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 28 november 2009

Servants of the Light: An addendum to Magic, alchemy and compassion


In the ongoing discussion on Love and Compassion in the Great Work my good Frater A.I.T. has been kind enough to point out for us that in the Golden Dawn tradition we are taught to balance Mercy with Severity. Therefore, according to him, magic must likewise express Severity as well as Compassion, and not only the latter. According to him Compassion cannot be regarded as of more paramount importance than Severity.

I do acknowledge that Frater A.I.T. has made some important and interesting observations about what has been said in our rites, most prominently in the Neophyte Grade which states that the student should:
...study well that Great Arcanum, the proper equilibrium of mercy and severity, for either unbalanced is not good; unbalanced severity is cruelty and oppression; unbalanced mercy is but weakness and would permit evil to exist unchecked, thus making itself as it were the accomplice of that evil.
Now let us try to study this Great Arcanum. In the particular development of Lurianic Qabalah called “Sabbatian” the great Qabalist and prophet of Sabbathai Zevi, Nathan of Gaza, proposed the idea of a “ambivalence” found in Godhead. He said that the expression of God was dual already at the level of Ain Soph Aur (Limitless Light), which divided into a “thoughtful” and “thoughtless” Light. The former wanted and had an urge for creation; the latter resisted it and tried to uphold the original and blissful unified state prior to creation.

But when creation did occur both the Thoughtful and Thoughtless Lights were involved in it, the latter actively combating it. This dual potency created the binary system of the Tree of Life that is known to us as the Pillars of Severity and Mercy, i.e. the Black and White Pillars as represented in the Neophyte Hall, and the three sets of opposite or opposing Sephiroth (Binah & Chokmah, Geburah & Chesed, and Hod & Netzach).

Because of these two competing forces imbalance occurred while the creation was under way and out of the forces of Severity the Tree was shattered and hence the Shells or Qlippoth were created. This catastrophe is referred to as “the breaking of the vessels”. These Shells or Husks were mixed with the seven lower Sephiroth and created what in Sabbatian Qabalah is referred to as the “Abyss”. Hence only the Supernals were untainted from the Fall while the Seven lowermost became the “Pit of Serpents”.

All this is amply showed forth in the Practicus (3°=8°) and Philosophus (4°=7°) Diagrams on the Garden of Eden. As can be seen, Sabbatian Qabalah was infused with the tradition of the Golden Dawn in an early preparatory phase, already in the late 18th Century and the fraternity called Asiatic Brethren, which later created a “Golden Dawn” Lodge in Frankfurt-am-Main in 1807, referred to as the Nascent Dawn.

Diagrams of Garden of Eden

So yes, there is imbedded in the Qabalistic philosophy of the Golden Dawn, which continues the antinomian way of the “heretical” Sabbateists, the concept of the evil and good faces of God. But all of this has, in my opinion, been somewhat mitigated by the early Christian Qabalistic teachings stemming from such important personages as Pico della Mirandola, Athanasius Kircher, and Christian Knorr von Rosenroth, which also found its way into the Golden Dawn. Hence we in the Golden Dawn also lay great emphasis upon the union of opposites through the healing powers of the Great Name of the Pentagrammaton or Yeheshuah (YHShVH).

This means that we shouldn’t overemphasise the division between the Pillars but instead work for the reconciliation between them. And reconciliation or union of opposites per definition involves the Great Universal Principle of Love. That’s why our tradition teaches us that the only of the Planetary glyphs which fits upon the entire Tree of Life and involves all Sephiroth is the symbol of Venus, i.e. that of Love. This according to the Philosophus Ceremony which states:
...the symbol of Venus on the Tree of Life... embraces all the Sephiroth, and is therefore the fitting symbol of the Isis of Nature. Hence also its circle is always represented larger than that of Mercury.
As a Philosopus the student is later required to contemplate or meditate upon the symbol of the Planet Venus until:
...he realises the Universal Love which would express itself in perfect service to all man-kind and which embraces Nature both visible and invisible.
This predominance of Love on the Tree of Life is also the reason behind why we are told in the Neophyte Ceremony that there are:
Two contending Forces and one which unites them eternally. Two basal angles of the triangle and one which forms the apex. Such is the origin of Creation, it is the Triad of Life.
That’s why we are taught to invoke the Middle Pillar before we can invoke the entire Tree. This is the Pillar called “Mildness” which is composed of the Sephiroth of Kether, Tiphareth and Yesod. These Middle Pillar Sephiroth represents the synthesis of the foregoing opposed Sephiroth upon the Black and White Pillars.

The glyph of Venus encompassing all 10 Sephiroth

In this instance I believe that Psychoanalysis may shed some valuable light on this mystery. Sigmund Freud, undeniably being either unconsciously or consciously influenced by the mystical philosophy of his Jewish ancestry, later in life postulated that human life and behaviours basically were conditioned according to the two great and contending forces or “drives” to which he referred as Eros and Thanathos, or the “life instinct” and the “death drive” respectively.

According to the Freudians both of these forces had to be reckoned with and therapy were henceforth given the task of reconciling these two. Thus the real danger, according to psychoanalysis, lies in the division or splitting between the Eros and Thanathos, which may lead to destructive tendencies and ultimately to death. The goal is instead of the fusion of these two drives that are likened to a intertwining of sorts.

I here immediately see the image of the Caduceus of Hermes, the symbol of healing. The two serpents (of which one is black and the other white in the Golden Dawn tradition) are reconciled round the central staff (the Middle Pillar). Hence Freud speaks of use of the death drive in the service of the life instinct.

The Caduceus

Instead of expressing destructive aggression, life may use the death drive to give the necessary incentive for individuation and of personal integrity, and self-preservation. This sometimes must involve defence against destructive elements from both outside and inside of the subject. Hence Freud tells us that the defence mechanisms of the self use force coming from the death drive.

This may be compared to the practise and formulae of evocation of the averse or demonic forces. The Magician uses the severity of God to subdue the Qlippoth so that the integration of these hieretho destructive forces may be integrated and used for the greater good, i.e. in the service of the life instinct. So basically the death drive is used when the repressed parts of the death drive is to be reconciled and integrated.

Hence the Theurgical system of the Golden Dawn and of psychoanalysis have the same ultimate goal, that of making conscious that what is unconscious and to reintegrate that which has been cast down from the self. This in my opinion is the principle behind the use and adaptation of the original Neophyte Grade emphasis on the Great Arcanum of Equilibrium between Mercy and Severity. If overemphasis on any of these two principles represented by the Two Pillars occurs con-fusion instead of fusion follows, and hence the death drive or evil gains free reins to create havoc or psychopathology. Only through fusion may the evil death drive become checked and equilibrium restored.

This process is also the equivalent of what in the Lurianic and Sabbatian traditions are referred to as the Tikkun ha-Olam, the “restoration” of the Adam or Tree of Life. Hence, according to the Lurian and Sabbatian Qabalah (and also of the Theurgical system of the Golden Dawn), the Magician has been given the task of reuniting God with himself, i.e. to restore the fallen world to its original state before the breaking of the vessels.

In my opinion this restoration process not only involves the reintegration of the Qlippoth or “freeing of the divine sparks” to create a harmonious and balanced Tree of Life, but also the reconciliation or fusion of the “two contending forces”, i.e. the Black and White Pillars, Severity and Mercy, or the Thoughtful and Thoughtless Lights.

