I have little hope of recovering all 360 degrees of the authentic tradition, but I think I, or my best students or others who read this may succeed in "accomplishing" the entire degree system of the Rite of Memphis-Misraim, fully one fourth of the ancient system, bypassing (though not necessarily being a substitution for) ritual initiation and generating profound understanding of and use for all existing systems of initiation, and enhancing the work of those involved in such systems.
The "trigger points" or "power points", known as points chauds in the system of Gnostic Voudon as taught by T Michael Bertiaux and developed according to his methods, with due consultation with other sources, are an attempt to expand upon the empowerments and their corresponding points on the human body developed at the end of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st. As stated the authentic tradition may be reasonably postulated to have originated in ancient Sumer, Akad and Babylon, with heavenly correspondences to each degree of initiation in a complete circular system of 360 degrees, of which the 90 degrees of the Rite of Misraim (Egypt) represents only one fourth of the original. The earliest form of the authentic tradition was shamanic, and remnants of this system survive all over the world in aboriginal society. The first systematic system of magick appears to have come from the rich early societies of Mesopotamia, Sumer, Akkad , Babylon and related societies. There the first known system of numbers was developed, circa 5000 years ago. It is known that the Babylonians employed a sexigesimal, or base 60 system of numbers, in contrast to our base 10 system. The latter being obviously based on "counting on one's fingers" . Various ideas have come forth to explain this curious number system, but it is obvious that all systems of language and number in ancient times were intertwined with magick and mysticism and viewed with awe, and that six sixties equals 360, the number of degrees in the Babylonian circle, held to be in concert with the wheel of the year of 360 days. While we use a base ten system, there are many survivals in our culture the Babylonian system, such as 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and in terrestrial measurement, 360 degrees in a circle.
Now, the term "degree" also represents a marker of initiation, as in the system of 90 Degrees in the Oriental Rite of Misraim (Egypt in Hebrew). The English word descends from the Latin gradus, or step. In the end, a degree of initiation, or in the many other contexts in which the term is used, represents a step, and the Mesopotamian system in base 60 has many preoccupations with six times that number, or 360. We learn from Ctesias that the city of Babylon was built on both sides of the river in the form of a square, and enclosed within a triple row of lofty walls. Ctesias makes the outermost wall 360 stades. The legendary list of kings tends to repeat reigns of 360 years. Other "correspondences" show the survival of this predeliction in various ways, among them:
- A Divine Year for the Hindus is equivalent to 360 solar years.
- According to the Chinese medicine, the human body has 360 bones and 360 small articulations; it counts 360 points of acupuncture and 360 major drugs for the therapy.
- The 360 towers at Babylon.
- The 360 steles, altars or idols surrounding the pre Islamic Kaaba of Mecca.
- The 360 degrees of a circle and the 360 symbols of the Zodiac.
- The 360 glances of Allah in the Islamic countries. It is the number of times per day that God looks to the secret or preserved Tablet, that was the first thing created by God. (Koran 85:22)
- The 360 chapels built around the mosque of Balk.
- The 360 temples on the Lowham mountain, in China.
- The 360 statues of divinities to the palace of Daïri in Japan.
- The 360 gods of the orphism.
- In classical Qabala, 'The Messiah' (HMSHYCH) has a value of 360.
- In classical Qabala, the letter shin, a euphemism for God, has the value of 360.
- "If you ever wondered why '24' hours in a day, and not some other, arbitrarily chosen number, or why there are '360' degrees in a circle instead of some other number or some other unit, the reason stems from how handily 24 and 360 break down into many useful fractional parts using integers. For example, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 24, 30, 36, 40, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 360 are ALL factors of 360, while 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 24 are ALL factors of 24. Few numbers break down into as many handy factors, and these numbers have a lot of factors in common. So while one might use another arbitrary number, chances are such a number would be less useful when considering fractions of the whole. 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8, 1/9, 1/10, 1/12, 1/15, 1/18, 1/20, 1/24, 1/30, 1/36, 1/40, 1/45, 1/60, 1/90, 1/120, and 1/180 are all handy, though the ones under 1/12 are even more so. For similar reasons, one 'dozen' is a handy unit in which to sell items. So regardless of how long a planet's day is in actual time, breaking it up into 24 units is a handy thing to do. Further divisions in 60 minutes and 60 seconds uses these same numbers and handy factors." (quotation © January of 2000 by James L. R. Beach)
- The 360 Aeons of the gnostics.
