Mishkan ha-Echad

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Why is Yesod Air and Hod Water?

A common query among those working the Golden Dawn system is why the Sephirah Yesod (and Theoricus) is attributed to Air instead of Water (after all, it is linked with the Moon, which affects the tides), and why the Sephirah Hod (and Practicus) is attributed to Water (when it is also assigned to the more intellectual, or airy, planet of Mercury). It almost seems like it's reversed, an apparent elemental inconsistency.

There are several reasons for why the Elements are assigned to their particular Sephiroth and Grades. A few of the factors are as follows:

1. There is a Qabalistic principle (see the Sepher Yetzirah) that Air is the reconciler between Fire and Water, and so neither Water nor Fire can be attributed to any Sephirah on the central pillar. They alternate sides, while Air takes the central balancing point betweem them.

2. The Elements of the Grades are assigned based on the Tetragrammaton: Yod (Fire), Heh (Water), Vav (Air), Heh Final (Earth). Since we work our way backwards up the Tree of Life, this results in the order of Earth (Zelator), Air (Theoricus), Water (Practicus), Fire (Philosophus).

3. The Flashing Colours of the lowest Triad in the Sephiroth reveal the Elements of the Grades. Netzach is Green, and its Flashing Colour is Red (the colour of Fire). Hod is Orange, and its Flashing Colour is Blue (the colour of Water). Yesod if Violet/Purple, and its Flashing Colour is Yellow (the colour of Air).

4. There is a mystery to discover regarding the strong relationship between Air and Water. Consider, for example, the watery symbol of Aquarius (an Air sign) and the airy symbol of the Eagle used for the higher form of Scorpio (a Water sign). Consider also that Air and Water share the same line in the Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram.

There is, of course, more to these attributions than the above, but this should be sufficient to show that the assignments are accurate as given.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Testing Spirits

One of the biggest issues in magic is the threat of self-delusion, or delusion by exterior forces (spirits, etc.), making testing a vital requirement. This is emphasised time and time again in Golden Dawn material, with a variety of methods given.

I devoted a chapter to this in my recently published book Enochian Magic in Practice, including a slew of techniques, from challenges Dee himself used, to the "utility belt" of tests that Mathers and Westcott supplied.

For now, however, I want to look at how the 5=6 Ceremony guides us on this matter. If we look at the Obligation taken by an Adeptus Minor, the tenth clause, relating to Malkuth, states the following:

"Finally, if in my travels, I should meet a stranger who professes to be a member of the Rosicrucian Order, I will examine him with care before acknowledging him to be so."

This is sound advice on a mundane level, but it also (like all clauses of the Obligation) has a magical application: that, if in our occult travels, we should meet a strange spirit that professes to be anything or anyone, but most especially if it professes to be a major spirit like an archangel (who may be considered members of the Rosicrucian Order), that we will examine (test) it before acknowledging it to be so.

The Virtue of Malkuth is Discrimination or Discernment, and it is a vital skill to learn from the outset, especially when engaging in practical occult work. It is very easy to get lost in a sea of images, especially further up the Tree of Life, which is why this Virtue is placed at the threshold of our path, that we might make a true journey.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Aaron Leitch on Enochian Magic in Practice

“Picking up where Enochian Magic in Theory left off, this new volume explores the practical aspects of the Enochian tradition, such as prayer and devotion, skrying and astral vision, communicating with angels, interpretation of visions and symbols, the importance of the Enochian ritual tools, the making of Enochian talismans, angelic evocation, and more. Frater Yechidah also provides us with some example rituals—such as openings for both the Sigillum Dei Aemeth and the Great Table, the invocation of Heptarchic and Watchtower angels, skrying the Aethyrs/Parts of the Earth, and several sample records of astral visionary experiences. The author even explores the rarely-mentioned Gebofal operation—the opening of the 48 Gates of Heaven.