This task has been given to humanity, to us. This is our great responsibility and also, according to the Qabalah, the real purpose of our existence as humans. This is our great Cross to carry, the path of Compassion towards God or the All. In this we must sacrifice our self or crucify ourselves upon the Cross, i.e. the Tree of Life, and become the Anointed King which will govern our world with the Rod of Iron. We must make ourselves into the New Adam, into the Christos.

The Crucified Christ or New Adam

Therefore we must transform the Tree of Life into the glyph of Venus., i.e. into a harmonious whole. The primary force which we must wield in this process is the L.V.X. force, which is also the Life Force (life instinct), which is the Universal Principle of Love. Hence the principle of Love and Compassion must prevail over and mitigate that of Severity. Eros must conquer Thanathos and make it to a servant of life. Thus as magicians we must become Servants of the Light. That is why we are taugh the old Rosicrucian axiom of “Licht, Leben und Liebe” (Light, Life and Love), these three principles being synonyms for the All.


fredag 27 november 2009

Magic, alchemy and compassion


There has recently transpired a highly interesting discussion or exchange of opinions regarding Magic and Compassion on Peregrin Wildoak’s excellent blog called Magic of the Ordinary. This short essay is a response to the main question which has become crystallized there: Is there any relationship between Love and Compassion and with the practice of Magic?

My view on what constitutes the greater aim of Magic this is quite simple. Rosicrucian Magic should always be under the auspices of Theurgy, even when one does works with so called “Thaumaturgy” (magical miracle working). Thus, we should always see magic as a working tool which helps us to accomplish:
  1. Union between the Microcosm and Macrocosm.
  2. Union between Heaven and Earth.
  3. Union between Man and God.
I.e. what is commonly referred to as the Alchemical Marriage. This is mainly done through:
  1. Energetic manipulation of the body (physical and subtle).
  2. Transmutation of the body and soul.
  3. Healing sickness (both in our selves and in others).
  4. Self knowledge.
  5. Study of nature and her works.
Thus in thaumaturgical work we shouldn’t loose sight on the higher goals of spiritual unfoldment and always consider it as integrated with the higher aspirations of our soul. As an example, healing or other kinds of direct manipulation on a physical body is part of thaumaturgy. Thus even Alchemy of the external kind may be viewed as a species of thaumaturgy, especially when it is integrated with the Magic of Light or Rosicrucian Magic as it commonly is within the Golden Dawn paradigm.

I remember once having a discussion with a good Frater of mine, who I loved deeply and shared my initiatory process with but who eventually went on with his own projects several years ago, who shocked me with these words: “Magic has nothing to do with spiritual unfoldment”!

I didn’t accept this premise then, and I still cannot accept it now, and I never will in the future. I ask myself this question: What is Magic and Alchemy at all about, if there is not any higher purpose with it?

I hold that from magical practice must follow the evolution of soul. I further hold that Love and Compassion is the true sign of spiritual unfoldment. If it is not, this must be a sign of a failed practice or initiatory process having nothing to do with the actual goal of initiation and Magic. Thus this has nothing to do with Magic and Alchemy being a neutral science and art with which to do as one likes, according to one’s whims and personal desires.

It’s true that Magic may be used for evil purposes or else this wouldn’t become necessary to admonish the candidate for initiation into the Golden Dawn that he or she: “Neither will...use my Occult powers for any evil purposes...”. Thus if our desires aren’t in harmony with our higher divine intentions, i.e. being impure, the Magic performed will become impure, debased and an expression of blasphemy. Instead of evolution we will experience the downfall of soul.

Thus in the Golden Dawn our Magic or Theurgy may be divided into three main parts or phases with their own peculiar aims, which must be conducted in succession:
  1. The purification and equilibration of the Sphere of Sensation or Aura.
  2. The invocation of the Higher Divine Genius or Holy Guardian Angel.
  3. The final integration of our inner “demonic” or Qlippotic powers or complexes of the unconscious.
Thus in the Golden Dawn paradigm there is no room for the debasement of Magic into selfish ends. Therefore we don’t start off our Magical practices with demonic workings as is the case with some so called “Left Hand Path” organisations.

The Alchemical Marriage is the true aim and in this process we are guided by the principles of Love; this is the power that binds together the disassociated aspects of our self, and also between us and the world outside of us. But before we may truly “unite” ourselves with our neighbour and fellow man, through Compassion and Love, we must first mend ourselves into a harmonious whole.

Thus in my opinion as a initiate we must focus upon the different processes that we are taught in our tradition to achieve the preliminary stages as represented by points “1” and “2”, i.e.:
  1. The process of initiation.
  2. The processes of magical invocation.
  3. The processes of alchemy.
  4. The processes of meditation.
This will ultimately create a reaction within us, in both our body and soul. There will occur a transmutation of both body and soul, the necessary equilibration of our corporeal self and the subtle bodies that we designate as “soul”. This will eventually result in a hightened sensitivity towards Love and Compassion.

Thus true Love and Compassion cannot be learned from or fostered by any outside authority, be it from any spiritual teacher or from any Good Book, nor from our parents. That is not compassion; that’s adaptation for fear of punishment and shame – trough the construct which we call “superego”. True Compassion has to come from within; it must be awakened in our heart, the centre within ourselves which we call our “Sun” or solar centre, or soul.

When we make ourselves as pure and unrestricted vessels for the L.V.X., Love and Compassion will naturally follow. The L.V.X. force will thus purify us, relieve us from our blockages within our soul and body, burn away the dregs of our being (“calcinate” the caput mortum), and root out our base and petty impulses from our hidden compartments of the subconscious. It will make conscious our repressed shadow (the Dweller on the Threshold) and relieve us from its dominion. It will make us whole....or holy. Thus will Love and Compassion naturally show forth.

Therefore one cannot expect to much Love and Compassion coming from an Outer Order member. They have to focus on these processes that I mentioned above. When they become duly crucified and thus become conscious of the radiant sun-force within them, they will become true Adepts and walk the path of Love and Compassion. Through the agency of this innate and driven Light Force they will heal the sick and that for gratis.

Paul Foster Case even had the opinion that it is only on the level of Exempt Adepthood and the Sephira of Chesed (Mercy) that one is able to truly show genuine Compassion. So it takes hard work with oneself and travel trough a long and suffering path of initiation to reach to that level of attainment. But Compassion doesn’t just come down to the initiate in a grand flash of enligthement on some exalted Grade, but unfolds gradually; spiritual unfoldment is always a gradual process. This is even experienced to some point in the more early stages of initation, but obviously cannot be compared to the full influx of L.V.X. in the later stages of Adeptship.

Thus true Love and Compassion is an attainment of a spiritual state, and not something one may learn from somebody else (i.e. from a person) but from Life itself, from Light (L.V.X.), from God. This is true Love and Compassion as opposed to the transferential processes we designate as “love” and “compassion”, as aptly described by psychoanalysis. Likewise true Conscience is the voice of God in contrast to the “conscience” of the superego.

