The Thelemic Refuge is a simple ritual that may be used to produce a kavacha, or magical armor. It is a prelimary to almost every practice of New Aeon Tantra, as well as a protective and empowering practice that may be done on its own throughout the day. It is also a good practice to perform at the two twilights either before or after Surya Namascar.
In the traditional tantras of India, each of the deities has its own kavacha that the practitioner assumes during their worship for protection, empowerment, and attunement to the predominant energies of the deity. In the rites of New Aeon Tantra, there is one general kavacha, which utilizes the energies of the Thelemic pantheon of Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Assumption of your magical armor is a form of banishing ritual. As with a traditional pentagram rite, Thelemic Refuge involves both an invocation of the divine as well as a protective radiant shield of light that will surround your sphere of sensation.
On another level, this practice is also similar to the Buddhist act of taking refuge in the Three Jewels of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. In our practice, we are taking refuge in the cosmic goddess of Infinite Space and Infinite Stars (the One or All or Naught), the individual point event or singularity, and the Eternal Child of these. As such, Thelemic Refuge is truly redirecting the consciousness to the Self as the point of union between the One and the All, the finite and infinite, the human and the divine. Our refuge is in our Self, and the Truth contained therein.
The process itself is simple. Standing upright, or sitting comfortably with spine erect, take three cleansing breaths by inhaling slowly, and then relax all of your muscles while you exhale slowly and without tension.
Next, cross your arms over your chest, right over left. Holding yourself in this position, with head bowed, repeat these words from chapter III, verse 17, of Liber AL vel Legis:
"Nu is your refuge, as Hadit your light; and I am the strength, force, vigour of your arms."
See yourself surrounded by radiant golden light, flowing and pulsating around your sphere of sensation in an egg-shaped chrysalis of flaming light. As your inner perception adjusts, you may become aware of a very thin layer of electric blue light underlying the golden fire. You may also be aware of a current of energy flowing up and down your spine, and an awakening in centers in your heart, forehead, and above the crown of the head.
With the armor of the Star Goddess and her retinue in place, you may now go on to further work, or remain in contemplation and deeper meditative practices.
Excerpted from The Magickal Union of East and West, by Gregory Peters.
Gregory Peters (Stanford, CA) has contributed scholarly articles on Freemasonry and Thelema in local and international publications. He has been a student and teacher of esoteric systems of self-discovery for twenty years, ...