NOX A NIGHT SOUL-JOURNEY
NUITâ€™S VEIL DARK CIRCLE COLLECTIVE
Published by WitchesWorkshop witchesworkshop.com Copyright ÂŠ Timothy Ozpagan 2016 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Author: Ozpagan, Timothy, 1955â€“ Title: NOX: a night soul-journey
A NIGHT SOUL-JOURNEY
“nocturnal and forgotten powers womb of space the void nadir of dreams and the way of trance in the whirling dance of the mercurial djinn in deserts of solitude something comes in the silence psyché what is written in the sands?” by Ozpagan
“Make open the way for my soul, my spirit, and my shadow, for I am equipped so that I might shine forth as an equipped one [ie one who is whole], make open the way for me to the place where Ra, Atum, Kheperi, and Hathor are.” From the Stele of Ankh-af-na-khonsu.
Liber AL vel Legis
A NIGHT SOUL-JOURNEY
Introduction There are times in our lives when all external wisdom fails and the only way forward is to discover a new path and new strengths within the Self. This is when we know we are ready for change and we can confidently undertake the journey of Initiation. The NOX ritual is a reconnecting bridge across a desert where pieces of ourselves lay disconnected, lost and forgotten. It is a passport to the retrieval of knowledge of the soul and our destiny. The ritual can provide us with the tools that will enable us to undertake a crossing of this desert as a necessary step toward selfinitiation and retrieval of personal power.
In indigenous cultures it is usually the shaman who undertakes initiation of these types. Using vision quests and spirit journeys these soul-journeys frequently entail the undergoing of ordeals before the shaman can serve their cultures in the role of a spiritual leader. In the old European cultures this role of spirit men and women was undertaken through the eyes of the witch, wizard and warlock, the seers into the dark, those who used magick to shape and navigate their psychic journeys. Using the techniques of dream-incubation, a renewed vision of soul will carry us through the psychic experiences of the NOX ritual.
Outline In practical terms the NOX ritual is performed as trance-dance ritual, combined with visualisation and mantra for the purpose of personal initiation through visions. The ritual blends meditation and the creation of a transpersonal sacred place with an energetic form of ritual Magick involving the whirling dances of the Sufi and a drummed rhythms of Zaar trance. The objective of this ritual practice is to assist participants to enter an inner, nocturnal world by combining the progressive stages of meditation, mantra, visualisation, ritual, dance and trance. The practicum builds on a widening depth of experience in self-exploration and a reconnection to the forgotten powers of the psychic reality. Experiences may manifest through a great variety of spontaneous psychic forms. These can including clairvoyance experienced as both precognitive and pastlife recall. Also deeply intuitive insights in the meaning of reality, and even the transpersonal, sometimes called Samadhi; this is a deep meditative trance state in which the mind becomes still and enters an awareness of the present moment and meaning of the infinite. When we open ourselves to the NOX somnium, we may enter an initiation that passes us through the four archetypes of Nuit as the infinite possibility, Hadit as the one-pointed finite reality, Babalon as the joy of embodied incarnation, and Therion as the power of embodied incarnation.