This is also the big difference between the Golden Dawn and Freemasonry. Basically Freemasonry is a school of spiritual development by leading a virtuous life and proper eithical conduct, amongst else compassion and charity. The reception ceremonies are replete with lessons with which to learn the Mason the good conduct of life. In the Golden Dawn there is a wholly another emphasis. This emphasis is on self-knowledge and the learning of esoteric principles.

The only virtues in the Golden Dawn worth mentioning is “To Will” (Velle), “To Dare” (Audere), “To Know” (Scire) and “To Keep Silence” (Tacere), corresponding to the Four Elements thus: Fire (Will), Water (Fortitude), Air (Knowledge), and Earth (Silence). These are the virtues to be acquired through initiation into the Elements (i.e. Outer Order), with which to reach spiritual attainment that will show forth, amongst else, true (as in divine) Love and Compassion.

So I would say that Magic and Theurgy has everything to do with Love and Compassion, as it has to ultimately lead to this exalted goal. Theurgy is, like in mysticism, basically a “love story” between the practitioner and God. Alchemy is likewise a “love story” between the alchemist and Godhead manifest as mother nature. Alchemy is by its innate nature fuelled by Love, especially in its more advanced and internal paths. The “secret fire” of the alchemist is basically Love.

I have personally witnessed the miracle of transformation and how one initiate and close acquaintance of mine through the work of Rosicrucian Magic and Theurgy, within the framework of the Golden Dawn tradition as the hermetic vessel, could evolve from being a schizoid and paranoid misanthrope into being a passionate and compassionate “melancholic”, who now simply feels himself being in love with not only his wife and children (which comes naturally for most of us) but also with God, with himself, with the world, with his fellow men, with his professed tradition (who has brought him to this point in life), etc., in short with the All. He has made amends and reconciled himself with life. He hears the voice of God when conscience speaks to him.

He of course still experiences relapses into primitive states of splitting and projection, sometimes even on most of the days of the week. Sometimes he again suffers through regression into the schizoid-paranoid state for longer periods when going through trial, mourning and grief. But in most cases he hasn’t have to fight and persuade himself into feeling Love. When he is with himself and centered within his self, and feels relaxed, silenced and composed, Love and Compassion follows naturally, which duly flows from within.


fredag 20 november 2009

Paul Foster Case, the Alpha et Omega and Golden Dawn group ritual

There have recently surfaced some quite interesting facts which pertain to the Builders of the Adytum, abbreviated as B.O.T.A., created by Paul Foster Case in 1923. These have been presented by Tony DeLuce, which according to himself is the current Preceptor for the Western U.S., Australia, and Japan of the Fraternitas L.V.X. Occulta (Fraternity of the Hidden Light), a spin-off of B.O.T.A. created in 1982 by Paul Clark. The F.L.O. claims initiatory lineage to the B.O.T.A. and to Paul Foster Case, and through the latter to the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega.

I was involved in an exchange of forum posts with Tony DeLuce between 28th to 30th of June, 2008, from which I have drawn the greater bulk of the quotations. I have presented this correspondence here on the Gyllene Gryningen blog before (on July 16th, 2008) but have been compelled to make several amendments having been looking through it again, finding that I have presented the information in a somewhat unjustifiable harsh format when it comes to my interpretation of Tony’s motives. I therefore now present this information in this “upgraded” and cleaned up format, more befitted a fellow seeker of the mysteries. According to Tony he has:

…been Initiated into various Esoteric Orders over the last 25 years or so and currently supervise four operating Lodges that are of direct lineal descent from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn through the Alpha et Omega. It is also very rare (perhaps even uniquely so) but not only has there been no break in Initiatic link but, in addition, there has been no break in active Ritual from the Alpha et Omega to the present. The momentum that began 120 years ago in the form of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn has had no break or interruption in Lineage and Ritual for 120 years. Of course, the lineage and weakly so the Ritual can be traced much further back than this.

So looking at this statement it is clear that B.O.T.A. and its spin-offs, such as the F.L.O., regard the lineage of Paul Foster Case to be a direct continuation of and unbroken link back to the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega and thus to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Recently there has again been suggested that the B.O.T.A. perhaps is the most valid or only successor with the most solid lineage back to the Alpha et Omega. This is quite a bold statement being made both in the past and present, and the purpose of this essay is to hopefully clear this matter up.

First of all I personally do respect the experience contained both in the B.O.T.A. and the F.L.O., and I furthermore do acknowledge and even commend all the benefits of a continual and uninterrupted Temple work, stemming from the A∴O and going through the B.O.T.A. into the F.L.O. This doesnt however mean that this has been reserved uniquely through the B.O.T.A.

But perhaps the B.O.T.A. and F.L.O. in fact are one of the very few organizations in the U.S. that have preserved the active ritual Temple work of the Alpha et Omega, and thus have had most experience with the initiatory process and how it was supposed to be conducted since the start of the original Golden Dawn activities in England 1888? But in Europe (or rather England) the situation has not been the same as in the U.S. The AO has existed since its inception continually but under different names and forms. This continuation was transferred to Paris, France, in 1992 and further transferred to Sweden in 1997.

Besides this there are more key players in the U.S. which hold at least an equal lineage to the B.O.T.A. and Paul Foster Case through his successor Ann Davies. I am referring to Robert Word who leads his own Order called August Order of the Mystic Rose, abbreviated as A.O.M.R., which draws heavily from
both the original Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega and the B.O.T.A. in its teachings and formulae of initiation. Just recently Robert Word was interviewed by Julia Sherred on Blogtalk Radio, and according to her “in 1973 he received direct transmission and experience of higher states of consciousness from Ann Davies, the successor of Paul Foster Case, through the process of impactation”.

Furthermore, Robert Word and the A.O.M.R. has mutual fraternal and initiatic recognitions with the current revival of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega as represented by Jean-Pascal Ruggiu and David Griffin, the Order which I represent in Sweden and Scandinavia. So as can be seen this lineage and current of Paul Foster Case has found its expression since the creation of the B.O.T.A., not only through the F.L.O. but through other formats as well. Thus there are Adepts coming from the fold of Paul Foster Case and Ann Davies which continues the work to this day in different forms.

Personally I think it’s great that the F.L.O. exists as a live vehicle (as opposed to the current dead and mummified state of the B.O.T.A.) for the Paul Foster Case lineage and tradition. P.F. Case is a man and teacher that I really respect and view as the greatest American occultist of all times. I have myself gone through most of the Associate Builders program and it was really rewarding and prepared me a lot for the initiatory process of the Golden Dawn. But Tony DeLuce himself he:

…wouldn't call B.O.T.A. dead – I would suggest that they instead represent an ARC of exactly how Paul Foster Case left his rendition of the G.D. in 1954 (Ann Davies did not touch the Chapter system). They also do a great job sending out the lessons like clockwork and by doing this have touched the lives of tens of thousands of Initiates like you and me.
I do concur with Tonys last sentence. But the claimed lineage of S.L. MacGregor Mather’s Alpha et Omega, through Paul Foster Case and the B.O.T.A., must be problemized somewhat. First of all the fact is that Paul Foster Case was expelled from the Alpha et Omega, which by the way also seems to be the case with Paul Clark in relation to the B.O.T.A. as he was forced to leave that organization little more than one year after being advanced to the B.O.T.A. Adeptus Minor 5°=6° Grade. So formally no lineage may be transferred though an expulsion looking from the standpoint of validity, at least according to tradition.

