Fama Fraternitatis - 1614

Wiewohl wir nun wohl wissen, daß es umb ein ziemliches noch nicht an dem, da wieder unserm Verlangen oder auch anderer Hoffnung mit allgemeiner Reformation divini et humani, solle genug geschehen, ist es doch nicht unbillich, daß, ehe die Sonne auffgehet, sie zuvor ein HELL oder dunkel liecht in den Himmel bringt und unter dessen etliche wenige, die sich werden angeben, zusammen tretten, unsere Fraternitet mit der Zahl und Ansehen des gewünschten und von Fr.R.C. fürgeschriebenen Philosophischen Canons, einen glücklichen Anfang machen oder ja in unserer Schätz (die uns nimmermehr aufgehen können) mit uns in Demut und Liebe genießen die Mühsamkeit dieser Welt überzuckern und in den Wunderwerken Gottes nicht also blind umbgehen.

Vi vet dock att det enligt vår åstundan och andras förväntningar efter någon tid kommer en allmän reformation av både gudomliga och mänskliga ting. Ty innan solen går upp, upplyses himlen av
MORGONRODNADENS ljus. I väntan på denna reformation församlas några få som med sitt antal skall utöka vårt brödraskap, höja dess anseende och stärka dess förhoppningar och ge de av Fr.R.C. föreskrivna Filosofiska Canons en lycklig begynnelse. I all ödmjukhet och kärlek skall dessa nytillkomna tillsammans med oss dela våra skatter, som aldrig skall förgås, och så lindra denna världens möda och inte längre vandra ovetande om kunskapen om Guds underbara verk.

Howbeit we know after a time there will now be a general reformation, both of divine and humane things, according to our desire, and the expectation of others: for it is fitting, that before the rising of the Sun, there should appear and break forth AURORA, or some clearness, or divine light in the sky; and so in the mean time some few, which shall give their names, may joyn together, thereby to increase the number and respect of our Fraternity, and make a happy and wished for beginning of our Philosophical Canons, prescribed to us by our brother R.C. and be partakers with us of our treasures (which never can fail or be wasted) in all humility, and love to be eased of this worlds labor, and not walk so blindly in the knowledge of the wonderful works of God.

Definition

Det brittiska ordenssällskapet Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn och den tyska Frimurarlogen L'Aurore Naissante, vilket grundades i London 1888 respektive Frankfurt-am-Main 1807, delade på samma hebreiska namn Chevrah Zerach Bequr Aur, förevisat i gyllene gult vid bloggens huvud, vilket ordagrannt kan översättas till “Stigande Gryningsljusets Sällskap”. Denna tyska Rosenkorsiska Frimurarloge i Frankfurt, vilket måste anses vara det ursprungliga modertemplet till GOLDEN DAWN, kallade sig på tyska även Loge sur Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, vilket kan översättas till “Gryende Morgonrodnadens Loge”. Detta skiljer sig åt från den engelska seden att översätta orden Bequr Aur till “Golden Dawn” eller “Gyllene Gryningen”. Med anledning av Rosenkorstraditionens tyska ursprung är en mer korrekt översättning av Bequr Aur, genom franskans L'Aurore Naissante och tyskans Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, inget annat än GRYENDE MORGONRODNADEN. Denna hänvisning till ett stigande gryningsljus, morgonrodnad eller aurora är en klar hänvisning till den allmäna reformationen omnämnt i det ovan citerade stycket från Fama Fraternitatis. Denna blogg har dock valt att behålla den försvenskade anglo-saxiska termen GYLLENE GRYNINGEN för att denna, invand som den är, lättare associeras med den Rosenkorsiska tradition som här ämnas att framställas.

Licht, Leben, Liebe

lördag 6 juni 2009

On the Elemental nature of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram

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Lately yours truly have been involved in a discussion about whether the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram may be regarded as Elemental or not. The proponents of the “non-elemental theory” often hold that there are no direct references in the GD∴ Order documentation which points to any Elemental nature. I will now present my position in this matter, referring to Order documentation, which is furthermore corroborated by my own and other’s experience with these rituals. We thus have to take into account 120 years of experience working with these rituals.

But before I present my arguments I will start off with some background information regarding the Pentagram Ritual. Most of the information about this ritual is contained in the so called Ritual BThe Ritual of the Pentagram. This is a paper which contains both a detailed description of the Pentagram symbol, as well as all practical applications used in invoking and banishing of the 5 Elements (Fire, Water, Spirit, Air and Earth) as well as the 12 Signs of the Zodiac. Ritual CThe Ritual of the Hexagram consists of a similar document dealing with the symbology and application of the Hexagram in invoking and banishing of the 7 Planets (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and Moon) as well as the 10 Sephiroth of the Tree of Life. Together these two documents presents a complete system of Ceremonial Magic using these hierarchies of Therugy.

