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This is one of these posts illustrating why it’s good to walk well worn paths sometimes. Specifically as it related to the LVX and NOX signs, the warding of the space, etc. I’ve been sort of having problems blogging about stuff without trying to figure out if I’m giving anything away, but one of the mantras is “everything has already been published”, and “the only secrets are the secrets that keep themselves“. To this end, it is important to understand that while everything is hidden in plain sight, until it’s understood in a mystical, gestalt fashion, it’s largely useless. There’s been so many books published on the topic of Masonry and everything else that we’ve given rise to a strange breed of armchair occultist who merely exists to collect manuscripts. Per usual, everything here is my personal experience. To say that there was One True Answer to any particular mystery is simply starting a cult. (Crowley hat on: This entire post is a LIE!)

The LVX signs, and the NOX signs, have always been one of the things hidden “in plain sight”. I think most of the Golden Dawn books cover the LVX signs early on. It was sort of a given I think in my understanding that the Golden Dawn had come up with it, but in reality it’s Masonic. Furthermore the Golden Dawn was beaten to the punch – the LVX signs quite clearly appear in the temple garment of the mormons. Except, the temple garment of the Mormons isn’t called the LVX signs – it’s called the square and compass. (Quick eyes might notice an additional sign in the wikipedia article…) If the LVX signs are therefor masonic, than the LVX signs are supposed to be the square, the compass, and then the square and compass combined in various configurations for the consideration of the candidate.

Therefor the LVX signs themselves are accomplishing (ignoring the LDS’s weird, cut rate masonry from here on out) to provide a counterpoint to the Masonic system. In Masonry, the candidate participates in the play inasmuch as they are the central topic of the play. The lesson in Masonry by presenting the ritual in this format is that the candidate is supposed to use good moral judgement on the events of the world and how they effect the candidate personally and morally. It requires quite a bit of introspection, represented by death. In the Golden Dawn, the script gets flipped – By making the operator perform the signs, rather than represent the architecture of the universe in an external fashion, the signs themselves are internalized and only represented by the will of the Person operating the system. The Oriental mysticism here is quite strong: If we are all God than we are affirming the order of the universe through purification. We are redeeming it through action. If we are not God, in the Golden Dawn system, we are then saved by grace – a very Christian concept where we receive the grace of God by preparing ourselves as willing vessels.

How do we accomplish such things? Both systems lead ultimately to the same goal – in Masonry (which is strongly Greek and Hermetic), the God which lives outside of the measurable fabric of the universe peeks in between the measurable portions and we’re presented with an eye in the triangle. How can someone measure a soul or a thought? In the Golden Dawn and more Oriental systems, things are a bit more straightforward with the idea that the Monad experiences itself through us. Really at the end of the day these are not different, opposed concepts – each system looks at the coin from a slightly different perspective. We exist in the here and now in our bodies simply because it is the present design of the universe and therefor in our most basest spiritual forms, we relate to the world in a measurable way.

The sign for Malkuth then is a square and compass (or LVX) inside of a circle. It is the expression of the measurable world, and for folks who live down here, the Monad is either something which exists outside of measurable dimensions or it’s something which is provided gestalt by grace in a mystical experience. The LVX signs exist to purify the individual and pave the the way to receive the Solar light. (Something about St John and Grips and Signs goes here – special attention should be paid to the circle in the Third Degree). Note to self: Explore more Eastern Star symbolism – using the Masonic tools it’s quite simple to form a pentagram.

OK so we’re in the Sun, now what? We know we’re in the sun because we believe that humans are the stewards of Earth, and we have a nonattachment to Earthly things. That last one is a doozy – can we ever really have solar consciousness when we have to do things like eat food? The story of the bread and fishes from the Bible is Christ literally conquering basic biological desires by being able to eat only when he wants but making food literally out of nothing. It’s a great “look how awesome My Pet Manifestation of the Divine is!”

If LVX is purification than NOX is the approach to the Monad (or the Crown or the Cross or whatever floats your boat). The fundamental dualism still exists in the Sun where an individual understands that they are “of the world but not in it“. Similarly the individual still believes that they are somehow seperate from the Monad by being the Sun. Somehow the spiritual reality exists but until ancient cultures discovered the planets, it did not occur to them that there was anything more than the Sun and the Moon. Furthermore in Masonry we’re taught there’s four components to the ritual – the sun, the moon, the right worshipful master and the eye which hangs behind him. Since any mason can aspire to become the Worshipful Master, the Worshipful Master therefor is the position which stands between the lodge and shadows the lodge from the Brightness of God. Note that the Sun and the Moon are regulated by the Worshipful Master – this should be obvious once the floor play is witnessed in respect to where people stand during the recitation of the degrees.

Similarly in more antique forms of Masonry there’s a line in the catechism that goes something like “you were like a nocturnal creature, if you were shown the true light of masonry it would be as darkness because it would blind your eyes”. (This is apparently missing from modern forms, I ran across it in the private Masonic Library in the book the Symbolism of the Three Degrees of Freemasonry – 1924 ed). Just as certain placements of ritual kit in the lodge room create the shadow of the square and compass, in the LVX portion of our experience we can only understand the Monad through the things it is not. A shadow of a person is not a person. A common gauge is not made of atomic components called “inches”. Even the things which make up a shadow may not be cast by the thing we assume it is just as a child will use their sense of wonder to provide the details of a puppet show. Again, shades of Greek thought here with the allegory of the cave.

(Thanks to KD for the next part’s citations…) Crowley himself I don’t believe understands NOX fully. It makes an appearance in the footnotes of Book 4, but having witnessed the Gnostic Mass, I believe the biggest clue is in the motion of the signs around the altars. Wild speculation hat on: if we put the square and compass in Malkuth, and we put the inverted pantacle starting in yesod (the most primitive of the astral spheres), then NOX very comfortably fits into the place of the hexagram on the tree.

The Pantacle in Yesod

The Pantacle in Yesod

The Hexagram in Sol

The Hexagram in Sol

NOX signs, with a solar and crowned altar

NOX signs, with a solar and crowned altar

Similarly if you have a chance to witness the floor play of the Gnostic Mass, there’s a lot to be seen. For NOX folks, the tomb is the death of the absorption into the Godhead, while the Priestess is the temptation to live under the governance of the Sun – into the physical manifest. For LVX folks, it’s simply an allegory of the old Catholic mysteries where the Solar Priest unites with the Lunar Priestess.

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