The first organisation to be called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn opened in 1888 as an initiatory society dedicated to the study and practice of Ritual Magic, the Qabalah, Hermeticism, Astrology, Tarot and Alchemy. It was founded by people who wanted to have something like Theosophy, but rooted in the Western Mystery Tradition.
The original order ceased operating under that name in 1903, but continued in various forms until the late sixties or seventies.
However, in the late seventies / early eighties there was a move to revive the Golden Dawn, mainly thanks to the influence of Israel Regardie, and temples originating from that period still exist to this day.Alex Sumner’s answer to What is the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn? Does it still exist? – Quora
Category Archives: Supernatural
(a2a) There are several strategies which I would use: I suggest you learn all of them so that you can choose which is most appropriate when the need arises. You can:
- Form a protective barrier around yourself;
- Bind the spirit within something which acts as a “spirit trap”;
- Go “invisible” – so that they completely ignore you;
- Command their respect by invoking a superior power which they recognise;
- Call upon a Spirit guide to protect you and deal with them on your behalf;
- Ask them to leave of their own accord;
- Forcibly banish them if they don’t leave peacefully.
You could try to burn them, but if you did succeed, it would probably only prove that you’re not on the astral plane at all, but rather still inside your mind.
Always try to find out why the spirit is behaving the way it is, before you get heavy-handed. I did hear about one incident where some witches claimed they were attacked by an evil entity – except that it turned out they had trespassed on a sacred site, and the entity was a perfectly reasonable guardian spirit just doing its job. The correct approach would have been for the witches to withdraw from the confrontation themselves.
But by far the best advice I could give is to prepare for astral projection by practicing this lot whilst you are still in your physical body. All of these strategies have their analogue in ceremonial magic, for example by calling upon angels or upon your Holy Guardian Angel, or assuming god-forms, or using rituals such as the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram, etc. Practice them now so that you can deploy them at will when you are out of the body.
And always set your intention for what you want to do with your astral projection, and keep this firmly in your mind, before you leave the body: this will make sure you don’t turn up somewhere random and get surprised by something unpleasant.(2) Alex Sumner’s answer to How can I deal with entities who want to harm me during astral projecting? – Quora
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
One error, repeated often enough, can reproduce exponentially like bacilli. So if you ever hear of something becoming part of the “culture,” you should immediately question what culture that actually means. Anywho, the central thesis for today’s blog post which I want to present to your notice is this: people who have been using “New Avatar Power” magic – and magic derived or inspired therefrom – have been using Enochian magic all this time without realising it.
The Miracle of New Avatar Power by Geoff Gray-Cobb (1974) was in many ways typical of the output of Parker Publishing in the 1970s – i.e. America’s answer to Finbarr Books – however, once one strips out the egregious self-promotion, one realises that it does have a sort of workable, “Hermetic-Lite” magic. At its core is a method of entering into a magical state of consciousness (the “New Avatar Power Ritual”) which contains the following invocation:
“I call on thee, Mighty Arzel, who stands in the East, to assist me in this and all my ventures. I now know that the New Avatar Power is flooding to the surface. I now close my eyes gently.” (emphasis added).
Who is this “Arzel” character? I have seen various theories, but what I did notice was that just about every spirit or being which Gray-Cobb included in his book seems to derive from Gustav Davidson’s classic 1967 work, A Dictionary of Angels, including the fallen angels. I say this because Gray-Cobb refers to spirits mentioned seemingly nowhere else, except in Davidson’s book.
Davidson says (p55):
Arzal (Arzel) – one of the 4 angels of the east who are “glorious and benevolent angels” invoked when the the invocant wishes to partake of the secret wisdom of the Creator. See Clavicula Salomonis.
Davidson further doubles-down on this assertion by printing, in the Appendix (p357) the following:
CONJURATION OF THE GOOD SPIRITS
O you glorious and benevolent angels, Urzla, Zlar, Larzod, Arzal, who are the four angels of the East, I invocate you, adjure and call you forth to visible apparition in and through the great prevalent and divine name of the Most Holy God, Erzla, …
[approximately twenty lines of text omitted]
[Rf. Gollancz, Clavicula Salomonis]
Unfortunately, I found no such reference when reading Herman Gollancz’ version of the Key of Solomon. However, I did spot straightaway that RZLA, ZLAR, LARZ and ARZL derive from the Airy Lesser Angle of the Air (Eastern) Enochian Watchtower (from the Kerubic Squares thereof): whilst “ERZLA” is the name derived from adding the “E” of “EXARP” in the Tablet of Union, to “RZLA.”
This I submit is where the mistake, which I mentioned at the top of this article, has crept in. Davidson took an Enochian conjuration and wrongly attributed it to the Key of Solomon! Subsequently, Gray-Cobb incorporated “Arzel” into “New Avatar Power” without realising it was an Enochian being: whilst many others have also taken Davidson’s claim at face value without questioning it.
This does not necessarily invalidate “New Avatar Power,” as – after all – many people have claimed to have some success with it. Perhaps they have discovered an attribution of the Air Lesser Angle of the Air Table albeit unwittingly!
