the energy will descend, and return to the base of the spine.

    The effects of this awakening will take some time for the consciousness of the individual to adjust to, and not limited to the ‘non-physical’ realms. The physical body, although to a lesser degree, is also changed and improved in functioning, constituting a genuine “re-birth’ on several levels. However, it is up to the mind, or sense of “I”, of the individual, to cooperate with this influx of power if more permanent changes in consciousness are to be made.

    As we can see, the concept of kundalini, or the Secret Fire, is linked to two polar concepts: that of the undifferentiated creative energy, and the second, as the seed of this energy locked on each cell of material creation, and focused in humanity at the base of the spine.

    When this energy rises as a result of psychic experiences, and not because the physical weakness, can cause the Vital Energy of the body to be concentrated on various areas of the body, creating physical and psychic disturbances. If the energy becomes concentrated in the head, it can create the illusion of a spiritual awakening, as well as the well known “hot and cold” flashes, or currents, up and down the spine. The effects of the Secret Fire however, and not its re-distributive effects on the Vital Energy, can create the following phenomena:

    • Intense pains suggestive of an illness
    • Crawling sensations of ants or small bugs over the skin, as well as a ‘jumping’ sensation of the energy
    • A feeling of crystal clear calmness and tranquillity, rise from center to center to the top of the head
    • Ascending in the famous ‘zigzag’ or Rising Serpent pattern
    • The energy can skip a center or two
    • The energy can reach the top of the head in a flash of light
    • The character attributes of both positive and negative are exaggerated and sexual power is increased.

    If the energy rises to the top of the head, then it becomes possible to work directly on the Vital Energy within the body, and use it, as a means of enhancing the psychic experience and spiritual awakening.

    In short, the psychic centers must first be awakened by the Secret Fire and purified, before the energy of the physical body, can be concentrated upon them.

    Thus, our psychic exercises, and esoteric meditations are designed to prepare our minds, bodies, and consciousness for the liberation of the Secret Fire buried deep inside us. Through a progressive cleansing of the blood, nervous system, and endocrine glands, the ‘chains’ of the Vital Energy upon the Secret Fire are reduced and eliminated, allowing the ever present power and energy, a veritable pressure waiting to be released, to spring into action. Thus, the Serpent doesn’t really sleep, it is we who are asleep to its presence and potential blessing.

    The Secret Fire and the Sepheroth


    The use of the “Tree of Life” has been both a blessing and a curse for modern esotericism. When understood, the “Tree” offers a complete and working model of Creation on both the microcosmic and macrocosmic scales. However, where many fail is on the personal level. The ability to apply the often very general information of the Tree to personal experiences of the initiate when they deal with physiological phenomena is profoundly lacking in modern esoteric circles. The reasons for this are several: First, many modern esotericists simply repeat what they have learned without experiencing whether or not it is true on a personal level; second, the language of kabbalah is multi-leveled, with the same word having several meanings, thus many who are using the words don’t know what they actually mean, or on what level it may be interpreted; thirdly, the diagram of the Tree is simply too neat and compartmentalized. Many kabbalists are unable to adapt to the fact that interior reality is much more flexible than the Tree allows when applied to the two dimensional page or illustration.

    These problems are farther complicated by the idea of “One Tree” but“Four Worlds” making much meaningful, practical information nearly impossible to come by regarding the crises of spiritual awakening and so-called Kundalini phenomena as it relates to kabbalistic practices. When compared to the clear and explicit information available from Taoist and Tantrik sources, it is no wonder that so many Americans and Europeans prefer those systems to those more culturally and historically related.

    To help resolve these problems in the transmission of knowledge, only information that has a relationship to experience of the author or others he has discussed this topic with will be included here. Theory will be stated as theory, and experience as experience. The meaning of common kabbalistic words will be defined, and redefined, to keep the communication clear and direct. An extensive use of confusing and somewhat irrelevant god-forms, references to mythology, and cosmology unconnected to the personal experience will be avoided.

    Arousing the Sleeping Serpent

    “Just as Moses lifted up the flaming serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that all who believe may have eternal life in him.” John 3:14-15

    The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is often the first ritual learned by aspiring magicians. Its function is to teach the basic mechanics of solitary ritual, and to give a basic technique whereby destructive energies maybe repelled or dispersed from the sphere of influence of the operator. The symbols used in the ritual are fundamental to other rituals of a more complex nature, however, to disregard the Lesser Ritual as somehow less effective is a mistake. A ritual, no matter how simple or complex is only as effective as the skill of its operator. Repeated use of the LRP is can be more effective than incompetent or irregular use of more sophisticated rites.

    In total, there are approximately six fundamental rituals used in Western occultism reflecting an influence of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn: 1) the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram 2) the Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram 3) the Lesser Ritual of the Hexegram 4) the Greater Ritual of the Hexegram and 5) the Rose+Cross Ritual. The use of The Flashing Sword appears to be irregular, however it will also be considered along with its companion exercise or, The Rising Serpent.

    Within these, the use of the Middle Pillar is optional, it is however, the Middle Pillar Exercise which does the most to purify the bodily energies, or Vital Energy, and make pathways for the release of the Secret Fire.

    The Middle Pillar

    “I will make the victor a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go out no more: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” Revelations 3:12

    Several variations of the Middle Pillar Exercise exist, however their fundamentals remain the same. Whether or not one uses the Elements as suggested by Regardie in“True Art of Healing” or the Sepherothic/planetary correspondences as he later suggests (and is most commonly used) in his book “The Middle Pillar” is irrelevant. The methods used by the Arum Solis will also be considered as an alternative exercise.

    The theoretical basis of the Middle Pillar is that through imagination, breath, and concentration, the psychic energy of creation, here principally Yetzirah, can be directed allowing for a purification of the Vital Energy that holds the Secret Fire in check. As our psychic centers are cleansed of emotional, moral, and materialistic residue, they better reflect the cosmic energy that works through them. Through its pre-described pattern of circulating the energy, the Middle Pillar assists in smoothing out the edges of our aura, as well as increasing the flow of energy in general directions, so that the psychic pathways, both large and small, can be purified and strengthened through an increase of Vital Energy.

    he pathways described for the Middle Pillar are circular in nature. They are for the most part large, clear, and bright, with a reflective quality too them. Regardie says that the psychic spheres should be imagined like large, clear, brilliant diamonds if no other color is known. Although, in the end, the entire sphere, or extended aura, of the practitioner should be imagined as a brilliant diamond radiating heat and light.

    The beauty of the Middle Pillar is that it, like many esoteric practices, is really a layered exercise. Containing an almost infinite amount of flexibility and growth potential. As the practitioner develops in skill and manipulation of the imagery, the amount of new possibilities increases.

    One of central movements of the Middle Pillar is the “Fountain of Light”.Here, the practitioner imagines a brilliant force of energy forcing its way up through the soles of their feet and out the top of their head, spraying along the edges of their aura, making it strong and clear of any roughness, and gathering again at their feet. This cyclic imagery is repeated several times. This key part of the exercise, is the central part that prepares the central pathways for the eventual release of the Secret Fire. It is also similar to Eastern practices as seen in Chinese Chi Kung, Indian Tantra, and Tibetan Vajrayana yoga.

    This being said, it is also clear that some differences exist between Eastern and Western methods of releasing the Secret Fire. The methods of direct work on the psychic centers, and an upward climbing of the spinal column is more traumatic than the more general work of the Middle Pillar. It is for this reason, that the techniques of yoga, save a few, that are aimed straight away at releasing the Secret Fire, require supervision of a guru. Being that they so restrict the activities of the practitioner, and require close supervision, they are also systems that are impractical for day to day life in American and European culture.

    While similarities exist, and will be examined, the major differences appear to be the following:

    1) Indian yoga is aimed principally at liberation from the physical realm in as quick a method as possible. Western esoteric practices are aimed at the perfection of matter and the psyche within the material world, and not an abandonment of it.

    2) Chinese yoga, or Chi Kung, is more akin to Western practices, in that it is aimed at perfection of the material world, and even the spiritualizing of the body into a“Body of Light”. It however, is more akin to Indian yoga, in that it starts at level of the etheric body (nadis or acupuncture points) and proceeds from there. This “from the bottom up, and inside out” approach is different from the Middle Pillars “top down, outside in” method. Because the etheric body is directly effected early on, the effects are more dramatic, as well as potentially traumatic for the unprepared. In the Middle Pillar, the etheric body is often the last thing effected. This is because the symbolism used, as well as the need to develop skills in concentration, visualization, and meditation effect primarily the mental outlook of the practitioner for a long period of time. Only after considerable practice, of a year or more, on a daily basis, do the effects of the Middle Pillar begin to sink into the astral body, and eventually filter into the etheric and physical bodies of the practitioner. It is stated in one source, that it takes a minimum of three years for even the most advanced yoga practitioner to release the Kundalini through special exercises. A ‘release’which we have stated, is not a release per say, but the removal of obstacles to its natural expression. This is a critical point, since it is often said that to experience kundalini will often take twenty years of practice of esoteric exercises, or even Hatha Yoga, the same amount of time it took Nicholas Flamel to confect The Philosopher’s Stone. During a recent workshop, Jean Dubuis stated that it may be possible to complete the extremely dangerous Flamel Method in three years. It may be that for the alchemist, the interior creation of the Philosopher’s Stone is nothing short of the kundalini experience, and the exterior creation of the Stone is the ability to direct this Cosmic creative energy at will.

    3) Tibetan systems run somewhere between the Chinese and Indian, in that they are concerned with liberation, but also with the creation of an etherial body made from their bodily essences. This Diamond Body, or Rainbow Body, is pure light and can materialize at the will of the adept. Like the Chinese and Indian systems, the Tibetan use a rituals for the purification of the mind and emotions of the practitioners, as well as the visual images in both anthropomorphic deities and abstract geometric forms. The Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram fulfill this function when performing the Middle Pillar.

