A Meditation upon the Oil of Abra-Melin
- Here is a meditation with the Oil of Abra-melin my ritual group did
recently. I think it will be of interest to a variety of
disciplines. Giving credit where it is due, I was directly inspired
by Aleister Crowley's sublime essay on the Holy oil in part 2 of
Book 4, which I consider a classic of practical alchemy (in a
technically very simple way, of course)
Also, for those interested: the specific recipe for Abra-Melin oil
2 parts Galangal (Thai ginger) Oil
4 parts Myrrh Oil
8 parts Cinnamon Oil
7 parts virgin olive oil.
Maybe in a week when I've got my notes together I will post an
anylisis of teh numerology and attributions of this recipe
The Pressing of the Oil
You wake and walk to a little crystal stream where you have washed
clean your crystal jar of the Art, even as you have let the
complications of your life flow away from you from the death to the
full return of the moon.
You stand in the stream, letting it wash you, of the sense of
urgency that hangs about your task: today, you shall go to the
hermits' grove to press the Sacred Oil of Abra-Melin
You walk to the hill that has overshadowed your simple hermitage,
along the winding path of seven turns, until you come to a simple
stone gate kept by an old hooded one.
"By what light do all fools see as well as the wise?"
"By the noon sun that is owned by all." you reply, as you have been
prepared to say.
"Do we all see, then?" responds the hermit of the grove.
"It is noon and light is cast as far as it goes." you reply. There
are two answers given: now the riddle commences.
"Where, therefore, is your lantern?" asks the hermit.
"I left one hung at my tent below" you say with some doubt,
continuing "And the other, unlit, I carry in my bosom. I hope that
the Oil can enter there and bring sun within."
"Your hope is aright. It shall overcome your folly." says the
hermit, stepping away from the gate.
You see in the grove that there are two tall trees, wildly grown and
innocent of gardening, and a squat bush between them. Their scent
mingle in the air a little: olive, myrrh, and cinnamongalangal,
which is of the earth, may test your witbut you must first obtain
the gold that binds them all, you reflect, heading to the little
grove, and sitting.
You touch your feet to the olive tree, and you clarify your thoughts
you slice them of their wandering, as if trimming weak branches on
an unseasoned treeyou preserve a few resolute branches, each
traceable to the trunk that rose straight from the earthyou trim to
the few stout extensions of your very roots that can bear good fruit
upon them. The rest, which can only wither, are cut away.
You breath deeply in and out, feeling all which does not nourish
leaving you. You feel your breath sink into a slow but certain, easy
cycle, abiding the round as every tree abides the wheel of many
seasons. This great wheel turns in your breath and blood, with
You see a golden light shine lazily around you, filled with life but
easy to give out as for the sun to bestow life on all around it. A
subtle burn is throughout you nowthere is in you the need to refine
the parts of earth, even as a tree must place it's roots below the
soil, not in the sky.
You call some of this gold inside of you, dimming the burn to a
warmnessand behind your eyes, you know that the world of your
dreams is an empty clearing of easy gold.
Now, you hold your hands above your crystal jarand as you steady
the golden glow in your head and let it's light radiate from you, a
rich gold oil pours from your hands into the crystal jar. You are
aware of a deeper greening in the tree itself, which has shared your
purificationyou are aware that weaker branches dropped from it
You count to seven as the gift of the olive tree pours forth from
your hand, and when the right amount glistens in the crystal bowl,
your hand is clean and dry again.
Now you thrust your fingers into the earth, digging, until you feel
a ginger-rootthe hard, red ginger of Siam called Galangal. You
break it open, and it smells of the soil itself, (here the reader
conveys the scent to the travelers) yet also of an essence that is
risingthere is a hint of fire in the earth you smell. You crumble
the earth between your fingers as you close your eyes and old an
image behind your eyes of fire, thin as smoke and clear red,
growing clearer, stretching higher, as soil falls away, never
breaking even as it rises...
