Written by Frater TP
The Fourfold Breath
The fourfold breath is a way of respiring which can be represented by a square which is just a 2 dimensional cube (which is just a 3 dimensional hypercube…) and as a result is sometimes known as the box (cube) breath. The cube is a symbol of Tiphareth.
To perform it, breathe in gently through the nose for the count of 4. (I say “count of 4” because this is subjective depending on a person’s breathing ability, however it’s probably ¾ of a second.) Then hold for 4. Then breathe out for 4. Then hold for 4. This sequence completes one cycle of fourfold breath.
If you’re wondering why you must breathe in through the nose, there are many reasons but most important of all is that you don’t want Dracula to call you a “mouth-breather.”
Some important notes: The out-breath hold is most important. The throat/neck should not be strained at all during this process. Avoid if you have asthma or other conditions that may cause injury. You must maintain correct tongue posture whilst doing this. That means your tongue is on the plate at the front of your mouth, resting on the roof. Those familiar with the microcosmic orbit of qi gong will know what I mean.
- Perform the fourfold breath for about 5 minutes, sitting down, with the spine comfortably erect. For two cycles of this breath, focus on the feet and imagine the pores of the skin opening and being nourished with white light. Then move to the legs, then thighs, etc...Once done, imagine the whole
body being filled with lifeforce (qi), which enters again through the pores. It nourishes deep into the flesh and the bone. This can be as simple as knowing this idea and imagining the body filling up with white light, since lux = light = life-force. I adapted this idea from Regardie’s Middle Pillar, and found that a focus on the different parts of the body individually helps to induce an aware but trance-like state by relaxing the body. I therefore found it more useful than the version described in Lyam Thomas Christopher’s Kabbalah, magic and the Great Work of self-transformation which simply tells the Neophyte to imagine pores all over the skin opening to allow nourishment from the air.
The Qabalistic Cross
- Go to the east of the circle and for 3 cycles of fourfold breath, imagine the body expanding to the size of the entire universe. Your house, street, city, the world, then the sun and soon all existing galaxies all appear beneath you but you are still firmly grounded and safe on Earth with the globe at your feet. Reach up with your dominant hand until you are on your tiptoes and it is stretching, holding it in the sword mudra position. On the third in-breath, pull down the light of a brilliantly white star which you must stretch up on your tiptoes to reach in your earnestness.
- Touch your forehead, vibrating (ah-teh) ATEH in long, resonant syllables. If you are unable to vibrate very loud, you can do it more quietly. It is possible to do it in your head occasionally but a physical vibration is massively more powerful. Make sure you are vibrating from your diaphragm, not your throat. You might need to get singing lessons or learn some vocal warm-ups to be done before the exercise if you are unable to get the hang of this. It is an important point because you could damage your throat which can cause a whole host of issues both mundane and spiritual.
- Keeping the sword mudra upright (make sure to not point it down), let the light descend to the solar plexus, then to the earth at your feet as you touch your chest (NOT the groin!) and vibrate MALKUTH (mal-koot)
- Trace the light to your right shoulder, vibrating VE GEVURAH (veh geh-voo-rah)
- To your left shoulder, VA GEDULAH (vah geh-doo-lah) see the light go infinitely left. Gedulah is another name for Chesed.
- Put your hands by your heart in a prayer pose - with fingers together, not interlocked - LE OLAM AMEN. (leh oh-lam ah-men) A brilliantly white sphere forms at your heart centre as you breathe out.
This translates roughly to “Thou art the Kingdom, the power and the glory. Forever and ever, so it is”
Now the qabalistic cross is over.
These are to be drawn swiftly in a relaxed "slicing" action. If possible, you see them in front of you and you feel their heat, imagine the blue light reflected around the space and know their power. Feel the heat. Hear the burning. They are perfectly proportioned to your sight when you trace them on your out-breaths. Even if you drew them imperfectly.
The pentagram goes clockwise in the banishing and counter-clockwise in the invoking version. In the former, tracing is commenced from in front of the left hip and in the latter from the head. This is because you are drawing towards and away from the Earth element respectively.
When I say "blue" I mean blue-white. The pentagrams actually ignite with flame once they are charged. Until that point it's like a blue lightsaber colour from Star Wars. Once it is flaming it is like
a Bunsen burner fire: animated and intense. This differentiation in colour or imagery shows the fact that you have given the pentagrams their power, like toggling an off and on mode. You can also create a differentiation in sound and brightness for further efficacy.
I have mentioned in passing that breath is synchronized with the ritual actions, and provided no indication on how to do so.
In-breath, hand is in sword mudra at heart centre, draw in energy
Holding the breath - it travels to the fingertips and the hand is brought to starting point of the pentagram
Out-breath - the pentagram is drawn within this time – this might take practice Second hold, the hand is brought back to the heart, again upright in sword mudra.
In-breath, same as before
Holding the breath, hand stays poised
Out-breath – Your hand surges suddenly forward and stabs the pentagram. Vibrate appropriate god name. In the East - YHVH (yud-heh-vah-hey) I pronounce H final as hey to differentiate it phonetically from H. I find this important because YHVH corresponds to the 4 elements and H final is Earth, which is feminine. the "eh" sound as in metal (meh-tul) is masculine compared to "hey" which sounds like "hay" that horses eat. We are saying that the consonant sounds are masculine and vowel sounds are feminine. So basically, putting this slight difference in does change the tone of the word slightly to more accurately impress the representations (and therefore the energies) of YHVH into the subconscious and therefore the aura. This also means that we are requesting invocation of the energies of the godnames within our aura when we do this ritual.
