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Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition

No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

Welcome to the Journal of the Western Mystery Traditions.


Within the virtual pages of this Journal you will find the writings
of students and scholars of the Western Mysteries. The goal of
the Journal is to not only provide information on the many
different traditions which make up the Western Mystery
Tradition, but to also further the WMT as a living tradition. The
Journal will promote this goal by providing new rituals, poem
and artwork; and by sharing the experiences of those writers who
are active in the Mysteries with its readers.
This Journal is dedicated to beginner and adept, student
and scholar alike. Each issue will contain scholarly articles on
the Mysteries but the reader will also find anecdotal accounts,
poetry, new rituals, book reviews and more. The Journal of the
Western Mystery Tradition is published bi-annually on the World
Wide Web and will also include a downloadable .PDF version,
which can be read on Adobes free Acrobat Reader. The JWMT
is strictly non-profit and its staff, writers, and other contributors
work on a volunteer basis only. For more information please email the publisher at westernmysteries@hotmail.com.
-J. S. Kupperman
Publisher

Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition


No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

Publisher
J. S. Kupperman
Main Content Editor
Alex Sumner
Creative Editor
AeonAurora
Therugic Content Editor
St. J.O.N., 93 .
Copy Editor
Laurette Rockwitz
Asst. Copy Editor
Amber Simmons
Art Direction
AeonAurora
J. S. Kupperman
Web Master
J. S. Kupperman
Contributing Writers
AeonAurora, James A.
Eshelman, J. S.
Kupperman, Frater L,
Laurette Rockwitz, Mike
Rondeau, St. J.O.N., 93 .,
Alex Sumner
The Cover Art:
by AeonAurora
Journal of the Western Mystery
Tradition No. 0 (Vernal Equinox,
2001). The Journal of the Western
Mystery Tradition is published biannually by a non-profit, volunteer staff.
There is no subscription fee.
Copyright 2001 by the Journal of the
Western Mystery Tradition. All rights
reserved by the Journal of the Western
Mystery Tradition and respective
authors. No part of this publication may
be reproduced, either in print or
electronically, except for the purpose of
reviews, without the written permission
of the publisher. The opinions
expressed by authors do not
necessarily reflect the views and
policies of the Journal of the Western
Mystery Tradition.

No. 0
Introduction 3
by Alex Sumner

The Lesser Banishing


Ritual of the Pentagram

Welcome to the first issue of


the Journal of the Western
Mystery Tradition

A History of the
Western Mystery
Tradition
by J. S. Kupperman

14

7000 years of Tradition;


mythological and historical.

71

by St. J.O.N., 93 `.`


The LBRP, the most basic of
banishing rituals; but is it
more than it appears?

Getting Started In the


Sixties : Kabbala
and the CounterCulture 83
by Frater L

Glossary of Commonly
Used Terms in the
Western Mystery
Tradition 39
by Alex Sumner

From Malkuth to the brink of


Daath, a self-start sixties
group discovers the place
where the wave broke and
finally rolled back....

Terms every student of the


Arts should know.

Famous Figures in the


Western Mystery
Tradition, Part One:
Aleister Crowley: His
Contribution to the
Western Mysteries
Tradition 94
by Laurette Rockwitz

Getting Started in the


Western Mystery
Tradition 61
by Mike Rondeau
New to the WMT? Heres
some information to help
you.

The life of the Great Beast


himself.

Book Reviews
The Novels of Dion Fortune -

Poetry
Locked in Love
Eshelman

- James A.

70

The Magician

AeonAurora

91

Esoteric Art 38, 92

Alex Sumner

116

Temples, Portals and Vaults


- On Pat Zalewskis latest G.D. book J. S. Kupperman

129

Announcements & News


12

Next Issue, No. 1: The Egyptian Mysteries

Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition


No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition


Introduction
by Alex Sumner

MAGIC!
This word conjures up a number of images in the minds of various
people. For some, it represents stage magicianship, David Copperfield, David
Blaine even. For others, it represents a fertile source of plot development in
fantasy literature - but remains strictly fictional. For yet others, it represents
sinister occult practices: Satanism, black magic, insane cultists doing
diabolical things at the dead of night.
The Occult (literally meaning hidden or secret) has indeed had a
sinister reputation throughout history. Throughout the ages, the actions of
occultists have attracted opprobrium from society at large who have looked
upon their hidden activities with suspicion at best, and downright fear and
hatred at worst. Although in Renaissance times it was just about acceptable to
study Hermetic Philosophy, to actually do any practical magical work
rendered one liable to arrest, detention without trial, torture and even
execution. Unless an Occultist enjoyed the patronage of a wealthy or powerful
nobleman or member of the court of his countrys monarch, he was liable to
be victimised mercilessly.
For example, John Dee, the 16th century intellectual, astrologer and
discoverer of Enochian Magic, was arrested in 1555 and charged with
conjuring, witchcraft and using a malevolent familiar spirit. In fact, all Dee
had done was some astrological work for Princess Elizabeth. This, and the fact
that his previous patrons had been associated with Lady Jane Grey, did not
endear him to the supporters of Queen Mary who was then on the throne.
Luckily for Dee, common sense seems to have prevailed and he was released
after several months.1
Among some of the accusations levelled at Occultists have been:

Occultists are necessarily Satanists, as the conjuring of all spirits is a


Satanic practice. The spirits which purport not to be demons are really
demons trying to fool humanity. Hence, any effect caused by a spirit is
evil, and any attempt to argue that it is good from a objective
viewpoint is moral laxity.

The practice of Alchemy is particularly evil, and all alchemists are in


league with the devil.

All magicians are generally evil and deliberately want to cause


suffering to God-fearing men and women, and their property.

All magicians are Witches They practice abominable rites in

Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition


No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

reverence to the Evil One, and deserve to be burnt at the stake - putting
them on Trial is a luxury they dont deserve.

At the very least, all magic is a load of superstition anyway.

This attitude still continues to this day. I remember just last year, I
went to a talk given by the author Andrew Collins, who works with psychics
and writes about the adventures that he has often had whilst investigating the
leads that their remarkable powers have provided. The subject of this talk was
the Qabalah - a system of Jewish Mysticism that has been adopted by occult
groups.
Just a few minutes into the meeting, a man got up and shouted
Antichrist! and stormed out, trying his best to disrupt the event. He did not
succeed, as it happened, but I later learnt that Collins has throughout his career
been victimised by people trying to disrupt the various talks he gives, whether
it be complaining to whoever owns the venue he has hired, to attacking that
venue with stones.
Thus, the Occultist was painted as a bogeyman, and the occult not the
normal topic of conversation among polite society. However, all was not
black-and-white with this viewpoint. History has also thrown up a number of
individuals who have claimed to be occultists, but have demonstrated through
the testimony of their lives that the Occult may not be as sinister as most
people thought.
For example, Nicholas Flamel and Raymond Lull were two alchemists
who both claimed to have discovered the Philosophers Stone. They both
claimed that it was a precious gift from God, and that its power was not to be
used for selfish ends, such as avariciously hoarding gold and artificially
prolonging life. Both these men refused to recant their beliefs, yet neither were
they prepared to reveal their secrets to the public. Hence, not only did they
fuel their own legends, but also their notoriety.
Jakob Boehme, although a shoemaker by profession, was also a
mystic, who wrote The Supersensual Life, and The Way to Christ. These
books are wholly Christian in nature, and describe how one may become
united with God through prayer and meditation. Boehme himself, if his own
writings are to be believed, appears to have attained the Beatific Vision whilst
still alive - that is to say, the experience of meeting God in Heaven, which
Christians would encounter only upon their death. And yet, Boehme also
wrote Mysterium Pansophicum, in which he describes the mystical process
in Alchemical terms, and even calls this mystic process Magic. How on
earth could he justify such a metaphor, or debase something so holy with the
language of the Occult?
Again, in 1618, Theophilus Schweighardt (a nom de plume for Daniel
Mogling), wrote The Mirror of the Wisdom of the Rosicrucians in which he
promised to reveal the great secret of that Fraternity. The Rosicrucians were
believed to be a secret society of Alchemists: masters of Invisibility, who had
succeeded in creating gold from base metals. So what was this great secret,
according to Schweighardt? To read absorb and practice On the Imitation of
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Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition


No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

Christ, by St. Thomas Kempis, the Dutch monk, a book which has been
described by orthodox Christians without any irony whatsoever as one of the
best loved books in Christendom.
How could it be possible that such people could talk about Christian
Mysticism and Alchemy so unashamedly, without any discernible hypocrisy?
We must remember that not all Alchemists had had as much integrity as Lull
or Flamel. For example, one of the most notorious cases was Gilles de Rais,
who gave up trying to seek the Philosophers Stone from Divine sources, and
seems to have made a pact with the devil - the terms of which were that he
would become a child murderer and necrophiliac, who dispatched hundreds of
victims often in ways that beggar belief. Therefore, any one claiming to be an
alchemist was inevitably tainted by de Rais monstrous reputation.
In the nineteenth century, a number of events occurred which began to
change the popular perception of the Occult. When Charles Darwin published
Origin of the Species, his theory of Evolution seriously shook the belief of
many in the Bible as literal fact. If the Bible was not necessarily true, could
there also be an alternative explanation for lifes great mysteries?
Moreover, global travel was happening on a significant scale for the
first time, and in the vanguard were adventurers and explorers who exposed
Western culture to the literature, philosophy, and religion from a great number
of distant countries. These new viewpoints were sufficiently different from
those of Westerners to expand their ideas, particularly in the field of
metaphysics and spirituality.
One of these adventurers was Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky,
whose writings of Eastern Mysticism in fact filled the hole created by Darwin.
Her conclusion was that man is evolving not just physically, but also
spiritually - and the way to take part in the spiritual evolution was to embrace
mysticism.
Her ideas, which she called Theosophy, caused great interest in the
public at large, who bought wholesale into her notions of hidden masters and
reincarnation. But she also appealed to scholars of the occult - people such as
Samuel L. Macgregor Mathers. Mathers took a second look at the works of
occult literature, Rosicrucian manuscripts, and mediaeval grimoires, and
reached a startling conclusion-throughout the history of Western Civilisation,
these Alchemists, Rosicrucians, purported occultists, and so forth were not
practising Black Magic at all; they were in fact carrying on a valid system of
Spirituality and Mysticism.
In other words, Flamel and Lull had been sincere all along,
Schweighardt had told the exact truth, and Boehme had written with more
genius than anyone had appreciated.
What, then, was the reality of the Occult? Although there certainly
were diabolists, Mathers and his friends postulated that there had also always
been true practitioners of magic, working purely for moral and spiritual ends,
who nevertheless had kept their activities secret because their beliefs were not
entirely in accord with the orthodoxy laid down by the established churches.
Moreover it appeared that the practices of these Initiates were directly

Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition


No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

inspired not only by ancient beliefs (such as the Greek and Egyptian
Mysteries, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, and the Qabalah) but also by a freer
reading of the Holy Bible than would be admitted by the Churches. These
occult practices generally had the similar goal of introducing the individual to
fantastic metaphysical concepts - Mysteries - from which a true mystical
revelation could be gained if the individual had the necessary insight.
Therefore, Mathers, his associates, and others who were sympathetic
to his way of thinking, referred to this aspect of the Occult in the history of
Europe and the near Middle East as the Western Mystery Tradition. The
Western Mystery Tradition was conceived of as being similar to Theosophy in
purpose, but based on Western, not Eastern, magic and mysticism.
This being the case, the modern inheritors of this Tradition explored all facets
of magic from past centuries as potentially valid methods and techniques
worth incorporating into the Western Mystery Tradition. Astrology and
Alchemy provided the language that described experiences common to almost
all magi. Divination was used, not for mere fortune-telling, but to emulate the
theurgic quest for knowledge of the Neoplatonists:
[T]hou imaginest something like this of the art of
prognosticating: as that it is generated, and some thing
existing in the realm of nature. But it is not a human
accomplishment at all, but divine, and beyond the realm of
nature; and having been sent down from the heaven above,
unbegotten and eternal, it naturally takes the first place.2
Ceremonial magic, the evocation of spirits, the charging of talismans,
and similar operations were explored, and Mathers and his associates observed
that the preparations demanded by the ancient grimoires to conduct these
rituals often amounted to feats of asceticism which were comparable to those
of yoga (e.g. The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage).
The religion and mythology of ancient civilisations, such as Greek,
Egyptian, Chaldan, Celtic, and Norse, were all used, in addition to the rites
and rituals of a number of more obscure cults that existed across Europe.
Ancient philosophies, such as Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, and Hermeticism,
were used as inspiration for the newly identified Western Mystery Tradition.
Even the exoteric Christian Bible was referred to, albeit in a mystical
fashion.
The Western Mystery Tradition of the late 19th century onward did
borrow some ideas from Theosophy (for example, clairvoyance, astral
projection, and psychism). By so doing it also satisfied the concerns of
Western occultists such as Eliphas Levi in the earlier part of the century: that
magic was not so much a matter of saying the right incantation, or doing the
right ritual, but of identifying and tapping into the power behind all of these
things.
But one of the most enduring leit-motifs running through the Western
Mystery Tradition was the Qabalah This form of Jewish mysticism proved to

Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition


No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

be a convenient medium with which to synthesise the magical arts of previous


centuries. Today, in the post-Theosophy era, Qabalah still effectively provides
occidental metaphors for Blavatskys spiritual theories.
However, by the 1900s, the notion of a Western Mystery Tradition
might have remained a mere footnote to the last decades of the 19th century
but for the efforts of two men, who, in their own separate ways, helped bring
it into the modern era.
The first of these men was Aleister Crowley. Crowley was an
adventurer, explorer and playboy (at least until a crooked accountant
disappeared with the last remains of his fortune in 1918). Moreover, not only
was he a man of great erudition in the Western Mystery Tradition, but he was
also a student of Yoga, Taoism and Buddhism. He wrote voluminously, and
by adopting a literary style that was simultaneously modern, highbrow, witty,
and bombastically full of his own importance, he managed to become (and
remains today) one of the few writers on the Occult who is in any way
interesting to read.
Yet Crowley did not earn his fame by literary merit, but rather by the
salacious details of his private life reported in the press. The popular outrage
that resulted from the newspaper reports was fanned by a casual examination
of his books, which made people think his brand of the occult was really
Satanism in the thinnest of disguises, and that he himself was a libertinepervert-drug addicted-antichrist. In fact, these accusations had more than just a
glimmer of truth, but they served to obscure the genius to be extracted from a
careful reading of his output. A very hackneyed saying today sums up
Crowleys reputation in the occult: Like him or Loathe him, you cant ignore
him.
Yet if Crowley was trying to debase civilisation with his revolutionary
and outrageous vision of the occult, he has almost been confounded in the
attempt by the second of the men who have proved such a great influence on
Western Mystery Tradition in the 20th Century: Carl Gustav Jung. The founder
of Analytical Psychology, Jung was not (so far as is known) an occultist but a
scientist. Nevertheless, he examined the occult and came to the conclusion
that there was a psychological basis for most of the mystical and magical
phenomenon which were purported to happen. He used Alchemy as a
metaphor for the process of psychological healing, which he called
individuation. His analytical technique of the Active Imagination is
strikingly similar to the methods used by occultists to induce clairvoyance.
Whilst never explicitly admitting that there might be a paranormal explanation
for them, Jung wrote sympathetically about divination and Eastern
philosophies such as Taoism and Yoga.
As a result of the esteem held for Jung and his apparent sympathy for
these matters, the occult has taken on an air of respectability. It is now
possible to argue with a sceptic saying, There are valid psychological reasons
which might justify the occult, assuming, of course, that your listener is
reasonable enough to listen to argument. I myself have seen lectures set up by
fully-communicating Catholic priests on Jungs theories on individuation I

Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition


No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

also have in my library a book written by a High Priestess of Wicca (i.e.


Witchcraft) extolling Jungs work.3
Therefore, there are two main reasons why it is important to study the
Western Mystery Tradition - and these reasons are embodied in the
personalities and achievements of Crowley and Jung themselves. On the one
hand, it is both fascinating and controversial. It is of western civilisation, but
for long it has been outside it, sitting uncomfortably with orthodox thinking
and received morality. It is titillating, yes, but also capable of great
profundities of insight. Moreover, it cannot be merely dismissed as irrelevant
or superstitious claptrap due to the great amount of testimony from its
participants and practitioners that it works.
On the other hand, in complete contrast to the claims of black magic
which are often levelled at the occult, there is increasing evidence that the
Western Mystery Tradition can be of positive benefit to those who take part in
it. Healers and therapists make use of its techniques, following the example of
Jung who described the arcana as part of his work. People are drawn to the
Western Mystery Tradition by a deep yearning, which Jung would have said
was a psychological craving for individuation, but his antecedents would have
called a Spiritual hunger to share in the blissful states described by the seers
and mystics of old.
The man whom I saw trying to disrupt Andrew Collins meeting would
no doubt be infuriated to learn that THE JOURNAL OF THE WESTERN
MYSTERY TRADITION is dedicated to the study of magic and mysticism in a
way that is unashamedly sympathetic. It is a scholarly resource for those who
are interested in the subject - particularly those who are already practising
magicians, and want to know more about the art to which they have dedicated
themselves.
THE JOURNAL OF THE WESTERN MYSTERY TRADITION is written
by a number of contributors, all of whom have practical experience in the
subjects we write about. Moreover, the Western Mystery Tradition does not
rely on faith, but on the experience of those who take part in it. Therefore, we
have assumed that our readership themselves are practitioners. We do not just
provide history, but practical and useful advice to indicate how it may be
possible to share in our experiences.
THE JOURNAL OF THE WESTERN MYSTERY TRADITIONs ambit is
huge, covering a wide number of separate subjects, and many thousands of
years worth of history. For the sake of practicality, each issue will focus on
only one aspect of the Tradition. For example, this first issue is dedicated to
Introducing the Western Mystery Tradition. Planned future topics include
the Egyptian Mysteries, Divination, etc.
The Articles that make up this First Issue include:
A History of the Western Mystery Tradition to the Twentieth Century: The
Mythology of Magic (J. S. Kupperman). This article discusses not only the
exoteric history of the Western Mystery Tradition, from what amounts to the
dawn of recorded history to the giving of the Word Thelema but creates a

Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition


No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

cohesive mythology of the Western Mystery Tradition, from the moment of


creation to the giving of that same Word. Of secondary importance to this
mythology are what is being termed Paths of Return; those ways which
humanity has generated, either through their own device or through divine
inspiration, to return to the source of it all, which is sometimes called God.
A Glossary of Commonly Used terms in the Western Mystery Tradition (Alex
Sumner). Inevitably, the Western Mystery Tradition has acquired a large
jargon of its own, reflecting the diverse areas of study with which an initiate is
expected to be familiar. This Glossary introduces the reader to the most
important ones, and gives an indication of the various issues and controversies
that exist in the subject.
Getting Started in the Western Mystery Tradition (Michael Rondeau). If a
person was tired of just reading about the Western Mystery Tradition, and
wanted to start doing actual practical work, how would one go about it? This
article is packed full of useful advice and information.
Famous Figures in the Western Mystery Tradition, Part One: Aleister
Crowley: His Life and Contribution to Western Mysteries Tradition
(Laurette Rockwitz). Famous Figures in the Western Mystery Tradition is
an ongoing series - in every issue of the journal we intend to present
biographical articles of the most important people in the history of western
occultism.
This article examines Crowleys (1875 - 1947) impact from Thelema
to the current face of the Golden Dawn tradition. This article also includes a
look at influences that shaped Aleister Crowleys life, biographical
information, and Crowleys controversial reputation. It will look at his
writings and magical workings.
Ultimately this exposition will probe his relationship with the Golden
Dawn, and illustrate his expansion and elaboration of the doctrines of
transcendental magic.
The Pentagram Ritual (St. J.O.N. 93). In which the author expounds not only
the whys and wherefores of this piece of esoterica, he reveals the meaning of
that mysterious and most ineffable abbreviation often found in occult writings:
LBRP.
Art and Literature of the Occult (edited by AeonAurora). The Western
Mystery Tradition has inspired artists, poets and authors throughout the ages and continues to do so today. Here we present a selection of the best
examples.
The Occult Novels of Dion Fortune (Alex Sumner). Dion Fortune (1890 1946) wrote a number of novels which all feature the occult. She was in a
unique position when it came to research for she had experienced most of the

Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition


No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

phenomena herself, in her capacity as a ritual magician.


Review: Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentary, Vols I-III by Patrick
Zalewski (J. S. Kupperman). A short piece looking at the latest work from the
author of Secret Inner Order Rituals of the Golden Dawn, Golden Dawn
Enochian Magic, etc.
THE JOURNAL OF THE WESTERN MYSTERY TRADITION is a biennial
publication, coming out on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. Its web
presence is at http://www.jwmt.org. This is also the URL at which the
archives will be kept.
In order to be informed of the details of forthcoming publications, readers may
like to subscribe to our Announce List at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/JWMTannounce.
We invite readers to send us their letters and emails: we undertake to print a
selection in future issues. The address for emails is:
westernmysteries@hotmail.com.
We are also on the look out for talented individuals who are prepared to
contribute articles to future issues. Those interested in doing so should visit
the following web-site for details:
http://www.egroups.com/groups/western_mysteries.
Finally, it remains for me to say that we hope that you will enjoy this
journal, and that it will provide not only intellectual but spiritual benefit as
well. To quote Macgregor Mathers:
In conclusion I will only say that I have written this
explanatory Introduction purely and solely as a help to genuine
Occult students; and that for the opinion of the ordinary
literary critic who neither understands not believes in
Occultism, I care nothing.4
Alex Sumner - March 2001.
Biographical Data on this issues contributors:
AeonAurora is a High Priestess of Wicca and a ritualist of many years
standing. She is also a member of the Illinois Law Enforcement Department.
Jeffrey S. Kupperman, MA has studied hermetics and the Western Mystery
Tradition for the last decade. He has degrees in psychology and religious
studies, where his emphasis was in Western mythology as well as mystical
and occult practices Jeffrey is a graphic and Web designer currently living in

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Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition


No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

the Chicagoland area with is wife and two guinea pigs.


Laurette Rockwitz is a member of the Hermetic Order of the Tree of Life,
and has been psychic all her life.
Michael Rondeau, was drawn to magic from an early age, having an early
aptitude for psychism. He was first drawn to Wicca, and more recently is a
student of Crowley, the Golden Dawn, and the Builders of the Adyptum.
St. J.O.N. 93 is a member of the Typhonian OTO.
Alex Sumner is an adept in the Golden Dawn style of magic. He is the author
of Lucid Dreaming - the Complete Guide, and maintains his own website,
dedicated to Enochian Magic and various other occult topics.
Notes
1. John Dees Natural Philosophy: Between Science and Religion. Nicholas H. Clulee,
Routledge 1988, pp33-34.
2. On the Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans and Assyrians. Iamblichus, (translated by
Alexander Wilder 1911), Joseph H. Peterson 2000, part III Ch. 7.
3. Jungian Spirituality. Vivianne Crowley, Thorsons 1998.
4. The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. S. L. Macgregor Mathers (trans.),
Dover 1975 (facsimile of John M Watkins 1900), xxxviii.

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Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition


No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

On submitting articles to the


Main Content Editor
THE JOURNAL OF THE WESTERN
MYSTERY TRADITION, published
equinoctially, devotes each issue to one
particular facet of the W.M.T.. The
Content Editor welcomes contributions
in the form of Articles which discuss
the chosen topic for a given issue.
A Writer wishing to see his work
published in the JOURNAL should
observe the following points:

The JOURNAL is purely a


Voluntary venture. No-one is
getting paid for their trouble, least
of all the Editors!
Articles should be written in a
"scholarly" manner. That is to say,
all quotes should be referenced;
footnotes should be used where
appropriate, and a full
Bibliography included at the end.
Personal opinion should be
properly justified with argument.
Subjectively observed material
should be treated with the same
kind of integrity with which a
scientist treats data from his own
experiments.
The language of the JOURNAL is
English; the Writing Style should
be such as would receive an "A"
from a High School English
Language Teacher.
To submit an article, first contact
the Contents Editor with a detailed
proposal for your piece. The
Contents Editor will approve of
your proposal, so long as he is
satisfied that: it fits with the theme
of the Issue in which it is intended
to be published; it is consistent
with the editorial direction of the
Journal; and will generally fufill the
standards expected.

Articles should be a minimum of


5000 words in length: 10000 is
long but acceptable; but 15000
words or more is probably
overdoing it.

The envisaged reader profile has

From the Creative Content Editor


If you or someone you know would like to
see their work published, email me with
your submission,short bio and copyright or
credit info.
Currently we are looking for art, poetry,
book reviews and short stories. Guidelines
are as follows:

ARTWORK should be in .gif or .jpg format and in


RGB mode. Images over 200 kilobytes will not be
accepted, images 100 kb or smaller is preferable.

POETRY should be of an occult nature/subject.

BOOK REVIEWS on esoteric/hermetic books,


use footnotes if needed.

SHORT STORIES should be of an occult nature.


I am seeking short stories for the trial run of
"Experience" a small section devoted to our
readers. Subjects should be about your
experiences with magick or why you became a
magician."

Submissions should be sent to


westernmysteries@hotmail.com with the subject
Creative Content.

Cover Art
We want to use your art on our cover! The cover of
every issue of the Journal will feature artwork
relating to the theme of that season's Journal. If you
would like to have your artwork featured on the
Journal cover, for both the .html and the .pdf
versions of the Journal, then please submit your art
to us. All art must be .gif or .jpg format and be in
the proportions of an 8.5" x ll" piece of paper.
Please make all submissions to
westernmysteries@hotmail.com with the subject of
"cover art".

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No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

been defined as follows:

The target audience should be those


who practice magick: 18+, literate,
high school graduates.
Familiar with Judaeo/Christian/Muslim
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belief in "the Divine".

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PLUS ULTRA Deadline for
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Equinox in question.

Finally, it is intended that THE


JOURNAL OF THE WESTERN
MYSTERY TRADITION should be
as reliable a Journal as Academic
Journals are to University staff and
students. It has been suggested that
the "Golden Dawn Journal" series is a
standard by which to compare our
journal, though of course we do not
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magic.

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Main Content Editor

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No. 0, Vernal Equinox 2001

A History of the Western Mystery Tradition to the Twentieth Century:


The Mythology of Magic
by J. S. Kupperman
The Western Mystery Tradition (WMT) has a history which dates back
thousands of years. It is, in reality, a conglomeration of religious, mystical, and
magical traditions which gave, and continues to give, shape to the cultures of
the Western world. The WMT is informed by traditions from countless cultures
and countries; from the deserts of ancient Egypt to the snow capped mountains
of Scotland and Norway. These traditions have been used by dark age
magicians and Edwardian antiquarians, medieval knights and renaissance
mathematicians to create and enrich their spiritual and magical lives. They
have been studied by Rabbi and priest, philosopher and poet for longer than
recorded human history.
These various practices and philosophies, which together make up the Western
Mystery Tradition, have each been developed in specific times and places for
specific reasons and peoples. As can be expected many of these paths differ
greatly in their structures and religious mysteries from other traditions that
grew up in neighboring countries. More surprising are the many similarities
that can be found in the stories of vastly separated cultures. These similarities
are more than superficial. They show, unexpectedly, a continuous stream of
tradition. Similarities may not be so startling when comparing the Welsh
Mabinogion and the Irish heroic cycles. It is much more astonishing that
similarities can be found between the Welsh Mabinogion, the Irish heroic
cycles and ancient Greek mythology.1
Throughout the numerous differences, variations, and obvious imitation that
exists between the vast number of traditions which contribute to the WMT
there is one thing that exists in all traditions. This omnipresent aspect which
transcends doctrine, technique and liturgy is the one thing which binds the
entire Western Mystery Tradition together. This key element is mythology.
Mythology, and the mysteries that are hidden within its stories, is, perhaps, the
most important aspect of the WMT. It is from mythology that later dogma is
created. It is from mythology that ritual, magical, mystical, and religion is
created from. It is these sacred stories that the priesthood and the magicians use
to teach their congregations and disciples.
Many books have been devoted to the study of individual cultures and their
legends. Their influence on historic as well as modern cultures are well
documented. However, little attention has been paid to the role of myth
considering the whole of the WMT.

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A mythic pattern can be traced through the thousands of years of mythology up


to the modern era. This pattern is the mythic history of the WMT. Above all
else, the Western Mystery Tradition is a creature of story and legend. Its
greatest figures and occurrences are a rich blend of fact and story, science and
mysticism. While the factual history, as much as it can ever be discerned, is of
great importance for any student of the Mysteries, a study of the mythic history
of the WMT is of equal importance.
This paper will be divided into two main sections.
In the first part a cohesive chronological myth of the Western Mystery
Tradition will be developed in full, starting from creation and continuing
through to the beginning of the 20th century. Out story will end at the advent of
the last century because western culture has not yet had the opportunity to
decide how people and events more current shall be considered historically and
myth logically.
Due to the expansive nature of the WMT I will be selective as to which stories
to include and which to exclude. Because of this, the history being created,
much like factual history, will be somewhat subjective. A different writer
would likely develop a somewhat different history than I will. In many cases
the mythologies included will be used differently than their traditional context.
This is because those sacred stories are being taken from their individual
cultures and used as part of a larger more inclusive tradition.
The second section of this paper will be a breakdown of the various legends
which are a part of the mythic history. This part of the paper will look at each
section of the preceding myth and analyze its various aspects, giving historical
and sociological backgrounds when necessary. Lastly, we will connect the
seemingly disparate aspects of the mythic history as well as explain the
mythology in general.
Part I:
Historicus Mythologicus
1. In the Beginning was Creation. The waters above were split from the
waters below and humanity was created from redness by the gods. 2.
Humanity, both male and female, lived, for a time, in the Bliss, until the fruit
of the Tree of Knowledge was eaten. This act expelled humanity, male and
female, from its supernal state. Before them was the Tree of Life, and this was
hidden all around humanity, hidden before plain sight. 3. However, the
messengers of the gods came to humanity and revealed unto them the Path of
Return.
4. The people were now over the face of the Earth. However, humanity
was arrogant now, and sinful in the eyes of the gods. The child of Methuselah,
Lamech, had many children. These children, who founded the sciences and
crafts of geometry music smithing and weaving knew that the gods would be

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angry with humanity and undertook to preserve their teachings, each engraving
their words upon two pillars of stone, one of marble the other of brick.
5. In their anger the gods sent a great flood, destroying much of
humanity. Those who survived appeased the gods and the Bow of Heaven was
put in the sky to so that peace, for now, would be between humanity and the
gods. 6. Amongst others who survived the flood was Utnapishtim, called Noah
by the Habiru. 7. It was Utnapishtims granddaughter, Bith, who escaped to the
Isles of the Mighty with her son Fintan. Bith did not survive the flood, but
Fintan was the Salmon of Wisdom, and thus eternal. 8. To Utnapishtim came
one called Gilgamesh, who had realized much of the divinity within, but not all
of it. Gilgamesh would have eaten from the fruit of the Tree of Life, which
Utnapishtim was guardian of, it being a Hallow of his land between the Tigris
and Euphrates rivers, Gilgamesh was stopped by the Vision of Sorrow and so
ended his quest.
9. Far to the North, the water continued to recede, revealing mighty
islands, and it was here that mighty Cronos was chained, even as he bound His
own father. This binding forever made the veil between this world and the
Otherworld thinner. Those who dwelt in this land were of the Otherworld, and
not fully of this world. 10. There were many wars upon this island. The first
race of the Otherworld to settle upon these isles, the Fir Bolg, were rejected by
the genus loci of the island, the islands Ladies of Sovereignty, and were
replaced by another race of great beings. After a time these beings, the great
and wild Formorians, were too rejected by Sovereignty. Finally, a third race,
the Tuatha De Dannan came, functioning as Sovereigntys tool to remove the
primal Formorians. These Children of Dannu were joined by many of the older
goddesses and gods of the land. For a time, the Tuatha De Dannan, as well as
their Cymric cousins, ruled the Isles of the Mighty. 11. To the North and West
the fierce gods of those lands await the end of their times.
12. At the same time, in the land of the Nile a great king was born, the
grandson of the Sun. This king, Osiris the Beautiful, brought, with his
sister/wife Isis, his land to peace and ended the ways of barbarism. 13. This
king was betrayed by his own brother for the throne of Kemet, and died not
once but twice, his body scattered across the land, to become the Lord of the
Tuat. Between the first death and the second a son was born, Horus, who was
the Sun high in the sky. Horus became ruler of the two lands of the Nile, which
was then called Kemet, or the land of Black Earth, for the missing phallus of
Osiris went into the Nile and it made the land bring forth life through its black
fertile soil. 14. It was shortly after this time that out of Ur, near Babylon, did
Abram, called Abraham, wander to the lands of Kemet with his family. During
his travels Abraham received, through divine inspiration, the Book of
Formation, whereby even the Golom could be made. More importantly, a
Covenant was struck between his people, who were called Habiru by the
Akkadians, and their one God.
15. Later, in the time of the Exodus of the descendants of the wanderers
out of Babylon, the foster son of the Princess of Egypt, called Mosheh by the
wanderers was born 16 At this time and place lived a great wise man and

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magician, who was descended from the god Djehuti and called Hermes the
Thrice-Grand. Hermes was as old as those from whom he came, and through
them created writing and mathematics. He was a powerful magician who
controlled many daemons. It was through Hermes Trismigistus that the lands
of Kemet were divided into nomes, creating philosophy, ships, and machines.
It was through the Thrice-Grand that some say the children of Lamech learned
their crafts. His writings are many and mysterious and have survived thousands
of years. 17. It was through the writings of Hermes that the Art of Kemet was
born in the Western world.
18. The daughter of Pharaoh, the God-King of Kemet, sailed with the
Mil and his sons to the Isles of the Mighty, to the northern most isle. It was
they who were finally granted the rights of Sovereignty, through the magic of
their son Aimairgin, for the races of humanity over the spirit beings that once
ruled there.
19. Then the people of Greece came to know Hermes the Thrice-Grand
and his writings and they were much influenced by the thought of Egypt. 20.
Great mystery religions arose in Greece where both the Greek and Egyptian
gods were worshipped. In Samothrace the goddess Hekete was elevated like no
other. 21. Both these great kingdoms came to know the conquering people of
Rome who had, like the Egyptians before them, a God-King. The legions of
Rome came to unite the known world, from the realms of Africa to the lands of
the Gauls and even into the Isles of the Mighty.
22. By now the wondering Habiru had found a home, near the Sea of
the Dead. A great Temple was built there, by Solomon ben David. Solomon
was a great and wise ruler, as well as a magician who imprisoned 72 infernal
spirits in a brass vessel. 23. This Temple was destroyed and rebuilt, being
finished in splendor during the time of Herod, who called himself Great. 24.
These people, who now had their Law, handed down to them from their one
God through Mosheh, were no longer called the Habiru but Hebrews. 25. The
Jews, through their traditions, kept alive the teachings of the messengers of the
gods and the Path of Return. With this wisdom and their holy book, a way to
See the Merkavah of God was found; through many gates and temples, and
past many guardians must the mystic travel, and even then, if one was not
strong enough, viewing even Gods Throne could mean death or insanity. 26. It
was at this time that Julian, the Chaldaen Theurge, wrote from ancient
Chaldaen sources and divine inspiration the Philosophy of Oracles.
27. During the time of Herod, under the rule of Rome, a man was born
of a carpenter, a descendant of David, and his virgin wife. 28. This man,
Joshua, would become a great magician and mystic, called not only the Son of
God but the Son of Man. Through the sacred teachings of his people this man
followed the Path of Return to become a Man-God. 29. Joshua was rejected by
his people, and put to death by Rome, though it is said he was raised and
walked beside God as did the Hebrew patriarch Enoch. 30. While the man was
gone the divinity within him could never be killed, and his teachings remained.
Those who could follow his path would be able to do all that he did and more,
and they too could become like God 31 After the death of this Christos the

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second Temple of the Jews was destroyed.


