LOA, the 13th Aethyr*, carries an important initiation that must be complete before you can move forward. LOA lies along the path of Chesed on the Tree of Life but is below the Abyss and the Tree of Life sphere Binah. You will no doubt experience some of the powerful feminine forces flowing down from Binah as you transverse this region.
The central subject of this Aethyr is the Cup or Babalon (Sangreal) and its symbolic meaning. You may see see a vision of a cup while here. The wine in the cup can be said to symbolize the lives of the saints and holy men and all those who have devoted their lives to helping others. Another name for this wine is sacrifice. So this Aethyr contains the lesson of sacrifice. This initiation is called the Mystery of Babalon. In this initiation, you will be required to sacrifice yourself and shed some blood (symbolic blood) into the cup. This enables you to share in the Great Work and unite yourself with all those that have done so.
After a successful initiation, you may see or be part of a vision of Babalon and the Beast, (a seductive mate and your own human self) somewhat like you experienced in the 16th Aethyr, LEA. However, because of your experience in VTA you will now recognize the Beast to be the Lord of the City of Pyramids. The symbolism here is very important for you to understand. The people you encountered in VTA have become pyramids of dust because they lost their humaity and their ability to care about others. They did not shed any blood into the Cup of Babalon and are thereby confined to VTA. If you have made it to LOA and you recognize the beast here as yourself in VTA than you have surely earned the title of Lord of the City of the Pyramids and have freed yourself from the forces of VTA.
There are two types of residents here in LOA. The Hierarchy of Compassion (the White Brotherhood) who have dedicated their lives to helping others and the Earth, and their complement, the Black Brothers. The Black Brothers are people who have risen in spiritual understanding to this lofty height but who refuse to shed their blood into the Cup of Babablon unless it is for personal gain or glory. They are higher in understanding than the residents of the City of the Pyramids, but have erected thick towers of egotism around themselves and are thereby shut off from the rest of humanity. It is a distinction involving the trap of spiritual selfishness; the ill-formed idea that you are better than another because you have obtained some rank of spirituality. To grasp this initiation and past beyond LOA, you need to understand that despite your spiritual rank, you are no higher or lower than any one else. Spiritual selflessness is what ultimatley separates the White Lodge and the Black Brothers and has led to the rift in many spiritual and occult organizations.
So to summarize, this Aethyr contains two lessons:
* additional source material: "Enochian Magick" by Gerald J. Schueler, "The Golden Dawn" by Israel Regardie