Hold Breath - feel the power of the godname and the charging of the pentagram as it bursts into flame as described earlier when considering a lightsaber compared to a bunsen burner flame.
Out-breath - draw a flaming white light to the place where the middle of the next pentagram shall be.
Hold Breath - Put the hand in back to your heart centre
The other godnames: in the South – ADNI (ah-doe-ni), in the West EHEIEH (eh-hay-ee-eh) Again, eh is like meh-tul in the word metal. Hay is what horses eat. In the North AGLA
Make sure to finish the circle.
The Archangelic Invocations
Now we invoke the Archangels. They are imagined in my case in Golden Dawn flashing colours. In our case, the Golden Dawn's style of Enochian magick is used once Adepthood is reached, if one uses it at all.
East - Air - Raphael - Sunrise - Yellow and violet (sun is yellow) - holding a caduceus wand in the right hand which represents healing and the wisdom of Hermes.
South - Fire - Michael - Midday/Noon - Red and Green (sun is red) - holding upright a flaming sword (which has a double blade like the one in the Justice tarot card) representing Truth and protection.
West - Water - Gabriel - Sunset - Blue and Orange (the sun is orange) - an infinitely overflowing cup of water in the left hand running into a stream
North - Earth - Uriel - Midnight - Black and Green. Uriel is holding a book that is dark green with a black pentacle on it, which contains an infinite grimoire of all things relating to the element of Earth. The stars are shimmering white and there is one North Star that stands out from the rest.
The black and green was actually odd to me (“Should it not be white?”) even until recently. Meditation upon the esoteric associations of the tarot will shed light upon this apparent paradox. The green is traditionally very dark, like an olive. Contrast that in your awareness to the bright green of Michael’s flashing colours. They are different energies so the shade must be separated in the mind.
For the beginner, putting other colours in the scene is likely bad advice.
- Put your arms out so that your body forms a tau cross. That is like a normal Christian cross but with no upper quadrant.
Before me, RAPHAEL (rah-fah-el) Imagine the scenery as you call each Archangel. Behind me, GAVRIEL (gav-ree-el)
At my right hand, MICHAEL (mee-cha-el) (If you are able to enunciate an upper uvular fractive for the cha syllable without breaking your voice, go ahead) This is a gutteral sound like the ch in Lochness monster.
At my left hand, URIEL (yuh-ree-el)
For about me flame the pentagrams (sizzling sound) Your vision switches to a third person perspective and the Archangels go out of focus as you recall the charged blue pentagrams and the brilliantly flaming white circle, protecting you, the Magician. The blue light from the pentagrams is so bright that it reflects off of your black robes (white if Adept)
And within me shineth the six-rayed star.
See a hexagram within you with the uppermost point of fire in both attribute and colour, and a lowermost point of water. So the fiery point is burning and the watery point is wavering. The fiery point is at your throat. It is hot and dry. You will probably feel this in your throat even if your visualization is poor when imagining sensations. The watery point is at your crotch. You may feel mildly aroused, unless you’re a Scorpio. (This version of the hexagram is from Lyam Thomas Christopher’s book mentioned in the first part of this article.)
You can make the hexagram golden yellow to represent Tiphareth. I would not make it unicursal.
You may notice that I have not included the sign of the enterer and the sign of silence in this version of the rite. Whilst this is useful to experienced practitioners, it is not needed for the beginner in order to activate the effects and serve the purposes that have been discussed. Curiously, Christopher didn’t even suggest this to be added to the LBRP in his brief discussion on the work of the Adept in his book, despite suggesting other modifications to the rite.
Repeat Qabalistic Cross (except shrink your body at the end of it!)
Once the details are understood and memorized, the key points are as follows. Fourfold breath
Stand in West of space, facing East.
Enlarge astral body
Solar plexus, MALKUTH
Right shoulder, VE GEVURAH
Left shoulder, VA GADULAH
Hands in prayer pose, LE OLHAM AMEN (finished qabalistic cross)
Pentagrams drawn in sync with breath; East, YHVH, South ADNI, West EHEIEH, North AGLA
Before me RAPHAEL. Behind me GAVRIEL. At my right hand MICHAEL. At my left hand URIEL
For about me flame the pentagrams
And within shineth the six-rayed star
Repeat qabalistic cross and shrink astral body
Meditating upon a symbol which has had meaning impressed upon it for many centuries allows one to receive insights.
No explanation is concise or even sufficient, even if I thought that this information was worth giving out to anyone. (simply giving you the information would have no benefit unless you came back to it each time you developed your consciousness in order to glean insight. But this is inefficient.)
I am sorry to disappoint, but this work must be done by the student.
Should you start your journey faithfully following these instructions, you will be guided to where you need to be next.We know that when the student is ready, the Master shall appear. But that is not the end of the saying for when the student is truly ready, the Master shall disappear.