Practicing Death as the Path to Illumination, Part Three

Arising as the Deity and Incarnation

Just as we must bring back what we have gone there to learn, we must bring into expression a great sense of our multiple expressions of the energies of Being in their pure – i.e., enlightened – state. When we undertake Pathworking as suggested by many modern schools we must always formulate the intention to bring something back from our inner journey, even if we are not aware of it at the time, but that will reveal itself when needed. The same is the reason we awaken slowly in the morning from sleep, or arise from our meditation thrown, to maintain a certain continuity of consciousness, and carry it with us thereby integrating all levels of awareness we experience around a single theme: that of our Reintegration, that of our Awaking to the Alpha Pure reality of our Being.

When we arise we may bring something special, that of the energies of a particular expression in the form of a deity. Here, our Assumption of the Godform is not limited to ritual, but is an integrated expression of our energetic nature – our astral body if you will – and its unique expression is not an abstract reality but genuine force in ourselves and those we encounter.

For those familiar with it, the Ritual of the Rose+Cross as described in the literature of Israel Regardie and the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is particularly useful for creating energetic conditions that are highly beneficial for these practices.


There are more complex ways to use the process of death as our spiritual path, but all will be a variation of what has been presented here and require a familiarity with the general ideas and practice of clarity of consciousness, lucid clarity and stability of the mind, formation of an ideal and directing it towards realization.

The first method given is the easiest and least dangerous. Some believe that the more vigorous methods of consciousness transfer can shorten the lifespan and therefore have means of preventing that from occurring. The method given does not have that disadvantage, but it does have the powerful advantage of being connected to dream practices such as those detailed in Between the Gates – Lucid Dreaming, Astral Projection, and the Body of Light in Western Esotericism. When you are strongly skilled in dream practices and able to transform your dreams, you can visit sacred realms and obtain instruction suitable to your capacity. This may also occur sporadically and spontaneously as your lucidity increases. At the time of death you can then journey to these invisible realms and reside there for instruction before returning to this world – if indeed you do return to this world.

There is a considerable amount of more details that can be given on how these practices relate to various practices but it is neither necessary for their successful completion, nor is their sufficient space in this more technically oriented essay. No doubt there are some who will criticise this teaching for a variety of reasons, but to them we say: experience is the only source and proof that matters. To this end we strongly encourage you to dedicate yourself to these practices to realize their truth and critical role in your journey regardless of your particular path. This brief introduction and instructions will clearly demonstrate why we have chosen to remind you of the words of Eliphas Levi when he states:

“The destiny of man, as we have said, is to make or create himself; he is and will be the son of his works, both for time and eternity. All men are called into the lists, but the number of the elect, that is, of those who succeed, is invariably small. In other words, the men who are desirous to attain are numbered by multitude, but the chosen are few. … Life is a warfare in which we must give proofs if we would advance; power does not surrender itself; it must be seized. Initiation by contest and ordeal is therefore indispensable for the attainment of the practical science of mysticism.“

Teachings like those given above were once the restricted domain of a select group of initiates. It is important that we not only respect them, but that we respect them through dedicated practice of them, so that we and others may benefit and make progress on the Path of Return, in this the Age of Iron, the Kali Yuga.

Life is uncertain, death is certain. Enter the chamber of your heart and find the Stone of the Wise. Practice diligently.

“And here dwells the will which never dies. Who then knows the mysteries of the will in all its vigor? For God is but an enormous Will which pervades all things by the very essence of its intention. Man never surrenders by himself to the Angels or to death but only because of the weakness of his will.” – Joseph Glanville, 17th Century.

Summary of the Long Practice

The following practice is best done for a period of several weeks, preferably forty-two days, and then once or twice a week with Saturday and Wednesday being ideal. It can of course be one’s main practice and done daily. Those familiar with the practices of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn will find that it can also be done following the performance of the Middle Pillar Exercise (Elemental version), and/or the Rose+Cross Ritual. It may also be done after self-consecration using one’s preferred version of the Sign of the Cross (see: The Sign of the Cross, and The Qabalistic Cross: Unfolding Your Desires)

Laying down or sitting in a firm meditations posture, breath slow and deep. Place your attention in your heart, feel it’s beat slow down. Pay attention to your mind, as the stages of sleep, death, and meditative absorption are identical. That is why we can practice bringing death into the Path, as well as bring our dream awareness into daily life and daily life into our dreams. One can imagine these stages to become aware of the process and while doing so may begin to have the actual experiences described.

1. As you relax notice that as the Elemental Energies of Earth which give rise to the physical body and stabilization of consciousness begins to dissolve into the Element Water, and with it a sort of mirage or wavering light is seen.

2. As the Element Water dissolved into the Element Fire one sees a smoke, sometimes blue in color.

3. As the Element Fire dissolves into the Element of Air one sees flashes of light, like fireflies on a dark night.

4. As the Element of Air dissolves into the Element of Akasha or Spirit, one sees a still flame, it may have a red glow.

This is the dissolution of the Elements that give rise to our physical body and sense consciousness. Next, the energies of inner awareness dissolve so that we can potentially become directly aware of our Beingness.

5. With this complete, the Elemental energies have all collapsed into the Middle Pillar or Central Channel. Next the Solar and Lunar energies collapse into the heart. With the White or Lunar energies there is a flash of white light like a full moon; and with the solar energies a flash of red light like a morning sun. They combine and luminous darkness arises. At this point our sense of self will fade and we may lose consciousness.

