The Seven Degrees of Awakening


“Enlightenment is not something we can say: this one is awake, this one is not,” said a Precious Lama in saffron dress, in Ladakh or in Burgundy, one spring day. This Buddhist monk must have had shit in his third eye. At least that’s what I thought. But a meeting made me change my mind. There are awakened people who handle the art of stalking admirably.



Lamaism vs Nagualism

In order not to recognize an awakened person, one must be very clogged. Devoid of antennae, deprived of seeing, walled up in the mind. I had read Castaneda, I had laughed while reading the words of Juan Matus. His apprentice Carlos Castaneda asked him what he thought of the Lamas. Do the Lamaists know awakening, they who do not stop talking about it? Matus’ answer is not long in coming: if they know something about it, these people hide their game well. Matus read some of their statements, it passed over his head and beside his heart. 

I was in perfect agreement with the words of Juan Matus, the benefactor of Castaneda. Impossible not to recognize an awakened person. If you can’t do it, it means you can’t see anything. A sensory sees auras. He is immediately informed about the person’s state of awakening. The aura of an awakened man has little to do with that of a sleeping man. And when, in Voir or in Ixtlan, I come across this replica of Juan Matus, I am thrilled: “Do not speak to me about the Tibetans, he said to Carlos. If they knew anything about it, they wouldn’t tell so much nonsense about this infinity out there”. An author who thinks like me, it’s always a pleasure.

But when you are very young and full of respect for the dress, you say to yourself “I’m fooling myself“, and you believe the orange man on parole. Many awake people trust those who are still sleeping. I thought that if some llamas woke up, they followed the example of Leonardo da Vinci.

I woke up and I saw that everyone was still asleep. So I went back to sleep. (Leonardo Da Vinci)



Awake or not?

And there was this meeting. Somebody very bright, very awake, who I thought was a sleeper. I was wrong, and I beg him to forgive me. I bow. He has shown me how many awake people can hide their game. Such as passes for a fool is quite the opposite: the return of a prophet, the tulku of a great lama, of the Son of Man, of Rama himself? Everything is possible. Including this statement: “Awakening is not something that can be said: this one is awake, this one is not.”  Enlightenment develops the art of stalking to such an extent that a well-trained awakened person can swallow what he wants. Even if one is clairvoyant.

Nevertheless, Castaneda made known to me facts and behaviors more in line with my nature and sensitivity. Nagualism nourishes the soul and the spirit, strengthens the body, opens the heart and the other chakras, of which the Tibetans in exile prove quite incapable. Let us forget them to evoke the awakening and its seven levels. Western tradition, particularly through initiatory tarot, nourishes my soul much more. Here is what it teaches us.

There are seven degrees of awakening described by the arcana XVI The House of God, XVII The Star, XVIII The Moon,
XVIIII The Sun, XX The Judgment, XXI The World and the Arcanum The Mat.
Three degrees of openness: to oneself, to others, to invisible worlds
Four degrees of ascent: give, lose, burn, silence.



The triple opening

Here is the awakening of the friend Stef Kervor, alas disappeared there is little strict observer of the philosophy of nagual. If by chance my readers relive their own experience, all the better.


1 – Opening Oneself: The Tower

Kervor made a first body outing in adolescence. A conscious body outing is the signature of awakening. It involves the opening of the crown chakra. Stef Kervor had been awake for a while, no doubt. But he knew nothing about it. The notion of awakening was completely foreign to him. He had everything from an awakened, including the aura, but his behavior remained that of a 16-year-old. He spent his time running girls or behind a ball. Spirituality? What spirituality? Awakened without knowing it, he was only an idiot Buddha. 

This is a little-known characteristic: awakening has several stages. In the early stages, there are long moments when an awakened person is not. Nothing is acquired, nothing is stable, nothing engraved in stone: life, therefore awakening, are in perpetual motion. This is what the strange man in an orange undress meant. (source)

From the first stage of awakening, one is connected to infinity, one can leave one’s body in consciousness. But one is not in control. Body exits come without warning. For years, Stef did not pay attention to them. He was much more interested in cinema outings and football games.


Now he is incarnate. The God is in the House of your body, your heart, your mind. Your double has merged with you. The self and the self walk hand in hand, in charge for the new tandem to keep the ego at a reasonable distance.

To open oneself is also to open oneself to the Self. First step. In the tarot of Marseilles, it is the arcanum XVI, The House of God. The inner God finally at home, in your body. Until then, he hovered above you. You could only meet him in your dreams, in astral. And there, patiently, he showed you your way. He suggested your conduct. He made you understand what awaited you, and where the best interests were.



2 – Opening to the World: The Star

Yet he knew his intuitions were right. From that time on, he learned to understand without thinking. Everything came effortlessly. Very quickly, he could answer the questions of his teachers without having studied the course. And when a teacher became fond of him, he threw himself into study so that the teacher’s esteem would reinforce this precious bond. 

Despite the little interest he had, the state of awake brings small talents of society that suit the friends. When a friend was injured, Stef had only to put her hand on the torn skin so that she sewed again immediately, without leaving any visible trace. In case of burning, he removed the fire in the same way.

And no one was moved. Miracles are the lot of teenagers, who accept them willingly. It is always that to win, not to jump for joy. After a brief “thank you” they went back to their dadas. Miracle or not, nobody talked about it. Talking about such things in front of adults, not really it would have occurred to them. The miracle is something that is experienced. If we talk about it, it becomes a story. A small inner voice told Kervor to shut his mouth. 


The second degree of awakening sees the first gifts, the most spectacular, like the gift of healing, or the gifts of hyper-sensitivity, meta-perception. Thought transmission or telepathy, third ear or claire-audience, third eye or clairvoyance, etc.

Opening up to the world is what we see on the arcanum XVII of the tarot, the Star. A young woman, pure and naked, pours her water in the water of the Living. The truth and light that inhabit it make it as pure as nature. So true. So luminous. The Star does not keep its awakening for it. It pours its water, becoming for others a new source of light and truth.

This is the stage where the companion becomes master. The stage where he realizes his masterpiece that the Living will respect.


3 – Opening to the Invisible: The Moon

Later, much later, Stef Kervor began to travel, in consciousness, in the infinite worlds of the astral.  Then he knew that he was awake, and he understood at the same time that there are several degrees in awakening. Just as no one is ever completely asleep, not even the worst moron, so no one keeps himself permanently in the perfection of awakening. Like a popular song, it goes away and it comes back. Friend Stef waited until the age of 40 to do what is done at 21 in traditional societies: initiation to the little mysteries. Deep trance, rebirth or revecute of birth, intrauterine life and past lives. From then on, the astral plane became his garden.

At least a certain astral. For there are many planes in the astral. In each of these planes, an infinity of worlds. The world of white light, gwenwed for the Celts, is the one that attracts the most neophytes. We find in particular the Hierarchies, all the barnum of the angels, archangels, thrones, powers and so on, having no taste for this Judeo-Islamo-Christian folklore.

There are so many other worlds, why settle for the one that shines the strongest? Especially since, as they say, all that shines is not gold.

The third degree of awakening is the learning of the multiple levels of the astral, their recognition, their exploration. It corresponds to the arcanum XVIII The Moon. At this stage, the powers will reveal themselves to the awakened. It is a waiting phase that requires patience and observation, because the changes will be numerous, and often imperceptible. We discover them when an unknown power seems to emerge from nothing, always at the right time.



The quadruple ascent

4 – Giving Yourself: The Sun

Two years later, Kervor began the passing work. Like him, without realizing it, I had become a man passer — the real title is passing. We each worked in our own corner, but we had the chance to meet around Jean-Claude Flornoy, our common benefactor. In the jargon of nagual, the benefactor is the one who makes you know the other world, which opens at the heart of it. For about fifteen years, Stef and I passed on arcana XIII to those who requested it.