Ritual B mostly describes the “Supreme” forms of the Pentagrams, i.e. Spirit Pentagrams and those belonging to the other Four Elements, but also the “Lesser” form of the Pentagram. Although presenting very scarce information about the utility and nature of the latter, Ritual B also describes the full form of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram (LRP), from which the Neophyte 0°=0° may apply the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) and the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram (LIRP) in daily use. Ritual B also gives detailed instruction of how to perform the Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram (SRP), from which the Neophyte Adeptus Minor 5°=6° may implement the two forms of the Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram (SIRP) and the Supreme Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (SBRP). In the same manner Ritual C teaches the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram (LRH), from which the Adept may utilize the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram (LBRH) and Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram (LIRH). It is needless to say that these two documents comprise the foundation texts upon which the whole of the Inner Order of the Golden Dawn or the Ordo Rosæ Rubeæ et Aureæ Crucis rests.

Studying Golden Dawn texts as these ones one soon discovers that there are layers upon layers within all GD symbolism, especially such fundamental symbols as the Pentagram and Hexagram. For example the geometrical shape or polygram of the Pentagram generally relates to Geburah. A Pentagram being of the martial Geburah, it is well suited for banishing and controlling of averse forces. But I also strongly believe that the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is Elemental, even if this isn't explicitly expressed in Ritual B. Why? I believe it is implicitly expressed. Let me try to explain in order of priority and significance:

1. In Ritual B both the Supreme and Lesser Rituals of the Pentagram are categorized under the heading “Ritual of the Pentagram”. Thus, the Ritual of the Pentagram can broadly be divided into a Lesser and Supreme category. Ritual B is clear about the fact that the Pentagram represents the Elements, as the Hexagram in Ritual C is representing the Planets. Quoting Ritual B:
The Pentagram is a powerful symbol representing the operation of the Eternal Spirit and the Four Elements...
So in using Pentagrams in ritual you inherently use Elemental forces, by the very symbol and geometrical shape of the Pentagram.

Furthermore, as I interpret our tradition, Golden Dawn magic primarily works with four “hierarchies”, i.e. the 5 Elements, the 7 Planets, the 12 Signs of the Zodiac (including the Shem ha-Mephoresh) and the 10 Sephiroth. These four major hierarchies used in Ceremonial Magic are resumed in each of the Walls of the Tomb of Fra. C.R.C. There are also the three Primary Elements (or Air, Water and Fire), and the associated symbols of Mercury, Salt and Sulphur, which also are resumed in each of the Walls. But in practical Theurgy (i.e. Ceremonial Magic) you primarily work with 5 Elements, 12 Signs, 7 Planets and 10 Sephiroth. These four hierarchies may be divided into two, according to the Pentagram and the Hexagram. The Hexagram governs the Planets and the Sephiroth. The Pentagram governs the Elements and the Zodiac.

Granted, the Zodiac may also be invoked by the Hexagram through the Ruling Planet of the Sign, but in my opinion the Elemental quality of each Zodical Sign is more stressed, and in Ritual B Pentagrams are also recommended for use together with the Zodiac.

The relation between the Lesser and Supreme forms of the Pentagram is further stressed by the fact that the particular paper appended to the First Knowledge Lecture, which was given to Neophytes in the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, was an extract from Ritual B. I recall reading somewhere regarding this years ago. So it has for a long time been assumed in certain quarters that the paper on the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram was a part of that Adeptus Minor paper originally as an appendix (in the same manner as the description of the Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram). This assumption has lately been corroborated by the publication of the Whare Ra copy of Ritual B, which evidently contains that paper (or a version of it) as given to the Neophytes.

Whare Ra Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram

2. Furthermore Ritual B, as published in Regardie’s books, continues:
In the invoking Pentagram of Earth the current descendeth from the Spirit to the Earth. In the Banishing Pentagram, the current is reversed. The Sigil of the Ox should be traced in the centre. These two Pentagrams are in general use for invocation or banishing, and their use is given to the Neophyte of the Order of the Golden Dawn under the title of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram.

This Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is only of use in general and less important invocations. Its use is permitted to the Outer that Neophytes may have protection against opposing forces, and also that they may form some idea of how to attract and to come into communication with spiritual and invisible things. The Banishing Pentagram of Earth will also serve thee for any opposing Astral force.
So, as can be read from the “canonic” text of Ritual B the Lesser Pentagram is the Earth Pentagram. Granted the Lesser Pentagram is not exactly as the Supreme Earth Pentagram, the latter being of more complex symbology with colour (black) and symbols (ox), but the difference is but between “Lesser” and “Supreme” forms; they are still both Earth Pentagrams. So the document clearly states that it is a Earth Pentagram, but of a different kind as compared to the Supreme form of the Earth Pentagram, meaning that it may also be used to banish any astral force. This means that if you cannot identify the force by hierarchy (see above) you should definitely use the LBRP, not the Earth SBRP. But still the text clearly states that the LBRP is of a fundamentally Elemental nature. So in conclusion, the Supreme Banishing Earth Pentagram is not exactly the same as the Lesser Pentagram, but obviously related.