How Dark Circle evolved from the NOX ritual During the early 1980’s with the help of a close group of friends, Peter Bowden, Gillian Dodge, Sheila Reynolds, Mark Hawthorn Stewart and I began to explore an idea for an alternate approach to my magickal work. Our backgrounds and interests were all very diverse. Our interests and experience ranged from a diverse collection of the ritual traditions, including the Golden Dawn and Thelema, Witchcraft, Alchemy, and Shamanic ritual. We found a common interest with a relatively well known Thelemic ritual titled as The Star Ruby, Liber XXV. We decided to used this as a basis to make a start. The Star Ruby ritual is a variation on the banishing ritual of the Pentagram used by both Golden Dawn ceremonial magicians and later adapted with a Thelemic orientation by Aleister Crowley. Crowley seems to have started work on this ritual sometime before 1913 because a version of the rite was published in his poetic book of aphorisms “The Book of Lies”. However, our experience of the ritual was somewhat different to its intended purpose. We began experiencing a type of gnosis or occult darshan (ie. a direct and personal experience of mystical states of consciousness), that led us to a new energy and interaction with the psyche. This was probably originally due to the unique combination of the five ritualists participating in the rite. We very quickly found the ritual developing itself in a type of metamorphosis as it journeyed us into the Underworld of our own personal and collective unconsciousness. Almost from the beginning, the ritual took on a much broader scope than a mere banishing rite. The mudra and movement used in the rite developed themselves into exercises not dissimilar to the practices found in Tai Chi. The practice became one where we connected to the prevailing energy flow in and around the body, 7
known as Chi. As we moved through the ritual mudra, the chi would guide us in how the gestures were to be performed, while also accessing the primal memory inherent in the ritual. As we developed our connection to the chi of the ritual more experiences were opened to us. This type of phenomena is sometimes called atavistic resurgence, the reaching back into primal states of being. In this way, the members of the Circle acted as the medium or the psychic links in the transmission of a direct and personal trance of mystical states of consciousness. We came up with our own term for this, that we called occult darshan. Gradually through many repeated practices, an evolving and new rite was developed from out of these experiences and the ritual became known as the NOX. In many ways, my whole approach to magick and ritual changed from that moment onwards. I realised that if I allowed myself to follow the chi of the ritual I could use these psychic prompts to experience a wide range of psychic phenomena. All I had to do was let myself go and I would be instructed in a gnosis of occult darshan. From out of the hidden, the unknown I would enter an enigmatic and psychic reality, and then the work of understanding and integrate these experiences could begin.
Dark Circle The designated name NOX has several meanings for the members of our Circle. First, in the original Thelemic version, the Star Ruby ritual, there is a set of mudra (hand gestures) known as “the signs of N.O.X.” It was from our repeated use of the mudra that we started substituting the name of our version of the ritual to simply “NOX”. Also of interest to us was the far simpler meaning of the word nox, which is Latin for night. This held greater meaning for us because the central objective to our ritual was the invocation of night, the unconscious dreaming self, which we also named nox somnium. Each time we performed the practice we would enter a psychic dark circle and from there we could psychically explore the nightside of the self. This fitted us perfectly, and so naturally, we began calling ourselves Dark Circle.
Journeys into the Underworld, the realm of the Dead, the forgotten, also carries great psychological weight. Journeys of this type are often described as the dark night of the soul. These are an entry into unconscious parts of our souls. Psychically we experienced the ritual as a journey through a dark circle encountering the enigma of uncharted worlds, spirits, past lives, forgotten powers, primal instincts, and the many varieties of psychic phenomena. Precognitive and retrocognitive experiences, or knowledge of things not previously known, were common occurrences. The experience gained from the NOX ritual were as varied as those who attempted and evolved these techniques. We found that these unique experiences would lead us to form a deeply personal occult philosophy, while also offering us much individual development. Because we were grounded in our own direct experience, rather than any mere theory of how things work, we found this lead to experiences of self-initiation, which we termed occult darshan (personal gnosis).
Definitions NOX Latin for ‘Night’: 1. A time when entering a liminal state and consciousness opens us to parts of the Self not normally accessible; 2. A period experienced between ordinary reality and a non-ordinary, or a psychic (soul) reality; 3. A rite (the right time) to gain access to experiencing a profound level of reality beyond the limits of time and space. The capitalised letters N.O.X. also has symbolic and qabalahistic significance: N stands for Nuit the sky goddess of infinite stars and infinite space. N or Nun holds the qabalahistic value of 50. O stands for Amoun the hidden god. O or Ayin’s value is 70. X stands for Isis, who’s qabalahistic symbol in the tarot is the High Priestess. This card or Path on the tree of Life glyph crosses the Abyss. X or Tzaddi’s value is 90. NOX (Nun-Ayin-Tzaddi) totals 210 and is known as the Word of Hoor and the Key of the Abyss. 210 is also ChRB, the Sword, the magickal weapon of Hoor, or Horus. 210 can be expressed as 2 = +1 + -1 = 0. This is a type philosophical expression of the numeric formula for being (+1) and not being (-1) placed in eternity (0).
