Translated by Smaragd, Polyhymnia & Silvaeon
“Atrocissimum est Monoceros, monstrum mugito horrendo (…) Vivus non venit in hominum potestatem, et interimi quidem potest, capi non potest.” 1
– Plinius: Polyhistoria
“There are mountains in the interior regions of India which are inaccessible to men and therefore full of wild beasts. Among these is the unicorn, which they call the ‘cartazon’.”
– Aelianus: De Natura Animalium
“The base of this horn, for some two hands’-breath above the brow, is pure white; the upper part is sharp and of vivid crimson; and the remainder, or middle portion, is black.”
– Ctesiae Cnidii: Operum Reliquiae
“Aspiciebam, et ecce cornu illud faciebat bellum adversus sanctos, et praevalebat eis.” 2
In the system of the Star of Azazel, the term pratyeka 3 (Sanskrit, meaning “unicorn”) has been used to signify the one who treads the left-side path of spiritual aspiration, an occultist or an adept emphasizing independent intellect. As there are grades on the “left-side path of spiritual aspiration” in variety of the length of the whole cosmic axis, the being of a pratyeka can be that of lower or higher. For reference, H.P. Blavatsky and Alice Bailey use the same name for beings of different grade.
”Pratyeka Buddhas are those Bodhisattvas who strive after and often reach the Dharmakâya robe after a series of lives. Caring nothing for the woes of mankind or to help it, but only for their own bliss, they enter Nirvâna and — disappear from the sight and the hearts of men. In Northern Buddhism a “Pratyeka Buddha” is a synonym of spiritual Selfishness.” 4
”Co-operating with Him as His advisers are three Personalities called the Pratyeka Buddhas, or the Buddhas of Activity. These four are the embodiment of active intelligent loving will. They are the full flowering of the intelligence.” 5
The pratyeka term of Theosophy is twofold. It can be a matter of a partially bloomed enlightened, who should prepare for return from nirvâna 6 during a later age of the world when his partly knowledge sided “enlightenment karma” has been emptied. In such a case, a wholesome understanding of Life requires a new contact to the side of reality, which we can call the cosmic unconscious. 7 Secondly, the title may be about emphasis, thus not absolute, depicting the dharma of manas, a position where the emphasis is on the intellectual, i.e., organizing, not on the function of oneness – buddhi. Only a fanatic would connect the former inevitably to the fall; the important question here is if the insight of buddhi exists at all, or has it been smothered.
But literally, the term pratyeka, the cartazon of Northern Buddhism, means only unicorn, i.e., single-focused, single powered, a human of solitude in the positioning of one’s striving. As a symbolic definition, the term as such only relates to the following meanings:
– Monoceroism points to the single-pointedness of focus (cf. one-eyed deities)
– Its meaning is phallic (penetrating and scattering the form into new life)
– The horn on the forehead has its connection to the third eye, which transcends time and space
– It’s about the independency of the experience of life, the stressed demand for freedom
The element and practice method of the unicorn is expressly purity, in the primary meaning of holiness, signifying being set apart. 8 The practice is solipsistic 9 and its Hermetism is solitary and confining. It depends on the aspect 10 whether this is a practice or a destination, in other words, if it’s an outer or an inner condition. If the aspect is Black, it can also include withdrawing to concrete solitude; if it’s White, withdrawing is foremostly an internal process. The Red pratyeka path is a ”competing” 11 practice between these two extremes. And because in a human being there burns seven times seven flames of different forms for different works, different versions of these practices are multifarious. They are to be linked to the Work’s actual need, which is the neophyte’s connection to the rest of the world. 12
In general, a horned being signifies sublimation in different interpretative possibilities of the word – even in the Freudian meaning of pseudosublimation, i.e., the mask. In other words, it signifies the erotic power in the wider meaning of the word, which never-the-less appears as nonerotic. The being of the Unicorn is exceptionally intensive applications of this type of energy. In a two-horned being, the intensive phallic charge has divided and reached a balance of different quality, making it polarly similar to an actual sexual act. The one-horned phallic being is, in its turn, supra-erotic. The most known monoceros is thus simply ♂. Dualism appears only in the unicorn’s cloven hooves, which reminds of another satanic animal’s hooves connected to intensive fertility, the goat. The Unicorn has sometimes been depicted as having a beard of a goat; thus, it connects in itself the animal symbolism of a horse and a goat, a symbol of a power that can be ridden, and on the other hand, the symbol of the ability to inseminate and setting the powers separate. 13
So “the Unicorn” signifies a certain archetype of an initiated, a type that first and foremost acts under manas. This makes it Luciferian, venereal, an animal of the White aspect. Paradoxically, its extreme self-sufficiency in power covers the White in the Black separation and the Red’s energetic nature. Pratyeka buddha is an adept who has walked through this path. Pratyeka student is a neophyte walking on this path. And especially at present, the world is interested in this path’s exoteric practice in a new way, characterized by a left-hand method: independent, withdrawing from structures, idealism coming from the self, and coming back to the self. Connected to the myth of the Unicorn, it is a question of specifically pristine charge of this path.
