Among the many misquoted concepts that Crowley has given us, crossing the abyss has to be the most interesting. Much has been written about this complex and in many ways difficult to definitively describe process whereby the occultist literally unmakes themselves. The ego is dissolved as the hidden Sephira, Da’ath, is accessed, allowing them to become one with the divine. Grant Morrison, in The Book Of Lies, further cements the view that this operation is highly dangerous decades later. According to him, a personality on the brink of this shift will be willing to do or say anything, make any excuse, to avoid disintegration.
Madness is one outcome of course, a sad fact that we can witness among those living magickians who jumped into the void without a parachute and now find it hard to stitch their shredded ego back together long enough to interact with anyone. The process also necessitates an up close and personal confrontation with the guardian demon Choronzon, seen by some as a cancerous growth created from the parts of the everyday self unwilling to be unmade. It is oddly fitting to realise that the very things holding you back from greatness are the chains forged from everything about you that is not. Humbling too.
But no, my ego is all in one piece so far and I have no desire to ritually travel to the abyss just yet. The reason that I mention the above process, apart from making an obvious nod to the ever relevant Mr. Crowley, is more as a metaphor for my current state of being. Since moving away from both chaos magick and Lilith in the past twelve months I am dealing with a distinct loss of self, a change that my usual hollow status is unable to metabolise. Either way, I am not the man I was when The Vulpine Portfolio started. I find myself eschewing my usual lack of a defined nature, instead allowing the Neopagan side of my being hold sway over the previously empty vessel that I inhabit.
So in this I am riding the fence no longer but instead falling uneasily to one side, a rebel still but one now following a path seemingly very different from the one that I originally started upon. Aside from my time with Lilith I am best known as a necromancer whose blackened heart beats in time with the cooling, soothingly empty anti-rhythm of the death current. As a result I have wrote much on the subject. This aspect of my ensorcelled life remains a strong influence upon me, even as I become more and more Neopagan in practice.
This was a paradigm that came to the forefront when I lost someone close and reacted the only way I knew how to the tragedy as it unfolded in slow motion around me. I hit the books for a solution. Unwilling to let go I instead delved deeper and deeper into the blackest territory, hoping to find some method of control over the very substance of life and death so that I could stand before Azrael and bar his path to those I loved. I was willing to fight to cheat the reaper, yet soon found out that some things cannot be changed. The first breath that we take also hands us our ticket to the boneyard, no matter how many spirits are approached and appeased beforehand.
Mark me well. All the power in the world can not alter the rule of universal law, and immortality is harder to achieve than you would think. So no, I am not strong in my will, I am weak, and in that frailty found an inner doorway to my own personal abyss. For the last decade I have walked blindfolded into a mental landscape that has now left me a changed man. I am unsure of what is ultimately happening to me, of my final destination, but I vow to continue putting one foot in front of the other until I face Choronzon on my terms. I will stare him down and make the shards of myself that I hold in contempt fall back into line.
I am ready to grow up at last. These were all agonising lessons, the aftershocks of which still thunder across my subconscious as I endeavour to continue integrating my magickal and mundane lives. Regardless of the pain I now grudgingly realise that all were necessary losses, catalysts of change which together helped to shred the armour from my ego and open me up to questions previously ignored. The bluster and self-aggrandisement are gone now, leaving me a humbler magickian for what I have endured. I am far from divine, nor worthy to be immortal either, but perhaps one day that will change.