    Thus, we can see, the major differences in Eastern and Western practices can be summarized in function and reference point of origin. The East seeks liberation through progressive untying of the knots of ignorance that bind humanity to incarnation. The West seeks to perfect the material world making material reality a reflection of spiritual reality. One accomplished, the adept can then proceed to dis-incarnate at will. The Western approach seeks to be more active in the world and to transform it, while the Eastern approach is to see the world as an illusion that is impermanent, and as such, is more passive. Such philosophies, like all beliefs and cultures, reflect the physical environment of their earliest origin. In tropical and sub-tropical zones the concern with time is less important that in the Northern hemisphere where a winter without food stores means death for the community. The cold, harsh realities of arctic zones produce a different theory and technique, and as such, different ideal (gods) than agricultural areas. Whether one is a hunter nomad or an established agrarian society is reflective of the physical landscape they live in, and as such effects values, needs, and spiritual philosophy and technique.

    This is of critical concern whenever one is considering adopting the esoteric practices on another land or culture. Why did it arise, and under what circumstances? Are those same conditions applicable today, and in the life of the potential practitioner? In view of current conditions, are the practices being considered progressive or regressive in nature? That is, are they forward moving, or simply an idealization of a mythical past‘golden age’?

    Salt, Saturn, Sexual Ecstasy, and Spiritual Bliss

    “The heart girt with a serpent is my Name!” Chaldean Oracles

    Salt is a symbol of wisdom and learning. Saturn, is associated with Ouroboros, the Great Serpent biting its tail, symbolic of limitation. As such it is closely allied with the earth, but also all of material creation, and those things which border on non-being, or Eternity. In one 15th century manuscript, the serpent is made of two colors, red and green. Red is outside and green is inside. Green, the color of Nature and of Venus, is the beginning of the Work. Red, the color of the Stone, and Mars, is the end of the Work.

    “Sapiens dominabitur astris.” The wise shall exercise dominion over the stars. As we correct the astrological imbalances (i.e psychic centers or chakras) within ourselves, astrological conditions outside have less of a negative effect on us. We gain dominion over the ‘stellar’ forces and can “make the sun shine in our oratory when we will it so.”

    The seventeenth century pupil of Jakob Boehme, Gichtel placed the cosmic spiral, or“Wheel of Nature” within the human body. J.G. Gichtel’s Theosophica Practica, 1898. Saturn is the crown, Jupiter the brow, Mars the throat, Sun with a serpent around it, the heart, Venus liver, Mercury the spleen, and Moon the sexual organs, or in straight theosophic decent down the Tree. It is the Heart with a serpent that attracts our attention. Here he also places the Element of Fire.

    Egyptian initiates were also called scarabs because they pushed along the egg of their regeneration.

    Mysteria Magica, vol 3 The Magical Philosophy: The brow included in the Middle Pillar (called: Clavis Rei [1st Formula] The Rousing of the Citadels) and the color scale varies with each center. An additional use of the rising twin serpents of the Caduceus are included at the end. The brow is attributed to Saturn, and is said to balance out the Yesod center, as well as add power to the remaining centers in the Middle Pillar as the Golden Dawn and Aurem Solis present it.

    Alchemically, Salt is derived from the union of Elemental Earth and Elemental Water (or Assiah and Yetzirah), the Secret Fire is ‘hidden’ in the Salt (material body) and represents the unconscious, instinctual forces that seek release. It is sometimes called “Hellfire” in that if uncontrolled, or poorly released, it can reek havoc on the body and psyche of the student, via its purifying effects. This is illustrated by the 31st Path, or Path of Fire, sometimes mistaken for “Purgatory” or“Hell” by the un- regenerated who pass through this Path after death. This Path is also under the direction of Mercury and Shin, the symbols of spiritual guidance and evolution. For those interested in Notarikon, Shin shares the same numerical value, 300, as the Hebrew phrase, “The Spirit of the Living God.”

    “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” Matthew 3:11

    The letter Shin is often used in meditation as a symbol of Divine light, life, love, or presence. It is imagined above the head, just touching the crown, then inside the head proper (as it is associated with intelligence and the energy of the nervous system in theSepher Yetzirah), descending into the heart, and finally, expanding from there to engulf the meditator in a sea of fire. Because it consists of three flaming Yods, or tongues, it is sometimes associated with the flaming tongues of Pentecost, and a variety of Trinitarian concepts.

    Several possible interpretations are available to use regarding this statement: One suggests that John the Baptist was initiating repentance as well as entrance into the watery world of Yetzirah, but that Jesus, was offering a path of initiation into the fire of the Soul, or full adepthood. A second interpretation is that John was offering initiation up the 29th Path, or the Path of Water; while Jesus was offering the harder and more rigorous Path of Fire, or the 31st Path to his disciples. Neither of these is a definitive answer, only a modern kabbalistic attempt to understand Scripture in the context of initiatic practices. The mention of the Holy Spirit is more informative however, as this phrase was adopted by the Jews during the period of the Babylonian Captivity and represents the origin of Persian and Chaldean influences on Jewish mystical beliefs.

    The term Holy Spirit (Ruach Elohim) is derived from the Zend Avesta, and the phrase, Spenta Mainyu, or “Holy (Creative) Spirit”. The creative power is implied and not stated in the original, an appears to be lost in subsequent translations into modern languages via Jewish and Christian traditions. This Spenta Maiynu is a purifying and regenerating energy and intelligence with a cosmic host of six or seven intelligence’s at its command.

    “It [Spenta Mainyu] is the self-realizing quality or activity of Ahura Mazda(the Good Mind); it is the self-generating energy that leads to the creation and evolution of the universe. Spenta Mainyu is dynamic and creation is an ongoing process. For Zoroaster, holiness meant also abundance, growth, and health. Spenta Mainyurepresents the principle of augmentation and development in the universe.” (F. Mehr, p.29)

    This power and their beings comprise the Mathrem, or Mathra, literally, ‘the sacred word of power’, which is the basis for the development of the practice of mantra in India and “Words of Power” in the Middle East and Egypt. Manthrem or Mathra is in its own right held to be the supreme mantra from which all others are derived, in the same fashion as YHVH is the origin of all Hebrew Divine Names. This is mentioned because in Persia and Babylon, the convergence of what would develop into semi-independent Eastern and Western esoteric practices is complete. In one respect, it could be said to be the original home of yoga, kabbalah, alchemy, and magic as we know them. Period art and architecture shows winged creatures familiar to Jewish and Egyptian tradition, planetary diagrams, an early version of the Tree of Life, and several variations of the intertwined serpent motif.

    The Cosmic Triangle of Fire

    “The successful adept must be endowed with a knowledge of the material of the Great Work; also with faith, silence, purity of heart, and prayerfulness. After passing through the gate surmounted with the hieroglyph of philosophic mercury he traverses the seven angles of the citadel, representing the chief operations of the Great Work -calcination, dissolution, purification, introduction into the sealed Vase of Hermes, transference of the Vase to the Athanor [furnace], coagulation, putrefaction, ceration, multiplication and projection. And even upon reaching the Petra Philosophalis, he finds it is held in custody by a formidable dragon.”

    Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae, Heinrich Khunrath

    Saturn is related to Mercury in alchemical text, and is given the same ambiguous sexuality, or androgyny, and named it ‘Mercurius senex’.

    In Tiphareth, the geometric symbol is the interlaced triangles of water and fire, or the Star of David. When expanded to connect the planetary sepheroth of the Tree (with Saturn being attributed to Daath), the Triangle of Water connects the spheres of Mars, Jupiter, and Luna. The Triangle of Fire connects Saturn, Venus, and Mercury.

    Just as Orobouros is cosmic energy (the serpent) limiting itself (Saturn), Venus is the creative cosmic force multiplying itself in life (its vegetative nature) as a prism splits the light of the sun. Mercury, like Saturn in many respects, is androgynous, and controls the fire of creation, directing it in the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone. Mercury holds the Caduceus, or winged staff with two serpents intertwined around it. The Wings represent sublimation, the serpents the basic forces of creation. There crossing over is the psychic centers, often given as seven in number, here representing the colors in the spectrum, plus white (Venus). Central to the diagram is Sol, which is the cosmic creative forces which unify, enliven, and harmonize creation, and which we can hope to contact. It is central, and directs and controls all of the other planets, psychic centers, or aspects of Cosmic energy.

    By contacting the fire of the Sun, we can open the fire of the other psychic centers (via Venus), and more easily direct the restrictive and enlightening energy of Saturn, through the powers of the Mind, or Mercury.

    To understand these multi-faceted aspects of the planets, particularly Venus and Mercury, it is important to have done the Pathworkings up to Tiphareth. While this is not required to perform the techniques later in this monograph, it is a help for an understanding of the theoretical part.

    However, we can begin to understand the relationship of the Spheres to each other by undertaking a series of meditations based on the following idea:

    Venus is the regenerating, sensual, active life force in its vegetative and unconscious manner. It responds to heat, light, and emotion. On the Path of the Decent, Venus splits the singular rays of the Sun into the many facets of the color spectrum, and as such, can lead us to a better understanding of the relationship between multiplicity and unity, the psychic centers and planets, and their unique natures. On the Path of Ascent, Venus re-unites the divergent energies, both planetary and personal (psychic centers) and harmonizes it into a singular force, although still multi-colored, until it returns to the Sun as pure light.

    After reporting this week on a Pentagon-created plan for interning activists at re-education camps, questions were asked about the US Army manual that allegedly outlines the resettling of US citizens. Can Americans be sent to propaganda prisons?

