The Mysteries of Lam

A lecture by Michael Staley in 1994



0. Introduction.

There is a wide and growing interest in Lam stimulated by the material in Kenneth Grant's books over the last twenty years. It is impossible to talk about Lam coherently without considering the background. If Lam is an extra- terrestrial entity, then what do we mean by this term? What is the nature of such entities, and what are we in relation to them? How may we have contact with them, and to what end? In fact, I would go further, and say that the prime importance of Lam is as an example of this type. It flings the whole topic of extra-terrestrialism, and hence the heart of magick itself, into sharp relief.

At the end of this talk, it may be that not each and every one of you will go forth from this hall and immediately summon forth Lam from the recesses of your being, trafficking to your heart's content. But you will, I hope, have a clear idea of the import of the extra-terrestrial gnosis, as well as pointers as to the direction to take if you wish to move towards Lam. We will have established that to seek traffic with Lam is to seek to move beyond human consciousness.

The talk is divided into three stages. Firstly, a consideration of what we mean by the extra-terrestrial gnosis. Secondly, a consideration of the background of Lam, the seeds of which lie in The Amalantrah Working. Thirdly, conclusions and future directions.

1. Extra-terrestrialism

Extra-terrestrialism emerges increasingly as the core of Grant's Typhonian Trilogies. And with it an awareness that rather more is indicated than the appearance of little green men from the galaxy 10,000 million light years around the corner, or the old "Was God an astronaut?" thesis from authors such as von Daniken twenty or thirty years ago. All the same, what the extra-terrestrial gnosis means in a magical context is not entirely unconnected, though it goes further and has a much wider, deeper and more profound sweep. Firstly, what do we mean by 'terrestrial'?

The term 'terrestrial' denotes simply that which is earth-bound, or human. The terrestrial vehicle is a mask, an incarnation of a consciousness, the veils of which dissolve in the course of initiation. 'Extra-terrestrial', therefore, indicates that which is beyond the comparatively narrow range of human, earth-bound, terrestrial consciousness. 'Beyond' or 'Outside' is often used in a similar fashion - that which lies beyond the confines of the terrestrial vehicle. What, then, is it that lies beyond these confines, and of which the terrestrial is a facet? The answer may have become a cliche, but it is potent nonetheless - cosmic consciousness.

Just as over recent years we have become more aware of the vast gulfs and abysses of stellar space which stretch beyond Earth, and of which Earth is a part, so there is a growing awareness of vast, unsounded reaches of consciousness, the human facet of which is a tiny portion. Extra-terrestrial entitles are areas within those reaches, and the Magick of real interest and worth is that which facilitates traffic with such entitles. These entities are, ultimately, not something separate from the magician: not something 'out there', but equally an aspect of the continuum of consciousness as is the magician. To explore these reaches of consciousness, traffic is had with such entities; thereby, more and more of the continuum is thrown into relief. This may seem at first sight to be a solipsist conception, the universe as nothing more than an extension of the magician. In fact, the converse is the case: the magician is an aspect of the universe, and initiation is the unfolding realisation of this, much as a temple emerges from darkness into the light of day.

A example of the use of the term 'terrestrial' in this context occurs in the first paragraph of Lovecraft's story Beyond the Wall of Sleep:

... From my experience, I cannot doubt but that man, when lost to terrestrial consciousness, is indeed sojurning in another and uncorporeal life of far different nature from the life we know, and of which only the slightest and most indistinct memories exist after waking ... We may guess that in dreams life, matter, and vitality, as the earth knows such things, are not necessarily constant; and that time and space do not exist as our waking selves comprehend them. Sometimes I believe that this less material life is our truer life, and that our vain presence on this terraqueous globe is itself the secondary or merely virtual phenomenon.