I stared at the broken fragments in despair: what could have caused my precious Chalice to shatter? I felt particularly galled since it had accompanied me for at least twenty-five years in one form or another. I had to face the unfortunate fact: if I wanted to continue practising ceremonial magick, I would need a new Water Cup
I immediately decided that in order to do this properly, I would have to cut no corners and consecrate a new Cup in the traditional manner, using the ritual for the consecration of elemental weapons in full form. An unexpected benefit of doing so arose in the form of being able to appreciate this ritual with the benefit of many more years experience. In other words, when an Adeptus Minor first consecrates his tools, it will be not long after he has attained that grade, and hence, presumably, still rather naïve. Whereas I was coming back to it with the benefit of what I had learnt since.
Nowhere was this more obvious than in the realisation that when consecrating the Tools, the new 5=6 is expected to use Enochian magick, the full details of which he is only expected to learn after he has finished consecrating the same Tools!
The actual ceremony is pretty straightforward in structure. There is a general opening: following which there is a three-part invocation for each of the Tools – Wand, Cup, Dagger and Pentacle. The first part is a Qabalistic invocation of the element in general, by appealing to the Hebrew Divine, Angelic and Elemental names most of which are contained in the outer order knowledge lectures.
The second part is Enochian: the Adept is imbuing or linking the Tool with the properties of the specific parts of the Enochian Watchtowers. Firstly: the three secret names of God born upon the Banners of that respective quadrant, as well as the King. The three names (from the Linea Spiritus Sancti) command the spirits of the Tablet in general, whilst the King, whose name spirals around the centre, creates the Invoking Whorl which rouses those spirits to action in the first place. Secondly, the Six Seniors, who represent the planetary energies at work in that Element. Thirdly, the spirits of the individual lesser angles who are each represented by the primary Kerub associated therewith.
When one makes this invocation, one is facing the relevant Enochian Watchtower over the altar on which the Elemental tool is currently resting. Despite the fact that no Enochian calls were being used at this point, I could still sense the presence of the link being made between the Watchtower and the Altar / tool – and the presence of these Enochian beings – simply by calling upon them confidently.
The third part of the invocation is to take the Elemental Tool on its “maiden voyage” as it were, by performing a Supreme Invoking Pentagram Ritual of that particular element whilst using it. This I interpreted as a regular Supreme Invoking Pentagram ritual, but with the addition of an extra Elemental Pentagram to invoke the relevant Lesser Angle of each Watchtower.
After all the tools are consecrated, there is a general closing, with the lesser banishing rituals. As on this occasion I had only consecrated one Tool, I performed an extra Supreme Banishing Ritual Pentagram of that particular Element, before wrapping it in silk – and placing it in a box to make sure it would not suffer the same result as its predecessor.
As for my new Water Cup, the hardest part was carefully drawing out all the sigils that I would need to paint on the thing – and use in the ceremony when making the Qabalistic invocation.
Once I had done that, painting the Cup itself was quite straightforward: I used a small tin of orange enamel paint, purchased from an art supply shop; and a tumbler made of blue glass which I had picked up from a charity shop. Total cost of materials approximately £5, and a couple hours of my time. I also printed out the consecration ceremony, making sure that I had figured out the correct pronunciation of the Enochian names involves, so I would not have to resort to guesswork or stumble over a bunch of eldritch consonants in the critical moment.
In conclusion, I cannot help but think of the various arguments for and against whether it is possible to self-initiate into the Golden Dawn tradition. To my mind, the path of the Adeptus Minor itself starts off as a regular initiation, followed by a series of Self-Initiation Rituals in all but name: i.e. when one consecrates ones own lotus wand, rose cross lamen, magic sword, and elemental tools, one is deliberately taking one’s spiritual destiny into one’s own hands.
What I have to say might sound so shocking that sheer cognitive dissonance will cause many readers to react by crying aloud and saying “No! It can’t be so!” Or: “Surely Alex you must be mistaken?” It is a small detail from Enochian Magick, but important enough to derail one’s entire appreciation of the system if one were to overlook it. It is this:
Everyone who has being doing Enochian Magick relying solely on Aleister Crowley’s texts has been doing it wrong.
Why? Because there is a fundamental mistake in published versions of Liber Chanokh.
The attribution of the Elements to the individual squares of each of the lesser angles has great importance in determining the astrological, tarot, geomantic and qabalistic attributions thereof, as well as each ruling godform. Ultimately, it will affect the vision that one will have if one were to attempt to scry into each square.
The Golden Dawn’s rationale for assigning the elements was stated by Israel Regardie thus:
“Referring to the other squares of the lesser angles, in the Kerubic Rank the outside square is always attributed to the letter corresponding to Element of the Lesser Angle. In the Tablets of Air and Water, the Name read right to left in the upper two quarters; in the two lower quarters it reads from left to right. In the Tablets of Earth and Fire, left to right in the upper, but in the two lower quarters right to left.“
Regardie, The Golden Dawn (Emphasis added)
To summarise, the directions would look like this:
Whilst the Elements of the columns would be arranged thus:
However: what appears to have happened is that in published copies of Liber Chanokh, and in versions of the Tablets derived therefrom, the elements appear to have been arranged thus:
Spot the difference? This makes it clearer – note the third row, which corresponds to the upper portions (Air and Water lesser Angles) of the Earth and Fire Tablets.
What appears to have happened is that Crowley (or his illustrator) appears to have interpreted the directions like this:
What is Crowley’s explanation for him ordering the elements in this way? