Bibliotherapy

Corbin & Suhrawardi-From The ‘Book of Hours’

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Picture of an Iranian astrolabe.

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Today’s sharing from the Blue House of HYGEIA are excerpts from Sohrawardi’s prayer book, the ‘Book of Hours’ (Waridat wa-taqdisat) found at the end of Henri Corbin French translation of 15 of his mystical accounts and treatises, Fayard-1976. Our working draft translation and editing from the French.

The setting of these ‘Ishraqi’ liturgies is Hermetic, Neoplatonic and Zoroastrian, without being devoid of the Muslim tenets of faith and the glorification of the Unique. What is surprising is the proximity with the Sabian of Harran astral liturgies & prayers as seen transcribed in the Picatrix, the encyclopedic volumes of the Ikhwan al Safa, in Al Razi ‘s ‘Sirr al Maktum’, or in Henri Corbin’ seminal Sabian studies.

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0-Introduction. Liturgical stanzas for every stations

1. Welcome, O light that raises from the East and glory to God, the Light of Lights. Welcome to you O herald! I can see you untying my shackles, and I see myself, my suffering ceasing, my burden diminished, my back relieved.

2. May God’s horseman hurry! May the door open! As I fear the appetite of the rebellious demons that are lurking around me. I see the earth shaking, as heaven is shivering. No doubt: God’s order has descended upon her.

3. I know it is you that brings me closer to God-Lord of the Lords- as I am ascending to Malakut (the imaginal realm) and as I am contemplating the astonishing marvels, free space and the light. In this light I take the Book. I ask that celestial influxes descend upon our world. I expand the consecration act to water and clay.

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I-Liturgy of Ohrmazd

My Lord is the God of the Light of Lights, Sublime, Mighty, Powerful, Most Glorious, the maintainer of all existence, the Necessary Being, the Architect of all worlds, the Keeper of the Light of Glory (Xvarnah) spreading onwards, of the Light of essential Victory, of the most high beauty, of the most intense clarity, He who is without limits, Primeval Principle of sustainability, ever recuring; He who extends the ‘always’ (Azal) towards the ‘forever’ (abad); He who rises in a majestic momentum leading over all quiddities (mahiyat): OHRMAZD, Creator of the World, Unique God to whom belongs the Absolute Unity in all aspects, Active agent of Marvels, Giver of Intelligence and Life; He who make the Ipseities manifest (mozhir al-howiyat), He who transcends all heights, all nobility, all qualifications, all utterances, all comprehension, all indications: God of Gods, Light of Lights! May you be proclaimed Holy, may you be glorified and celebrated!

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II-Of Bahman-Light, First Intelligence

I celebrate the liturgy of God’s servant, of the most sublime veil of God, major light of God, supreme creation of God, primordial image, most holy, the very close, king of Angels, prince of the victorious lights, master of the ‘Malakut’ realm in the holy world: BAHMAN-LIGHT (Bahman-Nur).

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III- The Atlas Heaven and its Soul

I celebrate the liturgy of its elevated shadow, free of evils and infirmities, the farthest of the celestial spheres. And I celebrate the liturgy of its most holy soul, dashing the rays of Bahman-Light, possessing the light of glory (Xvarnah) spreading onwards, and the lightning that pierces the most elevated heights.

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IV- The Intelligences (angeli Intellectuales)

I celebrate the liturgy of the supreme victorious lights, sources of Might, Beauty and Grace, Perfection, and Nobility; theurgical angels of all heavens and all the earths, princes of the ‘Malakut’ and the ‘Jabarut’(the angelic realm), most pure and most important servants of God, invested of the regal power, of the dazzling irradiations, of the sparkles of holy light, supreme dignitaries, lords of the souls of those who descend in the world by God’s order.

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V- The Souls of the Spheres (angeli caelestes)

I celebrate the liturgy of the thinking souls, rulers of the Spheres, the ecstatic lovers of the archangelic lights and irradiations of the princes of the holy world, movers of celestial bodies by order of God, triumphant clarities, most pure ‘Espahbad’ (rulers) of the heavens and earth.

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VI-The Heaven of the Fixed Stars

I celebrate the liturgy of the Angels of the fixed stars, triumphant lights, most pure, most perfect, the closest to God and I celebrate the fixed stars, their highest and noble dwellings.

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VII-The Third Intelligence at Saturn’s Heaven; the body of its planet is the theurgy and Temple of its Archangel

I celebrate the liturgy in the honor of the light triumphant god Saturn (Kayvan), all mighty, most beautiful, invested of might and domination. And I celebrate the liturgy of the purest servant of God, Saturn, the venerated father, the luminous lord, of the highest temple, of superb rank, of attentive fathoming, faraway glancing, giver of coldness and dryness; master in glory and in solitude, in comprehension and in experience, in concentration of aims and in consistency. I glorify your luminous being and your venerable soul. I celebrate the liturgy of your most high and noble Temple.