In your hand, you feel the root itself shrinking. You know the oil
presses itself from the root even as the image rows stronger in
lines but subtler in color. Soon, the red is barely a tinge in the
smooth glowing yellow, which now slight glows, even if it is also
You have the olive oil which penetrates all that seeks exaltation,
and the ginger which hold earth and that secret fire that rises from
it unto the highestand now great dread fills your breast, even as
there is a swirl of mud in the reddened gold of your inner and outer
glow. For now comes the tribulation of myrrh, wherein the inner oil
may claim to bring nutrients from the depth of the earthfor it is
the oil that redeems what is subterranean, entering the depths and
the heavens with an equal penetration.
You get upon your knees, your bowl between themas if you were
begging alms or confessing your most wretched sinthis places you
before the myrrh-bush, which branches you must directly snap and
break. You suck in breath and hold it, seeking strength from new
breath. The wood bends back in your hands- even as you yourself seek
a way around knowing this bitternessbut that is a weakness you are
better rid of, for your body must be broken by time in the endthis
is not fair, you think, and with anger, a branch snaps in two. Now
you release your breath, thinking of all that you will be lighter of
upon the advent of deathall the bitter fruits you grew before you
knew to trim yourself. (here the reader conveys the scent to the
You hold the snapped branch above your crystal bowl as though it
were a bottleand you feel the bitterness in you, the failures that
the golden light of you could dare to ignore in it's own
magnificenceyou cast golden light in the shadows you kept around
it, to remind yourself of what you store thereyou remember now that
the sun shines on the wicked as it does upon the goodand you know
that it was wicked of you to have those had darkened corners around
the earthen golden flame you have made a lantern of, you know that
it was wicked to deny the rotten and hardened and shaded things the
light of you `till nowand you know that the redemption is in the
giving forth of this light, not because it is high time but because
it is the moment now and you canthe long delay of your golden light
into your darkened parts is redeemedand the stick begins to heat,
just to the point of painits' resin pours forth now, bubbling until
it hits the reddened gold in the jarwhere, finding me
lting and acceptance, it flows not as a hardened gum but as another
subtle oilneither gold nor red is lostbut there is richness and
depthif also a part of sorrow that is yet unredeemedyou now name
the pains you have hidden until nowand they ache, adding dark depth
to the reddened gold in the lantern of your soul.
You sigh, knowing that the sign is the oldest mantra, and you
remember the secret fire in the ginger, which is of earth, and you
call upon that fire, and you name the burningand you name the hard
cold within yourself, as you have been doingand you find in that
mud what can riseand you ask, at last, what of the light may also
descendas you have remember strength to the olive tree, as you have
found the fire hidden in the gingeryou must find that courage that
first planted fire there.
You must have your liver eaten, to rid it of the toxin thereinyou
must call down fire that will dare the depths of earth to be cleaner
when that fire rises againyou must remember how the pain of sinking
will be one with the glory of dawning againand there falls from the
cinnamon tree a long wand of it's hardened red woody leaffire and
earth like ginger, but the fire that drops, now.
You hold the cinnamon above the crystal jar and you breath quickly
now, calling air to your depthscalling the fire down into you
daring to sink that you may rise againseeking to delve in the earth
to place fire even as you have dug it up from thereyou feel the
cinnamon flooding it's oil, sun descending, leading the hermit to a
place of quietyou feel your brow wake with power as the cinnamon
finds the myrrh and sends flame to all that can burn and light to
all that has yet stayed hidden. (here the reader conveys the scent
to the travelers)
You feel your brow begin to burn as the cinnamon finds the ginger,
places fire where it escaped, and itself rises to the topyou feel
and see the gold somewhat returning, lightened now but with dark
depth still retainedyou feel each oil stretching out to eternity,
entering and entered by each oil, for every true-pressed oil enters
every density and every heightevery oil enters every oil--for every
oil has anointed every surface even unto every coreand every core
and every surface, warm and lighted, are united for that the oil
flows now through all.
(Here the reader anoints the travelers) There is a touch upon your
one particular brow burning yet subtleyou know that your forehead
glints with the marking, not of exile but return.
You hold your eyes closed for three more breaths and wake again, to
walk as anointed and anointer in all the groves and wastelands of
the world, having entered fully the expanses of each of them.