Ouroboros Part III: The Basics of System Structure
by A. C. George
Ouroboros falls under a category of esoteric knowledge I would call Logocentric Alchemy. That’s not just a fancy name. It’s more or less using the power of Logos, which includes the occult power of speech and writing to engender positive transformation in one’s self. Success in utilizing the process includes applications of the system itself to engender transformations in one’s world. In that respect the Ouroboros system resembles Indian Tantra as well as applications of Hermetic wisdom and western magic, but also the various occult philosophical systems under the name Cabala (itself with a variety of spellings). At the same time the symbolic language used appropriates elements of Taoism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Geomancy and even Norse Rune elements. Symbols and meanings are weaved so the result is a seamless whole.
Ouroboros is an occult system that combines traditional elements, aligned according to inspiration gained via a host of ‘experiences’ of a purely subjective yet at the same time extraordinary nature. Proof is not the point, and in my view shouldn’t be the point. Occultism in my view should never be popular. It isn’t a sport, and it isn’t a craft or an art. It’s a specialized frame of being that requires a constitution compatible with it. Basic occult skill can be learned by anyone with rudimentary mental capacity. It doesn’t require substantial commitment or study.
The basics are about keeping yourself safe and healthy under most mundane conditions even by today’s standards; keeping one’s life path sustainable, or amenable to a degree of desired change that does not rock the boat for everyone else beyond a level that would attract attention. It is more about moderately good fortune rather than living with a silver spoon in one’s mouth. Folk magic and traditional religious practices served these needs in the past to an extent that the practices were only abandoned when practitioners were persecuted for whatever reason. In any case, one such as a herbalist, healer or all around local wise person and spirit summoner (shaman) would provide services for more critical or specialized needs.
Ouroboros is not a basic system. I don’t particularly consider it an advanced system either. Although I include the word alchemy to categorize it, the aim is not to come up with something as dramatic as a philosopher’s stone of immortality. The word alchemy is used in a more general sense of internalized transformations of the psyche- and subtle frame of embodiment or energy body- to acquire the constitution that facilitates using the power of word and symbol to affect one’s reality and the structure of events to the degree one is able. The system itself is designed so that one can increase effectiveness by working with it. It isn’t just practice, but the focus on applications that strengthen inner being and establish constitutional compatibility with magical application.
That being said, this is an occult system. It isn’t just a means of self hypnosis and fake it till you make it perception programming. The architecture has an esoteric cosmology based on the central position of the human microcosm in all human experience. It is meant to be worked in tandem with esoteric approaches of cultivation such as western devotional focus (prayer, fasting etc), yoga and Taoist internal work. These can be stripped down to bare essential practices and still be effective with this system- to be described elsewhere in this venue. There is no need for ceremonial tools or even consistency in ritual, if one is properly approaching cultivation practices.
Putting this together constitutes an exploration of horizons of meaning very much worth the effort for yours truly. Even though the system has yet to be tested properly in terms of its manifesting and cultivating potential, after several decades of construction and reconstruction, it is coming alive in a way that is very real for me. That means any contact I have with it involves the perception of its dynamic, through the quality of feedback I get from the interaction. To clear this rather vague assertion, let me get into a more direct description of what is involved.
Ouroboros is an array of sixteen tripartite symbol elements, meaning each element is a triad of symbols. Two of these represent number qualities and one represents letters- more specifically runes. The dual number representations are in a binary format. The first symbol structure pertains to stacks of horizontal lines, continuous and with a break in the middle. This is the same symbolism used in the hexagrams of the Chinese “Book of Changes” or Yi Ching, only the stacks involve four lines instead of six, and are called tetragrams.
The second number based symbol set of Ouroboros is based on Geomancy, or rather the forms used for that practice. We do not use divination here, but we do apply the sixteen glyphs, just as we sigilize them in a specific manner. As with the tetragrams the glyphs in mention depict sixteen binary representations of four vertically stacked elements. In this case the elements are dots. Single dots equate with the tetragram unbroken lines and double dots with the broken (yielding) lines.
The third symbol structure is that of sixteen rune glyphs, most of which parallel traditional runes found in the Germanic and Norse traditions. Some of the pronunciations are the same as their traditional counterparts, while most vary from convention. The rune interpretations approximate those for the traditional counterparts for most of them. These letters are a direct connection to the application potentials of the system because they can generate presence directly through their pronunciation, as well as their form and its deeper existential set of meanings.
The number representations are indicators of the identity of the tripartite elements as well as its desired expression in the human microcosm. The tetragram, therefore, tells us what the element is, and the geomantic sigil tells us what it does and how it is applied. To use an analogy, the door is the tetragram, its key-hole is the sigil, while the key to opening the door is the rune. With the analogy we can see how the process of putting the key into the lock to open the door is of particular interest. The tripartite form of each element is similar to other systems where the name of a power is separate from the command word to use it or the particular names that act as messengers or acting agents of the centralized power.
One advantage of the tripartite architecture is the additional dimension of interpretation it affords, while at the same time retaining relative simplicity in application. We have three layers of meaning, and hand one layer directly to bring about desired results. Each layer of meaning comes from a tradition of profound esoteric mystery, and is repurposed in this logocentric synthesis. Even as we work with the raw and basic dynamics of the system, feedback is not only undeniable but sensed as something alive. Ultimately, one can practically hear or sense and understand the voice of the system as it awakens to communicate and respond.
The system did not reach its current version in a day. It took several years before the sigils of Geomancy were applied to the original rune sequence, and over a decade before the tetragrams were added to the mix. It was over than a year ago when the tripartite elements had reached a point of balanced interrelationship. At that time all three elements began working together and I realized the role of each in terms of the whole. Anything is subject to change in this line of doing things. There is always a possibility of the whole thing collapsing, and it’s just as likely that the system will keep evolving without a hitch. Suffice it to say that there are still bugs to work out.
Many of these in the past have turned into opportunities of interpretation and application that appeared completely novel to me on the surface, and then made complete sense as I released biases against them, otherwise they often turned out to be both simple and made sense. As one works through the synthesis of occult architecture and method, it becomes clear how challenging it is to overcome habituated thinking and allow the system to speak for itself. As that happens, progress tends to get smoother barring the possibility of a serious snag that brings everything to a grinding halt. In the next installment in this series, we will examine Ouroboros alchemy and magic in greater detail.