Objectives The ritualists enter an inner, nocturnal world (nox) via the progressive stages of meditation, mantra, ritual, dance and trance for the purpose of initiation. Blending ritual and psychic realities Typically the Western Mystery Tradition has drawn from the Mystery schools of the classical world and especially from that of Ancient Egypt. The arid Egyptian desert preserved more than the bodies of mummies and tombs, its religiousmagickal traditions remained intact for thousands of years. These have continued to be a lasting influence upon our Western psyche. Is it the remote stillness of the desert regions of the world that marks them out as places of mystery and ancient magicks? The Australian continent is dominated by the presence of the desert and is unquestionably a place of ancient powers and mysteries. The psychic dimension to Australia is aptly known among the Aborigines as the Dreaming, while the desert itself is sometimes called the Never Never—names which all evoke the impression of night, darkness and mystery. It could even be said that we occupy a land (which from a mythological point of view) is a type of the Underworld (lying quite literally downunder). The NOX ritual is psychically located in a desert at night. In a psychological sense such references to the Dreaming, the Underworld, and even downunder create mythical connections to the Unconscious (both personal and collective). Within the Western Mystery Tradition rituals may be used as psychic passports to such nether regions—and thus we have the central purpose of the NOX ritual.
RITUAL PROCEDURES Nocturnal dreaming — place of the NOX The mythical setting of our ritual is a desert at night. In the ritual proceedings of the NOX, I ask participants to build a psychic landscape. This is done by imagining you are standing in the sand dunes of a desert at night. By linking ourselves in a common vision, the ritual group begins the process of sharing a collective psychic reality. Deserts are places with few physical features that can be used to orientate oneself. Consequently, you must rely heavily upon your intuition and feelings. You will have to use the primitive senses, and our so-called sixth sense with which to sniff out the presences to be found here. The ritual proceeds as if we had gathered at campsite located around an oasis, or water hole. In Australian deserts water holes are known as the divine gateways and are used by the all powerful Rainbow Serpent. It is here that we seek to gain access to the centre of secrets. Our water hole in the ritual is represented by a large circular, black pantacle (this is a type mandala with talismanic qualities). It is inscribed with alchemical and archetypal symbols, known as sigils. This is the ritualists’ entrance that provides magickal gateway to the lower world. It is through immersion into this nether region, using trance that contact with the nightside of the self is experienced. The participants in the rite are assisted into visionary and trance states via a combination of a trance-dance using a Sufi technique called sema, a whirling dance. This is accompanied by an Arabic drum rhythm for trance, known as Zaar. It is through these practices that each participant may obtain direct experience into the depths of their psyche. The benefits to be had from such experiences are deeply personal, and vary enormously from person to person. The impact upon the individual may profoundly alter perceptions of reality, and sometimes provide encounters with the great archetypes, the gods, in the unconscious psyché. If we possess the maturity to integrate these experiences and hold enough curiosity to wonder about their significance, then we are offered a chance to experience a uniquely individual spirituality.
In many ways the reasoning behind the NOX cannot be easily explained in rational terms. You need to undergo for the ritual yourself and experience the meaning of personal initiation. When I first started to work with the ritual more than thirty years ago it opened a psychic doorway which dynamically energised a whole occult movement â€”the Dark Circle Collective. This continues to work its magick upon me and you are now invited to also savor the fruits of nox somnium as well. (A comment about the music: While traditionally the Sufi rhythms are used almost exclusively by men and the Zaar trances by women, I have joined them for the purpose of the ritual in a type of alchemical mysterium coniuntio.)