32. With the death of the Christos the Cult of the Dying God was
reborn, and images, as old as the land of Kemet, were dedicated to this new
manifestation. 33. Many of those who worshipped the old gods of Greece,
Rome, and Egypt, and even many of the Jews, who had originally rejected the
Path of Return of the Christos, turned to this new Path. From this single cult,
two arose, one which worshipped Christos as Man the other Christos as God.
Both relied heavily upon the old teachings. 34. Those who followed the
Christos as Man turned to the philosophers of Greece and the religion of the
Jews, as well as many other teachings. Those who followed the Christos as
God rediscovered the ancient writings of Hermes Trismigistus. The first would
come to Gods kingdom through the teachings of the Christos, the second
would become like the Christos himself, and know God. 35. In time the
religion of the Christos as Man, now called Jesus the Christ, came to
supremacy. A council of their priests met and formalized their dogma, and the
One God was now the Three in One God. This too was a great mystery, much
of which has been lost.
36. With the fall of the second Temple the Judaism of old was no more
and the wise people, the teachers, became the spiritual leaders of the people. A
new religion was born. 37. These wise men, keeping the old traditions, but
reinterpreting them for changing times, continued working with their own Path
of Return. Through them was the Book of Illumination received, containing
great mysteries.
38. For a time a dark age set upon the world, still there were rays of
light to be seen. Through the descendants of Ishmael, Abrahams first child, a
new Path of Return was received, through the humble Mohammed.
39. In the Isles of the Mighty, the Sovereignty of the Cymric lands of
Britain passed from Bran, the greatest of the spirit people there, to the mortal
man Arthur, one in the line of the Pendragons. Arthur was advised by a great
sage and magician called Myrddin, who like Aimairgin before him served She
who was the Sovereignty of the land. 40. Under the rule of Arthur, the religions
of the land, and their priests, called Druids, merged with the teachings of the
White Christ. The form the Religion of Jesus as Man had absorbed these isles.
With this the Cauldron of the Goddess became merged with the Grail of the
White Christ.
41. After many years of rule Arthur returned the sacred Hallows of the
Land, including the Grail of the White Christ, over to that great Lady,
Sovereignty. Arthur was the last of the great Pendragons, but not the last of the
Pendragons, and the Isles of the Mighty would always have their guardian.
Arthur passed the title of Pendragon to another, and himself became Pen
Annwen, Guardian of the Hallows in the Otherworld. When he is needed he
shall return again to guard the land.
42. After Arthur passed into Avalon for healing, a true Dark Age
descended for many years. During this time the Church of Jesus the Man
turned back to the old writings. Through interpretation and re-interpretation
were the old ways found to be one with the ways of the White Christ At the

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same time those writings which could not be made to fit with the teachings of
the Church were destroyed. It was through the efforts of the religion of Islam,
who had now conquered the ancient lands of Kemet, that many of the old
writings were saved.
43. A new millennium, or one thousand years after the birth of Christ,
came and passed. The head of the Church, long since called Catholic, declared
war on the Children of Mohammed, who now controlled a large portion of the
Ancient World. The Christians Crusades for their ancient holy land were long
and many. 44. At the end of the first of these a small encampment of nine
nobles, at the corner of the ruins of the Temple of Jews, founded an Order of
Christian Knights. 45. A secret was discovered there, an ancient form of the
Path of Return. It was upon these tenets that the emblem of the Knights would
change from the cross of four arms to the cross of eight; the ogduadic star. 46.
In time these Knights became a great and powerful Order, keeping their secret
always intact. It was not until the time of the King in France that the Order of
the Temple was lost, and with it their secret. Their tradition, however, remains
today.
47. As one path was obscured, another was coming into the light. In
Spain a Jew called Moses de Leon wrote a text under the guidance of divine
inspiration. This text, called the Book of Enlightenment. It the latest
transmission of the ancient Jewish Path of Return called Qabalah.
48. Still at the same time, in the North in Germany, our Father Christian
Rosenkreuz was born. C.R.C. lived for 106 years. A great mystic, magician,
Qabalist, mathematician and philosopher, C.R.C. traveled the world learning of
many of the Paths of Return. However, C.R.C. found that many of these Paths
had become corrupt, and he had to discern the wheat from the chaff. Like the
Christos before him, C.R.C. lived an exemplary life. He became like unto the
divine, leaving his body, and his mysteries, in a sacred Vault of seven sides.
First, however, he founded a Fraternity which might guide seekers toward the
Light.
49. In Italy, where of the Catholic Church resides in Rome, the first
rays of a new Light began to dawn. The very religion which dedicated itself for
so long to the destruction of beauty which was different from its own now
vitalized and inspired new beauty. This new beauty often showed respect for
nearly forgotten ways. It was now that many of the old Paths were revived
under new aegis. The wisdom of the ancients once again lived. 50. In time this
renaissance spread to the rest of Europe and especially to the Isles of the
Mighty, which by this time had fallen under the rule of a single family. In time
the Isles would be ruled by a single woman, called the Virgin Queen. The
Virgin Queen Elizabeth, was in her own self and her heraldry, a synthesis. She
was the coming together of the sun and the moon, an alchemists delight. 51. A
faithful subject of Queen Elizabeth was Doctor John Dee. Dee was the epitome
of the renaissance man.
52. During his many travels Dee received an ancient and lost Path of
Return. Through the aid of his skryer, a man named Kelley, Dee came into
contact with a messenger from the divine This divine entity was the angel

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Ave. It was Ave who taught wise Enoch the ways the angels. Through Ave did
Dee learn the language of the angels and their Path of Return, which may even
have been the same given unto Adam after the fall. It is in honor of Enoch,
who walked with God, that this Path of Return came to be called Enochian.
Great was the Path of Enoch, as received by Dee. Alas most of it was lost in a
great holocaust of fire.
53. During the life of Dee another Path emerged to the public eye. After
hundreds of years of rest, that Fraternity which was founded by our Frater
C.R.C., hidden until now, released its Fama and its Confessio. 54. Many great
men were influenced by these mysterious and philosophical tracts, including
the great Dee himself. For years, even until the present time, men and women
alike have searched for the Rosicrucian society of C.R.C. None may say if they
have discovered it, for those who claim to be Rosicrucians are most assuredly
not.
55. After a time yet another tract of ancient teachings was discovered
and brought to life. Where it began has been lost in the mists of time, but
before the end of the 17th century the fraternity of Freemasonry had come to
light in the land of Alba, in the Isles of the Mighty. 56. The teachings of
Masonry are ancient, stemming from before the Flood, for those two great
stone pillars, made by the children of Lemech, are the very foundation of
Masonry; the G, between the compass and square are for geometry, one of
the ancient sacred arts. 57. In a short time, the early part of the 18th century,
Freemasonry became organized in England, where a Grand Lodge was formed.
58. Even as the United Grand Lodge of England was formed, the
ancient Path of the Druids was brought once again into the light. 59. This reawakened Path continued to grow for a time, though in a new manner. Much of
this growth was due largely to the works of Iolo Morganwg and his Barddas.
60. From this tradition of the old Path many orders and circles descended,
many of which survive to this day.
61. When the Theosophical Society of Madam Blavatsky contacted
secret Masters from the East, a cry went up in the Western Tradition, for its
ways were once again being abandoned. 62. In an old book a folio of
manuscripts, in cipher, were found by a Dr. William Wynn Westcott. These
manuscripts were deciphered with the aid of a young Qabalist and mystic
Samuel MacGregor Mathers. Rituals were discovered therein, as well as an
address in Germany. The address was written to, the rituals were worked up in
full, and the old path of the Frater C.R.C. was once again discovered. Its
current carried on in an Order called the Golden Dawn, with its hidden Order,
the R:.R:. et A:.C:.. They were granted their charter by a Soror S.D.A., from a
lodge in Germany. Contact with the Secret Chiefs behind the order was made
by Mathers. With this contact, the current of energy of the Rosicrucians was
fully imbued within the Order. 63. With the dawning of the 20th century, the
Order of the Golden Dawn schismed and its energies scattered, though not
dispersed. 64. For a time a void was left, and this void was to be filled in the
visions of Aleister Crowley, who was at one point a member of the fallen
Order In Cairo in the year of 1904 Crowley received from metaphysical

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sources a Book of the Law and the Word Thelema. With this word and a new
Path of Return was brought into the world.
Thus far the Historicus Mythologicus of the Western Mystery Tradition to
the 20th century.
Part II:
Historicus Verus
1. The beginning is, of course, Creation. The tradition of the waters, while
prominent in the Hebrew Bible2, is not limited to the Judeo/Christian tradition;
in fact it appears to be much older. The waters of creation can be traced to
ancient Egyptian mythology, in the waters of the primordial Nu or Nun, which
represents the watery chaos before creation3.
Before the ancient Egyptian legends can be found the ancient Sumerian
creation epic, the Enuma Elish. Here we find the gods rebel against their
parents, Apsu and Tiamat. Apsu and Tiamat represent the watery chaos from
which creation came. Tiamat is imaged as a great serpent or dragon, similar to
the later Hebrew Leviathan. The similarity does not end here. In the Enuma
Elish Tiamat is defeated by the god Marduk, who has been given the powers of
the other gods. Markduk splits Tiamats body in half, creating the world4. The
splitting of Tiamats body to create the sky and land and waters below as a
direct parallel in the first creation story in Genesis.
The creation of humanity from redness is once again a reference to both
the Hebrew Bible and the Enuma Elish. In Genesis man, adam, is created from
the dust of the ground5. It is interesting to note that the word adam is derived
from adamah, which means red earth, perhaps a type of red clay. The
derivation of adam from adamah is a typical play on words used in Hebrew
literature. In the Enuma Elish we are told that humanity is created from the
blood of the god Kingu, who enticed Tiamat to wage war against Her children6.
While there is no mention of redness in Egyptian mythology concerning the
creation of humanity, the use of clay is. The god Khnemu, who is depicted with
a rams head, is often shown sculpting the first human from clay on a potters
wheel7.
2. Humanity, male and female, as well as the living in bliss is also
found in other sources than the Hebrew Bible8. The importance of humanity
being created male and female is also stressed in the Zohar, written by Moses
de Leon in the early part of the 14th century. The Zohar says that any image
that does not embrace male and female is not a high and true image9. While
this can refer to the sexual mysteries of the Shekinah, a modern form of the
Hebraic Wisdom, it can also mean that the aspirant towards the divine must
have both their masculine and feminine aspects well balanced before spiritual
progress is possible.
Finally we come to the Tree of Life, a symbol which can be found in
many cultures around the world. This symbol, important to both Jewish and
Hermetic Qabalah10 will eventually become the foundation of Hermetic
Qabalah almost to the detriment of other the branches of Qabalah The Tree

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being hidden all around humanity in plain sight refers to the nature of the
Tree as a symbol of manifestation and therefore creation, which humanity
partakes of but is often blind to.
3. In Qabalistic tradition it is said that Adam, after he and Eve were
forced out of the Garden, was given the Qabalah by the angels. Another story
states that it is Gods revelation to Adam11. I find no conflict between these
two myths as the original Hebrew word for angel translates to messenger. It
would have been likely, then, that Gods revelation would have been given
through His messengers.
The Path of Return is phrase common to mysticism and it refers to
the methods which humanity can use to return to its divine nature, i.e. the
return to God-head. Almost every culture has its own mystical path designed to
bring the aspirant closer to their conception of the Divine. In the mythological
narrative I have created a mythical, primordial, Path of Return from which all
others stem.
4. Humanitys arrogance, in this segment, is a reference to the building
of the Tower of Babel. The Tower of Babel is sometimes cited as being a
ziggurat located in the ancient city of Babylon. The list of people from
Methuselah onward has its origins in the Hebrew Bible12, however its
importance lies elsewhere. The story of Lamech, and especially his children,
who are named Jabell, Tuball, Tuball Cain, and Naamah, are of great
importance to the history of Freemasonry. It is in the Legend of the Craft that
we learn that the sons of Lamech; Jabell, Tuball, and Tuball Cain, are
responsible for the founding of geometry, smithing and weaving. The three
sons, prophetically aware of the impending doom upon humanity carve all their
knowledge upon two stone pillars so that it may not be lost with the destruction
of the world by water13. It is from the pillar of geometry that Freemasonry
would have been derived. These pillars were the prototype of the Pillars of
Boaz and Jachin used in Masonic ritual and later Pillars of Hermes and
Solomon in Golden Dawn tradition.
5. The Flood is an aspect of many religions around the world, not just
an aspect of the Hebrew Bible. The Bow of Heaven refers to the Rainbow of
Promise that God sets in the heavens as a sign that he will never destroy the
Earth by water14. The Enuma Elish gives us a another Bow. This is the bow
which Marduk used in His battle against Tiamat. We are told that he placed the
bow in the heavens and made it shine15.
6. The Flood is also featured in Babylonian mythology. We are told of
at least one survivor; Utnapishtim. He is not, however, just a Babylonian
character but was also given the name Noah by the ancient Hebrews. We may
also find the parallels to the Hebrew bible in the Epic of Gilgamesh
(corresponding verses from the Hebrew bible noted on the left):
Gen. 6:14

Tear down (this) house, build a ship!


Give up possessions, seek thou life.
Forswear (worldly) goods and keep the soul

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alive!
Gen 6:19-20

Aboard the ship take thou the seed of all living


things.
That ship that thou shalt build,
Her dimensions shall be to measure.

Gen 6:15

Equal shall be her width and her length.16

Habiru is an Akkadian term denoting social outcasts, slaves and nomads. This
word has been sited as the source of from which Hebrew was developed .
7. The story of Noahs granddaughter, Bith, and her son Fintan, is
derived from Irish folk lore. Fintan, who is called the Blind One, the Salmon of
Wisdom, and Goll of Assaroe is an important figure in Irish mythology. The
Salmon of Wisdom is the oldest of the totem animals in Celtic mythology. It is
from the Salmon that information is gained to free Mabon in the Mabinogion.
Fintans own story is one of the transmigration of souls. He never dies but
changes forms throughout history. Finally he takes the form of a man once the
age of humanity is established after the flood17.
8. According to Akkadian mythology, Gilgameshs parentage made
him three-quarters deity. After the death of his close friend, Enkidu, the mighty
Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, despaired of his own death and sought a plant which
would make him immortal. To do this he had to travel to Utnapishtim, who
lived across the Sea of Death. Even though Gilgamesh retrieves the plant, in
the end he does not use it, and retains his mortality18.
While it is not explicit, we may find concealed in this story an ancient
initiatory path. Seen as such, Enkidu, who is the archetypal Wild Heardsman,
acts as one of Gilgameshs initiators. It is Enkidu who introduces Gilgamesh to
the mysteries of death. Utnapishtim acts as a second initiator then. He
introduces Gilgamesh to the mysteries of life, which ultimately Gilgamesh is
not ready for.
9. This section includes both Greek and British mythology. Chronos is
chained by his son Zeus, at the outermost edge of the world on the Isles of the
Blest. These Isles are associated with the British Isles. Because of this act, the
British Isles are said to have become a place where the veil between this world
and the Otherworld is thin and easily passed19. Otherworld refers to the
mythological Celtic realm where the Mysteries of the Isles are kept. The beings
of the Otherworld are gods and fairies. Many of the heroes of Welsh and Irish
mythology also travel there. All of these beings travel between the worlds, but
rarely stay in one or the other.
10. This is a summery of the first and second Battles of Moytura, which
can be found in the Irish Book of Invasions. The concept of the mystical
Sovereignty of a place, represented by the genus loci, has a long history in both
Welsh and Irish mythology and mystical practice. This subject is explored indepth by Caitln Matthews in her books Mabon and the Mysteries of Britain
and Arthur and the Sovereignty of Britain.

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11. Here we briefly mention the Norse gods. Until the 20th century, with
the Nordic mysticism of Hitler and the later creation of the neo-pagan religion
of Asatru (which has nothing to do with Hitler), the mythologies surrounding
this area largely passed by the Western Mystery Tradition. Most of the focus
on Northern mythology has been on the Celts.
12. This point introduces the mythologies of ancient Egypt, focusing on
what is probably one of the most well known stories, that of the death of Osiris.
13. Here Osiris takes up the role of the Dying God, made famous by the
works of Sir James Frazer. The theme of the Dying God is ancient and can be
seen in cultures all over the world, the latest version of which is the Christos,
or Jesus the Christ. While these two versions of the Dying God myth are quite
distinct, they both fall under the Way of Sacrifice and thus have more in
common that might be visible on the surface20. It is interesting to note that the
Golden Dawn and its Inner Order, the Rosae Rubae et Aurae Crucis, use both
deities to express this Path of Return.
It is from the black soil that the Nile river brings to Egypt every year
that Egypt was given the name Kemet, which means black earth. The
mythology here states that when Set dismembered Osiris he threw his genitals
into the Nile, and they were eaten by a fish. It is through the life giving potency
of Osiris that the Nile generated the black, life giving soil. However, because
Isis could not find Osiris genitals he could not be fully restored to the land of
the living. Instead he became King of the Underworld, the Taut.
14. A recount of part of Exodus.
15. This is part of the story of Hermes Trismigistus, from whom the
term hermetics is derived, along with the Greek god of the same name. It was
Artapanus, a Jewish writer in the second-century B.C.E. who placed the life of
Hermes during the time of Moses, who is called Mosheh in Hebrew.
The mythology of Trismigistus, which means Thrice-Grand, is mixed and
very long. Over time Trismigistus, which I will use to differentiate between
him and the god Hermes proper, was given the properties of the Egytpian god
Djehuti (Thoth), the Greek Hermes; who had long been associated with
Djehuti, and the Roman Mercury. These associations made Trismigistus the
one who invented hieroglyphics as well as a mighty magician and sage.
Eventually Trismigistus is identified with both of these gods, becoming truly
immortal and timeless21.
16. The Art of Kemet is one translation of the word alchemy; al-chemy.
17. Ur was located just West of the Euphrates river, near where the
Tigris and Euphrates join and go into the Persian Gulf. It is from here that
Abram, whos name is later changed to Abraham in Genesis, originated from.
Abrahams Mesopotamian heritage may explain the many parallels between
Akkadian mythology and that which is in the Book of Genesis, as Abraham, or
the group of people which he may represent, would have been extremely
familiar with the religion of the area. The myths of the Hebrews likely
evolved from its Akkadian roots through cultural exchanges as the Hebrews
traveled throughout the ancient Middle East.

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18. The Mil is a figure from Irish mythology. He plays no role in the
stories associated with his children, instead the Mil seems to have already
gained his fame and power. The wife of the Mil, is said, in the Book of
Invasions, to be the daughter of the king of Egypt. The Mils sons are the
mythological conquerors of Ireland, taking the land away from the Tuatha de
Dannan. These entitieswere relagated to the role of the sidhe, or faire folk. The
Celtic Sovereignty involves the spirit of the land, represented by any number of
women and goddesses in Irish and Welsh mythology. Sovereignty chooses a
particular person who is united with the land and its people on a mystical level
to be the guardian and ruler of the land. In this case it is Aimairgin, a great
bard, who achieves this through his poetry. It is because he has gained
Sovereigntys cooperation that humanity is able to conquer the Tuatha de
Dannan and inhabit the land.
19. See point 15.
20. The Egyptian mystery religions were extremely popular in ancient
Greece. The Samothracian mysteries revolved around the goddess Hekete, a
goddess of the Underworld and of magic, and the three Kabiri of Lemnos;
Axieros, Axiokersos, and Axiokersa are also prominent. A fourth, kasmilos, is
murdered; Kasmilos22. The story of Kasmilos has many parallels with that of
the Masonic story of Hiram Abif. Hiram was one of the Master Masons in
charge of the building of Solomons Temple. He is later slain by three other
masons, much like Kasmilos is slain by the three other Kabiri.
21. Here is the beginning of the 500 years of the so-called Pax
Romana. The Roman Emperors, were worshipped as gods, in a manner similar
to the Egyptian Pharaohs. These Emperors conquered most of the known world
by the time of Jesuss birth. Julius Caesar conquered Gaul, and many Roman
era buildings, foundations, and even cities still stand in England.
22. This is the story of the founding of ancient nations of Israel and
Judea, on the shores of the Dead Sea. In the Hebrew Bible David is forbidden
by God to build the Temple. During this time the Ark of the Covenant resides
in its Tabernacle. It is not until Solomon, Davids son, is king that the first
Temple is built23.
Solomon is the reputed author of a number of grimoires; books of
magic spells and talismans. The most famous of these are the Lemegeton,
containing the infamous Goetia, and the Greater Key of Solomon.
23. Herod features in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament,
and generally malevolent in both books. While Herod was not directly
responsible for building the second temple, he participated in its 500 year
building program. His own contribution was to rebuild the faade of the
Temple so that it once again appeared like the original Temple.
24. The term Jew is derived from Judea, one of the two kingdoms
which would go to make up Israel. Eventually Judea fell but the term lingered.
The Law refers to Torah, the five books of Moses. The literal translateion is
law.
25. The word tradition important and goes back to Qabalah, which
means tradition Merkavah mysticism is derived directly from the Vision of

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Ezekial. In this vision he sees the Throne of God and the four living creatures,
the chayoth, later identified as kerubim, before it. The fragments of this
tradition exist in Hebrew mystical literature from the first century B.C.E.
through to the 10th century C.E.24.
The method used by the Merkavah mystic, to ascend to the Throne of
God, is remarkably similar to what we now know as skrying or astral
projection. The mystic would traverse through seven temples in a trance-like
state. Every temple had eight guards. Each guard had to be neutralized with a
Name of power or a seal for the mystic to continue25. In astral projection one
may need to test and conversely pass the tests, of various spirits in order to
further progress into the inner planes.
Even those who are capable of making the ascent will not necessarily
survive the attempt, especially if the aspirant is unprepared or unworthy26.
It should be noted that Merkavah mysticism differs from standard
mysticism, in that the mystic does not attempt to gain direct gnosis of the
divine. Instead the goal is the contemplation of the body of the divine upon its
throne.
26. The Philosophy of Oracles is better known as the Chaldaean
Oracles. These were written by Julian the Theurge in the second century C.E.,
though they are often attributed to the Persian mystic Zoroaster. Iamblichus of
Chalcis would later attempt to use the Oracles to support a religion of his
invention by presenting them as the actual religious texts of ancient Chaldea27.
Besides these texts by Julian, real Chaldaean writings would be used
throughout history. There is evidence of an 11th century archbishop making use
of Chaldaean theurgy to summon demons28. In the 19th century the Golden
Dawn would use passages from the Chaldaean Oracles in its 3=8 and 4=7
rituals of Practicus and Philosophus.
27. This point starts the story of Joshuah, who was called Jesus in
Greek. In the canonical Gospels of Matthew and of Luke we are given Jesus
lineage29. These trace Jesus back to king David. This is included to further
credit the claim that Jesus fulfills the prophecy in the Hebrew Bible of the
coming of the Messiah.
28. The various acts and feats of Jesus, depicted in the New Testament
are akin to those of many other magicians during the time, and are similar to
the feats of Moses. Jesus is unique in his selfless attitude towards his abilities;
he does not perform them for his own fame but for the sake of others.
The phrase Son of God is occasionally cited to show that Jesus is
accepted as God. This is a common phrase in Judaism. This title can be found
in the Hebrew Bible to refer to a number of kings and prophets. Conversley,
the term Son of Man was not widely used and seems to be an epitaph unique
to Jesus.
As previously stated, the Path of Return attributed to Jesus is that of the
Dying God or the Way of Sacrifice. While the Gospels differ on many points
about the life and ministry of Jesus this is perhaps the one thing they do agree
on. What makes Jesus specific form of magical-mysticism a Path of Return, as
opposed to a form of enlightenment specific to the man Jesus is his assurance

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that his enlightened state can be gained by his followers. He preached that by
following him one can know God. Everything that he has done we shall be able
to do, and more30. By following his Path of Return to the end Jesus would have
achieved God-head. One following Jesus path would, presumably, experience
a similar kind of gnosis of the Higher.
29. Jesus message and Path is continually rejected by his
contemporaries. This rejection by both the Jews and Roman hierarchy leads to
Jesus eventual death. Three of the four canonical gospels also tell of his
resurrection. This resurrection which parallels the Hebrew patriarch Enoch,
who walked with God; and he was not, for God took him31. Jesus is accepted
by his followers to be an aspect of God. Enoch is considered to have become
the archangel Metatron, who is the Voice of God32.
30. This passage refers to more than just the New Testament. Over the
last 60 years discoveries such as those at Qumran and the Nag Hamaddi have
given us many, more writings attributed to Jesus and his disciples.
As previously discussed, Jesus states Truly, truly, I say to you, he who
believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these
will he do, because I go to the Father33. It is not a coincidence that this
passage occurs in the Gospel of John, which is thought to be Gnostic in nature.
The teaching of many Gnostic sects read is that it is unnecessary to go through
a priest to achieve gnosis of God. Only belief in Jesus is necessary.
31. The Second Temple is destroyed in 70 C.E.. Jesus makes a number
of predictions about this in the various Gospels, and it did occurs
approximately 30 years after Jesus crucifixion. Jesus is now referred to as the
Christos, which means anointed. Jesus anointing occurs before his death.
The term is being used here to differentiate between Jesus before his
crucifixion and after his resurrection and ascension.
32. The Cult of the Dying God, as well as the Path of Return associated
with it, has already been discussed.
The old images referred to are those of Isis and the baby Horus. It can
be seen that many of Marys attributes are derived from goddesses of an earlier
period, one example is the doves of Aphrodite. Her image is also derived from
older sources. The first churches and images dedicated to Mary were originally
dedicated to Isis. The Marian title the theotokos or Mother of God, was also
originally applied to Isis34.
33. History shows us that Christianity spread quickly once it was no
longer persecuted by the Romans. The ecumenism of the early Church fathers
helped them to create a religion and iconography from that which was already
familiar to the practitioners of the prevalent religions of the time. An example
of this has been discussed above in the use of Isis imagery for Mary.
The two cults discussed here, Christos as Man and Christos as God,
refer to the sects which would become the Catholic Church and the Gnostics.
The appellations are meant to refer to where these sects put the emphasis in the
mythology surrounding Jesus. The central aspect of the Jesus myth to the
Catholic Church, and especially to Paul, is Jesus having been born a human.
The Gnostics emphasis was on Jesus as God They claimed that it was simply

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a man who died upon the cross and not the Christos, who was God. God cannot
be killed in any way.
34. The old teachings referred to in this point are not Christian texts,
rather the classical writings of the Greek philosophers and the supposedly
ancient Gnostic writings. These Gnostic works were attributed to Hermes
Trismigistus, and include the Corpus Hermeticum, which was actually written
in the first century C.E.
The differences between the proto-Catholic Church and the Gnostic
teachings go beyond their views of Jesus. The end goal of the Christos Path of
Return is also different. The goal of the Church was a place in Gods kingdom
after the Apocalypse, commonly denoted as going to heaven. The Gnostics
placed emphasis gaining direct knowledge of deity, the process of gnosis, thus
becoming like Jesus and God.
35. By the fourth century C.E. the early Catholic Church had gained the
endorsement of the Roman Emperor and his court. In 325 C.E. the church
council at Nicea developed the creed which is still used, in an only slightly
modified form, by the Catholic Church. With the Creed the doctrine of the
Trinity becomes dogma.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
36. With the fall of the second Temple priestly Judaism ceased to exist.
Eventually Rabbinic Judaism form in its place and exists to this day.
37. The Book of Illumination, or the Bahir, is one of the oldest texts
which is considered part of the Qabalistic tradition. Previous texts represent
other forms of Jewish mysticism, such as Merkavah mysticism35. It is in this
book that the structure of the Tree of Life first appears. The later Qabalistic
masterpiece, the Zohar, contains a great deal of commentary and expansion
upon topics discussed in the Bahir.
38. The religion of Islam is founded in 622 C.E.. Mohammed, then a
camel herder, received from the archangel Gabriel what would later be known
as the Koran. Today Islam is one of the worlds largest religions.
39. Our attention returns to the British Isles. The Cymric lands are what
is today commonly known as Wales. Bran is a Welsh god, who is of giant
stature. In the Welsh Mabinogion Bran sacrificed himself so that the
sovereignty of Wales, and the entirety of Britain, would be secure. He
accomplishes this by having his head cut off. This head retains the ability to
speak, and is buried under White Tower, in London, facing France. It was said
that as long as the head remained there Britain would remain safe. When
Arthur ascended the throne as a Pendragon, he dug up Brans head, stating that
he should be the only one to protect Britains Sovereignty36. Pendragon is the
title given to the king of the land, who rules under Sovereignty. The Line of the
Pendragons is discussed in detail in Caitln Matthews Mabon and the

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Mysteries of Britain: An Exploration of the Mabinogion. Myrddin is the Welsh


name for Merlin, the famous shaman/magician.
40. This is a mix of mythology and popular misconception. When
exactly the Druids disappeared is unknown. Numerous authors state that when
Christianity first came to the Isles the Druids welcomed it and worked along
side of it. With Saint Patrick however this began to change and the authority of
the Christ was exerted over that of the old gods. This information, however,
may not be accurate. Evidence shows that early Celtic Christianity detested
paganism and actively worked to destroy anything that hinted of it37. In the 18th
and 19th centuries when a highly Christianized form of Druidry was being
developed that the above history was fabricated to make Druidry appear to be a
pre-Christian Christian religion.
The Cauldron of the Goddess, of which there are many different
versions in both Welsh and Irish mythology, is considered to be a prototype of
the later Christian Holy Grail , which was alternatively Jesus cup at the last
supper or the cup in which his blood was caught when he was crucified38. This
was said to have then been brought to Glastonbury, in Britain, by Joseph of
Arimathea and his group of early Christian followers. Another Grail legend is
that it was retrieved by Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, from the Garden
of Eden39.
41. The legends surrounding Arthurs death show that he returned some
of the Hallows; the sacred items of the Sovereignty of the land, back to their
keeper. Most notably we find the returning of his sword, Excalibur, to the Lady
of the Lake. Arthurian legend holds that Arthur did not die of his wounds but
was taken to Avalon where he was healed. It is said that he now waits in
Avalon until the time when he is needed again in the world.
42. This is the time up to the Crusades of the Catholic Church. During
this period, and later in the middle ages, the Church accepted some of the
teachings which came out of classical Greece and Rome, such as the
philosophies of Aristotle and Plato. Anything which was unacceptable,
however, was destroyed40. At the same time, Islam was spreading. Islamic
scholars had a great respect for teachings older than their own and many of the
ancient texts were translated into Arabic. It is from these translations that we
have most of our knowledge about the ancient Greek philosophers.
43. History tells us that many people in Christian Europe believed that
the new millennium, the year 1001, would bring with it the apocalypse
promised in the Bible. With the spread of the Plague this seemed to be true. In
retrospect, of course, we can see that it was not the case.
The first Crusade against the Muslims, who now controlled the Holy
Land, began in 1096. There was a total of seven campaigns (not including the
Peasants Crusade and the Childrens Crusade), the last in 124841.
44. The history of the Knights Templar is well documented. The
Templars were formed at the end of the first Crusade. Nine nobles were
encamped at the corner of the stables of the Temple of Jerusalem. The nobles
were lead by Hugh de Payens, their first grand master. They were made an
official part of the Church Militant with the aid of Bernard of Clairvaux42.

