Ouroboros Part IV: Some of How and Why it Works
by A. C. George
In this installment I explain more about this system, and as such will likely repeat myself more than I would like. I want to hone in on the workings of the system itself. I also use it as an example for some generalized descriptions of how and why logocentric esoteric applications are effective. To reiterate, logocentric esoteric applications (LEAps), are occult systems based on the power of the word, including semantics, building blocks and the impact of its symbolism. Sometimes one or more factors predominate, sometimes they work in tandem. The advantages of such systems are considerable. They require little or no ceremonial trappings, minimal ritual and the effects can be powerful and even immediate depending on one’s level of cultivation.
Logocentric systems have logic. But that logic may be coherent when awareness is focused and one’s brainwaves are different than what is expressed during one’s mundane activities. At the very least, it can make sense that focusing on a symbol and vocalizing it internally (whispering or even thinking it) can affect one’s mood and way of thinking. It can make sense that it is possible such changes can affect the course of events in some way. But that logic might not extend into understanding just how the mechanics of the process work. Sure we can spout theories, but they are not necessary for such a system to work for the user. To grasp the dynamics in an empowering way, we need to the mythic sense of our system.
Any logocentric system, such as mantra yoga, QBLH or hermetic occultism has a logical structure that makes it coherent, and tells a story of its own existence that is practically mythic. This may include actual mythic accounts of creation and how reality works, but that is secondary. I am speaking of mythic applications of mathematical logic, for example. Such are the occult application of “magic squares” or the divining powers of the binary hexagrams of the Yi Ching as well as the predictive and other occult powers of decimal numerology systems, not to mention sacred geometry. We have magical alphabets such as Hebrew, with its letters associated with elements, planets and constellations, and in the same system we have the mythic logic of letter combinations that lead to experiences in alternate planes of existence. We have the mythic logic of runes and Tantric seed syllables that represent the essence of deities themselves, when focused upon and expressed in a certain manner.
Mythic logic- more accurately, mythic sense– is not bullshit. It isn’t a theory of any sorts either. It just describes the process in a somewhat mundane manner; particularly when the power of myth is given credit beyond the confines of academically credited Jungian psychology. What we have is the human esoteric potential in the form of stories. Sometimes these stories are in the form of classical myths. They have protagonists and plots. Most often they are explanations of cosmological extent. Even the human microcosm is viewed in a cosmological sense, projected into the heavens or the heavens projected into it. The world tree of certain animistic esoteric paradigms (popularly known as shamanistic) is a mythic construct.
One can write endlessly on the meaning, potency and spectrum of possibility regarding the power of myth, and indeed much has been written, by scholar and layperson alike. To really grasp and then harness the power of myth, however, in the broader and more esoteric sense requires a flexibility of awareness uncommon in most of the human population. Acquiring such flexibility is not easy, nor is it guaranteed by going through the motions of this or that practice. In the end, some end up faking it, but never really making it. Those that do make it have not much means of proof to those who are conditioned to either the consensus reality window or their version of eclectic eccentricity.
I easily express this, but how can I know I am not a victim of it myself? Honesty with self is a razors edge in occultism. Each walk differently, and each can tolerate different levels of sharpness on the razor. Each has their own balancing act. Being too naïve or too strict, and we fall in a vat of our own pretense. Some might consider this depressing. But if you really want to increase stability on the razor’s edge, the challenge is best embraced and maybe even approached as a call to adventure. In the end, magic doesn’t harm you so much as you end up harming yourself, even if it’s all in self defense.
The power of myth is incredible; the power of symbol incredible; the power of human awareness, beyond belief. To tap into these powers, to dance with them and play them artfully like an instrument, and to experience the wonders that come from that is why I am into logocentric occultism. I am not into elaborate ceremonial, but well aware that nothing- particularly where occult accomplishment is concerned- comes without something offered in exchange. Since I have been into academic accomplishment from a young age, I can appreciate the arduous training required to master such a process. We may well view the necessity for training that must go into successful logocentric application as its ‘downside’, especially since success is not always guaranteed no matter how well one practices. Disposition or innate talent is, in my view, also a factor. The need for systematic and at the same time creative training, is parallel to the commitment contemplative yoga and inner alchemy requires. Success may be a given for most to a point, but the advanced realizations are said to come to those with the innate disposition- the requisite karma, in other words.
Logocentric occultism does not work in a vacuum, but can be an aspect of more elaborate applications. It can be adapted to work with spirits, cosmological principles, the energies of the human microcosm and most any other occult expression, including the use of herbs, metals and stones. ‘Spells’ are standard in all magic, for example, and would be useless without the power of the word. Logocentric principles aside, the Ouroboros system is geared to the practice of esoteric alchemy. In other words its mythos revolves around human transformation potential; its core function being that of cultivation. That does not detract from Ouroboros being used to realize one’s will as magic. In this way it is similar to tantric practices where the aim is realization of the divine in a permanent fashion. Along the way, however, it is common- for those predisposed- to become good at applications of magic via the methodology.
The esoteric impact of the Ouroboros system is less direct. Learning the system both demands and stimulates the focus and quality of awareness required to make it work magically, and one cannot help but be affected by that. This is technically true for any magical system of merit, but some approaches emphasize using the intellect and mental will, rather than the deeper power of consciousness coupled with life-force. Methods can also value the method as if it were the source of success rather than the particular dynamic of spontaneous unscripted nuances that define the cultivation of power in the one using it.
One mythic pattern carries mundane principles into esoteric territory. It is reflected in the way the system weaves three symbol structures representing the three principles of literary syntax: the subject, the object and the verb. In this system the subject is represented by the tetragram elements, the object by the geomantic (geoadamic) sigils and the verb by the corresponding dragon-rune element. The subject and object are both expressions of number value, and the verb is represented by a letter mystery. The latter is what we verbally (internalized or not) express to actualize the potential of the tripartite phrase. It’s quite a simple structure in that respect, and combines the potency of adaptations of three symbol arrays of traditional origins.
One factor that makes any symbol system esoterically potent is its living essence. Many systems draw that essence from the culture of origin. Others are nourished from the impact of the mythic understandings surrounding and defining them, especially if they are part of some sort of occult lineage or tradition spanning generations. If I were of the view that any system requires generations to come alive, however, I would have gone the route of the purist. Instead, there is another way to bring a system to life, and it is not as simple as some forms of modern day marketed occultism tend to claim. Immediate methods work to charge a medium of application, such as a talisman, but charge tends to dissipate rather quickly- which is fine for what it’s meant to do. A system to come alive doesn’t just require its own set of cultivation practices, but also requirements that make it predisposed toward life. That is a topic for another time.