Hence the Alpha et Omega never recognized the validity of the B.O.T.A., in the same manner as the B.O.T.A. doesn’t recognize the F.L.O. as the successor of the Paul Foster Case lineage. But we must of course consider the fact that there actually exists an unbroken initiatic lineage from the Alpha et Omega through the medium of Paul Foster Case, which has been passed on the level of 5°=6°. But formally this doesn’t suffice and officially is regarded to be irregular. But there is of course a real magical transference in any initiation, regardless of the formal regularity.

The same must of course also be said of the so called Israel Regardie initiatic lineage; although Regardie left the Stella Matutina by his own consent he was never granted any charter or privilege to confer any Grades of the Golden Dawn, let alone the 5°=6°, which he also admits in his letters. Tony DeLuce furthermore has this to say regarding the Regardie lineage:

Cris Monnastre [i.e. the pupil of Israel Regardie – S.R.] is a very intelligent fine practitioner of the G.D. system and I am sure Regardie trained her to the very best he was capable. For Second Order Practices like the applications of the Middle Pillar Exercise, etc. I am sure he did a wonderful job passing this on to her and probably understood some such things better than anyone else ever did.

But Regardie having been to his Temple only for his own Initiations and Elemental Advancements makes him a less than perfect person for the training of the actual Group Ritual. […] It is simply impossible for Regardie to have picked up the complexities of the G.D. Group Ritual by only showing up a few times and dropping out of the training after only a year or so and reading documents.

In my opinion Regardie, who were a close friend of Paul Foster Case’s, was probably one of the greatest ceremonial magicians in our times and knew well how to unlock the Theurgical system of the R.R. et A.C. (Golden Dawn’s Inner Order) like no contemporary. His personal experience was passed on to his only personal student and disciple Cris Monnastre, which passed whatever she knew about this to David Griffin under her private tuition. It has been a real privilege to be able to learn this formulae of magic myself in the Temple that initiated me and through the personal supervision of Mr. Griffin.

What many seem to forget in discussions on the Golden Dawn as of lately is that the real beauty of the GD tradition is its Theurgical system of Magic. The rites of passage, the Rosicrucian initiatory system of the Tree of Life, is the basis which holds the initiate within the framework of progression, but it is the personal work and understanding of Theurgy that brings the initiate through this framework along the path. Without the personal work it’s like creating a passive system of vessels or Sephiroth, void of power or active current. These two aspects of the process are essential for all true initiation. Thus there has always been a emphasis on the personal magical work or Theurgy in my Order in contrast to group ritual.

And undoubtly Regardie has evolved the Theurgical system of the Golden Dawn into further heights. But many people don’t know that Regardie actually was the Sub-Cancellarius of the Hermes temple (which initiated him) and was closely associated with its Chiefs. To claim that he did nothing but attend his own initiations is misinformative to say the very least.

But this has not so much to do with Israel Regardie as it has to do with Paul Foster Case. Hence when Tony implies that there has existed an unbroken line of oral instruction concerning group ritual work stemming from the Alpha et Omega, transmitted through Paul Foster Case and further to Paul Clark and the F.L.O., it is easy to construe the idea of the Fraternitas Lux Occulta (the group that Tony represents as one of its Chiefs) as the only true inheritor of the Alpha et Omega’s secret esoteric transmissions.

This assumption of mine is corroborated by one of Tony’s latest statement from November 14th, 2009, namely:

Personally I believe there is a whole lot more that is required than being Initiated by someone who was initiated by someone, etc. to Mathers and Westcott, i.e. there is a substantial amount of training that would be, in my opinion, almost impossible to ever pick up from books or on one’s own in order to effectively perform the Golden Dawn Group Rituals.

So according to Tony DeLuce, contrary to the Israel Regardie lineage, the Paul Foster Case lineage actually carries such an oral tradition on Golden Dawn group ritual. But in this instance we mustn’t forget that:

  1. Paul Foster Case was only a relatively brief member of the AO and even more so of the R.R. et A.C. (likewise with Regardie and the S.M., and Paul Clark and the B.O.T.A.). Case entered the Outer Order in 1918 and the second in June 1920. He resigned (or was expelled) in February 1922. So he was in the Inner Order for about 1.5 years. Perhaps longer than Regardie, but comparatively not long by any standards.
  2. Case knew Michael Whitty in 1918 and developed a close friendship with him. They even wrote some books together (notably The Kybalion and The Book of Tokens). But Whitty, as Chief of the Thoth-Hermes Temple and Chief-Adept of the AO in America, couldn’t have taught anything about the inner teachings of group ritual prior to Case taking the 5°=6°. Besides this, Whitty died in December 1920. So they only knew each other for two years and only were Fratres R.R. et A.C. together for about 6 months.
  3. Case openly admits (and is proud about the fact) that he never sat as Hierophant at Thoth-Hermes. He never did any Enochian work while in the R.R. et A.C. Basically, he never initiated anyone into the Outer Order Grades from the position of the initiator. How could he then have had a deeper understanding of the Outer Order Grade Rituals and its currents, not ever performing either as Hierophant nor doing any Enochian Work? The Enochian Tablets are the prime motivators in the Elemental Grades, and are closely connected to the Officers (and godforms) on the Dais. They (the Dais Officers) are the main factors in controlling the currents of each Grade Ceremony and affecting the Sphere of Sensation of the Candidate. Case was void of any personal experience and probably also understanding of this, and thus void of oral instruction regarding “group ritual” passed over to the B.O.T.A. Taking away the Elemental Enochian currents from the Grade Rituals is the equivalent of removing the primum mobile from the Tree of Life, i.e. the Crown. Anyone having had any experience of GD “group ritual” knows this.
  4. Case never took his examinations to become a Z.A.M. He didn’t even consecrate any Elemental weapons. Surely he couldn’t have been as great ceremonial magician and being able to understand the intricacies of the Theurgical system of the R.R. et A.C. as did Regardie.
  5. Case was only an acting Chief-Adept of the R.R. et A.C. for about 6 months. Did he ever initiate anyone into the 5°=6°? There are indications that he may have officiated in the Corpus Cristi ritual in 1921 but he surely couldn’t have officiated as Chief-Adept as he claims he never performed any Enochian Ritual in his life, ever. The Consecration Ceremony of the Vault of the Adepti namely involves the invocation of the Enochian Watchtowers and is regularly to be performed at Corpus Christi.

So the question basically boils down into this: How could Paul Foster Case have had any time to learn all the intricacies and secret teachings of group ritual work in about 1.5 years? Or rather, how much could Whitty have learnt Case about this in a less then half of a year? If there even were any teachings about the Grades beyond the 0=0 (the Ritual Z-papers) and 1=10 in the first place.

We all know that the secret teachings about Grade Rituals weren’t passed to anyone prior to the 5°=6°, and the Z-1 and Z-3 (the Neophyte Ritual) at the level of Neophyte Adeptus Minor. Thus he could only have had access to the commentaries on the Neophyte 0°=0° Grade. How could Paul Foster Case have had any profound knowledge of the inner workings of the Grade Rituals castrating them as he did when he removed the Enochian Elements from them?

