Ask any person seriously accomplishing anything – and there must be something unpleasant at the core of their being which they will always remember – something that after a long period of time urged them to stop wasting their precious moments on this planet and DO. Live. Sacrifice – to make their dreams manifest. There is a special need to be met. But what else would make this urgency occur in a person? Pleasure – comfort – satisfaction – peace? We are driven to act by friction, strife and misery.
What else would have caused ancients living in far away times dig under layers of earth to uncover ore for the use of making iron, with no shovels, but hands and sticks – or fire? What else would have caused our ancestors, driven by political, religious or ecological strife – to create ships and make their presence known in distant lands either by trading, raiding or invasion? It was an inner striving – a need.
This is the force of Naudiz – the Germanic Rune of the Needfire. One of the many ways of creating a campfire is the use of a plank of wood, brush, a bow and a stick of wood. The stick is pointed at the end, and twisting the rope of the bow around the stick – you then twist the wood back and forth on the plank. The rapid friction of the bow on the plank of wood – with flammable material – will cause for ignition.
The main message I recieve from this powerful secret is that desperate times, crucial times, call for the use of OUR potential. Times of struggle call for a refocus of our minds and actions towards how we can work with what he have – and in this way we develop power and ability in the long run – which in many words is Will. Like a craft aimed at propelling towards the heavens, it must have hard, thick, heavy friction below to push off from.
The Runes are very useful tools for those on a path with the desire to develop into something – i look at them like the symbol of a necessary counseling needed at difficult times – and in this way – can be keys to accessing new aspects of ourselves – more willingly – no matter how afraid, painful or unsure we may be. And the same goes for the Tarot.
A man went walking on his quest for spiritual liberation. He saw a mountain – and there at the top – he knew he would find true understanding of his existence. He made his way up – and was confronted by a monstrous Devil who wanted him to turn around. He was also distracted by a beautiful woman who was eager to pull him off the quest into sex, but he kept going. As he finally made his way up to the top of the mountain – he came to relization – there being nothing but him and the top – that God is himself, the mountain, the woman, the Devil and the All. That realization was – he is everything – that the inner core of his being is a Self that is within all of the universe. Clear, unnamable, untouchable – even describing it is useless.
The Devil in Aleister Crowley’s mind was a symbolic archetype for individual consciosuness expanded, exalted. This is the purpose of the symbol of the Goat – that archaic figure which once was known in the Pagan world as the Greek God Pan of lust. Pan’s name was meant to conceal that he was the “All.” He is everything. And when we look at the Devil – through Crowley’s lense – we should be seeing the formula for intitiation into personal understanding of ourselves and the relationship between “I” and “the Other.” Those that were said to see Pan in his true form would go insane with fear at the sight of his vastness. This is poetic explanation for the actual timid nature of man’s life in the monstrous expansion of all being in this universe.
In this way – there is something very relatable with Naudiz and the Devil. Both are meant to convey the individual’s Will power in relation to the phenomenon of circumstance. What will we do when we are challenged – What will the Devil show us of ourselves – and how can we prove the enemies or challenges wrong – that we can survive and win.
Both are powerful constructs in our minds if we are in times of need – or exploration – that sometimes we must be like the Goat on the highest mountain tops, frolicking under a blazing sun – laughing in the face of adversity and a jealous god which would see us fall to our deaths if we falter in our balance and confidence.
The main message of the Devil – is that it is an archetypal force without Man’s relationship to reality – here is our relationship to work, to indulgence, to self knowledge or endeavors – how are we enslaved, how are we willfully obsessed – or if life is handing it to us, are we still able to retain a sense of humor and say “Is this all you’ve got?” Another main message of the Devil – is to follow the archetype of the rebellious Man on his way towards transformation – don’t be suprised to become hated or scapegoated for it.
But there is another metaphysical underpinning here, which was explained earlier, that the Devil is Man’s spirit exalted, expanded – in a Zen state – where he becomes All and All becomes him.