In the same mythical family of animals belongs other animal characters that “escape to oneself” like the turtle – an alchemical image of the hermetic process and the warning towards the shyness of egocentricity in The Voice of Silence -; the delicate dove of Venus, which as a flaming paraclete of the Holy Spirit expresses with precision the feminine correspondence of the masculine monoceros; and in its certain aspects our eternally familiar occult animal symbol, snake, including the dragon as its whole form, which has been extensively interpreted elsewhere. 14
These animals – sufficing for examples from a long list of animals revolving around the aspects in different ways – are animals of power and potentially insane animals. The Unicorn is an excellent example of such phantasma, easily laughable, and possibly a surfacing of dangerous lunacy. A pure white horse is generally too intensive an expression of emotion, too strong to be held by hands that are not those of an archetype or an adept. The Unicorn, which can be only met in the threshold state of twilight, in the magical experience of solitude, will only let anima to soothe itself. This magical energy of solipsism, which is and is not reality, 15 is thus attainable, not by reaching towards it, but by the same power of enchantment it uses itself. As its most material correspondence – the physical manhood, it can only be captured by feminine enchantment.
How then the pratyeka path can be tread, or how to align oneself to it? If these questions are serious, hefty answers must be given. Firstly we are to understand the independence of pratyeka is of the core; in other words, it relates to the monadism of the higher triad. 16 The independency of the lower triad is always a seeming independency, only a certain point of view, which is still very easy and often in need to be turned as the opposite. This is an extremely important premise, meaning the one who feels pull towards the mysteries of the pratyeka path should first and foremost seriously place the question of the real independency of spirit in front of himself. The keystone, which takes ideas of independency and treading one’s path around itself, often conceals serious social wounds and needs, which can only heal with healthy social interaction with its joys and griefs.
Secondly, the higher triad’s uniting middle principle (buddhi) does not know such a term as a difference. As the integration which transcends time, it makes an individual a gate leading everywhere. The true essence of buddhi, O, is auric integrity in everything. Even though it chooses different kinds of integrations, like the integrity of the ego and/or the persona, this integrity is integrity in the world, not integrity from the world. The living water of Buddhi never stands in the sealed container.
Thirdly, it is a question of one-pointedness of energy. Here the idea of monoceros is almost as if contrary (!) to the principal idea of the Star of Azazel, outlined in the constitution of the fraternity and at the beginning of Polyharmonia. The metaphysical basis is not differing, 17 but the difference is in the pragmatic positioning of the work. To use the representation of gender essentialism, which has such a bad reputation these days, the praxis of the Star of Azazel is initially feminine. At the same time, on the pratyeka path, it is masculine. As an occultist proceeded in theory or practice knows, the core is always a counterpole to the surface, and these polarities are always opposite to each other. For this reason, we speak of the Star of Azazel, its visible surface structure being♂, 18 the whole is strived towards by “slaying” – i.e., impregnating discursively – the status quo with satanistic rebalancing, which is “Opposing” from its perspective. In fact, this Opposing has (to) always (have) an agenda of oneness towards the center point. “The principal idea of the society is the attempt to spiritually unite forms of esotericism, which to this day are seen as opposed to each other […] strive for the spiritual expansion of individuals and societies under the banner of understanding and love.” Pratyeka path is thus absolutely complementary to the philosophy of the Star of Azazel; it could even be said that it is the same system perceived from the other side. The center point of this structure is the monoceros, i.e. ♂, while the surface is correspondingly feminine Ͻ and ♀. 19
As I above represented together with Ctesias, all of our three aspects relate to the monoceros. The most dangerous aspect of its manifestation is White, while Black is its most withdrawing aspect, and perhaps its most easily approachable aspect is that of Red. Of these, the White is the centremost, and as already said, the mythical lightness of this animal or energy is excellent protection against being absorbed into it. Another protective factor is feminity in the practitioner. These “safety measures” are good to be learned beforehand if one intends to be, or notices being, in contact with this dangerous path.
