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

måndag 12 juli 2010

The Magic Staff of Kerux: The Golden Dawn is not the Whare Ra


Pat Zalewski, the Australian author of many books with the title ”Golden Dawn” attached to them, has recently used one of the YouTube videos (see above), as published by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Outer Order of Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega® (H.O.G.D./A+O), in a degradory manner to promote his own ideas of how traditional and classical Golden Dawn ritual should be conducted using the Wand or Staff of Kerux. Two main points that he and his followers have been raising needs to be critically assessed, one regarding its design and the other concerning its use:
  • The design: The Wand should be a simple and thin staff coloured red, yellow and blue in descending order in equal parts. The blue end at the bottom should be pointed. There shouldn’t be any ball on top. There definitely shouldn’t be any wings or snakes, like in the Caduceus of Hermes. It should resemble a wand like an old fashioned 19th century teachers pointer.
  • The use: The generic grip position of the Kerux wand is the yellow section, and it is held in the left hand during circumambulation with the blue point up just like a sword tip. In some parts of the ritual other colour sections are used to emphasise certain energetic states.
Now, I fully agree with the notion that the use of a Caduceus Wand for the staff of Kerux is a modern misinterpretation of Israel Regardie’s books. One must distinguish between the Lamen of the Kerux and the Staff or Wand. This fact is evidenced by the original drawing made by William Butler Yeats’ uncle George Pollexfen (see below).

George Pollexfen’s floor plan

My suggestion for the design of the Wand of Kerux is as follows: It should be a long and sturdy staff, much longer and thicker than the other sceptres. Compare the representation of the Kerux Staff with that of the other Sceptres on the above Pollexfen illustration and you will see that it is longer than the other implements. This suggest the use of a tall walking staff, such as used by Bishops in the Christian Church. It should be reminecent of the staff pictured on the classical image of the Hermit of the Tarot, the Key No. 9, which partakes in the symbolism of the Kerux. It should remind us of a walking stick or staff, just as it is represented in the video. There is however no basis for the staff being pointed, nor is it wrong, in my opinion, to use a ball at the top (as shown in the video). It should definitely not be reversed with the lower “point” upwards!

© Tomas Stacewicz

The Magic Staff of Power, or Wand of Kerux, shares in symbolism with the full Caduceus of Hermes, i.e. the three primary Elemental colours of red, yellow and blue in descending order. This is a Outer Order representation, like the Ritual Z-1 states, of “the Wand surmounted by the Winged Globe below which the twin Serpents are shown - the Wand of the Chief Adept in the 5°=6° Grade”. It is furthermore a reference to the Admission Badge of the 2°=9° Grade, where Shin (Fire) is surmounting the Caduceus and forms the wings, and Mem (Water) forms its base and tails of the two serpents, while the Aleph (Air) constitutes the middle Part and serpents.

The Caduceus of Hermes

Hence it, like any Wand or Sceptre, shouldn’t be reversed but in special circumstances. The correct way is to hold it with the red part pointing upwards and the blue downwards. The reference to the Caduceus of Hermes and the Winged Globe again gives head room for the use of the ball on top of the Staff.

Moreover, it is outright disinformative to suggest that the Kerux should hold the Staff in his left arm and the Lamp in his right and that “this is how they did it in the Golden Dawn”. This is bared out in the unpublished Neophyte Ceremony paper of S.L. MacGregor Mathers’s Rosicrucian Order of the Alpha et Omega. The correct way, according to MacGregor Mathers, is for the Kerux to hold the Wand in the right hand and the Lamp in the left, as is shown in the video. This only follows the usual way of using Wands and Sceptres in the Golden Dawn. My guess it that this error is based upon A.E. Waite’s and Paul Foster Case’s representations of the Hermit, as shown above, which is based on older exoteric decks. I suggest looking at Aleister Crowley’s or why not the Whare Ra esoteric versions, which shows the Hermit holding the Staff in his right hand and Lamp in his left.

