The House of Khabs
The Rosicrucians tell a story about the burial place of their founder, Christian Rosenkreutz. It is a room or vault with seven walls, a white ceiling and a black floor, and altar in the middle over the coffin or pastos in which the body of CRC was lain. An inscription gave its purpose “Unto the Glory of the Rose Cross I have constructed this Tomb for Myself and a Compendium of Universal Unity.” The Rosicrucian inner order of the Golden Dawn designed a room based on this design found in the Fama Fraternitas and used it for their 5=6 Adeptus Minor initiations and other allied magicks. They added the innovation of a rigorous color scheme and symbolism for the walls, floor and ceiling.
But the vault is still the tomb, a hall of the dead. This kind of symbolism is plainly unsuited for the current aeon, however potent for the last. Also building an object with seven 8 x 5 foot walls and a ceiling and floor to match makes an unwieldy structure that is far from portable. The following is a record of a new version of the Vault of the Adepti called the ‘House of Khabs’ that has been found effective in the initiation of adepts and for adept-class magick.
With a little ethnographic study it becomes evident that birth symbolism can be substituted for death. Also, ‘ephemeralizing’ the structure would be in keeping with the general flow of technical advancement both within the magickal community and without. This term is taken from R. Buckminster Fuller who uses it to describe the pattern he noted that we are constantly doing more with less. The best example of this is the pocket calculator which was once as large as a radio and very expensive and now is the size of a credit card and given away. Fuller’s geometries give us the ability to ephemeralize the Vault of the Adepti and thereby form the House of Khabs.
The Rosicrucian story includes the tale of the vault’s discovery by the adepti one hundred and twenty years after the death of the Founder. Since the transformation we would effect is also mythic we must present an addendum to that old tale:
“Long did they study the mysteries imparted unto them by their discovery of the vault and many profound secrets of the sacred Art revealed themselves in their study. Ninety years after the discovery of the Vault, the Colleagues sought to examine again the regalia and tools of the Founder as he lay within the Pastos.
Opening the pastos they found therein no body; only the tools and regalia. Seeing this as vindications of their need to study them, they removed the tools and regalia and departed, sealing the door with the sign of N.O.X. for nothing remained within.
But, as soon as they had closed and seated the Portal behind them, they heard a great crash, as though the Vault had collapsed upon itself, and although they tried they could not again open the Portal.
Again they consulted the ROTA, as they had of old, and came to an understanding. They learned that the formulae of initiation had changed with the revolution of the Aeons. That the Way was not of Death but of Birth and the Founder had passed on to be Born again. They also learned that the Portal would not again open for Two Hundred and Ten years, until the Keys of the New Aeon had been discovered and used…”
Thus everything is changed. As for the direct application of birth symbolism in the rite, we shall leave that to its initiates, let us just say reborn in the House of Khabs. However, the physical structure of the House of Khabs is easy to discuss along with some of its attendant symbolism. As a whole, it is based on the fundamental geometric shapes that the Egyptians, and Assyrians and Plato all referred to and used, slightly modified by Fuller’s synergetic outlook. I refer you to Plato’s Timaeus for the foundational texts of this method as well as Fuller’s Synergetics I & II for a more modem explanation of these forms.
The House of Khabs (“and Khabs is the name of my house”, L. AL) is a structure built of three portions. The outermost is a tetrahedron, the minimum form in normal space. It is the overarching body of Nuit and delimits the space. It is made by a tripod of three poles and the ground on which it is placed. Ropes are run between the vertices on the ground providing the definition of the basal triangle. To each of the basal vertices is attributed a mother letter of the Hebrew alphabet. To most of the rest of the vertices (of the rest of the structure we will describe) will be attribute each of the rest of the Hebrew alphabet. Naturally, this alludes to the yetzeratic and tarot attributions of which the letters are hieroglyphs.
The next structure is called properly the Isometric Vector Equilibrium Matrix (IVEM). It is attributed to Ra-Hoor-Khuit as the mediating form between Nuit and Hadit , to the latter of which is attributed the shape next discussed.
As for the IVEM, it is derived from the shape created by the closest packing of equi-radius spheres in normal space. When this is done, regardless of the size of the spheres, the same shape is always produced. This shape is found by connecting the center points of the twelve spheres as they arrange themselves around one sphere. Although it is easier to see than to describe, I will attempt it.
If you take a bowl and drop into it seven eggs, they will most likely arrange themselves in a hexagon with one in the middle. This describes the equatorial plane of the IVEM (remember, this being a regular shape, there are a variety of planes that could be similarly produced that would all have the same shape). Holding the hexagon stable, add imaginatively three spheres above this plane and three spheres below. They will naturally arrange themselves so as to form a hexagram if you were to line them up on the opposites sides of the equatorial plane. Connecting the centers of these spheres will give you the structure 1 am trying to describe.