And now just recently, between November 17th to 19th, Tony DeLuce has finally made some very interesting and enlightening remarks about the Golden Dawn tradition of the B.O.T.A. which corraborates my conclusions. He says thus:

B.O.T.A. Chapter is basically Mather’s A.O. Rituals for 0=0 to 4=7 (pretty much word for word with 2=9 deviating the most) with the Officer names changed along and a few small additions. Portal and 5=6 are very close to the S.M. Rituals. PFC substituted his own set of Tablets constructed from Crowley’s 777 that do not use the Enochian Language.

[As an example] the B.O.T.A. [Earth] Tablet looked exactly like the drawing in Folio 13 [from the Cypher Mss.] complete with Sepherotic crosses, etc, and was constructed from Intelligences that were all associated with ‘Earth’

Paul Case did add some really interesting papers to some of the grades but I would estimate well over 95% is identical to the Golden Dawn. The “extra Tarot” can be found in the correspondence lessons not PFC’s Golden Dawn System.

I believe it is safe to state that B.O.T.A. Chapter Ritual operates much like Golden Dawn Ritual before the R.R. et A.C. was brought in, i.e. much closer to Masonry than what became of the Golden Dawn after the Second Order was established.

Paul Case did not use God-forms but associated each Officer with a Sephira. There were no Invisible Stations, etc. or aspects of the Z document utilized.

B.O.T.A. is the only living representative of the A.O. Lineage though only up through the First Order curriculum and 5=6 Initiation (there is no Second Order curriculum in the B.O.T.A.).

Thus based upon this information from a initiated source of the Paul Foster Case tradition and lineage we must conclude that Case didn’t teach the mechanics of ritual as described in the “Ritual Z”. How can this then constitute any traditional Golden Dawn group ritual work without any knowledge of how to link the outer ritual performance to the inner workings?

I have heard years before that B.O.T.A. uses some kind of Elemental Tablets, which looks like Enochian equivalents, but without the Enochian Letters. That’s a good metaphor actually; it’s like a book with blank pages. What they have done is substituting the Enochian Angelic Names on the Tablets with Hebrew Angelical Hierarchies in a very unorthodox manner. This shows the lack of understanding of Enochiana from Cases’s point of view, which also show lack of understanding of the Grade Rituals themselves.

The absence of the “Ritual Z” in the B.O.T.A. equivalent of the R.R. et A.C., and furthermore the lack of any curriculum on that level, really shows in my opinion that Paul Foster Case carried very little material from Alpha et Omegas Inner Order, besides the actual Adeptus Minor 5°=6° Grade Ceremony. Thus the myth of any oral Golden Dawn “group ritual teachings” transmitted through Paul Foster Case and Ann Davies falls quite flat.

Sorry as I am to arrive to such conclusions about Paul Foster Case’s deeper understanding of GD “group ritual”, despite the fact that I respect him as a profound occult teacher and what he actually did with the Hermetic Qabalah of the Golden Dawn, I must conclude that he didn’t have anything to teach about group ritual to his new B.O.T.A. and Temple of “Holy Qabalah and the Sacred Tarot” that could have originated from his experiences in the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega. So whatever he did teach about group work must have been his own invention.

So my conclusion is that one must regard B.O.T.A. (and its later derivatives, such as the F.L.O.) as a species of side tradition of the Golden Dawn, in a similar manner that one must regard A.E. Waite’s later organization the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. They are of course perfectly valid traditions in their own right but not properly speaking part of the actual Golden Dawn.

This means that any derivatives of B.O.T.A. must base any understanding of group ritual upon any of these four alternatives:

  1. Teachings that Paul Foster Case himself developed as creator and Chief of the B.O.T.A. To this one might also add any developments made by Ann Davies, his successor.
  2. Teachings that the Chiefs of the derivative Orders themselves have developed after leaving or being expelled from the B.O.T.A.
  3. Teachings based on whatever the Chiefs of the derivative Orders has read into the ritual commentaries of Pat Zalewski (the so called “Z-5”), which basically boils down to Pat’s own interpretations of what some old Whare Ra Adepts in O.T.R. (Order of the Table Round) learnt him combined with his own original input. This basically constitutes the standard in the modern Golden Dawn community.
  4. Either of these three in combination.

Personally I would opt for alternative 3, not only because of my belief that ritual analysis on the Elemental Grades mainly is coming from that source regardless which Order is implementing it, but also based upon the quotations from Tony DeLuce and whatever he has expressed about his knowledge of group ritual and his sources, as this older quotation reveals:

The rhythm of the knocks and circumambulation, the timing between movements, etc. is not written down in books and neither is endless oral instruction that takes many years to fully comprehend and apply to the Group Ritual system.

This quotation is a good example of Tony’s assessment of what constitutes secret knowledge of group ritual, which sounds quite “Zalewskian” if you ask me. For example in what direction a sword is to be pointed when being held in ritual, etc. In my opinion to much emphasis is put on the outer performance of ritual in this kind of teachings.

The most important aspect of what occurs in GD ritual work is what happens on the inner planes. Reading the Z-1 and Z-3 papers, one is apt to become impressed looking at what actually happens in the astral temple. I don’t get the impression reading it that the main focus lies on rhythm in circumambulation or which exact intervals should be considered while knocking.

Rest assured that there has always been a keen interest, scrutiny and focus on the forces working on the inner planes in the knowledge and tradition that was passed over to me through David Griffin. The different currents as portrayed by the godforms, the Enochian Tablets etc. has always been the main focus while doing group ritual. Doing ritual is about creating magical current and evoke the formulation of L.V.X. If not, rituals simply turns into dead meaningless movements.

Another aspect of initiation is the actual transference of current from the Sphere of Sensation (aura) of the Hierophant to the candidate. The forces in the hall are activated in the aura of the candidate as transmitted through the initiator. This link between the auras of candidate and Hierophant eventually becomes a major point of current transmission during initiation. It can be compare to what happens during reiki initiation. It’s the signum of any genuine initiation and initiatic lineage. That’s why there is much emphasis on “apostolic succession” in different esoteric and exoteric spiritual traditions, as for example in the Martinist tradition where the laying of hands constitutes a important aspect of initiation.

Lastly, there is more to initiation than actual initiation rituals being performed. There is also the initiatic process. Initiation is (as the word implies) the fresh beginning of a new current, a current that must be received by the initiate, worked with, integrated and transformed inside of him or her. This requires personal work, and the guidance of one’s Hierophant. Here the Hierophant becomes important in the role as guide and teacher. In this instance I believe it’s better to quote someone’s personal experience of such a proficient initiatior:

Cris Monnastre was in many senses a stickler for form and protocol. She insisted that every single aspect of every initiation ritual be painstakingly performed correctly, even under less than ideal conditions at times. She also insisted on extremely detailed examinations for each grade as well as strictly maintaining the traditional time intervals between the grades. This series of initiations was the most profoundly transformative event of my life. I was extremely lucky in that Cris Monnastre is a gifted psychotherapist as well as a skilled Hierophant. Powerful and potentially destructive unconscious psychic contents emerged for me during the outer order process, and I frankly question if I would have made it through to 5=6 if Cris Monnastre were not so talented. Upon finishing this process, I was a far greater man than I was before.
This personal reminiscence of David Griffin clearly shows that a good initiator must not only be proficient in performing the ritual and making the actual transmission of current. He or she must also, and more so, be proficient enough to assist the initiate in the personal process that he eventually will experience while in a Grade. For him to be able to do so, the Hierophant must have gone through this process himself. This is a very important aspect of initiation, often neglected in the current debate.