“As he did in the first volume, Frater Yechidah has overcome the decades of contention between Dee-purist and post-Golden Dawn Enochian tradition, choosing instead to draw from both sides of the fence. He covers material found only in Dee's original journals, but freely references the writings and techniques developed by the likes of Samuel Mathers, William Westcott, Aleister Crowley, and Benjamin Rowe. This book continues the revelation of a greater emerging Enochian tradition.”

— Aaron Leitch, 
author of The Essential Enochian Grimoire

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero on Enochian Magic in Practice

"In recent years it has become fashionable for those who follow the 'Dee Purist' Tradition to dismiss the Golden Dawn's contribution to the Enochian System of Magic. However, as Frater Yechidah reminds us, 'the changes or innovations the Golden Dawn made were clearly made with intent, and were largely based on precedences within the Dee diaries themselves.' Enochian Magic in Practice clearly explodes the myth that Golden Dawn Enochian Magic begins and ends with the Elemental Watchtowers. In this sequel to Enochian Magic in Theory, the author examines portions of Dee's diaries with the eyes of an experienced practitioner and decodes their sometimes cryptic meanings. This book builds upon the previous work and provides readers with an effective system for practical Enochian ritual magic that yields results. Highly recommended for anyone who seeks an in-depth, working knowledge of the Angelic System."

— Charles "Chic" Cicero and Sandra "Tabatha" Cicero
Chief Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Authors of The Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot

Friday, 29 January 2016

Darcy Küntz on Enochian Magic in Practice

"This book is one of the most concise and detailed books on the practical application of Dr. John Dee’s magical system. Frater Yechidah skillfully combines many of Dee’s original practices with the techniques from the original manuscripts of the Order of the Golden Dawn to produce a truly practical manual. Any Adept studying Enochian Magic should have this book as a guide through which this complex world of Enochian Magic is fully explained."

— Darcy Küntz, 
editor of The Enochian Experiments of the Golden Dawn

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Attribution of Golden Dawn Flying Rolls

It is perhaps well-known today that much of the published corpus of Golden Dawn material contains errors and altered text, some minor, some much more significant. It is likely less well-known that there are some issues with the attribution of documents. I outline two examples from the Flying Rolls below.

Flying Roll XI, on Clairvoyance, is rightly attributed to Mathers, but the actual wording of it comes from Westcott, as we can see in this full title and attribution:

Flying Roll XI
A MS in the words and language
of G.H. Fra. N.O.M.
written out from his Notes
of a lecture delivered extempore
the G.H. Frater D.D.C.F. 7=4
Chief Adept of England
[added in pencil: by NOM. March 1893]

We see from the above that Mathers gave his lecture "extempore," which means without preparation, and Westcott took notes of this, before assembling them into this Flying Roll. This is important, because the content is from Mathers, but the wording is from Westcott.

The previous example is from the title page, but the attribution is repeated, in alternate wording, at the beginning of the lecture itself, as follows:

"This MSS is written out by G.H. Frater NOM at length in his own words from his Notes of a Lecture by the Chief Adept G.H. Fra. D.D.C.F. upon Clairvoyance." [underline in original]

Flying Roll XIV, properly titled The Formation of Talismans and Flashing Tablets, is commonly attributed to Westcott (typically under the motto Sapere Aude), and yet this was actually a lecture delivered by Mathers (D.D.C.F.), and merely issued as a Flying Roll by Westcott. Let us look at the full title and attribution:

Flying Roll XIV 
The Formation of Talismans
Flashing Tablets

being Notes of a Lecture 
delivered by the 
G.H. Frater D.D.C.F. 
to the College of Adepti 

Issued June 1893 
for circulation as a 
Flying Roll No XIV
by G.H. Frater NOM

In this case, it is not clear if the notes were made by Mathers or Westcott, though we do know that the original lecture was given by Mathers. 

It is important to note that "Issued by" does not mean "Written by," as evidenced by the fact that several Flying Rolls written by Westcott also contain a separate "Issued by" attribution.

Some may consider these misattributions inconsequential, but they are very significant errors, which ought to be corrected where possible.