The Gnostic Church of L.V.X.

Towards the Formulation of a Magickal Motto:
Or 'What's in a name'?

Paul Joseph RovelliĀ 

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

An new student of mine asked me how to fashion a magickal motto after taking his first grade initiation into our order. And even thou I had created several mottos for myself during my magickal career, I became surprised at myself when I realized that I had no clear and eloquent response. I hope to resolve this here and now.

First, as the subtitle to this article may suggest, words; especially names have power. By way of example, in my personal life there are those that call me 'Paul'. They for the most part, see me as a serious character and hold to me with a certain respect that I appreciate. And there are others who call me 'PJ'; seeing me as a more or less carefree character almost as if the Mr. Hyde to Paul's Dr. Jekyll. My point is, that these two names affect the expectations of others and the approach with which I am able to interact with them.

There are two principal angles from which one may approach the task of determining a magickal motto. The first is to view ahead and determine the current to be invoked. And the second is to look back and summarize all that has lead to the present level of initiation. I believe this is more of a personal choice rather than to say that one is somehow more appropriate than the other.

Regarding the first direction (that of looking ahead), the aspirant may determine a current to be invoked or a personality to be assumed. Yet still, this should conform with any and all previous oaths and mottos. The flip side of this remains congruous with it as a whole and is our second direction. The aspirant here asks: 'Who am I?' 'What am I?' 'How does the universe define itself through me?'

Beyond this there is a third approach. And that would be the expression of one's highest ideals and most coveted truth. A word can be formulated or a deity name may be adopted as that deity represents the personification of a certain ideal or truth. This methodology may also be applied to the two principal angles discussed above.

In general, a motto can be a magickal formula that is usually an artificially constructed word. And as such, may reveal some quality pertaining to the nature of the aspirant's initiation. For example: Crowley's motto for the grade of Ipsissimus is V.V.V.V.V. And it loosely translates as 'While living, I have conquered the universe.'

A motto may also be derived from choosing the name of a personal hero or of a predecessor who filled a certain seat in a lineage to which the aspirant has now taken in his generational turn. And it may even be derived from a family crest or from the seal or symbol of an occult order or office.

What remains is to provide an example of some of these concepts worked out so that the reader may better understand how develop and apply these with relative ease. We will take a look back to four mottos that I chose during the on-going course of my aspiration. Only, I will exclude my present motto for what I assume are obvious reasons.

My first motto was 'N.P.U.E.', which is an anagram of the Latin phrase: Noster proposito unicus est, and which loosely translates as: my aim is one. In this initial stage of my development, I was imitating both Crowley's theme in his original motto: Perdurabo; and the format of the Latin mottos taken by various members of the original Golden Dawn. For the beginning, this kind of mimickry and cross-pollinating is quite healthy as the new aspirant begins the search for an original voice.

Next, I came up with 'Abramelin 257'. I was profoundly moved by having read The Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage; and wanted a motto that expressed my desire for the attainment of the knowledge and conversation of my Holy Guardian Angel. Additionally, I found a qabbalistic numerical equivalent using what skill I may have had at Gematria and appended it to the name.

After this, I was through with Latin and Hebrew ideas as I became uncomfortable with their Piscean derivations. And I wanted something to express my new understanding of my evolving nature. I sought also, both to improve my physical health and securing my professional career along with the lifestyle that this action would provide for me. This was also configured into an awareness that I was blind or ignorant when it came to the true nature of my spiritual being.

'Adonis' connected to and consolidated these ideas admirably after my having read Crowley's play entitled Adonis in which the main protagonist suffering from amnesia, is led to the recovery of his memory. The symbolism there should be apparent. Adonis was also a Greco-Roman hero of impeccable physical stamina and beauty in harmony with mind and spirit. I chose this motto for the period of my probation with the A.'.A.'..

During this time, I fell into a greater awareness of my love for Gnosticism as a new facet of my devotion to Greek studies in general. And I determined that from hereon, all my magickal mottos would be Greek. This also came to me partly from my work with the Gnostic Mass and the Star Ruby; both of which use Greek for places that employ words of power.

And for my Neophyte period I remained committed to Greek idea that I had developed up to this point. I adopted the motto 'Orpheus'. He carried music in his breast and brought it out to reveal a marvelous aesthetic to the world. I interpreted that along with a Gnostic teaching that informs us that the aspirants' task is to seek that which is within and bring it forth. It further warns that if you don't bring this forth, it will destroy you. And I combined all this with the psychotherapy that I was engaged in seeking the discovery of my shadow, and a more primal need for emotional healing.

In summation, for each and every aspirant there can be molded a motto that can be adopted with deep solemnity. As the understanding of the use of symbols unfolds a very personal voice is harnessed. This is it's own practice for the ultimate attainment with the logos as is the task before every adept. First generated by rote and imitation, next the heart kicks in blends into the operation. And ultimately, the character and nature of the Holy Guardian Angel is actively present. Finally, of course, there is constructed the ultimate motto from a union in the Supernals and a word is uttered that resonates in harmony with the logos. ABRAHADABRA.