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45. Part of the Templar myth is that the group of original nine nobles
found something buried at the Temple site. Theories abound as to what it may
have been; anything from a talking head to the ark of the covenant, or hidden
scrolls with the true teachings of Jesus on them. Some modern Templar
speculators believe that whatever was found in the Temple was taken to
Rosslyn, in Scotland before the demise of the Order43.
Instead of these theories, we have chosen to follow the lead of Melita
Denning and Osborne Phillips of the Aurum Solis. Denning and Osborne, in
Foundations of High Magick, claim that what the Templars found in the site
was information on the Ogdoadic tradition. This tradition stems from the
traditions of Byzantium and the Near and Middle East and means pertaining
to the number eight44. The authors believe that the Templars, in adopting an
eight-pointed star as their symbol later in the history of the Order, points to
their initiation into the Ogdoadic tradition45.
46. In 1307 Philip the IV of France had all of the Templars of the
French Order rounded up and imprisoned on various, largely fictitious charges.
By this time the Templars had grown in both size and power. They had become
so powerful that they could defy anyone but the Papal throne itself46.
Regardless which version of history one would like to believe about what
happened to the Templars after the suppression, all of them assert that some of
the Templar mysteries survived the Orders destruction.
47. The Zohar, or the Book of Enlightenment, was written at the end of
the 13th century by Moses de Leon. Exactly where de Leon received the
information that is contained in the Zohar is unknown. De Leon claimed that
he copied the Zohar from an ancient source. There is evidence, within the text
of the Zohar, that de Leon was an initiate of the Bahir47. It is also believed that
some of it came through automatic writing48, which may very well have
appeared to be a true transmission from the Divine.
48. During this general time period another event significant to the
WMT mythology occurred. During the 14th century, Christian Rosenkreuz, the
mythological founder of the Rosicrucians, is said to have been born. Christian
Rosenkreuz, is called Father C.R.C. in the Fama Fraternitatis49, the first of the
Rosicrucian manifestos that appeared in Germany in the early 17th century. His
history his told in both the Fama and the Confessio Fraternitatis[50]. It is not
until the third Rosicrucian tract, The Chemical Wedding of Christian
Rosenkruetz, was published in 1616 that the name Christian Rosenkreuz was
used. It is the belief of some authors that Christian Rosenkreuz and C.R.C.
refer to two different people. Doctor Paul Foster Case, in his True and Invisible
Rosicrucian Order explores the evidence to this theory. Case points out that
Johann Valentine Andreae has been identified as the author of the Chemical
Wedding, and that its style is different from the first two manifestos[51].
Christopher McIntosh refutes this in his Rosicrucians: The History, Mythology,
and Rituals of an Esoteric Order, however. He cites evidence that Andreae and
his friends where the source of the entire Rosicrucian myth[52]. The Rosicrucian
mythology, and its Path of Return which mimics the life of the Christos, has
become perhaps the most well known aspect of the WMT Countless occult

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and philosophical societies based upon Rosicrucianism have been formed.


Many of these still exist in the 20th century.
49. In the 15th century the Italian renaissance began. During this time a
new interest in architecture, art and science began. Also during this time the
Hermetic arts gained in popularity. They included magic and numerous forms
of mysticism, alchemy, astrology, and the so-called art of memory. It was
also during this time that the Corpus Hermeticum, written sometime before the
end of the third century C.E., and Gnostic texts, were translated into the
common languages.
50. Queen Elizabeth I came from the union of the Lancastrian and York
houses, both of whom laid claim to the throne of England during the War of
the Roses53. Elizabeth took for herself the symbol of the Red and White rose,
combining the imagery of both houses. Alchemically, however, this
represented the combination of the Blood and the Gluten and was symbolic of
the Great Work of the alchemists. While this may appear to be coincidence, it
is known that Elizabeth was sympathetic towards the occult movement. This
can be seen by her choosing as an adviser the alchemist-astrologer Doctor John
Dee.
51. Dee was truly a renaissance man. He was a student of mathematics,
philosophy, alchemy, astrology, and a number of other arts. Dee had the largest
library in the world during his time. He was also the author of many books
dealing with both the occult and mathematics.
52. Dee traveled extensively during his life time, and visited the courts
of a number of nobles. Dee, and his assistant Edward Kelley (sometimes
Kelly), received a corpus of esoteric wisdom by skrying through a shew stone.
This shew stone which was given to Dee by angels or spirits. Skrying is a
technique used by occultists that is a form of clairvoyance or far seeing. The
term would not have been used then and was coined at a later date. The skryer
looks into a spiritual realm to gain information. During these skryings Dee
came into contact with an angel called Ave. Through Ave Dee and Kelley
received what was to become the Enochian system of magic, which is said to
make use of the angelic language. While much of Dees library was lost in the
Great Fire, some of it still remains. Dees experiences with Enochian can be
found in his diaries, printed by Merric Casaubon in Dr. John Dees Actions
with Spirits.
53. In the early 17th century the first two Rosicrucian Manifestos were
published in Germany. These manifestos were previously discussed in point
48. They claim to represent a secret organization that had been in existence
since the 15th century and was coming back into the public view.
54. A number of influential scholars have been considered to have been
either Rosicrucians or heavily influenced by Rosicrucian doctrine. These
included John Dee, Ren Des Cartes, and Benedict Spinoza54. Many people,
past and present, have searched for the true Rosicrucian order. Others have
claimed to be part of that Order. However, there is a saying about Rosicrucians
that whoever claims aloud to be a Rosicrucian is not one.
55 The Masonic Grand Lodge of England was founded in 1717 There

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is evidence that Freemasonry existed in the middle of the 17th century.


Furthermore, there is evidence in Scotland that Freemasonry existed there in
1641. This is five years before any reference to Freemasonry in England has
been found55.
56. The history and mythology of Freemasonry has already been
discussed.
57. The Grand Lodge of England, which did much to formalize
Freemasonry, was founded on June 24th 1717, in London, at the Apple Tree
Tavern.
58. Freemasonry was not the only thing that originated in 1717. A few
months later John Toland brought together a number of neo-Druidic groves in
England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. This took place on September 22nd, also
in the Apple Tree Tavern. These groves came together to form the An Druidh
Uileach Braithreachas. This means the Druid Circle of the Universal Bond.
Many modern Druidic organizations can trace themselves to this group[56].
59. Iolo Morganwgs Barddas was published in 1862. However it had
influenced Druidic orders in unpublished forms since at least 1792[57]. This
work was instrumental in Druidry in Wales and England. Much of the Barddas
is considered to be forgery on Morganwgs part, information that is his own
and has no historical source58.
60. There are a number of Druidic orders in existence today. Many of
these can be found from the web page of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and
Druids59. For an in-depth look at the various types of Druidic orders, and their
lineage, see Druid Revival in Brittany, France and Europe, by Dr. Michel
Raoult60.
61. The Theosophical Society (T.S.), was founded in 1875 by Madame
Helena Petrova Blavatsky (H.P.B.) and Colonel Henry Olcott. The T.S. was
originally based on the WMT. H.P.B. claimed to have received her instructions
from Secret Chiefs. These were highly evolved spiritual entities, who said to
be charge of a secret Egyptian Order. H.P.B. and Colonel Olcott later
converted to Buddhism and brought the T.S. with them. At this point H.P.B.
contacted new Chiefs from the Orient. These were the Mahatmas Koot Hoomi,
Morya, and Djwal Khul. It is the opinion of Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero in
their History of the Golden Dawn61, that the Hermetic Order of the Golden
Dawn was founded in reaction to this change in direction of the T.S..
62. The history of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn has been
recorded by numerous authors . In short, a manuscript written in cipher was
obtained by Dr. William Wynn Westcott. Westcott was a coroner of the
Crown. He was also Supreme Magus of the Socitas Rosicruciana in Anglia
(Soc. Ros.), a Rosicrucian Masonic order. These were deciphered by S. L.
MacGregor Mathers, a young member of the Soc. Ros. The manuscript
contained the outline of a number of initiation rituals. These were expanded
into full rituals, grade material was written by Westcott and Mathers. They
were joined by Dr. William Robert Woodman, an elderly Freemason, and the
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was formed. A few years later Mathers
claimed to have come into contact with the Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn

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An Inner Order based upon Rosicrucian principles was founded, called the
Rosae Rubae et Aurae Crucis (R.R. et A.C.), or the Rose of Ruby and the
Cross of Gold. Anna Sprengel, Soror S.D.A., was a fictitious Rosicrucian
Adept from Germany created by Westcott to lend authority and lineage to the
Golden Dawn.
The creators of the Golden Dawn astutely synthesized mythology and
tradition. They combined, in one coherent system the Rosicrucian and
Samothracian mysteries, the Chaldaen Oracles, and Jewish mysticism and
other mythologies. These masters of amalgamation also interlaced Enochiana,
tarot, astrology and geomancy into the Golden Dawn system of magic.
63. The Golden Dawn ceased to exist in 1902-3. The Order had
changed its name to the Morgenrothe, due to an embarrassing and very public
court case the year before. The Morgenrothe later split into the Stella Matutina,
headed by the British Adepts, and the Alpha et Omega, lead by MacGregor
Mathers in Paris.
In 1912 one of the Chiefs of the Stella Matutina moved to New
Zealand. There he founded the Smaragdum Thalasses branch of that Order62.
See the numerous works by R.A. Gilbert for more of the history of the
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the R.R. et A.C. Today numerous
Golden Dawn organizations exist.
64. Aleister Crowley, nee: Edward Alexander, was a member of the
Golden Dawn and was initiated into the R.R. et A.C. by Mathers. Crowley left
or was expelled from the Order, depending on which sources one follows. In
1904, April 8-10, Crowley went to Cairo on his honeymoon in Cairo. Crowley
received what was later to be known as The Book of the Law or Liber Al vel
Legis. This book describes the coming of a new magical age, called the Aeon
of Horus. This new aeon was to replace the old Aeon of Osiris, which is
perhaps exemplified by the magic and philosophies of the Golden Dawn and
R.R. et A.C.. The magical Word of this Aeon is thelema, which means will
in Greek. This new doctrine, according to Crowley, replaces the Path of
Sacrifice which was used in the R.R. et A.C. There is extensive controversy
over the authenticity of the Book of the Law. Many books have been written on
this subject as well as on Crowleys controversial life and work. There are two
main Thelemic organizations in existence today, the Ordo Templi Orientis and
the A:.A:.
Thus far the Historicus Verus of the Western Mystery Tradition.
The Western Mystery Tradition covers over 7000 years of human
history, extending virtually to the beginning of recorded history. The
mythology of the WMT, however, stretches back to the dawn of time and the
beginning of Creation. The WMTs lineage can be traced from ancient
Babylon and Sumeria, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Britain through to
renaissance Europe and Victorian England. The histories that have been
presented to the reader stop at the dawn of the 20th century. The Western
Mystery Tradition is a living tradition whos mythology and history continue

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to grow and change with the times. To this history could be added the
resurgence of paganism in Europe and the United States as well as the rebirth
of the Golden Dawn in America. Today there are many esoteric organizations
and magical religions which seem to change with every passing hour. In time
these too will be added to the mythology of the WMT, which continues to
grow.
Notes
1. Mathews, 1987.
2. Gen 1:6-8.
3. Arnold, 1997; Deurer, 1996.
4. Enuma Elish, IV:137-141.
5. Ibid, IV:137-141.
6. Ibid, VI:29-33.
7. Arnold, 1997.
8. Gen 1:26-31.
9. Matt, 1983. p 54-5.
10. Qabalah is an ancient Jewish mystical practice. Qabalistic texts can be found dating back to
the first century C.E..
11. Scholem, 1946. p. 21.
12. Gen 4:17-22.
13. Mackey, 1996. p. 19.
14. Gen 8:21.
15. Enuma Elish, VI: 81-91.
16. Prichard, 1958. p. 66.
17. Mathews, 1987. pp. 139-143.
18. Epic of Gilgamesh IX.
19. Matthews, 1987. pp.52-55.
20. Greer, 1998.
21. Genest, 1999.
22. Cranmer, 1999. pp. 85-6.
23. 1 Chron-2 Chron.
24. Scholem, 1946. p. 42.
25. Wilson, 1994. p.126.
26. Scholem, 1946. pp. 51-4.
27. Genest, 1999.
28. Ibid.
29. Mt 1:1-16, Lk 1:26-7.
30. Jn 14, 15, 16.
31. Gen 5:24.
32. Davidson, 1967. p. 192.
33. Jn 14:12.
34. Farrar & Farrar, 1987. p. 50.
35. Kaplan, 1979. p. ix.
36. Matthews & Matthews, 1995. p. 36.
37. Hutton, 1996. p 28-9.
38. Matthews & Matthews, 1995. p. 84-5.
39. Matthews, 1984. Pp.71-2.
40. Flowers, 1995.
41. Dafoe, 1997.
42. Ibid.
43. Knight & Lomas, 1997. pp. 382-419.

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44. pp. xcii-xxi.


45. Ibid. pp. xxvii-xxvviii.
46. Dafoe, 1997.
47. Matt, 1983. p. 3-5.
48. Ibid. p 27.
49. 1614.
50. 1614.
51. Case, p. 3.
52. Ibid. p. 19.
53. Denning & Phillips, 1974. pp. 129-30.
54. CR+C, 1998.
55. McIntosh, 1997. pp. 63-4.
56. Raoult, 1996, p. 105.
57. Ibid, 1996. 9 106.
58. Nichols,1990. p.272-3.
59. http://druidry.org/obod/text/links.html.
60. 1996.
61. Cicero & Cicero, 1997.
62. Ibid.

References
Abraham, Ralph (1997). John Dee Society. Retrieved from the Web 01/01/01.
http://www.johndee.org/
Arnold, April (1997). Ancient Egypt: the Mythology. Retrieved from the Web
on 01/03/01. http://www.egyptianmyths.com/
Case, Paul Foster (1981). True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order. York Beach,
Maine: Samuel Wesier, Inc.
Cicero, Chic & Cicero, Sandra Tabatha (1997). History of the Golden Dawn.
Retrieved from the Web on 01/16/01.
http://www.hermeticgoldendawn.org/GDhistory.htm
Cranmer, Steven (1999). Samothracian Fire. In Magical Pantheons: A Golden
Dawn Journal. 85-99. C. Cicero & and S. T. Cicero (Eds.) St. Paul,
Minneapolis: Llewellyn Publications.
Confraternity of the Rose and Cross (CR+C) (1998). The Rosicrucian Archive.
Retrieved from the Web 01/15/01. http://www.crcsite.org/
Cross, Tom Peete & Slover, Clark Harris; editors (1936). Ancient Irish Tales.
USA: Henry Hold and Company, Inc.
Dafoe, Stephen (1997). History and Mythos of the Knights Templar. Retrieved
from the web on 01/15/01. http://www.templarhistory.com
Davidson Gustav (1967) Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels

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Don Mils, Ontario, Canada: Free Press.


Denning, Melita & Phillips, Osborne (1974). Foundations of High Magic: The
Magical Philosophy. Edison, NJ: Castle Books.
Deurer, Richard (1996). Galleries of Ancient Egypt. Retrieved from the Web
on 01/03/01. http://members.aol.com/egyptart/
Farrar, Janet & Farrar, Stewart (1987). Witches Goddess. Custer, Washington:
Phoenix Publishing, Inc.
Flowers, Stephen Edred; editor (1995) Hermetic Magic-The Postmodern
Magical Papyrus of Abaris.York Beach, Maine: Samuel Wesier, Inc.
Gantz, Jeffrey; translator (1976). Mabinogion. London, England: Penguin
Books.
Genest, Jeremiah (1999). Secretum Secretorum: the Book of the Secret of
Secrets. Retrieved from the Web 12/21/00.
http://www.neaccess.net/~jbgenest/secretum/
Greer, John Michael (1998). Osiris and Christ. In Magical Pantheons: A
Golden Dawn Journal. 229-250. C. Cicero & S. T. Cicero (Eds.) St. Paul,
Minneapolis: Llewellyn Publications.
Hutton, Professor Ronald (1996). Who Possesses the Past? In Druid
Renaissance, 17-34. P. Carr-Gomm (Ed). Hammersmith, London, England:
Thorsons.
Kaplan, Aryeh (1979). The Bahir: Illumination. York Beach, Maine: Samuel
Wesier, Inc.
Mackey, Albert (1996). History of Freemasonry. Avenel, New Jersey:
Gramercy Books.
Mathers, S. L. MacGregor; translator (1968). Kabbalah Unveiled. York Beach,
Maine: Samuel Wesier, Inc.
Matthews, Caitln (1989). Arthur and the Sovereignty of Britain: King and
Goddess in the Mabinogion. London, England: Arkana.
Matthews, Caitln (1987). Mabon and the Mysteries of Britain: An Exploration
of the Mabinogion. London, England: Arkana.
Matthews John (1984) Temples of the Grail In At the Table of the Grail

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69-90. J. Matthews (Ed). London, England: Arkana.


Matthews, Caitln & Matthews, John (1995). British & Irish Mythology: An
Encyclopedia of Myth and Legend. Hammersmith, London, Breat Britain:
Diamond Books.
McIntosh, Christopher (1997). Rosicrucians: The History, Mythology, and
Rituals of an Esoteric Order. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, Inc.
Nichols, Ross (1990). Book of Druidry: History, Sites and Wisdom.
Hammersmith, London: Aquarian.
Pritchard, James B., editor (1958). Ancient Near East, Volume 1: An
Anthology of Texts and Pictures. USA: Princeton University Press.
Raoult, Dr. Michael (1996). Druid Revival in Brittany, France and Europe.
In Druid Renaissance 100-122. P. Carr-Gomm (Ed). Hammersmith, London,
England: Thorsons.
Scholem, Gershom (1946). Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism. New York:
Schoken Books.
Siren, Christopher (1992). Sumerian Mythology FAQ, V2. Retrieved from the
Web 01/03/01. http://pubpages.unh.edu/~cbsiren/sumer-faq.html
Vaughan, Thomas; translator (1652). Confessio Fraternitatis: Or the
Confession of the Laudable Fraternity of the Most Honorable Order of the
Rosy Cross, Written to All the Learned of Europe. Retrieved from the Web
01/01/01. http://www.hermeticgoldendawn.org/confesio.htm
Unknown (unknown). Enuma Elish (When Skies Above): The Babylonian
Creation Epic. Retrieved from the Web 12/21/00.
http://members.aol.com/kheph777/mideast/mythos/babylee.html
Vaughan, Thomas, translator (1652). Fama Fraternitatis: Or a Discovery of the
Fraternity of the Most Laudable Order of the Rosy Cross. Retrieved from the
Web 01/01/01. http://www.hermeticgoldendawn.org/fama.htm
Various (1974). Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version. New York: Meridian.
Wilson, George (1994). The Evolution of the Medieval Kabbalistic Worldview. In Golden Dawn Journal, Book 2: Qabalah: Theory and Magic. 119-154.
C. Cicero & S. T. Cicero (Eds.).

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by Soror G.

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Glossary of Commonly Used Terms in the Western Mystery Tradition


The Ideas - The Issues - The Personalities - The Controversies

Compiled by Alex Sumner


Magic is both an art and a science, and like the conventional Arts and
Sciences, it has a vast array of technical terms that will bamboozle the casual
observer. It should be remembered that for the most part of its history, the
Western Mystery Tradition (WMT) developed in secrecy: hence, its
practitioners did not want to explain themselves to the general public anyway.
It should also be remembered that until the 19th Century, the WMT
did not really have any contact with oriental religions or philosophies such as
Buddhism, Yoga, Taoism, etc. If it had, a number of concepts might have
been explainable by comparison to these foreign idioms. As it were, the ideas
that made up the WMT were left in an abstruse state, for lack of vocabulary.
Therefore, when one begins to study the WMT, one finds a vast
number of words and phrases that are not used in everyday English.
Moreover, a casual reader might not be aware that many of these terms refer
to issues of great controversy within the WMT and not just as to
interpretation of meaning. It must be admitted that the WMT contains more
than its fair share of argument and schism.
This Glossary is a collection of the terms most useful for beginning
to study the WMT. However, as I review what I have written, I realise a
beginning is all that it can be. This whole Glossary is written with the
assumption that if the student wants more in-depth information, he will go
and seek it out for himself. A Bibliography is included at the end - all of these
books I have read myself, in the course of my own sojourn in the WMT, by the
way - but there are also many more titles of relevance to the WMT even
though they didnt figure in the writing of this glossary.
Unlike the other articles in this edition, this glossary is meant to be
exactly that: a glossary, or dictionary of the relevant terms. Having adopted a
dictionary style it may not make sense to read it straight through like a
book, though it will be helpful as a ready-reference, into which to dip from
time to time as the need arises.
It is above all a Key - with which the reader can unlock the door to
further study. The reader will find that if there is any lingering doubt as to a
given term, he will have enough references with which to carry on his own
research into the topic.
Note the use of bold type - this refers to other entries within this
glossary. Also, please bear in mind that this is meant to fit in with the theme
of this issue of the JOURNAL OF THE WESTERN MYSTERY TRADITION,
which is of Introducing the Western Mystery Tradition. The reader can rest
assured that topics to be covered in future issues (e.g. Divination), will be
covered in far greater detail in those issues anyway.
Alex Sumner,
March 2001.
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The Glossary

A
These three dots, hereinafter written .. are a form of ellipsis from
Freemasonry. Technically, they refer to someone or some organisation that
has the secrets of a Master Mason. Hence, a 3rd Degree Mason might style
himself Bro.. John Smith, whilst the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
might be abbreviated A.. and A.. S..R... A number of hermetic (see
Hermeticism) organisations have, quite presumptuously in some cases,
adopted the use of .. even though they cannot in any sense really be Masonic.
A..A..
Occult order founded by Aleister Crowley, supposedly named after the fabled
Rosicrucian Third Order (see Rosicrucianism). A..A.. is commonly
thought to stand for Astrum Argentum (Silver Star) but Lon Milo
Duquette, the noted Thelemite, has denied this. Not to be confused with the
OTO, which is also associated with Crowley.
Abramelin (Sacred Magic of)
The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage is a mediaeval
grimoire that is now widely available in an edition translated and edited by S.
L. Macgregor Mathers. It was made famous by Crowley, who borrowed its
central concept of attaining Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy
Guardian Angel as the basis for the whole work of the Adept. The main
challenge is to perform the Abramelin Operation, a six-month period of
seclusion, meditation and asceticism, in order to contact the Holy Guardian
Angel, and thereafter compel the obedience of all the demons of Hell.
Adept
An Adept may loosely be described as someone who is an expert in magic. In
several magical orders such as the Golden Dawn and A..A.. it has the
specific meaning of someone initiated into Tiphereth, which is at the centre of
the Tree of Life. In the Golden Dawn, an Adept is expected to invoke his or
her Higher Genius or Neshamah, to unite the Higher and Lower Wills to
manifest the True Will, and to expel Qlippothic forces from the Nephesh
into the Evil Persona (rather like the Shadow in Jungian theory) whilst
maintaining control over the same. The same process is more prosaically
called in the A..A.. Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian
Angel. See also Abramelin.
Aeon of Isis/ Osiris/ Horus/ Maat/ etc.
Crowleys view of the development of civilisation, religion, and magic. He
referred to the ancient era of Matriarchal Society and Goddess worship as the

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Aeon of Isis (after the Mother Goddess of Egyptian Mythology); and the
period dating from the rise of the Osiris cult to immediately before Crowleys
reception of the Book of the Law as the Aeon of Osiris. He further claimed
that the new Aeon, of which he was the Prophet, was that of Horus, whilst the
next one would be of Maat.
Age of Aquarius / Pisces / etc.
The point at which the Sun crosses the celestial equator on March 23rd each
year seems to be travelling backwards through the Zodiac. This is known as
the Precession of the Equinoxes. Although it is called the First point of
Aries it is currently in the western end of the constellation of Pisces.
Astrologers refer to the period of time in which the Spring Point remains in
a given constellation (which is at least several thousand years) as the Age of
, and engage in a lot of speculation as to what we can expect in the
different ages. In terms of pure Astronomy, the Age of Aquarius will begin
(and that of the present, Pisces, end) in around 800 years time. However some
bright spark realised that by taking a more astrological viewpoint, the Age of
Aquarius could actually be beginning about now. This has given rise to the
concept of the New Age.
Akasha
Sanskrit: Space - used in Madame Blavatskys
Theosophy to translate the old-fashioned idea of the
Ether of the Physicists, and in the Golden Dawn to refer
to the mysterious Fifth element or Levis Astral Light.
Akasha is the substance of which minds or thoughts are
composed, giving rise to the idea of the Akashic
Records. It is also the Spirit that animates the grosser
Matter of the other four Elements.

Akashic Records
The idea that the Akasha, being some kind of mind or thought substance,
receives the imprint of every memory that has ever been experienced. Hence,
it is possible to recover otherwise unobtainable details from the past, such as
ones own (or someone elses) past lives. The idea of the Akashic Records
seems to derive from Helena Blavatskys Theosophy, though there is
evidence that a similar concept does exist in Yoga.
Alchemy
Mediaeval precursor of Chemistry, Alchemy concentrated on turning base
metals into gold. Nowadays it is generally considered that the vocabulary of
Alchemy really consists of metaphors for Spiritual Initiation, an idea Carl
Jung incorporated into Analytical Psychology. Some schools of thought hold
that Alchemy is a metaphor for Sex Magic.

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Astral Projection
Psychic phenomenon in which one deliberately attempts to experience ones
consciousness as outside or separate from ones physical body. Has variously
been described as like lucid dreams (Dion Fortune), Travelling in the
Spirit Vision (the Golden Dawn), OOBE or Out of the Body
Experience (miscellaneous). Many Occultists recommend that the
practitioner develop the ability to project astrally in order to gain the faculty
of Clairvoyance, and to perform magic generally.
Astrology
From ancient until mediaeval times astrology was thought to be the study of
the actual universe, which incorporated divinatory principles and ideas drawn
from classical mythology. Nowadays it is mainly a method of Divination,
though it is also a convenient framework in which to classify a host of other
magical practices, and may therefore by usefully studied in order to shed light
on a wide number of features of the WMT.
Aurum Solis
A non-Rosicrucian magical order, founded in 1897, which is nowadays most
known through the writings of Osborne Phillips and the late Melitta Denning.
Based on Neoplatonism, Theurgy, the Greek Mysteries, and Hermetic
Qabalah, it covers much the same ground as the Golden Dawn (amongst
other occult orders), though in a somewhat idiosyncratic style. Although most
of its rituals have been published, the actual Order itself is a private affair, to
which admittance is only gained through invitation.

B
Builders of the Adytum (BOTA)
Magical order founded by Paul Foster Case (left), after he
was forced to leave the AO (Alpha et Omega - an offshoot of
the Golden Dawn). Similar to that organisation, with a
strong emphasis on the Tarot, and a system of cosmology
known as the Cube of Space, but pointedly steering clear
of Enochian Magick. Case founded BOTA after allegedly
meeting one of the Masters, a certain Rakocsi, in a New
York hotel room.

C
Clairvoyance
Clear Seeing - the ability to psychically obtain visions and hence
supposedly reliable information The actual method used might be similar to
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Astral Projection, or the seer may experience an array of mental images


without any sensation of being out of the body (e.g. Skrying). Clairvoyance
is used by numerous magical orders in order to investigate, for example,
magical symbols, or to supposedly contact the dead (see Mediumship), or to
view real-life locations (Remote Viewing).

D
Demons and Daemons
Though spelt similarly, and indeed the former is derived from the latter, these
two words have vastly different meanings to the Occultist. A Demon is an
) simply meant spirit
evil spirit, but originally Daemon (Greek:
and could well include benevolent spirits and even angels. It may be the case
that many so-called Demons listed in grimoires were originally either good
or morally neutral Daemons, the memory of whom was corrupted perhaps
by time, or perhaps by the prejudices of the grimoire writers.
Divination
The principle that an arbitrary set of circumstances (e.g. the positions of stars
in the sky at ones birth, a random dealing of Tarot Cards, etc.) can suggest to
the diviner the hidden background of a given event and its likely outcome.
Occultists believe that Divination is not Fortune Telling - the latter is
hopelessly fatalistic, but the former allows for the existence of free will.
Divination is seen as a prediction of what will happen if the querent does
nothing to avert the consequences. Common methods of Divination include
(but are not limited to) Astrology, Geomancy, the Tarot, and the I Ching.

E
Elements
Before the Elements of modern chemistry became widely known, it was
believed that all matter consisted of mixtures of Fire, Water, Air and Earth.
This idea, which originated with Plato, permeates the whole WMT, though
nowadays occultists do not claim that the Four Magical Elements are the
same as their physical counterparts. Note that in occultism there are really
five elements - the fifth element (literally quintessence) being Spirit (see
Akasha).

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Enochian Magick
Discovered by Dr John Dee (right) and Sir Edward
Kelley, this is an idiosyncratic form of magick that
bears few similarities to any other kind of ceremonial
magick in sixteenth century England. The name
enochian derives from the fact that Dee and Kelley
said that they were given this system by angels who
had also been in contact with the antediluvian patriarch
Enoch. There is very little information as to what
Enochian Magick actually does. Dee himself believed
it was for discovering the esoteric secrets of Nature. However, it has been
reported to be unusually potent in that effects can be achieved without effort.
Individuals and groups known to have made use of Enochian Magick include
the Golden Dawn, the Aurum Solis, and Aleister Crowley.
Evocation
Literally meaning Calling out, it is the practice of using some form of
magick (e.g. Ceremonial) to cause a Spirit to appear either physically or
clairvoyantly. (Compare with invocation, where the spirit is invited to
possess the magician.) Evocation is appropriate where the spirit is malign,
unpleasant, or simply of a nature wholly unsuited to being invoked (e.g. an
elemental).

F
Freemasonry
A fraternity, which in modern days is increasingly shaking off its reputation
for secrecy, founded on the notion that the architecture of a church (typically
Solomons Temple) is a metaphor for the architecture of the Soul and mans
relationship with God. The founders of many occult organisations (e.g. the
Golden Dawn) were themselves Freemasons and seem to have modelled
their modi operandi along Masonic lines. Freemasonry has been a consistent
benefactor of charities as well as a social organisation for its members - but it
has also attracted criticism (and jealousy) on the grounds that it encourages
unethical preferential treatment in business and public life. There have also
been a number of sinister allegations made about Masonic activity, some of
which are more dubious than others (such as the much criticised The
Brotherhood by the late Stephen Knight).

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G
Gematria
A form of Qabalistic numerology. Before Hindu-Arabic numbers became
used in the West, numbers were represented in Hebrew by assigning numeric
values to the letters of the alphabet, e.g. (Aleph) =1, (Beth) =2, etc. Hence,
a word in Hebrew can theoretically have a numerical value - the sum of the
value of the various letters. What the Qabalists did was to say that different
words with the same numerical value are somehow related - exactly how was
a matter for meditation. For example, both Nachash,

, the Serpent of

Moses, and Messiach


(Messiah or Christ) have a numerical value of
358 (c.f. John 3:14-15). Further examples can be found in Sepher Sephiroth
by Aleister Crowley.
Geomancy
Literally meaning Earth Divination, it is a method of divination that
involves using a series of random marks on paper (or more appropriately, a
tray of consecrated Earth) to generate sixteen Geomantic Characters (each of
which will be one of sixteen different combinations). These characters, as
well as having their own meanings, are also interpreted in a manner
approximating Astrology. Geomancy is used in, e.g., the Golden Dawn.
Gnosticism
From Greek gnosis (knowledge), this is a general term for a number of
philosophies or religions that existed in the few centuries immediately before
and after the birth of Christ. Their common features include a belief in two
Gods: one who created the world of Spirit (the Logos), the other who
created the world of Matter (the Demiurge). Also, Gnosticism emphasised a
return to the world of Spirit by a process of mystical knowledge (i.e. Gnosis),
and a belief in Reincarnation. Unfortunately, most Gnostics, unlike
Neoplatonists (see Neoplatonism), believed that the Demiurge, and
consequently the world of matter, was evil - a view which encouraged elitism
and sexual repression, which seems to have carried over into nascent
Christianity.
Goetia
Greek Howling. As a general term, goetia refers to low magic (as
opposed to Theurgy), involving the Evocation of evil spirits in an attempt to
force them to fulfil ones material wishes. As a specific term, The Goetia is
a part of The Legemoton, or Lesser Key of Solomon - a grimoire (which
contains goetia) translated by Macgregor Mathers and edited by Aleister
Crowley, which proved to be the catalyst for their falling out.

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Golden Dawn
Probably the single-most influential magickal order in the WMT. The Golden
Dawn was originally founded by S. L. Macgregor Mathers, Wynn Westcott,
and William Woodman. It (publicly) started in 1887 in England, and broke up
sixteen years later in 1903. However, many of the surviving Adepts attempted
to carry on the tradition in their own orders with varying degrees of success,
and with varying degrees of co-operation with each other. The Golden Dawn
is best known today through the writings of Israel Regardie, Aleister
Crowley, and Dion Fortune. Golden Dawn magic is based on
Rosicrucianism, Hermeticism, the Qabalah, etc.

Grades
It is common for many orders to use a system of grades to denote the level of
achievement of its members. Rosicrucian-based orders follow a system
related to the ten Sephiroth of the Tree of Life. Grades have been used to
restrict the occult information that an order makes available to an individual,
supposedly only for didactic purposes. Grades have also been used to denote
supposed spiritual attainment - a practice that has given rise to much
controversy, both as to their meaning, and to whether any given person
deserves a particular grade.

H
Hermeticism
Named after Hermes Trismestigus, the supposed author of the Corpus
Hermetica and the Emerald Tablet, and equated with the Egyptian God
Thoth. Hermeticism is a kind of Alexandrian Gnosticism or Neoplatonism.
The rediscovery of the Corpus Hermetica in the middle ages directly inspired
Alchemy. Hermetic means pertaining to Alchemy: or, in modern terms,
using Ritual Magic in way that is based on Spiritual Alchemy.