NOX: THE RITUAL
THE RITUAL Outline of the Ritual There are six steps to the rite: 1. the Meditation, 2. the Mantra, 3. the Visualisation, 4. the Rite, 5. the Dance, 6. the Trance. The ritual always takes place at night and preferably in a large open area. All lights are extinguished except for one candle-lantern. This should be masked so that no direct light will distract the ritualists and placed either near or upon the ritual pantacle. The ritual commences with the contemplation of the NOX pantacle (an example of which is in the header of these pages). The pantacle acts as a mandalagateway, or opening into our minds, the expanse of the Night within. Next the mantra is chanted. While still focusing upon the pantacle, the ritualists use the mantra to invoke the energies of NOX. This induces a light trance in preparation for the visualisation. Next the guided visualisation is read or recited slowly and in a low voice. The visualisation describes to the ritualists the psychic space where the ritual is to be performed. The ritual that then follows requires a dynamic Principal to take the part of Anubis, as the â€˜psycho-pompâ€™, the guide of souls. In the final stage of the rite a dynamic whirling dance is performed for the purpose of entering into deep trance. It is the role of the principle ritualist who leaps first through the psychic dark circle and into the uncharted realms. Finally, at this point, the whirling Sufi dances are accompanied by the Zaar rhythms beaten out upon drums, rattles and gong, assisting participants into an altered state of consciousness. Gradually all the ritualists and participants will fall into trance and the lights are drowsy so that everyone is completely immersed in darkness. After, when the psychopomp feels it is time to return, a light is rekindled and a repeat of the centering ritual is performed.. A detailed instruction of the rite follows.
NOX RITUAL 1. MEDITATION At the centre is placed the disc of the NOX Pantacle, and the participants seat themselves around it. All commence meditating upon the disc, focusing and still the mind. Breathing should be slowed and deepened, while imagining that the breath is drawn in and out of the disc.
2. MANTRA The mantra-spell is sung while still focusing upon the NOX Pantacle.
“OMPEHDA, Oh OMPEHDA NU, AMOUN, ASTI, Oh OMPEHDA.” The meaning of the mantra or secret call and cry of NOX: OMPEHDA = 210 = NOX = Night = the Unconscious. OM the ‘Daughter’, twin current of the Aeon. PEH the ‘Mouth’, an opening, also DAATH, the secret Eye, the Yoni, Womb/ Window of Space, Night, and Nuit. DA the ‘Earth’, the recess of the Tomb, the Underworld, the Unconscious. NU ‘N’, Nuit, the Goddess of Infinite Space and Infinite Stars, ISIS. AMOUN ‘O’, Hadit/Set, the Hidden God, the Black or Dark God, the Infinite Point, the nucleus and ‘Heart of every Star’. ASTI ‘X’, Isis, Atu II—the High Priestess whose path crosses the Abyss and void of DAATH.
3. THE VISUALISATION The ‘Vision of NOX’ is now read or recited by one of the ritualists in a deep, low voice. “A star-strewn sky hangs heavy over the dry desert plains. Upon the arid soils, there stalks a lone jackal, Anubis — guide and guardian of lightless souls through the desert of Set. “The great black desert dog draws in the scent of the night air. With senses tensed he peers far toward the east; with eyes and ears, he sees and hears the trampling of hooved and horned wild beasts. He excites the presence of Therion, wild lord of beasts. “Pacing up and down, and up and down, he turns about to face the western reaches. There, hanging low, low upon the horizon, shadowy reminiscent of a waning moon. Its crescent horns pointing skyward, tinged with the ochers of the russet desert dust. This is the Great Mother, Babalon, who long since orphaned Anubis to wander in the Desert of Set alone. Howling, crooning, baying at the moon, the Jackal god hears only the cry of his own echo.” “Pacing incessantly up and down, and up and down, his eyes gaze far above, upon the expanse of infinite space. This is the Mother of Night, Nuit, whose body is filled with infinite stars. The cool, distant spaces, the realm of stars and gods.” “The Jackal pauses, a halting, frozen stare upon one star. There, reflected in his dark eyes, the sparkling starlight, the burning brilliance of the Ruby Star, Sirius. Invoke, O Anubis, the hidden god within thy heart — “Hadit, Hadit, Hadit.” “He withdraws into the night darkness. Naught remains, save whisperings in the desert air.”
