[published in Winter 2020 Issue of Green Egg magazine]
I have been working with the nuts and bolts of magickal symbolism for a long time. About forty years. Astrology. Qabalah. Tarot cards. Sacred geometry. Gnostic circles of fate. Thaumaturgickal number theory. You name it. I have poked at it and prodded at it over the years. Some of the early fruit of my investigations into simple magickal symbols I call Stellar Forms can be browsed at my blog site, www.theoretikos.net. There, I have put up some of my notes and questions into a short schematic essay called Stellar Form Construction.
No matter how magickal the symbol may be, it is the mathematics that gives form and structure to its bones. To the juxtapositions of those bones. There are clear surprises and profound mysteries to be revealed by the simple mathematics of Magick. So much so that I have actually resurrected the archaic term for Magick, Thaumaturgy, to point in a hinting and wink-wink sort of way toward a total reimagination of magick. I just LOVE that word! Thaumaturgy! Thaumaturgy! Thaumaturgy! The miraculous works, if you work the miraculous. That is the secret to… the Mathesis of Magick.
It was, I think, around 1983 or 1984 when I blithely stumbled upon an entirely new and different kind of magickal symbol. I had never seen anything like it before. At that time, I was unemployed for a long period of time, hunkered down in a run down and junk filled half of a 1950s duplex in North Las Vegas. I had plenty of time on my hands, and, plenty of weed IN my hands. So, I took to deep diving into Castaneda, and other things. My investigation into Stellar Forms was just one aspect of my thaumaturgickal treasure hunt. As usual, my best friend and thaumaturgickal co-conspirator, Charles Kipp, would come down to Vegas from Pioche every so often, taking a break from the isolation of being the caretaker of an inactive mine. What a trip! I went up there a couple of times and was actually surprised that I did NOT see any UFOs. I’ll tell you that! I was primed and ready, given that I was on a Castaneda binge. Charles was a phenomenal and gifted astrologer, still in the making in 1983-1984. He was actively reading Robert Hand’s Planets in Transit, and, I think, had just discovered Dane Rudhyar.
One of the other things Charles was into at that time was Gurdjieff’s Enneagram. We were both just occultist sponges, soaking up anything and everything we found, often spending our last few dollars on some bizarre book. We were having fun! Like other men out chasing skirts. We were chasing… whatever… demons or angels, we didn’t care. Here is a peek at it for you from the Wikipedia article on Gurdjieff’s Fourth way.
What do you think? Interestingly, this symbol was first made public by, not Gurdjieff, but rather, P.D. Ouspensky, in his 1949 book, In Search of the Miraculous. But the book was, basically, an explication of Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way esoterics anyway, so, we take it from Ouspensky, that it was Gurdjieff who first constructed this symbol… that we know of anyway. You can see the triangle superimposed upon the strange claw like structure. The triangle takes up the numbers 3, 6 and 9, and, interestingly, it divides the other six numbers up into three pairs of adjacent points (juxtapositions), 4 & 5, 1 & 2, and, 7 & 8. Do the math. Numerology style. Four plus five equals… 9. One plus two equals… 3. Seven plus eight equals fifteen, add again, one plus five equals… 6. You get… 3, 6, and 9… yet again. Call this a magickal image of the thaumaturgickal operation of reverberation… if you like… or not.
But this isn’t the symbol I am going to tell you about. It is just the hook. You know me. If you don’t, let me tell you, I am a strange alchemy, a juxtapositioning, of a dreamer… and a tinkerer. It was the claw like symbol that caught my eye, and my mind, and my imagination. So, let’s take a closer look at it. Let us consider, just as we did in Stellar Form Construction, how it is actually constructed, on paper. What is the character of the mathesis? The Thaumatic Script that the Thaumaturgist is using to do the construction?
It is based upon the prime number, 7, for one thing. Prime numbers are mysterious, and rife with deep mathematical complexities… full of surprises, with several attending and as yet unproven mathematical hypotheses about what Primes can tell us about the true nature of numbers. If ever there was something mathematical that is, at the same time, also magickal… my vote is for Prime numbers. Especially, since this was what led me, eventually, to the Kryptozoetikon, and the detonation, in my imagination, of a series of insights into the Dragon, about twenty years later.
Charles showed me what do with Prime number 7, in order to construct the claw like portion of the Enneagram. You take that number 7, and you divide it up into six resulting fractions… 1/7, 2/7, 3/7, 4/7, 5/7, 6/7… and, that’s it, since 7/7 is just the number 1, not a whole number fraction of 7. So, the first thing you see is a kind of holographic projection phenomenon that will go nicely with the reverberation phenomenon invoked by the Enneagram. You are mapping 7 into 6, just like, in some of the more bizarre theories of Physics, we imagine a mapping of eleven or more physical dimensions into the three, or four, if you count time, we directly experience. A hologram, in real life, is the mapping of a three -dimensional image into only two dimensions. With the right kind of glass or acrylic, and a clever laser arrangement, you evoke the three-dimensional image from the two-dimensional encoded glass or acrylic. The operation we see, or hear, is analogous to the creation of the original hologram.
