Category O9A

Order of Nine Angles

O9A


Categorizing The Order Of Nine Angles

 

Hitherto, the controversial occultism of the Order Of Nine Angles (O9A/ONA) {1} has generally been categorized by academics and others as satanist and/or as Left Hand Path. Thus, the O9A has been described both as representing “a dangerous and extreme form of Satanism” {2} and as presenting “a recognizable new interpretation of Satanism and the Left Hand Path” {3}.

The O9A themselves, as noted by Senholt {4}, have often described themselves as part of what they term the ‘sinister tradition’ and, in the 1980s and 1990s, as ‘traditional satanists’ {5}, with Senholt writing that this ‘sinister tradition’ they established makes the O9A “distinct from existing Left Hand Path and satanic groups but still within the Left Hand Path and satanic milieu {4}. Senholt enumerates seven distinct characteristics of this ‘sinister tradition’, which include anti-ethics, emphasis on physical training, direct action, distinct sinister vocabulary, and a non-Semitic tradition.

Furthermore, both Goodrick-Clarke {6} and Monette {7} note that the O9A also has some pagan elements, with Monette writing that the O9A is “a fascinating blend of both Hermeticism and Traditional Satanism, with some pagan elements.”

However, it is my contention that the O9A should be placed in a new occult category described by the term the sinisterly-numinous tradition, and which tradition is distinct from both the satanic and the Left Hand Path traditions.

Satanism and The Seven-Fold Way

As Monette noted, “a critical examination of the ONA’s key texts suggests that the satanic overtones could be cosmetic, and that its core mythos and cosmology are genuinely hermetic, with pagan influences.” {7} The hermeticism of the O9A is most obvious in the Seven Fold Way, which is indisputably the core praxis of the O9A and which praxis is described in two seminal works, the 1980s text Naos – A Practical Guide To Modern Magick and the 2011 text Enantiodromia – The Sinister Abyssal Nexion (Second Edition 2013) {8}.

This Seven Fold Way, as I have noted in several essays {9}, is a modern anados (a practical esoteric journey by mortals toward immortality) of the septenary type described in the ancient Poemandres tractate, and which tractate forms the first part of the Hellenic Corpus Hermeticum {10}. Such a septenary anados, with its system of occult correspondences, is well over a thousand years older than the medieval Qabalistic ten-fold ‘Otz Chim’ used by all other modern, non-O9A, occultists.

Furthermore, the O9A continue the mysticism described in that ancient Hermetic text, positing as they do the possibility an immortal life beyond our mortal death, albeit a life described by them as an existence in an ‘acausal realm’ rather than (as in the Poemandres tractate) a “becoming united with theos” {11}.

Also, the Seven Fold Way is decidedly occult. That is, it is

“concerned with knowledge of the hidden or inner nature of Being and beings as opposed to that outer nature which is the province of traditional philosophy. One of the fundamental axioms of most esoteric philosophies is that the inner nature of Being and beings can be apprehended, or represented, by a particular symbolism (or by various symbolisms) and also by the relationships between symbols, for such esoteric philosophies accept the Aristotelian principle that existence/reality is a reasoned order capable of being rationally understood, with many esoteric philosophies also positing – as the ancient Greeks did – that this reasoned order (κόσμος) has a harmonious, an ordered, structure.” {12}

Thus, for the O9A, the Seven Fold Way is not only a practical anados – a possible way to immortality – but also provides a particular symbolism, and esoteric correspondences, whereby the inner nature of Being and beings can be apprehended, or represented: that is, it provides a symbolic (or archetypal) map of the ‘world’ of the unconscious mind of the individual, of the ‘worlds’ (the realms) of Nature, of ‘the heavens’ (the cosmos) and of the supernatural (the acausal). In effect, therefore, it is one modern and practical way whereby an individual can achieve wisdom and fulfil the purpose of their mortal existence.

The basis of the O9A’s Seven Fold Way is pathei-mathos, of an individual learning from their own practical, difficult, challenging, dangerous, adversarial, experiences; and which experiences are both esoteric and exoteric. For, according to the esoteric philosophy of the O9A – as developed and expounded by the pseudonymous Anton Long between the 1970s and 2011 – only by such personal practical experiencing can the inner nature of Being and beings be apprehended and thus wisdom discovered. This practical approach, by such diverse and sometimes antinomian practices, is what distinguishes the anados of the O9A not only from ancient Hermeticism but also from other contemporary satanic and Left Hand Path groups. Thus the O9A does not teach nor prosletyze as other groups do and have done, bur rather just presents, in its completeness, a particular way, a practical method, whereby wisdom, or enlightenment, can be attained. They then leave it to individuals to ignore, or use, or improve upon, that method.

Because of its esoteric, exeatic, and adversarial nature, this practical way of theirs naturally involves some type of satanism.

However, in the Seven Fold Way, satanism per se plays only a role in the early stages, associated as it is with what the O9A term the occult grade of External Adept {13}. For one of the tasks of an External Adept is to form a nexion (a group, coven, temple) and undertake ‘satanic’ sorcery and ‘satanic’ rituals as outlined in O9A rituals such as The Ceremony of Recalling and in texts such as the O9A’s Black Book of Satan {14}. Thus, in the Seven Fold Way, satanism is essentially an esoteric technique, a personal and practical learning experience similar to O9A Insight Roles{15}, and part of which ‘satanic learning’ is, for the External Adept and via sorcery, to (i) ‘presence’ (invoke/evoke), confront, and understand archetypes and other forms of ‘acausal energy’, including ‘dark’, ‘sinister’, ones such as Satan, and (ii) learn how to recruit and manipulate people.

Beyond the stage of External Adept, satanism – for the O9A – becomes an exoteric form appropriate to the current Aeon, and thus a means which an Internal Adept may use as an act of Aeonic Sorcery; that is, use to presence dark/acausal energies in the causal, possibly as part of a sinister dialectic, possibly as a means to cause chaos and terror, and possibly as further means of manipulating certain people.

In effect, therefore, the lower stages of the Seven Fold Way are satanic in essence and antinomian in practice. Satanic in that there are adversarial (and ‘extremist’) Insight Roles, difficult physical challenges and ordeals, diabolical deeds (such as culling and manipulation), and satanic sorcery. Antinomian in that there is a willingness to transgress the laws of society, and an exeatic way of life combined with reliance on one’s own judgement and an acceptance that the only law is and should be the O9A code of kindred honour.

The Sinisterly-Numinous

The early stages the O9A’s Seven Fold Way – up to and including the early years of an Internal Adept – were designed to be a practical discovery, an exploration, and a personal esoteric and exoteric experiencing, of what is predominantly ‘sinister’, dark, hidden (to consciousness and individual conscious control), exeatic, masculous, and adversarial. In the later stages, which include preparations for The Abyss, there is – as outlined in texts such as Enantiodromia, The Sinister Abyssal Nexion – a move toward a practical discovery, an exploration, and a personal experiencing, of what is predominantly ‘numinous’ and redolent, in ethos, of the muliebral.

Each of the stages of the Seven Fold Way is associated with specific tasks, and

“each stage is only a stage, part of the anados – the esoteric way upward through the seven spheres. Thus, the practice of traditional external sorcery (‘results magick’), as outlined in texts such as Naos, occurs in the early stages and lasts but a short time (in terms of the anados), with the individual personally learning that such practical experience, and the self-understanding that results, forms a necessary foundation for the following stages when the external gives way to (a) the internal (as in the rite of Internal Adept) and thence to (b) the aeonic, as in the rite of The Abyss […]

The necessary preparations [for The Abyss] involve the Internal Adept in, over a period of some years, experiencing, and learning from, the numinous – as opposed to the previously experienced sinister – aspects of themselves and of Life; then developing this numinous and empathic aspect of themselves, then fully integrating this aspect with its opposite, to finally dissolve (then go beyond) both. Furthermore, this process is not a series of given, specific, Insight Roles, but instead a re-orientation of consciousness, emotions, and psyche, followed by the years-long living of the life of the new individual that results, followed – when the causal Time be right – by the deliberate, conscious, unification of this with its opposite, followed by a years-long living of the life of the new individual that results, followed by the annihilation of both; an annihilation which is the essence of The Abyss.{16}

The individual following the Seven Fold Way therefore, over a period of perhaps two decades or more, gains practical experience of both the sinister and the numinous, and thus can – in accord with the esoteric philosophy of the O9A – via direct personal experience discover for themselves the living unity beyond the artificial, human, division of contrasting ideated opposites, beyond lifeless forms, beyond dogma, and beyond the limitation (the denotatum) of words/names/categories.

