Friday, November 20, 2009

Carl Jung

"Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside wakes."

-Carl Jung

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Frater AIT is Magician of the Month for September

The magician of the month for September is Frater AIT.

The runner-up is VH Frater SR from Scandinavia.

AIT posted his Enochian work on the 30th Aethyr and other scrying on his blog. This meets the criteria for practical work, and is a good example of solid results from Zelator Adeptus Minor level Enochian scrying in the classic RR et AC system. He should also get an award for a very beautiful looking family, but that is beyond the scope of this recognition! Check out his prolific blog Heavens Within Earth.

SR wrote a couple of very well researched papers. One on the Twelve Tribes, and another on the Sash of Grades which was illustrated with valuable pictures of different forms of regalia. It was not practical in nature, but as quality work it deserves honorable mention. You can also check out his blog Gyllene Gryningen which is also updated frequently.

Y

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Application for Reception


(Header is the initials of the Order)


Seal of Imperator

Seal of Praemonstrator

Seal of Cancellarius


APPLICATION FOR RECEPTION

I (full legal name) ___, on (date) ___, hereby declare that I have a favorable predisposition concerning the Order, and that it is my will to join the (initials of the Order) as introduced to me by my two sponsors on the reverse of this application, who are well and truly known by me. I understand that this is a secret college and order: I know that its membership roster; the activities undertaken at its meetings; and the locations of its temples are to be kept in the strictest of confidences, all upon the pain of my own expulsion. I also understand that while this secrecy is paramount, it is not due to the nature of its activities, which are of course positive and life affirming, but because of the social climate of intolerance in outer society which has been a perennial concern for those who would study any subject that diverges even slightly from the mainstream of orthodox thinking. It is for this reason especially, that whether I am accepted as a Candidate or not, I will treat the privacy and the private lives of all members with the utmost decency and respect.

I furthermore understand that the main object of the Society is to study and teach the hidden wisdom in an academic and practical setting, and that I dare to apply myself to topics which include but are not exclusively limited to Cabala, tarot, pagan mythology, astrology, Hermetics, ceremonial magic, Sufism, and Gnosticism.

Applicant's Motto, Name and Signature

Date of Birth, Time and Place

Address, City, Province, Postal Code

Email, Telephone


SPONSOR'S DECLARATION

I hereby swear that this Applicant is well and truly known by me, and that I will be responsible for his conduct in the Society. I will aid in his study, preparation and memory work, or find a suitable teacher to do so on my behalf. I believe his or her admittance to the (Initials of the Order) will promote further harmony in the group. I believe him or her to be a serious and spiritual prospective candidate for our mysteries. All of this I most solemnly affirm to be true, on pains of my own expulsion from the Order.

First Sponsors Motto, Name, Signature and Date

Second Sponsors Motto, Name, Signature and Date

_________________________
This form is property of the (Initials of the Order)

Version 5.0 2009/08/27

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Imperator's Imperative

I would like to welcome you to our Order upon your Reception.

I am now pleased to bring to your attention that any membership in our Order requires passing a fairly rigorous test of suitability. At the same time we recognize that it is totally inappropriate and impossible for one to correctly judge another being's spiritual progress. Regardless of grades in the Order, who is even certain of what level of enlightenment he or she has truly attained for him or herself, much less is able to gauge the advancement of another frater or soror?

Keeping this apparent paradox in mind, it is our custom to at select and determine our membership from those who behave in a harmonious and mature manner with others, and self-define as being intentionally on a spiritual or magical path. Together with a few other important criteria that are only orally divulged when asked, all three Chiefs are required to approve any prospective candidates.

If you meet a person whom you think might be a suitable candidate for the Order, before you approach them, or even reveal the existence of Golden Dawn members in this city, and especially their names, we ask that you discuss how to do so with your sponsors. While we do have a minimal internet profile, there is a positive procedure to follow in interacting with new candidates. We offer the simple explanation that our mysteries are not suitable for everyone. Hopefully this has firmly impressed upon you the care that is taken in the pre-application process, and to remind you of the near-invisible profile our Order keeps in the local community.

As a Neophyte, you will quickly learn these nuances, and when you have been initiated into the Grade of Zelator, you may recommend and sponsor new members. With careful discretion, severe standards, and excited interest from all our suitable prospective candidates, we have set a solid foundation for our order. Blended in such a fashion like steel alloy has replaced iron weapons, we know this is a winning combination, and with this weapon of appropriately selective standards we will continue to grow and operate in good health, wealth, strength and joy and peace. Having yourself already passed the various hurdles involved in joining the Order, and having taken a solemn obligation to keep inviolate the secrets of the mysteries, we implicitly trust your discretion in this matter.

We also wish to remind to you that even at the Grade of Neophyte we consider this to be your Order, even though you may not know all our customs and rituals yet. Always keep in the forefront of your mind that those fratres and sorores around you, your sponsors, the other temple officers, and especially the three Chiefs are all in service to the Order out of their love for the work and an ardent desire to share the mysteries with you. Once again, I would like to thank you for joining your Order. I know you will enjoy it, and wish you all the best.

VH Frater YShY

Imperator,
Thuban Temple

September, 2007ev.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Magician of the Month

Starting for September, I am announcing a new tradition for this blog: Magician of the Month.

Thats right, I will pick one lucky McMagician who has impressed me in their online capacity for the dubious honor of being my Magician of the Month. Obviously it will have to be someone I am following or reading the work of blog or post-wise, and not one of those strong, silent types who is secretly evoking in their living room. While of course all those that have attained the white sash can feel the latter lighting up the astral, (JK) it is blog and forum posts which I will be investigating for the most part.

There are two reasons for this program:

1) Recognise and promote solid work done by various magicians. I have seen really good work being done, and I want to help the info be spread around the globe.

2) Raise awareness of #1 above, so that communication between magicians around the world continues. I have seen really GREAT WORK being done by others, and I want to be CERTAIN it is recognised.

Two things to keep in mind:

1) I am mostly looking for practical work, an ounce of results will trump a pound of theory any day.

2) I will promote for the most obscure individuals first before published magicians.

Good luck, and may the best Grande McWork be seen by all!

YShY

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cancellarius' Charge

I wish to cordially greet and welcome you at your reception as a new member of our Order, which has been founded, as I am sure you are already aware, as a secret college whose main object is to study and teach the hidden wisdom and the mysteries of nature and science in an academic and practical setting. The nature of our activities is positive and life affirming. Lecture topics include but are not exclusively limited to: healing, cabala, tarot, pagan mythology, astrology, Hermeticism, ceremonial magic, esoteric Sufism and Gnosticism.

As a member of this temple, you not only invited, but are charged to attend our regular meetings in earnest. Held on the first and third Fridays of every month at 7pm, these meetings are required of all our membership. The only excuse for non-attendance are emergencies of a familial or work-related nature. Like this evening, the attire to arrive at the temple is always semi-formal, after which we change into our full regalia.

