“And I Solomon, having heard this, glorified God. And though I marvelled at the apology of the demons, I did not credit it until it came true. And I did not believe their words; but when they were realized, then I understood, and at my death I wrote this Testament to the children of Israel, and gave it to them, so that they might know the powers of the demons and their shapes, and the names of their angels, by which these angels are frustrated. And I glorified the Lord God of Israel, and commanded the spirits to be bound with bonds indissoluble. – Testament of Solomon, 66.
My ongoing learning process has long led me to the idea that the origin of all religion, magick and spiritual phenomenon, just like all physical life, is ultimately stellar in nature. The ideas I’ve expressed previously about the Zodiac as a manifestation of ‘God,’ refers to that stellar Totality. That there are billions of stars in the sky is a reflection of the vast plurality of divine forces that their existence symbolises, and just as we can call that vast collective of galaxies, constellations, stars, planets, moons and asteroids ‘the Cosmos,’ so may we also divinize it and call it ‘God.’ If we don’t like that term for our own personal reasons, we can also call it ‘the Divine,’ ‘the All,’ or ‘the Universe.’
As per the maxim of Hermes, what goes on ‘up there’ in the Celestial realm goes on ‘down here’ on Earth too. This maxim is the basis of astrology and any worthwhile magickal or religious system. Here, on the ground level we also experience those ‘higher’ spiritual reflections in telluric entities, which we call 'Elementals,' and chthonic entities, which we call 'Spirits of the Underworld.' The bridge between the celestial 'higher' and earthly 'lower', is the Astral, from which come the sub-lunar 'Goetic' aspects of the divine force, which bear a natural control over the telluric and chthonic forces beneath them. This is why Spirits of this ilk have powers over the dead and have the ability to reveal the location of hidden treasures. Yet the one foot they have in the Celestial also makes them portals into those realms, as evidenced in the gifts of astral travelling, invisibility and the knowledge of astrology, liberal sciences, philosophy and things past and future that they can grant.
This 'bridge' between realms they inhabit is known as ‘Qesheth,’ meaning ‘bow,’ and signifies the paths of Qoph, Shin and Tau that connect Malkuth to the rest of the Tree of Life. Elsewhere, this bridge is called Bifrost, which is the Rainbow Bridge that connects Midgard, the realm of men, with Asgard, the realm of the gods. The Spirits that inhabit this bridge not only act as gateways to the celestial places beyond it, but offer mastery of the telluric and chthonic gateways below. Working with them grants access to both the celestial and chthonic, enabling the magician to gain one form of wisdom by hanging from the heights of the Tree for nights all nine before descending to the tree’s base to sacrifice his eye to the Waters of the Norns. Both methods are not only valid but vital for holistic magickal development, and are reflected across the entire human spiritual spectrum as the Descent into the Underworld.
By working with the liminal, gateway Spirits that lie between these realms, then, one realises the nature of the vertical pillar that begins in the underworld domains of Hel and the Qlippoth and rises like a serpent up to the celestial crown of the tree, the Fixed Star Polaris, around which the Great Dragon, flying free, sets its guard. In such thinking, the 72 'Angels' now only reflect the higher, celestial aspects of these 'Spirits.' The Angels are not separate entities that exist only to subjugate and punish the Spirits, but are our realisation of the Spirits' higher forms. By 'reconnecting' the Angels and Spirits, one in fact does nothing but realise the true, interconnected nature of these beings. Their essences are not separate, but one, and it's only through man's foolish belief that light and dark are separate at all that we have ever come to appeal to certain aspects of these Entities while neglecting the others.
There is a Gnostic cognate in which such wholeness is personified, and it is is found in the name Abraxas. Unlike the divided name of IHVH, Abrasax represents a complete and undivided circle. It is both time and the cosmos in a single form. From the understanding of the oneness of these ‘high’ and ‘low’ aspects into one Name comes my drive towards finding a holistic method of combining the ‘celestial’ and the ‘sub-lunar’ aspects of the names expressed in the Shemhamphorash and the Goetia. Of course, just as the Cosmos is a combination of many things under one vast, interconnected canopy, so too is it a plethora of individual, separate and unique forms. Being so, it may be of benefit to think of it as such most of the time. Yet it may be even greater benefit, in the ultimate, Universal context, to cast aside such notions of separation. This is what the Great Work, at its core, is all about.
As Above, so Below.