The fourth degree is the gift of oneself to a just cause: the best is the one that allowed your own awakening. This process of five days that we called the arcanum XIII aimed at this only goal, to allow the awakening in the first degree. For fifteen years, we helped the blossoming of Buddhas. Sometimes idiots, but Buddhas anyway. It’s up to them to get rid of the idiocy of the neophyte. Those who have received enlightenment by lightning or by a short-juice, without being prepared for it, are likely to remain idiots until death. Their ego attributes itself to the merits of awakening, they will never admit that it is a gift from elsewhere, and that they have nothing to do with it.

Arcanum XVIIII (or XIX) The Sun is in my opinion the nicest of all the way to tarot. It was a real treat of sharing and free gift. I used to take neophytes on magical journeys: so did my benefactor, I imitated him for that as for many other things. The magical journey is an opportunity to take a few steps into the other world. On the arcanum, we see two twins naked under a big sun. It is the being and his double, finally united. When the god who watches over us becomes our inner god, we feel great confidence. A delectable state that we hope will last forever. But the judgment will challenge us. And believe me, it is useful!


5 – Getting Lost: Judgment

Now Kervor hung up. So did I. We no longer do this particular initiation called arcanum XIII, or the little mysteries of Isis. This work no longer makes sense. Things are different, the times are different. The beginnings of the 2000s have become poems and symphonies. The birth of souls is no longer in pain. Everyone becomes his own midwife. Outside help is superfluous, even embarrassing.

To lose oneself is to become another. Then the body of the initiate begins to change. In the Christian tradition, it corresponds to the moment when the mystic/mystic receives the holy stigmata. In the tradition of nagual, this phase is described as the loss of the human form. For the mystic, his God becomes great upon him. Jesus is called “my husband” by the nun in trance.

Unlike The Justice where one judged and condemned others, here, in the arcane XX The Judgment, one judges oneself. And we condemn ourselves, too, most of the time. It’s much less fun than the astral delusions of the Sun…

For the sorcerer’s apprentice, “this vastness out there” bursts into his consciousness. Seized by the vertigo of infinity, he feels the human characteristics gradually leaving his physical body. He becomes another. Not an animal, not a god or a superman, not a demon or an alien, but something else. Elsewhere and tomorrow take the place of the here and now. The last tenuous links that still connected him to matter have broken. Where is he? I would say “astral”, but you know as well as I do that this answer is just a good joke.

In fact his life ceases to unfold. Fixed point. The moment is immobilized, only its facets that are illuminated in turn still give the illusion of continuity. But there is no more time or space for him. 



6 – Offer yourself: The World

To light the fire from within is to leave this underworld by one’s own means. The warrior of the nagual is transformed into a fire, it burns in the proper sense, and disappears definitively from the material plane. This way of leaving the world of matter should not be confused with suicide. In the 19th century in Europe, numerous testimonies and gendarmerie reports report these mysterious disappearances.

The scenario is always the same. A single person disappears without a trace. Or rather if, she leaves some, that’s what makes it troubling. On the tiles of the kitchen, we notice the presence of a calcined round where there are only a few ashes, without anything else in the room bearing the slightest trace of burn. Sometimes, at the edge of the calcined circle, two or three incompletely burned toes still remain, showing what happened to the missing person.

It is about a sorcerer or a witch who stopped prolonging his life. The most gifted healers manage to heal themselves, they maintain themselves in good health despite the old age until the day when they stop fighting against an inevitable end. They choose the time of their departure, like Juan Matus and Genaro. But they flew away. It is a question of lighting the fire from within in the works of Castaneda, but never these disappearances by fire are evoked there. Perhaps it is a misunderstanding of Castaneda? There are some in his books.

So? Is it frying or offering? Delicate question…


The Arcanum XXI The World actually represents the last stage of the path of awakening. The next one, Le Fol or Le Mat, has no number. The Mat can intervene at any time on the road. He is no longer of this world, as you will understand in the next paragraph. This world on which the being already detached from matter reigns. He realized the androgyny of the gods before.