    Now as more and more news organizations are investigating the r

    ecently unearthed military manual, FM 3-39.40 Internment and Resettlement Operations, verification is coming in that the callous plans to populate military camps in the US and abroad are not only authentic, but indeed establishes blueprints for putting the country’s own citizens into guarded Army detainment centers.

    “They always tell the media that it’s for disasters — domestically — or foreign wars and putting people in camps like Abu Ghraib in Iraq or Camp X-Ray in Cuba, but now more and more documents are coming out confirming what I’ve already had from sources and my researching into this,” radio host Alex Jones tells RT. According to Jones, he has seen the Pentagon refit old military bases into camps through the Emergency Centers Establishment Act “to prepare them for, quote, ‘emergencies,’” but there is way more than the government isn’t saying.

    “I’ve been to the drills and I noticed that they were training with the role players to put American political dissidents in them,” Jones says about sending US civilians into the camps

    “I witnessed marines training to confiscate firearms on the West Coast and to put Americans both on the left and the right into camps and even segregate them according to their different political persuasions,” adds Jones.

    Jones continues that Pentagon officials have informed him in the past about plans to re-educate political activists by armed enforcers, but the leaking of the elusive document confirms what he has been cautioned of in the past.

    “Now we have an Army document that dovetails with huge increased spending, hiring tens of thousands of people in the military to specifically be internment camp officers.”

    After combing through the 300-plus pages of 3-39.40, the website Infowars also addresses questions over whether or not the manual would make it so that the US government could send its own citizens to reeducation camps. In their own analysis, the site singles out certain sections of the manual that specifically discuss not just “The authority to approve resettlement such operations within US territories,” but how, also, “US citizens will be confined separately from detainees” by being booked and processed according to their Social Security number.

    “Last time I checked, the United States Social Security Administration was not responsible for handing out social security numbers to people in Afghanistan or Iraq,” explains Infowar’s Paul Joseph Watson.

    As if the text of the paper wasn’t enough, Watson breaks it down for those that are still skeptic that the American military would want to imprison its own citizens and install in them an “appreciation of US policies and actions.”

    “The time for denial is over. People spent weeks arguing over the ‘indefinite detention’ provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act, ignoring assertions by top scholars and legal experts that the kidnapping provisions did apply to U.S. citizens,” writes Watson. Sure enough, when US President Barack Obama signed the NDAA into law on December 31, he acknowledged that he had his own reservations about the provisions that provide for the indefinite detention of his own citizens without charge.

    Now coupled with a leaked copy of the Internment and Resettlement Operations guide, it looks as if not only can the US imprison its own citizens that disagree with the government — but it has already laid out the rules.

    “This isn’t just some contingency plan,” Alex Jones tells RT. “This is the manual.”

    “This Stone rises in growing, greening things.” Wherefore when the Green is reduced to its former nature, whereby things sprout and come forth in due time, it must be decocted and putrefied in the way of our secret art.” Splendor solis, Trismosin

    The Stone is made through the greening of nature (Netzach) and it returning to its source (Tipahreth) by putrefaction (Death card of the path connecting them).

    Mercury gives form and meaning to the diverse energies made by the splitting actions of Venus, and re-unites them as fundamental forces, symbolized by the Caduceus. Mercury is Psychopomp, or Guide of the Soul, and directs the energies that Venus represents. Since both Venus and Mercury sit at the base of the Pillars of kabbalah, they access the material, astral, and mental realms, and can influence all three to some degree. On the Descent, Mercury creates form and structure, for the body, the mind, or the soul, and on the ascent, Mercury helps free us from the limitations of form, without forgetting its lessons.

    The serpent is primordial force or energy, fire and water being the principle two of creation, with air and earth following them. Because it shed it’s skin, it is seen as a symbol of regeneration and renewal. It is also dangerous, deadly, can be found often in‘guardian’ roles near springs or water as well as deserts. When controlled or mastered, is seen as mastering a powerful and deadly, yet regenerating force, basic to creation, or possibly from which creation came.

    The Secret Fire is directly linked to the sexual, (i.e. principle and most basic creative forces) in humanity. Here, the relationship between ‘bliss’ ‘ecstasy’ and the erotic impulse can be clearly seen and experienced. The development of a host of ‘sexual yogas’ and ‘sex magic(k)’ practices bear this out to some degree. However, it is the sexual desire in humanity that acts as its basic drive and evolutionary force. It is also suggests that the ability and need for mystical experiences is biologically rooted. Only be ignoring the most basic of pleasures, sex, can we ignore the drive to ecstatic union on some level. The ‘little death’or petite morte, is a forerunner of the ‘big death’ as we let go and experience divine oblivion.

    Sexual power, linked to our innate drive for mystical experiences, is also linked to human evolution, and some kind of predetermined point or state to which we are being directed.

    This is a significant point, in that almost all of modern Western societies psychological

    illnesses are focused around sexual repression and obsession.

    If the Secret Fire flows freely, or with greater strength than before, without the proper purification of the Vital Energy of the physical body, it is possible that it will result in what appears to be extreme physical, but more likely psychological illness in the form of schizophrenia and psychosis; instead of psychic gifts, genius, and either transpersonal states, or simply altered states of consciousness.

    Wilhelm Reich, the father of Orgon Therapy states that the basis for all mental-emotional disturbances are anchored in the physical body, and that these anchors can be released through breathing techniques, somewhat similar to pranayamana. Since the body is the “Salt” of alchemy, and partially composed of accessible unconscious elements through its “Watery Element” all of our emotional and physical experiences become indelibly marked, associated, or stored in our physical body. If these blocks, or energy concentrations of emotional and physical trauma (composed of Vital Energy) are not removed before the Secret Fire begins to flow more intensely, the so-called negative side effects of ‘Kundalini phenomena’ will appear.

    Abuse of drugs, alcohol, and sexual extremes only worsen the condition in that they inadvertently release the Secret Fire by weakening the physical body and its link to the astral, thereby damaging the etheric substructure, and create energy blocks in the end rather than diminish them, when the mind and body attempt to make repairs.

    A nervous system damaged by substance abuse makes a tricky vehicle for the clear, clean, and powerful expression of the Secret Fire. It is through our nervous system (under the domain of Yesod-Luna) that we engage both the physical world, as well as out interior world. It links the body (Malkooth) with the Mind-Intellect (Hod) as well as instinctual, creative, and sensual urges (Netzach). If it is damaged, our ability to relate fully, creatively, and productively to these psyhco-physical-spiritual parts of our self becomes endangered. If it is damaged, then our most direct and important link to our Holy Guardian Angel, and means of releasing the Secret Fire safely (via Tiphareth) is threatened in this incarnation.

    “Listen, then while I make known the Grand Arcanum of this wonder-working Stone, which at the same time is not a stone, which exists in every man, and may be found in its own place at all times…. It is called a stone, not because it is like a stone, but only because by virtue of its fixed nature, it resists the action of fire as successfully as any stone….If we say that its nature is spiritual, it would be no more than the truth; if we describe it as corporeal, the expression would be equally correct; for it is subtle, penetrative, glorified, spiritual gold. It is the noblest of all created things…it is a spirit or quintessence.”

    A Short Guide to the Celestial Ruby, Philethes.

    Freeing the Dragon

    How long it takes to un-block our psychic anatomy for a more complete and harmonious functioning of the Secret Fire is unclear. It is stated that even the most advanced yogis require a minimum of three years of special practice for this to occur. Since that kind of training takes place under specialized and supervised conditions, it can be assumed that modern Western life requires more time, as well as self-reflection and referral, since the average Western occultist, be they kabbalist, alchemist, or both, will spend the majority of their time working alone or at best in occasional small groups.

    Certain schools of yoga as well as kabbalah and Sufi practices view the heart as the center of the individual universe, and the most important of all psychic centers. By opening the heart, we gain access to our Interior Master, or Holy Guardian Angel (messenger),characterized by a strong manifestation of intuition. This is the final resting place for the Serpents Tongue after its ascent over the skull, and as Boehme and Hermetic imagery have shown, the“Heart girt with a serpent” is the ideal to which mystics aspire.

    As one yogi put it, we approach the “Big King” first, and allow him to direct the activities of the serpent - language not unfamiliar to Hermeticists.

    Adam Kadmon: Secret Fire and YHVH

    “For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29

    While alchemy, kabbalah, and astrology have been homogenized in modern esoteric practices to create an almost seamless synthesis, this is not true of earlier periods. Traditionally, alchemy and astrology played almost no role in Jewish kabbalah[5], and while it has been put forward that may Jews were alchemists, and some great alchemists possibly Jews[6], no manuscripts of Jewish alchemical practices seem to exist in any great number. Even the most famed Esch M’saref, or “The Refiner’s Fire”, is a compilation of material, focusing mainly on gematria, and not a ‘chemical’ work in itself.

    After reporting this week on a Pentagon-created plan for interning activists at re-education camps, questions were asked about the US Army manual that allegedly outlines the resettling of US citizens. Can Americans be sent to propaganda prisons?

    Now as more and more news organizations are investigating the rcently unearthed military manual, FM 3-39.40 Internment and Resettlement Operations, verification is coming in that the callous plans to populate military camps in the US and abroad are not only authentic, but indeed establishes blueprints for putting the country’s own citizens into guarded Army detainment centers.

    “They always tell the media that it’s for disasters — domestically — or foreign wars and putting people in camps like Abu Ghraib in Iraq or Camp X-Ray in Cuba, but now more and more documents are coming out confirming what I’ve already had from sources and my researching into this,” radio host Alex Jones tells RT. According to Jones, he has seen the Pentagon refit old military bases into camps through the Emergency Centers Establishment Act “to prepare them for, quote, ‘emergencies,’” but there is way more than the government isn’t saying.

