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.


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 13 december 2008

Ithell Colquhoun - the forgotten Adept

Ithell Colquhoun (1906-1988) is best known today for being a painter and author of great prominence on the British surrealist scene. She studied at the Slade School of Art in London and soon also studied the arts in France, and there met the master Salvador Dalí which made a great impact on her artistic expression. She made her debut at a exhibition in 1936 and by then already had developed her style which she herself described as "magic realism", showing strong influences of Dalí. One such example is provided below (Scylla from1938).

From 1939 and onwards Ithell often used a technique which can best be described as "automatic painting", i.e. the artistic equivalent of automatic writing, not uncommon amongst surrealist painters such as her mentor Salvador Dalí. It was also used amongst certain symbolist painters and writers, such as the Golden Dawn Adept William Butler Yeats. This is also a technique which naturally can be found in some occult circles, which leads us to Ithell's connections with the occult community, in which she was known as Soror Splendidior Vitro (see monogram at far right for this magical motto). Ithell in fact took part in the movement today commonly known as the Golden Dawn. There she used her artistic abilities in full bloom to express its occult worldview, especially connected to the Qabalistic glyph of the Tree of Life.

In the Golden Dawn community Ithell is best known to us for her seminal work and personal interpretation of the history of the Golden Dawn, called The Sword of Wisdom: MacGregor Mathers and the Golden Dawn. This book, which basically is a biography on S.L. MacGregor Mathers, was published by Spearman in 1975 and is currently out of print. Compared to the more academically rigid and hence dispassionate works of authors like Ellic Howe and R.A. Gilbert, the work of Ithell Colquhoun is written with love and passion for the tradition and from the perspective of an initiate. This makes the work the more interesting as it draws from many sources not strictly speaking legitimate from the academic angle, such as word of mouth traditions and gossip amongst initiates, etc.

Ithell also wrote one more occult work, the hermetic-surrealist novel Goose of Hermogenes, published by Peter Owen in 1961. This work was probably developed under the influence of automatic writing, or so Steve Nichols asserts us, and can be best regarded as a modern oracle. In short Ithell's heroine finds out, while visiting her uncle at his island that exists out of time and space, that he actually is in search of the philosopher’s stone. Goose of Hermogenes can best be described as an esoteric fantasy novel which draws from scenes and imagery mostly derived from medieval occult sources. Each chapter title is also correlated to different stages in the alchemical work. It is a reading worth while for any student of the Golden Dawn or of Hermeticism.

The official history according to The Sword of Wisdom informs us that Ithell Colquhoun applied for initiation into the Golden Dawn in the 1930's but was rejected, and as a consequence instead later joined the O.T.O. in 1952 and Kenneth Grant's Nu Isis Lodge in 1955. The truth of the matter is however that while it is correct that Ithell later became a member of the O.T.O. she prior to this in fact eventually were initated into the Rosicrucian Order of the Alpha et Omega (the legitimate heir to the GD∴), though she never reached beyond the 2°=9° Grade of Theoricus. Why she didn't attain any higher Grade is yet a mystery to be solved, but one probable reason is because of the closure of the Temple in the 1940's in the wake of Israel Regardie's publications of the Stella Matutina materials included in his The Golden Dawn. It is also a well established fact that her cousin Edward John Langford Garstin (1893-1955) was a prominent and senior Adept of the AO∴, and personally supervised and tutored Ithell well above the material contained in her Grade. She often made drawings and paintings of the teachings contained within the R.R. et A.C. (or Inner Order of the AO∴).

Ithell also became a prominent member of Countess Tamara Bourkoun's Order of the Pyramid and the Sphinx (O.P+S.), after its founding in 1963, together with other Adepts like Marquis Nicholas Tereschenko (1920-2001), the latter which later in 1992 would resurrect the old MacGregor Mathers Paris Temple of Ahathôôr No. 7, together with his student Jean-Pascal Ruggiu (who also was a member of the O.P+S.). Some sources claims that O.P+S. received a valid lineage from the AO∴ through Miss Tranchell-Hayes, the last Imperatrix of the AO

From 1964 and through to the 1970's Ithell was a dedicated Adept and teacher of the Inner Order of the O.P+S., called the Ancient Order of the Phoenix. The fact is that Bourkoun needed Ithell Colquhoun's assistance, as Ithell was one of the very few Adepts left initiated into the oral traditions of the AO∴, in comparison with Israel Regardie which had provided Bourkoun with her training in the United States prior to her arrival to England in 1963. Unfortunately Ithell's supervised AO∴ training wasn't completed as her cousin Langford Garstin, according to initiated sources, suddenly withdrawed all his support and tutorship of her. The reasons for this sudden change of heart is unknown, but perhaps it could have had something to do with the fact that Ithell was in communication with both Tamara Bourkoun and Israel Regardie, well before the founding of O.P+S. And E. J. Langford Garstin's sentiments towards Israel Regardie, who by most initiates of the old school was considered to be an oath breaker and profaner, is a well documented fact.

Much of Ithell Colquhoun's lectures and writings for Bourkoun's O.P+S. has finally been published in 2007 by Steve Nichols in his The Magical Writings of Ithell Colquhoun. Nichols has also been kind enough to publish some of Ithells paintings and sketches, of which one of these - the occult meanings of the Hegemon's Lamen - is presented on the cover of his book.

The dynamics of Ithell's style is obvious just by looking at this image; the main field of work of Ithell was the magical theories and uses of colour, one of my own fields of interests. Overall her occulted paint works, under Langford Garstin's supervision, is strikingly beautiful and powerful, ranging from dissections of the crosses of the Outer Order admission badges, to the Tarot and the Sephiroth of the Tree of Life, amongst other yet unpublished material. It is obvious that Ithell Colquhoun was a very creative and productive painter on both the surrealist and occult scenes.

But also her occult writings bears the mark of lucidity, which is evidenced by the lectures contained within The Magical Writings of Ithell Colquhoun. I really recommend any serious student of the Golden Dawn to purchase this book by Steve Nichols, and above all the electronic downloadable version as it contains colour diagrams and photographs which does justice to Colquhoun's works. Nichols also presents a erudite and interesting account of the life of Ithell Colquhoun and her involvement within the Golden Dawn (of which I have drawn somewhat to write this biography), even though it lacks some information which I have received from initiated sources and now provided here for your erudition.


2 kommentarer:

Anonym sa...

A point of clarification on the OP+S. Tamara founded the Order following her arrival in London in 1963; she previously lived in the United States, where she had corresponded with Israel Regardie. The Order was however founded on her own Inner contacts rather than any lineage.
Langford Garstin died in 1955 and would not have been in a position to approve or not of his cousin's involvement with the OP+S, which commenced around 1964.
-G.N., London

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Care G.N.,

Thank you for the note, which obviously addresses this original passage: "Unfortunately, when her cousin Langford Garstin were told about Ithell's activities within Tamara Bourkoun's organization, he withdrawed his support and tutorship of her. Obviously there were no consensus amongst the old Adepti of the A∴O∴ regarding the O.P+S."

I have made amendments accordingly and have taken the liberty to use the information that you have provided.