The four beings of the Tetramorph are at the four corners of the arcanum. They represent the four elements, the four founders. Christianity has joined the four evangelists, but this is a late recovery. The Tetramorph draws its source long before Jesus and the popes.



7 – Rejoice: Le Mat or Le Fol

This is the very last stage. Does it occur before, or after the final departure? No one can say, those who lived it did not come back to tell it. What importance? Silence is like snow. He evens everything out, beautifies everything. He is the great redeemer. Inner silence is the best way to perceive the music of the spheres. The long silence of the tombs…

Let us live in the meantime. Let us sing and rejoice in the wonders we witness.

New auras have appeared. Indigo, crystal, rainbow… Wonderful children are left to their own devices, they kill and die as if they were virtual — maybe they are. Children sing, their laughter is my magic chariot, the mother ship that takes me away from this land of exile.  Nautonier of brass on his black boat, the archangel Michael or another dumb psychopompe will make us pass the Jordan, or cross the Styx. There is life, love, all light and all good.

The Mat can intervene at any time on the road. He is no longer of this world. My benefactor said he is the Bateleur of a new cycle, on which we have nothing but speculation. The image shows a madman coming back from everything that walks through this world on which he no longer reigns. He completed all the stages of the Camino de Santiago. It became the starry vault, symbol of the infinity that inhabits it. He has overcome fear, clarity, powers, and even the warrior’s last enemy, old age, and he has some respite. So he walks. His little backpack represents the little attachment he has for material goods. He hangs it not on a stick, but on a large wooden spoon. Because the one who knows how to cook goes everywhere, he is always received with pleasure …


Lil pumkin

He does not close any doors. Undoubtedly other arcana exist after the Fool. There are surely more than seven degrees of awakening. Lil Pumkin talks about what he knows, what he has lived, experienced, crossed during the seventy-five years of his existence.

He’s not sure if he has reached the seventh degree of enlightenment, the Mat. It’s for the exceptional. He’s not one of them. The door of the other world has already opened for him, several visionaries have told him this: he would, according to them, be a Mat of birth. Believe without believing. He listens with one ear to what comes out from the other. These visionaries tell what they want. He’s not that person they’re talking about.

Someone who still has, and always has, talents of healing, of double sight, of ubiquity, of decorporation, of bilocation — just to name a few. For him, it doesn’t matter. Look at how he goes on his train, and without worrying about anything.

I walk on the path which is no longer the path but the walk. (Issa Joe Ouakam )


Lil Pumkin goes off on the blue astral roads without a bundle. This life of his led him to lost places. Concrete ate the jungle and bush of his youth. This world shrank around him.

There’s nobody up there, pulling the strings of the puppet you are. (Friedrich Nietzsche)


For his first flight, at 22, he went to China. From Paris-Orly to Hong Kong, 28 hours flight with stops in Rome, Dubai, Bangkok and Phnom Penh. Then, for more than a decade, he traveled a still wild world. That world has changed too much. He no longer moves from his home in Brittany. His earthly paradise. Why go elsewhere? The whole world visits him.

He still travels in astral. He has so many memories that his dreams delight him more than tourism. He observes his brothers and sisters humans, he is surprised. He looks at newborns, he is amazed. If he is still in the world, he is no longer in the world. He has already taken three steps on the other side. What more can he look for? What else could he want?



ἕν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα

“I know only one thing, it is that I know nothing”

This is a maxim attributed by Plato to the Greek philosopher Socrates. It is found in Socrates’ Apology (21d), in Ménon (80d 1-3) and in Hippias minor (372b-372d). 

All reality exists in the mind. The outer phenomenon, that which appears, is only its outer expression. The visible universe is the reflection of the invisible, (Plato)



If you let someone control your destiny, this is the end.
Jean-Louis Aubert