The first Friday consists of one or two 45 minute lectures or papers, and is often followed by a practice for one of our Grade Ceremonies. You are welcome to apply to present a paper, which must be submitted in writing, in full, to myself or the current Cancellarius, before the schedule of events for the next six months is finalised at the coming Equinox, of which you will have due and timely notice to harmonise yourself with accordingly.

The third Friday is the main ceremony or ritual night, where we confer the Lower Grades of the Outer Order and perform other solemn ceremonies. You are also welcome to attend all grade ceremonies for which you have already Passed. Emergent meetings for ritual practices and conferring higher grades may also be held on the few Fridays between the first and last of the month, in particular in those unusual cases when there are five Fridays in a month. These will always be posted not less than four months in advance.

The Ceremony of the Equinox is our twice-yearly Instillation of Officers, and together with the four or five scheduled Neophyte Receptions, form the most important events of our yearly calender, therefore on these six or seven occasions your attendance is always mandatory.

For your information, our Outer Order is run strictly along not-for-profit and democratic lines, has rotational leadership, and formally follows Robert’s Rules of Order at all of the business meetings. Our Neophytes are also entitled to vote at all Thuban Temple meetings.

Our General Purposes Meeting or Business Meeting takes place on the first Wednesday of the month, and members who wish to attend GP must not only RSVP, but if they wish to speak on a topic, they must submit their agenda item to the Cancellarius by letter or email at least the day before the meeting. It is important to RSVP, as this meeting is not held at the downtown temple, but at the Praemonstrator's Library.


There are several resources available to the membership for more information. The first is the embryonic Thuban Temple website, which we hope one day will be our major resource. Then there is a private forum which may be used by members to communicate with each other, and be better informed on our temple activities. Apart from the proprietary documents and papers you will find on the private site, our main textbooks are the Complete System of Golden Dawn Magic and The Golden Dawn both by Israel Regardie. The former work contains the rituals of the original Order along with some of Regardie's best papers, the latter contains the work of the Stella Matutina, a later Golden Dawn Order that Regardie was a member of. You will find the knowledge lectures we use for study in the latter book, and for your convenience the First Knowledge Lecture is now available to download from our private forum.

As you should now be informed, there are three temple Chiefs who rule the order. They may currently be reached in their official capacity only at Thuban Temple’s monthly business meeting. If you have any other questions about the Order, we recommend you contact your two sponsors. They have by recommending you, expressed their interest and intention to be your guide throughout the grades of the Outer Order. Your sponsors will make themselves available to you in this friendly manner, and will should you require it, lend a helping hand in the study of our work.

Congratulations be yours once again.




Written by VH Frater YShY
Thuban Temple

September, 2007ev.
Edited September 14th, 2009ev.

Praemonstrance to the new Neophyte


Florence Farr, Praemonstratrix at the fin du siecle.

Welcome, Frater and or Soror Neophyte(s) to our most ancient and venerable institution. Ancient, no doubt it is, because over the years its name and traditions have withstood the tests and trials of time, the misuse of charlatans, and the exultation of Adepts with the dignity and prestige its study so rightly deserves and demands. Venerable, for in its pale the wisdom and methods used by the magicians of the past to apprehend the crown of attainment are indeed contained.

One of the first concerns which often burns in the mind of a new neophyte, is whether they have the ability to learn and master the knowledge of the Order which they have intended to make their new domicile. The second probable concern is of course, what are the end results of all the academic studies the Order now apparently requires of its members?

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the Outer, does indeed hold the requisite knowledge from the magical traditions of the ages. But there is a greater lesson taught within its bosom, greater than just being deeply informative about the occult learning that its name evokes, and far greater than the fraternal sharing which can warm the spirit of those who share similar recondite interests. I speak of course of the knowledge of the methods of how to study magic. It is this directive methodology behind the art, and an art it is indeed, that have been chiefly laid out in our multitude of sympathetic correspondences. As all the rituals and lectures of the Outer Order and a few of the Inner are already in print, this approach to learning as offered by traditional Orders is a real key to the field of Hermeticism. It is literally this secret traditional methodology and process of how to learn our system of magic that is the thrust behind initiation: it is the grace and the expression of the higher.

Some feel emotionally moved when the hoodwink is removed, and the symbol of the Outer Order upon the altar is finally seen. The budding magician is often moved in a very different way when it is further revealed that there is now work to be done. The new frater or soror oft looks at the First Knowledge Lecture and query's why the basic ritual and several pages of academic material are to be committed to memory. This is, of course, a very excellent question to ask! Some magicians are excited at the challenge; others have already learned the material expected of them; and yet the majority are unpleasantly surprised, and seem to view the symbols in The First Knowledge Lecture with something akin to horror.
Those of the latter category may find their agitation manifesting in a manifold fashion: firstly, symbols of a magical nature are not to only be discussed, but actually studied; secondly, that the information in the lecture, the content of which they have not yet comprehend the value of, must be not only studied but memorised perfectly; thirdly, that the ritual and meditation materials of uncertain origins, at least as far as the new neophyte is concerned, are to be not only memorised, but fully worked. While in all likelihood they are still enthusiastic for their membership and the Order, when the folder of the First Knowledge Lecture is opened for the first time, all at once the majority of our new members are placed into their first serious, but only temporary, setback.

We make it our custom at this temple, to Receive into the Order only actual magicians, occultists or individuals who are deeply spiritual, and in at least one of these capacities, you are such a suitable Candidate. A person with the above background that is unfamiliar with the functioning of a magical Order might readily assume that the point of all the quaint memorisation of symbols and ritual work is to receive another Jewel (or embroidered cross) on their sash, as some meaningless social accolade from the organization they have just joined. However, this is not the case, and as the new Neophyte claimed on his or her Application that he or she has set out to learn and accomplish magic, so the lessons and curriculum have been set accordingly. While he or she has already been told that these are only the basic rudiments of occult science, the reason for the work must be made clearer to the modern student than it ever has been in the past, for today's student has not the inclination to put forth hours of work, nay, years or even a lifetime of effort, simply on another being's authoritative say-so. His or her interest and desire must be engaged.

The reason for the work is simple. Magic is a language that is both eloquent and personal. The Adept uses it to express himself in the most spiritual ways, it is a terminology and a philosophic dialect that both other magicians and spiritual creatures may understand, it is our basic technology. But first the Neophyte Magician needs to learn the alphabet of their new endeavor. Next, she slowly sounds out the consonants and vowels. After awhile she learns of its syntax, grammar, sentence structure, case, tense and tone. Then eventually she starts to form sentences and paragraphs of her own, beginning to argue and debate ideas in passionate discourse, or perhaps compose the most moving of magical acts, the poetry and oration of which literally raises the powers of nature in reply, communicating mysteries, heaven and earth in unity. However, to raise this level of energy within themselves and in nature, one must be able to do more than provide a rudimentary grunt of the constituting ceremonial consonants. When a magician has done the correct amount of work, no more and no less, they will achieve the advanced or adept abilities and the requisite skills completely for themselves.
But first they have to learn the rudiments of our terminology. It is therefore important you truly learn the basics of our progressive system. Like in any language, terms begin with the letters they are composed of. Meanwhile, the alphabet that has been already mentioned, is not strictly speaking, just a metaphor. In this case, it is literally the four elements, the symbols of astrology, and the Hebrew Aleph-Beth. Take note so there is understanding: it is not the Hebrew language that is utilised by the Hermetic Magician, although this would be an asset for anyone to know, it is the Hebrew and Aramaic terminology of the Cabala that we are concerned with.