4. THE RITUAL When the principal (Anubis, the psychopomp) is ready he/she stands in the centre, facing east with the pantacle before him/her. The others take their positions at the cardinal points. (Any others participating stand in the spaces between.) All draw a deep, deep, breath, closing the mouth with the right forefinger prest against the lips. Then, slowly dashing the right hand down with a great sweeping
gesture from the lips, rotate following the hand. At the same time, whispering strongly the words of banishment, whirl around in a circle to the next position. “Apo Pantos Kakodaimonos!” Repeat this charge and movement at all four quarters. Using the hand in the form of a cobra (the index and middle fingers as fangs), arouse the serpent raising it to full reach above the head. Just as it is a rite of ‘night’ and rather than ‘day’, so the ‘venom’ of the cobra, which is usually a fatal poison, becomes transformed into a powerful elixir; a highly refined psychic secretion illuminating consciousness via the third eye chakra. Inhale deeply and return the hand to strike the forehead calling — “Soi.” (“To Thee” — visualise a star-burst.) Return the hand to the base centre (sexual centre), and call — “Utet.” (“Generation” — visualise the coiled serpent Kundalini.) Taking the hand strike the right and left shoulders, and say — “Ischuros.” (“Power” — visualise a lightning-strewn night sky.) “Eucharistos.” (“Thanksgiving” — volcanic eruption at night.) Finally, joining both hands together over the chest, as two serpents entwined, repeat the vibration over and over — “OAI.” (“OAI = Osiris, Apophis, Isis — The NOX meditation is a rite of reversals and as such, this is expressed as the regression back in time from rebirth ‘O’, through death ‘A’, to a former birth ‘I’. Visualise the heart of a neutron star, a black hole, a force of great attraction.) This series of mudra are collectively known as the ‘Thelemic Cross’.
The psychopomp paces and whirls around to face the east, visualising a pentagram spinning forth, while making the sign of ‘Horus’ (the ‘Enterer’) and bellowing — “THERION” (the ritualist at this quarter assumes the asana of ‘Vir’) Again, whirling to the west, calling deep and low — “BABALON” (assume the asana of ‘Mulier’) Whirling this time to the north, calling the invocation airy and light — “NUIT” (assume the asana of ‘Puella’) Finally, whirling to face the south, calling hard and sharp — “HADIT” (assume the asana of ‘Puer’) The psychopomp returns to the centre and cries aloud the paian — “IO PAN!” (The All — he continues) “Before me IUNGES, Behind me TELEARCHAE, On my right CHUNOCHES, On my left DAEMONOS;... (All join in —) ...for about us shines the Star of Five and in the Stone the Star of Six is Fixed!”
5. THE DANCE AND TRANCE Now the psychopomp commences a whirling dance in the Sufi style, while all others join in at will. The dancing and whirling may continue, stopping and starting until trance states intervene. Ritualists who wish to chant use the paian “Io Pan, Io Pan, Io Pan, Pan, Pan!” Drumming may continue throughout the trance, or until the psychopomp wishes to return the souls of the ritualists to their bodies.
CENTERING AT THE END At the end, the psychopomp leads the ritualists in a repeat of the Thelemic Cross. This will assist the ritualists in centering themselves. It is recommended that afterwards, all share their experiences in a darshan. It is also suggested that some time is set aside individually to record any personal experiences.