Every group and incarnation develops its own niche so to speak. All groups have their strong points and weak points. The strong point of Whare Ra for example was their long and continual experience and development of group ritual mechanics. While that aspect of the transmission may have been lacking in the Paul Foster Case lineage its strong point however is the instruction on the Holy Qabalah and the Tarot, which probably matches no other.

One particular trait of the Regardie-Monnastre lineage (if I may be allowed to call it so) is its mentoring program, which is based more upon the close teacher-student (or master-apprentice) relationship. Israel Regardie and Chris Monnastre had such a mentor-protégé quality to their relationship, which was later also transferred to the working relationship between Ms. Monnastre and David Griffin, and which has also been the case between Mr. Griffin and yours truly. In the same manner I also work quite close with my students overseeing their initiatory process and spiritual progress as their mentor.

I believe that this tradition, which has been passed on to the Order that I teach in, stems not only from Regardie’s experience of his own relationship to his mentor, i.e. Aleister Crowley, but more so I believe from the fact that Regardie had a profound understanding of psychology and of psychoanalysis. As Ms. Monnastre is a psychologist of profession this formulae has been further perpetuated in her relationships to her students. In a similar manner Mr. Griffin has taken courses in gestalt therapy and psychosynthesis, as I do myself train to become a professional psychotherapist. You would be surprise to find out how many of Mr. Griffins and mine students who have become therapists in different professional venues.

Thus the strong point in the Regardie-Monnastre-Griffin transmission is the profound knowledge of the existential and psychological aspects of the initiatory process. This can be easily attested and ascertained in the now classical article on initiation and transference, another important aspect of initiation which has evolved through experience. This profound analysis of the psychological aspects of initiation is an important factor which has to be interwoven and taken into account in the overall picture of initiation.


söndag 15 november 2009

Addendum to the Cross symbolism in the Golden Dawn: The formulae of L.V.X. in the Neophyte and Adeptus Minor Grades


In my previous essay on the cross symbolism in the Golden Dawn my main point were that the principle of the redeemer or saviour (Christ Force) through this cross symbolism as contained in the Neophyte 0°=0° Grade of the Golden Dawn (First Order) foreshadows the same in the Adeptus Minor 5°=6° Grade of the Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (Second Order).

In this addendum I want to stress this relationship between the formulas of the Neophyte and Adeptus Minor. I hold that they both attract and express the Light Force or Life Force, in the Golden Dawn tradition referred to as the L.V.X., in a pure and undifferentiated way, as contrasted to the Elemental Grades, from Zelator 1°=10° to Philosophus 4°=7° Grades. In the Elemental Grades the L.V.X. force is filtered through the Elemental lens, as it were. But not so in the Neophyte Grade and in the Adeptus Minor Grade (and also in the Portal Grade which is interlinked with that of the Adeptus Minor).

This undifferentiated and pure form of the Light Force is represented through the L.V.X. formula of the 5°=6° Grade of Adeptus Minor (for a analysis of the L.V.X. formula please read this essay upon the Mystery of the crucifixion) and through the threefold circumambulation in the 0°=0° Grade of Neophyte which is said in the ceremony to “take place in the Pathway of Light”.

In a way this undifferentiated power of the L.V.X. Force is furthermore expressed through the invocation of the Four Elements in a balanced disposition, such as represented in the Ceremony of the Portal of the Vault of the Adepti (Portal Ceremony for short) and in the Consecration Ceremony of the Vault of the Adepti. This invocation of the Elements in unison is also an expression of the Fifth Element, that of Spirit or Quintessence. And in my opinion Spirit, Akasha or Quintessence is pure L.V.X. as expressed through the realm of the Elements or Malkuth, the Kingdom.

The L.V.X. force is of course not limited only to the Elements, but also to the Seven Planets, Twelve Zodiacal Signs and the Ten Sephiroth. But throughout the Outer Order and the Adeptus Minor Grade it is foremost expressed through the Elements. In this instance we have to remember that initiation in the Golden Dawn tradition is done upon the Three of Life as expressed through Malkuth in Assiah, being the densest and Elemental part of the manifest or material world.

The L.V.X. force is however also particularly expressed through the Seven Planets in the Adeptus Minor Grade in relation to the Seven Sides of the Vault, which distinguishes it from the Neophyte Grade and links it to higher realms of the creation. But for this addendum I will leave the Planets aside and focus only on the Elements which still are of primary importance in my opinion.

Now the Elemental significance is quite obvious in the Adeptus Minor Grade, through the Vault Consecration Ceremony, where the Elemental Watchtowers are invoked, and in the Portal Ceremony (which I regard to be a prelude to the Adeptus Minor Ceremony) where the Elemental Tablets are activated in synthesis. The Elemental Watchtowers or Tablets, together with the Elemental Cherubim, are however also represented upon the door or entrance leading into the Vault of the Adepti (see image below).

The image upon the entrance to the Vault

The Elemental Cherubim are further displayed upon the circular Altar within the Vault of the Adepti, clearly serving to remind the Adepts of the Elemental Forces in play through the Adeptus Minor formula (see image below). If in want of a more full exposition of the symbolism of the Vault of the Adepti I must refer the reader to my essay upon the Tomb of Christian Rosenkreutz.

The Cherubic emblems upon the Circular Altar

But I furthermore hold that the Elements are also to be represented in the Neophyte Grade, through the visible and invisible godforms. This is primarily represented through the four Cherubim at the four (Elemental) Quarters (Ahathoor, Tharpesh, Thoomoo and Ahapshi), and secondarily through the Four Children of Horus at the corners (Ameshet, Tmoomathaph, Kabexnuv and Ahepi). But they are also, and more manifestly so, represented by the godforms and Officers on the Dais.

Osiris and the Hierophant is linked to Spirit or Akasha, Aroueris and Past Hierophant to Fire, Thoth and the Cancellarius to Air, Isis and the Praemonstrator to Water, and finally Nephthys and Earth to the Imperator. These stations, Officers and godforms transmit their respective currents into the Hall of Neophytes. So in my opinion there definitely exist Elemental currents in the Neophyte Grade.

These Elemental currents are physically anchored to or made manifest upon the black Double Cubical Altar and the four symbols of the Eucharist or mystical repast, the four members of Osiris. And in this contex remember also that Osiris represents the Fifth Element of Spirit and bears the colours of all Four Elements in union upon his collar. This again is an expression of the L.V.X. (the Osirian drama or Christian passion) through the agency of the Four Elements and Quintessence.

It is also interesting to note the special format of the Consecration Ceremony of the Vault of the Adepti, which is supposed to be regularly performed at the Rosicrucian holiday of Corpus Christi. Besides a shortened version of the Portal Ceremony opening and closing, and the actual Adeptus Minor Grade opening, it starts off with an invocation of the four Watchtowers.