There is a continuum of consciousness, an ocean of awareness, in which we are at once parts and the whole. This is essentially advaita, a sanskrit term meaning 'not divided'. Many people in the West, Thelemites included, seem to find advaita repugnant. And yet, Thelema has its roots in advaita and similar doctrines such as the sunyavada, the emptiness at the heart of matter, articulated so beautifully in Prajnaparamita Buddhism and later in Ch'an. Traditions such as these attempt to guide the intuition of the aspirant towards the apprehension of a non-dual reality by means of paradox. This is not indulgence in mental gymnastics, but because reality is beyond the dualist categories of subject and object, existence and non-existence, emptiness and manifestation, and hence ultimately inexpressible in terms of reason. This does not mean that we need to abandon reason, or give up trying to express mystical insight in language - far from it. We just need to be aware of the limitations of language and reason, that is all.

Magick has a mystical core - the awakening to reality, which is that there is no 'us' incarcerated in a fleshly envelope while the universe is somehow 'out there'. The emptiness at the heart of matter is simultaneously a plenitude, nourishing in its depths the potential of manifestation. Over the aeons this potential flowers in its perfection and then fades. The rhythm of the universe is maintained in a perpetual expansion and contraction, becoming and absorption. Initiation is the unveiling of consciousness; as darkness clears, more of the temple emerges into view. Initiation has been defined as 'the journey inwards', though whether this journey is viewed as internal or external journey makes little odds, since both amount to the same thing. It is the assimilation of magical and mystical experience - a process of understanding, of insight. The nature of this insight is an awareness that consciousness does not rest with the individual, but is universal or cosmic; there is a continuum, not a multiplicity of isolated units.

Whatever the nature of the magical or mystical practices pursued, the real change is at the level of jnana - intuitive knowledge. What changes is actually not consciousness, but that which we have previously thought of as ourselves in relation to it. Awareness is no longer restricted to the terrestrial vehicle; the focus shifts, attuning to wider and deeper ranges of consciousness beyond. The sense of individuality is a restriction or dungeon only so long as we incarcerate ourselves, a bondage forged by our own preconceptions. We are all facets of the universe. There is no individual self which endures, but the flux and flow of perception, like wave after wave surging forth. The wave is a transient form of the water, giving way to another wave. Consciousness roils, throwing forth shadows from its depths; these shadows are the glamours of manifestation, a perpetual play which flows and shimmers, urgent and alive, sweeping this way and that. We are drawn from these shadows: not as monads, self-existent and eternally enduring; but as transient ripples of consciousness which flow outwards, melding and coalescing with other ripples. In this incessant weaving amidst the continuum of consciousness, self and not-self mingle and fuse, slipping back and forth, trespassing wantonly across apparent boundaries which have always been fluid.

To become alive to this transience seems an extraordinary thing; yet it is the most natural state in the world. It is a measure of how we have cut ourselves off from reality, drawn the covers over our heads and huddled in our ghettos. Initiation is a vitriol, dissolving the illusion of separateness. Only in recognising individuality as illusion, and ceasing to cling to it, can we see past what we are not, to the fecund infinity of that which we really are. The blood is pressed into the Cup of Babalon, this continuum, this melting-pot, from whence springs the gamut of existence, and to where it returns. It is reconciliation: not of the melding of self and other, the microcosm and the macrocosm, the apparent individual and the rest of the universe, which have never been apart anyway; but of our awareness of that deeper identity.

Initiation is therefore not something which occurs to an individual. The terrestrial vehicle is a refraction of a much vaster field of awareness. As initiation runs its course, awareness becomes wider and deeper, increasingly alive to reaches which lie beyond. It is not a steady process, but unfolds by leaps of intuitive insight, a process of remembering, of reintegration. Entities are apparent, ranges of consciousness, equally vehicles of the cosmic Self. There is a sea of sentience; we traffic with wider and deeper ranges, and there is assimilation: "For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union". Entities such as Lam and Aiwass are no more entitles in their own right than are human beings: not remote, august beings, but equally shadows in the sweep of sentience.

We can see from this standpoint that there is no such thing, ultimately, as 'alien' contact. However, 'alien' has here a relative sense - wide though our assimilation of consciousness might be, until we have awoken completely then anything outside of our present conception of self is seen as 'alien'. Such is the intrusion of alien consciousness - alien, that is, to the conscious, terrestrial vehicle; alien in the sense of being beyond the self-imposed boundaries of that terrestrial vehicle; but ultimately not alien, since nothing exists outside consciousness. The sense of alien intrusion via the matrix of creative imagination was expressed, again by Lovecraft:

... The true function of phantasy is to give the imagination a ground for limitless expansion, & to satisfy aesthetically the sincere & burning curiosity and sense of awe which a sensitive minority of mankind feel towards the alluring & provocative abysses of unplumbed space and unguessed entity which press in upon the known world from unknown infinities & in unknown relationships of time, space, matter, force, dimensionality, & consciousness.