Now it has been pointed out that the versions as published in Israel Regardie’s The Golden Dawn (Llewellyn) and The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic (New Falcon) are the result of poor editing on Regardie’s part and that the linking of the Lesser Pentagram and the Supreme Earth Pentagram in the quotations above wasn’t part of the “original” document. It is true that the latter of these paragraphs in the published machine typed Whare Ra copy of Ritual B is somewhat rephrased and doesn’t corroborate Regardie’s transcriptions, as can be seen here:

Excerp from Whare Ra “Ritual B”

However, in all published versions of this Whare Ra document page 4 is missing, the page containg the first paragraph in the quotation above. One also has to remember that Regardie mainly draws upon much earlier documentation when he wrote The Complete Golden Dawn, taken from the Car Collins collection that contains documents hand copied by Leigh F. Gardner between 1894 and 1896. It wasn’t uncommon in the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn that several different versions of documents were circulated amongst the initiated.

Now, how does it all fit into this scheme? To understand this we have to look into the instructions as given in the Theoricus 2°=9° and Philosophus 4°=7° Rituals. In the 2°=9°, during the circumambulations in the first part (Ritual of the 32nd Path), the candidate meets Air, Fire and Water, by the power of the Mother Letters (i.e. Aleph, Shin and Mem) in this order. But when he meets Earth in the North he does that by the virtue of “the Letters Aleph, Mem and Shin”, i.e. with Air, Fire and Water conjoined. Furthermore, looking at the diagram of the 4°=7° called “Tablet Of Trinity Operating Through The Sephiroth”, the Ritual text says:
Notice that Air is reflected from Kether through Tiphareth to Yesod. Water is reflected from Binah through Chesed to Hod; and Fire is reflected from Chokmah through Geburah to Netzach. While Malkuth is Earth, the receptacle of the other three. (My emphasis).
So from all this we can gather that Earth actually is the synthesis of the other three Primary Elements; Air, Fire and Water (See also image to the right spoken of in the quotation). So, looking from this perspective, working with the Earth Pentagram in a general way, you also affect the other three Elements. That’s why the Earth Pentagram is so well suited for “general and less important” Elemental work.

So it must be stressed that the Lesser Pentagram is not a symbol which should be used to banish the Earth Element specifically. It is supposed to be used in a general way and is especially well suited for banishing of unspecified Elemental forces. It is also well suited against any astral forces, i.e. “spirits”. Spirits are often of a “Terrestrial” nature, being nature’s “blind forces”, i.e. they are related to the physical/etheric world. That’s also why the Earth Pentagram is so well suited.

3. The Supreme and Lesser Rituals of the Pentagram are structured in the same manner, i.e. with the Qabalistic Cross, tracing of Pentagrams in the Four Quarters, invocation of the Elemental Arch Angels, etc. This clearly confirms that they both belong to the Elemental realm and that they are two forms of the same Ritual (se first point). Notice especially the use of Elemental Angels in both. This is significative.

But the Lesser and Supreme Rituals of the Pentagram are also substantially different. One is a “Supreme” version, the other a “Lesser”, hence a stripped down version. But still they are related, which is the main idea I want to point out.

4. I believe that one should compare the two Lesser Rituals (i.e. that of the Pentagram and the Hexagram) with each other, to gain understanding of them both. The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram cannot be regarded as independent from the other G.D. corpus of Theurgy. They all interact and complement each other’s functions. Knowing this Ritual B again alludes to the Elemental character of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram with these indirect hints:
Whenever thou shalt prepare to commence any magical work or operation, it will be advisable for thee to clear and consecrate the place of work by performing the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. In certain cases, especially when working by or with the forces of the Planets, it may be wise also to use the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram.
So, logically, as the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram is used “when working with the forces of the Planets”, so it follows that the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is used “when working with the forces of the Elements”.

This is of course conjecture. But may I ask the reader this: Would you be comfortable in using the LBRP only to clear the place of a Planetary working? No? Now then, would you be comfortable with clearing a place of Elementary working just using the LBRH?

However, I agree that the LBRP and LIRP is of a more general nature or quality as compared to the Hexagram ditto. But still I hold that it properly belongs to the Elemental hierarchy more then anything else and that the LBRP is better suited for banishing of Elements compared to the LBRH. But it is of course not limited for Elemental use. It is wider in operation. But the Elemental quality shouldn't be overlooked or underestimated.

So, again, if not Elements or Zodiac are affected by the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, what are? Remember that Ritual B clearly states that the LBRP is not as optimally suited for banishing of Planets as is the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram.

5. It is interesting to note that the students of Dr. Israel Regardie nurtures the view that the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram has a Elemental Nature. This is also my personal experience, being taught by a student of Regardie’s closest student in Ceremonial Magic. It is clear that Regardie himself held this view, or at least that’s what he taught his closest circle of students. And I believe this “oral” tradition to be important, Regardie being a member of a branch of the Original inauguration of the Golden Dawn.

