PRACTICUS GRADE: DEFINING THE GRADE

     

The Practicus transcends reason and attains understanding (Hod). The Lustral Water consecrated by the Lunar Blade (Shin), and the luminescent rays dawning (Resh), completes the paths from there to here. Now does the unification of knowledge (Ayin), the expulsion of the source (P�), and the integrity of discipline (Mem) navigates the reckoning of ascension. That which has been attained is now elevated through the right application of understanding; this shall rekindle the furnace (Tzaddi) and refine the art (Qoph). Thus is the science made whole and the structure completed (completion of the system allowing the unification of �any� and �all� ideas � this is the final stage of intellectual training, and confirms that the Practicus has attained one of the three stages of self-sufficiency).
It is not necessary for the Practicus to fully comprehend the nature of each pathway at the start of the grade, as the tasks, when completed, crystallize the processes, and more importantly, the level of accomplishment necessary. It is recommended that the practical natures of the pathways detailed below be reviewed prior to admission into the next grade, at which time the degree of attainment can be self-verified. Special note must also be immediately given to the passages quoted from Liber XCV as they contain sufficient counsel to lead the Practicus away from the perilous qualities inherent to the grade work.
Hod(Cup)
The Practicus attains to the first sephiroth from which the tasks of the ascending paths (23rd, 26th, and 27th) originate from within the house, and this through the nature of the ascension of the 30th and 31st paths. The consecration of the lustral-water is accomplished through the union of the parts (Gnana Yoga � 26th path) that the vessel of life (Cup � 23rd path) is filled and redemption found. Then, and only then, can the key to the unification of the whole (Liber XXVII � 27th path) be secured, and this perfects the distinctive science-system of the Aspirant, now leaping, plunging, and balancing from the House of Splendor across the paths � not toward the goals, but rather from the base.
Then we came out into the Third (or Eighth, it depends which way you count them, because there are ten) House, and that was so splendid you can't imagine. In the first place it was a bright, bright, bright orange colour, and then it had flashes of light all over it, going so fast we couldn't see them, and then there was the sound of the sea and one could look through into the deep, and there was the ocean raging beneath one's feet, and strong dolphins riding on it and crying aloud, "Holy! Holy! Holy!" in such an ecstasy you can't think, and rolling and playing for sheer joy. It was all lighted by a tiny, weeny, shy little planet, sparkling and silvery, and now and then a wave of fiery chariots filled with eager spearmen blazed through the sky, and my Fairy Prince said: "Isn't it all fine?" But I knew he didn't really mean it, so I said: "Kiss me!" and he kissed me, and we went on. He said: "Good little girl of mine, there's many a one stays there all his life." I forgot to say that the whole place was just one mass of books, and people reading them till they were so silly, they didn't know what they were doing. And there were cheats, and doctors, and thieves; I was really very glad to go away.� [Quoted from Liber XCV]

P� (Destruction)
Attack the first half of the equation � the source of thought, balanced with the first half of completion � the system of science. Then let the tightrope be gripped by the toes, the clinging despair thudding the heart controlled, and the passage from here to there navigated once

The third path is a most terrible passage; it's all a great war, and there's earthquakes and chariots of fire, and all the castles breaking to pieces. I was glad when we Came to the Green Palace.� [Quoted from Liber XCV]

Ayin (Rapture)
The end of this pathway can only be seen when the completed Magical Lamp has been lit, however the Practicus may still step upon this pathway and partake of the mysteries therein. Therefore, beware any system of pure science and intellect, for the task of the Practicus in this pathway is the comprehension of the artist method that must be infused into the scheme of the whole, and this begins with infusion from the inner uniqueness of his or her soul-source.