Note the reference to these "alluring & provocative abysses" pressing in. These reaches are not something passive and quiescent, scenery to be admired, but reach out and actively make themselves felt. -

Crowley's traffickings with Aiwass and Amalantrah are examples of such alien contact. Crowley usually needed a medium for such communication. In the the Amalantrah Working, this mediumship was provided by several Scarlet Women, who were sensitised by sex, drugs, and alcohol in various exotic combinations, and became oracular. The Visions experienced by the medium were frequently meaningless to her, but oracular and intended for the comprehension of Crowley. Communication was sometimes explicit; usually it was subtler, by means of numbers, symbols, I Ching hexagrams, Tarot cards, and so forth. Communication in this fashion may seem perverse and wilfully obscure. However, the use of gematria and symbols can spark intuitive leaps, flashes of insight that are not easily expressed in words. Thus, Workings such as that with Amalantrah, or The Vision and the Voice, go beyond the subjective - although there is bound to be some such tincture, like light shining through coloured glass. These are records of alien contact, of traffic with extra-terrestrial forces, and their worth is substantiated by the fact that, years later, other occultists are able to study these records and make creative use of them, continuing with some of the threads.

For the magician, the first clear instance in his or her initiation of sustained, extra-terrestrial contact is characterised as the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel - a contact regarded as bestowing occult puberty. The Angel is of a nature which is beyond the terrestrial vehicle, and of which the mind can retain only fleeting glimpses. Again, the Angel is no passive entity: on the contrary, the initial impulse for the Knowledge and Conversation comes from the Angel, not the aspirant.

It is with this continuum of consciousness, this matrix, that we traffic when making 'alien' contact. As we become increasingly alive to those vast reaches of consciousness which lie beyond the terrestrial, so there grows a corresponding awareness that we are not confined to the terrestrial vehicle through which we have habitually focussed. There is a sensation of recognition, of remembrance, of experiencing again an intrinsic state which had slipped awhile beyond conscious recall. This state remains as a substratum, the hidden stream or current which powers the fountain. The Holy Guardian Angel dwells at this point, where the terrestrial merges into the infinite and eternal; it is the point which is everywhere and at all times, veiled by the chimera of identity with the terrestrial vehicle, revealed by the dissolution of that chimera. The Angel is ever present, a fountain of living waters from which we can drink at any time. Magical and mystical experience is the life-blood of initiation, a stream from which we are eternally supping. Against this background of the extra-terrestrial continuum of consciousness, the nature of entities and the unfolding of initiation, let us now move on to focus more specifically on Lam.
2. Origins of Lam Crowley's portrait of Lam, entitled 'The Way', was first published in 1919 as a frontispiece to his Commentary on Madame Blavatsky's The Voice of the Silence. Blavatsky's text is about the need for the aspirant to contact the well-spring within, the mystical core of being, which she epitomised as the Voice of the Silence. The techniques which she advocates for this are meditational. It is, I think, significant that Crowley associated the portrait with this text, indicating quite clearly that he regarded Lam as the embodiment of that Voice.

Other than this, nowhere in Crowley's work is there a mention of the portrait of Lam until 1945, when he recorded in his diary Kenneth Grant's interest in it. It is clear, however, that the portrait arose in connection with the Amalantrah Working of 1918-19, when Crowley lived in New York. Unfortunately, the Record of that Working which survives consists of the first six months only. Nevertheless, it is clear from a study of this surviving material that the portrait of Lam embodies the quintessence of the Working.

The absence of Crowley's exegesis on Lam gives us a great deal of freedom and creativity to discover the implications for ourselves, and to use them as magical and mystical tools in our initiation. The portrait was republished in Grant's book The Magical Revival in 1972, and several times since. There is much material on Lam in the more recent books by Grant; however, a definitive interpretation has yet to develop. This is because we are dealing with something the import of which is only just emerging.

