Commentary on the Seal of the Nine Angles
by Sir Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D., GME
Generally speaking, some of these angles were taken from Pythagoras, who talked in terms of the significance of 'numbers" rather than "angles. From my readings on the subject, I am convinced that Plato's discourses upon geometry and the significance of the various "Platonic solids" are essentially taken from Pythagoras' work, just as Pythagoras came up with these notions following his lengthy stay in Egypt as a priesthood initiate. Fascinating how these "trails" just keep going backward until they vanish into the mists of pre-recorded history.
Bear in mind that the Ceremony of the Nine Angles was composed within the conceptual and iconographic limits of the Age of Satan. Nor was it intended to be an extensive, exhaustive "last word" on the angles or other included concepts; it was conceived as a noetic vision and GBM expression. The following comments pertain to my ideas at that time and deliberately avoid embellishing the CNA with the more sophisticated concepts to which I have since been sensitized through my own work and the many brilliant examinations by other Setians.
FIRST ANGLE: Unity. The concept of the Universe as the totality of existence. Note that this does not admit to monotheism (except in the sense of Deism), because there is no room for conceptual distance between a God and a worshipper. The "laughing one" is Azathoth, who is "blind" and an "idiot" because in a condition of perfect unity there is naught else to see, not any knowledge of anything else possible. [Understand, of course, that I was taking H.P. Lovecraft's gods rather beyond his story-telling version of them. I don't in the least represent these as Lovecraft's own ideas, although I rather think that he would not have found fault with such elaborations.] In geometry a singularity identifies a locus only; there is no extension in any direction. Even the locus is "both there and not", since it has no dimensions at all. Hence there are an infinite number of loci, for example on a one-inch-long line: an interesting mathemagical paradox.
SECOND ANGLE: Duality. The profound and necessarily total change of unity into symmetry and polarity (and its symbolic representations: Horus and Set, Yang and Yin, etc.) The "orderer of the planes and angles' is Yog- Sothoth, who is, as the shaper of energy and matter, described as the author of Earth in its matter/energy/evolutionary configuration. Note that in pure duality there is no room for judgment between the two; there is only one or the other. In duality geometry creates a single extension (a line).
THIRD ANGLE: This is a very critical stage, because the existence of a third element introduces the notion of choice between the two opposites, either absolutely or relatively (Aristotelian system) or of choice to aspire or not to aspire to universal perfections (= Platonic/Pythagorean system). This is Nyarlathotep, otherwise Set, otherwise Lucifer/Satan, otherwise Prometheus, otherwise Thoth, who has created the power of perspective and the independent psyche of judgment. Here "knowledge" becomes possible. In geometry we now have the triangle, which is the most rigid of figures and also creates a two-dimensional plane. Note that, per the Book of Coming Forth by Night, the Horus/Set relationship actually fits into a threefold matrix rather than a twofold one. Set is an independent Intelligence with perspective upon the non-conscious objective universe on one hand and the chaos of the anti-objective universe (HarWer) on the other. The simple Horus/Set duality results from primitive Aristotelian thinking (so kick me, Tharrud Terclis!).
FOURTH ANGLE: The Ram of the Sun (Shub-Niggurath/Amon) is a manifestation of the "awakened" human psyche as energized by the Messenger. It is thus that "Satan" is known to humanity: a personalized reflection, as it were, of the results of the Messenger's Working. Satan's other name (Lucifer) is that of light and enlightenment, hence the "brilliance" of the Nine Angles. With the number four we have geometrically a three-dimensional displacement in space. Hence existence of matter and energy becomes possible. Hence time becomes possible, as the measurement of change in matter and energy.
FIFTH ANGLE: Humanity as the physical vehicle for the expression of the Satanic psyche as discussed in the Fourth Angle. Concept of the body as a necessary medium for the self-realization of the psyche, at least in its early stage. Translation of this into physical representation of supra- energy/matter Forms such as Set via the creation of images, building to temples, etc. A temple with five trihedrons is a four-faced pyramid (as Giza), the 4/5/9 seal is the seal of the Order of the Trapezoid: a marvel of integrated, interrelated 4/5/9 values. As noted elsewhere, even the addition of 4+5+9 = 18, which takes you into the "returning' qualities of 9 as expounded upon in Anton LaVey's "Unknown Known' in The Satanic Rituals. In geometry 5 creates the pentagram, hence the Golden Section, hence the concept of perfection. This is why to Pythagoras (and his priestly mentors) 5 was the most sublime of numbers, and why the pentagram was used as the seal of the Pythagorean Brotherhood.
SIXTH ANGLE: If Crowley considered his Tenth AEther to be accursed, then this would be the accursed (or should I say "hexed"!) of the Nine Angles. It is the hexagon and hexagram (also the seal of the Jews, authors and proponents of the world's most nihilistic and self-hating monotheism.) The hexagon corrupts the Golden Rectangle; it adds an angle and a line to the pentagram and pentagon, thus destroying them. Six is symmetry obese and unnecessary (two and four are quite adequate for the principle). The seeds of the destruction of the hexagonal forms are carried within them, however, for they necessarily embrace two trapezoids (the four) and the pentagrams defined by those trapezoids (the five); hence 4+5 (the nine).
SEVENTH ANGLE: the destruction of the status of monotheism by the addition of a line/angle to the hex. The legacy of the First Beast of Revelation and his sevenfold Seal and Star of Babalon (A.'.A.'.). The forces of the AEon of Horus overcoming those of the AEon of Osiris. Yet the only thing that can be said of seven is that it is an effective destroyer of six. It has no creative properties of its own; it has neither the strength of symmetry nor the magical powers of its asymmetrical predecessors (1,3,5). Proponents of six-isms instinctively fear seven: They warn about such things as the seventh son of a seventh son, of the Seven Towers of Satan in Yezidi legend, of the Seventh Seal, of the Jewel of the Seven Stars. Seven is thus a harbinger of doom to six: a shadowing-forth of the Apocalypse to come. Geometrically and numerically, like the AEon of Horus, seven has an "identity crisis". Additions or multiplications or powers of seven yield all sorts of random values and relationships.
EIGHTH ANGLE: The temple containing the trihedral angles is a truncated pyramid: the power of the trapezoid perfectly manifest in a golden Section-based three-dimensional structure. Thus its architects are the Masters of the Realm (the all-embracing term for the IV°+ in the original Church of Satan): the Sorcerers who beam from their towers the Powers of Darkness to rebuild the world corrupted by six and shattered by the seven, and their seal is the Seal of the Order of the Trapezoid (seal of the Priesthood of the original Church of Satan).
NINTH ANGLE: the culmination of this dynamic process: the Black Flame in its perfection: the 'will to power" of Nietzsche in a glory of desire: the extension of the Enlightened Will and Initiated Psyche throughout all dimensions of space, time, and thought: what in the AEon of Set would be Uttered as Xeper.