- In the past, there were 360 days in one terrestrial year, according to Immanuel Velikovsky. Various old documents from ancient people tend to confirm it.
- The 360 sovereigns who reigned in Egypt since the first known Pharaoh until the Augustus Caesar supplanted the Pharaohs (year 1 of the Christian era).
- The 360 urns for the usage of the priests of Egypt for the libations in the honor of Osiris.
- The 360 Egyptian priests who poured every day the water of the Nile to Acanthopolis in a bored cask.
- The Athenian people erected 360 statues to Demetrius.
- The enclosing wall of Babylon built by Semiramis had 360 stages length.
- Mahomet destroys the 360 idols of Mecca.
- Darius divided the Gyndes into 360 channels because one of his sacred horses had drowned in this river.
- In the great Persian feast the magi were made accompany by 360 young peoples.
- The number 360 is used 2 times in the Bible.
- There are 12 numbers in the Bible which are multiple of 360, and the sum of the occurrences of each of numbers gives 26.
- The expression 'do not fear' is used 360 times in the Bible, according to Pastor R. Wurmbrand.
The more correspondences to this system we discover, the more we can, as Scientific Illuminists, experiment with and verify the usefulness and accuracy of the system. The 97 Degrees in the Rite of Memphis and its 90 Degree earlier counterpart in the Rite of Mizraim are derived from a number of sources, some of which vary a bit in their attribution. The last English language refinement of the former — not necessarily the best but most accessible to the English-speaking reader, comes from John Yarker. The points chauds themselves are derived from our own experiments, suggested by teachings of Bertiaux and the late William W. Webb. The terrestrial aires were located in an old manuscript and are attributed to John Dee the Elizabethan astrologer and trace channel. At the end of this list, I have included a set of tentative acupuncture correspondences developed in concert with magician and Licensed Acupuncture Physician and researcher David Zietz. The procedural approach I now propose is as follows:
- All recipients of points chauds beyond a few should be invested with the "power and wisdom" of the ancient priesthoods, if not with the actual priesthoods themselves, as "containments" for the energies transmitted.
- All recipients should be encouraged to keep notes and share with other participants the results of empowerments as they progress, be they positive, negative or neutral.
- The points should be administered in "sacred space" or "power zones". While room should be made for spontaneous empowerments, on the whole the recipients should study the points and their correspondences, the antient degrees with which they are associated, and should indicate themselves out of their own intuition and study and experience which points are to be empowered on a given occasion, by word and gesture, and should determine the number of points they are comfortable assimilating on a given occasion.
Refer to previously issued correspondences between known 97 points, location and uses.
In the accompanying table we present the points chauds and correspondences as originally developed for this research project in the 1990s, keyed on the 97 degree system of Memphis. The researcher can quick-reference the points and degrees in The Compleat Rite of Memphis.
Integrated with this table is information about corresponding acupuncture points, based on the work of David Zeitz, a Florida-based certified acupuncturist who has attempted to correlate these specific points with acupuncture points in common. Take note that there are far more acupuncture 'points' than the 90-plus degrees in this system, let alone systems of 33 or 9 degrees. It is conjectured that other points in acupuncture may eventually give clues to undiscovered or lost correspondences.
Finally, following the listing, I quote without comment some of the most exotic, speculative ideas considered in recent decades on the origin of magical knowledge in relationship to this system. These comments should be taken as speculation, and no more. Before the 1940s the Sumerian civilization was completely buried in the mists of history, though its effects on the science, religion and other aspects of Mesopotamian and other civilizations were known to us from successor cultures.
After the several incidences of disappearances and a tragic death, along with a number of positive results, I began to be concerned that only persons consecrated to this energy in advance could safely contain it. All serious experimentation into unknown lands has risk involved; even the Moon was not claimed without casualties.