The Motto is a metaphor of Will. Choosing the Motto is the Aspirant’s first attempt of the Great Work. Though it is condemned to failure, it will enforce the avalanche of coincidences – the magical links that connect the Aspirant’s mind with the conceptual essence of Adonai, and no matter how this idea is an illusion at its final range, it will slowly begin to materialize in his mind. Even at this moment, no matter how firm your objections are in your conscious, rational mind, it is precisely these words that crush these objections, and right now your thoughts about Adonai are Adonai’s thoughts about you.
The magical Motto is an aphorism of the magician; it is a symbolic direction and a mark of the course on which sails his solar bark. And yet, the choice of magical Motto contains magic as it exists in thunders; just because we understand physical preconditions for creating a phenomenon, it does not diminish the excitement we feel for the upcoming storm. Choosing your own Motto at the very beginning implies: “I am not what I am. For I am what I want to be.” It draws great magic from the fact that the concept of one’s I is changing. Although small and weak in the beginning, its force will spread and grow until it reaches the final corners of spiritual attainment. A magical Motto, in the same way as a Diary, follows the Aspirant to the ultimate frontiers of the Tree of Life and with its change, the Aspirant perceives an exceptional observation. By advancing through the Grades and the shift of magical Mottos, the Aspirant turns to what remains the same. The impersonal and selfless Self, which can be called but does not have to. It chooses its name because it chooses its destiny. It takes the Sphinx upon itself, although it will be born in the City of the Pyramids. Emphasis is not on the name, but on the Self, which is only called by that name. Therefore, it is not what, but who. A remarkable exercise can astonish the Aspirant with its brilliant effect if he closes his eyes and, after a couple of deep pranic breaths, asks himself out loud: “Who am I?“ A moment later, he should begin with careful observation of all impressions in his being provoked by this who. Let the Aspirant repeat “Who am I,” first slowly and then at a faster pace, let him feel which part of his body reacts to this provocation and in what manner. Is that reaction coming from him at all or from something else that is just looks like him; what is it, who is it, what color is it, what smell? What emotion arises, is it angry or resigned, does it appear with melancholy or react with enthusiasm? It is completely irrelevant what is arising, as long as it arises. The Aspirant should induce the reaction of his oblivious nature and to, first of all, feel the difference between what and who He is.
By constructing a Motto, the magician calls upon one of two things: strength or weakness. Regarding what we are or what we yet want to become. Although we can derive a strong consent in the notion that a Motto should be something that is yet to be achieved, we can equally find the truth on the contrary – that the emphasis should be on the current imperfection of the Aspirant. In one way, his aim is an imaginary and unreal achievement, and no matter how high or noble it is, it is still not real. The other way is to stick to the present moment; his relic will be eternal now as he will rely on what he already has. It is precisely in that moment of now, in that achievable distance in relation to the goal which is still further away, the realization that this now is the same now both in tomorrow and yesterday, and that any unenlightened being now, is enlightened in some other present. Each Aspirant should discover his favorable truth, and let it be provoked by any other or all truths in the world conjoined. Let him revive this excellence in the way it suits him and at the expense of his own interest.
Sometimes a single Motto can cover several different Grades; sometimes it can be restored in the same or altered form. The variants are countless; any predefined rules here lead to failure and confusion. The inventiveness of individuals is proportional to the uniqueness of their nature, which is the opposite equivalent to the ingenuity of their magical Mottos.
First, you need to start from the fundamentals. Is your name indeed your own, or the name of what you wish to become? Is it perhaps a Him or a Her, or is it a middle genus? Is it the form, shape, color, or name of an animal or plant? Could it be the name of an angel or a god or goddess? Does it have some other hidden name inside of it? Which is it and why?
Since we are already on this matter, I want to mention an extraordinary exercise in which you would attempt to experience yourself with a different face and body. Simply try to fathom yourself with an entirely new face, but not with the one already familiar to you, it must be an entirely distinct face, a face of a complete stranger. Imagine that your body burned down and suddenly you are a person you have never seen before, embodying this new form from now to eternity. It is quite possible that you will feel certain sorrow at that moment, but if you focus on this feeling of grief, you will see that it is changing. Now as you look closer, you will feel that it is not sadness that is changing. You will experience a transition in the self-perception, but more importantly, you will realize that this self has been related purely to the image, and with the change of that image you will arrive at more precise knowledge of your Self. Your awareness grows into a new mold very rapidly, just like water adjusts to the vessel in which it rests. In this movement is presented the full importance of taking the magical names or Mottos. In fact, in changing your name while taking up the magical Motto, you do not change yourself at all. You are not changing yourself; you are coming to yourself. You are altering the entire external reality because now it has to construct a completely different destiny towards you, and in that business, somehow, as if it was surprised. In such relationship lies a wonderful trick of the mind, in this change that is spurred by your intent. By taking on a new perspective of reality, you are not only changing reality and yourself for that matter, but you also realize that this vessel is merely the product of the Self, chosen and modified by the Will. Full understanding of “Who I am” would lead to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. This new perspective could lead to attainment even more simply. Try to perform your chosen daily practice while wearing a mask. Make your mask, shape it and color it in the way your Self wishes to do so. Perform the ritual underneath, and you will notice a radical improvement; as you were sheltered under a mask, in fact, what took place is something quite the opposite – you pulled the veil away from yourself. By putting on the mask, you have uncovered the Self – this is a greatly convenient observation that the Aspirant can obtain for his Probation.
The essence of the Motto is indeed not in the technique of construction. Gematric value of the letters only serves to connect the integrity of the Aspirant to what that value refers to. It can be said that finding and constructing deeper gematric currents within the name is a remarkable thing. For example, an Aspirant can take the initial and final letter as the beginning of some completely new value and then develop this new idea further. But that can never replace the feeling of identity with the Motto which is, in fact, always a feeling of unity with the Self. The Motto is a link to that unity and not the goal as such. Of course, the Qabalistic skill of finding a more profound value depends on the creativity of the Aspirant; that skill should develop during the Grades as it will become more than necessary in further work.
The adoption of the Motto is not exclusive to the Grade of Probationer. During each Grade you need to define a relationship with that same Motto and see if something has changed, whether the Motto is more or less incorporated into your being, whether it is awakened and in what way. Once a month, within three or six months, you need to ask yourself: “how much of me is in the Motto? What is it inside of my being that rejects it and why is it so uncomfortable for me to embody it? What does it want from me? Does it want me to change something? Does it want to change itself?” All these subtle feelings require coming to the surface, and nothing more remains for us but to be careful, to glance these feelings. You must not be a Motto. You must be Yourself, while the power of that Motto is in the liveliness of such Self. Destroy all links with your fate, tear all ties from your identity. Only in this way, the Motto will have a wider meaning than a mere number or a name accidentally incised onto your Oath. Only in this way, it will truly pave your way to the Great Work so you can easily embark upon it. And just as you tied your personal name to your personality, as you turn with the feeling of self whenever someone calls out your name, so your Motto is the true Word and the Law of the Universe. Thus it becomes Ariadne’s thread hooked to your Angel, and when you pronounce your Motto, the whole Universe will turn for you.