We see that we are connecting the dots around the circle according to some underlying formula or pattern. But what is that pattern? Exactly? Do the math again. With your calculator. Write down each of those fractions of the Prime number 7 as a decimal series, and you will see the underlying pattern.
1/7 = .142857142857…
2/7 = .285714285714…
3/7 = .428571428571…
4/7 = .571428571428…
5/7 = .714285714285…
6/7 = .857142857142…
Do you see it? The same six-digit pattern is repeating over and over again. Technically, in mathematics, we call this a non-terminating, repeating, decimal series, therefore, it is a rational number, not an irrational, or a transcendental, like π. Each fraction begins in a different place in the repeating series. How do we connect the dots? Begin with 1/7, which begins with 14… and connect it with 3/7, which begins with 42… then connect that to 2/7, which begins with 28… then connect that to 6/7. Which begins with 85… then connect that to 4/7, which begins with 57… then connect that to 5/7, which begins with 71… then connect that to… yup, you guessed it… 1/7, which begins with 14. We have gone full circle, unicursally, as well as recursively. Beginning, now, where we left off, we can go on forever, establishing a thaumaturgickal rhythm, if we so desire. The algorithm was quite simple. Shift your non-terminating series by one & connect, shift by one again, and connect, and so on, until the symbol has fully emerged.
If you inscribe it upon six points around the circle all arranged at equal angles and disregard the triangle that Gurdjieff added you have the pure orthodox glyph of the Prime number 7 staring at you from within that circle. Well, again, you know me, the tinkerer. I had to ask, to hell with the triangle! What about the other Primes? Do they all look the same? Or at least, similar? The answer is, for the most part, yes, but there are some oddballs. Prime numbers 2 & 3 are not even worth looking at because they are not complicated enough. Prime number 5 bombs out too. What’s next? After 7? Prime 11 is also, sort of, a bomb, but, interestingly, it looks like Jupiter, with its cloud bands, and, they follow the O.T.O./A.A. initiatory Degree structure…
1° = 10□
2° = 9□
3° = 8□
4° = 7□
5° = 6□
6° = 5□
7° = 4□
8° = 3□
9° = 2□
10° = 1□
What’s next? Well, I can tell you that I suspect, but have not rigorously proved yet using real mathematics, that ALL Prime numbers higher than Prime 11 follow the same basic pattern as the claw like structure in Gurdjieff’s Enneagram. Claws! Claws! Claws Everywhere! Every single one of them. Except for just this one. The next one. Prime 13. THIS… will blow your mind. Especially if your mind works like my mind and you’re a closet symbologist like me. Yeah. I liked those movies too. Isn’t Tom Hanks great?
This is NOT a heterodox construction like Gurdjieff’s Enneagram. The fractionation (that’s what I call the algorithm) produces not just ONE non-terminating series, but TWO! That image is what you get based upon the pure mathematics and following the simple Thaumaturgickal Operation just like we did with the others. Nothing else. Boom! Out of nowhere! A Dragon has appeared! Tooth and Claw! I knew it was unique, and important, when I first discovered it somewhere around 1983-1984. But it wasn’t until 2003, when I was deep into my first Dragon binge, that I resurrected my work on this symbol and two things jumped right out at me. The first is probably obvious to many of you. The Masonic Compass and Square. Do you see it? But also, the Tooth of the Dragon (rather oddly shaped), constructed by the RED series, and, the Claw, constructed by the BLUE series. As far as I [hypothetically] know, there is no other symbol like this. This is the only one of its kind that I have found so far, with more than one series generating the resulting glyph.
I was like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters back in 1983-1984… “This MEANS something!” But I didn’t know what it meant. Maybe I still don’t know. After all, it is just a pretty geometry picture generated by some fancy footwork with fractions. Done on a Prime number. Yes. But, the question as to what, if anything, it means, does not belong within the domain of either geometry or mathematics. It belongs to the domain of our Imagination, and, that is something we still characteristically underestimate.
So, I came up with this cute name all the way back when, in 2003, when I decided to call the symbol the Kryptozoetikon. I “imagined” that what I saw in the symbol was the Dragon’s Tooth, and, the Dragon’s Claw. I also further “imagined” as is suggested by the forked nature of the Tooth, that it was, in fact, a tuning fork, generating sound, music, even the voice of the Dragon itself. No, the Dragon does NOT speak with a “forked tongue” because THAT is NOT its tongue, but rather, its Tooth.
Why did I pick such a strange name for such a strange symbol? The symbol obviously refers, not so much to the Dragon itself, but rather, to what the Dragon is doing. The way I see it, the Dragon is our primordial image of the Life Force of the Cosmos. That is the zoetic part of the Kryptozoesis. It is singing its song of creation into the Open Channel. Notice the Claw. It sure does look like it is cupped, ready to hold something. You have seen it in Dragon statues for your garden, now, haven’t you? The Dragon playing with a shiny ball, sometimes, even holding that ball (often a gazing ball for the garden) cupped in its Dragon Claw. The Dragon is, in fact, holding the Gyronoetikon, ALL Gyronoetika, in its Dragon Claw.
So… stay tuned! For the next installment in this little two-part series: Gyronoetiks!