"Black Brothers" or "Brothers of Darkness?" - you choose
The recent photo taken by astronomers of dark matter surrounding distant galaxies in a kind of halo came at the same time that we understood the nature of the Black Brothers or Brothers of Darkness - they are the embodiment of the mysterious dark energy that astronomers are still searching for. Some of the information has been available in esoteric literature, but the significance has been missed, until now.
The Black Brothers are mentioned a number of times in Aleister Crowley's writings. He is careful, as is his protege Kenneth Grant to make a distinction between Black Brothers and Black Magicians, but I have been mystified as to what they really mean.
Black Magicians hide behind 'bad' spirits
Recent events have clarified the position somewhat. In a dream I saw a horde of black spirits who had been following me. I could see nothing of their real appearance but that did not scare me. When I challenged them, they immediately broke ranks, and at the centre I saw a well known black magician skulking with an accomplice.
Already the question had formed in my mind; who are the monkeys and who are the organ grinders? Or is there some kind of unholy alliance? In true spiritual work, not knowing the names of spirits is barely a hindrance, as opposed to ritual magicians who live in terror of not knowing a spirit's name. The story of Rumplestiltskin comes to mind here (did you know that Rumplestiltskin means 'scrotum'?) .Anyway, mild digressions are always helpful in this kind of work - it helps the mind to come up with new angles.
This black magician was literally working under the cover of darkness, yet these spirits put up no kind of fight at all - they were happy to reveal who was in their midst. You may think that they deliberately made themselves known to me so that I could find out the coward in their midst. Either way, they were indifferent to his fate. No love lost.
Within a few days, we were able to see more of what this magician was up to. Clearly these spirits were no friend of his, but I did not exactly think they were friends of mine either. Still, your enemies' enemy is your friend.
The workings of Punditt have been a mystery for the most part of the time I spent closely with him. These days he is retired - he is not in the best of health. Masters do that, retire so the student can continue the work unhindered.
Learn and earn Spiritual Growth - the only way
There is only one way to learn what a Punditt knows. You have to earn it, and he has to be disposed to allow you to learn. There is no other way. Some people think knowledge can be stolen, never considering the karmic implications of such an act. Doesn't stop them trying though. Protecting Punditt and his knowledge is as an important part of my work as learning his ways.
There is another aspect to the Work. Spirits also have their say - perhaps their first time to speak in millenia - and the results are surprising. Not for the first time have I found myself in a situation where supposedly 'evil' spirits were nothing of the sort.
The Ambiguities between Black and White Magicians
With this in mind, let us turn to what Crowley says on the subject, from Magick without Tears, an exposition on the reality of Magic. Chapter 7 covers the subject neatly. Note his ambiguity on the subject.
Now, if there is any difference at all between the White and the Black Adept in similar case, it is that the one, working by "love under will" achieves a marriage with the new idea, while the other, merely grabbing, adds a concubine to his harem of slaves.
Magic Without Tears, Crowley
As you should know by now, I and my colleagues have discarded the quaintly antiquated system of Tree of Knowledge as a viable system or structure for magic in favour of a more naturalistic approach which allows the spiritual visions to speak for themselves. Clearly Crowley never escaped, but he did get glimpses.
Black Brothers in the Aethyrs
I first came across the notion of the Black Brothers in Crowley's description of the Enochian Aethyrs,
These adepts seem like Pyramids — their hoods and robes are like Pyramids.
And the Angel sayeth: Verily is the Pyramid a Temple of Initiation. Verily also is it a tomb. Thinkest thou that there is life within the Masters of the Temple that sit hooded, encamped upon the Sea? Verily, there is no life in them.
Their sandals were the pure light, and they have taken them from their feet and cast them down through the abyss; for this Aethyr is holy ground.
Herein no forms appear, and the vision of God face to face, that is transmuted in the Athanor called dissolution, or hammered into one in the forge of meditation, is in this place but a blasphemy and a mockery.
