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From Thelemapedia

Part of the Thelema & Religion series | Part of the Magick in Theory & Practice series.

A Eucharist is a ceremony where common elements are imbued with divine forces and then consumed. It can be easily categorized by the number of sacraments partaken of.

Aleister Crowley recommended the daily performance of the mass, for this he made The Mass of the Phoenix, which is designed to be performed daily at sunset. He also adapted the Mass of the Phoenix into a congregational ceremony called the "Ritual Ordained for Public Service." It was performed by the O.T.O. prior to Crowley's issuance of the eucharistic Gnostic Mass, after which the earlier Public Service ritual was retired.

Table of contents

Pre-Christian Precedents

Jewish Table Blessings

Pagan Mystery Cult Meals

Christian Eucharist

The term "eucharist" originates in Christian ritual, where it is from the Greek word for "thanksgiving."

[more details needed here!]

Magical Eucharists

The Golden Dawn Neophyte ritual closing includes a eucharist of five elements that strongly influenced Crowley's Mass of the Phoenix.

Eucharist of Three Elements: The Gunas

Here's an elaboration of a Eucharist of three elements taken from Magick in Theory and Practice, Part II, Ch. XX and Book 4, Part II, Ch. IV.

A Eucharist of three elements utilizes the symbolism of the Gunas: Tamas, Rajas, and Tattvas. Tamas is salt, dark, heavy and sluggish, Rajas is sulfur, active, and fierce, and Tattvas is Mercury, calm and smooth.

In the Neophyte Ceremony of the Golden Dawn, the operation of the Gunas is implied many times. Here is an example of the the Gunas at work in the 0=0 Ceremony that might help you understand the Eucharist of three elements: In the ceremony, the Candidate (Tamas, salt) is brought to the Lord of the West (Rajas, Sulfur) to gain courage. Then the candidate is brought to the Lord of the East (Tattvas, Mercury) who holds the balance and the aspirant in a straight line.


For Tamas (darkness) take opium or nightshade or some sleepy medicine;

Nightshade is from the genus of plants called Solanum. In some cases the plants yield poisionous juices. The juices can be taken in light doses to induce a state of slothfullness. In 777, Column XXXIX, Nightshade is attributed to the number 32, Saturn, Key XXI, et cetra. Compare the qualities of Saturn to the qualities of Nightshade.

Opium induces a dreamy state of consciousness which results in the stagnation of one's mental conditions. In 777, opium is attributed to the number 29, Pisces, Key XVIII, etc.

In short, both Nightshade and Opium can be taken as Tamas. However, their attributions in 777 indicate that they individually induce a particular state of consciousness. This goes to show that Pisces and Saturn are easy references in understanding Tamas.


for Rajas (activity) take strychnine or other excitant

Strychnine is derived from Nox Vomica and other related plants. It can be used as poison for rodents and also has a medicinal use in that it stimulates the central nervous system. In 777, Nox Vomica is attributed to the number 5, Geburah, Mars, et cetra.

Strychnine can be taken in small doses on top of Opium or Nightshade to activate the dullness of Tamas. This is where Sattvas begins to play an important role.

It should be noted carefully that strychnine is an extremely dangerous poison, which can be deadly in relatively small quantities. Its use is discouraged without expert and experienced guidance.


for Sattvas (calm) the Cakes of Light may again be suitable.

The Cakes of Light contain meal, honey, and oil for their base. The meal contains carbohydrates, oil for fats, and honey for proteids. Carbs, oils, and fats are macronutrients which are essential to living organisms. The Cakes of Light also have for their symbolism the five elements: meal (Prithivi, Earth), honey (Vayu, Air), olive oil (Apas, water), Oil of Abramelin (Tejas, Fire), and conditioner (Akasha, Spirit). The Cake of Light can be identified with the Sun. On the Tree of Life, Tiphereth is the 6th Sephiroth and lies on the Middle Pillar.

The following statement reflects one opinion: By consuming the wafer one identifies with the Sun and the Middle Pillar. The identification with the wafer and the Sun can be seen as the advancement up the Middle Pillar towards Tiphereth. In other words, the Cakes of Light help regain the balance and straight path of the Middle Pillar.

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