    “I’ve been to the drills and I noticed that they were training with the role players to put American political dissidents in them,” Jones says about sending US civilians into the camps.

    “I witnessed marines training to confiscate firearms on the West Coast and to put Americans both on the left and the right into camps and even segregate them according to their different political persuasions,” adds Jones.

    Jones continues that Pentagon officials have informed him in the past about plans to re-educate political activists by armed enforcers, but the leaking of the elusive document confirms what he has been cautioned of in the past.

    “Now we have an Army document that dovetails with huge increased spending, hiring tens of thousands of people in the military to specifically be internment camp officers.”

    After combing through the 300-plus pages of 3-39.40, the website Infowars also addresses questions over whether or not the manual would make it so that the US government could send its own citizens to reeducation camps. In their own analysis, the site singles out certain sections of the manual that specifically discuss not just “The authority to approve resettlement such operations within US territories,” but how, also, “US citizens will be confined separately from detainees” by being booked and processed according to their Social Security number.

    “Last time I checked, the United States Social Security Administration was not responsible for handing out social security numbers to people in Afghanistan or Iraq,” explains Infowar’s Paul Joseph Watson.

    As if the text of the paper wasn’t enough, Watson breaks it down for those that are still skeptic that the American military would want to imprison its own citizens and install in them an “appreciation of US policies and actions.

    “The time for denial is over. People spent weeks arguing over the ‘indefinite detention’ provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act, ignoring assertions by top scholars and legal experts that the kidnapping provisions did apply to U.S. citizens,” writes Watson. Sure enough, when US President Barack Obama signed the NDAA into law on December 31, he acknowledged that he had his own reservations about the provisions that provide for the indefinite detention of his own citizens without charge.

    Now coupled with a leaked copy of the Internment and Resettlement Operations guide, it looks as if not only can the US imprison its own citizens that disagree with the government — but it has already laid out the rules.

    “This isn’t just some contingency plan,” Alex Jones tells RT. “This is the manual.”

    Early kabbalists imagined creation taking place in several stages, from which was generated the anthropomorphic image of the ‘primordial man’, or Adam Kadmon. This ‘first man’ was imagined as being crated out of the four-letters of the Divine Name stacked one on top of the other. Yod was the head, Heh, the arms and shoulders, Vau, the spine and sexual organs, and the final Heh, the hips and legs. A host of attributes and qualities came to be associated with each letter, and as a whole, it formed its own school of kabbalistic meditation. By adding other letters, altering combinations, and substituting letters based on numerological equivalents, additional Divine Names, names of archangels, angels, and other spiritual beings were generated.

    The oral tradition of Adam Kadmon is similar to that of the Egyptian god Osiris, in that Osiris was dismembered and reconstructed, while Adam “Fell” to pieces, and it is the work of the kabbalist to reconstruct the Original Adam. Each of us is said to be a piece of this original soul, and it is our purpose to find our place in Creation, via kabbalistic methods.

    Saint-Germain and the Most Holy Three-Fold Wisdom

    The idea of Secret Fire in initiatic psycho-alchemical texts such as The Most Holy Trinsophia (Three Fold Wisdom)[7] illustrate the point of hidden fire, associated with volcanic power, and under the influence of Venus. Works such as this bear a strong resemblance to alchemical-kabbalistic texts, and either use mystical symbolism of these esoteric schools, or such symbols are used to interpret the texts meaning.

    In the text, Saint-Germian reportedly recounts the details of his initiation through the twelve degrees of Cosmic Consciousness. The use of earthly fire in the form of volcanic eruptions, lava, and seas of flame symbolize the presence of an underlying matrix of living energy that pervades material and non-material creation, uniting and constantly renewing it through what can be seen as violent activity.

    La Tres Sainte Trinsophie is comprised of twelve sections, each with its own illustration. The most obvious alignment that can be seen, is between the twelve sections, the zodiac, and the stages of alchemy. It can also be suggested, for our considerations, the seven major and five minor psychic centers.

    The story begins with Saint-Germain on the lava beds of Vesuvius, later he passes an alter on which is a cup, with a winger serpent intertwined around it twelve times. Saint-Germain then enters into a vast realm of fire, in the midst of which is a greenish-gold serpent with ruby eyes which he must dominate with a sword, the symbol of an enlightened will. With this act, anger, hate, and pride are cast out of his consciousness, and the senses are brought under direction.

    In one of the scenes depicted, Saint-Germain is in front of a triangular alter with an elaborate candlestick . It’s base if formed out of two intertwined serpents and terminates at a lotus, with the taper placed in the center. Two inscribed panels accompany the illustration. The first one reads: “To the strong is given the burden” and the second, “Kindle a fire upon the high place that the sacrifice may be borne upward to the Desired One.” The final illustration shows the heavens ablaze with light and a triangle surrounded by a square and circle. The initiate, here Saint-Germain, is accompanied by Isis Revealed, the goddess of life and Nature.

    The pictures described illustrate that even at the end of the Illuminist era, classical alchemical and kabbalistic symbolism was in widespread use by esotericists. However, its direction was changed from classical, or laboratory alchemy, to‘philosophic’ or ‘spiritual’ alchemy. Just as kabbalah had undergone a radical transformation at the hands of alchemists and Christian mystics, alchemy itself had also changed. While such manuscripts may be of dubious value for practical laboratory work, fortunately, they still are of value for interior spiritual initiation - an initiation that only the Secret Fire can bring.


    The Middle Pillar

    The Middle Pillar is a well known exercise to almost every student of magic. The details of the exercise are clearly outlined in Israel Regardie’s book of same name, and will not be gone into here. Instead, exposition of those point relevant to the Secret Fire will be outlined. These points are:

    1. The establishment of Malkooth.
    2. Circulation of the Light
    3. The Fountain of Light
    4. Malkooth as Kether
    5. Relationship of Tiphareth to Malkooth and Kether

    Secondary considerations will be paid to:

    1. The Ritual of the Pentagram
    2. The Ritual of the Hexagram

    Establishing Malkooth

    Malkooth or ‘Kingdom’ is a complex sphere in that it represents several broad concepts simultaneously. It is at once, our feet when the Tree of Life is projected on the human frame (and the knees and base of spine when seated or kneeling); all solid matter, earth, and all material creation. It is our bones, and the marrow they contain is a personal aspect of the Secret Fire. It is important that we have a strong sense of foundation when we talk about Earth and Malkooth, so that in meditation we can remain grounded and secure. The stronger our sense of connection to the earth and our bodies we have, the more energy we can generate and the easier it will be to direct it. It is analogous to trying to build a skyscraper on a poured slab concrete for a foundation verses a four-story subbasement. The better the foundation, the stronger the structure.

    Since the Secret Fire is hidden in the Earth, it is good to spend some time, even several years, working through the details of the Pentagram rituals. Cleansing, harmonizing, projecting, and withdrawing the energy represented there into yourself and surrounding area. The North is an especially important area for concentration, in that it is Earth of Earth, and is our hidden gateway to the Secret Fire. Buried in the solid nature of matter, is a underlying vibrant energy that is continually pulsating, giving rise to form and life, and turning energy in matter and matter into energy. This underlying nature is illustrated in the Sign of Taurus, the zodiacal sigil given to the North. In it we see the Moon crowning a circle with a dot in the center, or the Sun. This combined lunar-solar sign for earthly nature points to the theory that all matter is simply condensed sun light, or hidden fire.

    By associating the heaviness of Earth and the underlying heat it contains (the molten, volcanic core) with our feet, knees, and base of spine (and eventually our whole skeletal system), we can begin to experience the literal network creation is formed from. This imagery is reinforced by the statement that Malkooth and Kether are one. By imaging that an unlimited stream of energy is pulsating into and out of creation from the Ain Soph Aur at Kether, and then imaging the same for material creation as you envision it, at Malkooth. All to often the spheres are imagined as being static beings or states, when nothing is farther from the truth. They are alive, dynamic, and constantly interacting with each other and the energy-matter matrix. This interaction is most clearly seen on the Middle Pillar and the central spheres.

    Kether-Tiphareth-Malkooth Triad

    In Western and some Eastern esoteric practices, all exercises begin with a drawing down of energy from the Crown, or Kether. This is done because Kether, is on the edge of“non-existence” draws energy into and out of being. This energy is then regulated, until it becomes manageable by our human consciousness, said to be somewhere around Chesed, on the Cosmic scale of things.

    On the personal level, Kether, or our personal Crown, regulates the flow of energy into and out of our bodies. We then direct this energy through our brain and nervous system, until it becomes manageable by our consciousness. Just as Kether is the bridge between Being and Non-Being on the Cosmic Scale, our personal Kether is the bridge between energy and matter. In our personal being, this is the pineal gland.

    Malkooth is the final condensing of these Cosmic forces, and on the Cosmic Scale is all of material creation. On our personal level, it our physical bodies, and as an intermediary, the environment we live and move in with others. Since Malkooth is a World, that of Asssiah, as well as a Sphere, it has its own “Kether aspect” or ability to create matter that goes from the most dense to most subtle. These subtler forms of matter border on their own realm of “Non-Being” or that which crosses over from the purely material to the psychic. In our bodies this would be the prostate and sexual glands, perineum, and base of the spine.

    The meeting place for these two polar aspects of our being and creation, is in the Heart Center, or Tiphareth. Here, all of creation is harmonized and brought into a state of dynamic tension and vitality around an intelligent center. This intelligence direct the other aspect of creation so that they work in harmony with one another for the good of all. This is our heart pumping blood to all of our organs, our pituitary gland, or“Master Gland” giving directions to all of our endocrine system, our Solar Plexus, regulating nerve energy in general; and the nucleus of each atom, cell, or the Sun in our solar system.