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Holy Guardian Angel


Made famous by the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage,
invoking ones Holy Guardian Angel is in many magical systems (e.g. Bardon,
Crowley) the signature act of an Adept. The Holy Guardian Angel has been
compared to the Neshamah or Higher Genius by the Golden Dawn, and the
Higher Self of Theosophy by Dion Fortune. Ones Holy Guardian Angel is
generally considered to be the definitive agent by which the individual
achieves the highest spiritual attainment.
Hypnotism
Hypnotism is used to induce an altered state of consciousness in the Subject,
where suggestions can be made directly to that persons unconscious mind. It
may involve a combination of relaxation, visualisation and repetition
exercises, as well as a number of other techniques. There is an increasing
acceptance by students of the WMT that the various magical states of
consciousness (e.g. Astral Projection, Skrying etc) are in fact achieved by
self-hypnosis. Indeed, Franz Bardon recommended that his students learn a
form of hypnotism as part of their training. (See also Trances, and see
Mediumship / Spiritualism)

I
IAO
This is a divine name which crops up throughout the WMT: it occurs in the
Chaldean Oracles of Zoroaster, where it is a name of God, etymologically
similar to Jehovah. However, in some branches of Gnosticism, Iao is a
Serpent-like Archon, whose role it is to prevent people from attaining
enlightenment. In complete contrast, in the Golden Dawn, Iao is a divine
force associated with Tiphereth whose role it is to help people attain
enlightenment. According to the G..D.., Iao is a notarikon of YHVH
Eloah Vedaath (way or Yod(I) - Aleph(A) - Vau(O)) and an acronym of
Isis Apophis Osiris. To add to the confusion, the Aurum Solis states that
Iao is a lunar or Yesod deity, even though they still attribute YHVH Eloah
Vedaath to Tiphereth (For Yesod and Tiphereth see also Tree of Life).
Initiation
Many magical orders stress that an individual must undergo Initiation in order
to fully partake of certain esoteric teachings - the idea being that the teachings
should be kept secret from him or her until they are an initiate. In favour of
this theory is the argument that the Initiation ceremony confers a certain
subtle magical benefit not otherwise obtained by merely informing the
candidate of the desired matters. Against it are claims that some so-called
initiators are incompetent to initiate for one reason or another; or perhaps that

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some people have been able to use the teachings without having been
initiated; or that the ability to bestow or withhold Initiation has been abused
in the past by Order leaders to consolidate their power. (See also Grades).
Initiation, Line of
This is the theory that only a properly Initiated teacher can himself Initiate
others. It therefore follows that a genuine initiate should be able to show an
unbroken Line of Initiation, back to the original author of his or her tradition,
in much the same way that the Pope can trace the succession of his authority
right back to Saint Peter and even Christ Himself. Some magical orders have
deliberately faked their own origins to gain the prestige of a line of
initiation. A few others claim that success in magic is the only real measure
of worth.

K
Knights Templar
Formed at the time of the Second Crusade, this was an Order of Knights who
took vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. However, like other
mediaeval Monastic orders who took vows of poverty, the Templars became
very wealthy, incurring the jealousy of various European monarchs.
Allegations abounded that they worshipped a bearded figure called
Baphomet; practised black magic; etc. Their leader, Jacques De Molay, was
arrested after someone walked into their lodge and found it set up like a
modern Third Degree Masonic Ceremony. He was then tortured by being
Crucified and afterwards executed. The Templars seem to have inspired a
number of modern orders, such as Freemasonry, De Molay, the OTO, etc.

L
Lucid Dreams
A Psychic phenomenon in which one has the sensation of being aware that
one is asleep and dreaming, but without waking up. It is possible to train
oneself to dream lucidly almost at will, and to be able to consciously control
the content of ones dream. Various writers such as Dion Fortune, Ophiel,
Oliver Fox, et al., claim that Lucid Dreaming is actually a form of Astral
Projection.

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M
Magic
There is a lot of discussion as to what this actually is. It has variously been
described as controlling the secret forces of nature (Mathers), the art and
science of causing change in conformity with Will (Crowley) the Highest,
Most Absolute and most Divine Knowledge of Natural Philosophy (The
Goetia). The debate also includes what is the proper role of Magic, what is
the definition of White, Black and Grey Magick, etc. However, what is
expressly excluded from serious discussion of Magic in the WMT is that it
has anything to do with stage conjuring, la David Copperfield or Paul
Daniels, etc.
Magick
This is an old spelling of Magic revived in modern times by Aleister Crowley
to distinguish his system from stage conjuring. Apparently the k at the end,
in Crowleys view, stands for Kteis (Greek
) the female genitalia,
hence indicating the sexual undertone (or even overtone) of his system.
Magic, Black
Commonly defined as Magic using the aid of Demons (though not
Daemons). This is, however, an unsatisfactory definition, as a number of
schools of thought hold that controlling such spirits by appeal to Divine
forces is a necessary feature of ordinary Magic. A better definition would
simply be evil or immoral magic. Crowley defined it as anything falling
outside his conception of White Magick, which he defined so narrowly that
Black Magic could theoretically include acts which are perfectly moral and
beneficial. There is a large body of opinion that says that it is unhelpful to
ascribe either colour or morality to magic, as magic itself is just a tool.
Magic, Grey
This is a belt-and-braces term used in some quarters to describe any magical
act that is not exactly Black or White. For example, selfish spells which do
not affect others, morally neutral acts, acts that are mixed good and bad, or
even good acts which fall outside Crowleys strict definition of White Magic.
There is a large body of opinion that says that it is unhelpful to ascribe either
colour or morality to magic, as magic itself is just a tool.
Magic, White
Has variously been described as Magic using the aid of Angels and
benevolent spirits, or just simply Good Magic. Crowley defined it as the
raising of the whole man in an upward direction (i.e. upward on the Tree of
Life) thus limiting it very strictly to pure Theurgy Hence a magic spell to

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heal a diseased person, whilst being unambiguously moral, could be


considered Black Magic as it need not be connected with Theurgy per se.
There is a large body of opinion that says that it is unhelpful to ascribe either
colour or morality to magic, as magic itself is just a tool.
Masters
One of Blavatskys ideas in Theosophy was that there are hidden Masters,
superhuman or even god-like, who are guiding the evolution of humanity.
Dion Fortune claimed to have had a vision of two such Masters: Rakocsi
(who is apparently a reincarnation of both Christian Rosencreutz and Comte
St.Germain); and Jesus, who seems to have had His status updated by Fortune
to fit in with her beliefs. Aleister Crowley claimed that he himself was a
Master. (See also Builders of the Adytum, and Secret Chiefs).
Mediumship / Spiritualism
Originating in the 19th Century and gaining massive popularity after the First
World War, this is the idea that the spirits of the deceased contact the living
through the aid of psychically gifted people, typically to comfort the
bereaved. It is open to criticism on two accounts. First, it is argued that
although the Soul survives death and is reincarnated, the Personality per se
does not. Hence, any mediumistic contact is either bogus in some way, or
indicative that something is wrong. Secondly, the mediumistic trance is
condemned as being bad practice, as the passivity of the medium means there
is no qualitative discernment of any contacts that occur, leaving the medium
open to the influence of malign or dangerous spirits. (See also Trances and
Hypnotism.)
Mysticism
Generally speaking, a mental practice in which the mind is stilled so that it
experiences the highest and most abstract conception of Godhead or Ultimate
Reality free from any distracting thoughts whatsoever. Orthodox forms of
mysticism include the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, the Spiritual
Guide of Miguel De Molinos (Christian), the classical Qabalah (Judaism),
Sufism (Islam), Yoga, Buddhism, Zen, Taoism, etc. Heterodox forms include
Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Theurgy, the Hermetic Qabalah, etc.

N
Neo-paganism
Twentieth century phenomenon that has seen the revival of ancient Pagan
religions, such as the Greek Mysteries, the Egyptian Mysteries, the Norse
Religion of Asatru, Shamanism and Wicca. There is no doubt that this
upsurge in interest has been caused by the combined effects of the occult

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revival at the end of the 19th Century, the relaxation of out-of-date laws
against witchcraft in the 1950s, and the phenomenon of the so-called New
Age. The term neo-pagan, in contrast to pagan is also used by some
people to emphasise the fact that such beliefs are modern interpretations of
pagan traditions, and not necessarily a direct continuation thereof.
Neoplatonism
School of Greek philosophy dating from the third to fifth century AD. It
shares some ideas with Gnosticism in that it sees mans natural destiny as
attempting to return to the source of creation through either Mysticism or
Theurgy. Unlike Gnosticism, the Demiurge is not seen as evil, hence, neither
is the material universe, though it is admittedly imperfect. The two main
names in Neoplatonism (from an Occultists point of view) are Plotinus, who
favoured the Mystical approach, and Iamblichus, who favoured Theurgy.
Nephesh
, also transliterated as Nephesch. In the Qabalah, the Nephesh
Hebrew
consists of the animal part of a being, the physical and etheric bodies, and
the automatic consciousness (i.e. Unconscious). This, in contrast to the
Ruach and Neshamah, does not survive death. This often upsets people who
attempt to practice Astral Projection, as the Hermetic Qabalah teaches that
the Astral body is a projection of the Nephesh as well.
Neshamah
Hebrew
, also sometimes transliterated as Neschamah. In the
Qabalah, this is the Soul of a being. It corresponds to the Supernal Sephiroth
generally, and to Binah specifically. In the Golden Dawn it is also known as
the Higher Genius, through which it is possible to comprehend the Chiah
(Divine Will, corresponding to Chokmah) and ultimately, in unison with the
Chiah, to comprehend the Yechidah (Divine spark, corresponding to Kether).
New Age
The questionable idea that the Age of Aquarius is beginning now has
prompted a large number of people to start considering at least one of every
mysterious or psychic phenomenon which is not recognised as orthodox by
Western Religions as a valid lifestyle-basis. Moreover, many such people
take a syncretistic approach to such phenomena. Whilst this has caused a
revival of interest in the WMT, it has also stimulated interest in a large
number of theories and practices that have little to no merit from either the
spiritual or scholarly viewpoint. Whilst the basic notion of the WMT is that
Spiritual training should be free of charge, it seems that many proponents of
the New Age seem to be running it as a commercial venture - or even an
industry.

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Notarikon
The Qabalistic analysis of acronyms appearing in the Old Testament.
Qabalists believe that God has encoded secret messages into the Bible using
Notarikon (as well as Gematria). For example, Agla, the name of a local
god in the ancient Middle East, has been assimilated into the Qabalah by
claiming it to be a Notarikon of Ateh Gebur Le-olam Adonai - Thou art
mighty forever Oh Lord. Again, Amen ( nma) is said to stand for Adonai
Melekh Namen - the Lord and faithful King.

O
Occult
Secret or hidden. It is doubtful whether anything rightly deserves that
epithet, as a tremendous amount of what is commonly referred to as occult
nowadays has been published. A number of writers in the first half of the 20th
Century recommend that the first thing one should do when approaching the
WMT is to forget the supposedly sinister overtones of the word Occult, and
to treat it purely as a Science. There is no need to believe in or have faith in
the Occult, as the real phenomena are all experiential.
OTO
Ordo Templi Orientis or the Order of the Eastern Temple. A QuasiMasonic society founded in the late 19th Century by Karl Kellner, and
modelled on the Knights Templar. Its most (in)famous member was Aleister
Crowley, who at one point assumed (or purported to assume) the position of
OHO (Outer Head of the Order). It is now widely known that the superior
degrees of the OTO initiate the individual into a particularly phallocentric
form of Sex Magic.

P
Psychism
The wilful practice of psychic powers - for example, Clairvoyance,
Clairaudience, Clairsentience, Telepathy, Precognition, Psychokinesis, etc. It
has been suggested that all of these can be explained in one way or another as
movements in the Akasha or Astral Light. Furthermore, at least one
magician, Franz Bardon, has postulated that practically the whole of magic is
based on the use of psychic powers, and has based an entire magickal training
system on their acquisition.

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Q
Qabalah / Kabbalah / Cabala
Hebrew
, Revelation, or more accurately, revelations of the esoteric
meanings of Jewish scripture such as the Tanakh (Old Testament) and
Talmud. The Qabalah first seems to have appeared amongst Sephardic Jews
in Mediaeval Spain, although there is evidence of mystical practices in
Judaism from ancient times. The Qabalah comprises a complex mystical
cosmology, and its practices include various forms of meditation: on Bible
verses; the spelling and numerology of Hebrew words, and permutations
derived in various ways therefrom; and on a number of abstract ideas
contained in such texts as the Sepher Yetzirah, the Zohar, etc. The original
Jewish Qabalah has been assimilated into Hermeticism, thereby linking it
with Alchemy, Astrology, the Tarot, etc. See also the Tree of Life.
Qlippoth
Hebrew
, Shells or even Excrement. In the Qabalah these are
demons of unbalanced force, which are thought to live in an infernal region
below Malkuth. There are said to be ten Qlippoth, each being an antithesis of
one of the Sephira of the Tree of Life. Received wisdom is that one only runs
into the Qlippoth if something has gone wrong - i.e. one has been practising
magic badly.

R
Rosicrucianism
Between 1614 and 1616, three curious documents appeared in Europe
announcing the existence of a hitherto secret society, The Rosicrucian
Fraternity. It was apparently founded by (and named after) a mysterious
Frater Christian Rosencreutz (i.e. Christian of the Rosy Cross), supposedly
born in 1378, and died in 1484, aged 106. During his life he was into certain
practices in the Middle East and North Africa, such as the Qabalah,
Hermeticism, and Alchemy - which are the main subjects dealt with by
Rosicrucian groups today. Upon his death he was buried in a tomb that was as
much an Esoteric Symbol as it was a resting place. The Tomb was then
rediscovered 120 years later, in 1604. Either this caught the public
imagination in a very big way, or the Rosicrucians had indeed been active in
secrecy, for a lot of Rosicrucian symbology was adopted by secret societies,
such as Freemasonry. The Golden Dawn is one order that claimed to be
descended from the original Rosicrucian movement.
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Ruach
Hebrew
, Spirit. In the Qabalah, one of the three parts of the Being,
along with the Neshamah and Nephesh. The Ruach is seen as the mind and
reasoning powers: it is thought to survive death (and reincarnate) along with
the Neshamah. In a different context, the word is also commonly used in the
phrase Ruach Elohim,

, Spirit of God or The Holy Spirit.

S
Satanism
Historically, the Catholic Church used to label every practice which smacked
of magic as Satanism or Black Magic. Unfortunately, a number of bona fide
white magicians such as Raymond Lull and Nicholas Flamel were caught
by this hysteria. However it now seems that there might have been actual
Satanic practices going on, centering around the infamous Black Mass, in
which lapsed Catholics poured hatred on their former faith. One of the most
influential literary descriptions of Satanism is the novel L Bas by J K
Huysmans. In modern times, the late Anton LaVey concocted a brand of
toned down Satanism, based on self-worship and instant self-gratification.
Secret Chiefs
See also Masters. Wynn Westcott, in relation to the Golden Dawn, once
described a superior order of Adepts (The Third Order) consisting of
praeterhuman beings of the three highest Rosicrucian grades of initiation.
These were the Secret Chiefs - who, having discovered the philosophers
stone, were considered immortal. Hence, vacancies for office seldom
occurred in their Order! Westcotts conception was radically different from
previous Rosicrucian societies who had the same grade system: they had
assumed that at least two of the highest grades could in fact be achieved by
mortals. Magical wars have been purportedly fought over claims to be in
contact with the Secret Chiefs, as the kudos arising therefrom is used as a
weapon in bitter arguments over an orders Line of Initiation, who has the
right to be in charge of the Order, etc.
Sex Magic
There is a very important role for sexual intercourse in magic, as an actual
magical technique similar to the Maithuna or Karmamudra practices of
Tantra. One of the most popular theories of sex magic is that the moment of
orgasm releases a tremendous amount of energy that adds substantial power
to any magical or mystical working. In Wicca, Sex Magic is practised in the
form of the Great Rite. As the hieros gamos (Marriage of the Gods) in the
Greek mysteries it is both intercourse magic and gender magic. As well
as a way of Spiritual working some organisations such as the OTO claim it
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can also be used in rituals for mundane purposes as well. Needless to say,
there is great controversy in this whole subject - over Crowleys more
sensational teachings, such as the OTOs XI; apparent connections with
literary or actual Satanism; etc. See also Alchemy and Magick.
Skrying
A form of Clairvoyance, Skrying usually indicates seeing images without
first engaging in Astral Projection. Well-known instruments used for
skrying include the legendary Crystal Ball, but may also include particular
crystals, a bowl of water, a handful of ink, so-called magic mirrors (which
are not as animate as the one in Snow White!) - or may be accomplished
simply by closing ones eyes and concentrating. It is important to note that the
visions do not occur in these objects, but the process of staring fixedly at
them induces the correct state of psychic awareness in the Seer.

T
Tarot
A form of Divination, using a deck of 78 Cards: 22 Trumps or Major Arcana,
and 56 Minor Arcana. The first Tarot deck seems to have appeared in
Mediaeval times, though there is one legend that it goes back to Ancient
Egypt. Aside from its divinatory uses, the Tarot is used Occult orders such as
the Golden Dawn where the cards are closely mapped onto the various
concepts of the Qabalah, especially the Tree of Life, and even the Golden
Dawn conceptions of Astrology and the Cosmos.
Temurah
A form of Qabalistic Cryptology. The letters of Hebrew words are substituted
for other letters in a variety of permutations. One use for Temurah may be
that the encrypted word has associations in Gematria. More simply, Temurah
is a convenient device used to keep the Mysteries secret. For example, if the
word Baphomet, the idol of the Knights Templar, were to be written in
- Beth, Pe, Vau, Mem, Tau. Applying the
Hebrew, this would be
Eth-bash Temurah, in which the nth letter of the alphabet is substituted for the
nth in order from the end, one is left with aypwc - Shin, Vau, Pe, Yod,
Aleph or Sophia (Gr. Wisdom), implying that the Templars were in fact
Gnostics.
Telepathy
Remote Thinking. Dion Fortune has suggested that Telepathic
communication is accomplished by visualising a given person and then
addressing him. It would appear that the message is transmitted by the power
of fixed thought operating on the astral light Conscious reception is more

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tricky, though various sources from Theosophy and Yoga agree that the
major prerequisite is that the receiver should first make his or her own mind
completely still. See also Akasha and Psychism.
Thelema
Greek
, Will. This is the enduringly popular
philosophy of Aleister Crowley (1875 - 1947, left), based
around the central concept of Do What Thou Wilt shall
be the whole of The Law, and the key text Liber AL vel
Legis (The Book of the Law), which he apparently
received from a non-human intelligence in 1904.
Thelema is ostensibly a distillation of Golden Dawn
magic, Rabelais, Sex Magic, the Egyptian Mysteries,
Abramelin, Yoga, Buddhism, and Taoism. Thelema is
predicated on the idea that Crowley did in fact attain
advanced mystical states which no westerner had done before.
Theosophy
Divine Knowledge, originally a term coined by Jakob
Boehme, who said that ultimately God can only be known
through mystical insight. This was later used by Helena P.
Blavatsky (see photograph) to denote her brand of Eastern
Philosophy for Westerners still reeling from the
implications of Origins of the Species. Blavatskys ideas,
particularly relating to Spiritual Evolution through
mysticism, proved so popular that it is fair to say they
influenced, either directly or indirectly, every occult
movement in the late 19th Century. Yet despite the
historical debt to Theosophy per se, The Theosophical
Society, which she founded, declined in influence after her death, when it
was run by C. W. Leadbetter (whose authority was eroded by allegations
against his moral character), and Annie Besant. It was their patronage of the
young Krishnamurti as World Teacher which led to a number of damaging
protests against the Theosophical Society: first by Rudolf Steiner; and then by
Krishnamurti himself.
Theurgy
Theurgy involves the invocation of divine and angelic forces for ones
Spiritual needs. It is therefore considered High Magic as opposed to
Goetia. It might alternately be described as the use of Magic ritual to obtain
the results of mysticism, in which sense it is envisaged by Iamblichus (see
Neoplatonism). A number of grimoires call for the magician to practice
theurgic rites in order to then perform the various goetic operations, thus
avoiding accusations of out and out black magic.

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Trances
An altered state of consciousness of the kind induced by, for example,
Hypnotism. In modern hypnosis, three types of trances are recognized: light;
Somnambulistic (medium); and Coma (heavy). Trances, or at least the
heavier kinds, have been condemned by Hermetic Magicians, who say that
the ideal state of consciousness is where one is able to consciously react to
any phenomena that might occur. These same magicians did allow for one to
be led into a trance by ones Higher Genius or Holy Guardian Angel. See
also Mediumship / Spiritualism.
Tree of Life
A diagram which is used to illustrate many of the major
concepts of the Qabalah - primarily the ten successive
emanations of Deity, and indeed of creation itself, represented
by the ten spherical Sephiroth. The names of the Sephiroth in
order, (by reference to the accompanying picture) are: Kether
(Brilliant White), Chokmah (Grey), Binah (Black), Chesed
(Blue), Geburah (Red), Tiphereth (Gold), Netzach (Green), Hod (Orange),
Yesod (Indigo), and Malkuth (4 colours - Citrine, Russet, Olive and Black).
These Sephiroth are connected by a network of twenty-two paths, and the
whole corresponds to the Thirty-Two Intelligences of the Sepher Yetzirah, as
well as a host of other concepts (including, ultimately, every single thing in
the Universe).

W
Wicca
From Old English Wicce (Wise), this is also known as Witchcraft. Wicca is
an Earth-centred, Goddess religion, some of whose members claim that theirs
was the religion actually practised by historical witches, but was
misrepresented throughout history as Satanism. There is in fact little
historical evidence as to Wiccas ancient origins. Nevertheless, it is relevant
to the WMT as its modern form contains large elements of the Qabalah,
ceremonial magic, and Sex Magic. This may stem from the influence of the
founder of modern Wicca, Gerald Gardner, who was a member of the OTO
and was influenced by Crowley.

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Y
Yoga
Sanskrit Divine Union. Blanket term for a number of Vedantic practices
that all have the same end-result - that of liberation from the illusory world of
nature by mystical attainment. Remarkable in that it is one of the few forms
of mysticism that gives specific details of the processes and practice of
meditation. Crowley incorporated his own ideas about Yoga into the system
of the A..A.., whilst Jung commented favourably on it but thought for some
reason it was not suitable for Westerners. He speculated that there should by
rights be a Yoga for the West, which Dion Fortune later claimed was none
other than the Qabalah.
Bibliography
Alchemical Studies (Collected Works, Volume 13). C.G. Jung
Art and Practice of Astral Projection, The. Ophiel, Samuel Weiser Inc. 1961
Astral Projection. Oliver Fox, 1930.
Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, The. (trans.) S L
Macgregor Mathers, Dover 1975 (facsimile of John Watkin & Co. 1900).
Complete Lemegeton, The (The Lesser Key of Solomon). (trans.) Mitch
Henson, Metatron Books. 1999.
Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz. (trans.) Thomas Vaughan 1652
(from anonymous German original, 1616).
Confessio Fraternitas. (trans.) Thomas Vaughan, 1652 (from anonymous
German original, 1615).
Corpus Hermetica. Published at, e.g.,
http://www.hermetic.com/texts/index.html
Enneads, The. Plotinus. Published at, e.g.,
http://www.hermetic.com/texts/index.html
Fama Fraternitas. (trans.) Thomas Vaughan, 1652 (from anonymous
German original, 1614).
Goetia The (trans ) S L Macgregor Mathers (ed ) Aleister Crowley Samuel
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Weiser Inc. 1995.


Golden Dawn, The. Israel Regardie, Llewellyn 6th ed. 1989.
Initiation Into Hermetics. Franz Bardon, Merkur Publishing. 1999.
Introduction to the Study of the Kabbalah. W. Wynn Westcott, J. M.
Watkins. 1910.
Kabbalah Unveiled, The. (trans.) S. L. Macgregor Mathers, 1887.
L Bas. J. K. Huysmans, (trans. Keene Wallace), Dover. 1972 (facsimile of
1928 edition).
Liber AL vel Legis. (The Book of the Law) Aleister Crowley.
Light in Extension. David Godwin, Llewellyn. 1992.
Magical Philosophy, The (series). Melitta Denning and Osborne Phillips,
Llewellyn. 1974.
Magick in Theory and Practice. Aleister Crowley. 1929.
Magick of Thelema. The Lon Milo Duquette, Samuel Weiser. 1997.
Mystical Qabalah. The Dion Fortune. 1935.
On the Mysteries. Iamblichus (trans. Alexander Wilder 1911), Joseph H
Petersen. 2000.
OTO Rituals and Sex Magick. Aleister Crowley and Theodor Reuss, IHO.
1999.
Psychic Self Defence. Dion Fortune. 1930.
Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, The. Kenneth Mackenzie. 1987. The Aquarian
Press (facsimile of 1877 original).
Ritual Magic of the Golden Dawn. (ed.) Francis King, Destiny Books. 1997
Secret Doctrine, The. H P Blavatsky.
Sepher Sephiroth - included in 777 - the Qabalistic Writings of Aleister
Crowley. Aleister Crowley, Samuel Wesiser. 1977.

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Sepher Yetzirah. trans. W. Wynn Westcott, 3rd ed. 1887.


Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola. (trans.) Fr. Elder Mullan S.J.,
Christian Classics Ethereal Library / Wheaton College. 1997.
Spiritual Guide of Miguel de Molinos. 1688 (Trans. from 1685 Italian
edition).
Transcendental Magic, Its Dogma and Ritual. Eliphas Levi, 1855 (trans. A.
E. Waite: from the French original Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie ).
True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order. The Paul Foster Case, 1927.
Vision and the Voice, The (Liber 418). Aleister Crowley.
Witches Bible, A. Janet and Stewart Farrar, Phoenix Publishing Inc. 1996.
Finally, see, e.g., http://mysteria.com/liber/ for otherwise uncited texts by
Aleister Crowley.

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Getting Started In The Western Mystery Tradition


by Mike Rondeau
Getting started in the Western Mystery Tradition is a very exciting
affair. It is full of intrigue, novelty, real magic and adventure. It is a rich and
complex Tradition, very meaningful and deeply personal.
It is not surprising then, that the aspirant often jumps in impulsively!
It is commendable that they are excited. However, with such a vast field of
study, it is wise to begin with a definite plan of action. This is true of any
venture one wants to succeed in, especially that of practical occultism.
The author of this text has at this point 11 years of experience within
the Builders Of The Adytum (also known as B.O.T.A. ), and three years
solitary practice of the Golden Dawn material. This fourteen years immersed
in the Western Mysteries really is just a beginning, but it has given the author
enough time and effort at examining his own experiences to have
accumulated some observations about the Mysteries, and getting the most
from them.
1) Reasons for Getting Started; Driving Factors and Motives
What follows is a general guideline for those who are still somewhat
new to the Mysteries. It may, however, be of use to the experienced
practitioner as well. It is based on the experiences of one Initiate, the present
writer, as well as the successes and ordeals that he has observed, read, and
heard about in others over the years. It should be used only as a guide, and
taken with a grain of salt. It is important to always follow the whispering of
the still, small voice within.
There are many important questions that the beginning student should
ask himself in earnest. These are important not only in the beginning, but as
ongoing self-assessment. Asking and answering these very personal
questions gives the Magician a specific direction and goal to reach toward.
Without a clear mental conception of what you are about to enter into, your
work may not bring about the birth of the Adept that is within you.
With honesty as your key implement, ask yourself what your reasons
for Getting Started are. Why am I doing this Work? What am I hoping to
achieve through all this time and effort and devotion? These are very
important questions, which are central to success in the Great Work. With
your magical Diary in front of you, ask yourself these questions, and answer
every one of them thoroughly. Get a clear idea of your deepest motivations
and driving factors in regards to your Training. Trim away the outward show
and see whats really beneath it all. It is better to know from the beginning if
you have been fooling yourself as to your motives, than to find out way down
the Road that its not what you wanted.
There may be as many reasons for pursuing the Mysteries as there are

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people in the world, but there are some that are more common than the rest.
Quite often it begins with curiosity, like a child with a new toy who wants to
figure out what makes it work. For many, it never evolves far beyond that
point. They soon discover that it is real work and take off to another hobby.
Conversely, curiosity can be a good start because no one gets far without an
inquisitive mind that is thirsty for more insight, more Light.
Others come to the Path seeking secrets to gaining special leverage
over their colleagues. This may work for awhile, but they will rapidly find
themselves alienated by the world they were seeking to dominate. Black
magic is terribly destructive to the practitioner and all in his sphere of regular
contact. If you discover that you are seeking the Path for strengthening the
drives of your ego, I suggest you find other means than Occultism.
There are others still, who come seeking to learn to weave a better life
for themselves and others. Some are introduced to Occultism by
coincidence, and find they are perfect born for it.
Whatever drives have brought you to this wonderful system, it will
grow within you a deeper understanding of yourself, others and Life.
Persevere and you will eventually experience yourself as a cosmic being, as
opposed to the old and familiar mortal, earthly man or woman.
2) Where Do I Begin?
Having dug up your motivations for pursuing Western Occultism, and
finding that, yes, I still feel this it what I need to do with my life, there
comes the next imminent question, Where do I start?
The answer to this question is pretty obvious and straightforward.
Start where you ARE!
It is true that the outset of the Path is often frustrating and
overwhelming .One is confronted with literature by all manner of sources, on
every conceivable topic of the Western Tradition. Much of this information
seems to contradict other information on the same subject. The same problem
plagues the internet. As with everything in this journey, think it through. Use
your best judgments and trust your instincts.
From the start, we are expected to learn new habits of thought and
action. We are given foreign words to learn. We have to practice new skills,
which include among other things, the art of visualization, rituals, and
breathing practices which involve counting in time with the heartbeat. There
are robes and ritual implements to create or purchase, not to mention literally
hundreds of symbols to learn and associate to specific meanings.
Worst of all there is the infamous S-word...study, study, study!
(Oh-oh!). Again, many people drop out as a result of this. They perhaps were
thinking that magic was supposed to make the problems of life disappear in a
cloud of mist, and suddenly the world is easy .The reality is that occultism
causes our problems to intensify, making us come to grips with the world at
large so that we really begin to learn to handle the universal forces both
within and without.

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This is where ones original enthusiasm pays off. If you have made up
a clear mental picture of what you are seeking from your Work, as a result of
dissecting your motives at the outset, then this part of your seeking becomes
more focused and less confusing. Always review what your goal is, wherever
you are in your Work. One central part of the Western Tradition is the
cultivation of Will and Imagination. Make it a habit and it is much more
natural that you will succeed.
We absolutely have to start where we are. Trying to do otherwise, we
will be fooling ourselves in our assessment of what we want to accomplish
by our involvement in Occultism. Learning the new alphabets, rituals,
meditations, gematria, visualization, astral work of all kinds; these seem to be
ends in themselves. They appear to be the goal of this Tradition. Actually it is
the work of acquiring these skills, as opposed to the skills themselves, which
grows us in Illumination and true power. So read the books available to you.
The ones that spark your deepest interest are a good place to focus as your
beginning .Use your brain, compare what you read to your life experiences,
to other knowledge you already have as your foundation. Then keep reading.
When you feel the time is right for you and you know the theory behind it,
you can safely begin the rituals and meditations which these books school us
in. Keep a meticulous Journal on your own experiences, ideas that come to
you, any phenomena that occurs that strikes you as out of the ordinary.
Keep this up. I suggest at least a year of solo practice like this. This is
because it is all too easy to take on others perspectives of what you should
expect from your daily practice in terms of results. This is a very
impressionable period for the Student and as is so often reiterated in this
field, the true Teacher is Within YOU.
If it hasnt appeared for you yet, the time will come when you begin
to experience a burning drive for company of like mind; for affiliation with a
true Temple or Mystery School. It is a longing that is really a promise of
what is to come. This is a good thing! It is living proof that you are ripening
for Initiation. What you are feeling at this point is the attractive power of
Venus, drawing you to the object of your Desire. It is felt as a longing in the
heart and soul, but it is really yours already, on an interior level, sprouting up
toward the Sun of Life and Light.
In time this call from within becomes so irresistible that it is the only
thing one could conceive of aiming for. So the Quest takes on another layer!
And thus there appears another layer to ones seeking. We go from seeking
for Truth within, to finding a Center of Truth in the world outside.
3) How do I know which Mystery School is the One for me?
The Esoteric Tradition of the West is a vast, lush system of spiritual
training, evolving for thousands of years. Its roots are lost in the sands of
time, but its present vehicles of expression have preserved and cultivated a
Living Wisdom that is timeless. The various Mystery Schools in existence
today generally focus on a specialized portion of the Tradition as their major

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focus, although all the branches of the system will be taught too.
For example, many, if not most of the Schools, are primarily focused
on the use of Ritual, with Divination, Astral Projection, Meditation, etc,
being secondary, though essentially part of their focus of Ritual. Others may
focus especially on Meditation, with the rest of the system being secondary.
In other words, although each School uses every facet of the Tradition (all
the Branches of the Tree of Life), each will tend to put primary focus on one
or two of them above the rest. This is a good thing! Scientists do exactly the
same thing in their various branches, and wonderful discoveries that can be
used to better the whole world are made as a result of this specialization. The
same is true of the Mystery Schools.
Now, in ones search for just the right Order for their fulfillment, these
differences are a real boon. In your first year or more of solo study and
practice and research, what have you discovered about your own
temperament? What subjects of occultism have intrigued you above all the
rest? Where have you noticed the most nurturing and growth in your
practices? The answers to these questions should form the basis of your
search; they become the guidelines for what you are seeking in a Mystery
School.
With this basic guideline to assist you, you are ready to look at actual
Orders and Groups that are available and just right for your own personal
needs.
Another consideration is physical locale .The problem I hear more
than any other is that there isnt a Lodge or Group anywhere near me. As
there is no replacement for actual, physical Initiation within a Purified and
Consecrated Temple, be prepared to save some travel money! Your sacrifice
adds to its effectiveness. The writer travels three hours there and back for
each Ritual, but I honestly think it means much more to me than many of my
Fraters and Sorors who live right next door to that Temple. Another of my
Fraters in Arizona has a seven hour travel each way, and stays overnight with
other members for the trip home. I can testify that he is reaping the benefits
of his labors. If you happen to have a Temple in your area, I hope you
understand what a blessing that is.
Of course, there are Groups who offer Correspondence as their chief
means of instruction, mainly because of the whole locale issue mentioned
above. This is a very practical method for instruction. The whole School has
the same practices, which strengthens their bond and builds a certain inner
contact that is unmistakable .For those who happen to live close enough, or
can get themselves there, they also have Group-work that balances out with
the solo-correspondence practices.
Other Groups hand out your Course-work at each group Ritual, and
give the exams and what not each time the Group meets. The course work
becomes your homework, which supplements and extends the influence of
the Group Rituals.