But it is also my personal opinion that the teachings of Paul Foster Case are very significant, him being a former Adept and Chief Adept of the American branch of the Rosicrucian Order of AO∴. In P. F. Case’s later rendition of the Golden Dawn (i.e. the B.O.T.A.) he taught the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram in the Zelator Grade (i.e. not 0°=0°). Interestingly enough Case also, in a unpublished instructional paper on the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, says to his Zelatores that the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram only deals with the spirits of Earth and that in all Elemental ceremonies the Lesser Banishing Pentagram serves to avert any danger of obsession. Furthermore he admonishes his Zelatores to visualize the pentagrams as bluish white. Interesting instructions coming from a man of whom I really admire and regard as being the greatest American spiritual teacher.

6. Granted, the Divine Words of Power doesn't make sense if you are to attribute them to specific or individual Elements. But here we are not talking about specific words of power attributed to specific Elements, but instead more of a continuing prayer of a general nature. I have written about this on my blog before. Let me therefore quote here out of convenience :
IHVH (Tetragrammaton) is one of the most recurrent and important names for God in the Old Testament. Adonai is used as a substitute for it - remember Jews were forbidden to pronounce the name Tetragrammaton - designating him (i.e. IHVH) as “Lord”. Even the dagesh points (i.e. vocal punctuations) were taken from the name Adonai and applied to IHVH, resulting in the vulgar pronunciation of “Yehowah” or “Yahweh”. Eheieh is God as the burning bush – “I am who I am” - as He appeared for Moses. AGLA is once again a reference to Adonai – “Lord” - as it is a acronym for “Atah Gibor LeOlam, Adonai” which can be translated as “Thou art powerful for ever, Oh Lord”. So all this points to the One God, not the many; i.e. unity.

Thus, read as one sentence one gets “IHVH, Adonai, Eheieh, Atah Gibor LeOlam, Adonai” which may be translated as “Yehovah, my Lord, who are who You are, Thou art powerful, Oh Lord, through the ages”. So what we basically have here is a prayer that invokes the power and grace of God Almighty.

The particular names for God in the ritual also alludes to the four Elements - the elemental world of matter - as the Tetragrammaton (IHVH) [of with each letter is correspondent to one of the four Elements] works as the primary name, being spelled first, and the general use of Adonai as a substitute for IHVH. But curiosly enough, all the names used in the Ritual are Tetragrammata, i.e. they each consists of four letters; IHVH (Jehovah), ADNI (Adonai), AHIH (Eheieh) and AGLA (Agela). All this points towards the overall and general Elemental (material) attribution of the ritual.
In this quotation I stress the material aspect of the Elements. But the Elements are so much more than just the physical representations of the Hermetic notion of Elements; in rituals such as that of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, the operator invokes the Spiritual Forces behind the physical Elements. This is done through these Words of Power, mentioned in the above quotation, who are Tetragrammata which, I hold, alludes to the Elemental nature of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. There are of course other quaternary associations which alludes to a fundamentally Elemental nature of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, such as the four directions or Quarters of the compass, the Four Winds, the Four Pillars, the Four Worlds, the four Archangels, which all are corresponding with the Elements. All these associations are substantiated in the original version of the “Fifth” or Azoth Knowledge Lecture.

Regarding the four Pillars, which in Egyptian mythology have been associated with the Cardinal Points and the Elements since antiquity, they obviously have their equivalent in the Microcosm or the Sphere of Sensation. I believe that the LBRP and LIRP especially affects the four Pillars in the Tree of Life as projected in a solid sphere. I highly suspect that these duplicated sets of Pillars in the Sphere of Sensation have a general Elemental Nature; active and passive Pillars are opposing, as are active and passive Elements according to the four Winds; Air as opposed to Water (but both being humid), and Fire as opposed to Earth (both being dry).

Furthermore all these correspondences attributed to the four Cardinal Points makes the symbol of the Cross, which in it self is related to the Elements as can be seen in this image on the right; red being associated with Fire, blue with Water, white (close to the center) with Spirit, yellow with Air, and black with Earth. So there is lots of symbolism in the Lesser Pentagram Ritual that relates it to the Elemental realm.

I however concur with the view that being in correspondence doesn’t necessarily mean that everything quaternary is of an Elemental nature. Thus it is likewise absurd to assume an Earthy Elementary nature to Gnomes, and an airy to Sylphs, etc. But we still make these associations. Why? Ceremonial magic is primarily about affecting consciousness with symbols and associations. When you associate different and separate, i.e. causally non-related, objects together you enhance the impact of the ritual.

The Neophyte of course wasn’t aware of all this symbology and system of attribution, but just because information wasn’t given until later doesn’t take away the original intention or effect of the Ritual. One of the main points forwarded by the “non-elemental” camp is that Elemental Rituals couldn’t been handed out to Neophytes as initiates wasn’t yet prepared for these kind of energies until they had reached the Adeptus Minor Grade and been given information about the Elemental Pentagrams.

