Parting of the Veil
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The Parting of the Veil, Piercing of the Veil, Rending of the Veil or Lifting of the Veil refers, in the Western mystery tradition and contemporary witchcraft, to opening the "veil" of matter, thus gaining entry to a state of spiritual awareness in which the mysteries of nature are revealed. It is a reference to the mythical Veil of Isis, regarding which Plutarch records an inscription at the shrine of Neith-Isis-Minerva at Sais: “I am all that hath been, and is, and shall be; and my veil no mortal has hitherto raised”. H. P. Blavatsky's famous book on occultism, Isis Unveiled is also a reference to this.
In ceremonial magic, the Sign of the Rending of the Veil is a symbolic gesture performed by the magician with the intention of creating such an opening. It is performed starting with the arms extended forwards and hands flat against each other (either palm to palm or back to back), then spreading the hands apart with a rending motion until the arms point out to both sides and the body is in a T shape. After the working is complete, the magician will typically perform the corresponding Sign of the Closing of the Veil, which has the same movements in reverse.
- Plutarch, De Iside, 9, 354C
- Greer, John Michael Circles of Power. p. 75.
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