For,

“In The Rite Of The Abyss of the O9A’s Seven Fold Way the two apparent opposites, of sinister and numinous, are melded together and then transcended, with the underlying unity – the essence – beyond such forms/ideations having been discovered […]

The ritual is an enantiodromia – that is, a type of confrontational contest whereby what has been separated becomes bound together again [united] enabling the genesis of a new type of being. As an old alchemical MS stated: “The secret [of the Abyss] is the simple unity of two common things. This unity is greater than but built upon the double-pelican. Here is the living water, Azoth”. What has been separated – into apparent opposites – is the sinister and the numinous […]
That is, both the LHP (‘the sinister’) and the RHP (‘the numinous’) are themselves causal abstractions – ideations – which hide both our own nature, the nature (the physis) of other living beings, and the nature of Reality itself.” {17}

Thus the term the sinisterly-numinous tradition does seem appropriate to describe the esoteric philosophy of the Order of Nine Angles, their Seven Fold Way, and what they present, presence, and represent – their ethos and culture – beyond their polemics and their use, via Aeonic Sorcery, of various causal forms. For, correctly understood, the O9A presence and represent some-thing – a unique practical modern occult way – beyond satanism, beyond the Left Hand Path, beyond paganism, and beyond ancient hermeticism.

R. Parker
July 2014
v1.03

Notes

{1} The occultism of the O9A is described in detail in the 1383 page (54 Mb) pdf compilation The Definitive Guide To The Order of Nine Angles, published in 2014.

{2} Per Faxneld: Post-Satanism, Left Hand Paths, and Beyond in Per Faxneld & Jesper Petersen (eds) The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity, Oxford University Press (2012), p.207

{3} James R. Lewis and Jesper A. Petersen (editors). Controversial New Religions. Oxford University Press, 2014. p. 416

{4} Jacob Senholt. Secret Identities in The Sinister Tradition, in Per Faxneld and Jesper Petersen (eds), The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity. Oxford University Press, 2012

{5} The O9A were the first to use the term ‘traditional satanism’, in the early 1980s, in an effort to distinguish the O9A type of satanism from the ‘modern satanism’ of LaVey and Aquino. See, for example, The Black Book of Satan. Thormynd Press, 1984, ISBN 094664604X, a copy of which is in the British Library [General Reference Collection Cup.815/51].

{6} Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity, New York University Press, 2002

{7} Connell Monette. Mysticism in the 21st Century, Sirius Academic Press, 2013. pp. 85-122

{8} Both texts are included in The Definitive Guide To The Order Of Nine Angles.

{9} Refer to (i) Perusing the Seven Fold Way – Historical Origins Of The Septenary System Of The Order of Nine Angles, e-text 2014, and (ii) The Septenary Anados, and Life After Death, In The Esoteric Philosophy Of The Order of Nine Angles, e-text 2013.

Both of the above texts are included in The Definitive Guide To The Order Of Nine Angles.

{10} Myatt’s recently published translation of, and scholarly commentary on, the Poemander/Pymander tractate provides an initiated insight into ancient Hellenic hermeticism: Myatt, David (2014), Poemander: A Translation and Commentary, ISBN 9781495470684

{11} For more details, refer to R. Parker, The Septenary Anados, and Life After Death, In The Esoteric Philosophy Of The Order of Nine Angles, e-text 2013

{12} R. Parker, The Esoteric Philosophy Of The Order Of Nine Angles – An Introduction, e-text 2014

{13} See the Introduction of The Requisite ONA (pp. 389ff of The Definitive Guide To The Order Of Nine Angles) where the tasks of each grade, up to Internal Adept, are described.

{14} A copy of the Black Book of Satan is included in The Definitive Guide To The Order Of Nine Angles, pp. 623-671

{15} Insight Roles are an important part of the Seven Fold Way: “Undertaking an insight role means gaining real-life experience by working undercover for a period of six to eighteen months, challenging the initiate to experience something completely different from their normal life both to ‘aid the Sinister dialectic’ and to enhance the experience of the Initiate.” (Senholt, op.cit.)

Furthermore, “through the practice of ‘insight roles’, the order advocates continuous transgression of established norms, roles, and comfort zones in the development of the initiate […] This extreme application of ideas further amplifies the ambiguity of satanic and Left Hand Path practices of antinomianism, making it almost impossible to penetrate the layers of subversion, play and counter-dichotomy inherent in the sinister dialectics.” (Per Faxneld and Jesper Petersen, At the Devil’s Crossroads in The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity. Oxford University Press, 2012, p.15)

{16} Enantiodromia – The Sinister Abyssal Nexion (Second Edition 2013)

{17} R. Parker, The Sinisterly-Numinous O9A. pp.78-83 of The Definitive Guide To The Order Of Nine Angles.