It has however wrongly been assumed that members of the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn wasn’t aware of the Elemental nature of the Pentagram because they didn't read the Ritual B until they entered 5°=6°. This view is seriously flawed, as I know for a fact that they were handed copies of the initiation and advancement rituals to be transcribed by hand as a part of their Grade study. In each of these Ritual papers the individual Elemental Pentagrams were described and illustrated in detail, both Spirit (active & passive) and Elemental.

Also attributing an Elemental nature to the LIRP wouldn’t take away anything of the later Supreme Elemental workings, which has been suggested. As I have stated, the invocation with the LIRP activates the Elements in a more undifferentiated and general manner, but also in a gentle manner. I agree with the notion that it isn't necessary just Elemental, but disregarding its Elemental nature may be as reductionist as denying it's more lofty effects.

I therefore propose a middle position, where the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram has an Elemental foundation but invokes the Elements in synthesis in a way that reflects Spirit Pentagrams but of a lesser category. Remember that a full Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram, with passive and active Pentagrams and all four Elemental Pentagrams, creates an invocation of the Elements in synthesis and of the nature of the Spirit and Quintessence. I believe that the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram does something similar but of a lesser degree and in a more gentle manner. In this way it is a very good preparation of the later work of the Adept.

Thus I argue that Elements either can be invoked as specific “entities” or in a generic (i.e. synthesized) manner. I believe the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram does the latter. The Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram also invokes the Elements in synthesis, but it is more concerned with bringing them into the Temple (Sphere) as individual entities and uniting them there by the Power of the Tablet of Union in the center over the Double Cubical Altar. With the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram you invoke an already synthesized form of the Elements. At least that is the feeling I get from working with these Rituals myself.

In my opinion the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram invokes more “spiritual” energies and is of a more lofty nature compared to the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, invoking a higher hierarchy (i.e. the Planets) and pure undifferentiated L.V.X., in the latter case through the “Analysis of the I.N.R.I.” (which begins and ends the LBRH). I believe in order to understand the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram it is wise to compare it with the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram. They are quite similar in that the most “dense” force is placed to represent all forces, in the Lesser Hexagram Ritual - Saturn (which also is corresponding to Tau, a letter which also is corresponding with Earth).

I am thinking that alchemically speaking the Lesser Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram directly affects the Terrestrial and Saturnial nature of man, i.e. the physical body (including the etherical double or energetic body). So, these two Lesser rituals presents a wonderful Alchemical formula for transmutation of the physical body trough energy manipulation.

Thus today I believe that the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram primarily affects the physical and energetic bodies, like for example in Qi-Gong. This of course is nothing else but the L.V.X.-energy. Some people therefore assert that the LIRP does invoke and the LBRP banish L.V.X., which in my opinion isn’t a faulty conception at all. But in my experience the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram does this even better. However, one always invokes L.V.X. in all kinds of magic, but filtered through a lens (i.e. specific symbology). With the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram that “filter” consists of the Elements in synthesis.

Thus I agree with the notion that the Lesser Pentagrams more expresses a “Quintessence” or “Spirit” in relation to the Elements. But I want to stress that this Quintessence in the Elemental perspective represents the synthesis of the other Four Elements, as can for example be seen in the “Tablet of Union”, the primary symbol of Spirit in the Golden Dawn system of Magic. Then we may of course speculate about that this Quintessence in a Alchemical perspective is identical or correspondent to Alchemical “Mercury”. But one may argue that even Mercury represents some kind of synthesis, uniting all Planetary symbols in one. But let's leave Alchemical Mercury for now.

Here I must again bring our attention to the fact that Earth may be seen as the synthesis of the other three Primary Elements, viz. Air, Fire and Water (see second point). So in a way the Lesser “Earth” Pentagram is related to the Spirit Pentagrams, more than Earth per se. So in tracing the Lesser Pentagram you won’t necessarily invoke or banish “Air” in east, or “Fire” in south, etc. More probably we are talking here about the synthesis of all four Elements in each and every corner. That’s probably one of the reasons for the Divine names appearing so haphazardly.

To validate this assumption of the relationship between Earth as a symbol of synthesis and Sprit I must point out that it is also significant that the Lesser Pentagram is traced between the Earth and Spirit points on the Pentagram (see the bar between the points numbered 1 and 2 in the image below, which corresponds to Earth and Spirit respectively, the other points corresponding thus: No. 3 to Fire, No. 4 to Air, and finally No. 5 to Water). This, at least for me, corroborates the notion of Spirit being in Earth (or matter) and Earth being in Spirit; “as above so below”, etc. This relationship between the points of Spirit and Earth confirms the relationship between the Spirit Pentagrams and the Lesser Pentagram. Nevertheless, it places the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram in the Elemental realm per se, even if it represents the synthesis of the Elements.