    In its role of chief mediator of forces, Tiphareth is constantly sending vital energy to all area of creation, and transmitting energy from the Crown, or highest abstract realms, to Malkooth, or the densist levels of matter. It in many ways, is the regulator of this energy to such s degree, that it can be said that matter itself is actually made by Tiphareth. In physical terms this means that all matter is nothing but condensed light energy. In personal terms, its means that our bodies and environment are the creation of our deepest held thoughts.

    To help develop a more conscious and functional relationship between these three centers of energy-matter-consciousness exchange, the following exercise is suggested:

    Imagine a brilliant sphere of Light with a binding, almost point black center, just above or touching the top of your head. Inhale, drawing down a shaft of this sphere into your Heart. Exhale, sending the shaft of light through your body and legs out the soles of your feet, into the molten center of the Earth. Inhale again, visualizing the fiery energy of this Center of the Earth moving up in a golden reddish stream to your Heart. Hold it, energizing the heart in brilliant light. Exhale, seeing the light expand in heat, light, life energy, and power.

    It is important at this point, that the energy not only be coordinated with the inhalation, but be ‘breathed up’ from the earth and not forced. This can be done by imagining a strong, flexible, hollow tube or canal running from the center of the earth, or feet, to the heart center. The energy can also be imagined running up the feet, as a pulse, entering the spinal column, and focusing energizing the heart area.

    Imagine after a period of time, that it is in the heart of the universe, and the adept, that matter and energy meet and are created.

    Just as our ‘heart felt’ feelings direct the limitless energy of Kether into manifestation, so do they direct manifestation back to Kether, or elsewhere, if we desire.

    It is very important that the heart not be overheated, and that the energy once accumulated be circulated or discharged in some fashion. This can be into a talisman, a healing treatment, or into a glass of cold water which is then consumed. It can also be discharged out the solar plexus as a general circulation to the rest of the aura.

    In addition, the vowel sounds associated with the Rose+Cross ritual, or A.I.O. may be intoned after competency in the basic techniques gave been acquired. First, practice intoning the sounds as a single breath, resonating from the center of your heart. After a while, begin splitting the sounds so that A resonates with the head; I with the heart; and O with the Solar plexus. After a period of time, move the O sound down to the perineum where it will have a stranger affect on the ‘Malkooth’ sphere(s).

    Substantial resonating of the sounds in the perineum will open up 12 different channels that link the spine to the legs, knees, and feet, uniting these various‘functional’ Malkooths. It also effects the prostrate gland in men.

    Yesod- Link Between the Selves

    Yesod sits astride the gateway to the invisible, and is the repository for all that ascends and descends into manifestation. It represents several key elements of our being, including our nervous system and brain; psychic centers; unconscious yearnings and desires; and locus of memory. Through its sometimes dark and troubling, but always powerful waters, we can come into direct contact with our Holy Guardian Angel in Tipahreth. By imagining Yesod as a gateway that reflects up as well as down, we can learn to direct our psychic energies in either direction. This way, Yesod is more than just a doorway which we knock at and hope something is thrown out to us, but instead is a portal we can move through and exist consciously. While much of this early expansion will take place in dream states, such as lucid dreaming, and spontaneous astral projection, eventually a greater degree of control will emerge, in which consciousness is projected willfully and returns with full memory of its experiences

    This state can be quicken though, by reinforcing Yesods link to Malkooth (for memory) and Tiphareth (willed consciousness). The following exercises are designed with these two goals in mind.

    After performing the Middle Pillar, focus your attention on Yesod. Imagine it as a large sphere extending to the edges of your expanded aura, violet in color. Shrink it back to normal size and then imagine all of your physical energy, in malkooth, and through out your body, is moving up toward Yesod. This is your ability to move, manifest, and create in the material world. Imagine the spheres merge and become harmonious. Now, pull it up even further to Tiphareth, and bath the combined material and psychic-sexual energy of Yesod in the golden light of Tiphareth, and feel the three merge into one. After several minutes project them back to their original positions.

    Imagine the light of Yesod as being simultaneously dual in nature, reflecting up toward Tiphareth and down toward Malkooth.

    Move to Tiphareth and do the same, imagine its light reflecting down toward Yesod, and up toward Kether, the source of all energy.

    Imagine the Elements as pure and perfect ideas, emanating from Tiphareth through a clear field of Yesod, and condensing into matter. Imagine your thoughts as pure and perfect ideas, being projected from your heart, with the combined sexual-creative energy of Yesod, into manifestation in malkooth.

    Imagine the pure light and energy of Kether above your head, becoming accessible in Tiphareth, your heart, and manifesting as pure creations in Malkooth, beneath your feet. Feel the energy reverse this process, going from hard, cold, dense matter, to abstract energy forms, to pure, undifferentiated energy. In addition, the Clavis Rea Formula can be an effective illustrator of this point.

    Circulation of the Light, after the establishment of the spheres should be vivid, clear, and deep in the body as well as extended out form it. This can be done is phases, with the first phases working gently on the outside, forming broad bands of light, and increasing in density and power as they begin to reach deep below the surface of the tissue, to the bones themselves. This helps to anchor the power in the body, while expanding and clearing the aura. At all times, the energy should be palpable.

    The Fountain of Light should move through the spinal column slowly at first, and with greater intensity and speed as experience progresses. The burst should be lively and bright, with a clear fluid like flame coursing around the edges of the expanded aura, at a radius of three to four feet on all sides. Lose your self in the flow of energy, as it passes through your body, out your head, into your feet, up your legs, purifying and energyzing as it goes.

    At the conclusion of the exercise, you may withdraw the energy into the sub-epidermal layer of your body, feeling it strengthen and energize the tissue, sinking into the bones and purifying the marrow, an essential element in long life and strong bones. This should also be done along the spinal cord, imagining that the soft tissue between the vertebrae are packed with energy and the nerve connections are strong and vital.

    The Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram

    The rituals of the Pentagram re use for directing the principle Elements of the material world (Assiah), matter-energy matrix closest to our consciousness, and the outer-materially directed personality of this incarnation. It is through directing and purifying to some degree these Elements, that we can begin to turn our attention inward and have the Vision of our Higher Self, or Holy Guardian Angel, that exists in Kether, communicated with in Tiphareth, and reflected to us in the subconscious of Yesod.

    The ego, or self-created image of self in relation to the material world is completely dominated by these rituals, and through them, we can adjust our sense of self, so that we may direct our energies toward Self. When this is done, we not only can converse with our Holy Guardian Angle, but realize that we and it are one and the same.

    The pentagram rituals can also be used in this same respect for creating material conditions that are to our advantage, as well as spiritual advancement. They can be used to create an near material environment for the sustaining of planetary forces as well. In this aspect, the several rituals are often combined.

    The planetary rituals of the Hexagram represent the manipulation of inner and outer planetary forces through our own psychic centers. They can result in direct physical manifestations of body or environment, or in interior experiences of an initiaticnature. Such initiations signify an expansion of consciousness, and increased activation of the psychic centers involved, and possible generalization of the effects to other centers. For example: a solar ritual will bring increased activity to the psychic‘heart’ center, but also to the pineal gland in the brain as it is solar in nature. A lunar ritual will bring increased memory and mental clarity, but also will stimulate the nervous system, and psychic centers generally, as well as cyclic sexual impulses. A Venus ritual will stimulate the kidneys, sexual impulses, and increase ones sense of beauty, harmony, and artistic expression. It will also add power to all of the psychic centers as a result of Venus’ ‘prism effect’ on psychic energy if directed properly, and increase the flow of love to the heart.

    Thus, each planet has its specific and general effects, as well as manifestations on the mental, emotional, and material planes. As we increase in awareness, and contact more consciously the various planetary spheres within us, they will appear to take on an almost objective existence. In these semi-objective states, we can contact others of a similar vibration, or communicate with the various ‘beings’ of the invisible world. These worlds also have degrees of density, hence the use of Elemental attributes in the vertical mode of expression. The densest world is Malkooth/Assiah, with each of the planets having a ‘home’ in the Quarters, and Yetzirah is more subtle and given the attribute of Water, with its own special relationship to the Planets. Next, there is Briah, with its Airy, expansive nature, and peculiar relationship to the planets, and finally, Atziluths fiery nature, from with the previous worlds are but denser and more stable expressions. Just as our consciousness shifts in its relationship to things when it moves to the astral from the material, it shifts again when it moves from the lunar astral to the solar astral, or mental worlds; and again when the move is from the Mental to the Spiritual.

    These shifts can best be explained as going from object relationships(material), to subject relationships (I-Thou), to direct relationships, and finally identity relationships. On earth we view things as objects separate from us. In the lunar astral we experience them a objects, but with a relationship to them. In the Solar astral, we experience a thing directly, that is we know it. In the Spiritual realm, we are it.

    This helps to explain some of the statements made about kundalini experiences in yoga, as well as the mystical experiences of other esotericists. In kundalini, or Secret Fire experiences, the aspirant often talks of being ‘one with creation’, or having the ability to look inside the nature of things. This would indicate that the energetic impulses being released are expanding awareness to the level of Briah. When the final level is reached, Atzilooth, we become like the Bibical Enoch “who walked with God and was no more”.

    This framework also helps explain why many magicians succeed or fail at magic. The identity of ‘another’ doing the work for us, is a very materialistic approach to magic. Later on, after experiencing the reality and illusions of the astral worlds, thedirect, or personal relationship is built, in which the magician sees the powers being directed as aspects of his or her self, and not exterior to their being. This form of expression is more akin to the level of the adapt, but also the mystic, and practitioner of yoga who visualized the chakras as inside their body and not exterior worlds, as in Western Pathworking. At some point however, all of these various viewpoints merge, and systems become blended in the experiences and evolving psyche of the disciple. The difference is more as a point of origin, not as a final destination.

