The Term Nine Angles

A pdf version of this text is here – o9a-nine-angles-comparison.pdf

Order of Nine Angles

The Order of Nine Angles Rite of The Nine Angles
A Comparison with the Ceremony of Nine Angles by Aquino
And A Brief Study of The Meaning of The Nine Angles

0. Introduction

For well over thirty years many of those involved with modern occultism and/or satanism – influenced consciously or otherwise by the Church of Satan (CoS) and/or by the Temple of Set (ToS) – have alleged, without providing any evidence, that the Order of Nine Angles (O9A) based their ‘nine angles’ on the term ‘nine angles’ used by Michael Aquino in the CoS’s Ceremony of Nine Angles and described by him in texts such as Commentary on the Seal of the Nine Angles.

These allegations, of the O9A thus being influenced by the ToS and the CoS, were made despite the O9A having published their Rite of the Nine Angles, and continued even after the O9A published various texts explaining how their term re-presented or manifested, in terms of numinous symbols, the nine basic combinations of the three fundamental alchemical forms as described by their 1970s septenary Star Game, and therefore related to the seven spheres of their septenary system which itself was a symbolic or archetypal representation of the nexus between causal and acausal space-time. Thus, according to the O9A, these nine combinations are important for an understanding of the anados historically described in Hellenic texts (such as the Pymander tractate of the Corpus Hermeticum) dating from or before the second century CE and which anados was the quest, through the seven spheres, for gnosis and wisdom {1}.

For the O9A, the ‘nine angles’ were therefore an important aspect of their initiatory, experiential, Seven Fold Way, exoterically and esoterically. A means, as they made clear in their MSS, of symbolizing, objectifying, consciously understanding and integrating into the psyche, various archetypal forms as a prelude to the ‘individuation’ that was their grade of Internal Adept. Hence, for example, how in MSS such as Emanations of Urania, Notes Toward A Heuristic Representation of Cliology, the ‘nine angles’ (aka the nine basic pieces of the Star Game – α(α) α(β) α(γ) β(α) β(β) β(γ) and so on) could be used to symbolize/explain Jung’s ‘personality types’.

Hence, also, how for the O9A their various ‘nine angles’ rites of sorcery were invokations/evokations of their Dark Gods, since the Dark Gods could be considered (a) to have their origin, their existence, their reality, in our human consciousness/unconscious/imagination so that, in effect, they are symbols/archetypes, and/or (b) to have an objective existence as living entities in acausal space-time (in an acausal universe) with it being for the individual following the experiential Seven Fold Way to discover, by using the Dark Arts of the O9A, which of those two explanations might best re-present Reality or if indeed there was a third and esoteric explanation which each initiate needed to dis-cover for themselves.

Given the continuing allegations made against the O9A in respect of the term nine angles, it is instructive to compare, and comment upon, Aquino’s Ceremony of Nine Angles and the O9A’s Rite of Nine Angles.

1.0 The Ceremony of Nine Angles

From The Satanic Rituals.

This ceremony is to be performed in a closed chamber containing no curved surfaces whatsoever. No open flames are to be in the chamber except for a single brazier or flame pot. General illumination is provided through controlled starlight or moonlight, or via concealed ultraviolet devices. Above and behind the altar platform should appear the outline of a regular trapezoid. The celebrant and participants all wear masks or headpieces to blur or distort the true facial features […]

Celebrant: N’kgnath ki’q Az-Athoth r’jyarh wh’fagh zhasa phr-tga nyena phragn’glu […]

Hail, father and lord of the angles, master of the World of Horrors. We speak the Bond of the Nine Angles to the honor of the flutes of the laughing one […]

Shub-Niggurath: Through the angles I speak with the hornless ones, and I pledge anew the bond of the Daemons […]

All: From the First Angle is the infinite, wherein the laughing one doth cry and the flute wail unto the ending of time […]

From the Eighth Angle are the Masters of the Realm, who raise the temple of the eight trihedrons unto the Daemons of creation, whose seal is at once four and five and nine […]

From the Ninth Angle is the flame of the beginning and ending of dimensions, which blazeth in brilliance and darkness unto the glory of desire.

From the Commentary on the Seal of the Nine Angles by Aquino:

The Ceremony of the Nine Angles was […] conceived as a noetic vision and GBM [Greater Black Magic] expression.

First angle: Unity. The concept of the Universe as the totality of existence.

