by Stephen Sennitt
The 29th path linking Malkuth to Netzach is that of the moon (Atu XVIII), the Astral path leading mundane perception to the pure animal drives and sexual desire of venus, the planetary symbol of Netzach. This is a dangerous path, employing a ligthning-swift retroversion of the senses linking the moon of Yesod to the moon of Da’ath via the symbol of Khephra, the midnight sun resplendent in darkness connecting the path leading from Netzach to Tiphareth, the path of Death (Atu XIII). In the alchemical sense, Death means change via putrification. This is emphasised by the Qliphotic Guardian NIANTIEL, a distorted image of the reaper Saturn, which sentinels the underside, or tunnel, of this path leading straight to the dark Tiphareth.
The path of the moon which connects the Malkuth-Netzach-Tiphareth complex is the transformative link. I have found that a curious state of consciousness persists on this path that can be likened to a vortex. One working provided images that described the transmutation involved:
"YESOD: Anubis wolves howling at the moon. A silver Priestess with a low, weird voice and a crescent shape on her ajna-chakra gives birth to the full moon which falls into the ocean. A great insect-fish carries it in its jaws "
This stimulated the idea of the moon of Yesod directly fecunding the depths of the unconscious - earthing the current in the Daathian underworld without the interference of mundane consciousness. The suggestion is that the reflective source of the moon is identical to the sun in Amenta which the Scarab beetle carries through the abyss.
The source of the Priestesses’ "weird voice" produces ideas related to the lunar oracular state BATHKOL, mentioned in Kenneth Grant’s books. The fact that in the vision the Priestess’s image and voice were sexually alluring connects the idea of this form of lunar magick with the god-form of this path, Khephra, the god who has "union with his hand", formulating the succubus, or shadow woman of the moon.
Interestingly, Grant has equated Bathkol with Besqul, a series of subsidiary tunnels that pervade the dark side of the path whose guardian is QULIELFI. The first letter of this guardian’s name, and the letter associated with the moon, is Qoph, literally "the back of the head"; a phrase which resonates images of the moon of Da’ath - the dream images in the cerebellum, stored away in an abyss, divided from the light of dayside consciousness. The number of Qoph is 100, the number of the Witches dark goddess, Hecate, the mother of Lamias.
The sinister retroversion associated with this path can be related to Khephra Himself, the bearer of the Qoph-moon, or Black sun of Set, along the way between Netzach and Tiphareth. The way in question transforms the magician into the bearer of the Black Sun, whose radiation may cause a retroversion to a state of death along the 24th Path. The magician’s body, stripped clean of its flesh by the Qlipoth of Netzach, GHARAB TZEREK, "the Ravens of Death", allegorises the negredo alchemical state, and suggests the horrific descriptions of black alchemy hinted at in the stories of Arthur Machen. The magical workings of this path, not surprisingly, are ones concerned with Necromancy and Zombieism via the retention of the sun-seed (Karezza), which the Khephra beetle, withholding the sun symbolises. It is important to note that this working, while it penetrates the mysteries of death and decay, may be ultimately dangerous in freezing the unwary magician into an inert state of eternal death. This is perhaps emphasized in the Clark Ashton Smith story "Sadastor" which describes the barren, dead world of a dying Lamia (haunter of the 24th tunnel). By simple gematria Sadastor (SDShTUR) = 160, the number of NIANTIEL (160). The demon that visits this world of the dead in attempt to revitalise it is CHARDANIS, = 123: the book of the Qliphotic cells is Liber 231
The visualisation of the magician as Khephra, the bearer of the sun of Set, acts as a protective capsule. Once the state of Black Tiphareth has been attained, the dark emanations transform into the warming rays of the sun of Horus, the light of manifestation. This describes the locus of "coming forth by day", the travelling of the spirit in Amenta, the land of the midnight sun, where the sun within, and the sun without, are united. The magician, alchemically renewed, shines forth.