    Note of Caution!! It is very important that all of the following exercises are preceded by a period of prayer and devotion to the Cosmic and that their fruits be offered as gifts to the Creator. They must also be started by invoking the energy from above in some fashion, be it the Qabalistic Cross, the Middle Pillar, the Clavis Rei, or simply as a beam of light coming from above, entering at the Crown, and terminating at the base of the spine or feet depending on your posture. This is critical of any negative side effects are to be avoided or minimized, as only energy radiating from Kether can be contacted with out creating an imbalance in our system. Here, we seek to use this energy to repair imbalances, not forget it, and inadvertently create new ones. Also, at the end of each meditation, return the energy to the Cosmic either imaginatively, or by offering the fruits of your spiritual labor to God.

    Triangle of Fire

    The Triangle of Fire represents a specific aspect of Tiphareth and should be considered in relationship to the Middle Pillar, although it can be performed independent of it, or as we will see, as an adjunct exercise to intensify the effects of both exercises.

    After establishing your working space, focus your attention on your heart. Imagine the great intertwined Star or Shield of David, in gold, associated with this sphere. Feel the upper triangle radiating a pulsing heat, and the lower one, a running coolness. Imagine them turn into a combined fiery triangle of Fire, and glistening triangle of Water. In the center is a brilliant dot, Yod, or Shin, as you decide.

    The lower triangle of Water is our relationship of consciousness to the psychic and material worlds. The Upper triangle of Fire, is our relationship to the spheres of adepthood, spiritual illumination, and interior revelation.

    Imagine yourself as the center point, between these two living triangles. Turn your attention to the Fire Triangle. Let the Water Triangle fade from consciousness. Feel yourself in the center of a small pyramid of Fire. It you were to stand up, you could touch the apex. Seated or kneeling, you sense the great fire all around you. Surrounding the base of the pyramid is a giant serpent with its tail in its mouth. Close your eyes and feel with each breath, and heart beat, the fire pulse in unison and grow more intense. The fire radiates both outward from the pyramid, as well as inward to its center, where you are. Loose yourself in the pulsing, living, flame. Intone the Divine Name IAO, resonating it outward from the center of your heart to the edges of the universe. Feel the fire grow bright with each vibration and the serpent stir.

    At some point you may feel, or imagine the serpent rising, and reaching a point of extension. Go with it, and view through its eyes. Return when you are done, by imagining the serpent coil back, placing its tail back in its mouth, the fire regulating, and the triangle merging with the triangle of water, both turning gold, and exiting to consciousness.

    Saturn and the Secret Fire

    This is special series of exercises relating to Saturn and its relationship to other planets, and the as manifestor of Creation. This exercise is directly related to the previous one, or The Triangle of Fire. When placed on the Tree of Life, the Hexagram connects the spheres of Yetzirah and Briah, giving a gateway to Atzilooth, with Saturn where Daath is placed.

    The Triangle of Fire is composed of Saturn at the apex, and Mercury and Venus at the base corners, with the Sun in the center. By meditating on the qualities of these planets, and their relationship to each other via this diagram, we can see that Saturn is the secret sphere, that offers us access to the energy-matter-consciousness continuum. Imagine yourself in the center of the Triangle of Fire again, pacing the Astrological signs, or godforms of Saturn, above, or above and before your, Mercury at your right, and Venus at your left. See them as living and vital, with a thin strand of fire, light, and love, connecting them.

    Remember, Saturn is often given as the sign for matter, and Venus inverted as the sign for Antimony, or the Earth. Continue this meditation for several weeks, or once a week, for several months. Fifteen to twenty minutes is all that is needed.


    The following method of meditation is based upon the fundamental associations known to every student of kabbalah. It can be performed by experienced or novice students alike, although novices should spend more time on the fundamentals to insure success later on, without having to go back an repeat the basics.

    This series of exercises relates to the stages and Elements of Creation and the nature of the Primordial or archetypal expressions of consciousness. Those who have experience working with Hebrew and/or the Elements as outlined in basic magical practices will be able to move more quickly through this exercise. Those who have little or no experience in magic will find it a suitable and powerful introduction to these concepts on a very personal level.

    The Hebrew doctrine of Creation sets forth the idea that the Primordial Man, or Adam was composed of the four lettered name of God stacked in vertical form to appear as sort of stick figure being. In addition, all of creation could be found to have it origin in this sacred name, and it pronunciation was closely guarded, so much so, that it is now lost. The discovery of its proper intonation is said to bring power over everything, so much so, that there are schools of kabbalah that only work with the various manipulations of this Name as their form of meditation.

    For us, the Tetragrammaton will be used as a visual and mnemonic guide for our meditations and exercises designed to release the Secret Fire in Creation.

    The standard Elemental applications will be applied: Yod (Head, endocrine system) is associated with Fire; Heh (shoulders/chest, and cardiopulmonary system) with Air; Vau (Spine/Nervous system, including sense organs) with Water; and the Final Heh with the dot (the hips, legs and feet, and skeletal system) with Earth.

    The dot in the final Heh symbolizes the secret, hidden point of light, life, and love in all of creation, and hidden in matter. It is this secret force that when liberated brings us to the heights of divine bliss and consciousness in the original Fire of Yod.

    As with all exercises, begin by drawing energy, in some fashion, down from Kether to the Earth. This can be through the Kabbalistic Cross, the Middle Pillar, or the Psychic Pump as previously described. Once a calm center is established, and a sacred space to contain the energy, either through the Pentagram Ritual, or imagining a vast and empty dome sphere around you (about six to nine feet in diameter), you may proceed.

    Imagine the Primordial Man in front of you, vast and towering. Merge with the image, growing in size as you do. See the flaming Yod as your head, and imagine that it, or a ray from it, projects itself downward through the Airy world. Forming the first Heh, and continues into the Watery world, gaining density and weight, forming the Vau, and finally, into the world of solid matter, forming it, along with the Final Heh. There, the flame grows small, flickering brightly, but only as a small spark, compared to its vast and brilliant place of origin, and to the dark, cold, solid world of matter in which if now appears trapped.

    Identify with the solid earth. Feel your feet rooted to it. Imagine that they, your legs, knees, and hips, are all heavy, solid, and firm, immovable and dense. Feel and imagine the great strength and stability that this offers you and appreciate it, as it is the foundation of your being. Continue with this imagery, and sense a point of dense, brilliant, heat and light in the center of this dark, solid matter. See it grow brighter and stronger, as though it were the center of the Earth itself. Continue with this heat and light, and let a strand of it move up from the center of the earth, through the layers of solid matter and rock to your feet, forming a sphere of great heat and light.

    After several days, pull the energy up to your knees. After several more days, pull it up to your hips. After about a month of practice, pull it up and focus it at the base of your spine.

    Extend the solid earth imagery to include your skeletal structure as well. Breath the fire up from the center of the earth, feel it focus around your spine, and move up to the top of your head. Imagine that your head is an empty sphere, waiting to receive the energy from below. Feel the energy course throughout your body, focusing on the bones. Breath it into them, cleansing them of any weakness or disease. See the marrow inside grow, and fill them with its bright red power. Extend it across the skull, jaw, and teeth. As before, when you are done with the meditation, absorb as much energy as you can, and send the rest to the center of the earth, closing off the contact.

    After a month or two of this exercise, move on to the Vau. See the energy move through your feet, to the spine, and move up and through its narrow center column to the brain. Imagine that as it enters the spinal column, with each breath, the fluid contained therein, course up and across your brain, nurturing the tissue, and descending back down. Imagine your senses becoming stronger and more acute. Visualize the vast fiery energy coming form the center of the earth as increasing your psychic sensitivity and psychic centers. This can be imagined simply as the nervous system becoming bright and healthy.

    Then, move on to the next, or First Heh. Here sense the energy as having moved up your feet, into the spine, and when it reaches the upper body and back of the head, it also fills the lungs with greater power and expansion. Feel yourself lifted up and expanded, as though your vision was made clearer, and sense of purpose, and destiny more definite. Imagine the lungs being charged with bright, warm healing energy, vitalizing the breath and blood.

    After a few days, imagine the vital power moving from the middle of the shoulders, down the arms, and to the hands.

    During this period experiment with projecting, circulating, and receiving energy through your hands. In general, the right hand should project positive, expansive, electrical energy; and the left should project magnetic, passive, and receptive energy. By holding the hands together, in the classic prayer position, in front of the chest with the back of your thumbs just touching the sternum, the heart center can be energized. In addition, the energy circulated creates a psychic ‘belt’ or ‘dome’around the upper portions of the head and shoulders. Practice pulling energy down from the sun, moon, planets, and Cosmic through the left hand and into the earth or a talisman with the right.

    Use the classic Sign of the Philosophus, or hands raised above the head with thumb and forefingers touching to form a triangle, to pull energy down into both palms and out through your feet. Try storing it in your solar plexus (you may want to use the Sign of Practicus for this) and projecting it as previously described.[9]

    Then, move to the Yod. Here after the energy has moved up to the brain, see the head grow bright and luminous. Feel it absorb the fire from below and rejoicing its return. Sense the center of your head growing powerful, warm, and bright. Focus on this single point of brightness, and then send it back down to the earth, while reaching out to the universe with it. Feel yourself lost in s fiery world of primordial power, wisdom, and love. Feel as though you are of vast stature, towering immensely through out the solar system. Feel as though the planets themselves are your psychic centers, and the sun is your heart, the Earth your footstool and the original point of creation your crown. When you are done, shrink yourself back, and shut down the meditation.

