Then there is the Practical Qabalah. Practical Qabalah is the study and practice of working ceremony and ritual for evoking and blending inner, superior intelligence into the lower self, or invoking intelligence into this corporeal world. It is also the Art of Effective Worship, Theurgy. Accomplished Qabalists who perform the higher rituals teach that the purpose of all ceremonial is to establish an unbroken flow of knowledge, not mere information. They also claim that no magical rite is effective unless it is the formal expression of the operator’s inner vision.
To a tyro’s imagination with all this, images of ritual might evoke tremors of fear and loathing due to all the religions’ prejudices and Hollywood absurdities. On the other hand, to the glee of this same tyro, it might conjure egoistical notions and imagery. To those so inclined it must be grand to imagine being all decked out in robes and regalia, perambulating a chamber while ascribing strange gestures in the air. Sounds cool. Think of all the power I will possess over everyone!
There are books and grimoires out there with just such recipes for invoking all these idiocies and more; find hidden treasure, make yourself invisible, get a person or a spirit to do your bidding, mesmerize a desired love, zap your enemies. The list is endless, and tantalizing to an egomaniac.
If we possess any vestiges of the above within our personality complex then we ought to run, not walk, away from anything to do with Qabalah. Experienced teachers of the Qabalah warn beginners with any of this study NOT TO BELIEVE that he is taking up this path for the purpose of raising himself, or lifting or enhancing any ‘personal’ powers whether they be physical, mental or emotional. Practical Qabalah is performed for the merging of consciousness, and for higher instruction and worship; learning and experimenting the prudent use of power which might flow through us, and that is NOT personal. Nothing is originated or directed from the ‘personal’ level. Everything in our spiritual unfoldment is a RESPONSE from the Higher, Inner One-Source in Tiphareth, the Christ Consciousness. It can prove devastating for the unprepared who believe otherwise. Too many wanna-be magicians think they can gather all the robes, paraphernalia and magical recipes from pseudo texts and conjure up some phantom fantasies. If it accidentally happens that some energies are evoked from within, the ‘sorcerer’s apprentice’ may conjure up some very actual physical pain. Calling down the heightened energies into a corpus yet saturated with poisonous substances in the body’s cellular structure is merely to invite trauma. The extra energies actually burn body cells. This heat is real and intense. We actually feel the blood run warmer to hot, and we may experience a burning pain behind the eyes. It is very common to pull in heightened vibrations prematurely which bring on undesirable effects similar to flu symptoms, only more intense. A very extreme, but highly unlikely, violation of the basic cautions could possibly create a spontaneous combustion of the human body.
Therefore, it behooves anyone so desirous of this highly specialized quest to make sure the body and mind are sufficiently prepared, and understand completely what one’s inner motives might be for even attempting all this. If we are still smoking tobacco and/or other creative substances, drinking alcohol and consuming unhealthy foodstuffs and snacks, we are polluting every cell within the body temple. These polluted cells simply cannot hold the intense energies of real light, ergo major discomfort or pain. With the Practical Qabalah we are attempting to receive habitation of the Most High, incarnate.
Get physically and mentally healthy. Every force center (chakra, interior star, metal) must be purified, balanced and sublimated to exude energies far above the typically gross habit patterns of the past. “Make Mercury of all your Metals,” is a very real admonition. If we do not understand what this means we have no business with any of this business. We must become the Sattvic Man as near as is all possible. If we in our early stages subconsciously harbor anger or lust in the metal Iron, for example, and succeed minimally with increasing energy into polluted body cells, we will merely exacerbate our anger and lust out of proportion, maybe even out of control.
Some lodges and organizations purporting to be Mystery Schools may offer ritual and ceremony workings in a group setting. In spite of the occasional ego posturings within such groups, I believe this to be a safer haven than attempting any workings individually, at least initially. If and when some inner discipline and strength is achieved, and a solitary working is preferred, I could not recommended a better such ritual extant than the Invocation of the Divine Higher Genius offered in Israel Regardie’s 1974 edition of the The Golden Dawn System of Magic. It is not found in the more recent 1984 edition. I believe that this ritual, and other devotional or meditation ceremonies, if performed with true reverence, is the best for developing our singular inner awareness with the Holy and Divine Higher Self. That Self knows intimately our innermost levels and knows how much Light and Love to bestow safely upon the truly ardent practitioner.
Surrender, and turn all this and everything else over to THAT WHICH IS WITHIN.