Seventh angle: the destruction of the status of monotheism by the addition of a line/angle to the hex. The legacy of the First Beast of Revelation […]

Eighth angle: The temple containing the trihedral angles is a truncated pyramid […]

Ninth angle: the culmination of this dynamic process: the Black Flame in its perfection: the ‘will to power’ of Nietzsche in a glory of desire […]

1.1 Notes
The Ceremony, dating from 1972, uses a variety of props, a language style reminiscent of the rituals of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as well as invented words in homage to Lovecraft, for dramatic effect, making it a kind of occult psychodrama, familiar from some of the ceremonies of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, although Aquino’s psychodrama is rather more refined. As Aquino’s Commentary suggests, it was invented by him to express a particular type of weltanschauung, the esoteric content of which is entirely redolent of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Crowley, the Church of Satan, with bits of the pseudo-mythology from the fictional stories of Lovecraft added. That is, it is entirely redolent of the modern qabalistic-indebted Western occultism developed by (some would say invented by) The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Crowley, et al.

2.0 The Nine Angles Rite According to Anton Long and the O9A

The following extracts are from the O9A text The Rite of Nine Angles.

The rite may be undertaken on either the autumnal equinox (for the Dabih gate) or the winter solstice (for Algol). The Naos rite is suitable for southern climes and will not be given here although in form it is the same as the version given.
Ideally, the rite should be undertaken either:

a) on a hill-top of pre-Cambrian rock which lies between a line of volcanic intrusion and another rock – in Britain, this other rock is ‘Buxton’
b) in an underground cavern where water flows [this applies only to the ‘chthonic’ form]
c) in a glade consecrated beforehand within a circle of nine stones (the first stone being set on a night of the new moon with Saturn rising, the second at the full moon and so on: the first stone marking the point on the horizon where Saturn rises). [Note: this applies only to the ‘natural’ form of the rite.]

Further, the time is right when, for Dabih, Venus sets after the Sun, and the Moon itself occults Dabih or is near to it; and, for Algol, when Jupiter and Saturn are both near the Moon which is becoming new, the time before dawn. These conditions mean that the energies are available to enhance the working.

The rite exists in three versions – the natural form, the chthonic, and the solo. The chthonic form may be combined with the Ceremony of Recalling and the Sacrificial Conclusion undertaken according to Tradition […]

The chthonic form involves a Priest and a Priestess as well as at least one cantor trained in sinister Esoteric Chant together with a congregation of male and female […]

All the forms require a crystal tetrahedron made of quartz [a minimum of three inches in height (no bevelled edges) although six inches and > is more effective].

Chthonic Form

If the special conditions cannot be met [(a) and Algol are most effective; (b) and Dabih are generally for channelling into specific events/individuals] then a hill-top containing volcanic quartz is suitable.

The crystal should be placed on an oak stand with a sheet of mica between it and the wood [this enhances still further the effect of the crystal and is a recent modification). The Priest, Priestess and Cantors stand near the crystal, while the congregation (of at least six – three male and three female) form a circle around them. The congregation dance moonwise and according to their desire chant “Atazoth” as they do while the Cantor(s) vibrate in E minor “Nythra kthunae Atazoth”.

After this vibration the cantor and Priest (or two Cantors if there are two) vibrate in fourths the “Diabolus” chant [see set texts] while the Priestess places her hands on the crystal, visualizing the Star Gate opening (as in I).

After the Diabolus, the Priest signals to the congregation who begin an orgiastic rite according to their desires. The Priest and Priestess then vibrate “Binan ath ga wath am” a fifth apart (or an octave and a fifth) while the Cantor(s) vibrate “Atazoth”. If two Cantors are present, this Atazoth vibration begins in parallel: the next “Atazoth” is a fifth apart as is the third. After this, they then chant, in fifths, the ‘Atazoth chant’ according to tradition [see set texts). While the Cantors are chanting the Priest and Priestess continue their visualization.

If only one Cantor is present, the “Atazoth” vibration is continued nine times and then the ‘Atazoth chant’ undertaken by the Cantor and the Priest, in fifths.

O9A Atazoth chant

2.0 Notes

The Rite, dating from the early 1970’s (around the same time as the Aquino Ceremony), gives a plethora of esoteric details not found in the modern qabalistic-indebted Western occultism developed by and practised by The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Crowley, CoS, ToS, et al; and not found in the pseudo-mythology of Lovecraft. For instance, a cantor trained in sinister Esoteric Chant. The chant itself. The technique of vibration/chanting a fifth apart (or an octave and a fifth) and/or in parallel. The use of a crystal tetrahedron.

There are none of the ‘dramatic declamations’ found in Aquino’s Ceremony. And there is no detailed ‘commentary’ separate from the rite to explain what is meant, what is going on, what is to be expected; or why such things as Dabih, or pre-Cambrian rock, are or may be important; or why there are three versions of the rite; or even whether the rite is an evokation or an invokation {2}. Perhaps most interesting of all, the ‘nine angles’ are not even mentioned in the rite itself.