6. At this stage we enter into what can be described as “Rising on the Planes” in some modern schools. Our consciousness sheds its encumbrances and experiences or appears to pass through several dimensions of being. First is the psychic or astral (approximately Yesod), next the archetypal with its clear godforms and divine beings (approximately Tiphareth), and finally we glimpse the Naught, the Source of Beingness (approximately Kether/Ain Soph Aur) and its inclusive totality of Being. In reality, we are experiencing all of this within ourselves. This is the graduale revealing of the natural state of our Being to us as ever more subtle interior levels of awareness are brought forth as there are no longer any physical or psychic structures to obstruct them.

7. The last three phases are most important, as we are experiencing the fundamental light of nature.

First we experience the “Elemental” colors or psychic vibrations behind mind-matter, and it has a pronounced psychedelic quality and commonly takes on the shape of spheres of light, but may also appear in other geometric forms. Like many of the phases this happens quickly and we must recognize that this is all within our own mind.

Second, various deities will appear and connect with our heart center, or what we sense as our heart center (our locus of consciousness), and dissolve into us. They can be terrifying and thunderous roars may be heard. Again, these are all within our own mind and are the archetypes we have within us.

Third, a sea, platform, or carpet of sapphire light may appear, and with it other colors, spheres or manifestations.

Finally, a perception of the totality of reality will appear to you, and with it a clairvoyant knowledge of your past and potential futures. This is similar to the Experience of Eternity as described by Dubuis and others who have had it. It is often described as having all of the qualities as described in the Rosicrucian documents of “Light, Life, and Love.” That is, it is clear, luminous, bright, blissful, and all embracing, and can only be described as ‘primordial sexual ecstasy’. Images of male and female in union may appear, such as the Red and White King and Queen of alchemy, Solar and Lunar deities of a primordial parental nature, or as is often described in Tibetan Tantra, the Dark Blue/Black Father and White Mother expressions of our Being. This is reflected in the qabalistic notions of the reflection of the godhead in Kether, wherein there is a black and white formless image for Kether; as well as in the hermaphrodite form of Adam-Eve. In short, here, all that is, was, and can be is potentially perceived and directly experienced by us with total clarity of understanding (Wisdom). Rest as long as possible in this state of awareness.

At this point one must decide what they will do, so it is best to decide ahead of time. With that, to generate one’s self as their meditational deity of choice, here, Assumption of the Godform. As the deity you are expressing the qualities that it represents that are within you. Here you recognize your enlightened nature and reside with all those of the same awareness. You reach out to them, and they to you. You feel yourself in full connection with your capacities (the Four Capacities as described in Unfolding the Rose -Illumination and Western Esotericism: Exorcism, Enchanting, Expansion, and Eradication) and embody them for your return into the world of men and women that you might assist them in their Becoming.

You make a firm decision on what you will do with your next incarnation and how that will be of benefit to your journey on the Path of Return and others as well. You hold this image as you see yourself entering into the womb – the fertilized egg that is now a combination of Lunar and Solar energies and which your karmic propensities will influence the development as it grows into a fully formed fetus.

Arise from your meditation, still holding the qualities of your chosen devotional deity, feel them in your heart, filling your being, radiating in, through, and around you, and end your sessions with blessings to all beings in all dimensions, dimensions you saw and experienced in the final stages of your journey to the Naught and before your return.

Summary of the Short Practices

If one is not confident of their ability to maintain meditative stability as these phases unfold, one can simply practice their devotions toward their deity of choice with the intention of exiting out the top of their head, through what is often called the ‘crown center,” at the time of death and projecting directly into their deity’s heart. There, they awake and find themselves in a domain or celestial palace befitting their god or goddess.

For those who do not have deity around which a devotional practice is done, they may use their teacher or someone of great importance to them. Or, they may use the astral temple that they have been instructed to build in various courses. Here, not only is it used for dream work, but also entering into the invisible at the time of death.

Prayer to one’s lineage, the Unknown Superiors, Saints, or Adepts of one’s tradition are very important and should be done daily, so that one can in full confidence say, “Thoth-Hermes, Lord of Light, be here with me now and at the hour of my death! Guide me through the invisible that I may return to the Heavenly Realm of the Heroes as thy chosen Son/Daughter! Awaken within me the full Light of Mind, and expression of my Pure Luminous Nature. My mind is your mind, your mind is my mind, our minds are one. I am Thoth-Hermes, Lord of Light!”

In closing, let us remember the invocation of the Adept that we may say it as a statement of unassailable reality:

“I am the Resurrection and the Life. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. I am He that liveth and was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, and have the Keys of Hell and of Death. Amen.  I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. I shall see Him for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another. My veins within me are consumed with earnest desire for that day.  

I am the Faithful Witness, the first begotten of the dead and the prince of the kings of the earth. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes unto the Father but by Me. Peace be unto you. I have finished the Work. I know whence I came and whither I go. He that believeth in Me, believeth not in Me but in Him that sent Me.  I go my way to Him that sent Me. I ascend unto my Father; and to my God, and your God. I am the Light of the world. He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of Life.”

One comment

  1. A helpful video by SuAnn, a member of the IHS Teacher Certification Program, on the book “Between the Gates – Lucid Dreaming, Astral Projection, and the Body of Light in Western Esotericism.”


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