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

onsdag 10 november 2010

What is Apotheosis?


One of my recent essays on this blog has stirred quite some debate lately on one of the Golden Down fora. A voice has been raised against my portrayal of the ideal spiritual state of the Adeptus Exemptus (7°=4°). Basically I consider this Grade representing one who has emancipated himself from the passions of the body after succeeding in subjugating the Animal Soul (the Nephesh) under his conscious will, or the Ruah. This, I assert, is to be accomplished through the Great Work of the Major Adept, or 6°=5°, which undergoes a process in which he evokes and make conscious his own repressed and unconscious Qlippothic complexes. Thus the actual meaning of the emancipation, as expressed by the title of Exempt Adept, is that the Adept has succeeded in transcending his egoic consciousness originally centered in Yesod unto its rightful place in Tiphareth, and “made the former into the throne of the latter.”

The critical voice makes us aware that the first two Adepti Exempti of the Golden Dawn, S.L. MacGregor Mathers and W.W. Westcott, surely never reached that lofty ideal in their life time. Again he tells us that being a 7°=4° is only about mastering one’s understanding of the system, ritually and theoretically. According to this voice, the basic personality is never transformed by doing ritual or study. The ultimate goal of Apotheosis is only reached through an understanding of our relation to the world in which we are living in the here and now through symbol and analogy, and has nothing to do with what I have described. But I ask: what’s about mastering the understanding of one’s own self? Shouldn’t there also be an internal spiritual development following being raised to a particular Grade?

First of all I want to address the supposition that neither MacGregor Mathers nor Westcott reached what I have described is the essence of the 7°=4°. This may very well be the case. But we have to remember that even if the original Theurgical system as presented by these gentlemen surely has a strong potential I hold that it hasn’t been used to its optimal capacity previously. Thus it is possible that the 1888 reformation (at least in the majority of cases) cannot bring an Adept to this end as I have described. But since the 1999 reformation the Order curriculum has been adapted to bring about this transformation in gradual steps. One big change between the years 1888 and 1999 is that the former taught Ceremonial Magic (proper) only after reaching the Adeptus Minor Grade of 5°=6°, while the latter teaches that in full force already in the Juniorus 1°=10° Grade and partly so even in the Neophyte 0°=0° Grade. Thus the energetic evolution of the initiate and his energetic body, or Sphere of Sensation, begins at the very early stages of the Work, in gradual and systematical steps, which in the sub-grades of the 5°=6° goes into even more detail in the anatomy of the subtle energetic body.

One other detail which has great relevance to us is that while evocation of the averse forces was already taught after the 1888 reformation (or more properly after the R.R. et A.C. was reformed in 1892), this was done in a haphazard and unsystematic way as with most of the Magical requirements of the Golden Dawn system of Theurgy. Following the 1999 reformation the formula of evocation is systematized and methologically applied at the level of 6°=5°, where all the forces (of an angelical character) which previously has been invoked from 1°=10° to 5°=6° now are subjugated to evocation of their Qlippotic aspects. This is aimed at bringing about not only a closer union and knowledge between the micro- and macrocosmic forces of the matter (prima materia), but also to make conscious the unconscious complexes of the subconscious. This knowledge and resolving of conflicts of the subconscious will ultimately lead to liberty of the kind that I have described. It will perhaps not make you a “perfect” Adeptus Exemptus (if there even is such as a perfect thing below the Abyss), but at least make you a “good enough” one.

Thus the concerns that has been raised in the criticisms against my article only applies to the old Order according to the 1888 foundation and superstructure. What I am describing is the Order and tradition following the reformation anno 1999, and the new foundation (outer order process) and superstructure (inner order process). Ultimately what we see in the reformed Order is an entire new house, using the stones and bricks from the old and demolated building that used to be the Golden Dawn. Thus rituals in themselves has no fundamental transformative effect upon the initiate, at least not to reach the ultimate goal of Apotheosis, but rather it is how we actually apply them and to what end we use them in our gradual steps to perfection. Perform rituals in a haphazard way and without a clear long term orientation, and you will get haphazard results which can lead you astray from the ultimate goal. Alchemical processes requires pre-ordained steps and formulae taken in an exact order of sequence and according to certain cycles which has to be adhered to. The same goes for initiation and personal Ceremonial Magic. Theoretical studies have only a purpose to facilitate the practical application of certain formulae, they surely won’t change your personality other than the outlook on life on a intellectual or conscious level. Ceremonial Magic and Alchemy changes your entire being (including the unconscious) if done properly.