Aleister Crowley’s Hermit

I agree however that the Staff of Kerux should be generally held by the yellow band, and that other parts of the Staff have their valid uses also. I.e. the three primary Elements of Fire, Air and Water may be emphasised in different parts of the ritual. More active force are supposed to be evoked by the Kerux using the fiery band of red, in dynamic parts of the ritual (as shown in the video). When the Kerux partakes with the Hiereus in the guardianship of the Western Portal, against any unwanted trespassers or forces, the red section of the Staff emediately comes to mind.

Them scholars or Golden Dawn members who has the benefit of owning or studying several papers from the Alpha et Omega and the Stella Matutina will know that the Stella Matutina went much further in its revisions of the original teachings and rituals of the pre 1900 Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. With the exception of the Neophyte Ritual, MacGregor Mathers changed very little although he added some and later Chiefs, such as Brodie-Inners, added some more.

Some of my readers will remember that I have shown before on this blog that Robert Felkin took many liberties when he developed his Stella Matutina, the most prominent example being the revision of the Portal Ritual and the interpretation of the Tree of Life in relation to the Elemental Grades.

I have also expounded somewhat of the actual origin of Pat Zalewski’s teachings, as set forth in his Golden Dawn Ritual and Commentaries book. Although I do appreciate Zalewski’s work in his presentation of the Golden Dawn ritual commentaries, which finally is forthcoming in a new edition and format, it must be put in its proper context. No doubt, Pat Zalwski’s latest aggressive move towards the H.O.G.D./A+O is a part of a promotional campaign of his forthcoming book.

I might write a review on the latest edition when I receive it, but I must take the liberty to say something about it in the context of this discussion. Now, it is true that Golden Dawn Ritual and Commentaries expounded upon the Golden Dawn rituals much further than any author had before, and I acknowledge the fact that some of that information has been truly enlightening. One such example is the presentation of the Staff of Kerux, and here I must confess that my own awareness of the error in using the Caduceus for the Staff of Kerux is the result of reading Zalewski’s book, backed up by later study of original Golden Dawn materials.

However, it is clear to those who have a dispassionate attitude towards both Patrick Zalewski and the Whare Ra Temple, that the teachings presented in his books are not the gospel of the Golden Dawn tradition; not by any stretch of the imagination. But if we stretch it a bit it may be the gospel of the Whare Ra tradition, but certainly not the Golden Dawn tradition. This is evidenced by my discussion on the Staff of Kerux, where some of Zalewski’s suggestions is contradicted by the traditional teachings of MacGregor Mathers.

But here one must also remember that the Whare Ra lived a relatively isolated existence within the overall original Golden Dawn community. Thus it’s teachings weren’t always representative of the overall Stella Matutina protocol, or rather in comparison with the only British Temple of Hermes in Bristol who in its latter days became assimilated with the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega, as has been shown by the Golden Dawn scholar Tony Fuller. Fuller has also shown us that some of this material later also found its way into the Whare Ra, although it always retained its distinct mark from the Rudolf Steiner interpretation of the Misraim Rite.

Much of the energetic theachings of the Whare Ra in the use of ritual implements actually stems from Rudolf Steiner and his Misraim Service, some of which is published in the book Freemasonry and Ritual Work: The Misraim Service. Thus the “Whare Ra tradition” is unique to New Zeeland in some respects; the Whare Ra is part of the Golden Dawn tradition but the Golden Dawn tradition is not the Whare Ra.

But when we address the book Golden Dawn Ritual and Commentaries it also becomes clear that it is not even representative of the Whare Ra tradition! We approach the truth closer when we consider the fact that the information contained in Golden Dawn Ritual and Commentaries is based on Pat Zalewski’s experience of his encounters with the Adepts of the Order of the Table Round (O.T.R.), a Order which derived from but wasn’t identical with the Whare Ra Temple. If we are to trust the word of Zalewski all these O.T.R. Adepts were also ex-Whare Ra members.

Furthermore, Zalewski states that he in particular received teachings from Jack Taylor, the then Chief of the O.T.R., once a former Hierophant of the Whare Ra Temple. Other initiates of the Whare Ra tradition, such as Tony Fuller, has repeatedly stated that Taylor was quite eccentric and to “original” or controversial even for his fellow Whare Ra Adepts, which barred him from becoming a Chief of the Whare Ra Temple. The fact is also that Taylor left active participation of the Whare Ra in the middle 1960’s and henceforth solely focused upon the O.T.R.

