A Modern Topology of the thirty Æthyrs - Part One
The Æthyrs have different qualities that were revealed and researched by the modern magicians that traveled these regions since the time of the Golden Dawn. Clear references to buddhistic ideas and concepts can be found within the Æthyrs - and the higher the Æthyr the more symbolic the language of description becomes. From the tenth Æthyr ZAX on it is important to know that any attempt to describe anything in words are only simple approaches to get a grip on it with normal human language. Gerald Schueler tried to objectify this subjectivity of experience. He used the language of modern magic. Because the concepts are easier to comprehend - if I can use this term "easier" at all - I am stinging to this terminology.
The Divine - 18 Heavens beyond LIL
Spirit of Spirit
Fire of Spirit
Earth of Spirit
ZAX - The Great Outer Abyss
Spirit of Fire
Fire of Fire
Air of Fire
Earth of Fire
Spirit of Air
Fire of Air
Earth of Air
Spirit of Water
Fire of Water
Air of Water
Water of Water
Earth of Water
Spirit of Earth
Fire of Earth
Air of Earth
Water of Earth
Earth of Earth
The Physical Universe — Plasma, Gases, Liquids, Solids
Between the physical world and the lowest etheral plane TEX is a barrier that is invincible for physical matter. In the physical plane this barrier is known as the velocity of light: no object can be faster then this velocity. The plane that is next to the physical plane is the etheral plane (or lower astral plane). The etheral plane has nothing in common with the ether as a medium of propagation of light-waves which was part of an old theory in physics.
The etheral plane is assigned to the element earth, gravity - a supposed very weak force - is linked with this plane as well. The etheral body linga-sarira is the vehicle you use to travel in this plane. It is the location of the chakras, the nadis of kundalini-yoga as well as the third eye, the ajna-chakra. One Æthyr only represents a little part of the mentioned planes which it is embedded in. In total the Æthyrs are a vertical partial subset of the planes. Whereas the density remains the same in the horizontal directions it is reduced in the vertical direction - the higher the Æthyr is, the less dense it is.
TEX - The Æthyr that is in four parts: TEX is the most dense and the Æthyr nearest to the physical plane. TEX is part of the etheral plane and is itself the etheric body of the Earth. When you open your inner third eye this energetic plane appears grey and milky. It reaches the orbit of the Moon and is the structural energetic moment of the Earth. In the "north" of this Æthyr is the region of fate, the chain of cause and effect. The "east" is the region of desires and personal anxieties. The "south" is the region of silence and nonverbal communication. The "west" shows your personal limitations, where your ego can realize its weaknesses. A first personal cleansing takes place in TEX, either as a shamanic dismemberment or by the element fire.
RII - The Æthyr of the mercy of heaven: RII is in the higher etheral plane and is the place of dreamworlds and the planes of your fantasies. Here are the heavens of the religions, Monroes "Focus 22-26". If you are expecting to live in such an area (after your death) during your lifetime, you are going to live in such an area post mortem. Deceased ones usually can be found in TEX, too. Like TEX this Æthyr is divided into four different regions. In the "south" the realization of the survival of the consciousness after death is being located, the kama-loka of the theosophic philosophy. The "east" is showing the desire for revenge and vengeance and the urge to destroy the putrid and corrupt ones. The sense of right and wrong is quite strong in RII. The "west" of RII reveals inevitability and finality. Stagnation and the end of development are strong powers here. The "north" is judgement, the karmic necessity and chain of cause-and-effect. Here you get the impression of an ever-moving wheel of destiny. In RII you can end up in a dreamlike state, not even knowing that you are dead - at least this is the impression you get in RII.
Usually planes are blending with each other. Though there are some hard phase border that you can pass only with a less-dense energetic body. The first of these borders is located between the physical and the etheral plane. Energetic things can only seldom pass this barrier into the physical and vice-versa. The same it is with more energetic borders like the barrier between the etheral and the astral plane, which you can only pass with your astral body. The etheral planes are assigned to the element earth and gravity, and the astral planes the element water. Even when you look at the assignments of the planes to various elements you can find a continual reduction of density. The heaviest, most dense element is the earth, followed by water, air, fire and finally spirit. The astral-planes are much "thinner" then the etheral planes. The electromagnetic power appears tangible and concret in these astral planes.
