Order Of Nine Angles
O9A

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Notes On O9A Ontology And The Ruhaniyyat

While there does not appear to be – from extant Arabic esoteric texts – one definitive Occult ontology, a consistent theme is of ruhaniyyat associated with the septenary spheres {1} and which or who thus enable mortals to understand the influences and the knowledge of those spheres, with imago – talismata {2} – being one means whereby these influences could be presenced, understood, and used.

In effect, the Arabic sources consider that the spheres are living immortal beings and therefore beyond the life of mortals {3} and that they re-present the divine – in the case of al-Kindi and other Muslim writers, are representatives of Allah – and that the pursuit of wisdom is the pursuit of knowing the ruhaniyyat and their influences and effects.

Planetary Sigils: Ghayat al-hakim

Planetary Sigils: Ghayat al-hakim

This pursuit of knowing the ruhaniyyat of the spheres and the crafting and use of talismata to ‘presence’ them may be said to be the essence of Ghayat al-hakim and thus of the Picatrix, with the ruhaniyya named Zemeyel for instance associated with Mars and Yebil with the Sun.

The ontology is therefore similar to that of several tractates of the Corpus Hermeticum – in particular the Poemandres tractate – with a hierarchical septenary system presided over by animating principles or entities with the mortal gaining sufficient knowledge to know, in respect of classical hermeticism, The One, The Monas, The Theos; and in respect of Islamic esotericism, to know Allah, the Omnipotent, the Eternal One.

            In comparison, O9A ontology – although possibly inspired by and having some of its foundations in classical hermeticism and Islamic esotericism – is quite different.

Instead of the division between mortal and immortal based as both classical hermeticism and Islamic esotericism are on the moral assumption of good (immortal behaviour and living) and bad (mortal behaviour and living) there is the postulate of causal and acausal beings lacking as this postulate does any abstractive assumption about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in relation to causal and acausal beings.

There is also, in the O9A way, no reliance on the ‘wisdom’ of The One, The Monas, The Theos, or on an omnipotent, unchanging, God/Allah, as recounted in some written words or in some texts or by some tradition or as revealed by some teacher, priest, priestess, or mage. Instead, there is reliance on a personal pathei mathos: on the individual learning by means of both practical and esoteric experiences over durations of causal time.

There is also, in the O9A way, no necessary belief in the spheres as living beings with their ruhaniyyat as having an actual existence, acausal or otherwise. Instead, there is the praxis of going to what is beyond abstractions – beyond every ἰδέᾳ/εἶδος, beyond denotata, beyond ‘good and evil’ and beyond all other manifestations of opposites – to Being itself, shorn of the concept of deities, of deity, of beings, whether anthropomorphic or otherwise.

Ontologically, therefore there is a rejection of the principle, stated by Plato, that in respect of ἰδέᾳ/εἶδος, and of Being,

                  πρῶτον μὲν ἀεὶ ὂν καὶ οὔτε γιγνόμενον οὔτε ἀπολλύμενον, οὔτε αὐξανόμενον οὔτε φθίνον

                  “Firstly, it always exists, and has no genesis. It does not die, does not grow, does not decay.” {4}

For, according to O9A esotericism, (i) every abstraction, every ἰδέᾳ/εἶδος, even what we term an “archetype”, has a genesis (which is ourselves) and also a particular span of temporal existence, and thus grows and then decays to finally die; and (ii) that we – we human beings – are the genesis of, an individual presencing of, Being and have the potential, the physis, to aid and evolve, to “grow”, such a “cosmic being”, through for example an individual quest and thence the discovery of lapis philosophicus, and yet also have the physis (demonstrated so often by human beings en masse) to be detrimental to Being and thus cease to evolve as human beings, or to descend back from whence we were to thus aid, to be, the “decay” of Being.

There is also, and importantly, in O9A esotericism an understanding that such methods and means as working with acausal entities – such as named Dark Gods {5}, who are the O9A version of ruhaniyyat – and such rites and talismata and sigils and Tarot images (archetypes) as may be employed are but a stage; only a beginning, only a part of a decades long and very personal Seven Fold Way. There is therefore no fixation on such Dark Gods; no fixation on such rites; no fixation on talismata and on such archetypes. For they are only learning experiences; just initial – noviciate – steps on the path to discovering lapis philosophicus.

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{1} Ruhaniyyat – singular, ruhaniyya – are the animating principles or entities which or who – in O9A terminology – presence πνεῦμα, pnuema. They are commonly – though incorrectly – referred to as ‘spirits’, ‘spiritual beings’, or as ‘angelic beings’, and thus often identified and named as a specific ‘angel’ (angelus).

The origin of the Arabic term is the word ruh, which is used in the Koran – for example Surah 15, v.29 – and which word is often translated as ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’.

Tractate 13 (v.19) of the Corpus Hermeticum – predating the Koran by centuries – has a similar sentiment to that of the forgoing Koranic verse: πνευματοφόρε δημιουργέ, which Myatt – in his Corpus Hermeticum: Eight Tractates – evocatively translates as “Breath-Giver, Artisan” and mentions in his commentary that the Artisan is “The Master Craftsman whose craft is to make – to construct, to create – living beings.”

{2} The Latin word imago – used in the Picatrix – is commonly translated as ‘talisman’ which translation, as two recent essays have pointed out, is a poor translation. For the word talisman now implies an object – an often mass produced ‘charm’ – which has become divorced from its ancient origins as a bridge between mortals and entities such as the celestial ruhaniyyat.

Myatt in his essay Telesmata In The Picatrix uses the term talismata; while in the essay The Latin Picatrix, The Arabic Ghayat al-ḥakim, And The O9A Septenary System the author writes that “the Latin implies ‘a semblance’, a crafting of something which of itself presenced, was a semblance of, what was ‘higher’, numinous, by something which was ‘lower’, material, with such a presencing well-expressed by Marsilii Ficini in his De Vita Coelitus Comparanda.”

I have therefore decided to use the term talismata in preference to the common form talisman.

{3} qv. al-Kindi, The Prostration of the Outermost Body, in Peter E. Pormann and Peter Adamson (editors), The Philosophical Works of al-Kindi, Studies In Islamic Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2012.

Another translation of the Arabic title of the text by al-Kindi is The Sujud Of The Most Distant Sphere where sujud refers to a part of Muslim Salat (prayer) and implies not only the act of prostration but also personal humility and acceptance of the power of Allah.

{4} Symposium 210e – 211a. The translation is by Myatt, from his lengthy commentary on section 9 of tractate 4 of the Corpus Hermeticum.

{5} The Dark Gods of the O9A are described in the 1980s typewritten text Naos, a facsimile copy of which is – as of August 2018 ev – available at https://lapisphilosophicus.wordpress.com/naos/

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Bibliography

David Myatt. Corpus Hermeticum: Eight Tractates. 2017. ISBN 978-1976452369

David Myatt. Telesmata In The Picatrix. 2017. e-text, https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/telesmata-in-the-picatrix/

R. Parker. The Latin Picatrix, The Arabic Ghayat al-ḥakim, And The O9A Septenary System. 2018. e-text, https://omega9alpha.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/ghayat-al-hakim-picatrix-and-the-o9a/

David Pingree. Picatrix. The Latin version of the Ghayat Al-Hakim. The Warburg Institute. 1986.

Peter E. Pormann and Peter Adamson (editors), The Philosophical Works of al-Kindi. Studies In Islamic Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2012.


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