The Gate of 9 is an original piece of artwork from Barry Lent Devil's Design, commissioned by my partner, Sarah Orange, and me during the winter of 2013. It is an air-brushed piece of birchwood, twenty inches in diameter and three-quarters of an inch thick, which was hand cut by the artist. We were invaluable in designing this object of art along with the artist as he wanted to deliver to us exactly what we envisioned. It began as a facsimile of a three-dimensional Yggdrasil, but the artist quickly evolved it into his own creation, and we ended up with an entirely new occult symbol on our hands. We were ecstatic. From what I understand of the artist's process, he uses trance states to achieve his desired results and "loses a piece of himself" in each of his selections of handiwork. My partner and I were overjoyed to have such a one of a kind composition all to ourselves. We continue to order original work from Barry as we find his brand of Psychedelic Satanic Transcendentalism far beyond the scope of any post-modern artist on the market.
At first, we were naive as to what to do with it or how exactly to use it, but the unequivocal nature of our spontaneous insights the first few nights it hung on our wall made it readily apparent to us that this piece chose us for an especially important purpose. Doubt left our minds with the quickly growing insight that it belonged to us on a deeper level, and a fully conscious torrent of clarity overtook our greater sense of what Jung calls coniunctio. Now, let me be clear, before I physically held the Gate of 9, my partner possessed it, and I possessed only a digital representation of it; however, the psychick link that we created from this tenuous connection alone was immeasurable. The Gate opened up an unimaginable strain of telepathy wherein my partner would get into some kind of trouble like breaking down on the side of the road, and within seconds I would call her. Or whenever I was in pain, she would know the exact details of my aching or malady.
The same went for her: whenever she was going through an unusually emotional or turbulent time in her life, I would know almost every aspect of what she was going through. The two-way digital-corporeal Gate of 9 also opened up a postern for teleplasty as my partner had sent one of her atavisms ("guides") through to assist in healing me, and it totally worked (I'm usually sceptical of things this far-fetched) as this particular guide was a doctor in his previous life: I could feel the heat from his hands working on me. The same applied to her in a similar fashion. I sent a servitor on a mission in which it was bound to pass through her territory, and it just so happened to 'decide' to make a stop in her yard late at night and say hello. It actually answered to its name when I told it to her. This was far beyond my personal experience with any other servitor or any other human's interaction with any of my own servitors.
Then again, this was around the same time that I was doing evocations with the Goetia, so, to me, it's almost not surprising that this particular entity took a liking to her.
Allow me to digress a bit here to offer up some background on our praxis before we get back into the Gate proper. My partner is what one might call a shaman-in-training and deals exclusively with the realms of trance, vision, imagination, as well as that of lucid dreaming. I, myself, am undergoing the shamanic operations detailed in Liber KKK, which my partner has been of invaluable benefit to me. The five conjurations at the shamanic level occur in the fields of evocation, divination, enchantment, invocation, and illumination. Although these fields are somewhat alien to her as she was not raised amidst the Hermetic tradition like I was, she knows not to what extent her aid has given me in these five areas -- and so much more in disciplines such as free-form conjure, Reiki, and necromancy. While my partner devotes much of her magickal time utilizing ancestor veneration, astral travel ("journeying"), and connecting with various atavisms, I, on the other hand, am much more likely to find myself employing audiosigils, gematria, and bare-hands magick in my day-to-day practice. We seem to find quite a happy medium in the liminal spaces between these disparate motifs.
Both our methodologies seem to get the job done, and both our practices represent effective peculiarities in the long run. Sure, we hit dry spells as any magician does, but we shall proceed and continue to rock the mic. I mean, hell, we both spend time in meditation, attempting to control our own minds, whether this be through the exercises outlined in Liber MMM (motionlessness, breathing, not-thinking, the magical trances, and object, sound, and image concentration) or through Crowley's lectures on Yoga or through various banishings both modern and archaic. There are innumerable ways to go about perfecting the self or, at least, to strive toward refining alchemical lead into gold. And we both spend quiet time in nature, simply observing the air, trees, water, and animals that surround us: the sounds, the smells, the subtle foreplay that exists between all phenomena. We all stumble along the way at some point, but it's our struggles that define us.
