It is a matter of general knowledge among occultists that it is not a pleasant thing to fall foul of an occult fraternity of wliich one has been made a member by mearr> of a ceremonial initiation and to wliich one is bound by oatfe. As we have already seen tlie malignant mind of a trained occultist is a nasty weapon how much more so tlie group-mind formed out of a number of trained mirxis. especially if concentrated by mearr> of ritual?
B ut in addition to tlie individual mental force of tlie members of a fraternity, arxl in addition to tlie collective force of its group-mind, tliere is another factor to be reckoned with when a genuine occult organisation is concerned in operations of either protection or destruction I-'vciy occult oiganisation depends for Its power lo initiate upon what are called its "contacts." llial is lo say. upon one or more of its leaders being psychically in touch Willi certain forces. If. in addition lo tills, the oiganisation lias a long line of tradition behind il. a veiy potent collection of thought forms will be built up in its atmosphere. Pveiy initiation ceremony contains in some fonn or oilier the Oath of Ihe Mysteries, which biixls Ihe caixlidale neither lo reveal tlie secrets of the Mysteries nor lo abuse Ihe knowledge lliey bestow. Tliis oalli always contains a Penally Clause and an Invocation wherein Ihe caixlidale submits himself to a penally in Ihe event of a breach of faith and calls upon some Being lo exact Ihe penally. Some of these oaths are most formidable affairs, aixl lliey are administered Willi every circumstance of solemnity llial stage management can devise. The way in which tlx; occult fraternities have succeeded in preserving tlieir secrets shows how seldom lliese oaths are broken.
In the event of a dispute Willi an occult fraternity, the force invoked in this oath may come into action automatically. If tlx; nxalciIrani brother is in tlx; spirit of tlx; tradition and il is his chiefs who are al fault, tlx; power invoked in tlx; oalli will be a potent protective influence Willi which the chiefs themselves will collide. If. on tlx; oilier hand lie breaks faith Willi Ihe Mysteries tliis avenging punitive current will come into action although his defection may pass undiscovered. I was informed by an eye witness of an incident which look place al an initiation, in which tlx; caixlidale. a man to all appearances nomial in eveiy way. after taking the oalli in tlx; usual manner, suddenly screamed most terribly, startling everyone, and was ill for some weeks as if from a severe nervous stock, aixl never liad anything more lo do Willi occultism No explanation of tlx; incident was ever forthcoming I was present myself upon one occasion wlien a batch of three caixlidales was being "done." aixl il was suddenly noticed in the course of Ihe ceremony llial tlx; number of tlx; caixlidales liad become reduced lo two. inquiry elicited tlx; fact llial tlx; third liad taken fright and lied.
What happened in these two cases. I do not know: whether tliere liad been a breach of good faith or whether one was intended, no one can say: but sometliing put tlx; fear of tlx; ford into lliese two individuals pretty effectually, l lial no such stock is inherent in Ihe ceremony is proved by tlx; fact llial lliese are Ihe only two eases in my experience, aixl I have seen a veiy large number of ceremonies. Person ally, when I look my own initiation I fell as if I liad come into harbour after a stormy voyage.
Another man who was intimately known lo me as an advanced occultist was turned out of Ihe Order lo which lie belonged, why. I do not know, but from what I saw of him I should imagine there were plenty of reasons. In defiance of his initiation oath he began lo work an iixlepeixlenl lodge. I le was warned to desist, and did so. dismantling his temple. But he immediately began to gel together another temple in a carefully concealed place: and this time lie was more ambitious, for he made ready to attempt tlx; Greater Mysteries. I le was an exceedingly clever craftsman and made all tlx; equipment of tlie temple Willi his own hands so llial no one should know what was afoot. Concealed behind Nottingham lace curtains in a mean street in West I .oixlon was a beautiful little temple of tlx; Greater Mysteries. I le completed tliis work after some months of arduous toil, no one knowing of il save those in his immediate confidence. But before commencing Ihe actual ritual work he went away for a short holiday al Ihe seaside, and there he was seized Willi a heart allack while silting on tlx; beach and dial in four tours. Tlx; Order secrets were not betrayed.
Another man who liad liad a dispute Willi Ihe same famous Order, prinlal aixl published llieir secrets as an act of revenge. He was a man of good social position, considerable wealth and brilliant lileraiy abilities, already making a name for himself as a writer. From llial moment be began lo go downhill, aixl came lo poverty and disgrace. The curse of Ahasuerus sccmal lo be upon him aixl lie was hounded from country to country, finding no abiding place. No publisher will haixlle his books, no paper will review lliem
I,el me finally tell of my own experiences in an astral skirmish I wrote a series of articles on tlx; abuses prevalent in occult fraternities, aixl lliese were publishal in tlx; Occult Review. My writing is largely inspirational, a great deal "coming tlirough" of which I have no previous knowledge, aixl in this particular case I evidently shot a great deal belter than I knew, and got myself into serious trouble. My first intimation of il was a sense of uneasiness aixl restlessness. Next came a feeling as if tlx; barriers between tlx; Seen aixl tlx; Unseen were full of rifts and I kepi on gelling glimpses of tlx; Astral mingling Willi my waking consciousncss. Tliis. for me. is unaccustomed, for I am not naturally psychic, and in Ihe technique in which I was trained we are lauglil to keep tlx; different levels of consciousness strictly separate and lo use a specific method for opening and closing tlx; gales. Consequently one seldom gels spontaneous psychism One's vision resembles the use of a microscope in which one examines prepared material.