EXPERIENCES Between 2000 and 2001 a special NOX rite was run at the annual Euphoria gathering in Melbourne. Nuit’s Veil Coven came to share our experience of this mystical work with our friend’s Hawthorn, Sheila and Seline, the organisers of the event and some 70 to 90 people who had gathered for the annual weekend retreat. Later I gathered a few of the comments that were offered from those who participated in the ritual. My name is Nut, i the untouchable dark respond to me elaborate my formless form i can lead you to the origin of all things you can briefly become me then instantly you generate him the single point of awareness ever contracting within himself Excerpt from an invocation to Nuit by Bec Sonkkila
NOX was a truly transformational and healing experience...I experienced energy so powerful that it racked my body back and forth like a serpent, drum rhythms I’ve never played before, then I turned into a cat!!!! I feel like I’ve been to voodoo land and back! C. This weekend has been a mind-blowing, life-changing event. The energy in the rituals was beyond the scale of anything else I have experienced before; the loving, caring community made me feel at home. R. It was so great to be among so many good people. It was an experience I will always remember and treasure. I enjoyed each & every workshop & ritual ...the NOX raised my Kundalini. K
...I was one of the first to be taken in beyond the veil; it was the biggest celebration I had encountered for a long time! I felt like a ‘priestess’, feasting on wine, fruit and smoking strawberry tobacco. Yum! The dancing around the cauldron was magical, I allowed my body to move the way it wanted. At one point...it was like I was in my home land, South Africa, and we were dancing on the dirt around the fire and I imagined there was nothing but stars above us. It was so beautiful! I had never danced so ecstatically in all my life! D
“I have just returned from Euphoria and found the rituals and workshops so empowering. I came with an open mind and gained so much with my initiation into NOX ritual. I found the Goddess within and the wild beast in the Baphomet ritual, and not forgetting many new and special friends.” G “I have just had the most brilliant and inspiring weekend of my life. It is such a wonderful feeling to be a part of a pagan community. The acceptance and love that had surrounded me over these past few days was overwhelming and I will never forget it.” E “The magick doesn’t end as the rituals do, may the ripples of Euphoria gently guide you to fulfilling your hearts desires.” M “I had a wonderful, enlightening and loving time which I will remember forever. The last 4 days have started me on my journey to know my self and I couldn’t have asked for a better beginning. I have met so many beautiful people of great diversity who have all been an inspiration to me. Thank you to everyone.” S “These past four days have been amazing. The energy of the rituals and this place —I think they will stay with me for a long, long time.” M “I came not knowing what to expect, I’m leaving wishing it never ended. I know now it never ends, the circle goes on and on. Next year I will take another step and go even further for I have found home and truth of spirit. This is the way I want to go and Euphoria (NOX and Baphomet rites) has shown me you can do it. It’s okay.” K. Its great to see such a combination of different magical traditions.” L
LIBER PRIMARIUS An intimation of the philosophical stance of the Dark Circle Collective.
LIBER PRIMARIUS Dark Circle encourages the development of a personal philosophy through magickal experience. Consequently, the Collective has no dogmatic position and offers a personal interpretation of magickal ideals.
Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law 1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6. 7.
Behind Nature we acknowledge the existence of an Eternal Metaphysical force. This force has Dark and Light aspects, both of which are equally valid. These aspects manifest in the great variety of Gods, Goddesses, Demons, Angels, Archons and the like; names change according to culture and tradition. Nature is the outer form of this Force and hence all matter is to be considered sacred, nothing is profane. Evil is ignorance and has no metaphysical reality. The aim of existence is to achieve Self Knowledge. Self Knowledge or Initiation can be achieved through a wide variety of spiritual technologies, of which Sorcery, Witchcraft, Magick, Hermeticism and Shamanism are examples. Ritual Initiation is simply the acknowledgment of personal experience.
Love Is The Law Love Under Will.
Authorised by the Dark Circle Collective.
Nuit’s Veil is the host coven for the “NOX, a night soul-journey” witch camp. The coven was established in 1999 as a training coven of the Dark Circle Collective. In 2000 we began formally intiating members. The coven founder Tim Ozpagan was continuing a well established tradition of creating coven-based working groups as part of the Dark Circle Collective (formed in 1984). Tim began his coven work in Adelaide in 1973, when he co-founded the Earth Circle Coven.
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An introduction to the history and ritual of the NOX.