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Ritual Signs

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Part of the Magick in Theory & Practice series.

Ritual signs are positions assumed by the body, whether physical or astral. Their use is common in Thelemic ritual magick. The following sets of signs were assigned by Aleister Crowley to the various Grades of his order, the A.'.A.'.. The first sets (the Neophyte, elemental grade signs and L.V.X. signs) were derived from the grade signs of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Such signs often have multiple uses and meanings, depending on the context.

Table of contents

Neophyte Signs

Common title: The Enterer. Horus.
A.'.A.'. grade: 0°=0°
Description: The Sign of the Enterer is performed by taking a step forward with the left foot, and then leaning the body forward while thrusting out with both hands, fingers outstretched, as if reaching for something.

Common title: Silence. Harpocrates.
A.'.A.'. grade: 0°=0°
Description: Standing upright, left hand at the side, place the tip of the index finger of the right hand just on the lower lip.

Elemental Grade Signs

Common title: Earth. The God Set fighting.
A.'.A.'. grade: 1°=10°
Description: Advance the right foot, and swing the right arm up and forward at a 45° angle, with the left arm back and down, also at a 45° angle.

Common title: Air. The God Shu supporting the sky.
A.'.A.'. grade: 2°=9°
Description: Arms raised, elbows bent 90°, forearms vertical, with wrists bent as though holding up the sky.

Common title: Water. The Goddess Auramoth.
A.'.A.'. grade: 3°=8°
Description: With thumbs and index fingers, place the hands together on the torso, forming a downward-pointing triangle.

Common title: Fire. The Goddess Thoum-aesh-neith.
A.'.A.'. grade: 4°=7°
Description: With thumbs and index fingers, place the hands together on the forehead, forming an upward-pointing triangle.

Image:sign_veil(1).gif Image:sign_veil(2).gif
Common title: Spirit. The Rending and Closing of the Veil
A.'.A.'. grade: Dominus Liminis
Description: Properly speaking, this is two different signs, where the magician is either tearing open a split veil or closing it. The forearms should be roughly parallel to the floor.

The L.V.X. Signs

Common title: Osiris Slain. The Cross.
Letter of LVX: [+]
A.'.A.'. grade: 5°=6°
Description: At shoulder level, hold arms straight out at the sides to form a cross.

Common title: Isis Mourning. The Svastika.
Letter of LVX: L
A.'.A.'. grade: 5°=6°
Description: Right arm is bent at 90°, upper arm parallel with the ground, forearm pointing upwards, fingers extended. Left arm is the same, but with the forearm arm pointing downwards. Head faces to the left and down. Right foot rests on its ball, with the knee bent.

Common title: Typhon. The Trident.
Letter of LVX: V
A.'.A.'. grade: 5°=6°
Description: Raise arms above the head at an angle of 60° to each other, and throw the head back, as if looking upwards. Stand up on the balls of both feet.

Common title: Osiris Risen. The Pentagram. Attitude of Resurrection.
Letter of LVX: X
A.'.A.'. grade: 5°=6°
Description: Standing upright, cross the arms over the chest, right over left, so that the open hands rest on the shoulders.

The N.O.X. Signs

Common title: Puer. Khem. Horus and Mentu.
Letter of NOX: N
A.'.A.'. grade: 6°=5°
Description: Right arm forms an "L", with closed hand, thumb pointing towards the head. Closed left hand rests at the base of the torso, thumb pointing away from the body.

Common title: Vir. Pater. Amoun. Attitude of Pan or Bacchus.
Letter of NOX: O
A.'.A.'. grade: 7°=4°
Description: Place closed hands at the temples with thumbs facing outwards, resembling horns.

Common title: Puella. Venus Pudica. The Sign of Chastity.
A.'.A.'. grade: Babe of the Abyss
Description: Standing upright, place open right hand over the breast, and the open left hand over the groin.

Common title: Mulier. Isis in Welcome. Sign of Babalon. Attitude of Baphomet.
Letter of NOX: X
A.'.A.'. grade: Babe of the Abyss
Description: Arms form a 90° angle above head, elbows bent slightly, with hands open. Feet are a little over shoulder width apart, facing forward. Head looks upwards.

Common title: Isis Rejoicing. Mater Triumphans. Isis with Horus.
A.'.A.'. grade: 8°=3°
Description: Head looking downwards, the right hand pinches the left nipple, while the left hand cradles just below solar plexus, as if holding a baby.

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