The general sense of vague uneasiness gradually malural into a definite sense of menace and antagonism and presently I began to sec demon faces in Hashes, resembling those picture images which psychologists call by tlx; unpleasing name of hypnogogics. flashes of dream which appear upon tlx; threshold of sleep. I was quite unsuspicious of any particular individual, though I réalisai lhal my articles tad probably stirred somebody up pretty thoroughly: what was my surprise, then, lo receive from a person whom I looked upon as a friend aixl for whom I tad the greatest respect a letter wliich left me in no doubt whatever as lo tlx: source of Ihe attack and what I might expect if any more articles were published. I can honestly say lhal until I received tliis letter I tad not tlx: slightest suspicion lhal tliis person was implicated in tlx: scaixlals I was attacking.
I was in a somewhat difficult position: I had fired off a charge of shrapnel on general principles, aixl had apparently "bagged" a number of my frieixls and associates and fluttered tlx: dove cole generally. My position was rallier complicated by the fact lhal I did not know nearly as much as llicy apparently suspected me of doing: I tad. of course, known lhal these abuses existai sporadically about tlx: occult field, as everybody in tlx: movement knows: but lo know in this vague way is one tiling, aixl lo put one's finger on specific cases is anotlier. I tad evidently blundered into sometliing much more considerable than I tad bargained for. I fell like tlx: small boy who. fishing for minnows, lias hooked a pike. I had lo decide whether I would try and gel my articles back from the Occult Review, or whether I would let them nm tlieir natural course and lake Ihe con sequences. I tad tad a very strong impulse lo write those articles, and now I began lo see why I tad had il. I stall liave sometliing lo say in anotlier chapter concerning the Watchers, that curious section of tlx: Occult Hierarchy wliich is concerned with tlx: welfare of nations. A certain section of tlieir work is apparently concerned with tlx: policing of tlx: Astral Plane. Very little is actually known about lliem One comes across tlieir work sporadically aixl pieces tlx: bits together. I liave crossed tlieir trail on several occasions, as I will tell later. Whenever black magic is afoot, llicy sel lo work lo put a spoke in its wheels. Be thai as il may. I came lo tlx: conclusion that, in view of what tad now transpired, tlx: impulse I tad tad lo lake in taixl this piece of work might have emanated from the Watchers. AI any rale, tlx: work obviously nccdal doing. Someone tad lo tackle tliese plague spots if Ihey were lo be cleared up. so I determined lo stick lo my guns aixl see tlx: matter through, aixl so left tlx: articles in question lo nm tlieir course.
Very soon some curious tilings began lo happen. We became most desperately afflicted with black cats. They were not hallucinatory cats, for our neighbours stared in tlx: affliction, aixl we exctangal commiserations Willi tlx: care laker next door who was engaged in pushing bundles of black cats off doorstep aixl window sill Willi a broom and declared he tad never in his life seen so many, or such dreadful specimens. Tlx: whole house was filial with tlx: horrible stench of tlx: bmles. Two members of our community al thai lime went out lo business every day. and al their offices, in different parts of I .oixlon llicy found tlx: same penetrating reek of tlx: torn cat.
AI first we attributed this persecution lo natural causes, aixl concluded thai we were near neighbours lo some fascinating feline female, but incidents succeeded each oilier wliich made us feel thai tilings were not quite in the ordinary course of nature. We were getting near lo the Venial Pquinox. wliich is always a difficult lime for occultists: there was a sense of strain and tension in tlx: atmosphere, aixl we were all feeling decidally uncomfortable. Coming upstairs alter breakfast one morning. I suddenly saw. coming down the stairs towards me. a gigantic labby cat twice tlx: size of a tiger. Il appeared absolutely solid aixl tangible. I stared al il petrified for a second, and then il vanishal. I instantly realised that il was a simulacrum or thought fonn that was being projected by someone with occult powers. Not lhal tlx: realisation was any loo comforting, but il was belter than an actual tiger. Peeling decidedly uncomfortable. I askal one of my household to join me. and as we sal in my room meditating we heard the cry of a cal from without II was answered by anotlier. aixl anotlier. We lookal out of Ihe window, and tlx: street as far as we could see was dolled Willi black cats and they were wailing aixl howling in broad daylight as llicy do on tlx: roofs al niglit
I rose up. gathered together my paraphernalia, and did an exorcism then aixl there. AI tlx: eixl we looked out of tlx: window again. There was not a cat in sight, and we never saw lliem again. Tlx: visitation was al an eixl. Only our nonnal population of local mousets remained lo us.