A broad outline has become apparent, though, sufficient to emphasise the primary function of Lam as the Gateway to wider and deeper ranges of consciousness - our extra-terrestrial, pan-dimensional Reality. In fact, anything whatsoever can function as the Gateway to those dimensions. The supreme glyph of Enlightenment is the lightning-flash, the swift awakening to Reality, which illuminates the landscape previously shrouded in darkness. The lightning flash can be triggered at any time, and by anything, when the conditions are propitious. The accumulation of glamour around the Cult of Lam makes it a Gateway which is pre-eminently accessible, however.

As the Voice of the Silence, Lam is the Babe in the Egg, Harpocrates, the God of Silence. The association is underlined by the assignation of 71 to both the portrait and the Commentary, as is made clear by the inscription which accompanied the portrait as originally published:

LAM is the Tibetan word for Way or Path, and LAMA is He who Goeth, the specific title of the Gods of Egypt, the Treader of the Path, in Buddhistic phraseology. Its numerical value is 71, the number of this book.

A metathesis of LAM is ALM, also 71, a Hebrew word meaning 'silence, silent'. The Silence is the noumenon which underlies and infuses phenomena, the continuum of which all things whatsoever are simultaneously facets and the whole. The Silence is the quietness at the heart of noise, the stillness at the heart of activity, the being at the heart of going, and the emptiness at the heart of matter. These juxtapositions may seem merely revelling in paradox; the fact is, though, that reason is a tool of limited application, and paradox is a means of pointing beyond apparent contraries. The 'Way' or 'Path' is a reference to the Tao. The 'Treader of the Path' is the Initiate, treading the path of initiation. This brings to mind the concluding lines from "Pilgrim-Talk", in Crowley's The Book of Lies:

0 thou that drawest toward the End of The Path, effort is no more. Faster and faster dost thou fall; thy weariness is changed into Ineffable Rest.
For there is no Thou upon That Path: thou hast become The Way.

Harpocrates or Hoor-paar-kraat is the unmanifest twin of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, manifestation. The distinction between these twins is figurative only; they are aspects of each other, neither separate from the other. The term 'Dwarf-Self' is often used: 'dwarf' in the sense of yet to manifest, adolescent, prepubescent. This is the Hidden God, a term used throughout the Egyptian Book of the Dead to glyph the sun in the Underworld or Amenta, the radiant heart of dynamic energy which is at the core of manifestation, and which is veiled by the image of Shaitan-Aiwaz, 93. Hoor-paar-kraat is a term often used synonymously with the Holy Guardian Angel. It may also be seen in terms of the Tetragrammaton, where Ra-Hoor-Khuit is the Vav, and Hoor- paar-kraat the He final. This identifies Hoor-paar-kraat with the Aeon of Maat, the continuum or extra-terrestrial reality, a Communion in which we are at once Celebrants and that which is celebrated. As Treaders of the Way, we are not something separate which merely traverses from one point to another: we are the Way.

Crowley went to the United States in 1914, at the outbreak of the First World War, and stayed there until 1919. This period covers the core of his initiation into the A.·. A.·. grade of Magus. They were years marked by an ever-deepening insight into and affinity with Taoism, as is made plain in the course of the Preface to his version of the Tao Teh Ching. This insight saturates Liber Aleph, The Book of Wisdom or Folly, the manuscript of which was almost complete by the opening of the Amalantrah Working. Liber Aleph is a central work of Crowley's, where he makes clear the deep affinity between Taoism and Thelema; without an appreciation of this affinity, Liber Aleph appears as little more than a scattering of aphorisms. The Amalantrah Working needs to be seen in the context of this initiation of Crowley's..

According to Crowley's account, the Working arose spontaneously. He was living with a mistress at the time, Roddie Minor. One of her indulgences was opium, the opulent visions of which she related aloud. On one particular occasion, her apparent ramblings struck Crowley as bearing on the Abuldiz Working of some years previously, and after some astral investigation he decided that there were indeed threads of the earlier Working which were being picked up; thus opened the Amalantrah Working. Crowley inaugurated regular sessions, which usually took place at the weekends. He seemed interested primarily in its use as an oracle for his affairs over the forthcoming week. Although there were many such short-term oracular pronouncements, there was also a wealth of more substantial material.