But in the first we came to a mighty throne of gray granite, shaped like the sweetest pussy cat you ever saw, and set up on a desolate heath. It was midnight, and the Devil came down and sat in the midst; but my Fairy Prince whispered: "Hush! It is a great secret, but his name is Yeheswah, and he is the Saviour of the World." And that was very funny, because the girl next me thought it was Jesus Christ, till another Fairy Prince (my Prince's brother) whispered as he kissed her: "Hush, tell nobody ever, that is Satan, and he is the Saviour of the World." We were a very great company, and I can't tell you of all the strange things we did and said, or of the song we sang as we danced face outwards in a great circle ever closing in on the Devil on the throne. But whenever I saw a toad or a bat, or some horrid insect, my Fairy Prince always whispered: "It is the Saviour of the World," and I saw that it was so. We did all the most beautiful wicked things you can imagine, and yet all the time knew they were good and right, and must be done if ever we were to get to the House of Gold. So we enjoyed ourselves very much and ate the most extraordinary supper you can think of. There were babies roasted whole and stuffed with pork sausages and olives; and some of the girls cut off chops and steaks from their own bodies, and gave them to a beautiful white cook at a silver grill, that was lighted with the gas of dead bodies and marshes; and he cooked them splendidly, and we all enjoyed it immensely. Then there was a tame goat with a gold collar, that went about laughing with everyone; and he was all shaved in patches like a poodle. We kissed him and petted him, and it was lovely. You must remember that I never let go of my Fairy Prince for a single instant, or of course I should have been turned into a horrid black toad.� [Quoted from Liber XCV]

Mem (Lustration)
The end of this pathway can only be seen when the completed Magical Lamp has been lit, however the Practicus may still step upon this pathway and partake of the mysteries therein. Therefore, let the Practicus identify the bonding process of Love, and this as the consecration of the representation of the whole, established in the one system. This is a special blessing, existing within water and fire and without fire and water, and it is the right combination of these elements within that transmutes the Lustral Water into a awareness, achieving holiness.

To go through the first you must be painted all over with blood up to your waist, and cross your legs, and then put a rope round one angle and swing you off. I had such a pretty white petticoat on, and my Prince said I looked just like a white pyramid with a huge red cross on the top of it, which made me ever so glad, because now I knew I should be the Saviour of the World, which is what one wants to be, isn't it? Only sometimes the world means all the other children in the dream, and sometimes the dream itself, and sometimes the wake-things one sees before one is quite, quite awake. The Prince tells me that really and truly only the First House where his Father lived was really a wake-house, all the others had a little sleep about them, and the further you got the more awake you were, and began to know just how much was dream and how much wake.� [Quoted from Liber XCV]

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Shin (Death & Waking)
When the Lustral Waters are poured into the Cup, the pathway is secured (accomplished within the House of Splendor).

This passage was all fire and flames and full of coffins. There was an angel blowing on a trumpet, and people getting out of the coffins. My Fairy Prince said: "Most people never wake up for anything less.� " [Quoted from Liber XCV]

Resh (Dominance)
When the Lunar Dagger is thrust into the Lustral Waters filling the Cup, the pathway is secured (accomplished within the House of Splendor).

So we went (at the same time it was; you see in dreams people can only be in one place at a time; that's the best of being awake) through another passage, which was lighted by the Sun. Yet there were fairies dancing in a green ring, just as if it was night. And there were two children playing by the wall, and my Fairy Prince and I played as we went; and he said: "The difference is that we are going through. Most people play without a purpose; if you are traveling it is all right, and play makes the journey seem short."� [Quoted from Liber XCV]

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Tzaddi (Perception)
The Zelator comes to reason the motions. The Practicus comes to understand the scope.

Then there was another passage which was really too secret for anything; all I shall tell you is, there was the most beautiful Goddess that ever was, and she was washing herself in a river of dew. If you ask what she is doing, she says: "I'm making thunderbolts." It was only starlight, and yet one could see quite clearly, so don't think I'm making a mistake.� [Quoted from Liber XCV]

Qoph (Second Sight)
The Neophyte learns the method. The Practicus understands the principles.

We walked through a pool, each on the arm of a great big Beetle, and then we found ourselves on a winding path. There were nasty Jackals about, they made such a noise, and at the end I could see two towers. Then there was the queerest moon you ever saw, only a quarter full. The shadows fell so strangely, one could see the mysterious shapes, like great bats with women's faces, and blood dripping from their mouths, and creatures partly wolves and partly men, everything changing one into the other. And we saw shadows like old, old, ugly women, creeping about on sticks, and all of a sudden they would fly up into the air, shrieking the funniest kind of songs, and then suddenly one would come down flop, and you saw she was really quite young and ever so lovely, and she would have nothing on, and as you looked at her she would crumble away like a biscuit.� [Quoted from Liber XCV]
      


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