    This energy once experienced has tremendous healing potential. By freeing our negative and destructive thoughts into the center of the earth for purification and renewal, we open ourselves to a more energy and expanded consciousness through the removal of psychological blocks. Through drawing up the fiery healing energy of the earth, and packing it slowly, smoothly, and methodically deep into our cells, form the bones and its marrow upward and outward, we can increase our psychic sensitivity to telluric currents, weather patterns, and magnetic conditions. In addition, we add strength, energy, and vitality to our physical bodies.[1

    The Flashing Sword and the Rising Serpent

    Yesod, Hod, and Netzach in the Secret Fire

    This section examines the relationship between the sepheroth of the Tree of Life to the Secret Fire, and the impact of two spheres in particular that govern the nervous system, early psychic awakening, and sexual power.

    The rising of psychic power from Malkooth, effects not only the feet and perineum, but also triggers a response in the adrenals atop the kidneys. This is often accompanied by a surge of energy, as these glands are the seat of out ‘fight or flight’ response. They are also secondary sexual organs, and as the energy drops down, to enter into the base of the spine (also a Malkooth center) before rising up the spinal cord and erergyzing the entire body, it stimulates those nerves and psychic clusters associated with Yesod and Netzach. It is from this stimulation that images, fantasies, sexual potency and aggressiveness, and psychic awareness, sometimes bordering on pszophrenia and psychosis, are experienced. Intense heat and a sense of purging may also be experienced as a result.

    When the energy reaches the area of Hod, or Mercury, usually prior to Netzach, but not always, it is said to be following the Path of the Serpent. This Path is illustrated by a Serpent climbing the Tree of Life, reversing the direction of the descent of the Lightning Flash. Here, the Secret Fire awakens the mind to magical possibilities and structures, but without power. It may energize the brain and speedup patterns of thought, insight, and association, but often this may be vented through excessive talking and verbalization, or routing it through the throat center.

    If the energy is not spent, but directed in its upward Path of Return, or ascent, then the very real problem of having to direct the will and consciousness in a singular fashion toward creating a pathway for the energy to flow is encountered. These pathways are the mental and astral constructs, or symbols, used in magical, religious, and esoteric rites.

    The principle pathway, or map used to direct the Secret Fire is the caduceus of Mercury. Here, the twin serpents intertwine themselves around the central pillar, and themselves form two side or supporting pillars, leading to a winged apex, or crown, shaped like a pine cone, or the pineal gland.

    When it reaches this point, then Crown, it bestows illumination, Cosmic Consciousness, and can be directed further towards greater spiritual activity, or toward material or psychic manifestation. This energy, or light, is like the rays of the sun (Tiphareth) being split into the many rays of the spectrum (Netzach) by the use of optical filters (Hod).

    In Hod we not only create, but also clean any existing mental filter, so that the energy rising back towards its source may be properly identified and experienced for what it is, prior to its being harmonized into a single ray of light by Netzach. Even after harmonization however, the energy may not have to be returned to the Tiphareth. If left to its own devises, it probably will, as that is its natural inclination. The sudden influx of power and energy may create a strengthening of the recently vivified astral worlds, of which Netzach is the symbolic apex.

    The Death card which rules the Path between Netzach and Tiphareth signifies the task of the initiate at this stage of the journey, and of the sacrifice that lies ahead. Only by loosing their individuality, or through ‘death’, can the separate forces under the direction of Netzach combine to lead the initiate toward adepthood. The reverse of this is also true in one sense, in that by leaving the collective behind, the individual is born, the true individual of Tiphareth. This suggests, that genuine initiation can only take place when we are no longer dependent upon the collective power of an egregore for our sense of protection, purpose, and illumination. The watery astral womb of Yetzirah must be left, for either the dry air of Malkooth’s material life, or Tiphareth’s spiritual renewal.

    Along with the intertwined serpents of the caduceus, we find implied in the symbolism the chakras, or psychic centers, upon which the Secret Fire acts in its journey. These centers express modes of consciousness, loci of physical and psychic power, and are related in various ways to the nervous and endocrine systems as we have seen.

    In Western esotericism, several methods of expressing these psychic centers exist. There is the use of the planetary names, or mundane chakras as they are called, for the sepheroth. Here, the planets follow the descent of mezla, or Divine Energy, down the Tree of Life and are placed at corresponding locations on the human body. Kether, Hockman, and Binah are in the head; Chesed, Geburah, and Tiphareth are in the upper chest and shoulders; Netzach, Hod, and Yesod in the hips and sexual organs; with Malkooth located at the feet. This works well as a mnemonic devise and for the exercise known as the Flashing Sword and Rising Serpent, but is not very useful when it comes to attributing planetary powers to specific organs, as in alchemy.

    Another set of attributes is to simply take the Middle Pillar and apply either its Elemental correspondences as given by Regardie The True Art of Healing, or the more well known planetary correspondences as he gives in his book The Middle Pillar. Along the same lines, it is not uncommon to apply the ascending set of Hindu tattwas, or Elemental signs in an ascending manner at each of the cross-bars and spheres on the central column of the Tree of Life.

    While none of the above sets of designating centers of psychic force is perfect, each works in its own particular area, and as such, it might be better to simply accept the symbols given for each exercise without trying to create ‘a grand synthesis’that will sound good, but be cumbersome or useless for practical purposes.

    Looking at the ascent of energy from a more Western viewpoint, it is possible to view the psychic centers not as singular and specific organs, but in many instances as clusters of organs working in concert. Students of Eastern esoteric practices will recognize that the New Age system of seven chakras neatly arranged with an ascending chromatic scale is not easily found in yoga or tantra.

    Instead, what is found, is just as much contradiction and confusion as in modern synthetic Western esoteric systems. Whether one uses a system of five, six, or seven psychic centers depends on which system is being practiced. The addition or subtraction of a particular center matters only in relations to the details of that particular practice and its aims. Thus, when viewing the psychic cneters as objective realities, we enter into a realm fraught with danger. Instead, we need to look at the centers in terms of functionand relationship to each other. If in an exercise we notice that a centers activities are not limited to the feet, chest, sexual organs, or head, then we have entered into a deeper understanding of that locus of energy. If we find that other organs are being stimulated as well, then we will find that we have begun moving from a strictly symbolic and mental relationship to the psychic centers to a personal and experiential one. This transition to personal experience is what development is all about, and not simply neat and comfortable packages of occult lore and information as is given in endless tables of correspondences.

    In one recent Golden Dawn publication[11] a set of correspondences was given for four of the major psychic centers using kerubic attributions. The root center was attributed to the Calf of Revelations; the sexual center to the Angel; the Solar Plexus to the Lion; and the Eagle to the heart. No Correspondences were given for the remaining centers. Using this as a basis for discussion and experimentation, I would instead suggest the following listing as a more effective alternative:

    1st Bull or Saturn[12] or Moon[13] with Fire in the Heart

    2nd Eagle or Jupiter or Mercury Water in the liver

    3rd Lion or Mars or Venus Earth in the lungs

    4th Angel or Venus or Sun Air in the bladder

    5th Spirit or Mercury or Mars

    6th Luna or Moon or Jupiter

    7th Sol or Sun or Saturn

    This suggests that the order of the planets in the spheres is very relative to ones state of consciousness, and that the correspondences at the time of our descent into material consciousness may be different from the order during our re-ascent into Eternity.

    If we consider what the alchemists say about Saturn, that it is the beginning and end of the Work, then this re-arrangement of the centers may be true.

    In an article entitled, “From The Restored New Testament”[14], the basic idea of four centers of the genitals, navel, heart, and head is used along with titles taken from The Book of Revelations of St. John.

    Genitals 1st and 2nd centers The False Seer

    Navel 3rd center The Red Dragon

    Heart 4th center The Beast

    Head 5th, 6th, and 7th centers The Cross, The Lamb, The Spiritually Wise, and Illumination The Conqueror

    In an accompanying chart, the order of the planets is given from Saturn at the base, to Luna at the Crown, in straight kabbalistic fashion, with a slightly different color scale than usual: Yellow and sliver-white (Saturn), pale blue (Jupiter), red (Mars), green (Sun), dark blue/indigo (Venus), orange-yellow (Mercury), violet, silvery opalescent (Moon). Each center is also associated with a zodiacal sign, a seal on the great scroll, and one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The remaining five signs of the zodiac are attributed to the Elements and Spirit.

    The problem presented by the Book of Revelations, is that if it represents a pattern of progressive interior initiation linked to the ultimate experience of the Secret Fire, it is written in a highly symbolic format. Many of the keys to these symbols may be very local and period specific in origin, requiring extensive research into 1st century era Gnostic, Christian, Merkavah, and Greco-Roman initiatic practices.

    This is not to imply that this is an impossible nut to crack, only that it is one wherein we must weigh the reward against the effort. To assist those who answer this in the affirmative, the above keys have been given. For this manuscript however, it raises more questions than horns on “The Beasts” head, to which the answers are not immediately forthcoming. The answers may be in some of the older and less accessible schools of Christian kabbalah found in Eastern Orthodoxy, more so than in those Christian kabbalists of Rome, as they are more focuses on the Gospel of John, and have not completely rooted out their mystical wing, or use of symbols for Illumination.


    After preparing your oratory, or place of working, imagine that your spine is the central pillar of the Caduceus. Establish it well, with a round bottom, wings at level of the throat, solar disk, and a pine cone or brilliant knob at the top. Visualize it in white or reddish-gold, with the left serpent in blue or black; and the right serpent in red. Their tails should meet or cross-over at the base of your spine and continue to overlap five more times with their heads facing toward each other, tongues extended, at the level of the throat accompanied by an extended pair of wings. The image should be mounted by a solar disk at the level of the head, surmounted by a pine cone.