Suggestions has also been raised that I perhaps have a Jungian perspective in my analysis, as I work with counseling, which I believe is a quite correct assumption. The outcome of a liberated (or Exempt) Adept, following the evocation of the unconscious complexes of the subconscious (the microcosmic Qlippoth as it were), is that he ideally no longer “projects” these complexes upon his fellow men – as they now have become conscious. Projection is a (very common) psychological phenomenon which all ordinary humans are afflicted with, in a more or less manner, which means that we do not see the outside reality (and in particular our neighbor) in their true essence or nature. Instead we unconsciously re-create our fellow men according to our own psychological needs. This often means projecting our unresolved and unconscious conflicts (our own “evil” sides so to speak) upon the person who stands before us; this is a process referred to as “projective identification” after a so-called “splitting” away of the parts of ourselves that we do not yet acknowledge. This of course also gives rise to idealization and “divinization” of those who we perceive as important for our progress, or needs, etc. Still it comes down to our own psychological urges and needs, and has nothing at all to do with the person who stands before us themselves. The important task here is to finally acknowledge these suppressed and buried sides of ourselves, a task that is facilitated by the traditional techniques of the evocation of averse forces.

Thus an Exempt Adept (7°=4°) still has passions and feelings, and even needs. But he doesn’t (ideally) project them upon his neighbor. As he has (ideally) resolved his unconscious conflicts and come to terms with his own “evil,” and properly embraced it (integrated it), he no longer instinctively projects that evil part upon the person who stands before him. Instead he sees it as part of himself. A 7°=4° can still experience both rage and love, but ideally these are the result of adequate response to outside stimuli. Sometimes a person’s behavior motivates a severe response from us. Not everything is projection; some emotions (also negative) are fully adequate. But in the Exempt Adept they should (or are expected to) only be adequate responses to external or internal provocation or stimuli. To take but a few examples of adequate responses to internal stimuli we have the feeling of bliss in the conversation with one’s Divine Genius, or feelings of severity (towards one’s self) in the encounter of petty and jealous impulses surging from the subconscious. Thus an Exempt Adept may still experience pettiness surging from time to time, but what defines his spiritual standing is that he doesn’t succumb to them but gently (compassionately) or severely – whatever is required – directs (sublimates) these energies to a higher end.

So in the final analysis, what is the nature of Apotheosis? It comes from the Greek word ποθεόων, apotheoun, which means “to deify” or “make divine.” Thus it is a reference to the exaltation of the individual subject to a divine status. Now if Apotheosis is the goal, as must of us (even my detractors) agrees about (and which is confirmed by original R.R. et A.C. material), what is the nature of “divinization”? And if doing ritual won’t bring about it, as has been suggested, is doing ritual just a mere practical intellectual excercize or what? I say: Not!

I have already stated that Ceremonial Magic or Theurgy must be properly applied and in an orderly (even minute) fashion to have the desired result which we have agreed upon. Furthermore, the Alchemical Masters of the “Third Order” has taught us that initiation and doing personal magic and alchemy is about energetic evolution of the Soul, meaning the development of the subtle and alchemical body. Thus Apotheosis is, at least in the context of the post 1999 reformation, the ultimate result of acquiring a Solar Body of Light, i.e. a Solar Consciousness. This results in the merging of the human self with the Divine Self.

Thus the practice of Theurgy and Alchemy is very much about a change of the basic (Saturnian) personality or soul into a divine (Solar) soul; the first and base state is what is referred to as “Child of Earth” in Golden Dawn parlance. But this is nothing new, actually. Paul Foster Case basically taught this in his B.O.T.A. lessons. Case says that magic and meditation creates changes in the body (lymph and glands), which also transforms the function of the brain and nervous system. This certainly creates a long term change of consciousness and is the physical evidence of the raising of consciousness, according to Case. I fully agree with him.

However, someone did point out, and correctly so, that according to the Lurianic and Sabbatian Qabalah, the Great Work is not about personal (i.e. one’s own) spiritual development per se but instead about the restoration of Divinity or God (which is in a fallen state). This may seem contradictory to what I (and the Alchemical Masters) have said regarding the evolution of Soul. But we have to remember that God or Divinity resides inside all of us. Thus there is a divine spark which resides in our own body. The important and primary task for us all is to raise this spark of the divine and thus free God or Divinity which is in ourself, which exactly describes the alchemical process as laid out by the Masters. Personal development is not about aggrandizement of the ego. It is about making our base prime matter into a divine substance, which means separating the fine from the gross, i.e. raising the divine spark from the Qlippotic shell. This will ultimately result in the “creation” (or rather rectification) of the Solar Body of Light.

But this ultimate goal of the Great Work is properly attributed to the highest Grade of Ipsissimus or 10°=1°. The state of the 7°=4°, which is under consideration, is just a preliminary stage to reach to that ultimate goal. How can one ever acquire a Solar Body if one’s Saturnian body (or Animal Self; Nephesh) is still subjugating our Self or Magical Will? How can one even reach a Lunar (astral) consciousness if one is bound to matter and the impulses and chatter of the physical (and etheric) brain? It’s nothing wrong with impulses (they are the key to physical survival), but it is a difference between being governed by them and being counseled by their suggestions.

This work is already started with the enterence into the Outer Order (post 1999 reformatio) and especially so with the Elemental Workings. This directly affects an energetic evolution of the Saturnian Body (physical and etheric), which is continued in an even greater scrutiny in the Inner Order. Thus as I see it, the work of Saturn is the primary focus of the First and Second Orders. The preliminary goal is supposed to be reached in the 7°=4° when consciousness is shifted from Yesod to Tiphareth, which prepares us for the Lunar workings in the Magister (8°=3°) Grade. Thus to be able to cross through the Abyss means to have been liberated from the impulses of the Saturnian Soul (the Nephesh), which elevates the initiate into a Lunar consciousness. The next step in the process of Apotheosis is thus reached.

Furthermore, and in harmony with the above statements, attaining the Grade of 7°=4° doesn’t necessarily mean that one has become a full master of the Saturnian and Animal self. As an Adeptus Exemptus one has the time and means to gain this mastership. Often one will become conscious of one’s own shortcomings, in social interactions, and thus do further workings with evocation and integration if the need arises. But to be truly able to cross the Abyss, one has to rightfully earn the title of Exempt Adept. Thus to reach a Grade is but only the beginning of a process which ultimately leads to the mastery of that Grade. Compare this with being a Neophyte Adeptus Minor and becoming an Adept Adeptus Minor. The same applies also the the Adeptus Major and Exemptus Grades, and even the Grades beyond that.

Finally, the subject of the Qabalistic souls has also been raised in this discussion regarding where they are to be attributed, either on the one Tree (10 Sephiroth) or on the four Worlds (per Tree = 40 Sephiroth) model. My personal view is to assign the Qabalistic souls only to Assiah, thus making them into sub-divisions of Assiah. Non of the Grades upon the Tree of Life ever quit Malkuth or Assiah. Reading one of my earlier blog posts fully corroborates this view, so it shouldn’t be a surprise for my readers. This however doesn’t mean that initiation only occurs in matter. It also involves energetic and astral levels, if not even higher that that, simultaniously. Assiah is not only physical and tangible matter. On the contrary it also includes the etheric, astral, mental and causal (spiritual) planes, corresponding to the subtle bodies and souls of the Qabalah. But all spiritual states as represented by the Sephiroth, as I have described, are attainable while being incarnated in the flesh. Thus there are even more subtle planes beyond the Mental and Causal which transcends human incarnated experience, properly attributed as “angelical.”