Oath of the Abyss

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“I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul.”

This phrase is one of eleven clauses taken from the ‘Oath of the Magister Templi’ (Master of the Temple) in Aleister Crowley’s system of Scientific Illuminism (Magick), as practiced by the A∴A∴—his magical and mystical order. In a tradition developed from, and rooted in, the revolutionary practices of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (practicing at the turn of the 19th Century) aspirants at different stages of their spiritual development take solemn oaths with regards to their continued development in their system of attainment. This specific clause is commonly understood to be what is known as the ‘Oath of the Abyss’. In this way of thinking, every single phenomenon that an individual experiences is understood as a direct communication of the numinous with one’s soul. Such a process might be thought of as an expanding of specific and individual forms of divination—such as reading Tarot, runes, tea leaves, palms and so on—to every single thing in the aspirant’s experience of the world. One is “reading” every aspect of their lived experience as a direct communication from the UniVerse itself, from God, the divine, or from their unconscious, however the individual prefers to frame it. In 2011, whilst travelling in Australia, I was walking and pondering on a very serious issue with regards to my circumstances at that time. As I walked and mused, I came across two playing cards lying in the road. It occurred to me that one could read the meanings of these cards using the long-standing technique of cartomancy—and so I did. I found the process to be extraordinarily illuminating. Since that time I have been collecting ‘found’ playing cards and reading them, as though they were indeed a direct communication from UniVerse itself, as part of my ongoing experiments with techniques designed to bring about alterations and transformations in one’s consciousness. Exhibited here, for the first time, is the entire collection to date, found over a six year period.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2019
EventMonad Symposium & Journal Launch - Northampton
Duration: 9 Nov 2017 → …


ConferenceMonad Symposium & Journal Launch
Period9/11/17 → …
Internet address


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