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There are two choices in which path to follow in traditional High Magick. We believe that these two paths are joined, however we will view them seperately for the moment. These choices are: "Divine or Infernal". In man's plight to master the Metaphysical, he/she first has to "choose" which path to follow. If he/she chooses the "Infernal Path", the Initiate has to become the lessor Demon/Imp, climbing the infernal ladder of ascention. Which Demon will guide the initiate through the Ranks and levels of Hell? Only the worthy King Paimon who is the torch of Lucifer!
When the initiate ascended the steps and shines bright above Lucifer, then he/she will be Baphomet! The twin serpent of glorious despair! Then, only then, the Initiate will become Mage. The Magus Opus.
Throughout history there were many Authors who attempted to present a pathworking that will assist the initiate to Ascend. Barrett, Crowley, Bardon, Jung etc. However many initiates have lost the true translations of these Powerful Rites and preferred to house entertainment of Lessor Magick.
What some fail to grasp is that High Magick empowers the "I" through self immolation of the shadow self-but not destroying the shadow, however making it obedient to the "I" of individual Power. Whereas working with Demons/Daemons or Angelic/Celestials directly as a subservent individual, removes the WILL of "I" and retards growth of the Higher Self. The "I" becomes Omegus, then the external force Alphus Prime.(No Pun intended). This is contrary to the directive and objective of Magick as it is imbalance. You may view this as "Yang" without "Ying" and so on. This will allow or permit regulatory universal "Energy" to be drawn to the individual and rectify the gross "imbalance" by means of trial or conflict. This is simply "Cause and Effect".
The True Ascention is when the Mana of the External Being aligns with the Mana of "I", thus spiritual Alchemy creates Gold or the Sun. The Initiate will transcend/ transmute/ evolve from being base metal such as lead into the Glory of GOD of Alphus and Omegus. The end product would be Baphomet. Not "Satan", not "Belial" but HEXAGRAM.
What metal can be associated with the Path of Ascention? Quicksilver ( Mercury) as this is Ether which binds all particles in existence. Some call this Kaos. Mercury joins and binds kindred matter as it is a liquid conduit of Hell's communion, joining Spheres, Entities etc by directed Will.
From Lead, transmuted by Mercury and resulting in Gold. I.E. The Initiate will be transformed through Directed Ether/Kaos and by will become Mage/Baphomet etc.
These four points are the "Base or Foundation" of High Magick. There exists other guidelines in "The Great Arte", however, The "Seven Hermetic laws" of the Sage serves to compliment and direct the path of the Initiate. Contrary to belief, these guidelines are not tainted by sentiments or influences of the "Right or Left Handed" paths. This so called "Black and White" Magick is simply the invention of the negative ego that through wanting perception and guidence of the Unfulfilled "I", has fractured Magick in twain. Remember, Magick simply is Kaos, but through Perception and Will it becomes.