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4) How do I know if a School is legit?


First of all, you need to know if the Order you are considering is
reputable or not. One should make a point of associating ONLY with those
who are of like mind and heart. To associate and share in spiritual work with
those who are crooked or unbalanced is to foster these same qualities in
yourself and kill any Light you have gained up til now. When we engage in
spiritual practices with others we are permeated with the impressions of the
people we are together with, and this includes any warped motives or ideals.
This is true in any kind of relationship, but especially true in Ritual and other
Esoteric practice.
So it is vital that you are sure about those you choose to work with.
Do your homework, and never rush this kind of decision.
So, again, how do we find out how genuine a Mystery School is?
A good start is to find out how long they have been established.
Who founded it? Get as much background on the founders as you can,
because it was a Current working through them that is now animating that
Order.
Try to find out how large its membership is. Do they offer any
introductory literature? What are their goals as an Order?
Do they charge obscene fees for Ritual Initiations? Where does this
money go? Are they non-profit? Do they answer your attempts to get answers
to these legitimate and important questions, or do they blow you off and
give you the silent treatment?
These basic questions should be a good measuring stick for how
responsible are the people you will be putting your spiritual evolution in care
of. It will eliminate a good deal of fat from the real meat.
Finally, what do your guts tell you? Be sure to shut up and Listen to your
Inner Teacher.
The final test is to choose one and go with it. Keeping an open mind,
while also keeping your wits about you in your new Group, should steer you
aright.
5) Now that Im in, what do I expect from my School?
All right! Youre in! Now what?
Youre given new knowledge about your Tradition, new or deeper
rituals to practice, homework to study and memorize exams to pass. Besides
all this, which is very exciting and productive, what are you expecting from
your School that you cant obtain on your own time and effort; solo?
People gather together out of common interest, similar goals and
ideals, and in order to grow together in ways that simply cannot be had all
alone at home. Working together with a Group of Fraters and Sorors hastens
the growth, which ordinarily is much slower in the solo practitioner. There is
the bond of Love between members which is a purity and power in its own

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right, and which hastens growth and spiritual unfolding. The fact that many
are working together for the same end ensures a tremendous focus of power
in a given direction. There develops a group egregore, or group soul/mind,
which unites the members in very subtle and potent ways.
All of this is a real support for those times when a certain member is
down, having personal problems, having trouble keeping up with his/her
daily regime of study and practice. At these low ebb periods (which we all
have at certain intervals), the influence of our bond with the Group will serve
to bring us out of our problem with fresh insight, renewed strength and
purpose, and awareness of the real guidance that comes from within.
Again, this group-mind/connection is a very important factor in
choosing wisely who you want to be affiliated with. You can imagine the
consequences of joining up with the wrong people.
Besides Group Ritual Work and Initiations, what else do you expect
go get out of your Membership that you cant obtain off on your own
somewhere?
Well, if what you are getting only a re-hash of the publicly available
works of the Adepts of old, you are being cheated, and it is likely that the
Order in question isnt all too legit after all.
You should be receiving Teachings that are only transmitted from
mouth to ear; Teachings that will never be in the public domain. These will
be teachings that you can put to use right away, which will prepare you for
deeper contact with your core SELF, which guides your every step of the
Way. You should be getting Lesson material of some sort - exercises,
meditations, rituals - all to practice on your own, which you wont get out of
any book or the internet. These practices ideally will act as Seeds, which will
cause you to grow, one day, into a full-fledged Adept.
A comical rule of thumb about the knowledge passed on to you: If
its re-has, its just hash.
6) Once Youre In, What Do You Expect From Yourself?
Any kind of membership, fellowship, or friendship, is in essence a
relationship, which means that it is entirely a two-way street. What you put
into it is exactly what you get out of it (provided you have chosen your
company with foresight). If you are following out the Knowledge Lectures,
Lessons or whatever your group may title them, and practicing all the
visualizations, meditations, breathing, rituals, and all of the other practical
exercises presented to you, and basically doing everything youre told to
do, then what?
While all these things are still new to you they will be exciting and a
real stretch. After a time of repeating them every day, they become a real test
of ones resolve. Results do not, as a rule, present themselves right away.
Instead it begins to look like its not doing anything.
This is where your original soul-searching and self-analysis comes to
be so invaluable.

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Why did I think I wanted to do all this stuff? Dig up your real motivations,
and look them over again. They have probably already evolved since the last
time you looked them over, as a result of your contact with a true Body of the
Inner School. With your real impetus for doing this work on the altar before
you, so to speak, and you keeping up your part of the daily Work, as well as
the Group Work, the rest is truly in your hands. From here on out the results
of the Magic you weave into your life is your own responsibility. All
potential is yours now!!! But nothing specific will grow until you define
what you will get from your Training. To define is to place specific limits on
something (in this case it is yourself as an eternal, Magical Being).
What do you expect your quest and work to produce in your life?
This is a vital question that needs to be addressed early on (in any venture in
which one wants to succeed). If you are expecting some kind of vague blurry
enlightenment, then that is what the outcome of your work will be. If that
is fulfilling to your own Higher Soul then that will be ok. But the Inner Life
needs more than a vague warm fuzzy feeling to be fulfilled.
Look at your life. Look at what you feel your strengths and
weaknesses are, spiritually, and decide on where you want to be with them. If
you can conceive of it, clearly, it is yours to unfold. Look at specifics. What
is the difference between what you perceive of yourself now, and what you
see of yourself as an Adept? What exactly will be different in your life, both
inner and outer, when you become Illuminated?
These specifics are where you should now focus your attention on,
and you have limitless ground on which to develop these new skills in your
daily Work, with your new Self-Image; your seed of what you will be.
7) What About the Solo Practitioner?
What about the solo Practitioner, out there on the outskirts, working
at home, or on the road? Is it absolutely necessary to belong to a Lodge to
make the trek up the Sacred Mountain? Absolutely not! Remember this --you are never alone! No matter how it appears outwardly, you have surely
been guided to where you are now. What brought you to read these words
right now? There is an unseen Presence deep within each one of us, Whose
unfailing guidance has brought you safely through every peak and valley of
your Journey thus far, and will never leave you alone.
The solo journey, however, is definitely much slower than that
intensive transmuting power which is only obtained in the special Group
Work. There is no substitute. If you have no desire to join a Temple right
now then that just isnt what your Soul requires at this time. Thats all right!
There is definitely much to be gained from diligent study of public works on
the Mysteries. There is much that is kept out of this though. There is also the
danger of an authors own personal views being read to be cosmic fact, and
the reader may easily be mislead without the direct supervision of true
Adepts. Questions may also go unanswered for years, when you are on your
own.

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If your sole reason for not getting involved in a Temple is simple


locality problems, there are alternatives. If there is no Order anywhere near
you, there are Mystery Schools, very reputable ones, that offer their
instruction via correspondence.
A few of these are:

The Fraternity Of The Hidden Light


The Society Of The Inner Light
Builders Of The Adytum

These do offer Group Work to those who can get there, but this is not
a mandatory thing. Members are united by the unique work shared via the
Lessons. This IS group work, done personally, in the Grand Temple.
If you can manage to save up for the occasional trip to a group
function, you will surely be glad you made the sacrifice. It is certainly an age
where the demands of making a living and raising a family, among other
things, can really restrict a long distance relationship with your Temple
activities. For this reason, the Correspondence method is very practical, and
also relatively inexpensive. My internet connection costs more than my
monthly dues do!
8) Conclusion
For myself, the inner burning fire driving me toward my Temple was
a super concentrated thirst for Initiation. The real deal. To initiate is to begin,
a conception if you will, of the Christ-Child deep within. From the moment
of that conception, there comes the growth and development of that immortal
you. The developing child needs proper nutrients, exercise, rest, and Love, if
it is to grow into its adulthood (the liberated Adept that you will be).
Ultimately, whether one is initiated formally within a purified and
consecrated Temple, or Initiated through long, aspiring, arduous solo work to
facilitate this Awakening, what they get out of it is what they themselves
make. The true Adept we aspire to become is a real spiritual adult;
administrating over his or her Life as a King ruling his Kingdom - with Love,
sovereignty and foresight. We have to practice being what we hope to one
day fully become. This is watering the Seed planted by True Initiation.
A tradition is a road map. It is not a taxi-service, which drives you
there while you gaze out the window. The Traveler must make the trip; must
do his own walking. With gratitude we have received a map of the Way
home, from those who have made the journey and came back to prove it to
us. The pitfalls are clearly presented to us so we may make the Journey in
safety, and the Pathway has been marked by the footfall of many Aspirants
like you and I. They now hold aloft the Light for us, ahead of us up the road,
just over yonder hill.
We have undeniable guidance from within and without but it is in

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vain if we do not act upon it. No one can take this trip for you. As long as
one keeps putting one foot in front of the other, he will be all right. However
many pit stops or vacations or semi-retirements there may be along The Way,
the real fuel comes from a Source deep within you. The funny thing is, the
real destination is in that very same place.
Shalom!
In L.V.X.
Mike Rondeau

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LOCKED IN LOVE
O ineffable GOD without Name,
Ive invoked Thee, provoking thy flame.
In the sensuous Form of my Lord,
Neath its veil, wailing gale, my soul roared.
I desire the sweet fire of thy Being -Single spark, sail the dark sea of wonder!
Thrice almighty in all things Thou art,
Solar snake in the lake of my heart.
Now, before me the healing dawn light
Wears the rose of the rising suns beauty,
While behind me the Foundations might
Bears the grail and the tale of lifes duty.
Gods ambassador flames on my right,
Scintillation elating the mind,
While the backlit and boreal night
On my left is the passion that binds me.
About me only blaze these things of sense.
Within, thy star-stream column spawns events.
So locked in love -- a princess and her prince.
JAMES A. ESHELMAN
July 27, 1999
Originally published in Black Pearl, The Journal of the College of Thelema. All rights reserved.

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The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram


by St. J.O.N., 93 `.`
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is the most complete
ritual ever devised for preparing the place for magical work. The ritual as
described here is used as a general means of opening and closing any ritual,
meditation or exercise, banishing inimical influences, invoking helpful
spiritual reinforcement to the circle, and strengthening the aura.
The ritual was first revealed by Aleister Crowley in his Magick in
Theory & Practice,1 and has appeared countless times in books published
since, especially over the last twenty years. As a result it is probably the best
known of all rituals. However, it has suffered from widespread
misunderstanding due to the fact that Crowley, although extremely accurate,
was very minimal in his treatment of such things. He rather hoped that
others would take upon themselves the task of explaining magical technique
in more detail, in the same way that the chef leaves the preparation of salad
dressing to a kitchen assistant. The nearest Crowley got to the nitty gritty
of magical techniques was in his book of letters, Magick Without Tears,2
where among other things he gives detailed descriptions of how to
accomplish Rising on the Planes, a form of astral investigation, and how
to improvise a magical temple from whatever happens to be around.
It seems unlikely that anyone could have foreseen the explosion of
interest in magick that was to take place through the seventies and eighties,
which the English writer and occultist Kenneth Grant dubbed The Magical
Revival in the first of his series of Typhonian Trilogies.3 As more and
more material became subject to mass distribution, it opened the way to a
new generation of occultists. With this new generation, brought up on a diet
of rock music and video entertainment, to whom sex and drugs were
recreational activities rather than the closely guarded secrets of a sacred
science, occultism began to be recognised not so much as something a
person underwent arduous training for, but rather as another alternative
lifestyle. With the widening popularity of the use of magical techniques as
a way to gain personal power, wealth, health and other material ends, many
subtleties have been lost along the way. Worse, the reasons for taking up
such pursuits in the first place have been twisted slightly, then later bent out
of all recognition by second and third generations of occultists. In the
present place it may be enough to remind the reader that the very hub of the
Great Work has always been Service to Humanity. It was only in
comparatively recent times that this has been taken to mean Service to
Myself!
Now one thing needs to be made clear about the pentagram itself,
which is of course integral to the subject of this inquiry. It is a five-pointed
star, and as such, it is not only a symbol of Man dominating and controlling
the elements but it is a symbol of Mars attributed to Geburah or Severity

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by the Qabalists, the fifth emanation upon the Tree of Life. It is therefore a
symbol of energy, war, strife, and conquest. It might also be borne in mind
that the five is a symbol of the hand or womb of the Goddess filled with
creative fire, the feminine power that manifests the Will. The Lesser
Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is far more than merely a means of
getting rid of things. Aleister Crowley commented in his notes on the
ritual that:
Those who regard this ritual as a mere device to invoke or banish
spirits, are unworthy to possess it. Properly understood, it is the Medicine of
Metals and the Stone of the Wise.4
In all the details of the ritual (which will follow shortly), one must be
careful not to lose sight of the whole. The ritual, properly performed and
with repeated and persistent practice, constructs a complete symbol in the
aura or Sphere of Sensation of the practitioner. The idea of using a symbol
of the Great Work in this manner is an exceedingly ancient one. In the East
there is the holy mountain called Meru, which has its counterpart in
Abiegnus of the Rosicrucian or Western Mysteries. There is the Building of
the Temple. In times of remote antiquity, cities and gods were
interchangeable terms.
First of all - after cleansing oneself of everything and anything that is
not essential to the Great Work in hand, and having studied the sacred
scriptures (at source) and meditated on them, and having cultivated fiery
aspiration and acceptance of the path - all the powers of the mind and
imagination are directed towards constructing a suitable symbol of the
Universe (be that a God, a City, or a Man). One then places oneself at the
centre of that symbol imaginatively, while physically assuming asana. Once
the distractions of body and mind have been overcome and concentration
perfected through use of the sacred symbol, a miracle may find its beginning
there. The symbol properly constructed, the prana is then circulated in the
subtle body along with the physical breath in the physical body. Various
centres, rooms, chakras or sephiroth are activated, as according to
instruction. And if the aspiration of the person leads all the while to That
which is Above and Beyond, then perhaps - if God be willing! - an infinitely
subtle transference of energy begins to take place.
It is worthwhile quoting once more from Crowleys notes on the
ritual, concerning this matter of the aura or Sphere of Sensation:
Every man has a natural fortress within himself, the Soul
impregnable. ... Besides this central citadel, man has also outworks, the
Aura. This Aura is sensitive, and must be sensitive. Unless it were
responsive to impressions it would cease to be a medium of communication
from the non-Ego to the Ego. This Aura should be bright and resilient even
in the case of the ordinary man. In the case of the Adept it is also radiant. In
ill-health this Aura becomes weakened. It will be seen flabby, torn at the
edges, cloudy, dull. It may even come near to destruction. It is the one duty
of every person to see that his Aura is in good condition.5
It is not only that the mind of the practitioner becomes sensitised to

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dimensions that were not previously apparent, but that the energy of the
universe itself, by degrees, becomes realised as the basis of the self.
However, this is also a very dangerous point in the spiritual journey of the
aspirant. All too often, this realisation is taken to be a sign of Mastery, when
in fact it is but the very beginning.
The regular use of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram may
at the very least provide a means of beginning this work of Building the
Temple. The careful placing of symbols in the aura may not only help to
calm the mind and free oneself of unwanted influences, it may all the while
transform the astral-etheric structure latent in the subtle body of the
practitioner into a Matrix of the Divine Image. We must at all costs avoid
that same territory becoming a chaos of symbols and thought-forms that
together do not add up to anything but confusion.
While on this subject, it is worth mentioning that there are very good
reasons for choosing geometric forms such as the pentagram. Geometry
expresses, as do numbers, which are the basis of the Qabalah, spiritual ideas
in their purest, simplest form. To argue against these expressions of simple
beauty and truth merely betrays dishonesty. It is for precisely this reason
that the pentagram, the wizards foot of old, was chosen as a means of
obtaining supremacy over lying, deceitful spirits.
Having explained some of the underlying theory, we can move on to
the practice of the ritual itself. For the benefit of the weaker souls who still
cling to the superstition of authentic, original, authoritative editions, and
who hope to find such authenticity in the genuine rituals, discovered left
behind in the bottom drawer of some worthy old gentlemans antique
cabinet,6 I hasten to mention that the Qabalistic Cross here differs slightly
from that given in Magick in Theory & Practice. For this I make no
apologies. I was never particularly satisfied with the method involving the
use of one hand only (usually given as the right hand, although left-handed
ritualists should - as they would if they were engaged in mortal combat - use
their left, as their best and most advantageous). The method of using both
hands has a very ancient tradition of its own, one only has to examine the
ritual gestures and dances of the eastern tradition, as well as shown in
ancient Egyptian papyri and on tomb and temple walls. There are zones or
chakras in the palms of the hands which link to powerful centres in the
brain, and the corresponding centres in the subtle body. There is far more to
the familiar prayer gesture widely adopted by Christianity than a mere
symbolic act. I must mention, while on this subject, that the idea of ritual
being symbolic is an erroneous one. Ask any Catholic priest, if possible
one from a monastic tradition such as the Benedictine.
Finally, as well as altering the accompanying gestures of the
Qabalistic Cross, I have in other places restored the ritual somewhat.
Although the idea has gained popularity recently, I have never seen fit to use
the Sign of the Enterer7 in the ordinary banishing rituals. I reserve this sign which is important enough to warrant an essay all to itself - for more
specific invocations that usually follow after preliminary banishings

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Another popular idea originating from the writings of Israel Regardie, is that
the pentagrams should be visualised in a bright blue, or gas jet blue
colour. Although I can see nothing wrong in having them in bright blue, I
find it far more effective to follow the original instructions in Magick in
Theory & Practice, which exhort the practitioner only to ensure that they are
seen flaming. Fire, is of course, the natural correspondence of Mars, and
therefore of the pentagram.
The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram: Exoteric Working:
1. Stand centre facing East of the Temple. Raise your hands with a
sweeping movement to your brow, placing your hands together as in
a gesture of prayer. Vibrate: Atah.
2. Hands together to chest / heart. Vibrate: Malkuth.
3. Hands to right shoulder: Ve Geburah.
4. Hands to left shoulder: Ve Gedulah.
5. Crossed over breast: Le-Olahm.
6. Clasped together or as in prayer: Amen.
(Formulates the Qabalistic Cross)
7. With forefinger or wand, dagger or other instrument, trace a full-size
banishing pentagram of earth in the air before you.

8. The two lower points are roughly outside the left and right hips, the
apex level with the crown of your head, the other two points outside
the left and right shoulders. Vibrate as you point to the centre: Yod
He Vau He.
9. Draw the pentagram as before, but this time ninety degrees to your
right towards the South, and vibrating Adonai pointing at the centre.
Do not lower the point
throughout the ritual.
10 Repeat towards the West and North but for the West vibrate Eheieh

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and for the North, Agla.


11. Complete the circle and stand in the Tau Posture, arms extended so
as to make a T-cross with the whole body, palms upward, facing East
of the Temple.
12. Say: Before me Raphael, behind me Gabriel, on my right hand
Michael, on my left hand Auriel. For about me flames the
pentagram, and in the column stands the
six-rayed star!
13. Repeat the Qabalistic Cross as at the beginning.
The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram: Esoteric Working:
Part 1
The ritual commences with the Qabalistic Cross: Stand in the centre
facing your mystical East. Bringing both hands upwards and out in a wide
sweep press the palms of the hands together at the brow of your head, while
aspiring powerfully towards the Ineffable Glory. Vibrate the name Atah,
meaning To Thine, the Essence. See the light striking down to form a
sphere of white brilliance above your head.
Next, lower your hands, keeping them pressed together as in a
gesture of prayer, to the centre of your breast. Vibrate the name Malkuth,
meaning The Kingdom of Earth. See the light above your head extending
in a beam of light straight down through you towards the centre of the Earth.
Still keeping your hands pressed together, place them against your
right shoulder, vibrating Ve Geburah, meaning Divine Strength. See a
beam of light travel towards the ends of the Universe from below your right
shoulder.
Next place your hands to your left shoulder vibrating Ve Gedulah,
meaning Magnificence. See the beam of light travel towards the ends of
the Universe from below your left shoulder. Then cross both arms over your
breast vibrating Le-Olahm meaning, To the Ages of Ages.
Finally, clasp your hands together firmly at your breast, vibrating
Amen. See yourself at the centre of a great cross of white light. This
completes the first part of the ritual.
Part 2
The next part of the ritual is the drawing of the pentagrams in each
quarter: Still facing Mystical East, with a dagger8 or the first two fingers of
your hand, trace a full sized pentagram in the air before you. It should
appear flaming, very bright.
Begin the pentagram from outside your left hip, trace a line up to a
point that is level with the top of your head, then down (like a capital letter
A) to outside the right hip Then straight up diagonally to outside of your
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left shoulder, and horizontally across to outside your right shoulder. Do not
forget to form the last diagonal to rejoin the line where you began it. See the
pentagram burning and flaming before you. Bring the point of your dagger
(or finger) to the centre and vibrate the Divine Name Yod He Vau He. See
the star energised.
Next, without lowering your arm, turn ninety degrees, keeping your
arm straight, to the right so that you face South. As you do see a line of
brilliant light connecting the centre of where your second star in the South is
about to be drawn.
Repeat the tracing of the pentagram as before, but this time vibrate
the Divine Name Adonai as you point to the centre.
Without lowering your arm (it is not lowered throughout this ritual)
turn ninety degrees right again to face West, tracing the circle of light as you
go. Draw the pentagram and energise it with the Divine Name Eheieh.
Turning ninety degrees to the North, continuing the circle of light, draw the
pentagram as before, vibrating the Divine Name Agla pointing to the
centre.
Turn ninety degrees to return to the East, and so completing the
circle about you. You should now see a circle of brilliant light around you,
studded with four bright flaming pentagram stars.
Part 3
The third part of the ritual proceeds with the Evocation of the
Archangels. Spreading your arms palms upwards, in a Tau or T-cross
posture, say: Before me, Raphael! (You should vibrate the names of the
Archangels sonorously.) Behind me Gabriel, on my right hand Michael, on
my left hand Auriel! For about me flames the pentagram, and in the column
stands the six-rayed star!9
The Archangels should clearly be seen about the circle. As an
example, Raphael may be seen with colours of yellow and violet, with the
element of Air in golden rays pouring from the East. Gabriel with colours of
blue and orange, the elemental Water pouring in and purifying from the
West in blue rays. Michael in scarlet and emerald, with the Fire element
radiating in from the South energising with red rays. Auriel in the colours of
Malkuth, the stabilising Earth rays emanating from the North in fertile
green. Pronounce the Archangel names Rah-Fah-el, Gah-bree-el, Mee-kahel, Or-ee-el.
Now see yourself surrounded by a circle of light studded with four
flaming pentagrams, with the Archangels (very tall, towering) guarding the
quarters. Above you and below you appears the six-rayed star, the golden
hexagram. It is the floor and roof of the palace for the Indwelling Spirit that
you have built.

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The ritual is completed by repeating the performance of the


Qabalistic Cross exactly as you did at the beginning, and vibrating the words
of power. In addition to the steps as described, you should be standing with
the right heel in the hollow of the left foot. (Reverse this if left-handed.) As
you point to the centre of each pentagram and vibrate the Divine Name, take
one step forward. Recover the step before taking the point round to the next
station of the circle, so that you remain in the centre.
Theoretically, you are standing at the intersection of the Paths of
Samekh (Path 25 and Sagittarius) and Pe (Path 27 and Mars). You face
Tiphereth, the Sphere of the Sun, with Netzach (Venus) on your right and
Hod (Mercury) on your left. Behind you is Yesod, the Sphere of the Moon.
Said Aleister Crowley, about the completion of the circle with the
Archangels and pentagrams: You are thus standing in a column which is
protected by microcosmic invocation. The consequent result, being
macrocosmic response, is that without any effort on your part the hexagram
or sixfold star appears both above you and below you. (Note the
equilibration 5=6.) In this way you are completely shut off from the outer
and Qliphotic parts of the Universe.10
As a comprehensive symbol of the four elements and spirit brought
into harmony, the pentagram can be used to ritually invoke or banish not
only earth but any of the other elements, or spirit. The Banishing Earth
Pentagram alone, however, is used in the Lesser Banishing Ritual. It is very
bad practice to invoke or call in spiritual force without first performing the
necessary banishings.
The Archangels are evoked by the clockwise direction of the circle
you make when you join up the pentagrams. Any spirits called to the circle
during a more elaborate ritual where elemental force is employed, are
thanked and allowed to depart gracefully before any banishing pentagrams
are drawn. Traditionally they are blessed in the name of their Ruler,
Archangel, or the Deity Name.
Summary
When you perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram,
you begin by aspiring to the highest concept you can imagine, by the
vibration of Atah To Thou Essence This is then affirmed on Earth with

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Malkuth, and in the balance of forces that rule the universe, Geburah and
Gedulah. It is then affirmed in Eternity as Le Olahm, Amen - To the Ages
of Ages, so be it.
You have, with the Qabalistic Cross, placed yourself at the centre of
the Universe, having first brought the divine presence into your heart, mind
and body. Next you go on to cleanse the four quarters of the Universe with
pentagrams of fire, affirming Man as the mirror of the Divine Image and
with the ability to control the elements through spirit, the topmost point. The
deity names are sent thundering through to the Ends of the Universe and
back again. Your Magical Universe is then defined by the marking of the
circle of light, another reminder of Spirit, and of Kether the Godhead, the
Crown of the Tree of Life.
The drawing of the four pentagrams automatically invokes spirit, the
fifth point, and so raises the microcosmic consciousness to the level of the
macrocosm, having completely sealed the circle against the Outer Darkness,
the World of unbalanced forces called Qliphoth. This Hebrew word means
literally, Shells. (Those who court the favours of Venus should do well to
remember that she is often depicted as riding upon one!)
Malkuth is shown divided into four sections of colour on the Tree
diagram: citrine, russet, olive and black in the colours of the Queen Scale.11
The black part, representing the Dead End of Matter, the point of maximum
inertia in the Universe, abuts onto the World of Shells, the husks or
discarded astral remnants that souls departing the earth plane have left. This
world is also inhabited by many other undesirable waste products of the
Universe, including thought forms of a very low order.
Entering into a full discussion of the nature of the Astral Plane is
beyond the scope of this essay. However, many spirits contacted by
psychics and mediums, let alone ouija board dabblers and ghost-hunting
enthusiasts, are not, in fact, human souls. Channelling used to be called
Mediumism and Spiritualism or Spiritism. The Hermetic Art does not
condemn these practices in themselves, but it insists that one knows exactly
what one is doing and why one is doing it.
Now, with the power of the pentagram and the Ineffable Name, you
have sealed yourself off from the outer world, the profane world of
ignorance and darkness, from the false and the unseemly. By this act you
have called into operation the macrocosm, as the Greater Voice responding
to the Lesser. Therefore, above you and below you, as if you stood in a
vertical column, appears the six-rayed star of the cosmos, the hexagram of
two interlaced triangles.
If you were to count all of the points of the pentagrams and
hexagrams, you would have thirty-two, the total number of the Sephiroth
plus the twenty-two paths of the Tree of Life. You stand in a Palace built for
the Indwelling Glory, the Shekinah, the Soul of God. Light spelled in
Roman numerals LVX adds up to sixty-five, and so does the Divine Name
of Malkuth Adonai (ADNI). Six is the macrocosm, the Divine Being, and
five is the number of man in the Lower World The union of these two is the

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object of the Great Work.


In the ordinary case, by cleansing and banishing your sphere, you
would have left inside that sphere a kind of vacuum. This is not a good thing
to do, for in nature anything left empty does not stay empty for long! So you
continue, and by the clockwise direction of your movement you evoke the
Archangels, guardians drawn from the Briatic World of Creation.
Correspondingly a spiritual brightness appears in the aura as the four
elements are brought into perfect balance.
Your position in the centre constitutes spirit, and by adding Above and
Below to the four elemental directions in space, the six of the macrocosm is
once more confirmed. Finally you repeat again the Qabalistic Cross which
places the flame of the Eternal in your heart, the centre of the Magical
Universe. And this procedure, when well practised, can be completed
perfectly well in all of two minutes of your time!
As Tetragrammaton is the Name of Deity in four letters,
Pentagrammaton is the Name expressed in five. Y.H.V.H. plus Shin (Spirit
of the Primal Fire = 300, you may wish to check further correspondences) is
written Y.H.Sh.V.H., Yeheshuah, which is why Jesus or Yeheshuah was
the Son of Man and the Son of God in The Bible.
In Qabalah, Y.H.Sh.V.H. is the representation of the Holy Spirit of
Man informing the four elements of Nature, for Man is the Initiator of the
Elemental Kingdom. The elements of the soul, the Nephesch, are redeemed
by the Spiritual Fire, which is the formula of the recreation of the Divine
World on earth, the Kingdom.

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Notes
1. Magick in Theory & Practice has appeared in numerous editions since 1930 e.v., the
most recent being Magick, Book 4 Parts I-IV, Samuel Weiser, York Beach ME, USA, 1997
e.v. The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and other elementary magical techniques appeared
in the Appendices, in an official instruction paper of Aleister Crowleys magical Order of
A.`.A.`., entitled Liber O.
2. Magick Without Tears, a collection of letters from Crowley to various disciples, was first
published in 1954 e.v. and most recently by New Falcon, 1991 e.v.
3. The Magical Revival was first published by Frederick Muller, Great Britain 1972 e.v.,
and more recently by Skoob Books, London. It formed the first of three Typhonian
Trilogies, the final volume of which is entitled The Ninth Arch and is due to be
published in the not too distant future, once certain magical requirements have been
fulfilled. Kenneth Grant was personally trained in magick by Aleister Crowley, in the final
years of Crowleys life. Grant went on to reconstruct the Ordo Templi Orientis as a magical
body or vehicle for the inner plane Order of A.`.A.`., abolishing the Freemasonic style
ceremonies and reestablishing links with the praeter-human agencies that Crowley spent his
life working with.
4. Notes on the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram was included in the Samuel Weiser 1997
e.v. edition of Magick in Theory & Practice mentioned in Note 1 above - pp. 692.
5. Ibid. Pp. 690.
6. Nonetheless, as a literary device - the ancient manuscript that turns up at an auction or
slipped between the pages of some book - this method has proven success. The
Necronomicon, the Rosicrucian Manifesto, Zanoni, and the Cypher Manuscript that
enabled the construction of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn are but a few legendary
examples. Those who argue against the authenticity - or otherwise - of such things are
completely missing the point. The only authenticity worth bothering about is the condition
of ones own Soul in its relations with God.
7. For the Sign of the Enterer, see Liber O, which is included in all of the many editions of
Magick in Theory & Practice, mentioned in Note 1 above.
8. There has been a great deal of unnecessary confusion over these magical instruments.
There are two methods of proved effectiveness, the first method is as was taught in the R.R.
et A.C. (the Inner Order responsible for manifesting the Order of the Golden Dawn) by
MacGregor Mathers and others. Here, the magical wand, cup, dagger and pentacle are
attributed to the corresponding elemental paths on the Qabalistic Tree, namely path 31
(fire), path 23 (water), path 11 (air) and path 32 (earth). Each weapon was only ever used to
control its own element, unless in the case of an invocation involving more than one
element, as in Fire of Water, where a wand may be brought in as a secondary instrument
to the cup. The second method is that developed by Aleister Crowley. Here, the wand, cup,
dagger and pentacle are corresponded to the elemental sephiroth on the Qabalistic Tree,
namely Netzach (fire), Hod (water), Yesod (air) and Malkuth (earth). In this system, only
the wand is used for invoking anything. The dagger is used for all banishing, except where a
sword is used for the same. The cup and the pentacle are purely symbolic, and never take an
active, dynamic role in ritual, as they both represent passive elements. So in Crowleys
system, a wand would still be used to invoke water, or any other element, astrological sign,
planet and so forth Both these systems work very well so long as the person sticks to either

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one or the other and does not confuse things.


9. There has been a great deal of confusion over where the hexagram should be placed. In
fact, there are two hexagrams, one above and one reflected below. How else would the aura
be sealed? The four walls of your palace are composed of the microcosmic pentagram, the
ceiling and the floor are composed of the macrocosmic hexagram, thus declaring the
essential formula of 5=6, Man is equal to God. So it is that the circle must be squared at
every step, grade or level along the way.
10. From Notes on the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram - see Note 4 above.
11. The four scales of colour are a Qabalistic idea, and pertain to the Four Worlds: Atziluth,
Briah, Yetzirah and Assiah. They are given in the tables in Aleister Crowleys The Book of
Thoth, as well as in his celebrated Liber 777. They have much relevance to the Tarot and
other practical workings. Both books mentioned are published by Samuel Weiser, York
Beach ME, USA, and have been in print more or less continuously for some time, to date.