And the Beatific Vision is no more, and the glory of the Most High is no more. There is no more knowledge. There is no more bliss. There is no more power. There is no more beauty. For this is the Palace of Understanding; for thou art one with the Primeval things.
Drink in the myrrh of my speech, that is bruised with the gall of the roc, and dissolved in the ink of the cuttle-fish, and perfumed with the deadly nightshade.
This is thy wine, who wast drunk upon the wine of Iacchus. And for bread shalt thou eat salt, O thou on the corn of Ceres that didst wax fat! For as pure being is pure nothing, so is pure wisdom pure — — , and so is pure understanding silence, and stillness, and darkness. The eye is called seventy, and the triple Aleph whereby thou perceivest it, divideth into the number of the terrible word that is the Key of the Abyss.
Desperate Black Magicians resort to theft
Now you know why desperate magicians have to resort to theft - their own cupboard is bare - they do not even have the means to conjure something from nothing. Strip out the kabbalistic paraphernalia from Crowley's mind as he perceives the Aethyr, and what do you have left? Desperation. For without knowledge there can be no power. Black Magicians seek to go beyond the Abyss, which is illusory in any case.
The "Adepts seem like pyramids" their only chance is to be mute, pretend to be something they cannot be, so they remain motionless. Crowley appears to be seeing at a High Place - and what is there? Nothing. Whoever they are, the Black Brothers work at High Levels.
Recently while working with a colleague clearing the energy of a place near to Brighton, he received a phrase, "the Brothers of Darkness". It meant nothing to him, but I had been studying, and I knew the word for darkness in Hebrew is ChShK.
The Meaning of Darkness
According to Fabret D'Olivet ChShK
indicates always an inner covetousness, a centralized fire, which acts with a violent movement and which seeks to distend itself. The Chaldaic, derives a great many expressions from it, all of which are related to anxiety, agony, sorrow and painful passions. It is literally, a torrefaction; figuratively, an eager covetousness,... It is a suffering, a grievous passion, ... It is finally, a turbulent agitation, in the Ethiopic xx (housh). This root verbalized in the Hebraic חוש, depicts the action of being precipitated, of being carried with violence toward a thing.
Related to this word is NChSh, mistranslated as the famous serpent in Genesis. The Black Snake (which I had also recently seen in visions during a healing) is revealed, and it is connected to the Black Brothers through the Brothers of Darkness.
The Hebrew for brother is ACh, discussed by D'Olivet as follows:
The potential sign united to that of elementary existence ח, image of the travail of nature, produces a root whence result all ideas of equilibrium, equality, identity, fraternity. When the sign ח characterizes principally an effort, the root אח takes the meaning of its analogues אג, אך. and represents a somewhat violent action. It furnishes then all ideas of excitation and becomes the name of the place where the fire is lighted, the hearth.
The word for brothers reveals a secret Fire. Brothers represent a fraternity. ACh also indicates Unity, as in AChD or AChTh, but it can never be completed. The missing D, which is full of feminine characteristics, such as the breasts and nourishment is lacking, hence the curious perversion and hatred engendered by black magicians towards women.
To identify with the Brothers of Darkness is to experience incredible inner tension and torment, so naturally the inclination is to share this pain with as many as possible, and that is what they do.
I must confess, until my colleague mentioned the phrase, Brothers of Darkness, I never understood what the Black Brothers were about. The Brothers of Darkness relate to Hermes Trismegistus, an inspiration to alchemists, and his identification with Thoth, the Egyptian God of Knowledge, and the Tarot. The colours red, black and white are clearly alchemical.
Free the Pyramids from tyranny
I found this received piece of knowledge on Hermes Trismegistus, which unites the Pyramids with the Black Brothers.
So, are the Black Brothers, or the Brothers of Darkness evil? In my experience they are the driving force for spiritual knowledge and power. It is the amelioration of pain and discomfort, the search for solutions, the relieving of suffering that drives the thirst for knowledge that results in liberation.