Learning magic is like learning an instrument. Better music does not always stem from better technique, but the best music often reminds one nostalgically of something else heard once before, even when it has been newly composed. Nature herself seems to form in recognisable mathematical patterns that transcend the compound material of which they are composed, whether it be organic or not. Experienced biologists, musicians and magicians alike know that this is because there is a certain mathematical formula present in nature that is universal, transcending any language or metaphor. In magic these patterns move beyond our cultural traditions, and may be found in the sense of inner rightness that we are all privy to.

The fact that the great composers and magicians of the past have written their works down for posterity means that we can learn to play their songs and enact their magical efforts, effectively recreating what they have already done and accomplished before us. This of course doesn't mean that we automatically gain all their individual abilities or wisdom, but it does mean that once the Magician learns the esoteric basics through the Order's curriculum, so may she begin to form a solid foundation of theory and practice, eventually grasping with strength the philosophy behind magic. The dilettante has no need for this, he is happy to just read or discuss these concepts, oftentimes getting even the most basic theories confused from his armchair.

Those who aspire to be an expert before they have learned even the basics of theory and practice will always be ultimately unsatisfied with their progress in the work. They know that something is missing from their efforts, for when they try to discuss and debate with others, perform unclear divination or fail to raise spirits, they feel something is wrong. They may not consciously recognise the absence of complete abilities in themselves, and thus cannot distinguish the overall feeling of dissatisfaction with their magical progress for what it really is: their own ignorance.

Even saying all of this, a magician does not require the auspices of a magical order to be validated, for true magical validation comes from within. She does require that her studies be undertaken to completion, and it is this study, after protracted and sincere efforts, which tends to uncover the very best within each of us. A true magician is always an ongoing student of the mysteries, and after a time once the work is known well enough and the process of training has continued for many cycles, the rigidity of memorization falls away. At the Adept level, the work and learning becomes a method of expressing anti-rigidity. Of this paradox, frequently pure creativity and originality are the result.
The innovator in any subject would do best to first learn all the rudiments of their art or science, lest every modern musician become bogged down in the wood shop, building his instrument from scratch before he has even learned to play a single note. So it is also true for the magician. The Neophyte learns the fundamentals; the Adeptus builds the classical tools; and the Master explores and reinvents the system on an inner level, according to his or her understanding of the universe. But every master of music, no matter how promising a student he or she originally was, has always started his or her career at one time as a beginner, and frequently learned from another musician who is already adept at the art. So it is also true with magic.
But far be it for us to set ourselves above you in our capacity as instructors in your studies. This is a fraternity, and we all work together as equals in the act of learning and practicing our work, you are not subjected to the whims of a teacher or guru here. While we may lecture and test each other on our educational work, of the higher lessons you will never be scheduled sit in examination with one of our Officers, no matter how inspired or exemplary they may seem as fellow fratres and sorores of the Order, for we are all the exclusive and solitary pupils of our higher-selves. So for now, we leave the invention of new instruments to the artifice of the master, to whom the work of creation in the very wood shop of the temple has become their essential practice, and we turn again to the work of a neophyte.

When we consider the effort required of our neophytes to learn the science, it is seen as a test of their diligence, desire, knowledge and will to truly be a magician. The endurance of which is but an expression of the patience and work ethic needed to accomplish the work one has begun today. However, far be it for us to insist upon any one's blind faith. Now that you have been officially Received into the Order, ask your new fratres and sorores about the value of the work, attend the lectures and rituals of the institution, do the exercises prescribed by the Order, but ultimately decide upon its value only for yourself.

If at any point, there is a question about the utility of the work at hand, bring it forward immediately in the spirit of scientific engagement and constant questioning that leads to true knowledge. However, our neophytes have also come to expect that what they may be provided is not simply a solution, or even one answer among many, but a practice or means to experimenting within yourself to discover the true meaning of the Great Work, which is personal.

Our practices which begin with such ceremonies as the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, work in much the same way as how a modern computer operates. In other words, much like how hardware downloads and uses software. Your mind is susceptible to its programming, but the fact that our work and language is built on merely arbitrary designations should only encourage philosophic study, for one of the first lessons of linguistics is that while there may be distinct and ancient origins for most words and terms, language has always been arbitrary, even while it still commands the power it was inevitably intended to posses. So too, does the magical language yield its potency soon enough to the knowledgeable magician's will and inspired emotions, allowing her to build the mental and physical tools necessary to artistically engage the natural forces of life and death.

These rituals, grades and lectures are in fact, brilliantly designed tools unto themselves that gradually unfold into multi-purpose instruments, but only once they have been properly practiced and analyzed over ample time. The grade meditations, while dating from a period a little later in the Order's history than the other practices, are nonetheless integral to the accomplishment of the Great Work. They tend to release the early results of the neophyte's efforts in a personal format, as a kind of gift to the Magician in the form of a dream or vision, a progress report that once recorded in her Magical Journal, only she may truly begin to decipher its import.

Finally, all the Grade ceremonies are of the utmost importance to be worked and understood, for within them is concealed in plain sight the symmetrical portrayal of magic as a type of mathematical algebra. Once the values of the symbol and allegory are filled in with the individual understanding, attributes and personal wisdom of the magician, true knowledge is gained of that Gnosis within, which is the knowledge of self.

VH Frater YShY
Imperator
Past Praemonstrator
Past Hierophant
Thuban Temple

September 14th, 2009ev.


The ideas for this paper was taken entirely and equally
from correspondence sent between Fratres SN and YShY

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Black Sash of VH Frater YShY


The Sash of Grades

This sash was made for me in 1996 by my lover at the time, a Soror C. She painstakingly hand embroidered one for her and one for yours truly, a gift I am forever grateful for. It is no wonder we are still on great terms!

After I saw how much effort went into its manufacture, when Thuban Temple started a few years later we instituted Grade Jewels instead. The benefit of a Jewel, apart from being very fancy, is that it pins on to the sash easily, and the fussing around with sashes during the ritual is brought to a minimum.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fire and Earth in the Zelator Grade



Microcosmically, Malkuth or earth is attributed to the 1 = 10 grade of Zelator. In the Outer Order of the GD, the elements are often mingled in opposition, like the path-sphere opposites in Theoricus, Practicus and Philosophus, and in the Zelator Initiation it is no different. In 1 = 10 the mystery of how the fire element as the spark of life within the earth is explored.