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Getting Started in the Sixties : Kabbala and the Counter-Culture


by Frater L.
"It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era - the kind of peak that
never comes again. The sixties was a very special time to be part of. Maybe it
meant something. Maybe not, in the long run but no explanation, no mix of
words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were
there and alive in that corner of time. Whatever it meant.
History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even
without being sure of 'history' it seems entirely reasonable to think that every
now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a fine
long flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time - and
which never explain, in retrospect, what really happened.
There was madness in any direction, at any hour.You could strike
sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we
were doing was right, that we were winning
And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory
over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense ; we didn't
need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum ; we were riding the crest of
a high and beautiful wave
So now, you can go up a steep hill and look west, and with the right
kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the
wave finally broke and rolled back."
From : "High-Water Mark", by Hunter S. Thompson, Las Vegas, 1976 ; in, "Songs of
the Doomed, The Gonzo Papers vol. 3", Summit Books (USA), 1990 ; Picador (UK),
1991.

Before the Temple Gate


This is the story of a self-start, Golden Dawn-inspired working
Lodge, based in the North of England and Cambridge, created in 1968 after
some initial experimentation, and which went into hibernation in 1977 on its
'high-water mark', with the wide dispersion of its members. The egregore is,
however, very much in existence, as was testified by isolated working in
1982-1983 and again quite recently. The story will have to be told mainly
from memory, as much valuable primary and secondary source material
(including the Register) was lost along with the rest of the my first library in
1977. First names have been changed as some members might be

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recognisable from the context.


In 1967, a group of teenagers (16-19 year-olds) got into the habit of
hanging out in a run-down, low-rent terraced house due for demolition, near
the centre of a North of England industrial town. Amongst them were five
people attracted to different aspects of, shall we say, 'alternative' culture-John, astrologer and into divination by pendulum and Tarot (traditional
pack); Dave, artist and musician ; Stuart, attracted by Northern mythology
(and altogether resembling a figure from it!) ; Anne-Marie, a pre-Raphelite
elf-queen, skilful in the creation and use of amulets and talismans; and
myself, an historian.
John encouraged a group interest in the Tarot ; following up this
subject came references to A.E. Waite (although he gets a "bad press" today,
and his Tarot design does not appeal to everyone, he was the "gateway" to
the Western Mystery Tradition for many in that era). From there, and by
patronising the "head shops" that were then beginning to flourish, the
available literature on the Golden Dawn was procured (see 'period
bibliography', below).
Discussion followed ; tarots were read, ritual studied, aims and
objectives ironed out. The 'quest' side of things was never brought up much
(North of England folk don't speak much about spirituality), and the
prevailing 'counter-culture' ethos of the wider group always implicitly
assumed that you knew where you were going, and why..
It was decided to create, independently, a Lodge (though in our minds
this would also represent an incipient Order), using the Golden Dawn system
(though no literature was then readily available for the Second Order, let
alone the Third), but incorporating the groups own special interests. There
was no formal designation of authorities or hierarchy ; each personality
seemed to find his or her role naturally.
Thus, John would assume the chief role in conducting ritual, with an
arresting voice and presence and a flashing look from behind a great aquiline
nose, which just compelled obedience (this would come in useful later) Most
of the texts and references were from myself ; Dave painted some great
archangelic and elemental station boards ; Anne-Marie produced the
weapons, altar furniture, and other trinketry ; Stuart put in wise comment,
and provided many ingredients for the post-working feast.
Malkuth - Autumnal Equinox
It was decided to adhere to classical path-working, in the proper
order, as the framework for meets, with a particular piece of working drawn
from the groups special interests as the centre-piece. The first meet was a
tragi-comedy (as is usually the case in a new enterprise). Held in an old
wood unfortunately far too close to new suburbs, it was interrupted just as it
was beginning to wind down. It had been quite spectacular--fires at the
cardinal points from woodpiles prepared earlier in the day, a fine wooden
trunk (which contained all the effects for transport) as an altar, everyone in
appropriately-coloured cloaks. The group had approached the site like

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thieves in the night, creeping through long grass in point formation, with the
trunk-porters in the middle. Installation had been well-prepared and
everything flowed, the energy was there, the fires burnt bright.
After the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, we opened in
Malkuth and proceeded to the first business, which was the Announcement
of the Lodge's creation. One question that had had to be resolved was, to
Whom should we address ourselves? We had no enthusiasm for addressing
the particular Superiors of the G.D.. nor any other specific 'transmission'
that we had come across. After examination of our various inspirations, we
agreed that the heritage of the Knights Templar fitted our bill, in a very broad
sense (and to be oh! so confirmed subsequently). So the Announcement
was couched in the style of a demand for 'adhesion', as from a group of
'volunteers'.. This seemed to go down well ; we didn't get any actual 'faceto-face' that time, but somehow, serried ranks of 'companions' were there, it
fitted, and the trees around bent lower.. and I had this sudden inspiration
that our main talisman would be on that plane, a Sword in the Stone that any
member of the Lodge could unsheath and use as a focus of the Flame. That
for the future. We also agreed on a particular focus for our endeavour that
would be Celtic in origin, and which gave us our title of B.B.B.
We ascended to Yesod. The object was to consecrate a brooch of
Anne-Marie's manufacture for the altar. This done, and appropriate thanks
offered, we descended. My attention was briefly distracted during the
Thanksgiving by some small crackling of twigs beyond the light, but though
I had registered the fact (and was the only one to do so, we established later instinctive Guardian role!), I was too engrossed to react.
As we descended to Malkuth, two yellow eyes swept over the field
beyond, lower than the wood. Slowly I - we, this time, except John - realised
it was a vehicle. It stopped quite near and, suddenly galvanised, some of us
gathered up the impedimenta, whilst others put out the fires - but though
John hurriedly managed to thank & dismiss All present, things weren't
quite in order.
Sweeping out of the wood commando-style and back to the 'home
centre' (John's parents' house). We went over everything. This set our
practice: immediate recall of all impressions, hitches, unforeseen events,
noted by myself as Scribe, accompanied by tarot readings, before unwinding
and making merry - which we proceeded to do, with gusto and appetite.
So, what had we learnt? Well, first, that you can't perform
Ceremonial Magic just anywhere, and that we had certainly managed to 'put
ourselves on the map'-- that as a team we were 'nickel-chrome'. We knew
what had to be done next: create that Sword, continue to work on the
'Templar' theme, and build up our particular furnishings. Ah yes, where was
that brooch? After vainly hunting around, we came to the conclusion that it
had been left in the wood! So we would go back on the morrow.
A scene of desolation greeted us. The ground had been cleared of
any trace of our fires or presence, just a scoured area.and of course, no
trace of the brooch. We never saw it again.nor would it show to
pendulum-divining or skrying or any technique we ever employed.

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Yesod - Winter Solstice


The second meet was a complete opposite in decor; it was held in
John's sister's Ladies' Hairdressing Parlour. No more woodland excursions
for the moment, and what may seem an incongruous setting had no effect
whatsoever.
The objective was to energise the Sword, take it to Yesod, and set up
the Lodge there. Excursions to Hod and Netzach were also programmed.
Well, all this went fine, after we had first dealt with the unexpected - the
woodland came to us! As we opened in Malkuth, our woodland setting of the
first meet sprang up around us, and seemed not to be in a friendly mood!
Some hurried placating, thanksgiving, and re-run of the 'end' of that meet had
to be organised, before the trees receded, and we could get to business.
Our discussions about the Sword had placed it in a Celtic Four
Weapons scenario, where we ourselves were the Disc (symbolising the
World, as in "what is below is like unto what is above"), the Cup would be
always unattainable (symbolising the Quest), and the Lance would be
something to be explored in the Second Order. So the Sword would represent
our First Order workings. With this in mind it would reside in Yesod, planted
in the centre of the Lodge, which we saw as a kind of Gothic lay chapel, long
rather than wide, with banks of tiered benches on either side, and obscurity at
the farther end until the Second Order was reached. Each time we entered,
companion groups (Templars, grey-robed and hooded) were installed on the
benches.
This programme accomplished, the paths to Hod and to Netzach
trodden, the Sword was sheathed - it was seen as being drawn in Yesod,
rearing and turning to point upwards for the duration of the working, energy
flowing from the tip. This was (is!) a mighty find-- the gestures involved,
performed in unison, the influx of power.
Suffice to say that this very practical working firmly established our
domain, gestures, procedure and roles.
Temperance and the The Blasted Tower
A period of change set in. I was beginning to meet up with kindred
spirits at Cambridge, spend most of my income on important literature at the
famous King Street 'head shop', and, significantly, Stuart emigrated to
Canada. We spent much time on our various businesses, meeting up only
during Vacation. Everyone acquired the Great Beast's Tarot deck. The larger
group found better quarters (at a higher rent!), out of the demolition area. By
the time Summer Solstice 1970 came, we had our replacement (from
Cambridge) : Patrick, Egyptologist, fluent in hieroglyphic pronouncement
and ritual-maker (principal source : The Egyptian Book of the Dead). I had
also been working on the Rig-Veda, and the Elder Prose Edda. These three
venerable source works would form the basis of our rituals until the very last
phase. It was time to open the Second Order.

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During this same period, however, I had been attracted to the 'worldview' that would be progressively exposed in the 'Don Juan' works by Carlos
Castaneda. At that moment, only the first two books of the series had been
published: 'The Teachings of Don Juan', and 'A Separate Reality'. Appearing
little more than a curiosity at first, as the Don Juan story unfolded (and
despite irritation with the author's apparent obtuseness), especially after the
publication of the third volume ('Tales of Power'), I began to adhere to the
notion of 'the warrior's path' and to foresee the relinquishing of hermetic
practice until that path had been trod. This would coincide with the physical
dispersal of the Lodge in 1977, and reach a height with the publication of
'The Eagle's Gift' in 1981.
"I am already given to the power that rules my fate.
And I cling to nothing, so I will have nothing to defend.
I have no thoughts, so I will see.
I fear nothing, so I will remember myself.
Detached and at ease,
I will dart past the Eagle to be free." 1
Tiphareth - Summer Solstice
This was an early 70s 'long hot summer', and an isolated cottage in
the Fen outside of Cambridge was the backdrop. The opening of the Second
Order was, after all, a fairly solemn affair, and much preparatory work had
flown backwards and forwards in the weeks preceding. We had decided to
re-run the whole First Order path-workings first, before ascending to
Tiphareth, where we had prepared a rite drawn from Egyptian sources.
Beyond that, it was obvious that here was a whole new ball-game, and we
were ready for anything.
Individual research had also turned up some interesting pointers. John
and I had been working on geographical divination; John worked the
pendulum, transmitted his impressions, and I translated or equated them into
geographical and/or historical hypotheses. Dave had been researching
iconography, and had discovered William Blake ; his style was to be heavily
influenced by Blakes spiritual representation. Anne-Marie was getting more
and more drawn into Elfland, as if she really were moving into another world
(which she was.) I had been working on Celtic themes around our central
totem figure, decrypting remnants of ritual preserved in early medieval Old
Irish and Welsh documents, and notably elements going towards the
reconstitution of the Grail working.
Here is not the place to go into a detailed account of this, but the
central element is the Healing of the Fisher King, accomplished by the
asking of an unanswerable Question, and accompanied by a ritual procession
of the Weapons, culminating in the Marriage of the Lance and the Cup. This
seemed to me to be the nexus of the Second Orders working.

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The striking features of our path into Tiphareth were, firstly, the empty
Lodge (where previously it had always been rustling with the 'companions')
as if in vigil ; and the 'contact' made, once there.
Patrick had composed a text centring on R, Who is beyond the Sun,
and His Daughter, whom we equated with Brigit : the Celtic Fire-Goddess, in
the heart of the Stone, and who later became Bridget of Kildare, patron of
Candlemas. Her chapels are sprinkled like confetti along the drove roads
from Brittany to Italy and beyond. And She is the patron of the Brigantes,
which was particularly appropriate for Northern England, as this was where
the main part of this Celtic tribe was settled (elsewhere, in South-East
Ireland, in North-West Spain, in the French and Austrian Alps). Furthermore,
as Fire, She is also the Lance.....
So, this contact made, we had reached a plateau in our progression. What
was to be the working which would implement the Healing of the Fisher
King.....?
Da'ath - Autumn Equinox (1)
In 1973 we moved to South-West Wales, to a huge run-down 19th
century Poor House. I had always been fascinated with the Finis Terrae of
South-West Ireland, South-West Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and Galicia,
spread out like the rim of a sunken plate. The sea between them, nowadays
called 'The Celtic Sea', was associated with the myth of Atlantis, and brought
the warm Gulf Stream to those shores.
It was there that John informed me of a vision of a precise landscape,
somewhere around that rim, where we would find the Lance of Lugh, the
Son of the Sun of Irish legend. Our pendulum-and-map technique was
immediately brought into play, tarot to hand, and quickly we found the spot:
somewhere in one of the five peninsulas spread like a hand from the body of
Ireland. John drew a picture of the exact landscape of this spot.
I set out with Dave to go and find it. It was a strange journey :
someone we had met in Wales wanted to come, and we had immense
difficulty in dissuading him. On the way we ran into two Germans who clung
to us like leeches, and we stayed with some acquaintances who tried to
magically influence us. But eventually we came to the exact spot, just as in
John's drawing, right down to the very details of the emplacement.
And there we stood, on "a steep hill and look(ing) west, and with the
right kind of eyes (we saw) the high-water mark - that place where the wave
finally broke and rolled back." (Thompson, "High-Water Mark", Las Vegas,
1976)
After a brief meditation and breaking of bread, we turned back east,
into the gathering night.

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Da'ath - Autumn Equinox (2)


Several cycles had run the Wheel of the Sky, and as we were already
scattered, meets were becoming widely-spaced. I was soon to be leaving the
country. I did one more formal working, without our group, up to Da'ath,
under a cold grey autumn sky. There was a special, healing object,
concerning a Priestess. Others were present, Wiccans, and I was invited to
add something specific to what had been worked by them. I went about my
business, all the others behind me, and returned. I looked at the others. The
High Priest said : "I have never seen so much Fire ; you were all Fire."
The Crossroads : High Priestess or Empress?
The group separated like sparks from a Guy Fawkes' rocket. Some
random destinations: a titled 'horsey' marriage, Tibetan Buddhism, farming,
book-binding.... I took up the 'Road to Ixtlan' - "a warrior has nothing in the
world except his Impeccability , and impeccability cannot be threatened".2 In
1983, for a special purpose, using a Scottish clan ceremonial, I pulled up the
Sword once more. The Lodge was there, as were the 'companions'.and the
Grand Master!.. as were the paths, as was the Fire. As was Brigit,
Daughter of R. She is there now, and 17 years have passed.
A Period Bibliography
The first works on which we were able to get our hands were nearly
all from the "Aquarius Press" stable, and though not up to modern standards
of research, were able to transmit to us the essential practical aspects of G.D.
working. Butler's works in particular, today don't get the attention they
deserve, especially the first.

Butler, W.E., Magic: its Power, Ritual and Purpose, Aquarian Press,
London, 1961
idem, The Magician: his Training and Work, idem, 1963
idem, Apprenticed to Magic, idem, 1965
idem, Magic and the Quaballah, idem, 1968

and:

Knight, Gareth, A Practical Guide to Occult Symbolism, Helios


Books, Toddington (UK), 1964

Anne-Marie got on well more particularly with these (personally I


found the author a little 'prissy') :

Fortune, Dion, Applied Magic ; The Esoteric Orders and their Work;
Practical Occultism in Daily Life ; all Aquarius Press, again.

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During our initial 'experimental' phase, I jubilantly came across :

Lvi, Eliphas (Abb Louis Constant), Transcendental Magic, trans.


A.E. Waite, Rider Press, London, 1968
idem, The History of Magic, idem, 1969
And then, O Divine Surprise, was delivered :

Regardie, Dr. Israel, The Golden Dawn, an encyclopedia of practical


occultism, Llewelyn Press, St. Paul (Minn.), 1970.

This last from the famous 'head shop' in King Street, Cambridge, which also
yielded (besides Zap Comics, Oz, The Silver Surfer, and many other
invaluable gems now lost with my first library) the then-available
Crowleyana :

Symonds, John, The Great Beast, Rider Press, London, 1951


idem, The Magic of Aleister Crowley, Muller, London, 1958
Cammell, Charles, Aleister Crowley,the Black Magician, University
Books, New York, 1962
Fuller, Jean Overton, The Magical Dilemma of Victor Neuburg,
Allen, London, 1965

Uncle Al's Confessions (Kenneth Grant, ed., Cape, London, 1969)


appeared at just the right time ; as did Israel Regardie's study of him, The Eye
in the Triangle, Llewelyn Press, 1970. The 'head shop' also provided The
Great Beast's Tarot deck, Thoth Tarot Cards, "designed by Aleister Crowley,
artist executant Frieda Harris", under the seal of the O.T.O., from Samuel
Weiser, 734 Broadway, NY 10003 ; and his seminal (no pun!) works : The
Book of Thoth, idem, 1970 ; Magick in Theory and Practice. ; and, finally
(and most expensively, for an impecunious university student from the
North), the sublime 777 .
Cambridge University Library, as a 'copyright' library, holds (unless
someone has nicked them since) a complete original set of 'Equinox'. I
worked my way through these (instead of studying Latin charters from the
English Civil War of the 12th century), and noted feverishly the first
practical indications of Enochian working.
Useful in discovering 'who was whom' were :

King, Francis, Ritual Magic and Secret Societies, Spearman, London,


1970.
Howe, Ellic, The Magicians of the Golden Dawn, London, 1967

These acquisitions all disappeared with my library in 1977, except


The Book of Thoth, and my set of the cards, suitably dog-eared and 'handled',
which I have to hand as I write.
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Other volumes we found useful in setting up ritual were :

The Egyptian Book of the Dead (especially after Patrick's arrival)


The Rig-Veda (Indo-European)
The Elder Prose Edda (Old Norse)

And, researching the by-ways of what had become a group of familiar


and highly-colourful companions from past-time, I explored these, (in no
particular order, and as they 'fell into my hand') from 1977 :

Ossendowski, Fernand, Btes, Hommes et Dieux : l'nigme du Roi du


Monde, Plon, Paris, 1924
Mabire, Jean, Ungern, le Baron Fou, Balland, Paris, 1973
idem, Le Soleil Invaincu des Hyperborens, Laffont, Paris, 1974
Pauwels, Louis and Bergier, Jacques, Le Matin des Magiciens,
Gallimard, Paris, 1960
Mariel, Pierre, L'Europe Paenne du XXe s., Palatine, Paris, 1964
Brissaud, Andr, Hitler et l'Ordre Noir, Perrin, Paris, 1969
Muraise, Eric, Histoire et Lgende du Grand Monarque, Albin
Michel, Paris, 1975
Hutin, Serge, Gouvernants Invisibles et Socits Secrtes, J'ai Lu,
Paris, 1971
Bernard, Jean-Louis, Les Archives de l'Insolite, Dauphin, Paris, 1971
Bayard, Jean-Pierre, Les Francs-Juges de la Sainte-Vehme, Albin
Michel, Paris, 1971

In fact, and not without malice, this last list makes up a handy
introductory bibliography (up to the '80s, and without giving too much away)
for my projected articles for forthcoming issueswhich include subjects
like the relations between the G.D., the R.R. & A.C., the A.A., the O.T.O.,
and others, and the secret societies which flourished in Central, Northern,
and Eastern Europe from the late 19th century, often inspired by the Myth of
Agarttha, and which played a prominent role in history (and in History) up to
the Gotterdmmerung of 1945and.later? Or, the origins, development,
and contemporary existence, of 'Egyptian' Masonry, notably in Continental
Europe and the Americas, derived from Cagliostro and Yarker, Chefdebien
and the Strict Observance, Willermoz and Peladan, continued by the French
Rosicrucians - contemporaries, and 'enemies', of Mathers ; and finally, after
having found itself also opposed to the first subject's adepts, flourishes today
as Memphis & Misram..
Notes
1. 'The Eagle's Gift', Carlos Castaneda, Penguin Books, 1982, p108.
2. idem, p193.

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The Magician
Standing on the edge, robe flowing.
The wind rushes in as water splashes the cliff side.
The clouds are stirring as the waves splash violently.
The raging overture plays on.
Looking out at the horizon; a storm approaches.
Staff in hand like a conductor guiding his orchestra.
The symphony grows with intensity.
Thunder echoes throughout the seaside.
The sky is black.
The magician smiles while feeling the energy.
Taking in the moment she jabs her scepter into the sky.
Lightning strikes the cliff.
The waves rise, smashing against the castle walls.
The power surges within.
The sky awakens and opens its eyes.
Staring into the Magician.
AeonAurora

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by Frater Zendiq

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Aleister Crowley: His Contribution to the Western Mysteries Tradition


by Laurette Rockwitz
There is a time to speak and a time to remain silent. For me,
the time has come to raise my voice in the interest of
clarifying the record of Aleister Crowley. He was one of the
greatest mystics of all time, although a very complicated and
controversial person.1
Thus begins Israel Regardies treatise on his former teacher and
mentor.
Thirty years later, it seems that this record is no clearer. Aleister
Crowley is no less controversial among the growing number of students of
the Western Mysteries. He is even less understood with the general public.
Unfortunately, we cannot accomplish here, in a few short pages, even what
Regardie did to set the record straight, much less what he did not, in this
regard. We cannot separate the man from the body of myth and rumor that
accompanies his life. We cannot say for certain, any more than the still
growing number of biographers, what is true and what is not, in the host of
sensationalized stories about Aleister Crowley. It is impossible, within this
framework, to explore and come to understand his writing and his work to
any acceptable standard at all. The former is a lifetime of study and the latter
accomplished only by the most insightful and dedicated student of the
Mysteries.
The writer influences the reader, not just by what he includes in his
biography, but also by what he does not include. Any biography, then, is
slanted by the writers choice of facts and anecdotes included and discarded.
It is impossible for the writer of a biography, no matter how long or short, to
keep his opinion to himself. In the life of a man such as Aleister Crowley,
there is no firm agreement of the facts. There is even less agreement on how
those facts come together to give an accurate perception of the man. In a case
such as this, where an accurate understanding seems impossible to reach
agreement on, it is nearly an insurmountable task to tell the reader about the
man, rather than about the writers perception of the man.
This article will attempt instead to explore Aleister Crowleys
contribution to the Western Mysteries Tradition. It will attempt to inform the
reader who is unfamiliar with Thelema about this system of study and magic
that grew out of the contribution of Aleister Crowley to the field of
Hermetics. The information is basic and simplified, and interested students
should seek a more in depth explanation.
This article will also explore Aleister Crowleys relationship with the
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as well as how his teaching and input
may affect the student of the Western Mysteries tradition as a whole,
whatever his focus or background.

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With an examination of Crowleys contribution to magic in the


foreground, a rough sketch is drawn of the man and the environments and
influences that surrounded him at various stages of his life, in order to add
perspective to the work. Every attempt is made to avoid sensational and
unproved stories, or to write of incidents out of context.
The reader is advised, however, to hold the aforementioned
impossibility of truly capturing the essence of a man as perplexing and
contentious as Aleister Crowley.
Edward Alexander Crowley was born on October 12, 1875, at
Leamington Spa, England. His time of birth is placed between 11 p.m. and
midnight, the sign of Leo, ascending.2 Nicknamed Alick by his parents, he
was reared with a strict Christian fundamentalist upbringing.3
As a young boy he idolized his father4, a brewer by trade,5 and a preacher by
vocation. Edward Crowley traveled the countryside preaching the doctrine of
the Plymouth Brethren. These followers of John Nelson Darby lived
uncompromisingly by literal biblical application and fear of eternal
damnation.6
Regardie believed that this childhood awe of his father remained a
lifelong influence on Crowley. Young Alick admired his fathers fervor
and eloquence. In many ways Crowleys own life and sense of mission was
modeled on that of his progenitor.7
Crowley had a less sound relationship with his mother, Emily. He
looked upon her with contempt as weak and foolish.8 His mother seems to
have been rather unable to cope with or understand the antics of a young
male child. It was she who first called him the Beast, implementing a
lifelong identification with the antagonist in the Biblical Book of
Revelations.9
When he was small, Crowley assimilated and affirmed his parents
belief system. Crowley wrote, looking back at his childhood, that he aimed
at being the most devoted follower of Jesus in the school.10
Alick was not allowed any book except the King James Bible. He
developed a fascination with the apocalyptic literature. One may assume that
the Book of Revelations served the same psychological outlet in his fantasies
that Star Wars, X-men and Power Rangers satisfy in todays youngsters.
With the Bible as his only exposure to stories, Alick looked to this for
adventure and excitement. The Beast, the Dragon, the Whore of Babylon and
the False Prophet are the characters of this exhilarating saga depicting the
eternal battle of good versus evil. Children today show the same fascination
with antiheroes like Darth Maul from the Star Wars Saga or Batmans
nemesisses the Joker, Penguin, and Catwoman.11
Looking back at his childhood, Crowley would remember these years
as a happy time. He attended private Christian schools. The first school that
he was enrolled in he disliked immensely,12 but he was moved, after a short
time to another. He was thoroughly happy at this school; the boys liked and
admired him; he made remarkable progress in his studies and was very proud
of his first prize Whites Selborne for coming out top in Religious

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Knowledge, Classics and French.13 Crowley seems to have been a fairly


well adjusted, though precocious and roguish boy in his first decade. He says
of his child self, this spirit grew uncheckedthe Earth was not big enough
to hold him.14. Perhaps this is the one constant that would remain in
Aleisters ever-fluctuating aggregate of personas.
Disaster struck the boys life in his eleventh year. His father, his idol
and role model, Edward Crowley, died, on March 5, 1887, after a ten month
illness. Crowley tells us that, from that month onward there is a changea
new factor had arisen, and its name was death.15
This tragic turn of events had a drastic effect on young Crowleys
life. He lost his hero, his image of the ideal, the center of his universe. He
also lost the rest of his world. His mother moved to London to be near her
family, removing the boy from his home, and the circle of Brethren that
enfolded the child in a capsule of secure familiarity.16
The new man filling the role of male role model in the youths life
was his mothers brother, Tom Bond Bishop. Rather than taking over the part
of benevolent mentor, guiding the boy into manhood through a firm belief
system reflected in modeling these high ideals, this uncle cruelly bullied
Alick, hypocritically defying the strict Christian fundamentalism he
professed to embrace. 17 Regardie identifies this afflicted relationship with
his uncle as a key determinant, beginning the drastic change that the childs
view of Christianity would undergo.18
Regardie defends the young Crowley for this growing bitterness
sympathetically. He was so emotionally traumatized in those formative
years that the psychologist might well wonder that he grew into any kind of
productive adult at all.19
His identity and self-esteem now faltering, Alick began having
difficulties at school.20 Eventually, abuse at school, which included a
punishment of nothing to eat except bread and water while being made, day
after day, to march around the playground, took its toll, and Alicks health
began to fail.21 He was eventually taken from that school, but began a series
or tutors and day and boarding schools, none of which were satisfactory.22
These negative experiences in the fundamentalist schools also
validated his growing belief that Christians were cruel and merciless.
Crowley faced frequent beatings, constant humiliation and confrontation with
bigotry, paranoia, and irrationality in these fanatical institutions. With respect
to Crowleys educational environment, Regardie asserts, morally and
physically, it must have been a diabolical engine of destruction and
corruption.23
Young Crowley was relieved to be free of this restrictive environment
when he entered Cambridge University in October of 1895.
I had the sensation of drawing a long deep breath as one does
after swimming under water or [an even better analogy] as one
does after bracing oneself against the pain inflicted by a
dentist I could not imagine anything better in life I found

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myself suddenly in a whole new world. I was part of the


glories of the past, and I resolved to be part of the glories of
the future.24
Crowley seems to have also resolved to put the days of strict
discipline behind him.
When I discovered that chapel was compulsory I
immediately struck back. The junior dean hailed me for not
attending chapel, which I was certainly not going to do,
because it involved early rising.25
This lack of discipline was reinforced by Crowleys ability to survive
the academics with very little effort. He goes on to state, In fact, in my three
years I only did one days work for the university, and that consisted in
employing a boy to read through a translation of a Greek play while I
followed it in the text. Despite this, he asserts, I got either a first or second
class in every subject.26
Crowleys goal, while at Cambridge, was to eventually enter
diplomatic service. He saw this as a way to travel and experience all that life
had to offer him. There was some incongruency in this choice, however.
Crowley did not have the predisposition to learn the four languages required
for this major.27 He also says, But in those days of adolescence I had no
inducement to do any kind of political thinking.28
Crowley continued developing interests that began in childhood. He
had learned to play chess at the age of six.29 At Cambridge he was president
of the University Chess Club.30 He would become so expert at the game that,
in later years, Regardie says, Crowley would play him and Gerald Yorke at
the same time, blindfolded. Crowley would retain the image of both boards in
his mind, and win both games.31
Young Alick had been writing poetry nearly as soon as he had
learned to print.32 He began writing more earnestly at Cambridge and
published several books of poetry. Included in these was Aceldama, which he
called his first published poem of any importance33, and Songs of the
Spirit, a collection of lyrics which reveal an ill-defined longing for spiritual
attainment.34. Other books of poetry from this period, also of a spiritual
nature, are Green Alps and White Stains.35 Poetry would remain a lifelong
passion for Aleister Crowley. He would later write many devotional poems.
AHA! included in Book 4 part 136 is a beautiful work, well known by
students of the Mysteries. Liber VII vel Lapis Lazuli, and Liber LXV, Liber
Cordis Cincte Serpente are included in The Holy Books of Thelema37 and
also recommended by Regardie to Golden Dawn students as devotionals.38
Liber LXV describes the rising of the Power of Wisdom, often
visualized, in the Western Mysteries Tradition, as The Serpent winding his
way up the Middle Pillar within, linked to the Egyptian Gods Typhon, and
the dead and resurrected Osiris.

