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alt.magick REF: Obeah/Wanga

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.religion.orisha,alt.lucky.w,alt.magick.order,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage
From: (tyaginator)
Subject: alt.magick REF: Obeah/Wanga (was AL I:37)
Date: 6 Sep 1997 13:55:25 -0700

49970726 aa2 Hail Satan!  (this Q has come up before, so I try to cover it)


Alexander Rezanov :
# I need some help in explaining to me what are the meanings of the words 
# "obeah" and "wanga". Can anybody help me?

Kenneth Grant says:

	*Obeah* ([Creole]): Derived from the African root *Ob*, meaning
	 a "serpent", Obeah is a specialized form of the Ophidian Current
         used mainly in Jamaica.

	It has been noted that Crowley described the O.T.O. as the first
	of the great Orders of antiquity to accept the new Law, the Law
	of Thelema.  This was a way of saying that under his direction
	the Order had become the repository of Mysteries originally
	celebrated long ages ago in Sumer.  There is not available
	sufficient information of a historical nature to confirm this
	claim, but we can indeed indicate a Tradition or Current long
	anterior to the "great Orders of antiquity" which he mentions.
	This is the primal African tradition manifest, recensively, in
	the rites and ceremonies of Voodoo and Obeah.  *AL* (II [sic], 
	37) states: "Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and wanga; 
	the work of the wand and the work of the sword; these he shall
	learn and teach."  The work of the wand is the work of the
	Phallus; that of the sword is of the Yoni.  The wand symbolism
	is self evident; that of the sword is obscure and requires
	_Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God_, by Kenneth Grant,
	  Skoob Books, 1992; pp. 182-3.

he goes on to explain that the sword is related to Geburah and that 

	the origin of the symbolism is found in the thigh, or haunch,
	which is the physiological emblem of the Mother who divides
	into two when she reproduces her image.
	Ibid., p. 183.

and continues a complex analysis of more expansive topics of which the 
obeah and wanga appear to be only a portion within his text.  however, 
in other text he says:

	*Ob* ([Hebrew]): A serpent.  A name given to the Astral Light.
	 It is the root of the word "obeah" (q.v.).  See also *Od*.

	*Obeah*: African and West Indian sorcery.  It involves the
	 worship of the Serpent (*Ob*) and the projection of the
	 Astral Light for magical purposes.  *Ob* is the univeral
	 materialising agent, and of the twin serpents of the
	 Caduceus of Mercury, or Hermes, represents the passive
	 element, the active current being *Od* (q.v.).

	*Od*: The positive current of Magical Energy that has its
	 origin in the Serpent Power (see *Kundalini*) in man.
	 Reichenbach called this force Odyle, and Wilhelm Reich,
	 the Orgone.  Experiments by these scientists have
	 demonstrated the existence of this subtle force under
	 laboratory conditions.  *Od* is represented by the active
	 "serpent" of the Caduceus of Hermes.  Together with *Ob*,
	 *Od* forms the magical wand of Double Power wielded by
	 the gods of ancient Egypt and mentioned in *The Book of
	 the Law*.  The polarization of the *Ob* and the *Od* is
	 represented by the globe which surmounts the Caduceus
	 or Wand round which the serpents twine.  The globe
	 symbolizes *Aour* (Heb.), Light (more properly, *Lux*),
	 which is the result of this polarization and equilibrium.
	 In Heaven, this LVX is typified by the Sun; in Man, by
	 Consciousness; in the Minerval Kingdom, by Gold, etc.
	_The Magical Revival_, by Kenneth Grant_, Frederick Muller,
	 Ltd., 1972; pp. 222-3.

this is of different evaluation not only from other Grant (above
and below), but also of the recent disputation of Reich and the 
scientific standards by which he and others of his ilk have 
operated as were reviewed in T93-L (see heaven/Usenet/Tantra/REF.reich).

elsewhere Grant opines:

	*Ob* (Af.) Cf. Hebrew *Aub*, a serpent.  The root of *Obeah*
	 (q.v.).  The number of *Ob* is 9, a number of Yesod and of
	 the moon....

	*Obeah* (Af.): African and West Indian sorcery based upon
	 the use of the *ob* or Ophidian Current in its lunar form.
	 In conjunction with the Odic Current (see *Od*), these
	 twin forces may be compared with the Wand of Hermes, or
	 Caduceus of Mercury....

	*Od* (Afr.): Compare Hebrew *Aud*, the magical light.  *Od*
	 is the positive magical current that has its origin in the
	 Fire Snake.  Its number is 11, the number of magick or
	 'energy tending to change'.
	_Cults of the Shadow_, by Kenneth Grant_, Samuel Weiser,
	 1976; p. 223.

I find it interesting to compare the development of Grant's expression
on these ideas.

	*Wanga* (Voo.): 'The work of the Sword'.  (*AL* II [sic], 37).  
	 The sword is a symbol of the female as the cleaver or cutter 
	 in two.  See *Zain*.