Zalewski also states that the information in Golden Dawn Ritual and Commentaries is the result of the process of his own understanding of the teachings of Jack Taylor and any pointers that was given by him. Thus, when we read that book we have to remember that it represents the teachings which is the result of Pat Zalewski’s own interpretation and development of the teachings which he received from Jack Taylor, assisted by other Adepts of the Order of the Table Round.

It is definitely not representative of any classical or traditional teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It is even not representative of the Whare Ra teachings. At its most, it is representative of a “Jack Taylor & Pat Zalewski tradition”. Thus there is no validity in the claim made by him that “this is how it was once done in the Golden Dawn”. It is more correct to state that this is how it is done by Pat Zalewski and his students today. And whatever he and they do, it is only valid in the context of their own chartered Temples and no one else’s.

In defence of Pat Zalewski, he has also pointed out recently that he doesn’t represent any Golden Dawn lineage, only his own lineage. And I respect him for being such a frank fellow from time to time. But it must be known for sure that the H.O.G.D./A+O on the other hand follows no other post 1888 Golden Dawn teachings than that of S.L. MacGregor Mathers as they have understood it. Thus the videos as shown on YouTube must be viewed and judged in its proper context.


10 kommentarer:

Peregrin sa...

Care GH Fr SR,

thank you for this post. I have not been reading the many posts you refer to so have not commented there (I read blogs more than forums). However, I am dismayed that this simple issue is becoming divisive at a time when harmony is so needed in the broader GD community. I am in agreement with virtually all you write here regarding the Wand, but that is of little relevance.

I would have thought there is more which unites the H.O.G.D./A+O and Pat on this issue than separates them. Both parties practice the Golden Dawn. Both parties practice the GD ceremonies with a Kerux. Both parties agree on the essential symbolism of the Kerux and his wand. Both parties agree the Caduceus is not included on the wand. And presumably both parties have preserved and practiced the GD tradition for reasons of brotherhood, service and love. So with all this agreement, the other differences seem minor and I hope could be a cause for discussion and growth rather and division and recrimination.

You write that you consider Pat’s recent discussion and disagreement with the H.O.G.D./A+O “part of a promotional campaign of his forthcoming book.” With respect, GH Fr, I really don’t think so, as it does not make sense to annoy a large part of your potential audience just before a book comes out. Pat has always been clear and open with his views on the Kerux’s wand. I remember some emails from him many years back on the subject. He has always been polite and helpful, just as you yourself have. So I really hope everyone can see there is more which unites us than divides us.

Thank you. :)

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Care Frater Peregrin,

Thank you for your comment. Personally I agree with you that it is much more which unites than separates, and I wish that more thought as you do.

I may be a little bit cynical here, but if you would ask Pat himself he would not agree with you. Or else he wouldn't use anything presented by the H.O.G.D./A+O as a teaching instruction of how things "shouldn't be done". He does this repeteatly as surely as the moon revolves around the Earth.

Many readers regard anything he writes as the gospel of the Golden Dawn. I believe that is because many practitioners have been reading his books since the late 1980's, at the time when the Golden Dawn had its real revival.

All I'm trying to do is to broaden the perspective somewhat, especially when the Order that I belong to comes into question.

Also, I was hoping that my post would be regarded more as an effort of a scholarly discussion on my part than a mere rebuttal. But I'm aware that my effort has been tainted by the tone of the original post made by Pat Zalewski.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Senko sa...

CareFrater Sincerus,

I'm the one who asked in the H.O.G.D./A+O forum about using Hebrew in the pentagram rituals.
I've found your answer and your blgos most enlightening.

Thanx for your help,

In L.V.X

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Care Senko,

Thank you for your encouraging words. Glad to be of help.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Mr. Zalewski wrote today that, in reference to my essay on the Wand of Kerux, that the one shown in the video "is the same colour as in my 0=0 book ... Yet SR's blog cites the later information is a wand of different colour... The pictures in the video don't quite match the words of the blog re wands colouring."

I believe Mr. Zalewski must have made a bit to casual reading of my essay, as it is clear that his suggestion of colouring is confirmed by mine as well as the video, i.e. red on top, blue at the bottom and yellow in between.