The Venial Pquinox was now upon us. I must explain that tliis is Ihe most important season of the year for occultists. Great power tides arc (lowing on tlx: Inner Planes, aixl these arc very difficult lo haixlle. If there is going lo be astral trouble, il usually blows up for slonn al tliis season. There arc also certain meetings wliich lake place on tlx: Astral Plane, and many occultists atleixl lliem out of tlx: body. In order lo do this, one lias lo throw one self into a trance and then tlx: miixl is free lo travel. Il is usual lo gel someone who uixlerslaixls tliese methods of work lo watch beside tlx: body wliile il is vacated lo see lhal il comes lo no hann.
In the ordinary way. when an occult attack is afoot one clings lo waking consciousness al all costs, sleeping by day and keeping awake and meditating while tlx: sun is below tlx: horizon. As ill luck would liave il. liowever. I was obliged lo make one of these astral journeys al this season. My attacker knew tliis as well as I did. I therefore made my preparations with ail liie precautions I could Üiink of: gaüiercd together a carefully chosen group lo fonn llie watching circle, aixl sealed up die place of operation with llic usual ceremonial. I had not much faiüi in Üiis operation uixler llic circumstances, for my attacker was of much higher grade Üian I was. aixl could come Ürough any seals I might set. However, il afforded protection against minor unpleasantness.
Tlx; method of making these astral journeys is highly technical, aixl I cannot enter upon il here. In die language of psychology, il is auto hypnosis by means of a symbol. Tlx; symbol acts as a door lo Üx: Unseen. According lo llie symbol chosen will be llie section of Üx; Unseen lo wliich access is obtained. The trained initiate. Üierefore. does not wander on llie astral like an uneasy ghost, bul comcs aixl goes by well known corridors
My enemy's task was Üierefore not a difficult one: for six; knew about die lime I must make Üiis journey and llie symbol I must use in order lo gel oul of llie body. I was Üierefore prepared for opposition though I did not know what fonn il would lake.
Tliese astral journeys are really lucid dreams in wliich one retains all one's faculties of choice, will power aixl judgment. Mine always begin with a curtain of llic symbolic colour through whose folds I pass. No sooner was I Ürough Üx: curtain on lliis occasion Üian I saw my enemy wailing for me. or. if anoüier lenninology is preferred. I began lo dream about her. She appeared lo me in Üx: full robes of lier grade, wliich were veiy magnificenlaixl banned my enliy. Idling me lhal by virtue of lier auüiorily six: forbade me lo make use of these astral pathways. I replied lhal I did not admit her right lo close Üx: astral paüis lo me because she was person ally offeixlcd. aixl dial I appealed lo die Inner Chiefs, lo whom both she and I were responsible. Then ensued a balde of wills in which I experienced die sensaUon of being whirled Ürough Üx: air and falling from a great height aixl found myself back in my body. But my body was not where I tad left il. bul in a heap in die far comer of the room wliich looked as if il tad been bombed. By means of llie well known phenomenon of repercussion die astral struggle tad apparently communicated itself lo die body, wliich tad somersaulted rouixl die room wliile an agitated group had rescued llie furniture from ils padi
I was somewhat shaken by Üiis experience, which had not been a pleasant one. I recognised dial I tad tad die worst of il aixl had been effectually ejected from llie astral paüis: bul I also realised dial if I accepted Üiis defeat my occult career was al an end. Just as a child who lias been thrown by his pony must immediately gel up and remount if he is ever lo ride again so I knew dial al all costs I must make dial astral journey if I were lo retain my powers. So I told my group lo pull themselves together and re fonn die circle because we must make anoüier attempt: I invoked llie Inner Chiefs, and went oul once more. This lime doc was a short sharp straggle, aixl I was Ürough. I tad die Vision of the Inner C bid's, and relumed. Tlx: light was over. I liave never tad any trouble since.
Bui wlien I took off my clodies in order to go lo bed my back fell veiy sore, aixl taking a hand glass I examined il in die mirror, and I found tliat from neck to waist I was scored Willi scratches as if I tad been clawed by a gigantic cat
I told lilis sloiy lo some frieixls of mine, experienced occultists, who al one Ume tad been closely associated Willi die person which whom I had had lliis trouble, aixl llicy told me dial six: was well known for these astral attacks, aixl dial a friend of dieirs after a quarrel with her liad liad an exactly similar experience, and she loo liad been covered with claw marks. In lier case, liowever. six: had been ill for six months and tad never touched occultism again
There is a curious epilogue to lliis sloiy. which may or may not liave any bearing upon il. I have already told llie sloiy of die mysterious death thai look place on lona. How llie body of diis unfortunate girl was found lying naked on a cross cut oul of die lurf. No cause of death could be found, aixl llie verdict was dial six: died of exposure. Bui if six: were lost, how did she come to lie down lo die in diis ritual manner, instead of waixlering about? Why tad six: taken off all her clollics before leaving lier house, covering herself only with a black cloak? And why did she lake Willi lier llie laige knife wllli which she cut die cross in llic lurl? I do not know her later history, for I had lost sight of lier during llie last two or three years of her life, bul al llie lime I knew her six: was associated with die woman I have referred to. Tlx: only marks found upon her dead body were scratches.
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