Usually, the pratyeka path has been represented as “recommendable” only in the correspondences 20 of the Red aspect due to the aforementioned grounding in Red. Red is consciously and perpetually involved with♂energy, which allows the monoceros to be “diluted” into other work. But for this exact reason, this aspect doesn’t usually allow taking the practice to its conclusion; going through it, a White emphasis is needed. 21 In White, the dilution doesn’t happen similarly; either the White nature banishes the monoceros as a phantasm, as a fascinating thought, or alternatively experiencing it on this side, the student ends up face to face with its extreme energy without tempering factors. Pure White monoceros has been referred to in The Book of Paths by the following connecting epithets:
– “A spell without imprisonment”
– “The Virgin Youth”
– “The Middle Spike”
– & almost the whole text under the caption of Sexual Life
To find the White unicorn is to find the White astral, linga sharira. But the unicorn, a metaphor for the pratyeka practice, instantly meets the problem of escapism. “It is not good that the man should be alone”, 22 for in normal state, the psyche needs a balance point from outside of the self that has been identified with. Unless this balance is born, the human is split, and only in a remarkably high state of practice will this splitting lead to attainment, rather than psychotic scattering. The psychotic splitting manifests as the doppelgänger phenomena, where the human being faces his double. Such dual existence remains practical only in an adept phase because the singular focus, supported by a higher plane, stays healthy and harmonious. The visible “horn” in this phase is linga, and its balance point above is the monad (with the emphasis of manas 23). The adept, and only the adept, needs to learn to split apart sthûla sharira and linga sharîra, the concentric, yet separate, energies of “the corporeal” and “the bodily”. The attempts to extract the White astral out of the physical body before such a phase leads to mediumism and other more obviously ill consequences. 24
As the student goes through practices in the area of technical magic, in other words, the kind which is not protected by the ethical quality or inner grounding, it must be taken care the practice is surrounded by the balance enshrined by the rest of the psychic structure and life arrangements, like a fortress of the soul with its carefully prepared moat. Thus, while using White’s aforementioned practical structures, all of the representations of the White aspect from the Book of Paths must also be kept in mind, especially those under the captions of ‘Of Changing the Mental Imagery‘ & ‘To Note‘. On the other hand, scattering the mind to other practical bases already well enough absorbed must be avoided: either the “fortress” is now ready for the practice, or the practice must be withheld until the fortress is formed.
The fortress with four towers is a stable arrangement of the elements: each equally close to, and far from each other according to the same formula. The fifth tower is the “palace of the king” in the middle, the one the unicorn was lead to – not captured, but enchanted, as represented above. Alone, it cannot provide health to the king, but the gem of power on the unicorn’s forehead is necessary for the work of healing. That which is the highest, coming from below, like in the narrow neck of an hourglass, becomes at its turn the starting point in the womb of the inverted world, and the colours succeed one another in inverted order. The energy of the Daimon is the highest and greatest as long as it works by placing his crown on the rainbow bridge, to the profound service of the Meaning.
