Along with the Star Game and the Grade Rituals, the most sidelined Dark Art of the O9A, just from my own observations, is easily Esoteric Chant. Which is actually quite ironic, given that the Star Game, the Grade Rituals, and using Esoteric Chant with a quartz tetrahedron are all, according to tradition, means of developing the fundamental skills and awareness necessary to apprehend the acausal (e.g. acausal empathy and acausal thinking). Sure, there’s plenty of plain ol’ chant used in the O9A’s system of magick, and there’s no denying the potency of projected voice vibration in the raising of energies. But, if you haven’t noticed, all of the O9A’s most important rituals (e.g. The Ceremony of Recalling and the Nine Angles Rite) utilize trained cantors who perform in a specific way certain of the Esoteric Chants. As a tradition, one that has been absorbed into the ancestral pathei-mathos of the O9A, it goes back many centuries. So why should it ever be relegated to obscurity?
Early on after I learned of the O9A I was particularly interested in Esoteric Chant and so I wanted to see what it was all about. It seemed so novel, using singing as a magickal art, and it was such a refreshing departure from the usual theatrics and mundanity you encounter in rituals from fake occultists. So I wanted in on this Esoteric Chant thing the O9A had going on. The first sphere chant I learned was Agios Lucifer, which is of course is the easiest of all the seven since it’s so repetitive. I also learned the Diabolus early on, as should anyone wanting to learn a little dark magick. I even procured my first quartz tetrahedron early on (having had three in total over the years), and with it I had the first experiences which proved to me the efficacy of Esoteric Chant + quartz tetrahedron. Using Esoteric Chant together with the crystal, according to my own experience and to Sinister Tradition, works together to open a temporary nexion and take you to another level of awareness–what to say, then, of their use in such workings as the Nine Angles Rite. I’ve only had the experience practicing Esoteric Chant alone, so I can’t speak for the power of singing it in a group in fourths or fifths–but if it works so well when I use it properly by myself, I could only imagine what it does in a group setting. And, of course, the chants simply sound beautiful and bring to one’s awareness various aspects of the numinous when they are sung/meditated upon throughout the day.
When I teach myself a chant–I never had anyone to guide me personally–or try to learn a new one, I follow the same process every time. I first listen to it for maybe 20 minutes or so every day, reading along with the notation given in “Naos”. I listen to the Chant, and quietly follow along with the sheet music using my finger, and do this until I get a “feel” for the mode the chant is sung in. I want to get myself to a point where I can read it from the blob notation, without the track playing, so I must have an intuitive sense of what each mode will sound like.
Once I do reach that point where I can sing the chant from the sheet music alone, I practice that one chant every day for 20 odd minutes, sometimes longer, and during this part of teaching myself the chant I will then begin to try to memorize each “section” of the chant. I mentally divide the chant into different parts or sections that I can memorize one at a time until all sections are memorized–just breaking one big task down into a bunch of simpler tasks. I consider the start of a section within a chant as beginning with the “Agios”.
I had to figure this method out for myself in the absence of someone to guide me, with only just the slightest musical experience, and it works well for me if I put in the work and time. Generally one does not find a trained cantor able to train them in Esoteric Chant and so one must go to some level of trouble over causal time if they want to become proficient. It stands to reason that during the stage of External Adept one should see to it that others become trained in Esoteric Chant and that such singing is performed in a ceremonial context.
Certain chants will lack sheet music and thus will be particularly difficult to learn if one only has a recording of the chant (eg the recordings of Christos Beest). Such is the case with, for example, the Atazoth chant, which is already difficult enough on its own. I am still working on learning it myself, and imagine anyone with the commitment could do the same.
This is the method I’ve always used, and it has made Esoteric Chant accessible and usable for me in a simple enough and manageable manner, so I hope to save other unnecessary trouble and give them advice in how to become proficient in this powerful Dark Art.