Thursday, November 15, 2012
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
While it is not mentioned in the body of the text, the biographical notes in the back cover make it clear that the author is drawing on initiatory experiences and oral traditions in the various GD related groups he has been active in. While reading, one is left with the impression that much of the information without citation is blended oral tradition and the author's own opinions, all of which I enjoyed reading. While it is written from the attitude of a practitioner, and as has already been mentioned, therefore has no obligatory requirement to take up a specific methodology in its approach; nonetheless, as a reader I was so captivated by some of the stories so much that I wished to know more about the sources of some of the information. A small criticism and request would therefore be that I would have liked to have seen even more historical citations presented whenever it was possible. As this book already shows all the hallmarks of a title that will be much sought-after for years to come, I expect will likely be slated for re-prints. Perhaps the need for more citations is something that could be rectified in future or new expanded editions.
All-in-all, I think this book is an invaluable addition to the corpus of Golden Dawn reference books, and I am appreciative of its variety of contents. As the years pass, I feel this is a volume that generations of magicians will be grateful to have access to; and I would not be surprised if various Adepts are now repainting sections of their Pastos and Vault based on these newly available instructions! I have really enjoyed reading this book, and I encourage people to buy this and study it well, your efforts will be well repaid.
Monday, June 25, 2012
This "birthday e-card" below went around over the last few weeks to most of the GD and other Orders who are "fraternal" or rather co-ed "societal" with each other, as well as to authors and individuals of note, not all of whom are GD.
Kind of like a birthday at the office. ;)
Check out the Facebook Group:
Because of the distance from the States, our Temple (www.thubantemple.com) do not get to meet a lot of people face to face as often as some of the American temples and Orders; but we sure do correspond online whenever possible, and when we do meet up, it can really be worthwhile. After this announcement, and the Facebook posts, the folks in our group have been sending me private emails saying how proud they are to be part of GD in general, and happy for the HOGD in their accomplishments as well.
Nice to see that the GD groups around the world are populated with healthy, well-mannered people who are in contact with each other, and get along well; even if we are in different orders. ;)
Thank you to the Cicero's and the HOGD, 30 years is a long time these days, that is way longer than the original Order ran without interruption for in Europe and the UK; you folks must be doing something right. Keep on writing and keep up The Great Work!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Hermetic Virtues Magazine
Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
Morgan Drake Eckstein
Saturday, September 3, 2011
It is that time of year again where our members and many GD temples around the world are getting ready to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox. For many years that the mind of our membership runneth not to the contrary, after the meeting the members of Thuban Temple have happily debated the Element attribution to the Hall in the Equinox in the banquet room over a few pints. Most GD practitioners will have noticed it is slightly different than in the 0=0, as the Cup of Wine and Paten are switched in the Hall of the Equinox. I would like to share my own opinions on the matter.
To begin, I feel a dogmatic summary of what we know from the rituals is needed, it is presented is in 3 points. This is followed by a few posits, and finished with an assumptive summary and a possible solution.
1) The Altar is the same in both rituals:
East - Rose
South - Red Lamp
West - Cup
North - Paten of Bread and Salt
We know that the altar setup is attributed to the "four prevailing winds of Britain", which is also used in Modern Wicca.
2) In the 0=0, the Elements are placed in the Hall as follows:
Hierophant - Rose
Hiereus - Paten of Bread and Salt
Stolistes - Cup
Dadouchos - Red Lamp
We know this as the "Tree of Life" Attribution, which are the elements of the four lowest spheres, notably with the Rose in Tiphareth and the Hierophant and not Yesod and the Hegemon, as the Hegemon rather works with the Element of Spirit in balance during the Equinox. This is fitting to place the Hierophant as Air, for that Element is attributed to the Middle Pillar of the Tree. (While not central to this paper, it is interesting to note that the Air and Spirit attributions change in the Portal, where the Hegemon becomes Air, and the Chief Adept is Spirit.)
3) In the Equinox
Hierophant - Rose
Hiereus - Cup of Wine
Stolistes - Paten of Bread and Salt
Dadouchos - Red Lamp
While we know the rituals are written at different times, and this often creates different contexts, this alone does not explain the difference between the two placements in the Hall. In other regards, the setup for the two ceremonies is identical. So, why the change?
If we take the Altar as symbolic of a type of Adamic Ark, bark or coffin; and the Elements as a four-fold representation of the sphere of sensation, the body of Christos, the Osirian Pharaoh's body in subdivision; the Astrological and Alchemical Elements which are the magical origins of the Jungian and Myers-Briggs personality traits and types, if you will, then it takes on a most personal interpretation; in a word, it is microcosmic.
Therefore the 0=0 Hall becomes the tree that captures Osiris; the path of the flaming sword that guards the way to paradise; the world temple or universe; the esoteric Jewish traits that allow the divine presence to arrive and flow through the Kabbalist who faces the veil of the Shekinah which covers Yod Heh in the East; or even if it represents the simple, secular ideals of positive and healthy traits required to be present in a positive society; in a word, it is macrocosmic.
If we agree on these above posits, then the Equinox
The 0=0, among other things, explores this micro and macro relationship in relating the candidate to the universal. The elements of the altar are dismembered and placed on the tree, and then returned for the Eucharist. The Neophyte is therefore, among many other things, shown the method to be made holy by this process. As it is later echoed in the 5=6 rubric: "There is no part of me that is not of the Gods!" I can only assume Crowley understood this when he made the above 5=6 line originally appearing the the Book of the Dead central to the other great Eucharist of the magical tradition, his Gnostic Catholic Mass.
So, if the Equinox
These Elemental Crosses mark the locations of the Enochian Tablets, and are similar in nature if not identical to the Black Cross of the Tablet of Union and the Great Crosses of the King and Senior's names that are used in the Elemental Grades and the Ritual of the Portal. These also mirror the Crosses that are brought upright into Pentagrams by the forces shown in the Portal Ceremony. Therefore the Equinox becomes a sort of Microcosmic model that summarizes the entire process from the 0=0, through the Elemental grades, and crowned in Portal.
In other words, the Equinox is a map of the personal territory the initiate is about to undertake in the Outer Order, but it is not the journey yet. It is appropriate for the initiate to experience balance and wholeness in a representative ceremony at the Equinox twice yearly. This is a social and internal affirmation in the Eucharist, but not the complete accomplishment of the great work; it is a taste of self-balance and individual wholeness before these traits are actualized in the personal success that characterizes the ideal of a full Adept. As the Hierophant says in the closing ritual "May what we have partaken maintain us in our search for the QUINTESSENCE, the Stone of the Philosophers. True Wisdom, Perfect Happiness, the SUMMUM BONUM."
The Equinox is a microcosmic representation of the raw matter in form, like the 0=0, but not only as compared to the journey up the tree collecting the divine sparks as in the 0=0 and the Elemental Grades. Instead it is showing the perfected being as an ideal in the Solar myths through the Elements and Watchtowers; it is the entire subject of the Seasons in relationship to the unrefined soul in each of us; elements, dross, gold and all.
Equinox blessings, and light in extension,
Friday, October 1, 2010
Grade signs and words given by an initiate in rituals like the SRP and Hexagram rituals can be used to flood the temple and psyche of the initiate with the encapsulated experience of the powers in each grade, and in the universe itself. "For by names and images are all powers awakened and re-awakened."
One proof of this is simple. When Adepts are invoking the elements, it is sufficient to use the solo 0=0 and the SRP, say opening before a ZAM working. If this were not true, and the signs did not do anything or move any energy, you would need to repeat the rituals of the entire Outer Order to properly invoke the elements. I don't think I am going out on a branch if I contend that in the SIRP the Pentagrams, names and signs suffice to invoke the same forces. (Sometimes I do longer personal openings, but that is optional and not required, IMO).
I think it is fair to say that we can all agree that the foundation of the Outer Order is needed to raise the solid super-structure or framing of the Second Order. The above is just another way of stating the more important details of how this same idea of building upon the earlier teachings works in Adept practice. If we follow the metaphor, then a very succinct picture develops.
When the workers go to build the foundation, they have labourers dig down to the clay, then they build a mould, pour the concrete and set thick bolts into the top of it for later. When it drys, they tear off the mould, and are done. This foundation could be likened to the Outer Order.
When the framers show up to work, they bang the frame together and bolt the bottom plate of each wall to the foundation. The security of the rest of the structure in the house is built off of this. For my purpose of an example, this framing is the Inner Order NAM or ZAM building his or her tools and consecrating them (exactly when this occurs depends on your own Order's structure).
When the framers show up (ZAM), they certainly don't have to tear out the foundations (Elemental Grades) and start again. They simply double-check that the foundation is level, make small measurement adjustments if it needs it, and build on it! The whole structure doesn't redo the past work, it uses it by distributing the weight of the house on the foundation, and anchoring on the strong but comparatively little bolts that secure the bottom of each wall frame to the foundation. These are the signs and symbols, the colours of the MM, the Tarot system, astrology, etc.
Our work with the signs, words and Grand Words is that very pinning that connects the Inner Order or true Temple structure of practical magic to the foundation poured in the Outer Order with its heavy reliance on sound theory. Without these little symbols and gestures are supposed to summarize the cosmic forces, and that this relationship is the anchor to all our learning in the Outer, the temple or home would be unsecured and you would have it just blow away in the first bad storm, or thieves could abscond with it whole. When the house is built upon a solid foundation, then those who dwell within are not only sheltered, but are happy and well kept, and the workmanship will last for hundreds of years.