Earth Banishing Pentagram

Lastly I would like to end this essay with a brief explanation of how I have come to consider Elemental workings as properly being part of the Outer Order. Regarding the use of Elemental energies by initiates of the Outer Order one has to make a clear distinction between the Lesser and Supreme forms of the Pentagram Ritual, even if they have a similar intention, i.e. the invocation of the Elements in union. The difference is that there is much more “oomph” in the SIRP as compared to the LIRP; the effect of the Lesser Pentagram Ritual is much more gentle in nature, which makes it more suitable for Outer Order workings in general. But in entering Zelator 1°=10° and the other three Elemental Grades, the initiate is also, in my opinion, prepared for a little bit more advanced but still elementary workings with the specific Elemental forces.

Since the General Reformation anno 1999, there has been added a third distinction into the family of Pentagram Rituals, namely the Greater Pentagram Rituals. These have been described in detail in David Griffin’s Ritual Magic Manual: A Complete Course in Practical Magic (1999, Golden Dawn Publishing, Beverly Hills). They are quite similar to the Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram, the main difference being that as the latter invokes all 5 Elements; the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram only invokes a single Element. This invocation of an Element is done repeatedly in all four quarters and ends with yet another invocation over the Altar in the direction of the Elemental Quarter.

All the necessary instructions for this were already given in the old Ritual B paper but mentioned in relation to the Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram, which in my opinion only creates confusion. Therefore, for pragmatical reasons, any specific Elemental Pentagram should be addressed as a “Greater Pentagram”. The Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram is “supreme” only in virtue of it invoking all Elements or Greater Pentagrams in union. Invocation of one single or specific Element in all four Quarters uses the same procedure as with invocation of all Elements, but cannot properly be called “Supreme” as it disregards the other Elements. Therefore it must be a “Greater” Ritual, to distinguish it from both the Lesser and Supreme formulas.

Now, in the reformed Outer Order the Zelator, after learning the primarily techniques of banishing with both Lesser Pentagrams and Hexagrams as a Neophyte, starts off with invocation of the Earth Element, following being introduced to that particular Element during his or her advancement into the Grade. In the same manner the Theoricus works with the Element of Air after being introduced to the Air Spirits in the Ceremony of advancement into the Grade of Theoricus, the Practicus to the Element of Water and the Philosophus to Fire. The Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram more properly belongs to the Portal level of working, being the synthezis of the Elemental Grades, which now makes the LIRP superflous as it is but a preparatory ritual. Thus, as the student of the Outer Order was previously introduced to the Elemental workings through the Hierophant and theoretical study of the Elemental Grade Advancement Ceremonies, nowadays he or she also applies this knowledge in practical work.

I regard invocation of Elements in this fashion, with the aid of the Greater Invokation Ritual of the Pentagram (GIRP), as being of a elementary level of working as it invokes Elements in a undifferentiated way, as compared to later more advanced workings with sub-elements on the level of Adeptus Minor. Thus working with single Elements is in my opinion not as advanced as often is asserted in the Golden Dawn community. The really advanced level begins with the breaking up or differentiation of the Elements themselves, which is the true level of working appropriate to Adepthood.

So as can be seen, I am not of the opinion that Outer Order members are not properly prepared to work with Elemental Forces by themselves. On the contrary, there is nothing in the original initiatory system of the Golden Dawn which is in opposition to this thought. As I already has pointed out, the theoretical knowledge has been handed out to the initiates of the Outer Order since the founding of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1888. Parts of the Neophyte Adeptus Minor curriculum was handed out to the Outer Order at least from 1892, if not earlier, when ritual instructions of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram was circulated amongst the Neophyte. There is absolutely nothing that prevents further practices being taught to Outer Order members, such as ritual instructions of the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, etc. In fact this has been the practice of the Swedish Temples of the Rosicrucian Order of the Alpha et Omega since 1999, and is still continued to this day.

S∴R

11 kommentarer:

Dean Wilson sa...

"The relation between the Lesser and Supreme forms of the Pentagram is further stressed by the fact that the particular paper appended to the First Knowledge Lecture, which was given to Neophytes in the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, was an extract from Ritual B. I recall reading somewhere regarding this years ago. So it has for a long time been assumed in certain quarters that the paper on the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram was a part of that Adeptus Minor paper originally as an appendix (in the same manner as the description of the Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram)."

Any chance you can provide a reference for this? I'd be very interested in seeing a source that says what you suggest. I don't think Ritual B is a source. Ritual B was written after the LRP paper, and it could easily be that Ritual B simply duplicated some information from the Neophyte paper, as opposed to being the source for it.

LVX,
Dean.

Sincerus Renatus sa...

Care Frater,

I have no other references other than the one presented in the essay, i.e. the Whare Ra copy of the "Ritual B".

This of course is a conclusion which I have drawn from seeing this documentation. But I have seen a reference to this before, in published litterature.

It's been many years now since I read about that in one of the published books, I believe it may have been R.A. Gilbert's book 'The Golden Dawn Manual'. If I find it some day I will definitely mention it here.

