Mishkan ha-Echad

Sunday, 24 June 2012

In Celebration

In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the consecration of the Vault of the Adepti of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn by Francis Israel Regardie...

The ages pass like crumpled pages in a book,
Some still pristine within the annals of our mind;
A century to come and go is all it took
For much of magic to be lost, and now we find
That somehow it is here again for us to know.
The birthright of our hungered spirit lingers still,
The fruit of inner trees we weather, nurse and sow
That we might come in contact with our higher will.
The light glows stronger now, despite time's leaden hold;
The magi stir from deep within their temple tombs —
What once was but a metal has become fair gold,
And where an ancient garden was, a rose now blooms.

Hermetic Virtues, Vol. 5 No. 4

Volume 5, Issue No. 3 of Hermetic Virtues has been released, containing the following excellent articles and reviews:

+ Hidden Church by John Michael Greer
+ The Hierophant by Harry Wendrich
+ Tools of Light by Chic Cicero
+ New Way of Looking at Golden Dawn Rituals – a book review by Samuel Scarborough
+ Traditional Golden Dawn and the Missing Landmarks by Nick Farrell
+ King Over the Water – a book review by Frater YshY
+ Two Thrones for the Golden Dawn by Aaron Leitch
+ Summer Solstice Ritual by Darcy Kuntz
+ Change Your Motto, Change Your Destiny by Eric V. Sisco
+ Consciousness and the Tree of Life by Jane Gibson
+ An Invocation of Chokmah by Samuel Scarborough
+ Enochian Magic in the Golden Dawn Tradition by Dean Wilson
+ The Origins of the Rosicrucian Society in England by Ian Cowburn

To obtain a copy, click here.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Venus and the Vault of the Adepti

One of the mysteries of the Vault is the fact that it is entered through the side of Venus, which seems at first to be strange, especially when the grade of 5=6 is attributed to the Sun. There are many reasons for this, however, some obvious, and others somewhat more subtle.

The usual explanation I see given is that Venus is, as Regardie put it, "the occult planet which represents the Genius of this Order." Of course, he was a member of the Stella Matuina (Latin for "Morning Star," a title given to Venus, along with Evening Star), so Venus was certainly strongly applicable there, but the link is somewhat more tenuous when considering the original order and its other offshoots, all of which employed references to the Sun in their name. "Golden Dawn" is obvious enough, while "Morgenrothe" is "Dawn" (from the German for "Morning Redness") and AO is, according to Mathers, the ancient Egyptian root for "Dawn." Venus, therefore, is not as important in the name, at least.

Venus does have significant occult value, however, that gives it a prominence above the other planets when looked at from a certain perspective. Some of this is covered by Westcott:

"[The Chief Adept] has Mars and Geburah at his right hand, and Jupiter and Gedulah at his left hand. He faces Venus in the West, the Evening Star, which represents the entry of the Candidate who has toiled all day until the evening. At even he enters the Western door of the planet Venus, that sole planet unto whose symbol alone all the Sephiroth are conformed. ... [The newly admitted Adept] enters through the Green side of the Vault. Green is the colour of growth; let him see that he grows."
- William Wynn Westcott, The Symbolism of the Seven Sides.

The encompassing of all the Sephiroth is important, as this represents the complete Tree of Life and links with the Ankh that is also significant to the Adeptus Minor ritual.

The idea of growth is equally important, although it could be argued that this is countered by the strong symbolism of death in the 5=6 ceremony itself. The colour green is interesting, however, as it is the flashing colour of red, and these two colours are employed on the lamen of the Hierophant, the Outer Order officer applicable to the grade of 5=6.

There is another occult significance, however. The Hebrew letter to which the planet Venus is attributed to is Daleth, which means "Door." It makes sense then that the Venus wall would be the door to the Vault.

However, the most important reason is because the previous Sephirah that the initiate has come from is Netzach, from the 4=7 grade, which is attributed to the planet Venus. Therefore in order to enter Tiphareth, wherein lies the Vault, the initiate must enter through the Venus door.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

"Perceive with the Soul..."

"Yet even in the 1=10 grade you are told you must analyse and comprehend that Light or Knowledge, and not only take it on personal authority. Let us then be Adepti in fact, and not only on the surface; let our investigations be more than skin deep. That only which you demonstrate is really known to you, and that only which is comprehended can fructify and become spiritual progress as distinguished from intellectual gain. Unless you can perceive with the soul as well as see with the eye your progress is but seeming, and you will continue to wander in the wilds of the unhappy."

- William Wynn Westcott, The Symbolism of the Seven Sides