So what of the origins of the Gate of 9? As we botch our way through life here on Midgard, the Aesir laugh at us from Asgard, and the demons thirst for our souls in Helheim. It is for several reasons that we chose our Gate of 9 to be modelled after Yggdrasil. Firstly, we have the deepest respect for early shamans and, myself in particular, the northern European tribal seidrs, whom I initially read about ever so briefly in Jan Fries' book Visual Magick and later in his works Helrunar and Seidways. This led me to all manner of Nordic mythology and Asatru literature many, many moons ago. This is where the Teutonic influence stems from, but reading Michael Harner's classic The Way Of The Shaman also opened my eyes up to the possibility of there being multiple worlds upon which to travel in astral trance -- not that these ideas hadn't occurred to me prior to this, but they seemed somehow more accessible the way Harner phrased it.
To the untrained eye, the Gate of 9 almost resembles the Qabalistic Tree of Life (especially its middle pillar), but it much more clearly represents the sacred ash World Tree of Norse cosmology, which is why it is actually neither of the two as you can tell from the image provided. It is only the Gate of 9 (Alchemical Yggdrasil) as the artist has titled it. This portal, as we have come to know it, hangs over our mattress, so it is most commonly fed sexual (pleasure-pain) gnosis whenever we're in the bedroom. This takes place at random intervals most of the time, yet we make a point of charging it during lunar cycles and especially on the eight seasonal festivals.
Typically, our copulation takes place to the sounds of the all mighty Z(enseider)Z's numerous albums, but we listen to nothing as often as we do to our most recent releases, Zero-Point Graviation and Ontogeny Recapitulates Psychogeometry; which was recently thrown together by thee zeepotheosis in order that ritualists may have a soundtrack to fill their intellectual decompression chambers and so that those who transcendentally meditate may have escorts, in the absence of their own mantras, with which to persuade their discursive mind to cease its unrelenting level of subjection over the individual cerebral data stream.
Aside from coital catharsis, we also give the Gate of 9 offerings of blood and spirits in a pure crystal champagne flute used exclusively for the Gate and nothing else. This type of ritual is a bit more complex and involves other tools of the trade we have accumulated separately over the years and together in the last few months since receiving the hand-painted artistry. Now, every once in a while, I gather together what I consider an arrangement of forfeitures to furnish the Gate of 9 with. I use a vessel to hold these provisions in, and I pay devotion to our aperture with these contributions.
My most recent sacrificial pseudo-kenobic jar contains some personal OV such as piss, spit, snot, a scab, puss, and a fingernail from my left ring finger; plus items of specific idiosyncratic value and other articles of power like Bali Shag tobacco, an oxycodone, a Xanax, a bud, some beer, clear rum, three pot seeds, two espresso beans, a rudraksha bead, crystalline salt (ampicillin sodium), sand from the Giza plateau, a sliver of copper wiring, a slice of deer hide from an honored kill, a roach carcass, and a tick my partner pulled off of me.
The process of collecting offerings takes more than one session, and each time I unplug the small jar, I burn white sage, blowing smoke into the jar itself before and after including new ingredients. After this, I fan the jar with my eagle feather up and down and back and forth invoking the fissive powers of air (DNA; the genome) in the process. Then, I chant the names of my three ascendant thoughtforms and blaze up in their honor. Upon closing the jar, I blow cigarette smoke into it to finalize the pact and then plug it back up. I keep the jar on top of a plaque given to me by Infek-Ren Sekem Khu (aka The Archetypal Theriomorph), who designed them himself and sent them to me shortly before his death in 2001.
written by Eian Orange
For further workings with the Gate of 9 follow the link to the katalepsis page and get a better glimpse of the image itself.