3.0 Comparison

The two occult workings are clearly very different, with nothing whatsoever in the O9A Rite to suggest or even imply that Aquino’s Ceremony was used either as a source or as inspiration.

The Ceremony of Nine Angles continues, and (like the ToS) creatively adds to, the modern qabalistic-indebted Western occult tradition. Compared to that tradition, the O9A Rite seems strange, almost ‘non-Western’, with only a few elements that someone studying or following that modern Western tradition would find familiar, as in – for instance – the terms priest and priestess, and as in the optional orgiastic rite (which, interestingly, can be replaced with the congregation chanting the Diabolus in fifths).

In addition, while there is a commentary by Aquino on his Ceremony, and the ceremony itself has been much discussed within and without the ToS, there is no commentary on the O9A Rite, and neither has the O9A published any explanations concerning it. For the O9A view is that it is practical occult experience, and the individual judgement, and knowledge, arising from such practical experience, which matter.

3.1 The Meaning of The Nine Angles

As the Ceremony of Nine Angles and the Commentary by Aquino (and later texts by the ToS) make clear, the ‘nine angles’ of the CoS/ToS are clearly Euclidean, be such two dimensional (as in the trapezoid) or three dimensional (as in the geometry of solids) and are, esoterically, imaginatively or metaphorically used to express various aspects of the modern qabalistic-indebted Western occult tradition, including the additions made by the ToS. These aspects include what has been termed ‘sacred numbers and geometry’, the qabala, ratios such as pi, and certain shapes regarded as having esoteric meaning, such as the pentagram.

The inspiration for these ‘nine angles’ is (i) that modern qabalistic-indebted Western occult tradition, and (ii) the creativity/imagination (or ‘greater black magic’) of individuals (such as Aquino), trained in and indebted to, that tradition.

In contrast, the ‘nine angles’ of the O9A are exoterically (that is, in terms of current geometry) more akin to a Riemannian (causal) metric and thus non-Euclidean, although – as various ONA texts have mentioned – should be more accurately described as aspects of the acausal-causal geometry of a nexion for which no mathematical representation currently exists, although some topological representations (such as a Hilbert space) may be useful in suggesting how such an acausal-causal geometry might be mathematically represented.

Esoterically, the ‘nine angles’ of the O9A are represented in a dual manner: (i) in the Star Game when that game is used (played) as a Dark Art (for instance as Aeonic sorcery), with there thus being a natural or inner alchemy (a symbiosis, presencing) involved between mortal(s) – player, players – and various acausal energies; and (ii) as a modern re-presentation, sans denotatum {3}, of the Hermetic anados and thus of the septenary system, of our consciousness, and of those supra-personal (archetypal, ‘supernatural’, cosmic) energies/forces beyond the causal.

The inspiration for – or the tradition used by – the Order of Nine Angles/Anton Long was the ἄνοδος (septenary, Hermetic, or otherwise) described historically in various Hellenic, Indic, Persian, and alchemical texts, such as the Pymander tractate of the Corpus Hermeticum and the Arabic MS Al-Kitab Al-Alfak, and which Arabic MS may have been influenced by texts such as Shams al-Ma’arif {4}.

4.0 Conclusions

(1) The ‘nine angles’ as described by Aquino is something Aquino created as part of the Temple of Set belief system, based as that system is on the modern qabalistic-indebted Western occult tradition invented (or put together) by The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Crowley, et al.
(2) The Aquino ‘nine angles’ system has no basis in the ‘nine angles’/nine emanations and the septenary ἄνοδος described historically in various Hellenic, Indic, Persian, and Arabic, texts.
(3) The O9A based their ‘nine angles’ and their septenary system on those historical texts, and not on what Aquino or anyone else in modern times wrote or created, and not on the modern qabalistic-indebted Western occult tradition.

R. Parker
November 2013 ev
(Revised 11/11/13)

Notes

{1} See Myatt, Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander (2013), which is Myatt’s translation of and commentary on the Pymander/Pœmandres part of the Corpus Hermeticum.

{2} Update, 11/11/13. It has been brought to my attention (kudos to DL9) that an original, and short, 1970s typewritten O9A MS concerning the Rite of Nine Angles included some information about the Rite. This MS was published, in the 1980s, in Stephen Sennitt’s LHP Nox zine, and was later included in the book compilation The Infernal Texts: Nox & Liber Koth (Falcon Publications, 1997).

Although this typewritten MS does not explain or even hint at why such things as Dabih, or pre-Cambrian rock, are or may be important; or why there are three versions of the rite; or whether the rite is an evokation or an invokation, it does briefly state (a) that the Rite of Nine Angles represents the central mystery of alchemy; (b) that the grade ritual of Internal Adept “may be regarded as necessary preparation for the Rite of Nine Angles”, and that (c) “only through the female are the forces represented by the three alchemical substances and their nine combinations capable of being released in a physical way (cf. Oliphant’s Sympnuemata, p. 101f)…”

The MS also contains an interesting and early reference to the importance of empathy in the sinister tradition of the O9A: “…and it is the empathy the individual possesses for their surroundings and the forces that makes the rite successful. Such empathy is the only aim of the grade ritual of internal adept and, indeed, of initiation itself, and for the natural form of the Rite of Nine Angles this empathy approximates to the Taoist Wu-Wei.”

Another early O9A MS, also published some years later in the 1980s in Nox, made mention of the fact that “the nine angles are represented in the septenary Star Game of the Order of Nine Angles.”

{3} Sans denotatum exoterically means an apprehension devoid of all abstractions/opposites/denoting, including the denoting described by the terms deity/deities and by allegories, symbolic or otherwise. Several of The Dark Arts of the O9A are devoted to cultivating this type of apprehension, one of which Arts is The Star Game.

{4} In respect of historical sources for terms/concepts such as nine angles, nine emanations, nine spheres, and a septenary system:

I. Re the septenary system and the anados, qv. Myatt, Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander (2013), which is Myatt’s translation of and commentary on the Pymander/Pœmandres part of the Corpus Hermeticum.

II. Re the Nine Angles, qv. what Professor Connell Monette of Al Akhawayn University, Morocco, wrote:

A further possibility suggested by ONA texts is that it refers to nine emanations of the divine, as recorded in medieval Sufi texts. It is equally likely that the Order has borrowed from classical Indian tradition that arranges the solar system into nine planets, and the world itself has nine corners; or perhaps from the Sanskrit srivatsa, a special mark with nine angles that indicates the supernatural or the heroic.

On the nine angled srivatsa, Gonda states that: ‘This [mystical] figure has nine angles: the number nine often occurs in connection with auspicious objects, powers and ceremonies related to material welfare’. See Gonda, J. ‘Ancient Indian Kingship from the Religious Point of View’, Numen, Vol. 4, Fasc. 1 (Jan., 1957): 24-58.

The Indian belief that the world has nine corners is attested even in medieval European sources, e.g. Father Emanual de Veiga (1549-1605), writing from Chandagiri in 1599 who states ‘Alii dicebant terram novem constare angulis, quibus celo innititur.’ (Others said that the Earth had nine angles, by which it was lifted up to Heaven), see Charpentier, J. ‘Treatise on Hindu Cosmography from the Seventeenth Century’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, University of London, Vol. 3, No. 2 (1924): 317-342.

It is clear despite claims that the term ‘nine angles’ was introduced in the twentieth century, the term is centuries older, especially in esoteric or cosmological discourse. See Pingree, D. The Latin Version of the Ghayat al-Hakim, Studies of the Warburg Institute, University of London (1986); Ritter, H. ed. Ghāyat Al-Hakīm Wa-Ahaqq Al-Natījatayn Bi-Altaqdīm (Leipzig : B.G. Teubner, 1933); al Buni, Shams al-Ma’arif (Birmingham: Antioch Gate, 2007).

See also the book by Reitzenstein and Schaeder Studien zum antiken Synkretismus aus Iran und Griechenland, (Studien der Bibliothek Warburg), Teubner, Leipzig, 1926.

III. In respect of the Nine Spheres qv. David Myatt’s commentary on the Hermetic text ‘the Divine Pymander’ where he quotes the Latin text of the Somnium Scipionis as described by Cicero, in De Re Publica, Book VI, 17, and gives his own translation:

Novem tibi orbibus vel potius globis conexa sunt omnia, quorum unus est caelestis, extimus, qui reliquos omnes complectitur, summus ipse deus arcens et continens ceteros; in quo sunt infixi illi, qui volvuntur, stellarum cursus sempiterni. Cui subiecti sunt septem, qui versantur retro contrario motu atque caelum. Ex quibus summum globum possidet illa, quam in terris Saturniam nominant…

Nine orbs – more correctly, spheres – connect the whole cosmic order, of which one – beyond the others but enfolding them – is where the uppermost deity dwells, enclosing and containing all. There – embedded – are the constant stars with their sempiternal movement, while below are seven spheres whose cyclicity is different, and one of which is the sphere given the name on Earth of Saturn […]