”And the heart of the Unicorn we took us, and we took us the red-fire stone that lies ‘neath its horn, if the king’s wound might its healing virtue own. And we laid on the wound the carbuncle, and we put it the wound within, Yet still was the sore empoisoned nor aid from the stone might win! And sore with the king we sorrowed.” 25
“And take heed unto thyself, 0 man, and beware of the unicorn, who is the Demon.” 26
“Qui dixit illis: Non omnes capiunt verbum istud, sed quibus datum est.” 27
- “But the cruellest is the Unicorne, a Monster that belloweth horriblie (…) He is never caught alive; kylled he may be, but taken he cannot bee.”. (Translation by Arthur Golding) ↩
- ”I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.” – Daniel 7:21 ↩
- Transliterating, I have variously used the forms of pratyeka and pratyêka. In Sanskrit the vowel ’e’ is always long. ↩
- H.P Blavatsky: The Two Paths. Here should be remembered the strong Blavatskian Tibetan Buddhist emphasis on nirmanakâya return, i.e., the continuation of adept life foremostly in an incarnated body. Thus in the Blavatskian nirmanakâya doctrine, even dharmakâya appears in a pejorative light. In the latter, the corporeality has been made a kavod to be inherited, given forward: a master, having ascended, i.e., having attained apotheosis, keeps his focus on the eternally living head. But it is naive and unnecessary to posture these methods of practice in ranking order after the intention has been cleansed. Blavatsky’s own temperament didn’t emphasise buddhi, but âtma, and complementing her work with buddhi-manasic “distancing” is not separative, but a unifying quality. Thus here, I use a similar kind of amendatory structure of terms as with dividing Blavatsky’s “left-hand path” into three terms of different meanings: 1) The Left-Hand Path, 2) The Downward Path, 3) Black Aspect. Similarly, Pratyeka doctrine is to be understood manifold, not as a fall, nor even as a form of non-optimal practice per se. ↩
- Alice Bailey: Initiations, Human and Solar, chapter 5. ↩
- Cf. The Ages of Man, IX (at the time of this translation, it is yet to be wholly translated and published in English…) ↩
- See Argarizm footnotes 89 & 138. ↩
- There is another, more wholesome definition of holy, which connects it to the spirit of Meaning. The discourse between these two “holies” is present so vastly in the philosophy of the Star of Azazel that it is unnecessary here to point references. ↩
- Within Yoni, as with the homunculus developing inside the womb. ↩
- By aspects, I, of course, also point towards temperaments, not solely to practice codes in the use of the fraternity. The codes have been chosen because they point towards universal primary forms. ↩
- I.e., striving in its Orthodoxical meaning of ascetic or modifying one’s experience of control. ↩
- To the dharma. Not even in a Blavatskian sense as “a selfish ascetic” can a pratyeka student separate from his relation to the whole of the world. He may withdraw to a factual solitude from the outer world, but the separateness is simply an illusion in the inner world. Within the understanding of this insight, the pratyeka buddha’s enlightenment is, after all, born, for the living insight of this is the nucleus of nirvâna. We can also see a bridge between the above presented Blavatskian and Baileyan presentations of the pratyeka buddha: an esotericist who has prepared his path in solitude to union can later serve the whole with the tools so prepared. If this is not done, what is created is only a temporary “dream” and/or the kaleidoscopic changes, which awaits “the abandoners of the planet.” (Cf. Adept, the table of eight paths.) ↩
- Matt. 25:33. ↩
- Cf. The Seven Faces of Satan: The Impaled God (which during the time of translation is yet to be translated.) ↩
- For it represents linga, the reality of which is more evolutive than a metaphysical question of magical presence. ↩
- Âtma-buddhi-manas understood as oneness set as the center point, similarly as in the sign of the sun. ↩
- The representation of Polyharmonia denies other metaphysical bases, for they all necessarily return to the Absolute. ↩
- Azazel-Satanael is Samael and Mars, the outcast, like the phallic lance of the symbol. This casting out is only symbolically pejorative and/or sanctifying. These functions are always reversible and able to return to the neutral base as function of creation of Life. ↩
- The pratyeka paths reversal connection of the center point and the surface to these symbols of giving birth has been gone through in the writing ‘Pratyeka Buddhas and the Angels of Darkness’ (Seven Faces of Satan). ↩
- Chapter 10. ↩
- Through the possibilities within the deep astral, the unicorn’s Black practice can work on a more “mythical” level, the challenge of which is in alienation from reality and being stuck in a floating state. In this, it never-the-less meets the principal challenge of the aspect, which we don’t need to dwell deeper into the writing at hand. The most simply put answer to this problem is the emphasis of Work, which releases from dissociative aimlessness – which certainly can also mean the paralyzing effect of too broad an experience. ↩
- Genesis 2:18. ↩
- Manas must be seamlessly connected to buddhi on much earlier phase of practice. ↩
- Mediumism is a state of sickness and disintegration of the psyche, but it seems like development instead of regression for the ignorant because flashy magical phenomena can accompany it, as with the balanced control of the White astral attained by the adept. “Regressions seeming like development” are the signs of the downward path; the Three-Fold Key works as a touchstone. ↩
- Wolfram von Eschenbach: Parzival, IX. Translated by Jessie L. Weston. ↩
- Basil of Caesarea, quoted by Jung: Psychology and Alchemy, p. 447. ↩
- ”But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.” (Matt. 19:11) ↩