This initial part of the Consecration Ceremony was lifted out by Israel Regardie and adapted by him into a Watchtower Ceremony by inserting the especial Enochian Call taken from the Portal Ceremony, comprising parts of the First Enochian Call or Key (related to the Element of Spirit) and a invocation of the governors of the Aethyr ZAX (which more or less is a recitation of the Tablet of Union, i.e. the Fifth Element of Spirit), which he himself referred to as the “Formula of Opening by Watchtower”.

The Watchtower Opening in the Consecration Ceremony begins with the standard cry which also initiates the Neophyte Grade Opening, i.e. “Hekas, Hekas, Este Bebeloi!”, and it finally ends with the deosil circumambulation by three and the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe. This is a clear reference to the Neophyte Grade and for me gives a confirmation and proves beyond any doubt that the Adeptus Minor Grade is interlinked with that of the Neophyte Grade formula.

In Regardie’s version of the Watchtower Ceremony, created to be used by the single Adept, there wasn’t any elaborated “Closing by Watchtower”, a fact which has been remedied by modern practitioners of the Golden Dawn. This Closing by Watchtower also incorporates the widdershin or reversed circumambulation, which even more links it to the Neophyte Formula. In my own personal work with the Watchtower Ceremony I have also incorporated the purification by Water and consecration by Fire in both the Opening and Closing, plus the Magical Eucharist of the Four Elements, together with the Closing by Watchtower to stress the Neophyte Formula even further.

The use of the Portal Grade (Enochian) Call by Regardie is also significant in my opinion as it interlinks the Neophyte Hall to the Portal Ceremony Hall. Personally I have for a long time seen the Portal Hall as marking the return to the Hall as described in “Ritual Z-1: The Enterer of the Threshold”, i.e. the ritual analysis of the Neophyte Grade and its symbolism.

The Z-1 describes the Neophyte Hall as comprising the lower part of the Qabalistic Tree up to the level of the Veil of Paroketh (or of Nephthys), i.e. the four Sephiroth of Malkuth, Yesod, Hod and Netzach and their respective interlinking paths. This is the exact equivalent of the placement of the Tree of Life in the Portal Ceremony Hall. But by rending the Veil of Paroketh you will finally see the Vault of the Adepti or Tiphareth and the Tree of Life which unfolds beyond and up to the Abyss and the Veil of Isis (see illustration below).

While each of the Elemental Grades may be seen as comprising a part of that Hall, i.e. a microscopic blow up of the particular Sephirah constituting the Elemental Grade (Zelator with Malkuth, Theoricus with Yesod, etc.) or a microcosm of the Tree, the Hall of the Neophyte Hall and the Portal Ceremony/Adeptus Minor Hall instead shows the Tree of Life on a macrocosmic level.

So the only conclusion which I can draw from all of this is that the Neophyte Grade and its Hall foreshadows the currents and mysteries which is presented in a full blown format in the Adeptus Minor Grade.

So in my opinion Israel Regardie showed a stroke of genius when he “created” the Formula of Opening by Watchtower and presented it together with the “Formulae of the Magic of Light”, or “Ritual Z-2” as it is known for short. The Z-2 breaks up the Neophyte Ceremony into component parts and translates them into stages that can be adapted into personal rituals.

The Formulae of the Magic of Light is composed of five parts that are attributed to the five lettered name of Yehesuah, or YHShVH, which is linked to the Five Elements. Yod and Fire is attributed to works of evocation, Heh and Water to works of consecration of talismans, Shin and Spirit to works of invisibility, transformations and spiritual development, and Vau and Air to works of divination, and finally Heh (final) and Earth to works of alchemy.

This sequence of the Elements follows the Qabalistic one according to hierarchy and is the exact one followed in the Watchtower Ceremony when the Four Elements are being invoked in sequence. So it is my opinion that the Formula of Opening by Watchtower is especially well suited with Adepi works in the Neophyte Hall, such as in the Formulae of the Magic of Light, as it actually contains a rehearsal of the Neophyte Grade opening and properly links it to the Adeptus Minor (and Portal) Grade formula.

Another important aspect to consider here is that both the Neophyte and the Adeptus Minor Formulas share the common goal in attracting, through the agency of the ritual, the Divine Genius or Higher Self of the candidate, which is commonly referred to as the “Holy Guardian Angel”. Conversely the goal is also to attract the antithesis, or Evil Persona, but to have the latter checked through the agency of the Higher or Divine Will.

In the Neophyte Grade this is fully described in the “Ritual Z-3”, the final part in the Z-series. Here we are told that the Higher Self or Genius is permitted to descend into the Hall to create a link with the candidate, while at the same time the Evil Persona is held in check by the initiator impersonating the Divine Genius. But the emphasis here is on creating a link between the ordinary self and the Higher Self, where the latter unconsciously may guide the former.

The Evil Persona in the form of the Red Dragon

In the Adeptus Minor Grade this link is enhanced and the Higher Self permitted to form a conscious communication with the ordinary self, commonly referred to as the “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel”. Through this process the Evil Persona, in the form of the Seven Headed Red Dragon as seen upon the floor of the Vault of the Adepti (se image above), is subjugated under the Divine Will of the Genius (se image below). In my opinion this fact translates the Formula of the Opening by Watchtower into a very good support for the Genius and optimally may assist in the preliminary Invokation of the Higher, creating the necessary conscious state in all Theurgical work.

The Red Dragon being subdued by the grace of the Divine Will

So one may see the Neophyte Grade as a prelude and a first meeting between the two selves (Higher and lower), which is taken to a full circle in the Adeptus Minor Grade. Thus as can be seen here these two Grades share a common theme of a Theurgical nature. So my final analysis is that the Neophyte Formula and the Adeptus Minor Formula cannot be regarded as separate, in the same manner as the cross symbolism and the current of the Christos cannot be.

The separation between the Outer Order (GD) and Inner Order (R.R. et A.C.) remains only because of the Veil being that of ignorance on the part of the Outer Order member. The Adept is traditionally not supposed to reveal his or her insights about this relationship between the Inner and the Outer, so as to uphold this Veil of Paroketh for the sake of gradual unfoldment of consciousness. But for the Adept there is no separation anymore in his or her consciousness between the Outer and Inner Mysteries, as the Veil is lifted permanently from his or her eyes.

Thus to better make use of the Neophyte Formula the Adept uses the Formula of Opening by Watchtower as it better expresses the currents already present in the Neophyte Hall through the lens of the spiritual attainment of the Adeptus Minor. The difference between the Neophyte Grade and Adeptus Neophyte Grade may best be described as between the lowermost and highest ends of a light dimmer. While the currents present in the Neophyte Hall are manifested in a dim or weaker format, as presented through their particular godforms, they come to full life in the Hall as represented by the Vault of the Adepti and its Portal.

Thus the forces or currents on either side of the Veil of Paroketh cannot be properly regarded as of different or differentiated natures as this kind of separation is a sign of illusion or delusion on the part of the observing subject, i.e. the lesser initiate. For the more fully matured or greater initiate any Veils of separation has been duly lifted....or at least should have been. Thus the old hermetic axiom of “as above, so below” is to be applied here.


måndag 9 november 2009

Nyttan med ritual


En ritual har inget värde i sig; handlingen är meningslös utan att människan fyller det med värde och betydelse. Sålunda är det människan som ”inandas” liv eller animerar ritualen. Ritualer eller liturgi har såsom syfte att vara ett betjänande redskap varmed individen kan fokusera och samla sig själv för att uppnå ett visst resultat; det har en koncentrerande effekt på sinnet. Är målet vördnad för det gudomliga kan en ritual bistå individen i detta genom sin symboliska laddning som hon ger den.

