Earthing The Tunnels of Set
An account of Magickal Workings undertaken from July 1983
through February 1988, based upon Nightside of Eden,
by Kenneth Grant, and upon Liber CCXXXI, "The
Genii of the 22 Scales of the Serpent and of the Qliphoth," by Aleister Crowley.
Incense of Abramelin billowed from the brazier in thick ropes
of pungent smoke, creating of our simple hill top camp in the wilderness of central Ohio
the precinct of an ancient temple, deepening the night with a familiar aura of sacredness.
Lightning flashed on the near horizon. Howling, drumming, chanting from the distant
bonfire drifted to us, evoked that strangely chthonic, highly charged emotional atmosphere
so characteristic of Lammas -- Feast of Set -- celebration of the heliacal rising of the
The rite to be performed by candlelight within the confines of
this our temple was designed to ride upon these waves of force, to catch the shrieking
currents raised in smoke and flame, in pouring, sooted sweat and breathless dancing; to
propel us into strange dimensions, and catalyze our Wills. Anxiety, the rising nervous
expectation that always heralds the imminence of those extra-dimensional forces we would
that night invoke, and the ultimate power of our magick, signaled our beginning the
elaborate web of tantra, woven of souls, lives, bodies, and raw energy of flesh and
mind-stuff. At that point of ecstasy which rides the very edge of consciousness, like
reckless cliff-divers, we flung ourselves into those nether-dimensions where there are no
paths, but only gateways; our souls propelled into a viscous darkness in which we found
ourselves embedded, and through which flowed to us all images, all emotions, all things
existent that had ever been or might come to be in some far and unknown future.
Thus we began our exploration/ reification of the Sethian
Tunnels, that dark repository of primordial instincts, of root primitive atavisms, of
alien awarenesses, and strange adumbrations of far future selves. Filled with terror,
filled with power, this is our fearful birth right. Unacknowledged and unclaimed, it is
yet full of lethal fascination, for in backward turning ever lies the possibility of
becoming "other" ó more than human.
We threw ourselves into exploration of the Nightside of
consciousness, eager to experience the backside of the Tree of Life, to crawl into those
interdimensional wormholes that undermine prosaic Dayside reality. The Tunnels of Set:
"a network of dream cells in the subconscious mind," reached by projecting
consciousness through Dašth, "the gateway of the manifestation of
non-manifestation" (Kenneth Grant, Nightside of Eden). Dašth, false Sephira,
throat chakra, connected weirdly to the "lower throat"
ó phallus/kteis ó glyphed by Yesod. In our subsequent workings, this identity - polarity returned again and
yet again to our awarenesses, assuming considerable importance in the efficacy of our
Leapers together of the nether regions of the Tree, we would
agree by gut reaction on which Tunnel to explore. Sona N'yl would then begin to paint the
Tunnel's yantra. Arctor would vibrate its mantra over and over within his mind in the
joined ecstasy of tantra. And we waited for the power to come through, surrendering
ego-control to an inherent, inescapable factor of unpredictability. Some Tunnels came
through like lightning, others had to be coddled and coaxed. Polarities were reversed, so
that while Sona N'yl qabalized and read like mad, Arctor patiently allowed himself to
become the vehicle of magnetizing and earthing the force.
Tantra was practiced on all possible levels. Each thought,
act, event, image, emotion, person, situation presented to awareness, whether spiritual or
mundane, global or highly personal, became part of that tunnel's hell broth.
We found it necessary to acquire a house to give privacy and
clear access to earth energies, and access to the stars ó a house which later revealed
itself it to be a launching point for interstellar/ trans-dimensional travelers, the Moa
of long lost Lemuria. Dagdagiel induced us to gorge on oysters to get into the proper
spirit; and for Zamradiel, we crawled deep into an ancient initiatory cave, equipped with
flashlights and hardhats. We were introduced to the deep mysteries of Taoist "dual
cultivation" with Saksaksalim; while certain bisexual aspects of A'ano'nin brought us
Maya Xenophilous Dorje-Cat, a true hermaphrodite (hermaphrocat?), possessing both male and
female generative organs.
Tzuflifu brought a worldwide drought and heat wave. The very
day it was "deactivated" and Malkunofat begun, there were torrential rains and
floods. Rajneeshpuram fell when we worked Uriens. No one within our circle was immune, one
friend landing the role of "Miguel" in George Romero's Day of the Dead when we worked Thantifaxath. While Hemethterith brought astrology clients flocking
to the door.
To short-circuit dayside linear consciousness and left-brain
structuring of the experiment, no formal journals were kept, nor are there records of the
random order in which the Tunnels were explored, as one by one the Tunnel reifications
emerged upon their canvases by the hand of Sona N'yl, eventually to be reproduced in card
format as The Shadow Tarot. When the Tunnels (and explorers) had been exhausted, a
chapbook was compiled as a verbal travelogue, describing the scenery and landscape of the
psychic spaces previously little explored, mapping cogent symbols, suggesting formulae to
work, and powers to be gained, and warning of symptoms of unbalanced energies relating to
each Tunnel's psychic web.
We found power in the realm of the Ancient Ones, those great
cosmological beings existent before time, who yet lurk in those interdimensional spaces
between universes, waiting for the call to their awakening, ready to devour. By accessing,
and redefining within our human psyches these remote geographies of the Soul, we found
power to remake ourselves. We emerged from 55 months of tunneling laden with treasures,
found ourselves more rich than when first we embarked upon these nether explorations.
Yet each individual leaves their own unique footprint in the
desert sands of the Abyss, in their crossing to the City of the Pyramids under the Night
of Pan. And so there are many Tunnel images yet to be earthed, more maps, new angles,
fresh descriptions of the psychic space yet to be wrought before we, the human race,
succeed in bringing about a willed mutation of the species that will propel us to the
Comity of Stars.
"For [man] is of the Blood of the Ancient Ones, but has
the Spirit of the Elder Gods breathed into him . . . and this is the War which shall be
always fought, . . . for the World is unnatural. When the Great KUTULU rises up and greets
the Stars, then the War will be over, and the World be One." (Abdul Alhazred, in
"IA! IA! CTHULHU FHTAGN!" Raise Chthulhu to the