Do you have a reference for your statement about the LRP paper being older that "Ritual B", i.e. older than 1892?

For me it seems unlogical and unlikely that "Ritual B" would copy and repeat knowledge already given and originally "earmarked" for Neophytes. However, the other way around seems more likely, that material originally earmarked for Neophyte Adepti Minori would have been extracted and inserted at the level of Neophyte, perhaps a little bit altered to suit Neophytes.

I also don't think that any of the published books by Regardie, Torrens and King draws on documentation older than 1892. I may be wrong of course in this assumption. Perhaps there are some evidence in the Westcott material, or pehaps in the Yeats collection (as he was initiated as Neophyte in 1890)?

I would really appreciate if you could enlighten us on this.

But on the other hand we cannot be sure that there wasn't any papers at the level of 5=6 prior to MacGregor Mathers' reformation of the R.R. et A.C. in 1892. As references to Elemental Pentagrams, The Adepts Lamen (Rose Cross) and Lotus Wand are mentioned already in the Cypher Mss., it is plausible that drafts of Ritual B, D & E already were ciculating in 1888, but not initially called Ritual B, D etc.

So, documentation providing proof of instruction for Neophytes on the LRP in 1888 doesn't necessarily exclude the possibility of it being taken from Adeptus Minor material.

It would really be nice if someone (perhaps Tony Fuller?) could give us information on when the different "Rituals" in the R.R. et A.C. were written originally.

S.R.

Dean Wilson sa...

Are you suggesting that the Ritual B paper was written before the inception of the Second Order? On the Golden Dawn Forum you said:

"I believe (but this is speculation) that the "Rituals" from A-Z was written after 1892. The Knowledge Lectures were written prior to this though."

So why are you asking me for a reference to my statement that the LRP paper (i.e. Neophyte material pre-1892) is older than Ritual B (post-1892)? How can a paper written for Adeptus Minores in or after 1892 be used as model for something written for Neophytes up to 4 years beforehand?

You're talking too much about plausibility, possibility, and other forms of conjecture. While these are all possible, they are too unfounded to make any real hard claims.

LVX,
Dean.

Sincerus Renatus sa...

Care Frater,

You wrote:

"Are you suggesting that the Ritual B paper was written before the inception of the Second Order?"

What I am saying is that "Ritual B" most probably were created after Mathers reformed the Second Order in 1892. But we also know that people were admitted into the 5=6 prior to that, but not with the use of Vault and the 5=6 Ceremony that we are used of today. So there existed some kind of tentative or honorary 5=6 Grade.

I believe that some sort of material most probably were given to these "honorary" Adepti Minori. So what I am open for is the suggestion that some of the material which found its way into the "Rituals" in 1892 may have been in circulation in one form or the other prior to 1892.

I'm not saying that it is the most probable scenario, but that it may be possible. But for the sake of further and easier discussion, lets agree for now that "Ritual B" most probably were written in 1892.

"So why are you asking me for a reference to my statement that the LRP paper (i.e. Neophyte material pre-1892) is older than Ritual B (post-1892)? How can a paper written for Adeptus Minores in or after 1892 be used as model for something written for Neophytes up to 4 years beforehand?"

You are making a much to easy assumption that the LRP was part of the First Knowledge Lecture from the very beginning. I say that it is perhaps possible, but probably not so.

I personally don't belive this to be a fact based on the written evidence that do exist, i.e. the fact that the LRP paper was appended to the "Ritual B" in a Whare Ra copy.

So I'm asking you for evidence which proves that the LRP paper existed prior to the "Ritual B".

Simply stating that it was there from the very beginning without any documented evidence (i.e. from original hand written documentation prior to 1892)is pure conjecture and speculation on your part.

"You're talking too much about plausibility, possibility, and other forms of conjecture. While these are all possible, they are too unfounded to make any real hard claims."

As are your assumption that the LRP paper WAS a part of First Knowledge Lecture in 1888. At least I am using some documented evidence as a base for my conclusions. Where are your evidences my brother?

I am prepared to revise my conclusions if any hard evidence do show up.

S.R.

Dean Wilson sa...

I will concede the fact that we are not 100% certain that the Neophyte papers that we have in our current posession were the same ones employed in the Order pre-1892. Are you suggesting, however, that the LRP wasn't given to Neophytes pre-1892? It doesn't matter if it was attached to the Knowledge Lecture or given as a seperate document, and it also doesn't really matter if it had the extra intructions at the end (though that would be interesting), as the paper itself is clearly lacking in any elemental associations.

I have a few different versions of the LRP paper from the GD, SM, and AO, all of which are from various time periods, but I cannot find a date on them off-hand. If I do find anything concrete with a date attached I will let you know.

LVX,
Dean.

Sincerus Renatus sa...

"Are you suggesting, however, that the LRP wasn't given to Neophytes pre-1892?"

Yes, this is my original suggestion. And that the LRP appendix and The Pentagram Ritual (Known as "Ritual B" from 1892) always has been connected.

S.R.