This symbolism is repeated by the red socks and the black robe, as the entire Outer Order in a sense quitteth not Malkuth. The admission badge of a Zelator is the Hermetic Cross, which is indeed a symbol of Kether. This cross is oft described as 17 squares, but laid out on a 5 x 5 grid, which is of course the Mars Qamea, and Mars and the fifth sphere of Geburah are indeed fiery. In the ritual, the red lamp placed on the Zelator altar reiterates this 'fire within' paradigm. For the occult interpretation of the name Zelator given in that grade as the zealous student who blows the fire of the alchemist.

The last point is important because it is the fire in an alchemical experiment which subdivides the four elements and the three philosophic elements, providing the energy for the solve part of the solve et coagula equation. Solve is a process which begins in the Outer Order, which is why the symbols on the altar are but various configurations of the GD Order's symbol. The heat is dividing the various portions of the magician's soul into their undivided elemental forms, shown by the various configurations of the holy symbols. This journey through the elements of the grades finally reveals in Philosophus, the highest grade of the Outer Order: the symbol of Sulpher.

We can further reflect on this supposed fire-within-the-earth GD teaching with a little sidebar exploration into the philosophy and work of other prominent adepts of the order, AE Waite and PF Case. So let us momentarily consider their non-GD Fool cards. While the Fool symbolizes air in the GD, but both Aleph and Shin can represent the fiery life breath or element of spirit in the BOTA interpretations, and the version of the Sepher Yetzirah attributions also used by the GD.

There is a little more illustrated in the Rider and BOTA Fools about this fire-earth relationship. Waite and PF Case garb the Fool in the four colors of Malkuth, but place red in the lining of the jacket. This is no accident, intimating the inner fire within the earth, a relationship between opposites.

Furthermore, the red of Aries, over the feet of Pisces has an occult link to the Shewbread tablet found in the Zelator grade. This place between the beginning and end of the Zodiac is located by following the top point of the pentagram. It is one and the same as the place that marks the top and the bottom of the color spectrum, it is therefore past the realms of what the human eye can see. The first unseen bands of rays at these two opposing ends are known to scientists as infrared and ultraviolet, and combined here at the uppermost point of the pentagram. Here they are supplied as as good a metaphor as any other symbol available to magicians for the unseen and ultimately unknowable nature of spirit.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Visiting Thuban Temple



Past Hierophant's Breast Jewel
Thuban Temple
Created by VH Frater YShY

Multi-Media, Sterling Silver, Silk, Cardboard, Paper and Ink
The Disk is 2" wide, with the ribbon and pin it is 3 1/2"
September 2009ev.

Welcome to all the Fratres and Sorores of the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn. We invite you to visit Thuban Temple, in Victoria, BC, Canada in person! With this small gesture, we open up the doors to mutual recognition of each others magical and spiritual work.

We currently offer visitation to other Golden Dawn members in Orders we recognise fraternally. If you do not belong to such an Order, inquire with your Chiefs about initiating such a friendly and fraternal connection. This recognition may be established regardless of Order or Tradition, and is conducted accordingly:

Establishing Fraternal Recognition
If you are a member of another Golden Dawn Order and wish to visit Thuban Temple, a request for fraternal relations may be first established through your Cancellarius or Secretary contacting ours directly at thuban.cancellarius@gmail.com Currently, a request to visit Thuban Temple will only be accepted if it comes from a fraternal body we recognise, and it is clearly approved by the Chiefs of your Order in writing to us. They will base this decision on any of their own existing procedures, discretion and judgment.

At Thuban Temple this recognition can easily be forged between us, and from our end, it is based on two things: firstly, our basic standard, which is called the Seven Pillars of Golden Dawn and; secondly, whether the visit will promote harmony within the entire community. The latter point is of course the end goal of opening visitation to the other Orders.

We would like to be completely clear that there will be no visiting Thuban without the written permission of your Chief of Chiefs to do so.

Application to Visit
First, the potential visitor writes a Letter of Intention to Visit, outlining the dates which he or she will or could arrange to be in the area. This is forwarded in some fashion, either paper-based or electronically to the Cancellarius, Secretary or Scribe, of his or her own order. The Cancellarius appends a Letter of Introduction to it stating that the Potential Visiting member is in good standing within that organisation and is dues current.

No member of Thuban Temple may apply for visiting rights under this procedure unless they are dues current. No potential visitor need apply to Thuban Temple's hospitality if they are not completely and unreservedly dues current within their own Order.

Next, your Cancellarius sends us the two letters. We will respond right away with receipt of your letters, and then in one calender month with our decision. This is mainly based on when our events are planned.

During the Meeting
All local members are invited into the temple before the opening, while visiting members congregate in the lounge and waiting area at the door to the hall. They are next led into the temple by the Kerux, as part of the opening ceremony. The visitors will not be in possession of the current password of our order, this will be given for them by the Kerux. After the opening ceremony, the Visitor will have an opportunity to introduce themselves, state what temple they hale from and offer some anecdote, tale, or educational piece to the temple, time permitting. We will then proceed with the ceremony of the evening.

Dressing for the Visit
In Thuban Temple, our tradition is that the highest grade shown by any member in an outer Order ceremony is that of the white robe and crossed sashes of the Portal of the Vault of the Adepti. Our Members may also wear the regalia and jewel of a Past Hierophant if they are entitled to it. When visiting other Temples, our officers will follow the above procedure, which is a paraphrase of the corresponding Z document.

Visitors to Thuban Temple who are currently sitting in the Office of Hierophant or Immediate Past Hierophant are encouraged to wear the white robe and mantle of a Hierophant but not the lamen. Visiting members who bear the rank of Past Hierophant may also wear the jewel of that office, if entitled to it. We have determined that this procedure is at the core of the Golden Dawn Tradition, and wish to thoroughly promote it. However, we understand that other orders may have different traditions, and thus all visitors are entitled to wear the regalia of their respective Order, even if it contradicts the above. The standard is that if the regalia would be appropriate in your Order at the same ceremony, please feel comfortable and confident in wearing it to ours. Even if it departs in any way from our understanding of traditional Golden Dawn apparel, you will be welcomed, but don't be surprised if you are informally requested to offer some informative or educational description explaining why your Order may differ from the norm as understood above.

Second and Subsequent Visits
All second and subsequent visits done on the same formal basis, where all correspondence must be forwarded through the Cancellari of both Temples or Orders.

Mutual Fraternal Recognition
We are pleased to announce that Thuban Temple #1 on the Registry of British Columbia is in mutual recognition with two other temples. The first is Horus Temple #2 of the Order of the Golden Dawn, located in Montreal, Quebec. The second is Atum Khephera #2 of the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn, located in Seattle, Washington.

Minutiae of the Seven Pillars of Recognition

Otherwise referred to as the "Seven Pillars" of Golden Dawn

Erected at Thuban Temple, #1 on the Registry of British Columbia, Canada.