To reach them you must be capable of astral-journey and to consciously control your "emotional body" or kama-rupa which is the place of your feelings, your fears and desires and so on. It is also called your astral-body. Putting it into other words: The etheral bits of your etheral-body are too heavy and to slow for passing the border to the astral-realm. The emotional body of the earth that you can see with your third eye, tuning in on the astral-plane, reaches the orbit of Venus and appeares colourful with merging regions of colours. In theosophic philosophy this body is also called the kama-loka.
The name of the astral-plane has its root in the kind of light that is shining there and illuminating everthing, yet having no source. Normal daylight is only a dark reminiscence of this astral-light. I compare this light with the light of a laser-beam because the astral-light has a similar kind of granulation. If you look at any item closely in the astral-plane this granulation increases in density. Colours appear much more intense, clearer and more brilliant then in normal daylight. If you are focussed on your astral-body it is quite interesting to look up into the sky to see the emotional body of the earth.
Entering the Æthyrs from BAG to NIA can be compared with the physical death, although the astral connection to your physical body is still vivid and is only severed in the moment of your actual, physical death. In shamanic sessions extracts and entities are usually seen in the astral-regions - unfortunately it cannot be taken for sure in which planes you work in a shamanic session actually each time, because the consciousness for this details is quite rare.
BAG - The Æthyr of doubt: This Æthyr is the first and densest one of the astral-plane. Here you can feel the strong force of conscience and sin and the necessity of purgatory. You feel unworthy and small here. Your own karmic sins appear here as self-limitation. Suffering is vital for cleansing in BAG, which you have to experience as a vital part of your personal spiritual development. Duality and anything that is akin to this concept you experience impressively in BAG: duality as a part of human perception. In BAG already the illusory nature of these dualisms starts to get attention. In a positive sense BAG is similar to Monroe's "Focus 27" because you are judging your own life here and account for your former conduct of life in front of yourself.
ZAA - The Æthyr of solitude: In this Æthyr you experience the solitudeness per se as a vital part of your human existence. The heresy of mahayana-buddhism is also evident here: the breath-taking terrifying isolation of individuality. Hecate is the emanating power of ZAA, who is weeping for the sufferings of humankind. Her tears transform into pearls. The compassion of her tears she is gifting to those that have visited ZAA in gestalt of such a pearl. In the thelemitic-egypt pantheon Nut is also of importance in ZAA, because she represents the never-ending void of space and it is this particular quality you experience here in ZAA.
DES - The Æthyr that accepts that which is: DES and ZAA are similar to each other by nature. DES is in an astral area in which logic and reason rules over intuition. The angel guiding you through this Æthyr is black. Dualisms in this Æthyr create strong tensions and your intellect is confronted with these forces and pressed to its very limits. You feel your own limitations quite well in ZAA. The buddhistic solution to deal with the intellect in ZAA is the koan. Its solution cannot be found by your intellect only. Because the powers of ZAA are just like such a koan, in order to pass this Æthyr you must solve your koan. The danger of DES is to believe that reason and intellect are the only means to survive. This belief is a fatal fallacy and a trap because also intuition is vital to pass beyond DES.
VTI - The Æthyr of change: This Æthyr has relations to TOR. The nature of VTI appears to be destructive. The destruction of old structures is vital for the process of creation, however: To be born again the old has to die. The main danger of this Æthyr is the spiritual pride you may develop when you learned to control your intellect and intuition is the master of your ship. Blowing your own trumpet because you have mastered this deed can keep you from reaching the next Æthyr. It can happen that the angel that leads you through VTI shuts up your mouth. The idea that after VTI there is no other Æthyr is an illusion and the belief to be really far in personal development because you have mastered this Æthyr is illusory and false, too.
NIA - The Æthyr of traveling: This Æthyr is in the higher region of the astral plane. It is the region of traveling through time and space which you can accomplish with your astral-body. These journeys are either spatial through different planes of existence, temporal when following the time-vectors or by vibration in the case of the mystical planes. Traveling with the mental-body requires the death of your personality and the physical death. From now on the journeys in the various higher Æthyrs can have more real dangers because your personal fears and anxieties, emotional orientations and all that stuff can lead to madness, death and dissociation. NIA is a summation of the lower six Æthyrs, from TEX to VTI, combining in itself all the best qualities of them. Joy and ecstasy are new elements here. The higher you reach in the Æthyrs, the more intense this ecstasy becomes. To pass NIA you have to leave your human mind behind, totally. Your astral-body only carry you up to NIA. Higher regions you only can reach if you are able to silence your personal emotions, feelings and reactions that can lead to heavy problems in your mental-body.