Sincerus Renatus sa...

As the discussion continues regarding the Elemental nature of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, I will keep you updated. The latest is something Dean Wilson wrote in another forum:

"I've been scouring through some of my papers and came across an unpublished AO paper on the LRP. While I cannot state too much about its contents, the opening page has some details for both forms of the ritual, starting with the invoking form. It says the LIRP 'may be performed for the purpose of acquiring Spiritual Force'."

Yes, of course. But by "Spiritual Force" this doesn't necessarily refer to the most loftiest notion one can conjure. It simply means, forces beyond the material. And on this point I whole heartly agree. With "Elements" I'm not referring to the material elements, but to spiritual or unmaterial forces.

When I invoke the Elements, I don't summon the physical Elements themselves. They are already there in the Temple visible to my physical senses. What I invoke is the Spiritual Forces behind and animating these Elements, the Elemental kindoms and planes beyond the material realm, where I am able to Skry in the Spirit Vision, etc.

It has been pointed out the the capitalization of the words "Spiritual Force" may refer to Spirit or the Fifth Element.

In my opinion that is part of the Elemental hiearchy on one hand but transcending it on the other. It is also the synthesis of the four "lower" Elements.

As can be read in my essay I fundamentally agree with the notion that the Lesser Pentagram is more close to the nature of the Spirit Pentagram(s) than that of Earth.

Regarding the use of capitals in Golden Dawn documentation it is common and traditional to capitalize the forces, such as Planets, Elements, Signs, Fire, Water, Saturn, Luna, Libra, Aquarius, Chokmah, Tipharet, etc., etc. So I'm not at all surpirse that the A.O. paper on the LRP said "Spiritual Force" with capitalized letters.

I believe that this quote taken from the A.O. Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram paper directly relates to the sentence taken from Ritual B:

"Its use is permitted to the Outer that Neophytes may have protection against opposing forces, and also that they may form some idea of how to attract and to come into communication with spiritual and invisible things."

S.R.

Sincerus Renatus sa...

Dean Wilson also said regarding that A.O. Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram paper:

"The use and purpose of the LBRP is stated as 'when the Neophyte feels himself or herself disturbed by threatening of Obsession or by a tendency to lose mental equilibruim or moral balance' [...] It also states the general invoke in the morning, banish in the evening procedure, but adds that it 'might be a little dangerous' for a Neophyte to invoke in the evening or night (thus why the morning is used). I am unsure of the paper's date."

So the questions wich pops up in my mind are: What is mental and moral unbalance? How does one accomplish mental equilibrium? Why does the LBRP create this equilibrium (which I have for a long time believed myself)? What is obsession? On what level of the Hermetic/Qabalistic model of the Universe does obsession occur?

I firmly believe this is a direct reference to the Elemental makeup of man, which has direct psychological consequences according to my experience. Obsession or compulsive behaviour may often be attributed to Elemental Spirits. Other Spirits as well, belonging to the Planetary realm, but in either case being part of the nature of matter - the very forces which animate and sustains matter.

Compare this to the notion of spirits and demons in 'The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage'. That's why the LBRP is so effective against obsession and obsessive thought forms.

This directly relates to the admonition in the Theoricus 2=9 Ceremony regarding "the four elements...whose inhabitants are the Sylphs, Salamanders, Undines and Gnomes. Be thou therefore prompt and active as the sylphs, but avoid frivolity and caprice; be energetic and strong like the salamanders but avoid irritability and ferocity; be flexible and attentive to images like the undines, but avoid idleness and changeability; be laborious and patient like the gnomes but avoid grossness and avarice. So shalt thou gradually develop the powers of thy soul, and fit thyself to command the Spirits of the elements".

S.R.

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn sa...

No doubt Nick Farrell will use this discussion as rationalization and justification to publish this AO document next as well!

Then, of course, Morgan will jump in next, saying, "I knew this would happen the minute Dean and Sincerus Renatus started discussing this paper and will probably even promote the profanation with a positive review on Associated Content.

Apparently the AO is the "only" remaining Golden Dawn order that still values the principle of Hermetic secrecy - a fundamental cornerstone of all legitimate initiatic lineages and traditions throughout history.

This was certainly the case with the original Golden Dawn and should still be the case with all Golden Dawn today. Any orders that have abandoned this sacred principle should think again.

They have lost their way and are misleading those whom they seek to guide on their spiritual journey.

Sincerus Renatus sa...

I can understand your concerns, but I believe Mr. Wilson to be a honest man when he writes: "I cannot state too much about its contents".

Hopefully, his brethren will follow his good example.

S.R.

Dean Wilson sa...

For the interest of completeness, I thought it would be good to share the links to the two topics on the GD Forum where this debate on the elemental nature (or not) of the ritual is being discussed. There's a lot going on in those topics, so it's good to be able to see the multiple points of view:

http://goldendawnforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=16

http://goldendawnforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=9

I look forward to further discussion on this and other subjects.

LVX,
Dean.