Amalantrah is the name of the entity with whom Crowley trafficked over the course of the Working. Communication was never direct, but via a medium or Seer who was sensitised by sex, drugs and alcohol in various combinations. Because of the effects of these preliminaries, the earthing of the communications was often poor, their expression rambling and diffuse; the wheat needs to be separated from the chaff, therefore, when considering the Record. The Seer was usually Roddie Minor, although on a few occasions other women did assume the Office. The visions often opened in a woodland Temple which was perceived astrally by the Seer; this Temple was sometimes peopled by doubles of those participating, and as well as on occasions absent colleagues.

The name 'Lam' never occurs in the surviving Record of the Amalantrah Working. It is, though, the root of several of the names which do occur. The portrait of Lam is in fact a composite glyph embodying the essence of the Working. Several of the early visions are very suggestive of the portrait of Lam. Consider, for example, the following:

I began by asking for a vision containing a message. I first heard gurgling water and saw a dark farmhouse in among trees and green fields. The house and other things disappeared, and a dark yoni appeared just where the house had stood. I then asked 'where will a message come from?' Immediately, soldiers with guns appeared lounging about the place, and a king on a throne where the house had stood. I then asked again for a message, and saw an egg in which were many tiny convolutions of some flesh-like substance which would form something. The egg was placed in an oblong as in a picture. Around it were clouds, trees, mountains and water, called the 'four elements'. A camel appeared in front of the whole picture. I next tried to find out who the king was. He looked more like Professor Shotwell than any one else. That is, he was 'simple, democratic' and very learned and fine. He was certainly not a king belonging to any kingdom limited by a country' s borders, but he was a king of men, or a king of the world. I asked his name and the word 'Ham' appeared between the egg in the oblong and the soldiers around the king.

The Egg is a commonly-occurring glyph throughout the visions of the Amalantrah Working. It is of course a glyph of birth - the egg which contains the potential of all that is to come. There is a reference in one of the visions to Geburah 'applied to' the egg. Geburah is in this context the sword which cleaves the egg, or the lightning flash which sunders it, giving birth to the potential secreted within. Since elements of this particular vision are the foundation for much of the subsequent analysis, an extract from the Record follows. Roddie Minor, the Seer, whose magical name is Achitha, is questioned by Crowley:

A: 'Wizard very serious and looks at Achitha in a very contemplative mood. Seems to approve. Turtle is most prominent thing in Temple. Child is there, lion and Barzedon. Arcteon has a very prominent place; he is a tall man that always appears in the Temple.'

T: "What is the work of this weekend?*
A: "Geburah."
T: "Geburah applied to what?"
A: "The egg. The egg is resting on the point of mountain tops, very sharp. Water around, lotus flowers on it."
T: "Egg is symbol of some new knowledge, isn't it?"
A: "Gimel. Lamed."
T: "What does that mean?"
A: "I don't know; followed symbol of mountain and lotus flower."
T: "How are we to break open the egg?"
A: "In plain language it means: Thou art to go this Way."
T: "That isn't plain language. How are we to get this new knowledge?"
A: "Don't ask questions too fast. Sow the wild oats; go into the ... into the Mother ... to be born again.'
T: "What about the Mass of the Holy Ghost?"
A: "That hasn' t anything to do with it. You've shattered everything. I'11 have to establish connection all over again ... Going into the mother to be born again, you get a New Life and then the Earth is covered with wonderful flowers, and bees come to the flowers to get honey to store, and the honey is stored elixir. I see a hill very steep. Mother standing ... down ... watching child. I don't know if she's going to save it, or go after it, or what. Lotus flower on water again."

The references to the lotus flower in association with the egg, and later the child, are significant. They suggest the Babe in the Egg, Harpocrates, often depicted as seated upon a lotus flower. The mountain is a symbol of initiation, of communing with the gods; examples are Mount Arunachala and Mount Kailas, and the story of Moses ascending the mountain to receive the Word of God.