    After a period of several weeks with the above imagery, additional symbols can be added. In the center of each circle formed should be imagined in progressive order, the kerubic animals listed above. At the level of the throat should be akasha, or Spirit; and the Lunar qualities should dominate the back of the head, with Solar dominating the front. Both universal aspects are imagined as unified at the top, and entering and existing through the brilliant sphere or pine cone (pineal gland).

    If possible, the left serpent should be imagined to have lunar, watery, passive, magnetic qualities. The right serpent, solar, electric, fiery, expansive qualities. The central column mediates, balances, and contains both simultaneously.

    After the above images are successfully imagined and maintained, the symbols can be progressively meditated upon. It is important to go in strict order from top to bottom or bottom to top. If a psychic blockage is encountered don’t force it. Simply smooth it away gently as you progressively move through the set of symbols. Don’t spend more than seven or ten days on any one symbol. Remember, that it is best to start new esoteric periods on a Saturday when the psychic power is at its height for the week. This means that it will take a minimum of seven weeks to move through the seven principle symbols on the central column, and an additional three weeks for the basic diagram and two serpents.

    This is a strong exercise, so don’t force it. It anything unpleasant is experienced, shorten the periods of meditation. Initially, no more than 15 minutes should be spent on this exercise.

    The Serpent of Fire and the Spear[1

    Of all the exercises in this work, the following are the easiest to perform regardless of the level of experience of the operator. Their basic concepts will already be familiar to many students, and are useful as guides in a fundamental understanding of the Secret Fire that exists in the West.

    Visualize a vast point if brilliant light above your head, so intense that it appears black. Move it down to the top of your head, feel it sinking into your body and psyche, permeating your consciousness. Fee it move out, extending to form a sphere of golden light and fire around you to a diameter of four to six feet on all sides. Let this sphere of light grow in intensity and power, and know that it is a strong container for the Cosmic forces you are about to invoke.

    Imagine a shaft of fire, like a spear, blaze down from the point of light above you, penetrate your skull, and move through your body and into the center of the earth. Feel the earth reverberate with its impact, and imagine a stream of living fire, like a golden-red serpent, move in the reverse direction of the shaft, up your spine, and into the hallow of your skull. It is important that you imagine your skull as a hollow and vast receptacle of this creative and transforming energy. After several repetitions of this cycle, focus your attention on your heart, and imagine there, a chalice, stone, or other receptive symbol for your highest Self. Wait for a response, and then let everything merge into a vast sea of living golden light, fire, and love. At the conclusion of the exercise, draw the energy into yourself, and offer it as a gift to the Cosmic.

    Basic exercises for its regulation

    Solar Plexus as chief regulator of energy in the body

    If after an exercise there is too much energy in your heart or head area, move it down to the solar plexus and imagine it being circulated out and around your body through that center. This will work after a few minutes, and is especially good for circulating energy that arises from sexual stimulation after these exercises.

    Grounding out

    It is important to establish firm points of Kether and Malkooth in these exercises. If Malkooth is insufficiently established, the risk of flightieness and disconnectedness from everyday life is possible. More importantly, if a strong sense of connectedness is not established at Malkooth, much of the energy will have no where to go, and will be wasted. If it appears that too much energy has been generated and is causing problems that simply circulating it out the Solar Plexus will not solve, then consider the following:

    1.Imagine the energy streaming our of your hands and feet into the earth.

    2.Place your hands in a bowl of cold water and imagine the energy pouring into it.

    3.Walk on the grass or earth with your feet in direct contact.

    4.Drink a cold glass of water.

    These suggestions are for the discharge of energy accumulations that may be unpleasant. Consider them a sort of psychic first aid. The nature of these exercises generally, is to increase the amount of energy we can handle, and to direct it wisely and slowly for the purification of our psyche and body. Discharging it repeatedly will slow that process, however, maintaining a state of irritation, frustration, and perterbability as a result of esoteric practices is also a drawback.

    Circulating the Light

    Simply put, always circulate the energy when you are done with an exercise. The suggestions of the Middle Pillar, or out the Solar Plexus and around the edges of the extended aura work well.


    Additional Notes for Consideration

    Crowley states that the 24th Path is attributed to the Goddess Kundalini in 777. Knight has the caduceus with the sign of Scorpio at the bottom. Scorpio is the sign of the 24th Path.

    Square breathing is to be done with the exercises whenever possible. On the inhale, pull the energy down from the crown; hold in the feet, earth, and/or base of spine; exhale to head; hold on the exhale. Repeat. This adds a great deal of energy to the exercises and limits the amount of time they can be done in any one sitting.

    Each sphere has its own Tiphareth, i.e. Great Star, uniting the smaller “spheres within a sphere” on the Tree of that particular level. Thus, when we direct our attention to the harmonizing influence of Tiphareth we effect all of the planets it touches. When we direct our attention to the Triangle of Fire of Tiphareth, we effect the Fire aspect of all of the Spheres connected to Tiphareth. However, Saturn, Mercury, and Venus, may have a greater response. This of course means, karma (Saturn), creative energy (Venus), and intellect/energy conduits (Mercury).

    As such, it then is easier to regulate planetary energy with the hexagram than the septagram. The hexagram regulates energy via Tiphareth, the septegram via Netzach.

    In alchemy, Fire and Air are the matrix of Energy; Water and Earth are the matrix of Matter. Earth ‘energy’ is essential for sustaining health; Water for sustaining initiation; and Fire for initiation itself; Air makes Fire accessible.

    Salt is the lower yetzirah and assiah; Mercury is Higher Yetzirah and Lower Briah; Sulphur is Higher Briah and Lower Atzilooth.

    Salt is prone to lunar impulses. Mercury is prone to solar impulses. Sulphur is prone to zodiacal and Cosmic impulses.


    Kundalini, Evolution and Enlightenment, Edited by John White, Anchor Books/Doubleday, Garden City, New York. 1979.

    Serpent of Fire: A Modern View of Kundalini by Darrel Irving. Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine. 1995.

    Energies of Transformation, A Guide to the Kundalini Process by Bonnie Greenwell, Ph.D. Shakti River Press, Saratoga, Ca. 1990.

    The Doctrine of the Subtle Body in the Western Tradition by GRS Mead. Solos Press, Shaftesbury, Dorset. No date. First published, 1919.

    The Middle Pillar by Israel Regardie. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN. 1991.

    Kabbalah of the Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN. 1993.

    Experience of the Inner Worlds by Gareth Knight. Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine. 1993.

    The Most Holy Trinosophia of the Comte de St. Germain, Introduction and Commentary by Manly P. Hall. The Philosophical Research Society, Inc., Los Angeles. 1983.

    The Philosophers of Nature, 125 West Front Street, Suite 263, Wheaton, Ill. 60187.

    Kabbalah Lessons:

    Alchemy Lessons: .

    Psychic Energy, It’s Source and It’s Transformation
    by M. Esther Harding, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J. 1963.

    The Gathas of Zarathustra from the Zend-Avesta
    , ed. by Raghavan Iyer.

    Zarathustra, The Transcendental Vision
    by P.D. Mehta

    The Zoroastrian Tradition
    by Farhang Mehr

    Oriental Magic
    by Idries Shah

    [1] See: Magical States of Consciousness by Dennings and Philips; Inner Landscapes by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki; or The Philosophers of Nature, Qabalah Lessons 35 through 44.

    [2] Mysteria Magica, vol. 3 of The Magical Philosophy by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips. Llewellyn Pub., St. Paul, MN. P. 57-59, and 69-73; or, The Philosophers of Nature, Qabalah Lesson 62.

    [3] See: Problems on the Path of Return: Pathology in Kabbalistic and Alchemical Practices by Mark Stavish, M.A. The Stone -The Journal of The Philosophers of Nature. Issue 19, March-April 1997. Included as an appendix to this article.

    [4] See: A Kabbalistic Approach to Lucid Dreaming and Astral Projection by Mark Stavish, M.A. The Stone - The Journal of the Philosophers of Nature. Issue 20, May-June 1997. Included as an appendix to this article.

    [5]Kabbalah by Gershom Scholem. New York. Meridian. 1974. P. 186.

    [6] The Jewish Alchemists by Raphael Patai. Princeton, N.J., University Press.1994.

    [7]Saint-Germain is also said to be the author of La magie sainte revelee a Moyse(The Holy Magic of Moses Revealed). No date is given.

    [8] PON Qabala Lesson 63, suggests that the sounds be resonated in the heart, solar plexus, and perineum. Regardie make no attribution of the IAO sounds in The Golden Dawn(5th ed.), and omits them in The One Year Manual.

    [9] For the Elemental Grade Signs of the Golden Dawn, see: Regardie, p.134-135.

    [10] This will be explored further in an upcoming essay on “The Diamond Body in Western Esoteric Practices”.

    [11] The Kabbalah of the Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN. 1993. P. 89-125.

    [12] This list of planetary correspondences is taken from The Philosophers of Nature, Spagyric Course Year Two, Lessons 32 and 45. .

    [13] Taken from a painting by Johann Georg Gichtel, a student of Boehme, of “man in his corrupt state” after the Fall from Grace, prior to any spiritual initiation.

    [14]Kundalini, Evolution, and Enlightenment, ed. by John White. Anchor Press. Garden City, New York. 1979. Article by James Morgan Pryse, pgs. 418-440. See: The Apocalypse Unsealed.

    [15] See: Experience of the Inner Worlds by Gareth Knight. Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine. 1993. Pages 1-119. Or see, PON Qabala Lessons 12 through 16.








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