Copyright (C) 1999 by William Mistele.  All rights reserved.

God's Presence and Hermetic Metaphysics


I would like to speak briefly about my view of God and religion
drawing from what I have learned from personal experience.  But
first I would like about speak of Franz Bardon's point of view since
he has been of great assistance to me in the areas of method and
practice.  Bardon, however, does not give specific rituals and
ceremonies which an individual might utilize to further his
devotional life.  
     In part, Bardon feels that it is fine for an individual to reply upon
the religion of his upbringing if that is where the individual is most
comfortable.  By contrast, Bardon's interest is in training an
individual according to universal principles rather than in promoting
specific forms of worship, devotion, and traditional ways of
communing with God.  Let's consider this view briefly.
     From Bardon's point of view, man is in the image of God and
God is within him.  Specifically, a magician according to Bardon
seeks to know God in all his aspects which are analogous to the four
elements:  "the fiery principle involves the almightiness and the
omnipotence, the airy original principle owns the wisdom, purity
and clearness, from the aspect of which proceeds the universal
lawfulness.  Love and eternal life are attributed to the watery
principle, and the omnipresence, immortality and consequently
eternity belong to the earthy principle. These four aspects together
represent the supreme Godhead."  
     In brief, the entire universe on all planes and all physical and
spiritual beings have been fashioned from out of the four elements.  Each
human being is a microcosm reflecting the consciousness and the energies
in the entire universe, the macrocosm.  In training, therefore, the idea
is to move step by step and systematically toward becoming conscious of
these energies discovering them and mastering them first within oneself.  
This involves mastering each of the four elements with equal ability on
each of the planes from the physical world to the highest levels of God
     Revealed religions often present a very personal God who can be
approached through specific ways.  These ways are often specified
according to orthodox interpretations by individuals claiming to be
authorities.  Now it is a wonderful thing to go to a place or follow
certain practices which offer a feeling and reassurance that one is in
right alignment with God.  I am all for that freedom of choice.  Yet there
is also a tradition in which Jacob wrestled with an angel and God
commands, "Be still and know that I am God."  There is something to be
said for first hand, direct, and personal experience.  Bardon emphasizes
this path of direct experience.
    Now in the Bardon system, in addition to the elaborate beginning
practices, there is a grand metaphysics which you can explore depending on
your own inclinations and abilities.  Besides the beings representing the
four elements, the aura of the earth contains vast numbers of highly
developed spiritual beings.  Bardon describes a few paragraphs for over
360 of these beings.  If you are a little psychic or intuitive, it is not
so difficult to interact with these spirits and get to know them in a
friendly sort of way.  See my article on Some Dialogues with Earthzone
Spirits and also the articles under Spirits of the Earthzone.
    There are also spirits associated with the auras of the various
planets in our solar system--beginning with the moon, Mercury,
Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. 
Bardon has also described a great number of these beings as well. 
In terms of the Jewish Kabbalah, I consider most of these beings to
be spirits who are presided over to some extent by an archangel of
that planetary sphere.  
     For example, the 28 spirits of the lunar zone which Bardon
describes are associated with the archangel Gabriel.  These 28 spirits
are of less comprehensive ability and power than the archangel. 
You could say they are specialists whereas the archangel is more
universal and has a wider range of influence.  
     From my experience, the spirits Bardon describes are very
capable of teaching and acting within their areas of ability.  Some
are and some are not particularly friendly.  That is, they do not like
to be bothered unless you are quite serious in your purpose and
clearly know what you are doing.  In other words, they are kind of
like university professors.  They are busy and active and do not have
time for nonsense.
    Archangels, by contrast, are much more friendly and personable. 
They are like presidents of colleges, the head of the alumni
association, or the dean of admissions.  They actively promote good
feelings about their college or area of spiritual activity.  They are in
public relations.   They have a reputation to maintain.  And all of
them have interacted in human history in very specific ways.  They
know human beings.  
     The problem with talking to an archangel is that they are so
positive and friendly, it is easy to come away being deceived about
the level of difficulty involved in whatever you are trying to
accomplish.  I can talk to the head of a medical school or a specific
college and if they feel my interest is genuine and my commitment
real they will speak in lavish terms of the career opportunities
available after I have finished my training at their institute. But this
does not mean in any way that organic chemistry, calculus, or
statistics are going to be any less easy as classes to get through.  You
still have to do your homework and attend class if you are going to
accomplish anything at all.  
    I met an individual recently who knows Bill Gates and Paul Allen,
the founders of Microsoft and Apple computers.  I do not think she
really understands the industries they are involved with or their
significance and influence.  Her response is based on personal tastes
and opinions about how someone should act.  The same is true in
my experience with archangels.  They are easy to get to know
personally but these beings stand within eternity and oversee the
entire history of the human race so interacting with them always
carries with it the possibility of self-deception for the simple reason
that they are often too vast to comprehend.  I describe some of my
experiences with Gabriel under the section Spirits of the Planetary
     In brief, then, I find that in addition to the over five hundred
spirits Bardon describes, there remain the traditional Kabbalist
archangels which preside over these spirits in their respective
spheres.  Bardon mentions a few of these such as Metatron.   I was
asked recently whether these archangels relate only to our solar
system.  In my experience, this is pretty much the case.  There are
spirits of other stars, solar systems, galaxies, and so forth which on
occasion involve themselves elsewhere to fulfill some purpose. 
    Having considered this metaphysical outline of a magician's
spiritual universe, we return to the question about God and religion. 
In Kabbalah, there are ten sephiroth which represent the ways God
emanates energy to the universe.  These sephiroth present God's
Presence in ten different ways according to different themes and
purposes.  The auras and spirits of the planets embody these themes
and purposes in more concrete ways.  This is analogous to
universities again.  If you want science and technology, you might
consider MIT. If you want to teach, you might consider the
University of Chicago.  If you want theology, you go to a divinity
school, law to a law school, and for the armed forces you go to a
military school such as Annapolis or West Point.
     Similarly, if you want contentment and peace you go to the lunar
zone.  If you want intelligence and science, you go to the Mercury
zone.  If you want ecstatic love and art, you go to the sphere of
Venus.  If you want universal light, love, and service, you to the
sphere of the sun.  If you want total self-mastery and divine power
you meditate within the sphere of Mars.   If you want to vastly
expand your opportunities for new experiences and service you go
to the sphere of Jupiter.  If you want to comprehend first hand
cosmic justice, fate, and the purpose of life's limitations, you go to
the sphere of Saturn, and so forth.  All of these other spheres are
represented in a more practical and approachable manner in the 360
spirits of the earthzone.  
     Nonetheless, there is a remarkable difference between specific
beings and God's Presence as presented in the ten sephiroth. 
Human beings are found in the physical world.  Spirits such as
elementals are found on the astral plane.  Higher spirits are found on
the mental plane or in the planetary spheres and so forth.  These
beings all have specific and limited abilities no matter how wide
ranging or vast their influence and sphere of action.   
    But the God Presence is found on all plane, in all spheres, and it is not
finite.  It is infinite.  Its creative capacity is without beginning or end and no
specific thing in the universe can define it.  It is best known by studying all
that it has created by it and joining with this Presence itself in an act of
creation.  Lovers, therefore, present the best analogy to who and what God is.  I
offer this poem expressing the voice of Vehuiah of the sphere of Mercury with whom
I was discussing this very issue:

What is like unto God?
What breath can express His Presence?
Whose voice can sing His songs?
What created thing reflects His Essence?
What image captures His form?

What priest or sage can measure His mystery?
What prophet or mage can comprehend His plans?
Is there an artist anywhere in the universe,
A sculptor whose hands are so skilled, 
That he can create beauty like unto the beauty 
God creates on a billion billion worlds?
Can the creature ever understand the Creator?

But wait! Lovers are like this--
They anoint each other with their bliss.
Their souls embrace, their innermost essence they taste.
There is nothing they hold back in the giving.
Love is their breath, their voice, their song, and their art.
Their love celebrates and partakes of God's beauty.
This wonder is at the heart of the universe--

It is a pageantry like no other,
A drama of immense suspense.
Wisdom,  power, and magick play only supporting parts.
I impart faith, conviction, and the perfection of will
So divine love might enter the earth.

For myself, I find that God's Presence expresses itself through the
themes and purposes of  the ten sephiroth.  In other words,  through
each sphere and planet's aura in our solar system, God's Presence is
found underneath as an infinite energy and limitless consciousness
which creates in the following ways: 

In Malkuth/the Earth:  It creates strength, endurance, and
abundance--all of life's experiences are here to be appreciated and

In Yesod/the Moon:  It creates peace and contentment, happiness
and satisfaction. 

In Hod/Mercury:  It creates whatever you need to fulfill your
purposes--the perfection of intelligence forming and shaping the

In Netzach/Venus:  It creates oneness, personal beauty, harmony,
and love.

In Tipareth/the Sun: It creates integration, unity, full consciousness
of all aspects of life and the universe--a cosmic harmony and union. 
The entire universe exists in a state of oneness yet who is conscious
of this?

In Gevurah/Mars:  It creates the will and the power to overcome all
opposition and obstacles.

In Chesed/Jupiter: It creates opportunities for new experience, for
fulfillment, and for wealth on every level and in every area of life.  

In Binah/Saturn:  It creates justice, order, balance, and
responsibility--that is, responsibility for everything that exists. 

In Chockmah/Uranus:  It creates new destinies, new paths of life.  It
lays the foundations for new civilizations.  It makes all things new
by the power of its voice.  

In Kether/Neptune:  It is within everything, a part of everything, and
it is the source from which all things arise. It creates visions, dreams,
intimations, and prophecies of what can be which reveal the depths
of life and of the mysteries of the heart.  All of the sephiroth are
contained and interwoven as one here just as all of the sephiroth are
manifested in some concrete, physical, and distinct manner in

In summary, then, my experience indicates that entering God's
Presence, the "Be still and know that I am God," leads to
experiencing the infinite power to create in accord with these ten
different themes and purposes.  Again, you can sit down with the
president of a college, the President, e.g., of the United States, or
Bill Gates for that matter.  But when you shake hands and talk, it
does not mean that this encounter grants you a college degree, the
right to command the armed forces, or the ability to write a simple
program using C++ computer language.  
     It does mean, however, that you can ask questions and get
answers from individuals who have responsibility for and who
exercise oversight over their respective disciplines, nations, and
industries.   Likewise, when you enter God's presence you
understand that the entire universe is an on-going creation of infinite
love and beauty.  And that there is infinite power open and available
for participating in and celebrating this wonder. 
    In my experience, these sephiroth or emanations of God's
Presence are like ten gates.  I do not find anyone, any spirit, or
being guarding these gates.  No archangel embodies even one per
cent of God Presence.  No created being is in a position to say,
"This is where God is or this is the way in which God is active." 
This temple of God's Being is found within each of our hearts. 
Each of us has the freedom and the prerogative to seek this
Presence, this creative power, in our own way, in our own time, and
according to our own unique vision.