Dock bär en ritual ofta också en symbolisk innebörd i sig självt som en gång i tiden föranledde dess tillblivelse, vilket är tänkt att väcka vissa givna och omedvetna associationer. Den som har ögon att se med och öron att höra med kan inutitivt ”förstå” symboliken och urtolka innebörden av en ritual. För denna person kan den få en djupgående effekt.

Problemet med många svenska kyrkor (enligt min högst personliga upplevelse) är att många moderna präster inte riktig har full förståelse för varför de gör en viss rituell handling. Många av ritualerna, såsom dop, vigsel, nattvard, etc. har i sin ursprungliga form skapats för årtusenden sedan. I mycket av den religiösa liturgin av idag kan vi se ett vagt spår från det egyptiska prästerskapets dagliga kultritual, överfört och utvecklat till senare antika kulturer vid medelhavet såsom den hebreiska, grekiska och romerska.

Den ursprungliga avsikten och ”esoteriska” innebörden av ritualer eller religiösa handlingen har dock i de flesta fall gått förlorad. I mångt och mycket upplever jag ritualer utförda av svenska präster såsom tomma och meningslösa handlingar, därför att de inte har förmåga att ingjuta liv i dem. Det finns dock undantag där vissa präster kan inspirera sin församling, genom sin egen inlevelse och sitt eget personliga förhållningssätt till ritualen. En ritual är ett ramverk; det måste finnas utrymme för personlig tolkning och tillämpning för att ge det liv. Sålunda kan individer i undantagsfall upptäcka dess underliggande budskap, ta till sig detta och ge det vederbörligt ”liv”, utan att någon muntlig tradition har förmedlats till prästen under hans eller hennes grundläggande träning.

Vissa individer upplever jag har dock ett besynnerlig sätt att applicera begreppen ”exoterisk” kontra ”esoterisk”, där rituellt arbete per definition skulle utgöra en del av exoteriken och endast den stilla kontemplationen eller meditationen bilda grundvalen för en sann esoterik. Detta är ett grundläggande felslut som bygger på fördomar. De flesta esoteriska sällskap av idag brukar sig av ritualer, vilket de även har gjort i forndom. Personligen är jag övertygad om att de kristna sakramenten och ritualerna har skapats av individer invigda i en ursprunglig kristen esoterisk lära. Sålunda har den kristna liturgin en esoterisk kärna och innebörd, såväl som dess symbolik i största allmänhet.

Detsamma tror jag kan sägas om Judendomen och Islam. Problemet ligger inte i de yttre formerna i sig, utan att många av dagens religiösa utövare har förlorat sin kunskap om innebörden av dem. Detta tror jag i synnerhet är fallet inom Judendomen och Kristendomen. Inom Islam tror jag att fromheten och det ärliga uppsåtet är högt utvecklat; så som jag har förstått det hela (efter samtal med en muslimsk student, dock utan någon direkt egen erfarenhet) är lidelsefull bön en viktig ingrediens inom den muslimska formen av religiös utövning. Alltså handlar det inte om att be efter gåvor av Gud och på denna punkt tror jag att majoriteten av muslimerna har förstått syftet med äkta bön, till skillnad från de sekulariserade kristna som har förlorat allt samband till traditionerna.

Ritualer skall sålunda utföras med lidelse och de skall omvänt (utförda på rätt sätt) kunna frammana lidelse hos utövaren. Annars har de inget egentligt syfte. Sålunda behöver en stor kvantitet liturgi och yttre former i sig inte alls vara ett hinder för individens ärliga förbindelse med Gud.

Naturligtvis är det sant att det i sista hand handlar om den personliga relationen med Gud. Om inte ritualen och liturgin (sakramanten) kan hjälpa en såsom individ i sin relation till Gud måste man överge dem, klä sig naken så att säga, och samtala med Gud på ett mera direkt och meditativt sätt. Det ena utesluter dock inte det andra. Ritual kan faktiskt betecknas såsom ”meditation i rörelse” om det utförs på rätt sätt och med fokus i sinnet.

Samtidigt måste man respektera dem som har ett minimalistiskt förhållningssätt till sin ”bön” med Gud. Mäster Eckehart exemepelvis, som skalade av bönen på ett drastiskt sätt och utvecklade en ordlös form av bön (”kontemplativ bön”), eller som hos författaren till Ovetandets moln.

Angående den profana och mer ordrika formen av bön, som många tar till i nödsituationer när man vill få Gud att ändra sig och få Hans favör, utgår den från ett grundläggande felslut och kommer av denna anledning aldrig att ”hörsammas”. När allt kommer omkring är det inte Gud som skall ändra sig utan istället den som ber – människan.

Gud är Evig och Oföränderlig. Han låter oss gå igenom livet och dess prövningar för att vi skall lära oss något av detta; för att vi skall utvecklas och evolvera. Det är sålunda vi som skall förändra vårt förhållningssätt till Gud och inte Gud sitt till oss. Sålunda är det Gud som ”ber” eller manar oss till förändring när vi går igenom livets vedermödor och prövningar. På detta sätt ”talar” Han till oss. På denna punkt är alla mysterietraditioner ense, exempelvis inom Qabalah (Kabbalah), Gnosticismen och Hermeticismen.

Om man exempelvis läser Kafkas Processen med detta perspektiv så får den en annorlunda och betydligt mer positiv innebörd. Detta har en Kabbalist påpekat för mig och visat på den djupgående kunskapen om den judiska mystiska traditionen hos denne författare. Och naturligtvis såsom Gud inte har något behov av att blidkas hyser han inte heller något av att hyllas. Det är istället människan som har detta behov och i sin tur projicerar detta på Gud.

Återigen, ser jag rent pragmatisk på den rituella formen av dyrkan. Ty den är en metod varmed människan kan nå ett samtal med Gud; genom dyrkan lyfter människan sin själ mot Gud. Detta sker genom en sublimeringsprocess av emotionerna, av passionen. Det finns till och med en specifik väg inom den indiska Yoga-traditionen som sysslar med dyrkan, vilket kallas bhakti-yoga.

Detta faktum återbördar ritualen till sitt ursprungliga syfte, att frambära offer till gudarna. I den dagliga egyptiska kultritualen frambar prästerskapet offergåvor till gudarnas och gudinnornas statyer. Enligt den indiska Tantrismen anser man offret vara förmedlaren eller jämkaren mellan makrokosmen (universum) och mikrokosmen (människan), och detta administreras sedan urminnes tider genom ritual. I den kristna liturgin, och i den hermetiska eller rosenkorsiska, har nattvarden eller eukaristen denna funktion. I den katolska mässan inkarnerar Kristus (makrokosmen) i nattvarden och människan (mikrokosmen) får därvid förena sig med denna genom ritualens förmedlan. I den hermetiska magiska eukaristen tar den initierade istället del av Osiris lemmar och görs sålunda till en ”osirian”.