But it is also possible that I wasn't that clear about the coloring, so to remedy this fact I have inserted a reference to the three Mother Letters in reference to the colours, which should banish any uncertaincies.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Unknown sa...

The other adept was Percy Wilkinson who certainly knew an awful lot about the Golden Dawn system. He was a 6=5 and had been in the Order all his life and was the orders official astrologer. While I agree that the Golden Dawn was not Whare Ra you are talking about an order that did not fold in the 1940s and carried on developing the teaching. These were not people that based their knowledge of the Golden Dawn on historical papers but serious practical magicians who worked the system. I was fortunate to experience one of Percy's initiations and it is safe to say that I have experienced NOTHING like it before or since. I do not believe that Whare Ra would work in a modern sense, but I lament the loss of people like Percy, Jack and Barbara to the Western Mystery tradition. No one in the modern Golden Dawn of *any* Order matches what these people could do. I am sure that you would not say these things, or be dismissive of Whare Ra if you worked magic with any of them.

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Care Fra. Nick,

Thank's for sharing your opinion. I'm sure you are correct in your assessment of the knowledge and ability of the old Whare Ra Adepts, and I agree it was a great loss when that generation passed away.

I'm sorry that you find me being dismissive of the Whare Ra. This is not the actual case with my attitude towards the Whare Ra. I don't mean to offend you or anyone else.

All I'm saying is that only because someone like you or Pat, who took training from these people, write something concerning Golden Dawn ritual, it cannot be viewed as Golden Dawn gospel but only as being representative of the developed form of the Golden Dawn tradition which was carried out at New Zeeland.

Thus it cannot be representative of "how it was done" in the old days of the G.D. I feel that these two notions (modern Whare Ra + old Golden Dawn) are conflated to often.

Personally I find much of the material from the Whare Ra interesting. It is clearly part of the Golden Dawn tradition. Some developments I find usable and better than that of both the original G.D. and later A.O. But parts of the Whare Ra tradition also deviates to much for my taste from the original G.D.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

In his latest blog brother Nick Farrell makes me aware that he has taken my text on the Kerux' Staff very personally and that he feels hurt. He says I only have a extremely narrow understanding of what went on in the O.T.R. (or that of the Whare Ra), just by reading published and unpublished papers. I had to experience, as Nick did, a full initiation ritual to understand the richness of it.

I appreciate him being such frank. And I am honestly sorry for hurting his or anyone else's feelings in this matter.

Also, I believe Nick is right and just in his critique. But based on the reading of his passionate story of his own experience, he should understand my feelings and sentiments when someone chriticizes the ritual performance of the Ahatoor Temple in Paris last year, based solely from the image of a cheap DV camera put on a fixed stand and under poor lighting.

I was present there at that ritual. You can see me in the film (however not officiating). My experience as a subject of it cannot be catched by this "objective" and dispassionate, i.e. per definition distancing, lens and digital media. Neither Nick, nor anyone else, have a clue of what was happening during that ritual or what we who took part of it felt and experienced, sitting before a computor screen. You had to be there and experience if for yourself.

It is obvious that both broder Nick and me cling to our personal experiences, also of ritual magic. How can it be otherwise? We share this with the rest of humanity.

But I feel he is unfair in his chritique when he accuses me of finding the Whare Ra suspect because it did things which was not following the original tradition of the Golden Dawn.

I must restate that I do find parts of the material from the Whare Ra not only usable but also superior to that of both the original G.D. and later A.O. But I do also find other parts of the Whare Ra tradition to deviant for my personal taste.

Thus it is clear that I don't regard Mathers' or Westcott's words as gospel either. As can be seen I even prefer some of Whare Ra's developments better. Other parts I prefer the original G.D. or later A.O. When it comes to the Golden Dawn tradition I am as much synchretistic as the original "Temple Fathers" of the Golden Dawn tradition. I take the parts which I find to my liking and try to create a new whole.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Pat Zalewski wrote a comment at Nick Farrells blog, from which I will quote the following passage:

"Frater SR tells us masks were worn at whare ra because some paper said so. Yet both us [i.e. Pat and Nick] were told they were not one by an ex Hierophant. So what do we believe? I know they were not used post war but to issue a definitive statement that were used (and without context) is dangerous grounds for any historian. I would asked questions like "were they used up to the end of whare ra"?, "were used by some hierophants and not others"? and "If they why were not used then why"?"