These are the modes of recognition used by the Cancellarius of Thuban Temple in his correspondence duties when endeavoring to establish fraternal relations with any other Fraternal Bodies, Study Groups or Golden Dawn Outer Orders, and to promote reciprocal visitation between them.

These seven pillars are not overly detailed, most groups will immediately recognise themselves within these standards! However, basic though they may be, all seven of these pillars form a part of the mandatory requirements that Thuban Temple uses to establish fraternal relations with other Golden Dawn Orders. All seven must be present and compliant in the other Order before that body is even considered for fraternal recognition.

1. Use of and adherence to the Cipher Manuscript as a source derivation for the established ritual material.

Any variance from the Cipher Manuscript will not be recognised. However, unique enactments of the rituals, and changes which are within these sensible boundaries will be most especially tolerated, recognised and wholeheartedly promoted to the benefit of the entire Golden Dawn community of Orders.
No cognisance is taken of the origins of any Golden Dawn Order, whether their work is based solely on published material or secret internal documents. No consideration of lineage or origins will be undertaken by Thuban Temple in recognising magicians in our fraternity. Whether another Orders origins are modern and recently formed, older as in the latter half of the twentieth century, or supposedly ancient or even said to be somehow stemming in an initiatory manner from the Golden Dawn organisation of the late eighteen-hundreds, we are not interested or concerned with how your group came to be doing the work, we are only concerned that it is being done.

2. Complete memorization of the Outer Order Knowledge Lectures at each grade by the membership.

The content of which is set forth at a bare minimum by the published Outer Order documents of the Stella Matutina, as found in The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie, and currently published by Llewellyn. Also some working knowledge of exoteric astrology is expected by those with the grade of Portal, as it is well known the Stella Matutina lectures lack this astrological content in its published form. Most GD orders will easily meet this requirement, which is to be kept at this minimum. As there is no way of confirming the quality of work another order does, (other than through the initial correspondence with other Temple Chiefs, where some discussion of material and educational standards is near inevitable) nor would we ever wish to, therefore no effort will be made to micromanage another temple's affairs, or to test another member of another Golden Dawn Outer Order, as it is completely out of Thuban Temple's jurisdiction and desire to do so.

3. The Outer Order consisting of five grades, that are elemental in nature, namely Neophyte, Zelator, Theoricus, Practicus and Philosophus.

Which are in chronological order as follows: the 0 = 0 Grade of Neophyte Reception or Admission; the 1 = 10 Grade of Zelator or Initiaton; the 2 = 9 Grade of Theoricus; the 3 = 8 Grade of Practicus; and the 4 = 7 Grade of Philosophus.

4. The Inner Order consisting of four grades, which are frequently though not necessarily attributed to the three alchemical principles, namely Portal, Adeptus Minor, Adeptus Major, and Adeptus Exemptus.

Which are in chronological order as follows: The Grade of Portal, or Portal to Adeptus Minor; the 5 = 6 Grade of Adeptus Minor; the 6 = 5 Grade of Adeptus Major; and the 7 = 4 Grade of Adeptus Exemptus. Sub-Grades are not considered, as it is Inner Order material. If your temple or society is only working the Outer Order, it may also be recognised, without deference to this pillar as an impediment of any kind.

5. The Third Order Grades and the Secret Chiefs of the Order being referenced in the Order, however these Grades and Personages are considered. The third Order Grades are namely: Babe of the Abyss, Magister Templi, Magus, and Ipsissimus.

This reference is all that is required to be recognised by Thuban Temple, regardless of whether these Grades be physically constituted, conceived of, or left wholly unformed if they are not worked ceremonially, or if the Secret Chiefs who are said to dwell within the Supernal Triad or elsewhere, or if they are perceived as physical beings, symbols or esoteric ideals.

The Third Order Grades are in chronological order as follows: Babe of the Abyss, the 8 = 3 Grade of Magister Templi, the 9 = 2 Grade of Magus, and the 10 = 1 Grade of Ipsissimus. The nature of the Secret Chiefs have long been a point of difficulty and contention as well as a source of healthy, friendly and academic debate, and are therefore not under the jurisdiction of this document of these Seven Pillars.

6. Equality in admission and advancement of all worthy and qualified Fratres and Sorores regardless of race, gender or creed.


A complete lack of attention by Thuban Temple is given towards what another Order might consider a worthy individual, as may be outlined by each individual Order's traditions, tests of knowledge, bylaws or constitution. No Order which discriminates against the following will be recognised: race, genetic or perceived; gender as in male, female or otherwise; creed or belief in any capacity.

However, recognition will also not be given to any Order which receives for admission and initiates underage individuals (as determined by whatever the age of majority is in the laws of the country of that Order's domicile, or the age of 19, whatever is younger), nor will groups which follow a countries' laws which would tend to restrict or run contrary to the most absolute and literal understanding of the above Pillar. Such organisations will be considered to be erring and clandestine, and are not be recognised fraternally.

All Orders in fraternal harmony with Thuban Temple are expected to fulfill the spirit of a healthy society and liberty intended by the injunction of this Pillar first and foremost. This important pillar is not subject to the subjective and unique interpretation as are most of the others, and unlike them is not relegated to the sovereign jurisdiction of each respective Order. Once it has been deemed that this pillar has been broken, it will result in the temporary or permanent termination of any fraternal relation between Thuban Temple and the other Golden Dawn Outer Order, with no exceptions.

7. The adherence to and the respect of the traditional oaths of secrecy, however these may be interpreted and practiced.

This has always been a difficult oath to maintain, and today it continues to be an ongoing concern. The Oath of Secrecy is variously interpreted: as total silence regarding all involvement with the Order, literally invoking Levi`s fourth power of the Sphinx; it can be interpreted that the comments and discussion in uninitiated conversation be limited merely to only that which is already in print; or finally taken as merely discretion which reduces attention to themselves in our society which is by nature not all that accepting of the differences in others, especially the oft misunderstood philosophy of Occultists.

While this topic is recognised and encouraged for discussion between Orders, and while the author of these Seven Pillars contests that in the information age of Aquarius the backbone of secrecy is slowly fossilising into the limestone of respect for the mysteries, no attention is to be given by Thuban Temple to the jurisdiction or functioning of any other temple, and this Pillar, while a salient one, is left for those individual temples and Orders to govern themselves accordingly.

Silence is golden, and it is primarily left for the individual Magician to recognise the moments where the cup as the weapon of silence is the correct tool to be chosen over the flaming sword of the word.

In harmony, friendship and love, to the accomplishment of the great work.

VH Frater YShY,
Imperator of Thuban Temple

The Seven Pillars of Recognition


(Otherwise referred to as the "Seven Pillars" of Golden Dawn)

Erected at Thuban Temple, #1 on the Registry of British Columbia, Canada.

1. Use of and adherence to the Cipher Manuscript as a source derivation for the established ritual material.

2. Complete memorization of the Outer Order Knowledge Lectures at each grade by the membership.


3. The Outer Order consisting of five grades, that are elemental in nature, namely Neophyte, Zelator, Theoricus, Practicus and Philosophus.

4. The Inner Order consisting of four grades, which are frequently though not necessarily attributed to the three alchemical principles, namely Portal, Adeptus Minor, Adeptus Major, and Adeptus Exemptus.

5. The Third Order Grades and the Secret Chiefs of the Order being referenced in the Order, however these Grades and Personages are considered. The Third Order Grades are namely: Babe of the Abyss, Magister Templi, Magus, and Ipsissimus.

6. Equality in admission and advancement of all worthy and qualified Fratres and Sorores regardless of race, gender or creed.

7. The adherence to and the respect of the traditional oaths of secrecy, however these may be interpreted and practiced.


In harmony, friendship and love, to the accomplishment of the great work.

VH Frater YShY,
Imperator of Thuban Temple

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Etamin Study Group

Etamin is the Gamma star in the constellation of Draco. An orange giant, Gamma Draconis is also known by the traditional name Eltanin, and despite its gamma designation, it is actually the brightest star in the constellation today.

Etamin Study Group is a new branch of the Order located in Surrey, B.C. which is of course a part of Greater Vancouver. Not an initiatory body, but an educational one, Etamin is affiliated with Thuban Temple and thus services the educational needs of the temple's distance or Associate Members on the mainland of British Columbia. Etamin is guided by Frater I.'. who is himself a Past Cancellarius or Chief of Thuban Temple and an accomplished Solomonic Magician.

Known anciently as Rastaban, a title now exclusively used for Beta Draconis. Because of the ancient confusion between the two stars, we must consider the magical history of both bodies here. The classical name Rastaban, or less frequently Rastaben, is from the proper Arabic phrase ra's ath-thu'ban or "head of the serpent". Rastaban and Etamin are two terms that share the same Arabic root for serpent or dragon, and thus bears the same symbolism as the rest of the constellation. Etamin is the zenith star above London, i.e. it is the point directly overhead of that city.

Etamin itself, probably due to its brightness, is known as the right eye of the Dragon. According to Elsbeth Ebertin in Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation (1928), Gamma Draco has a Saturnine and Jupiterian nature, also with some Martial influence. The predominance of Saturn gives a preference for solitude. The influence of this star yields mental concentration, but also the possibility of dishonor, downfall and the loss of prestige. However, it is also positive for esoteric and philosophical studies.

Beta Draconis is a binary star that is located 360 light years away from our sun, making it the third brightest star in Draco. This super-giant's dwarf companion orbits around once every four millennia. Beta Draconis is also known as Asuia and Alwaid. Alwaid means "who is to be destroyed". Some find an alternate origin by tracing it to the Arabic al'awwad or "the lute player". Alwaid is a part of the asterism known to the Arabs as the Mother Camels or "al'awa'id".

The annihilation or 'destruction' attribution of Alwaid, is equivalent to the house of Beta or Beth of the transparent intelligence between Kether and Binah, which is the supernal path between the absolute intelligence and the intelligence of faith, whereby faith is truly the final destruction of the intellect of the ruach.

As Gamma is the third letter of the Greek Alphabet, the camel of Gimmel in Hebrew mysticism is also indicated, and thus the triune symbolism of the neshamah. This beast of transport and burden has a special place in the Cabala of the R.R. et A.C., inasmuch as it treads the onerous mercantile and hermetic path through the sandy desert of Daath, connecting Tiphareth with Kether in a supernal union at the crown that sits above 'the head'. This experience is said to be both illuminating, and of such magnitude that it 'destroys' all of the Cabalistic preconceptions of what such an event might entail. It is literally the mode of consciousness which has been described by one ancient fragment of a magical text as a communion with 'he who has no head'.

Etamin is moving closer to the earth, and as it does, its brightness increases. Positing that its current magnitude does not change, in 1.5 million years it will actually be the brightest star in the night sky, matching or shining even brighter than Sirius. This progression has been taken as a metaphor by the Chiefs of Thuban Temple, alluding to the growing light of the new study group, which is slowly building towards a full temple status. We wish them all the best.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thuban Temple


Thuban Temple is a private Golden Dawn temple in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, also servicing B.C. and the surrounding area. The Alpha star of the constellation of Draconis was chosen as its name to represent the Gnostic serpent, representative of the active consideration of the the higher aspirations of the soul, an ethic that is emphasized in that temple. Founded in 1999, it is patterned after the esoteric and fringe-masonic ideal of an occult mystery school, but one that also embraces the scientific method. Our membership is exclusively drawn from practicing magicians, actively concerned with the higher aspirations of their souls.

The star of Thuban may have been linked to the Egyptian belief in immortality, for as the ancient polestar, it was always central in the night sky. Whoever built the Great Pyramid drew on the Osirian stars of Orion and Thuban in the construction of the central "King’s Chamber". While older archeological theory attributes the builder to be the Pharaoh Khufu and assumes that the pyramid was built as an elaborate tomb, another perspective more popular with occult tradition states that the Great Pyramid is not a tomb at all, but a chamber used for initiation rituals of the priests and kings.
The Kings Chamber is actually physically linked to the stars Orion and Thuban through two small shafts that would have pointed upwards to the stars some 5,300 years ago, and at that time allowed the stellar light entry into the chamber. It is this physical feature that has for some archeologists made tenable the theory that the chamber was used for ceremonial purposes rather than simply burial.

The Greek name Thuban connotes life, light and wisdom. As the alpha star in the constellation Draconis, Thuban was traditionally the pole star of the ancients and was used in ancient navigation. Here it is used metaphorically for the inspiration or light within, and the activity of the whirling Alpha or Aleph marks the path of the babe on his journey from the crown, in rays of endless undulation. Thuban is originally derived from the Arabic term "Thu'ban." Thuban and Al Tinnin are the Arabic titles for the whole of Draco, meanwhile the Persian title of the constellation was Azhdeha. The Greek word Thuban means dragon, and specifically the basilisk. This legendary creature was said to be able to poison with a glance. Poison and death are two ancient metaphors for transformation and rebirth. The ecstatic nature of some forms of intoxication and the healing powers of rebirth are perfect metaphors for the phase of great work that is conducted in the Golden Dawn in the Outer.

The legendary attributes of a Basilisk are speculated by some to have been an ancient twist on the description of the Egyptian cobra, which was used on the crowns of gods and royalty. As the crown is a symbol of the great work completed, this possible origin for the image of the basilisk merges with the Egyptian, Medieval and 19th century symbolism of the GD and its typical imagery; this intimates Thuban Temple's methods and goal.

The Hermetic conception of the serpent is that of a clever creature, a positive giver of wisdom. As the Christos supposedly said: "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." (Matthew 10:16) So together let us traverse the path of the serpent, which is the path of wisdom.

The constellation of Draco



The winding constellation of Draco is symbolic of the oblique course of the stars. It was once the polar constellation, and its alpha star or Thuban was the pole star 4,800 years ago. As the millennia clicked past, Draco pulled out of alignment with the northern pole and became the serpent that chases its own tail. This may lend itself to an identification with Norse mythology, which tells of a serpent named Oroborus that bites its own tail at the edge of the world.
The Egyptian hieroglyph is that of a star-studded serpent, each shimmering scale representing a star.1 While Draco has now slumped around Polaris, the current pole star, there is a procession of the ecliptic pole, as illustrated in the diagram above. While the lion-serpent attributed to Leo and Teth has come to be commonly recognised as the Gnostic solar-path of the sun through the zodiac, Draco itself marks this same progression around the pole. Therefore, Draco is arguably also the serpent from The Universe card, where it has an expanded meaning of the entire 72 quinances of the Zodiac.

Another interpretation was that in the war of the giants, this was the dragon that was brought into battle against Minerva, the goddess of battle and learning who seized the serpent and threw it into the sky where it became fixed as a constellation.
Draco has also been taken to be the dragon killed by Cadmus with the assistance of Minerva, when he was on his quest to find his sister Europa, whom Jupiter had carried away.

In the tale of Hercules, he slays the dragon who guarded the golden apples in the garden of Hesperides, near Mount Atlas in Africa. When Juno presented the apples to Jupiter, she raised the Dragon to the heavens as the constellation to reward it for its fidelity. While the Dragon of the Herculean myth was a guard of the golden apples, this tale may well be the origin of the serpent that offered the fruit to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Finally, when the latter story is viewed from a Gnostic perspective, it is the serpent that brings humanity wisdom through its offering of the forbidden fruit.

These quaint tales involving Draco and Minerva show an important antithetical relationship between the nature of any intellectual learning, and especially that of a spiritual nature. They contrast the mystery schools which Minerva is a patroness of, and the inner Gnostic wisdom of the true most high that the serpent is but a messiah thereof. It is this that led A.E. Waite to comment on the Heirophant card that "He is the ruling power of external religion, as the High Priestess is the prevailing genius of the esoteric, withdrawn power" in his prolifically available, but scarcely understood work, The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. For that which may be taught is not the eternal truth, but a mere attempt to express ones own experience thereof.

1) The geography of the heavens, and class book of astronomy, by Elijah Hinsdale Burritt, Thomas Dick

Monday, June 22, 2009

Music in the Outer Order

ANTONIO VIVALDI

In Masonic ritual it is traditional for the Organist to play hymns during the ceremonial perambulations around the temple, and when traveling between the stations of the three principal Officers. Composed by Mozart, these hymns are as much a part of traditional Masonry as any of the regalia and ritual. I have always wanted to put the Golden Dawn rituals to music, and here are the results of my efforts.

For the Neophyte Ceremony of Reception, I have selected The Benedicite Omnia Opera to be played or sung during the circumambulations. This could have easily fit in the Path of Tav, and while it is mentioned in the Second Knowledge lecture in connection with the elemental spirits, instead I have placed it at Neophyte where the four elements play a balanced role, and of course the 0 = 0 grade is pendant to Malkuth, the sphere of the elements.

The elemental grades were far more challenging, even with my favorite composer's help. The Four Seasons are a collection of four violin concertos composed in 1723 by the great Antonio Vivaldi. It is his most widely known work and these are some of the most popular pieces of Baroque Music. These selections are attributed to the four elements and the Cardinal points of the compass by way of the "Four Prevailing Winds of Britain" system, which is of course the same order the four implements are placed on the Altar during the Neophyte Ritual. The original order of the concertos by Vivaldi is Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

In our system Winter comes first because the Zelator ritual precedes the other grades. Next is Spring at Theoricus, but then the selections for Summer and Autumn switch attribution from the sphere to the paths, thus putting Summer for the paths in Practicus, and Autumn for the Paths leading to Philosophus. This was chosen by listening to the music and meditating on the actual trumps. This captures the unique elemental duality that the Golden Dawn teaches in Practicus and Philosophus. This balance between opposites in path and sphere in these two grades is represented faithfully by this arrangement, and even moving Winter to the beginning has the astounding effect of keeping the seasons in their correct order.

The actual reception into each of the last two grades is accomplished by repeating the first movement. This decision on my part may frustrate some magicians who are inexperienced with music, but I believe it is the correct one. In my background I have played over a thousand shows, sometimes for a few hundred, sometimes for even several thousand people. It is common knowledge among musicians that the sheer power of staying in key for a whole selection of music can be incredibly moving, something that would be ruined if I mixed up some of the selections, playing summer and autumn together in one ceremony, for example. Vivaldi really knew what he was doing, so I have deferred to his legendary programming and left the sequence of the movements basically alone. Furthermore, the reprise of the first movement during the closing of Practicus and Philosophus really works in letting the energy of his music to take hold during the ceremony. I have learned that during a long evening of music a final repetition of even a single melody heard previously in the night can be such an emotional experience, it is often enough to move people to tears. Using the first movement again is the perfect effect for the entrance into a sephira and its closing ceremony.

So in closing, I would like to thank all of you for the opportunity for me be your DJ. All of these files can be found on Wiki, and I encourage each of you to sit down with a nice but inexpensive bottle of Yellowtail Shiraz from New Zealand, fan out the correct trumps and perhaps a few lineal figures, listen to these pieces in the prescribed order and marvel with me at the sheer power of Vivaldi's work.


Music in the Outer Order II


In summary:

NEOPHYTE
During Circumambulations - The Benedicite Omnia Opera, to be played or sung.

ZELATOR
First Part - Vivaldi's Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, "L'inverno" or Winter, Movement One, Allegro non molto
Second Part - Movement Two, Largo
Travelling between the Tablets and Closing - Movement Three, Allegro

THEORICUS
Opening and The Path of Tav - Vivaldi's Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, "La primavera" or Spring, Movement One, Allegro
Entrance into Yesod and walking between Tablets - Vivaldi's Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, "La primavera" or Spring, Movement Two, Largo
Closing - Vivaldi's Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, "La primavera" or Spring, Movement Three, Allegro Pastorale

PRACTICUS
Opening and The Path of Shin and between Tablets - Vivaldi's Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, "L'estate" or Summer, Movement One, Allegro non molto
The Path of Resh - Vivaldi's Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, "L'estate" or Summer, Movement Two, Adagio e piano, Presto e forte
Travelling between the Tablets - Vivaldi's Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, "L'estate" or Summer, Movement Three, Presto
Entrance into Hod, between Tablets and Closing - Repeat the first movement.

PHILOSOPHUS
Opening and The Path of Qoph - Vivaldi's Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, "L'autunno" or Autumn, Movement One, Allegro
The Path of Tzaddi and between Tablets - Vivaldi's Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, "L'autunno" or Autumn, Movement Two, Adiagio molto
The Path of Peh and between Tablets - Vivaldi's Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, "L'autunno" or Autumn, Movement Three, Allegro
The Entrance into Netzach, between Tablets and Closing - Repeat the first movement.

Thanks to Wiki for all the help in gathering the correct information about Vivaldi's music.

Second Order Musings

I have created a Second Blog for my Second Order musings and material.

http://therubyroseandgoldencross.blogspot.com/

Thus may we keep the veils between the orders intact. This of course has always been difficult for me, as the fact that I am now a father of two lovely children can attest to. Ah, its good to be true to yourself.

The Outer Order Regalia

The black tav robe is worn in the outer order, and we are told it signifies ignorance. But of what? Black is the earth element, the corporeal form, and I believe it is the ignorance of the elemental self of which it is the work of the magician to come to know. The red socks symbolise the energy and fire in motion to initiate that transformative process. The earth of our beings not only contains the spark of fire within, the locomotion of life in the fire of the Alchemist heats the Tav cross of matter into decay and corruption. The outer order is our crucible, and each of us is a black elemental cross who is to be broken down or dissolved into the separate elemental parts before eventually being recombined or coagulated into the philosophers stone. We are the Alchemist, the fire, the crucible and the black cross of matter. We are the complete Hermeticly sealed system, and the experiment is on ourselves, if we could only remember to recognize it.

The black sash with a white border simply demarcates the grades or steps of the outer order. The robe is a symbol of the physical form, and is the black of Binah, Saturn, earth, limitation, authority and of course ignorance. The socks are the red of Mars, fire, Geburah and Aries, energy, the will and one's self identity.

Adapted from a forum post I made earlier this spring.

A Neophyte Catechism

A magical miscellany of quotes from prominent GD sources, from my own work, and from various old-order Adepts. Some of my male readers may find the following format to be somewhat familiar.

NEOPHYTE CATECHISM

Q) What is the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn?

A) A peculiar college of magic, mysticism and mythology.

Q) What is magic?

A) The art and science of causing change to occur in conformity with will.

Q) What is a magician?

A) One who communes with spiritual creatures and beings.

Q) How do you know yourself to be a magician?

A) By the experiences at my initiation, by the repeated trials and troubles I have overcome, and by an inner certainty that I am such.

Q) What such experiences?

A) I was purified and consecrated four separate times, a rope was placed thrice about my body, I was presented to the east and west, and my eyes were hooded until I was brought to the light.

Q) What such trials?

A) By the test of the guardian of the west, whose name is darkness, and where I learned that fear is failure, and the forerunner of failure. So therefore face your fears, for in the heart of the coward virtue abideth not. In facing your fears and your failures, it will be as thou was without. For he who trembles at the flame and the flood and at the shadows of the air, hath no part in god.

Q) What such certainty?

A) By the test of the guardian of the east, whose name is the light of a golden day dawning in darkness, and where I remember that unbalanced power is the ebbing away of life; unbalanced mercy is weakness and the fading out of the will; unbalanced severity is but oppression, cruelty and the barrenness of mind.

Q) What is mysticism?

A) A personal system of spiritual advancement, attainment and attunement unique to each individual.

Q) Then how can an Order teach such a system?

A) It cannot, it can only make its aspirants aware of the precepts of the various mystical systems, and in time one will form one’s own experiences.

Q) Why belong to such an Order?

A) My soul is wandering in darkness seeking for the light of hidden knowledge, and I believe that in this order the knowledge of that light may be obtained.

Q) What are the mystical words?

A) Khabs am pekht, Konx om pax, light in extension.

Q) What are their origins and meanings?

A) The mystical words Khabs am pekht are ancient Egyptian and are the origin of the Greek Konx om pax which was said to be uttered at the Eleusinian mysteries. A literal translation would be “light rushing out in one ray” and they signify the same form of light as that symbolized by the staff of the Kerux.

Q) What is a myth?

A) To answer that, I must first tell you what it is not, in this context, mythology is not some untrue or fanciful statement or statements about the past or present: it is however, the retelling of certain stories in symbol and allegory that are deeply meaningful to our fellow man or woman.

Q) Why is such obscure symbolism employed?

A) By names and images are all powers awakened and re-awakened.

Q) Why is such a dire oath of secrecy required of each aspirant?

A) The seed of wisdom is sown in silence and grows in darkness and mystery.

Q) Perform the adoration to the lord of the universe.

A) Holy art thou, lord of the universe. Salute.
Holy art thou, whom nature hath not formed. Salute.
Holy art thou, the vast and mighty one. Salute.
Lord of the light and of the darkness. Give the sign of silence.

The Oath of Secrecy


In this day and age of new-fangled inventions like the printing press and the world wide web, this is a very difficult oath to maintain, and the interpretations of the correct way to do so abound. Some of us prefer to keep totally silent regarding our involvement, literally invoking Levi`s fourth power of the Sphinx. Others tend to just be discreet, rather than bring too much attention to themselves in our society which is by nature not all that accepting of the differences in others, especially the oft misunderstood philosophy of Occultists. Some elect to limit their comments to only that which is already in print. Others yet prefer to keep whatever unique practices their temples may have secret and unrevealed.

Each magician's philosophy has its validity, and whatever each individual`s interpretation of this oath might be, I think we can all agree that its influence can be a thorny ethical conundrum in the mind of the modern magician. Unfortunately, now that a great deal of the system has been revealed, at least part of the decision has been made for us. There is no turning back time, what is done has been done, and there is no point trying to erase the past. By the above statements and my very presence here on the net, I may have more than tipped my hand as to which category my opinions fall. I for one, have greatly benefited from the system being placed in print by Regardie and others. While for years I have done my own `secret` group work without any pretense, along with many others the printed word was my first introduction to GD, and I will always be fond of Regardie`s books.

I propose that instead of promoting the admittedly untenable need for further secrecy, that we act and teach our Neophytes a more modern equivalent. I am of course speaking simply of respect. Respect is needed for the secrets of our mysteries, whether revealed by a book in print, or through traditional communication in a secret temple. Respect means one doesn`t profane the mysteries, for lack of a better term, by indiscriminately speaking of them among those who are not suited for such discussion. This is easily determined not by any judgment call or assumptions by us about another person`s character, but by the simple discrimination and reckoning whether the other individual under consideration will accord our mystic topics with that high standard of respect and appreciation that they deserve. What if we discover we are wrong about a person's suitability for a discussion on magic, but we have already started a conversation we would prefer to have avoided? Luckily on the Internet, like in person, we can easily choose not to reply to any of those comments that we have deemed to be beneath our dignity.

Furthermore, respect also means that we also continually defer to the higher reasoning faculties of ourselves and each other. We must grow accustomed to the concept that no matter how each of us interprets our oaths, that the willed and intentional acts of another magician were done so with the utmost care and illumination that was available to him at that time. We can learn more about ourselves and each other in fraternal communication, which is a real key to unlocking the mysteries of Hermeticism. While we may not agree, nonetheless in the modern world at the very least we can let respect and discretion take the place of where mystery and secrecy have been forever unveiled.