The Hebrew letters Gimel and Lamed give GL, which means 'spring, fountain'. The portrait of Lam clearly shows a mottled emanation or umbra from the top of the egg. This is like the dappled effect of a fountain in sunlight. More to the point, though, it clearly glyphs the fountain of dew which showers from the Sahasrara chakra when the Fire Snake streaks up the Sushumna. This is especially interesting, because Lam is the bija-mantra of the Muladhara Chakra, which is the home of the Fire Snake. We have here something more forceful than the more common conception of Silence and Being. There is a perichoresis, or interpenetration of dimensions between the aspirant, the Fire Snake, and the manifested universe. The Shakti which manifests as the universe, and the Shakti which is concentrated as the Fire Snake, are not two: they are the same. In Outer Gateways, Grant speaks of "the dynamic energies of consciousness, the functions of which are to blast away the delusion of separate existence".

The portrait of Lam also shows a well-developed Ajna chakra, which can be seen as a stylised ankh. Together with the pattern of the umbra mentioned earlier, the shape of a cup or chalice is clearly there. GL also means a 'bowl' or 'chalice'. In the record of the last surviving session of the Amalantrah Working, Gimel and Lamed are mentioned as being the two sides of Perfection. This suggests that if Gimel and Lamed are the two sides of Perfection, and Gimel and Lamed as Bowl or Chalice, then Perfection is the Supreme Chalice or Graal, the Cup of Babalon, the Womb of the Mother. This interpretation is underlined by a passage in Crowley's Commentary to Liber LXV (The Book of the Heart Girt with the Serpent):

Pe is the letter of Atu XVI the "House of God" or "Blasted Tower". The hieroglyph represents a Tower - symbolic of the ego in its phallic aspect, yet shut up. i.e. separate. This Tower is smitten by the Lightning Flash of Illumination, the impact of the H.G.A. and the Flaming Sword of the Energy that proceeds from Kether to Malkuth. Thence are cast forth two figures representing by their attitude the letter Ayin: these are the twins (Horus and Harpocrates) born at the breaking open of the Womb of the mother (the second aspect of The Tower as "a spring shut up, a fountain sealed").

This passage underlines the mention earlier of Geburah "applied to" the egg, the lightning flash being in this context a type of Geburah. Perfection also suggests the Tao. Crowley assigned the number 157 to his edition of the Tao Teh Ching. This is the addition of 83 and 74, the values of Gimel and Lamed spelt in full, thus reinforcing the reference to them as the two sides of Perfection. We have, then, an identity between the Tao and the Cup of Babalon, both being Perfection; and, of course, "The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!" (AL.I.45). The reference to "a spring shut up, a fountain sealed" is from the Song of Solomon:

A garden barred is my sister, my bride, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

This indicates a pregnant womb, rather than a celebration of virginity: to shut up or seal is to obstruct something which has formerly flowed. In the womb is the hermit, Hoor-paar-kraat, the "secret seed", the Hidden God, released from the egg by the shattering force of the lightning flash of illumination. In Olla, Crowley defines Silence as the Path of the Lightning Flash. Silence in this context is not simply the absence of noise or movement: it is the "still, small voice", Hadit or the Bindu from which manifestation unfolds, the potential which gives rise to the actual, the noumenon which underlies phenomena. The Egg of Silence is typified by Lam; to embark on the Cult of Lam is therefore to evoke the Hidden God, the Holy Guardian Angel. This is Initiation, the journey inwards which is simultaneously the journey outwards, for the microcosm and the macrocosm are not two but one.

This Gateway, and these tranches, are nothing new. The goal of all magical and mystical traditions is Gnosis - the awakening to Reality. The nominalisations of this goal are legion, but all paths lead to Rome. Similarly, each Initiate will have his or her own Gateway, but each Gateway will open out onto the same Reality. In the course of my own magical work, I have developed the following short evocation of the Gateway:

                        Lam!
                        Thou Voice of the Silence,
                        Glyph of Hoor-paar-kraat:
                        The Dwarf-Self, the Hidden God.
                        Gateway to the Aeon of Maat!
                        I evoke Thee!  I evoke Thee!
                        With the mantra Talam-Malat,
                        Talam-Malat,
                        Talam-Malat  .....