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VIII- The Fourth Intelligence at Jupiter’s Heaven; the body of its planet is the theurgy and Temple of its Archangel

I celebrate the liturgy in the honor of the light triumphant god Jupiter, the mighty, gifted with beauty, the god with the light of the East, whose perfect love generates beneficial influxes, source of good and equity, of love and sympathy, archangel lord Jupiter. And I celebrate the liturgy of the faithful servant of God, Jupiter (Moshtari), the prominent father, the triumphant, unrivaled and generous master in knowledge, sincerity and ascetic virtue; the attentive contemplator, planner of aims and holder of great secrets, invested with God’s light of glory (Khorrah Xvarnah). I glorify your luminous person and venerable soul, as I celebrate the liturgy in your high and noble Temple.

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IX-The Fifth Intelligence at Mars’s Heaven; the body of its planet is the theurgy and Temple of its Archangel

I celebrate the liturgy in the honor of the light triumphant god Mars, invested with robust might, supreme presence and piercing light, the bravest and impetuous conqueror, invested with violent rigor and blazing fire, gifted of such fear raising clarity, dispenser of heat and dryness, of strength and domination. I glorify your luminous person and your venerable soul, as I celebrate the liturgy in your high and noble Temple.

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X-The Sixth Intelligence at the Sun’s Heaven; the body of its planet is the theurgy and Temple of its Archangel

I celebrate the liturgy in the honor of the light triumphant Sun god, invested with supreme brightness, all Illuminating Orient (al mashriq al-monir), Sun of the ‘Malakut’, set of the world of Intelligence, ‘SHAHRIVAR-LIGHT’, archangel lord of ‘HURAKHSH’. I celebrate the liturgy of the faithful servant of God, the father and Sun god, lord Hurakhsh, the wise beacon of the universe and king of the stars, coated with invincibility, mediator of the order with perfect energies, conqueror of darkness, originator of daytime, treasurer of marvels, independent from all the other stars, providing them his light without receiving any from them. I glorify your luminous being and your venerable soul, as I celebrate the liturgy in your high and noble Temple.

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XI- The Seventh Intelligence at Venus’ Heaven; the body of its planet is the theurgy and Temple of its Archangel

I celebrate the liturgy in the honor of the light triumphant goddess Venus, invested with glory, beauty and perfect love (ishq qodsi). I celebrate the liturgy of the faithful servant of God, gracious and sweet perfumed Venus, invested with goodness and delicate subtility, purity and generosity, emulator of love’s balance and of the noble ethos. I glorify your luminous being and your venerable soul, as I celebrate the liturgy in your high and noble Temple.

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XII-The Eighth Intelligence at Mercury’s Heaven; the body of its planet is the theurgy and Temple of its Archangel

I celebrate the liturgy in the honor of the light triumphant god Mercury (Otared-Hermes), dispenser of subtle truths and obscure secrets. I celebrate the liturgy of the faithful servant of God, Mercury, flashing, knowing, gifted of speech, dispenser of truth through providing proofs, acute surveyor, astute in the arts of discussion and writing, holder of secrets of knowledge and calculations, patient helper of the stars. I glorify your luminous being and your venerable soul, as I celebrate the liturgy in your high and noble Temple.

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XIII- The Ninth Intelligence at the Moon’s Heaven; the body of its planet is the theurgy and Temple of its Archangel

I celebrate the liturgy in the honor of the light triumphant goddess Moon, torch of the stars, amazon of the celestial spheres, dispenser of the humors and saps that provide the wealth of water. I celebrate the liturgy of the faithful servant of God, Moon, giver of tinctures, swift chamberlain of the heavens. I glorify your luminous being and your venerable soul, as I celebrate the liturgy in your high and noble Temple.

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XIV- The tenth Intelligence, Acting Intelligence

I celebrate the liturgy in the honor of acting intelligence (Aql fa al), the holy spirit, giver of life and perfection and, by divine order, governor of the world of elements, from which our fathoming souls originate, ‘SEROSH-LIGHT’. May you consecrate the nobility of humankind! I glorify your luminous being and your venerable soul, as I celebrate the liturgy in your high and noble Temple.

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XV-The theurgical Angels of the Elements

I celebrate the liturgy of the theurgical angel who is Fire, so that the fire element may be consecrated by him. I celebrate the liturgy of the theurgical angel who is Air, so that the element of air may be consecrated. I celebrate the liturgy of the theurgical angel who is Water, so that the element of water may be consecrated by him. I celebrate the liturgy of the theurgical angel of Earth, so that the element of earth may be consecrated by him. And I celebrate the liturgy of the theurgical angels of minerals so that the mineral world may be consecrated. I celebrate the theurgical angels of the plants, so that the plant world may be consecrated and finally, I celebrate the theurgical angels of the animals, so that the animal world may be consecrated.

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XVI- The Souls of the Prophets

I celebrate the liturgy of the fathoming souls that are invested in divine missions, those who reach the pinnacle of wisdom; they are the secret treasure of ‘Malakut’; they are the pillars of the arch-glorious light (khorrah qodsi Xvarnah), they are the likeliness of the Original Principles (Archangelic Intelligences); they are those God listen to when the order of things needs to be restored, ordering the angels then to make it happen.

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XVII-The Souls of the spiritual anchorites

I celebrate the liturgy of the souls of the just, the pilgrims journeying to the mystical East (the mostashriqun), those who aspire to the pure GOOD. And I ask, in all our liturgical celebrations, first and last, for God’s approval, as He is the pole of our ardent desires and the sustainer of our being.

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