	*Zain* (Heb.): The number seven.  The supreme number of the
	 Draconian Tradition symbolized by the twins, Set-Horus
	 (Gemini), and by the Serpent (Z) and the Eye (*Ain*).  The
	 word *Zain*, meaning a 'sword' is a glyph of the Goddess
	 as the cleaver in twain, and of the Eye of the Serpent
	 attributed to the Daughter (see *Coph Nia*).  *Zain* is
	 also the symbol of sex-magical polarity, and is attributed
	 to the Twins or Lovers in the tarot of the zodiac....
	_Nightside of Eden_, by Kenneth Grant, Frederick Muller
	 Ltd., 1977; pp. 283-4.

of interest to me as Kali suggested I get a mandala of concentric
septagrams of my design tattooed onto my thigh prior to my I' 
initiation in my Order.  very often I have been directed to parallels 
between my own work and Grant's without even tertiary bridging 
exposure to my knowledge.

in any case, we can always do worse than seeking out Crowley's own
commentary on the Evul Book's text in question.  it is rather
lengthy and I would rather not quote the whole thing here but
instead refer the interested reader to this source of Regardie in
_The Law is For All_:

	*37. Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and the wanga;
	the work of the wand and the work of the sword; these he
	shall learn and teach.*

	  [old comment:]

	An entirely new system of magic is to be learnt and taught,
	as is now being done.

	  [new comment:]

	Mantras may be defined as sentences proper to concentration
	of the mind by virtue of their constant repitition. (*Magick*).

	Spells are methods of communicating the will to other beings.
	(See *Magick*).

	The obeah is the magick of the Secret Light with special
	reference to acts; the wanga is the verbal or mental
	correspondence of the same.  THe work of the wand is that
	of Union; of the sword, Division; these correspond to the
	two Phases of the Cosmic cycle described above.  (See

	The root OB (AVB = 9); it may be connectd with the word

	The "obeah" being the acts, the "wanga" the words, proper
	to Magick, the two cover the whole world of external

	*The Equinox* and *Magick* are full of instructions on all
	these matters in great detail, and the student must make
	them his guide.

	But I feel bound to observe that they must be studied merely
	as classics, just as a musician studies Bach and others.  He
	cannot compose by copying or combining their works; they serve
	him only as indications of the art of expression.  He must
	master the technique, theory and practice, of music, till the
	general principles are absorbed, and he has command of the
	language, to use it to express his Will.

	So with Magick; the student must understand and assimilate
	the basic propositions, and he must be expert in the drill of
	the practical details.

	But that is merely groundwork: he must then conceive his own
	expression, and execute it in his own style.  Each star is
	unique, and each orbit apart; indeed, that is the corner-
	stone of my teaching, to have no standard goals or standard
	ways, no orthodoxies and no codes.


	Why am not I to learn and teach the work of the Cup and of
	the Disk?  Is it because they are the feminine weapons?  
	Shall the Scarlet Woman attend to these ?  The Book does
	say so, the passives are ignored.  I feel the omission as
	a lack of balance, the only case of the kind in the
	Book.  This makes me certain that there is a special
	meaning.  This wand and sword may not be the wand and 
	sword, or rather dagger, of the elemental weapons.  The
	wand may be that of the Fool, the sword that of Justice,
	whose letters are A & L; AL is the Key of the whole book.

	We may also take them as simple symbols, the one as that of
	Love, the other as that of War.  But, looking back over
	sixteen years, what have I learnt and taught?  Surely the
	work of the wand, the free use of the Will to create, and
	the way to give power to the Will.  I have set it up and
	caused men to worship it, for its name is God-in-Action.
	As to the work of the sword, I have fought, I have shorn
	shams asunder, I have anatomized my mind as no man has done
	since Gautama.  Last, I have shown how pure analysis leads
	to the highest Trance, and unveils the absolute Truth.

	If this text imply [sic] more than this, I know not of it;
	I ask pardon of Them that fashioned me and chose me for
	Their minister.
	_Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on The Book of the
	 Law_, by Aleister Crowley, eds. Symonds/Grant, 	
	 93 Publishing, 1974; pp. 125-7.

so it appears that the Beast was not in the least certain about the
significance of these terms, though some of his speculation does
indeed support the conjecture provided by Grant above, whom some 
consider his successor in exposition of Evul Book's principles, even 
though he can't seem to understand that it is to be found in the
*first* part of the Evul Book, rather than the second. ;>


E6/6/6 (333)

~From: Dionysos Lysios 

Greetings all,
	Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Alexander Rezanov wrote:
> Anno IVv, Sol  2 deg Leo, Luna 17 deg Aries Dies Veneris
> 93,
> I need some help in explaining to me what are the meanings of the words "obeah"
> and "wanga". Can anybody help me?
> 93 93/93
> Fr. N.T.I.
>  * Origin: Thelema Site, St.Petersburg, Russia (2:5030/239.28)

	Traditionally, an obeah is a fetish or charm used in the sorcery of the
people of Africa or the West Indies. From the context (mantras and
spells,sword and wand, obeah and wanga), one may assume that it is some
similar element of ritual. As for an actual definition of wanga, haven't
a clue. (The above for obeah is from the Random House College

Love is the law, love under will.
*Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune.*
*                        --Thomas Fuller    *

~From: Paul Hume 

Alexander -
Both refer to African, or African-American, forms of magick. Obeah is a
particular magical style, more sorcerous, if you will, than voudoun,
santeria, etc. A wanga is a spell or charm.

(emailed replies may be posted);join the AMT syncretism!!;call: 408/2-666-SLUG!
see; "Clement of Rome taught that God rules the world
with a right and a left hand, the right being Christ, the left Satan." - CGJung

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