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I am the Heart; and the Snake is entwined


About the invisible core of the mind.
Rise, O my snake! It is now is the hour
Of the hooded and holy ineffable flower.
Rise, O my snake, into brilliance of bloom
On the corpse of Osiris afloat in the tomb!
O heart of my mother, my sister, mine own,
Thou art given to Nile, to the terror Typhon!
Ah me! but the glory of ravening storm
Enswathes thee and wraps thee in frenzy of form.
Be still, O my soul! that the spell may dissolve
As the wands are upraised, and the ons revolve.
Behold! in my beauty how joyous Thou art,
O Snake that caresses the crown of mine heart!
Behold! we are one, and the tempest of years
Goes down to the dusk, and the Beetle appears.
O Beetle! the drone of Thy dolorous note
Be ever the trance of this tremulous throat!
I await the awaking! The summons on high
From the Lord Adonai, from the Lord Adonai!39
During his years at Cambridge, embittered towards the ideology he
was brought up by, but seeking convictions beyond the material, Crowley
became interested in the Celtic Church.
Here was a romantic and mystical idea which suited my
political and religious notions to the ground. It lived and
moved in an atmosphere of fairies, seal woman and magical
operations. Sacramentalism was kept in the foreground and
sin was regarded without abhorrence. Chivalry and mystery
were its pillars.40
With the Morte d Arthur, Lohengrin and Parsival as his holy books
Crowley began his own quest for the figurative holy grail - a quest, that
would, in a sense, last his life span, taking him through many strange lands
both on this earth and in other planes of existence.41
Along with this interest in Celtic mysticism, Edward Alexander
would adopt the name that he would be known by from then on, and be
remembered by after his permanent departure from Malkuth. Feeling the
need to leave his past, and his childhood nickname behind, and perceiving
himself to not fit the image of an Edward he took the Gaelic form of his
middle name as his identity. He became Aleister Crowley.42
Alick first began mountain climbing when due to his failing health
he was taken out of school and sent to the country, with a tutor, to recover.43
This interest grew during travels with his mother during school vacations as

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he met more serious and experienced sportsmen.44 In 1895 he has his first
serious taste of the Alps,45 the summer before his entrance into Cambridge.
Crowley would demonstrate a lifelong passion for travel. Mountain
climbing, travel and mysticism would ever be woven together into the
complex pattern of the fabric of his life.
It was while spending the winter break in Stockholm Sweden, about
midnight December 31, 1896, that Aleister Crowley had a mystical
experience resulting in such a profound effect that it determined the course of
his life. He referred to this as the first of two events that were to put me on
the road to myself.46 He described it as the key to the purest and holiest
spiritual ecstasy that exists.47 This experience was repeated exactly twelve
months later. Crowley says:
my animal nature stood rebuked and kept silent in the
presence of the immanent divinity of the Holy Ghost;
omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, yet blossoming in
my soul as if the entire forces of the universe from all eternity
were concentrated and made manifest in a single rose.48
In October of 1897, while experiencing a bout of minor illness,
Aleister became contemplative of death. This led to his realization of the
futility of incarnate existence, and was a foreshadowing of what is known in
hermetics as the Universal Vision of Sorrow.
I had been satisfied to escape from religion to the world. I
now found that there was no satisfaction here. I was not
content to be annihilated. Spiritual facts were the only thing
worth while. Brain and body were valueless except as the
instruments of the soul.49
Aleister searched for direction in this pursuit of knowledge of the
unseen. He read The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts, by A. E. Waite, and
wrote to its author asking for guidance. Waite suggested that he read The
Cloud upon the Sanctuary by Councillor von Eckartshausen.50 Israel
Regardie would later identify this perusal as a crucial juncture in Crowleys
life.51
The summer of 1898 Aleister traveled to Switzerland. He spent his
time there mountain climbing and reading the Kabbalah Unveiled by S. L.
Mathers. One evening, Crowley was relating his interest in Alchemy to a
group of men in the beer hall, and was overheard by a practicing Chemist and
Alchemist, Julian Baker.52 Crowley relates that Baker kindly took him aside,
afterwards. Though Crowley had little understanding of the subject at the
time, perhaps Baker sensed in the young man an earnest intent. Baker treated
young Crowley with seriousness and talked to him at length. Crowley was
thrilled and excited, and exacted a promise from Baker to meet with him in
London and introduce him to a man who would be able to help him in his

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quest for Wisdom.53


This promised was kept. Baker introduced Crowley to one of the two
men whom Israel Regardie later identified as Aleisters primary mentors and
role models in the Golden Dawn.54 This man was George Cecil Jones, known
in the Order by the motto Volo Noscere, I want to know.55
Aleister soon determined that Jones knew things that he himself was
seeking to understand. He began visiting Jones on a regular basis. Jones
agreed to sponsor his initiation into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn,
a secret society dedicated to the study of the occult.56
The other man that Regardie targets as a colossal influence on
Crowley, also in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, is Allen Bennett.57
Bennett had been an adept on the Golden Dawn since March of 1895, with
the motto Iehi Aour, which is Hebrew for Let there be light.58
Crowley clearly had great respect for Bennett. He tells of their first
meeting:
I was aware of the presence of a tremendous spiritual and
magical force. It seemed to me to proceed from a man sitting
in the east, a man I had not seen before, but whom I knew
must be the very Honorable Frater Iehi Aour, called among
men Allen Bennett.59
Crowley invited Bennett, who was experiencing financial difficulties,
to come and stay with him in what were much more comfortable
accommodations than the more experienced magician would have otherwise
afforded, and Bennett accepted. The benefit to Crowley, in this arrangement,
was that he was now in the position to do ritual with Bennett on a regular
basis, and learn from him.60
Bennett was a mathematician and scientist, specializing in the study
of electricity. He was also a dedicated student of Hindu and Buddhism.
Bennett would later move to Burma and become a Buddhist monk, with the
name Ananda Metteya. He would play an important role in the Buddhist
movement in Burma and Ceylon.61
Close association [with Bennett] played a decisive role in
moulding Crowleys intellectual attitudes where Oriental
mysticism was concerned. For through Ananda Metteya he
became exposed to Hinduism and Buddhism, to yoga and
tantra practiced of every kind. From then on, the whole of his
literary output is filled with the most profound insights into
the doctrines of Sorrow, Change and Impermanence, the three
characteristics fundamental to the beliefs of the Theravadin
Buddhists.62
It is, however, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn itself that
would play the largest role in shaping Aleister Crowleys personality beliefs

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and destiny. This is the assertion of Israel Regardie, the man who would
begin his quest for wisdom with Aleister Crowley as a mentor, and go on to
become the father of the resurgence in the Golden Dawn movement.63
Throughout the first two decades of his life, Aleister seems to be
aware of a void in his life; something is missing, something essential; he is
searching, but is not sure of what it is that he is seeking. The Hermetic Order
of the Golden Dawn had the answer, and was able to help him define his
goal. What he sought was his own Divinity, his Holy Guardian Angel, the
Holy Spirit within.
This ancient abstraction of a part of man, which is one with the
divine, goes back to antiquity. The Apostle Paul alludes to it often in the
Christian New Testament.
1 Corinthians 2:9-16
9. But, as it is written,
What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him,
10. God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit
searches everything, even the depths of God. 11. For what
person knows a mans thoughts except the spirit of the man
which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of
God except the Spirit of God. 12. Now we have received not
the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that
we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. 13.
And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but
taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual Truths to those who
possess the Spirit.
14. The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit
of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to
understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15.
The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged
by no one. 16. For who has known the mind of the Lord so as
to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.[64]
The French Mage Alphonse Louis Constant, writing under the
pseudonym Eliphas Levi, describes this force.
Furthermore, there exists in nature a force which is
immeasurably more powerful than steam, and by means of
which a single man, who knows how to adapt and direct it,
might upset and alter the face of the world. This force was
known to the ancients; it consists in an universal agent having

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equilibrium for its supreme law, while its direction is


concerned immediately with the great arcanum of
transcendental magicThis agentis precisely that which the
adepts of the middle ages denominated the first matter of the
Great Work. The Gnostics represented it as the fiery body of
the Holy Spirit; it was the object of adoration in the secret
rites of the Sabbath and the Temple, under the hieroglyphic
figure of Baphomet or the Androgyne of Mendes. 65
This path up the Qabalistic Tree of Life to the Higher Self, is the
principal doctrine of the Golden Dawn.66 Lytton calls this Higher Self
Adonai. In Abramelin it is referred to as The Holy Guardian Angel.
Theosophists call this the Silent Watcher or Great Master. Gnostics say the
Logos, and Egyptians Asar-Un-Nefer.67
Israel Regardie describes the teaching of the Golden Dawn, as it was
presented to Aleister Crowley.
What is the function of the qabalistic interpretation of
religion? This magic of which both the Golden Dawn and
Aleister Crowley speak? If I say its goal is illumination or the
expansion of consciousness, not much at first may be gleaned
from that. Yet being brought to the Light is a most apt
description of the high goals of the system. It is the Great
Work. There is no ambiguity in the concept of the Order
Rituals as Crowley found them towards the close of the
nineteenth century. The theme permeates the entire work from
Neophyte to Adeptus Minor, and beyond.68
Regardie had no doubt that this quest for the Light became, from this
time onward, the all consuming passion of Aleister Crowleys existence.69
These roots, he says, were developed, changed and expanded, but they
were the same roots to which he was exposed long ago.70
Though Crowley would ardently embrace the metaphysical principles
of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, he would ultimately become
entangled in an unfortunate political struggle within the Order. This struggle
would conclude in a division of the Golden Dawn into many smaller bodies
and the demise of the great inceptive fraternity.
Undercurrents of discontent were already stirring beneath the surface
when Aleister Crowley was initiated into the Outer Order of the Golden
Dawn on November 18, 1898. Crowley took the motto Perdurabo, which
means, I shall endure until the end. This, we can assume, is a declaration of
intent to reach the highest planes of enlightenment. In retrospective irony it
can be viewed as a dark foreshadowing of the events which led to the
termination of this vehicle of magical renaissance.
R.A. Gilbert describes the pivotal group of Golden Dawn adepts as a
potentially disruptive core: enthusiastic but of independent mind they were

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not inclined to accept unquestioned the dictates of an increasingly autocratic


and eccentric Chief.71
By all accounts, the Chief Adept of the Hermetic Order of the Golden
Dawn, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers was all these things. Of the man
attempting to lead and control this group of discontented magicians, Gilbert
says, Mathers stands out as a truly great magician, but as a man, as a mortal,
he falls.72 Mathers insisted on complete submission from the adepts.73 It was
this ego, Gilbert feels, that would eventually cause the great revolt of the
adepti.74
Virginia Moore lists five potential factors that led up to the great
schism. In addition to the reasons listed above, Moore points out the London
adepts dissatisfaction with Mathers move to Paris, leaving Florence Farr as
deputy and the adepts resentment at waiting years to obtain promised higher
grades. Moore also lists a conflict involving Aleister Crowley as a factor in
escalating this atmosphere of increasing discontent.75
When Aleister Crowley applied to the ruling chiefs of Isis-Uranus
Temple, in London, for admittance to the grade of Adeptus Minor he was
refused. This was largely due to a variety of factors involving the adepts
disapproval of Crowleys conception of morality. Mathers issued a stern
warning to the adepts of Isis-Uranus, and when that was ignored, invited
Aleister to Paris and initiated the young man himself.76 Crowley took the
motto Christeos Luciftias, which is Enochian for Let there be Light. The
influence of Bennett on Crowley may be noted in the similarity of this to
Bennetts motto, which was Hebrew for Let there be Light.77
Commenting on this action, Regardie notes that Whether Mathers
was impressed by the latent promise of Crowleys personality with its energy
and enthusiasm, or whether he decided upon his next step to show contempt
for the ruling Chiefs of Isis-Uranus Temple, we do not know.78
Whatever the intent behind the action, it served to inflame the conflict
even more. Mathers next move, naming Crowley as his emissary to recover
property and paperwork from the London Temple, served to be his last as
Chief of the Isis-Uranus Temple. The adepts of the second order voted to
sever all ties with Mathers and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
With this act of open rebellion, the great schism commenced.79
After the separation of Isis-Uranus from Mathers, Allan Bennett left
to pursue his interest in Buddhism. With little left to keep him in London
Crowley left England and began a series of adventures. In 1900 he traveled to
Mexico. The next year found him in India, and then visiting with Bennett in
Burma. From there he went mountain climbing in the Himalayas.80
In 1902 Crowley returned to a mansion in Scotland which he had
bought in 1899 to attempt the Operation of Abramelin, a magical working for
the purpose of integrating the Higher Self or Holy Guardian Angel.81
Crowley found himself bored and with little interest in re-pursuing the
operation at that time.82 He moved around Europe restlessly, through
Scotland, London, and Paris and back again. In July, while visiting a friend,
Gerald Kelly, in Edinburgh he met and eloped with Kellys sister Rose.83

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Crowley traveled with Rose to Ceylon in 1904 returning via Cairo. It


was here, in Cairo that the most important occurrence in Aleister Crowleys
life took place. This was the receiving of Liber L vel Legis, the Book of the
Law, from a discarnate entity Aiwass, through the mediumship of Crowleys
wife, Rose.84
In 1906 Aleister walked across China with his wife Rose, after which
he completed the operation of Abramelin. Rose and Aleister divorced in
1909. Crowley then traveled through North Africa with Victor Neuberg,
performing the Enochian calls of Dr. John Dee.85
Crowley visited the United States in 1900 and 1906, and lived there
from 1914 to 1919. During this last, extended stay he engaged in extensive
magical work during sequestered retirements at Lake Pasquaney in New
Hampshire86 and Oesopus Island on New Yorks Hudson River.87
Crowley resided In Italy from 1920-23, where he established the Abby of
Thelema at Cefalu. In the spring of 1921 he claimed the highest theoretical
grade of Ipissimus, though it seems to have taken him several years to
balance the energies involved.88 He was depressed and difficult to deal with
in these years.89
After being expelled from Italy by the Mussolini Regime he traveled
to Tunisia. The time in Tunisia was a low point in Crowleys life. He
suffered greatly both from Chronic Bronchitis and addiction to the treatment
for it. The common treatment of the day for respiratory illnesses was cocaine.
He was also, perhaps, still in a kind of aftershock from the ritual in which he
claimed Ipissimus.90
Crowley wrote about himself at this time.
The climax of their dealings with him came in the weeks
immediately preceding and following the Spring Equinox of
1924 E.V. At this time he lay sick unto death. He was entirely
alone; for They would even permit the presence of those few
whom They had themselves appointed to aid him in this final
initiation. In this last ordeal the earthly part of him was
dissolved in water; the water was vaporized into air; the air
was rarified utterly, until he was free to make the last effort,
and to pass into the vast caverns of the Threshold which
guards the Realm of Fire. Now naught human may come
through those immensities. So in that Fire he was consumed
wholly, and as pure Spirit alone did he return, little by little,
during the months that followed, into the body and mind that
had perished in that great ordeal of which he can say no more
than: I died.91
By the time of his return to Paris in 1924 Aleister seems to have
begun to find some measure of peace and acceptance, though he would
remain ever his droll and desultory self.92
Over the next few years he traveled around Europe and North Africa

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though living quite extensively in Germany.93


In 1945 Aleister Crowley went to live in a large Victorian house in
Hastings, England, that had been turned into a boarding house.94 Aleister
died there on December 1, 1947.95 His Last Ritual on December 5, was
attended by a small number or friends, including frater Achad, Lady Frieda
Harris, Gerald Yorke, and Kenneth Grant. Longtime friend, Louis Wilkenson
read Hymn to Pan, the Collects and Anthems from the Gnostic Mass and
selected passages from the Book of the Law.96
Aleister Crowley is perhaps best known, among students of the
Western Mysteries Traditions, for his foundation of Thelema. Thelema is
Greek for Will. As used in the Western Mysteries Tradition it is a religion
based on Liber L vel Legis. This is the document Crowley obtained from a
the discarnate entity, Aiwass, through his wife Rose, in Cairo, in 1904.
Liber L vel Legis,[sometimes Liber Al vel Legis], the Book of the
Law, proclaims a new age for humanity, the Aeon of Horus. During the Aeon
of Horus man will look inward for enlightenment. This is in contrast to the
age of Osiris, in which man looked to religious leaders to teach him about the
divine.
Life is no longer to be seen as something to be endured with
suffering and sorrow, but as a divine, ecstatic, continuous
unfolding. Nature and life are continuous. Man is immortal (or
at least can be, potentially).97
The main precept of Thelema, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole
of the Law. (I,40) is often misunderstood and taken out of context. Used
properly, it refers to the Will. This is our true and perfect path, on which our
Holy Guardian Angel guides us when we have learned to hear and to follow
our higher selves. For those who are called, it refers to the Great Work. Do
what thou wilt does not mean, Do what you like. It is the apotheosis of
Freedom; but it is also the strictest possible bond. Do what thou wilt -- then
do nothing else. Let nothing deflect thee from that austere and holy task.
Liberty is absolute to do thy will; but seek to do any other thing whatever,
and instantly obstacles must arise. Every act that is not in definite course of
that one orbit is erratic, an hindrance.98
In 1907 Crowley joined a German Rosicrucian Society, the Ordo
Templi Orientis.99 This society was under the leadership of Theodore Reuss,
with ties back to a group founded by Karl Kellner in 1895.
In this same year he founded the A..A.., an organization designed to
promote individual occult study, with a strong emphasis on Golden Dawn
curriculum.
In 1912 Crowley was given a charter to form his own OTO lodge in
England.100
With the addition of Thelemic rituals, which grew largely from a study of
Roman Catholic ritual, with symbolism specific to Thelema, Crowley
became the founder of a unique society made of three distinct but related

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divisions. These associations, the OTO, the A..A.. and the Gnostic Church
relate to verse (I, 40) in Liber L vel Legis which states, Who calls us
Thelemites will do no wrong, if he look but close into the word. For there are
therein Three Grades, the Hermit, and the Lover, and the man of Earth.101
Today a number of Thelemic organizations exist:

Ordo Templi Orientis, U.S. Grand Lodge

Thelemic Golden Dawn

College and Temple of Thelema

Ordo Argentum Astrum

Aleister Crowley was a prolific writer who contributed a great deal to


the knowledge and study material available to the student of magic today.
A full online library of the works of Crowley can be found at:

http://www.otohq.org/otodocs.html

http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/index.html

ftp://ftp.mysticalnet.net/pub/mysticalinternet/winhelp/

Book IV includes four smaller volumes, including Magick (elemental


theory), Magick in Theory and Practice (a key book in Crowleys system of
Magic), Mysticism (an overall view of mysticism and yoga) and Liber L vel
Legis (the Book of the Law).
Much of Crowleys work is in the form of short works called Libers,
most of which were published in the Equinox from 1909-1913 and 1919.
There are also longer Equinoxes which are book length works. These include
Eight Lectures on Yoga, published in 1939, the Book of Thoth, published in
1944, and the Equinox of the Gods, published in 1936.
The Book of Lies, a complex work full of puns, and a fertile ground
for qabalistic pondering, was printed in 1913. The Holy Books, 1909-10,
contain inspired and devotional poetry. Liber 777, and extensive work of
qabalistic correspondences was first published in 1909.
One may find the voice of a somewhat more matured Crowley in
Little Essays Toward Truth, published in 1938, and Magic Without Tears,
which he began writing in 1945, after his retirement to Hastings.102
In 1904 A. E. Waite made the following comment about Eliphas Levi:
No modern expositor of occult science can bear any
comparison with Eliphas Levi, and among ancient expositors,
though many stand higher in authority, all yield to him in
living interest, for he is actually the spirit of modern thought
forcing an answer for the times from the old oracles Hence

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there are greater names, but there is no influence so great-no


fascination in occult literature exceeds that of the French
magus.103
It is interesting today to consider this passage in light of Aleister
Crowleys claim to be Levi incarnated. Waite, who was part of the body of
Chiefs that refused Crowley admittance to the inner order at Isis-Uranus
might well write this about Crowley, if he were alive today to comment.
Whether Aleister Crowley deliberately set himself to mimic and
surpass Levi, or truly was the reincarnation of the French magician cannot be
determined with certainty. It is a near certainty, however, that all yield now
to Crowley in living interest, for he is undoubtedly the most colorful and
controversial figure in the history of hermetic arts.
Christopher S. Hyatt remarks that A.C. flashed his truth [threw it
right in our face and rubbed our nose into it] publicly and without any sense
of apology or good taste.104
Robert Anton Wilson, Ph.D. tells of a remark made to him by Caliph
Hymeneus Alpha of the OTO, that There is no sense in trying to whitewash
Crowleys reputation, Aleister spent most of his life systematically
blackening it.105
Wilsons own view of the controversy surrounding Crowley was that,
Crowley was always eccentric, often outrageous on principle, and
sometimes downright vicious, but he is unique among the Illuminate in not
trying to conceal such traits but, rather, in making every possible effort to
ensure that disciples would never be able to sentimentally sanctify him.106
There are certainly many aspects of Aleister Crowleys behavior and
lifestyle that may people disagree with in principal, such as sexual
promiscuity, experimentation with drugs for altered consciousness and
breaking of religious taboos. There is also an abundance of myth and rumor
about Crowley that can neither be confirmed nor invalidated. It is, however,
perhaps more interesting to speculate on the extremity of the reaction people
often have towards Crowley.
Christopher Hyatt observes that this reaction often surpasses reason,
and is not in proportion with other, comparable examples.
Crowley in my opinion is damned and feared by many not
because of his explicit sexuality, for who is not aware or
involved with the sexual revolution in one form or another.
Another explanation of why he is so severely condemned is
his drug use, yet Leary and others have surpassed Crowley
with this form of experimental brain change. Still another is
his hatred of the Christian Tunnel Reality. Yet, some
bookstores handle the Satanic Bible while refusing to handle
Crowley. Why should this be?107
Invariable when the name of Aleister Crowley is brought up in a

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discussion, someone mentions his addiction to cocaine. Though it is well


know that this was a commonly used remedy for various ailments at the time,
and that Crowleys addiction was from using it to treat his chronic and severe
Bronchitis. The same is not true in the case of Sigmund Freud, who was also
addicted to cocaine, and for the same reason.97 People also fail to recognize
the number of Americans ingesting cocaine when it was the feel good
ingredient in Coca-Cola.
Similarly the names Casanova and Don Juan are often used, with
positive connotation, to mean a charming dashing ladies man. Why then do
we call Aleister a misogynist rather than use his name as a similar form of
flattery towards sexually successful men? It seems that public opinion has
a rather fluctuating standard of determination.
Hyatt gives, as one possible explanation, Aleister Crowleys assault
on the ego, as part of his ongoing striving for higher or altered states of mind.
It is Hyatts belief that our own egos feel threatened by this denunciation of
our sacred personalities and the system which feeds on these rigidities and
fears.108
This sacred ego, he says is our greatest obstacle to finding our True
Will, which he asserts is synonymous with the Great Work. The ego is,
Hyatt declares a random collection of input data accumulated from the
information [or dis-information] of Mother, Father, Teacher, Culture,
Friends, Religion and History. It is the cause of much pain, and inhibits our
true and perfect self.109
Robert Anton Wilson, Ph.D. agrees that, Crowley tried, like all
mystics, to abolish the ego.110 He points to the dissonance between the
imperative need for continuous loosening of ego boundaries in the Great
Work and the impossibility of their complete erasure, as well as their
evolutionary necessity, as the cause of Aleister Crowleys capricious
existence.
Crowley, Wilson tells us, developed and nurtured a hierarchy of
separate selves, each with its own functions and levels of awareness.111 This
is both a necessity and function of mysticism. It also explains the variability
we see in Crowley, from his actions to his words and aptitudes as a
transcendentalist and visionary.
Wilson says that Crowley tackled this problem with his usual foolhardy Total Commitment. He pushed the techniques of ceremonial magic far
beyond the point most occultists dare to go.112
John Symonds seems to agree with Wilson, though it is obvious that he sees
this obliteration of the ego in a less favorable light.
Other people have no ego, are just weak, but Crowley made a
religion out of his weakness, out of being ego-less. I know
that ego-lessness is a condition which Indian philosophy
regards as the supreme state, and towards which Sadhaka
strives, but in Crowleys case it is the point from which he
begins Indeed he rushed in where angels let alone

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Sadhakas, fear to tread. He lacked an inhibitory


counterforce; he was always hurling himself into magical and
other adventures.113
Sometimes, however, it is the simply the most obvious explanation
that is correct. Kevin Carlyon, described in The Observer, an English
newspaper, as one of Britains best known white witches, says To those who
would follow him I say, be aware that he was taking the mickey of
everything. He had a sense of humour and so should not necessarily be
trusted.114
Aleister Crowley himself noted that this is a trait found to be largely
wanting in a substantial portion of the population. He tells of a time that he
wrote a parody of the Declaration of Independence and applied it to
Ireland. With some friends, including a female of Irish descent, and in an
inebriated state, he took a motorboat to the Statue of Liberty. Here he read
this Declaration, hoisted the Irish flag, and tore up an old envelope that he
claimed was his British passport and threw it into the water. His lady friend,
a violinist, played the Wearing of the Green. They then went to soak up the
alcohol in their stomachs with breakfast, and home to sleep it off.
Of the response from his nation of origin, Crowley tells, Over in
England there was some consternation. I cannot think of what had happened
to their sense of humour.115
It is the authors opinion that to truly appreciate Aleister Crowley a
sense of humour is essential.
In 1928, Aleister Crowley invited a young man from America, with
an interest in mysticism and the occult, to travel to Paris to become his
secretary. He did not realize, at the time, that in befriending this young man
his relationship with the Golden Dawn would become a full circle. This man
was Israel Regardie. Israel Regardie would one day record and publish for all
posterity the knowledge and rituals of the Hermetic Order of the Golden
Dawn, thereby passing this aspect of spirit of the Great Work to a new
generation.
Regardies influence on the modern Golden Dawn movement cannot
be discounted, nor can Crowleys influence on Regardie.
Regardie parted company with Crowley in 1932, when Mandrake
Press, Crowleys publisher, folded, leaving Crowley unable to keep Regardie
in employment. They parted as friends, but sharp words were exchanged,
from both sides, via the mail, a few years later. This was apparently a
squabble, childish on both sides, where both men ridiculed the others
adopted name. Contact between the two was dissolved, and a derogatory note
was circulated about Regardie, which he attributed to Crowleys
authorship.116
That a strong respect and attachment for the older man remained with
Regardie is obvious from his biography of the former, the Eye in the
Triangle. Throughout the biography Regardie shows empathy and a sense of
protectiveness towards his former mentor This is illustrated in the many

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quotes from that book used above.


Regardie, who later joined the Golden Dawn, rechristianed as Stella
Matutina, would have had his interest developed, if not begun, by living with
Crowley and learning about the Golden Dawn from him. He also learned
much of the foundational knowledge of the Golden Dawn at this time.
Regardie refers to Crowley often in The Complete Golden Dawn
System of Magic.117 Regardie used insight from Crowleys work, including
Liber HHH, in developing potential self-initiation rituals and ideas on
starting a Golden Dawn temple.118 He refers Golden Dawn students to, Book
4 Part II for information regarding the creation and use of magical tools.119
He applauds Crowley for recognizing the importance of balanced enjoyment
of sexuality, though he recognizes that Crowley himself had difficulty
achieving this.120
In discussing potential pitfalls and dangers involved in the use of
Golden Dawn Magic, Regardie quotes Crowley from Liber O, advising,
among other things, caution in assigning objective reality to experiences in
other planes, and of resting or ceasing the Great Work prematurely.121
In examining the use and availability of devotional writing for the Golden
Dawn student, Regardie makes this statement.
I must refer to the work of Aleister Crowley who, after all,
whatever is said and done, was once a member of the order
and owes a great deal to his initiation therein. I especially
suggest reading his instruction which reviews the whole
Eastern attitude about Bhakta - Liber Astarte vel BerylliSo
far as I am concerned, this Liber is a masterpiece, which I can
strongly recommend especially to one complaining about the
absence of devotional writing in the order.
Furthermore, and this I think is paramount, there is
Crowleys early masterpiece Three Holy BooksThis volume
contains Liber LXV or The Book of the Heart Girt with a
Serpent, Liber VII or Liber Lapidis Lazuli and finally Liber
813 vel Ararita. All three are superbly written and breathe
devotion in every wordIt may be stretching definitions
pretty far to state that these may be considered part of the
Orders devotional literature. But on the other hand I would
rather consider these to be in that category than the religious
lucubrations of Mr. A. E. Waitethey convey more devotion
and love to me122
It is clear then, that at their roots, the modern Golden Dawn
movement and Thelema are inseparably intertwined. Both claim German
Rosicrucian ancestry long before Aleister Crowley began his study of the
occult.
Crowley first began his focused quest for divine transformation with

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initiation into the Golden Dawn and the study of its teachings. After founding
Thelema he influenced the man who would publish the Golden Dawn
material, risking censure123 to save the rituals and knowledge from obscurity.
This knowledge, now available to a new generation, has inspired countless
individuals and has led to the foundation of more than one fraternal
organization dedicated to its practice and study.
There are some points of contention between orders that consider
themselves Thelemic, and Orders which consider themselves to be in the
Golden Dawn tradition.
One of these differences is the employment of sex magic.
Thelemic sex magic focuses the subtle but powerful energies involved in the
various aspects of sex to catapult the consciousness higher in the
transcendental process.
The use of sex magic in Thelema traces its roots back to tantric yoga,
both through the roots of the OTO in Germany before Crowleys initiation124
and also through Crowleys interest in Eastern practices springing from his
association with Allen Bennett and time spent in the East.125
Other differences between Thelema and Golden Dawn orders involve
the use of symbolism from Liber L vel Legis, used in Thelema but not
incorporated into the Golden Dawn system of magic.
Much of this symbolism can be traced [potentially and
controversially] back to Crowleys childhood fascination with the Biblical
Apocalyptic literature. It also illustrates the duel nature of Chokmah and
Binah, the first manifestations of the Divine in its masculine and feminine
aspects on the qabalistic Tree of Life.
Regardie says of Crowley The ecstasy of sex he considered akin to
the ecstasy of spiritual experience.126 This is often illustrated in the
symbolism of Thelema.
A crucial divergence is the Thelemic doctrine that mankind has
entered a new Aeon.
A full discussion of this deviation of doctrine deserves a more
thorough investigation than may be accomplished here, as imperative as that
dialog may be. However one implication of this division relates to its
application to the vast body of writing by Aleister Crowley that pertains to
the highest planes of existence. In traditional Golden Dawn there are three
theoretical grades assigned to the third order. Some consider these grades
impossible, others improbable, in the incarnate state, as the are across the
Abyss.
Thelema asserts that now, in the Aeon of Horus, these higher levels of
attainment are a possibility. This discrepancy becomes crucial in determining
the value of Crowleys work on transcendental magic.
Whatever ones fealty, it is illogical to assume that the GD and
Thelema live in different eras. There can be no doubt of the great changes
western culture has undergone since the Victorian age of Crowley youth and
the foundation of the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, however
one chooses to describe this Likewise one cannot imagine that the demons

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of the abyss interrogate seekers as to their order allegiance.


Both the Golden Dawn and Thelema are qabalistic in foundation,
based on the Otz Chiym, or Hebrew Tree of Life. This ideology, termed
theurgy, is a doctrine supposing one Divinity who manifests down through
the planes of existence. The gods of various cultures are attributed to these
faces or manifestations of the Divine according to similarities in their
characteristic natures and traits. To say they are guided by different gods
contradicts their very foundation. We may accept, however, the potential for
a varied nature of this energy depending on the focus of disparate sephirah in
ritual and symbolism.
Western culture and mankind is in the age that it is, whatever one
chooses to call this age, or wherever one puts to it the boundaries of time.
Eternal laws of nature and divinity determine the height we may achieve of
transcendence and unity with the one divine force.
That leaves the debate to be exactly what these natural and divine
laws afford. This question, it would seem, is not answerable to any degree of
satisfaction, to the body of hermetic magicians taken as a whole.What is
indubitable, however, is that no practitioner of the western magical tradition
tried harder or wrote more about these attempts than Aleister Crowley.
Stephen Skinner puts it well, when he says, Crowley dared to storm the
portals of heaven-by the back door or any other method of ingress. If he
failed, it was not from want of trying.127
If Crowleys efforts were successful is up to the individual reader to
resolve for him or herself. Yet, for those who intend themselves to endure
until the end, to ignore Aleister Crowleys extensive treatise on the abyss
and supernal planes of existence, based on a life, controversial as this life
may have been, dedicated to the knowledge and conversion of the Holy
Guardian Angel within, is self-defeating and counter productive.
Notes
1. Regardie. The Eye in the Triangle, p.XXIII
2. Ibid. p.35
3. Ibid. pp.36-61
4. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, pp. 29-30
5. Symonds, p. 14
6. Crowley, Confessions, p. 14
7. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, pp. 29-30
8. Crowley, Confessions, pp. 36, 48 also Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, p. 46
9. Symonds, p. 14; also Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle p.46
10. Crowley, Confessions, p. 49
11. Ibid. p. 44
12. Ibid. p. 48
13. Ibid. p. 49
14. Ibid. p. 52
15.. Ibid. p. 52
16. Ibid. p. 54
17. Ibid. pp. 54-7
18. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, pp 46-7

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19. Ibid. pp 47-8


20. Crowley, Confessions, p. 66
21. Ibid. p. 70
22. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, pp. 51-2
23. Ibid. pp. 48
24. Crowley, Confessions,p.
25. Ibid. p. 108
26. Ibid. p. 109
27. Ibid. p. 115
28. Ibid. p. 120
29. Ibid. p. 48
30. Ibid. p. 135
31. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, p. 15
32. Crowley, Confessions, pp. 73,82,85,93,120-1
33. Ibid. p. 138
34. Ibid. p. 138
35. Ibid. p. 139
36. Crowley, AHA!
37. Crowley, The Holy Books of Thelema
38. Regardie, The Complete Golden Dawn, p. 16
39. Crowley, The Holy Books of Thelema: Liber LXV
40. Crowley, Confessions, p. 121
41. Ibid. p. 121
42. Ibid. p. 141
43. Ibid. p. 70
44. Ibid. p. 88
45. Ibid. p. 101
46. Ibid. p. 123
47. Ibid. p. 123
48. Ibid. p. 124
49. Ibid. pp. 124-5
50. Ibid. p. 126-7
51. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, p. 38
52. Skinner, p. 10
53. Crowley, Confessions, pp. 164-5
54. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, pp.38-9
55. Skinner, p. 237
56. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, p. 38-40; also Crowley, Confessions, p. 176-7
57. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, p. 40
58. Kuntz
59. Crowley, Confessions, p. 178
60. Ibid. pp. 181-3
61. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, p. 40
62. Ibid. p. 42
63. Ibid. p. 59
64. The Holy Bible
65. Levi, pp. 13-14
66. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, pp. 64-9
67. Crowley, The Equinox, p. 132
68. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, p. 64
69. Ibid. p. 60-69
70. Ibid. p. 60
71. Gilbert p.46
72. Ibid. p. 113
73. Ibid. p. 48
74. Ibid. p. 44

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75. Moore, p. 142


76. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle
77. Kuntz
78. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, p. 93
79. Gilbert, pp. 54-6
80. Skinner, p. 11
81. Crowley, Confessions, p. 185
82. Ibid. p. 337
83. Ibid. p. 336-66
84. Skinner, p. 11
85. Ibid. p. 11
86. Crowley, Confessions, p. 810
87. Ibid. pp. 783-8
88. Crowley, Liber DCLXVI
89. Symonds, p.21
90. Crowley, Magical Diaries
91. Crowley, Liber DCLXVI
92. Ibid.
93. Skinner, pp. 13-4
94. Frater 93, Timeline
95. Wilson, p. XIII
96. Symonds, p. 24
97. St. J.O.N.
98. Crowley, The Law is for All, I,40
99. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, p.13
100. Crowley and Reuss, pp. 13-26
101. Crowley, Liber L vel Legis, I,40
102. Skinner, pp. xiv-14
103. Waite, p. ix
104. Hyatt, p. XIX
105. Caliph Hymenous Alpha, Wilson, p. XIIII
106. Wilson, p. XIII
107. Hyatt, pp. IX-XXI
108. Ibid. p XIX
109. Ibid. p. XVIII
110. Wilson, p. XII-XVI
111. Ibid. p. XIV
112. Ibid. p. XIII
113. Symonds, p. 22
114. Carlyon, Kevin
115. Crowley, Confessions, p. 753
116. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, p. 6-9
117. Regardie, The Complete Golden Dawn
118. Ibid. pp. 8, 10-11
119. Ibid. p. 14
120. Ibid. p. 18
121. Ibid. p.20
122. Ibid. p.16
123. Gilbert p. 195
124. Crowley and Reuss, pp. 13-26
125. Regardie, The Eye in the Triangle, p. 40
126. Ibid. p. 62
127. Skinner, p. xvi

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References
Caliph Hymeneus Alpha. Personal correspondence to: Wilson, Robert A.
Introduction. The Eye in the Triangle: an Interpretation of Aleister Crowley.
By Israel Regardie. Tempe, Arizona: New Falcon Publications, 1997.
Carlyon, Kevin, quoted in, Crowley Reborn As Demon of the Internet. The
Observer. 17 Oct. 1999.
Crowley, Aleister, Liber DCLXVI,
http://www.lapulce.it/thelema/l666_al_crowley_biographical_note.html
Crowley, Aleister. Book Four: Part I, AHA!.
http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/lib242.html
Crowley, Aleister. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An
Autohagiography. Ed. Kenneth Grant and John Symonds. New York:
Penguin Books/Arkana, 1989.
Crowley, Aleister, The Equinox, Vol. 1, No. 1.
http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/index.html
Crowley, Aleister. The Holy Books of Thelema. Ed. Hymenaeus Alpha and
Hymenaeus Beta. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1983.
Crowley, Aleister. The Holy Books of Thelema, Liber LXV - Liber Cordis
Cincti Serpente. Ed. Hymenaeus Alpha and Hymenaeus Beta. York Beach,
ME: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1983.
Crowley, Aleister. The Law is for All. Ed. Louis Wilkinson 1946 and
Hymenaeus Beta 1996. Tempe, Arizona: New Falcon Publications, 1996.
Crowley, Aleister. Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley: Tunisia 1923. Ed.
Stephen Skinner. New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1999.
Crowley, Aleister, and Ruess, Theodor. OTO Rituals and Sex Magick. IHO
Books, 1999.
Frater 93. A Crowley Timeline. The Enlightened Page.
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/1896/actimeline.html
Gilbert, RA.. The Golden Dawn Scrapbook: The Rise and Fall of a Magical
Order. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1997.

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The Holy Bible. Revised Standard Version. New York, NY: Meridian Books,
1974.
Hyatt, Christopher S. Preface. The Eye in the Triangle: an Interpretation of
Aleister Crowley. By Israel Regardie. Tempe, Arizona: New Falcon
Publications, 1997.
Kuntz, Darcy. Ed. The Golden Dawn Sourcebook. Edmonds, WA: Holmes
Publishing Group,1996.

Levi, Eliphas. Transcendental Magic. Trans. A.E. Waite. Chicago,: The


Occult Publishing House, 1910.
Moore, Virginia. The Unicorn. New York: MacMillan, 1954.
Personal interview. E-mail. St. J.O.N.
Regardie, Israel. The Eye in the Triangle: an Interpretation of Aleister
Crowley. Tempe, Arizona: New Falcon Publications, 1997.
Regardie, Israel. The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic. Pheonix,
Arizona: Falcon Press, 1984.
Skinner, Stephen. Ed. Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley: Tunisia 1923. by
Aleister Crowley. New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1999.
Symonds, John. Introduction: the Mind and Mask of Aleister Crowley. The
Confessions of Aleister Crowley: an Autohagiography. By Aleister Crowley.
New York: Penguin Books/Arkana, 1989.
Waite, A.E. Ed. Biographical Preface. Transcendental Magic. By Eliphas
Levi. Chicago: The Occult Publishing House, 1910.
Wilson, Robert A. Introduction. The Eye in the Triangle: an Interpretation of
Aleister Crowley. By Israel Regardie. Tempe, Arizona: New Falcon
Publications, 1997.

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The Occult Novels of Dion Fortune


by Alex Sumner
Introduction
"Dion Fortune" was the pen-name of Violet Mary Firth, 1890 - 1946:
it is derived from "Deo Non Fortuna" ("By God not Luck"), which she
adopted as her motto when she was a member of the AO.
Dion was (along with Israel Regardie), one of the most prominent
members of the first wave of occultists who joined the Golden Dawn
tradition after the split at the turn of the 20th century. A former member of
the Theosophical Society, she was inspired by Annie Besant's description of
the later Masters, and believed that she herself had made contact with two of
them. It was whilst attending a Theosophical meeting that Fortune discerned
she had a gift for psychism. Indeed, when she later joined the AO, it would
appear that Fortune already had enough confidence in her abilities to believe
that she didn't have to thank her superiors in that Order for them.
It is crucial to understand Dion Fortune that she was a "Free Thinker".
She developed her own views on the Qabalah, on mystical cosmology,
paganism, etc which were unlike those taught by either Theosophy or the AO
- in this she relied purely on her own genius. It was this tendency to be a Free
Thinker which eventually got her into trouble with Moina Mathers, the head .
of the particular lodge of the AO to which Fortune belonged. Moina pointed
out that the writings which Fortune was channelling from her occult sources
were not consistent with AO teaching - this lead Fortune to leave, and
eventually set up her own occult organisation, the Society of Inner Light.
Dion's writing career can be divided into two phases, corresponding
to her AO and post-AO periods. It was in the first part (which lasted up to
about 1930), she seems to be careful to appease her superiors, and conform to
the loyalty and confidentiality expected of a "good little initiate". However,
this was completely against her nature, and towards the later part of this first
phase one can recognise Fortune asserting her own Will and her own ideas
through her writing, leading inevitably to the confrontation with Moina. It
was during this time that Dion wrote Psychic Self-Defence, and the fictional
works The Secrets of Doctor Taverner and The Demon Lover.
In the second, post-AO phase, from 1930 until the end of her life in
1946, Dion gave up any pretence of toeing the line as just another initiate,
and was quite blatantly using her writing to set out her own magical
manifesto. It is from this period that her classic work The Mystical Qabalah
dates, as well as her fictional novels The Winged Bull, The Goat-Foot God,
and her pice de resistance, The Sea Priestess. Dion also worked on a further
novel, Moon Magic, though this was unfinished in her lifetime, and published
posthumously in 1956.
Fortune herself said of her fictional output from the post-AO period:

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"The 'Mystical Qabalah' gives the theory, but the novels give
the practice. [T]hose who study the 'Mystical Qabalah' with
the help of the novels get the keys of the Temple put into their
hands." 1
The Secrets of Doctor Taverner
Dion's first attempt at fiction was this collection of short stories. John
Taverner MD is a Harley Street physician, and the proprietor of a sanatorium
in the west country. He engages a young doctor, Eric Rhodes, who has been
discharged from the Army following World War One. Rhodes soon discovers
some strange things about his employer: that he belongs to some kind of
secret society, that he believes in astrology, that he regularly deals with
paranormal phenomena, that mysterious people address him as "Greatly
Honoured Frater", etc.
In short, Taverner is a powerful Hermetic magician, who uses Magic
to cure the afflictions of the patients that come to him. It appears that
"Taverner" is based on a real-life character - Theodore Moriarty, a 7=4 of the
AO under whom Fortune studied - whilst the character of "Rhodes" is
Fortune herself in the thinnest of disguises.
Fortune therefore uses this scenario to relate a number of incidents
which she apparently witnessed whilst under Moriarty's tutelage. For
example, in the story "Blood Lust", Taverner deals with a Vampire, which is
in fact an etheric being or ghost which is sucking the vitality of the living: an
incident which Fortune later stated happened in real-life.
Fortune uses the various stories in this book to outline her views on
reincarnation: not just the fact that it occurs, but that previous lives exert a
strong influence on the present one. Unusually strong in fact: it seems that
the characters who become involved in the various plots of the stories are
usually destined to have done so by their "ante-natal" activities. Fortune takes
this to the extent that people who were lovers in former lives are again drawn
together by their karma.
There is at least one incident inspired by her connection to
Theosophy. In "Recalled" Fortune writes about a messianic child, The
Reconciler between East and West, described as a "mahatma-soul". The
imagery is pure Besant, with "the Reconciler" being modelled on the concept
of "the World Teacher" which Besant was grooming. Indeed in The Training
and Work of an Initiate Fortune admits she believes in this concept.
However, this dates the story terribly, as "the World Teacher" idea
disappeared in 1925 when Besant's proteg, Krishnamurti, publicly disowned
Theosophy. Yet in this story we have a quote which reveals another of
Fortune's ideas. When a woman discerns, through occult means, that her
husband has had an affair with a native girl in India - and that the girl,
pregnant, committed suicide - she says of the girl:

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"[I]t was a woman, and I am a woman, and it seems to hurt


me because it hurts womanhood. I can't put it plainly, but I
feel it, I feel it as a hurt to all that is best in me."
Clearly, Dion is an early Feminist, and is using this story to put
forward her beliefs.
However there are a number of problems with "The Secrets of Doctor
Taverner" which mark it out as Fortune's least successful venture into Occult
fiction. Firstly, it is written from the viewpoint of a non-psychic (Rhodes).
All the interesting phenomena happen to Taverner. Thus whilst Taverner is
off in the various regions of the Astral plane, we are often left with Rhodes'
description of these incidents, i.e. that he watches over Taverner lying on a
couch. This is quite a serious flaw, as the plots of several of the stories rely
on the fact that Taverner gets a number of psychic messages via his astral
contacts, and often works his cures on the astral. Hence most of the action is
happening in invisible realms which, because the narrator is a non-psychic,
we are unable to observe.
Secondly, Fortune unwisely decided to tone-down some of the more
interesting incidents. For example, in "Blood Lust", the Vampire is
dispatched in the following manner:
"Then the end came. Taverner leapt forward. There was a Sign
then a Sound."
This is the extent of the detail concerning the method which Taverner
used to destroy this fearsome entity, and note that neither the Sign nor Sound
was defined. Taverner makes a lot of undetailed Signs throughout the book.
Yet in Psychic Self-Defence, Fortune goes into much more detail about what
Moriarty did: apparently he surrounded it with Love, and absorbing it into his
own aura, he neutralised the creature by meditating on Peace. As a result of
this venture, Moriarty lay unconscious for three days - but the Vampire was
successfully consigned to oblivion. Clearly, the version in Psychic SelfDefence is both more dramatic and gives a better idea about the magical
principles involved. It would appear that Dion was still trying to observe her
vows of secrecy and loyalty at this point: hence, she was unwilling to give
away anything that might be construed as a secret of the order.
The Demon Lover
Fortune's first attempt at a novel per se is a much more interesting
affair from a literary point of view. She avoids the mistake of the previous
book of having the stories told from the position of a non-psychic, by making
sure that the view-point character gets to participate in and observe in the
phenomena which underlie the plot.
Moreover it has a plot to engage the interest: a classic horror story

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which could easily be adapted into a film comparable with, e.g. The Exorcist.
A sinister black magician plans to cynically use an innocent young girl as
part of a magical war against his occult Lodge. However despite the fact that
he could easily have sacrificed her when his plan is discovered, he has an
attack of conscience (he is falling in love with her), and incurs the
supernatural wrath of the Lodge on himself. However, because he cannot
completely renounce his evil ways, he eventually pays a terrible price for
what he has done.
There is a similarity in subject matter - for example, Fortune re-works
the vampire idea of Taverner, but does so in a manner which is more
reminiscent of a conventional horror story. Indeed, throughout the work she
seems now to be displaying the sensibilities of a novelist, as opposed to an
initiate-playing-at-being one.
We also have some indication of Dion beginning to display her
independence of thought. Lucas, the "Demon Lover" of the title, is
unquestionably evil, but the Lodge against which he intrigues does not
provoke our sympathy, as it is painted as full of old men, stuck in the mud,
convinced of their own self-righteousness. The resolution of the novel
proposes that it is only through the intervention of the pure young heroine,
who can use her femininity to restore the balance of the moribund lodge,
which can save all parties concerned. This heroine turns out to be the
reincarnation of Lucas' lover in a previous life. And note, that the heroine
defies the strict regime of the Lodge, but is backed up by a higher power - a
high Adept who seems to be a member of the Third Order.
In the light of Dion's later work, it might not be stretching the
imagination to say that she identified herself with the heroine, with the Lodge
as a metaphor for the AO: Fortune's justification for her actions being that
she claimed she was in contact with the Masters, quite independently of her
connection with the AO.
The Winged Bull
The "Winged Bull" of the title is a large Babylonian sphinx: it has the
body of a bull, wings covering its back, and the head of a Babylonian
nobleman, with the characteristic beard and head-dress. It may still be seen to
this day in the British Museum in London, where the plaque in front of it
describes it as a "Guardian Spirit" i.e. it would have been set at the entrance
to a temple to guard it, along with its counterpart. I must admit that when I
myself saw it just last year, I found it interesting to think that I was probably
standing on the same spot as Dion herself had done some 70 years
previously.
But to Dion's fervent imagination, this Winged Bull is not so much a
guardian spirit but a metaphor for sexuality (the Bull) which is sublimated by
Spirituality (its Wings). Dion extends this metaphor, by talking of a fictional
"Mass of the Bull" (i.e. sans wings) which is enacted by a lodge of black
magicians: this is impliedly a kind of "black mass" of the kind that was

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conducted by La Voisine - although in the novel the infamous ritual never


gets to be carried out.
The central theme is the magical healing of a man and woman. She
("Ursula") has been reduced to a neurotic and uncharismatic wreck by
involvement with a black magician. The man ("Murchison"), who is
persuaded into helping to save her, finds he has to battle shortcomings in his
own personality. A proud but lonely man, for a long time he finds it hard to
feel compassion towards the damsel he is supposed to rescuing.
The agent for this magical change is a wise old magician, who,
significantly, is not connected to any magical organisation. This same
magician not only owns his own pad in London but also has a private income
- so that he doesn't have to work but can devote all his time to the occult.
(Ah, if only)
Although Fortune seemed to be a feminist in The Secrets of Doctor
Taverner, in this novel, Ursula is not at first treated sympathetically. As
readers we are made to feel that she herself is partly at fault for the lack of an
early solution to her predicament. Why is this? To Fortune, the magical
healing at the centre of the story is a metaphor for something that, in life
generally, both sexes must undergo. Murchison, representing men, is healed
when he learns the true meaning of self-sacrifice, and recognises his proper
feelings of compassion and sensitivity towards Ursula. Ursula, representing
women, eventually realises that she must embrace sexuality instead of
repressing it: moreover she also realises that she has not been putting enough
value on Murchison's efforts. Ultimately, she saves him from a nasty end at
the hands of the black magicians by herself being brave.
Hence, he is healed by becoming sensitive and compassionate: she is
healed by becoming proactive, brave, and responsible for her own sexuality.
It is as if what is happening is that both of them are in fact healed by taking
on what Fortune sees as the best characteristics of the opposite sex - a
balancing of male and female energies.
The Goat Foot God
This book is Fortune's strongest assertion that Magical orders are
irrelevant: as, in the course of the story, she reveals a possible method of how
to create a viable magical system from books which are published and not
subject to anyone's vows of secrecy. The hero, Hugh Paston, in the course of
scouring the shelves of a very well-stocked second-hand bookshop, is able to
perform this feat of ingenuity when he finds copies of L-Bas and Rebours
by J K Huysmans; The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola; On the
Mysteries by Iamblichus; and something that Fortune coyly refers to as "four
tattered, dog-eared, paper-backed volumes on magic spelt with a K". We can
probably guess the identity2 of this last work, and speculate that if Paston had
gone straight to this he needn't have bothered with the others!
Paston is a troubled man - he discovers that his wife and best friend
were having an affair after they are killed together in a car crash We find

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out that it was his own fault that his wife was cheating on him, as, for all his
wealth, he lacks basic charisma or sex appeal. Clearly a man in need of
magical healing - so what does he do to relieve his torment? He gets the idea
to invoke Pan, the Goat-Foot God of the title. This seems not the obvious
course of action to take if one were at the nadir of both grief and low selfesteem, but apparently Paston is being driven by karma from a past-life: as a
fifteenth century monk who was walled up in the cellar of a monastery for his
own pagan beliefs.
In fact, the karma of previous incarnations plays quite a big role in
this book, manipulating characters and circumstances like a puppet master
pulling the strings of his puppets. For example, the influence of Paston's
previous incarnation not only causes him to rediscover Paganism - by what
seems to be a remarkable set of coincidences - he by chance finds the very
monastery in which his previous self met his end. Moreover, it so happens
that Mona, the niece of the bookseller, at whose shop he makes his fortunate
discoveries, turns out to be the reincarnation of a lover of one of Paston's
more ancient incarnations.
In some ways this niece, the heroine, plays a role similar to the
female character in The Demon Lover: both knew the central character in a
previous life, and both help to save him. For it is only through Mona's loyalty
that Paston is able to control the forces that he is invoking, as well as
protecting him from the more mundane dangers of his family, who want to
have him certified so they can get at his wealth.
Paston does heal himself eventually, but only after he has learnt that
Pan, who is Nature, is a much bigger concept than he first thought. For
originally he only wanted to invoke Pan for his own self-centred amusement,
but he eventually understands that Nature includes both the masculine and
feminine - i.e. that he must include Mona as well as himself to act as both
terminals in a magical circuit.
The Sea Priestess
Dion Fortune regarded this novel as her proudest achievement: she described
it as
"a literary Melchizedek. It is a book with an undercurrent;
upon the surface a romance; underneath a thesis upon the
theme; 'All women are Isis and Isis is all women.'"
The archetypal woman in this novel Vivien Le Fay Morgan, who like the
female characters in Fortune's earlier novels is a reincarnation: in this case, of
the Sea Priestess, a mysterious Initiate who came from Atlantis to ancient
Britain to save the land from rising sea-levels, in a ceremony that involved a
lot of human sacrifice. But Morgan is unlike Fortune's previous female leads:
she is already a powerful adept, in control of her magical abilities, exotically
beautiful and described in such a mysterious manner that one gets the idea

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that she is not merely a reincarnation, but she actually is the Sea Priestess,
who has survived, immortal, throughout the past thousands of years.
The narrator of the novel is Wilfred, estate agent and fairly well-off,
but struck down by asthma as he undergoes a mid-life crisis. Then he
encounters Morgan - and he is quite literally enchanted. Significantly, he first
meets her after he has been under the influence of the Moon - remember that
Isis is a moon-Goddess, after all. In Morgan's presence Wilfred discovers his
own past-life memories: as the last of the Sea Priestess' sacrificial victims.
Wilfred has a vision that, while making love to the Sea Priestess, he has a
mystical revelation:
"And in those hours while the tide rose there were delivered to
me things whereof but few have dreamed and fewer still have
known, and I learnt why Troy was burnt for a woman. For this
woman was not one woman, but all women; and I who mated
with her, was not one man, but all men; but these things were
part of the lore of the priesthood, and it is not lawful to speak
of them."
Because Morgan's character is the Archetypal woman, Isis' very own
avatar in other words, she is used as the standard by which other female
characters in the book are judged. Molly, the girl whom Wilfred eventually
marries, is nice enough, but she does not have "It" - feminine sex appeal. On
the other hand, a girl who works in a sweet shop has no pretensions to
breeding or learning, but has "It" certainly.
Morgan, however, disappears three-quarters of the way through the
novel, leaving Wilfred in a quandary. In stark contrast to the adventure and
excitement of his time with Morgan, he wanders into an unexciting marriage,
desperately aware that he is in need of healing, but at a loss of how to
achieve it: Molly eventually learns to emulate Morgan, invoking the Goddess
and healing both herself and Wilfred in the process.
This book does indeed show Dion Fortune at the summit of her art as
a novelist. She takes as much care with the prose as if it were poetry, often
incorporating meter and rhythm into sentence structure. This is most
noticeable in passages which Fortune wants to emphasise - those which we
feel represent her underlying message.
It is the high quality of the prose which breathes fresh life into what
are clearly concepts she has treated in earlier books. Like The Winged Bull
and The Goat Foot God, we have a male lead in need of sexual healing. Like
The Winged Bull, we have in Molly a woman herself in need of healing
through the power of magic. Like The Demon Lover and Goat Foot God, the
man is redeemed by the innate femininity of a woman: and like pretty much
all of them we are introduced to powerful karmic forces at work across time.
Yet in the former novels, these ideas are used within the structure of
what seem to be conventional romances or adventures: with The Sea
Priestess the plot is not supported by the occult element the occult element is

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the plot. Fortune had not done this in a fictional work since The Secrets of
Doctor Taverner, but in that book the reader is often forced to accept a pat
explanation from a character who does not reveal the full intricacies of the
occult processes in operation.
I have only two real criticisms of The Sea Priestess. Firstly, Molly's
character is badly underdeveloped - she is only introduced after Morgan has
disappeared. This is far too late to flesh out someone who, after all, plays
such an important role in the ending.
Secondly, Wilfred first becomes aware of the psychic influences
which play such a large part in the plot when he is dosed up to his eyeballs
on heroin. Remember that the novel is set before the days of the Ventolin
inhaler: diamorphine hydrochloride was used to relieve such conditions, as
one of its properties is to suppress the cough reflex, and relieve the muscle
spasm which forms the basis of an asthma attack. Obviously this is a plot
device, to make sure Wilfred gets into the action quickly, but I really feel it is
sending out the wrong kind of message to those who are new to magic.
Moon Magic
Fortune's last novel, published posthumously, was found amongst her
papers at her death. It is a sequel to The Sea Priestess, and in it we find out
where Morgan disappeared to - to London, to set up a temple in which she
could practice the "Greater Mysteries". Morgan, now calling herself Lillith,
takes the lease of a deconsecrated church off the Albert Embankment, which
she sets about converting. As to where her money comes from, she invokes
for it - exactly how is left unsaid, as this is one magical operation that is not
described in the story.
The plot features yet another emotionally stunted man, in need of
magical salvation - this time in the form of Dr. Rupert A. Malcolm, a brilliant
neurologist and endocrinologist. Trapped in a sterile marriage for 20 years to
an invalid, and having no particular social life, he is a complete workaholic,
with no emotional side to his character of which to speak. His reputation for
efficiency is matched by his unlikeability - a medical student sums him up:
"Nobody likes him but we jolly well trust him."
It is upon this most unpromising of prima materia that Lillith, over
the course of time, works a veritable Alchemy. After first discovering his
existence by unconscious telepathy on his part, she involves him in a series
of magical workings which break down his old personality, causing him to
rediscover his emotional nature, and ultimately the "Stone of the Wise",
when he learns to become "god" to her "goddess".
But this transformation is not just for Malcolm's benefit: for it is also
the vehicle by which Lillith intends to perform a greater task - it is here that
we can read some of Fortune's own philosophy. By Lillith assuming the role
of goddess and Malcolm that of god they are in fact acting on behalf of all

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those that their respective roles represent. Hence Lillith is "all-women", and
Malcolm is "all-men" and as such, each of them is magically at one with
them. Therefore, the "Alchemy", a kind of spiritual sex-magick (strictly
right-hand path, as it happens), which they practice in fact benefits the whole
human race.
Although it is called a sequel, Moon Magic is a book in its own right.
Fortune deliberately adopts a different style of writing: the beginning and
ending is written from Malcolm's point of view, but the middle (and main)
section is a first-person narrative by Lillith. Whereas The Sea Priestess was
really Wilfred's story, Moon Magic is the story of both priestess and priest.
A curious fact can be observed here: in later life, it was apparently
Dion's habit to stroll about London wearing a cloak and a wide-brimmed hat,
so that she almost looked like the character from the advert for "Sandeman's
Port"3. It so happens that when Malcolm first sees Lillith, she is wearing just
such a cloak and hat. It doesn't take a genius to deduce that Dion identified
herself with the character of Lillith / Morgan when writing both The Sea
Priestess and Moon Magic: or that when, in the latter, Lillith narrates in the
first person, Dion is actually talking to us direct.
Despite the attractive theme, there are some indications within the
novel that only a first draft was found in Dion Fortune's papers. Because of
the change of narrative viewpoint during the novel, the prose only rises to the
lyrical quality of its predecessor during the passages describing the actual
magical operations. However, if we assume that this is deliberate, light is
shed on the character of Wilfred in the Sea Priestess.
For a start, in Moon Magic, Lillith is not so mysterious as she was in
the former novel. In opening up about herself though, she reveals that the her
history is equally fantastic: a cosmic adept who has discovered the elixir of
life (she is apparently 120 years old - over 80 years older than how she
looks). She is at once assured of her magical expertise, and a witty, modern
metropolitan woman. Yet she makes no pretension to be the reincarnation of
"the Sea Priestess": in this respect it would appear that the character in that
novel was a projection from Wilfred's mind, a theory which fits in with the
mysterious way she disappears three-quarters of the way through.
On another point, the ending appears to be rather abrupt. Malcolm
finds what he has been looking for, which is tantamount to a mystical
understanding of the meaning of initiation - and there it stops. The fact that
the story ends at the high-point of the final ritual at least means that there is
no danger of anti-climax: but neither is there any real discussion about how
this success affects his life, or Lillith's for that matter, thereafter.
Conclusion
Dion Fortune's novels therefore display her own peculiar view of
magic, which is a synthesis of the Golden Dawn, Thelema, Theosophy,
Jungian and Freudian psychoanalysis, and personal philosophy which is
based in part on channelled wisdom And yet her own view never wholly

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endorses any one of her professed influences. For example, although she is
indebted to Crowley as a scholar, she deliberately rejects the anti-nomian
tone in his writing, preferring to adopt a form of Christianity which both
accepts Jesus as the author of the modern evolutionary current, yet
accommodates her own views on mysticism and reincarnation.
Certain specific themes which are purely "Dion" occur throughout her
works:
Feminism. Dion is an early believer in feminism, not only in the sense of the
mere fact of female equality, but also in the idea of females working together
to advance their own interests. However, unlike a number of modern feminist
writers, Fortune's brand of Feminism is quite definitely a spiritual movement:
whereas a modern feminist sees women working together as a sisterhood,
Fortune sees it as a samadhi-like realisation of unity at the mystical level. It
is as if the collective-idea of "Woman" is an archetype - "the Goddess", so
that Goddess-worship and feminism are in effect one and the same thing.
Moreover, Fortune extends her theory of Spiritual Feminism into
revising the history of the Western Mystery Tradition, by arguing that the
aim of the Great Work is the balancing of "male and female energies". This
idea, whose closest parallel is in the Taoist notion of balancing Yang and
Yin, seems to be an innovation with Fortune. The idea is not present in the
Golden Dawn for example, which despite recognising the equality of men
and women describes the spiritual quest in a non-gender related manner. Not
so, Fortune, who sees this male and female polarity as the central concept.
Sexuality. In Fortune's view, healthy sexuality is mankind's inheritance. Here
we see the influence of Freud coming through. It appears that Fortune, a
former lay-practitioner of psychoanalysis, accepted Freud's notion that
sexuality is at the root of psychological well-being: but moreover, she asserts
that it is also the basis of Spiritual well-being. Thus, consistently throughout
her novels, emotionally-stunted men and women, those with various neurotic
conditions, those lacking the charisma that derives from "It" (i.e. sex appeal)
- all achieve psychological and sexual healing when they learn to invoke
either Pan or the Goddess properly.
Fortune's treatment of sexuality is a fine balancing act, in which she
tries to simultaneously convey the erotic, without ever becoming in any way
prurient. Thus, although overtly sexual acts rarely occur in the narrative, and
a very discrete veil is drawn over the ones that do, yet we are left in no doubt
that it is Fortune's firm belief that men' and women's natural condition is to
enjoy full, healthy, emotionally satisfying sex, free from all hang-ups and
repressions.
A Magical Manifesto. There is a large number of details about practical
magic, which, taken with The Mystical Qabalah, can be assumed to be an
attempt by the author to teach us, her readers, how we might practice the
occult without necessarily having to join a magical lodge or order For

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example:

The Goat Foot God, The Sea Priestess, and Moon Magic all contains
chants to invoke either Pan or the Goddess. It so happens that Wiccan
groups have borrowed these chants for just these purposes.

Throughout all her novels, there is considerable discussion on the


proper use of Sex Magic. Admittedly, most of it is what a tantrika
would call "Right Hand Path" - i.e. it does not involve actual
intercourse (at least not physically). And yet there is plenty of detail
as to how a husband and wife can incorporate this Magic, with the
implication that it then supplements and enriches their ordinary sexlife.

The Goat Foot God contains specific references to published


literature from which it is possible to adduce the techniques of
practical magic.

Moreover, there are plenty of throwaway references to basic


techniques of magic. E.g. in Moon Magic, Dion mentions the use of
the Banishing Ritual of the Greater Pentagram for exorcism; she talks
about the Qabalah, and the esoteric use of colour; she briefly refers to
the "Body of Light" method of Astral Projection. (We are also told in
this regard, in The Secrets of Doctor Taverner and The Demon Lover,
to keep a thermos of coffee ready whilst projecting, as one
experiences a loss of heat on re-entering the physical).

Throughout her novels, Dion talks about her theories on


Reincarnation, the nature of the subtle bodies, and on various other
points of esoteric philosophy.

Money. Sci-fi author William Gibson once pointed out that in the science
fiction which came before him, one would never find a hero who was "from
the wrong side of the tracks". He might also have levelled the same criticism
at the occult novels of Dion Fortune. Throughout her novels, the central
characters are all rich, and usually have money coming in from private
incomes. The protagonists which do not have any money are soon given
some by wealthy benefactors. A main character who has to do something as
menial as work for a living almost invariably owns their own business.
Clearly, Dion Fortune, who was middle-class herself and lived off an
inheritance for most of her life, believed that in order to follow the Occult
path, one must be materially well set-up, and able to be either free from notso-great work altogether or at least able to have no trouble taking time off.
Her view of wealth is similar to Charles Dickens': for the heroes of both
authors, once rich, never actually taste poverty again.
Fortune shamelessly allows her own background to colour her view
of the Occult - and this background is substantially different from the

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circumstances in which other occultists had found themselves, both then and
today. For example, Macgregor Mathers eked out an existence only slightly
above the poverty line for all of his life. Crowley made a great show of his
poverty, implying that his humiliation at the hands of a corrupt OTO
Treasurer was actually a sign of his sacrifice for Babalon.
Occult Secrecy / Openness. Finally, whilst members of mysterious occult
fraternities do exist within Fortune's novels, we see that for the most part the
stories are all about great works of magic being worked by ordinary, noninitiates with little or no magical training. Obviously this is first and
foremost a literary device: Fortune is making us feel sympathy for these
characters. If we recognise them as people we ourselves could meet in real
life, we identify with them and care for what happens to them. Moreover, we
may be tempted to think, "if he or she can do it, so can I"
But aside from arousing our curiosity in the Occult, we should
remember something of Fortune's own background. She was famously
demitted from the Alpha-et-Omega, and had to develop her main occult
practice away from the Order which had initiated her. In "The Mystical
Qabalah" she at several points criticises other occultists for excessive
secrecy, including the practice of the Golden Dawn for swearing initiates to
keep silent on things already openly published.
Therefore we can say that in her novels, the fact that non-initiates get
to practice magic can be seen as a protest against her treatment at the hands
of order chiefs who use their position to wield excessive power - and a plea
for the recognition of the validity of works of independent genius, which she
herself sought in her own life.
Notes
1 Quoted in, inter alia, "Moon Magic".
2 Magick, aka Liber IV vel ABA, Aleister Crowley.
3 A Magical Life, Alan Richardson.

Bibliography
Dion Fortune
Demon Lover, The
Goat Foot God, The
Moon Magic

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Mystical Qabalah, The


Psychic Self-Defence
Sea Priestess, The
Secrets of Doctor Taverner, The
Training and Work of an Initiate, The
Winged Bull, The
Other Authors
Against Nature, J K Huysmans
Dion Fortune: A Magical Life, Alan Richardson
Down There, J K Huysmans
Magick, Aleister Crowley
On the Mysteries, Iamblichus
Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

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Temples, Portals and Vaults


review by J. S. Kupperman
Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries, Pat Zalewski. Self Published,
Cairns, 4870, Australia, 2000; three volumes 1- 497 pp., $77.00 (US).
Zalewksi brings student of the Golden Dawn
tradition previously unpublished material from one of the
original off-shoot Temples of the Hermetic Order of the
Golden Dawn.
The work is published in three volumes, each dealing
with a differing aspect of the Golden Dawn. Volume one
includes an introduction and history of the Golden Dawn and
the Smaragdum Thalasses (ST), the New Zealand branch of
the Order founded by Dr. Felkin after the schism in 1903.
The rest of the volume contains the grade ceremonies of the Outer Order as
used by the ST. The reader may find that these ceremonies somewhat
different from previously published versions. Zalewski states that they more
closely resemble those used by the original GD and Mathers' Alpha et Omega
than those used by the Stella Matutina.
Volume two consists of Zalewksi's commentaries on the rituals, as
well as anecdotal accounts from his teacher Jack Taylor, a 7=4 and long-time
Hierophant under Mrs. Felkin. Each ritual commentary has its own
introduction, diagrams, and figures, including tarot cards for each path.
Those familiar with Zalekwski's The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn will
find that these tarot cards differ from those used in his first self-published
book. Where this volume shines, however, is in its publication of parts of a
6=5 paper on the god-forms and currents of energy in the temple by Moina
Mathers.
Volume three of Rituals and Commentaries focuses on the Portal and
Adeptus Minor initiation rituals. This volume contains both the ritual texts
and commentaries on these ceremonies, as well as the list of 302 endnotes.
Aside from material written by Moina Mathers, Zalewksi provides a
great deal of information on Golden Dawn ritual from a point of view that
may be completely new to many readers. Not only does he discuss some of
the standard interpretations of Golden Dawn material, but he also provides
his own interpretations based on his experiences with Taylor and Chakra and
Kundalini practice.
Rather than reproducing the Mathers material in full, Zalewski
instead incorporates it into his commentaries and diagrams, demonstrating
where the various god-forms are stationed and their relation to the pattern of
energy in the hall. It is interesting to note that the god-forms used throughout
the grade ceremonies differ radically from what might be expected. Godforms used in the 0=0 hall are not necessarily the same as used in other halls

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and the same god-form may be used by different officers or stations in


different halls. Numerous diagrams are included in these volumes, some of
which have never been printed before and many of which differ from those
used by the Stella Matutina.
As interesting and informative as this book may be, it still has its
problems. Chief among these is the numerous typographical errors. A more
thorough editing job would have easily remedied these difficulties.
Originally the publication was meant to be released as separate books
by Llewellyn Publications as the Z-5 series. Zalewski did not, however,
adequately revise his work to compensate for the merging of the separate
works into one whole. The result is noticeable redundancy. The introductory
paragraphs to the ritual commentaries are largely repetitive, indicating that
they were intended to be printed in separate books, providing minimal new
information in each introduction.
Published in 2000, the book was written in the early and mid 1990s.
The historical information provided in the first volume, while interesting, is
in some cases outdated, and includes several references to the publication
dates of Zalewksi's own work. These volumes were apparently intended to be
released before the publication of The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn,
which was published a few years before.
While the typos and occasional redundancy contained in Golden
Dawn Rituals and Commentaries can be annoying at times, they in no
manner outweigh the importance of the new information in its volumes. The
Mathers information alone will make this book invaluable to Golden Dawn
scholars and magicians alike. The anecdotal information from Taylor as well
as Zalewski's unique insight (whether one agrees with his conclusions or not)
more than make Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries a worthwhile book
and an excellent addition to anyone's Golden Dawn library.

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