This evocation concentrates some of the themes which we have touched upon. The mantra 'Talam-Malat' celebrates the Lam as the Gateway, and is uttered several times before it lapses into silent vibration. 'Talam' is the semen-honey offered in the Mass of Maat; the word is a fusion of Lam and Maat. Its number is 81, KSA, the full moon which is both the flowering of the lunar cycle and the point of return to the New Moon; similarly, Maat is both the flowering of the Aeonic cycle and the point of return to the Pralaya or dissolution. The second half of the mantra, 'Malat', a mirror image of the first half, emphasises this sense of backward-turning.

The use of this mantra stems from the culminating moon of a Working, based on Crowley's Liber Samekh, which I undertook several years ago after sensing a summons to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. The number 81 emerged into awareness, and it seemed to be a fusion of several elements - my growing interest in Lam, the mysteries of Maat into which I was then gaining an insight, and my Angel. The mantra 'Talam- Malat', then, concentrates and celebrates the common nature and indeed identity of the Angel, the Aeon of Maat, the Tao, and extra-terrestrialism. This insight was, and is, a matter of experience; once tasted, the nectar is not only never forgotten, but is ever-present.

This brings us back to the prime consideration of the Cult of Lam, which is that though Lam is the Gateway to our extra-terrestrial reality, that Gateway is intrinsic to the individual Initiate. Similarly, the key that unlocks the Gateway is necessarily of a unique pattern, and must be discovered by the Initiate in the course of direct magical and mystical experience. The Cult of Lam focuses upon the techniques for discovering the pattern. However, these techniques can never be a universal template; rather, they are but a basis upon which the Initiate rears his or her own Temple of Illumination, the inner shrine of which is Silence.

3. Future Directions.

Having heard these considerations about the nature of extra-terrestrial entities, alien contact, and the continuum from which they all spring; having heard a preliminary analysis of the meaning and import of Lam from the Amalantrah Working, where do we go from here?

It is my own view that, in the light of the ground which we have covered in this talk, Lam is analogous to the Holy Guardian Angel. Thus, to embark upon trafficking with Lam is to seek the Knowledge and Conversation. Now, there is no one technique to seek the Knowledge and Conversation. There are things like Liber Samekh, The Sacred Magic of Abramelin, and so forth. However, the point about the Angel is that it is not the aspirant who calls forth the Angel, but the Angel who calls forth the aspirant. In the absence of the impulse from the Angel, even Liber Samekh will be sterile. The Angel is not some entity with a message in a bottle for the aspirant, but a much greater, pan-dimensional being of whom the aspirant is just a facet. Lam is then a Gateway to Initiation; one amongst many, true, but the glamour around the Cult of Lam makes it an accessible Gateway.

In my own magical work, a being with an egg-shaped head has not appeared to me. But then I never expected that. My work upon Lam has been largely of a contemplative nature. For instance, I use a simple ceremony, opening with the Lesser Banishing Pentagram, and moving onto the Lesser Invoking Hexagram, utilising the Hexagram of Earth. I then utter the evocation read out a few minutes ago, allowing the mantra to lapse into silence, and follow it. This may seem unspectacular, but I have always regarded Magick as being work on consciousness, of widening and deepening awareness. Magick has a mystical core, without which it holds no interest.

All the same, I am interested in developing techniques that are of use to the aspirant in finding his own unique Way to and through Lam. In pursuance of this, I will soon be embarking on group working with several colleagues, focusing around joint visualisation, concentration and the reverberation of mantra. If this approach proves fruitful, the results and any developments of those results will be disseminated in Starfire and elsewhere. Similarly, if any other individuals or groups have techniques which they would care to share, we would all be very interested.

Anyway, I hope that I have demonstrated in the course of this talk that there is a background of which Lam is a type, and have in the course of it shed some light on the nature of Lam. The Cult of Lam is in its infancy - it is, after all, the Babe in the Egg - and I am sure that it has the potential to develop into an extremely potent Gateway to Initiation.


with permission:
STARFIRE
BCM Starfire
London WC1N 3XX
England




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