This shape is considered by Fuller to be the essential structure governing the interpatterning of all other structures. Of this archetypal form Fuller says that if ‘God’ has a shape, this is it. Being so sanctified, this shape is referred to ritually as the Sphere of Qadosh. Having twelve vertices, we attribute to each of them the twelve simple letters assigned to the zodiac. Upon examination it may be noticed that each of the vertices can be taken in turn, one at a time, if one begins at a single point and proceeds to orbit the shape in a circle parallel to the chosen equatorial plane. Thus the zodiac, normally seen as a plane, can be attributed regularly about the IVEM. One point to note is exactly where one starts the orbit. This determines the location of the zodiacal signs in the House of Khabs. The dominant question is whether to place Heh-Aries in the East, which puts Lamed-Libra in the West, the entrance; or Tzaddi-Aquarius, which puts Teth-Leo in the West. I’ll leave the exegesis of this to the reader.
One other attribution of this structure is formed by the rings that make up is edges. Besides the above description, this shape could be formed by four hexagons intersecting their centers in planes at 60* to each other. These could be attributed elementally, but as this structure alludes to more generalizable forms than the elements, we have attributed it to the three base colors: Black, white and red and also green for life. Students of comparative religions will recognize the prevalence and import of these colors. Students of the Golden Dawn will recognize their use in many GD ritual contexts. These relate also to certain embodiments of the powers of which the colors are the signatures used by initiates of this order. One of their principle purposes is to stabilize orbitals in the aura of the adepti employing these forms.
To actually make this shape is very easy. Having assembled the tripod by attaching poles together of sufficient height, say of twenty-five feet or so, perhaps formed of three small trees lashed together, the upper triangle of the IVEM is mostly constructed.
All one has to do is tie three ropes together at about the greatest height you can reach. From each of these three points attach and let dangle two ropes long enough to reach the ground. Assemble six poles of the same length as you will use for the cube, the next shape, into a hexagon. The simple way of doing this is to use rubber hosing at each of the vertices placed over the ends of two adjacent poles. This creates a flexible hexagon form. Center this hexagon in the tripod and attach the dangling ropes to each of the vertices such that the tripod poles bisect three of the poles of the hexagon, (actually you have no choice in the matter), and raise the hexagon to about waist height. This completes the upper half of the IVEM. Next attach ropes to the vertices of the hexagon and run them down to the ground. These are to connect with the angles of a triangle of rope staked to the ground and placed concentric with the triangle aloft in the tripod (but on the ground) and oriented in the opposite direction so as to form a hexagram with the triangle above. This will result in the arrangement of these down going ropes in a manner staggered from the ones heading upward from the hexagon. (This is easier to see than to tell.) The poles of the hexagon were colored green and we used black and red crepe paper wrapped around the ropes to create the red and black rings. Since the rope was white the ring left bare sufficed.
The last general shape is also the most central. It is the revisionment of the Pastos or coffin of CRC. It is what is referred to in L. Al as the Palace of Four Gates, and as the “cube in the circle” attributed to Hadit. Its shape is that of a cube as it is formed by interfacing two tetrahedrons so that all of the edges are perpendicular to each other and all of the vertices are in the corners of the cube. If this is oriented so that each comer of the basal square is in a cardinal quarter, it forms vessica shaped openings in each of the quarters. These are the four gates referred to in L. Al and are also the secret doors of the adoration of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. To each of the vertices is attributed one of the double letters assigned to the zodiac and the odd one to Earth as a planet. The shape is itself formed by twelve bars each painted with a zodiacal color in the king scale and connected at their ends by specially made joints. One way of making them is by using three rubber hoses (as were used in the Sphere of Qadosh) which are long enough to fit over the poles and to be bound together in such a shape as to bring three pole ends together at one point.
The last structure in the House of Khabs is the central altar and the ceiling image. By these we incorporated the Rosicrucian and stellar symbolism necessary to the rite. The altar was a cubical table whose top surface is a forty-nine petaled rose on a gold equal armed cross in a black field. This is the “Rose of Charon.” Each of the visible surfaces of the altar is covered with the Minutum Mundum (west), and the twelve-, seven- and three-fold color scales (which are used on the wands of the officers and on the complete rose) as they are attributed to the zodiac, the planets and the elements, respectively. The top edges of the panels are white and the bottom black. This formulates the “Rainbow about the Throne.” The image aloft was hung at the level of the triangle in the tripod and is a stellar version of the Complete Symbol of the Rose Cross which uses all the Hebrew letters in their full coloration according to the scheme of the classical Golden Dawn.
As a whole, the House of Khabs is a representation of the fundamental structures that govern form in our universe. As such it is a full dimensional model of what the Tibetan Buddhists call the dharmadhatu. In thelemic terms, this could be seen as the Law of Space. Also, if one notes the fourfold nature of the outer tetrahedron, the unity expressed by the IVEM and the eightfold nature of the cube of the center, it will be recognized that this structure is that of the House 418.