Did I ever claim that the Whare Ra did wore them? I don't actually remember now, perhaps I did but I believe when I brought out the reference to the Whare Ra Z-1 over a year ago that I only said that the document made allowance for this. This was a response to the then allegations made by people watching the videos that the Ahatoor Temple was going contrary to the G.D. tradition in using masks. All I did was to show that it didn't as it wasn't at all foreign to the old the G.D. (or rather the Whare Ra). At least this is my position today.

Now, looking at Pollexfen's rendition of the Z-1, at the Yeats exhibition, it turns out this reference was made already in the original G.D. So it seems that the Whare Ra simply copied that reference faithfully but didn't follow the instruction.

It seems individual Temples used the instructions somewhat differently. Over time different cultures developed between Temples. Communication was very slow at these times (the telegram being the fastest approach). I believe the same may be said regarding the use of Nemysses in certain Temples. We will never now for sure, but we can make more or less correct assumptions based on the facts we may produce together.

I believe this is how resarch is done, between peers. Someone brings something up, and someone else givies another viewpoint according to the data they have received, and toghther one may come to a more true appreciation of history. At least it gives room for creative discussion and debate.

As Frater Peregrin has been trying to say laterly, I beleive that there is more that unites me and the Whare Ra/O.T.R. students than separates us.

Perhaps I'm being naive, but somehow I believe all this discussion will only bring us closer to each other. At least I hope so. I believe that the G.D. community would benefit from a reciprocal scholarly debate made in a atmosphere of fraternity.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Recently Pat Zalewski objected to my presentation of Jack Taylor and accused me of having disregarded the true historical context, and of bad scholarship.

As I never have set my foot in New Zeeland and thus never have met Jack Taylor I have to rely on other sources, such as the one mentioned in the text. Now, even Tony Fuller states that I have taken his words out of context. For this I make my appologies to Tony, which I regard to be a scholar on the Golden Dawn with the highest of integrity.

But honestly I don't exacly know what he means when he says I took his words out of context (and he is welcome to explain here why). It is in particular these words upon which I have based my opinion:

"Jack was a very interesting man who devoted his entire life to the Work. But he was decidedly eccentric and was never made a Chief because he was considered unstable. He actually left Whare Ra in the mid 1960s and devoted himself to the OTR."

Thus I based my opinion on what information that I had at the moment. But to balance up the discussion, for the sake of the reader to make his or her own judgement, and in the case that I haven't considered all facts, I will quote Mr. Zalewski:

"Jack...was eccentric, but the reason he was barred from becoming a chief was not that. It was because he beat the main Chief JVD to the position of head of the OTR. At that time, the OTR and Whare Ra had the main chief as head of both groups. Many of those in the OTR were also top
Whare Ra adepts so they voted him in. At Whare Ra you did not get a vote, you got the nod to be chief from those is in charge to be chiefs based on their spiritual understanding (from the man Jack beat). So this does not stack up with the above statement as Jack being too controversial for his fellow adepts. That may have been an opinion of some Whare Ra people, but certainly not the bulk of them. Bear in mind one of the people who supported Jack in his bid for OTR leadership was former Chief Archie Shaw. Jack held together that group until he
died, and this was considered a very important group in a number of ways."

Mr. Zalewski also accuses me of having an agenda against him in making this reference. I have to be honest that I did have a clear opinion regarding the subject of this essay at the time when I wrote it and therefore gathered information to back up my thesis, such as that regarding Jack Taylor.

But on the other hand I have changed my opinion over the last couple of years, from believing that the information in the 'Ritual Commentaries' by Pat Zalewski actually was the honest rendition of the true oral tradition of the Whare Ra, to my current understanding that it is not. This change of attitude has not been motivated by some political agenda. Instead I have based this on the words revealed by Tony Fuller and particular of Pat Zalewski himself. I have no personal interest in disbelieving the integrity of Mr. Zalewski's works. But on the other hand I cannot ignore any information that I might have received.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe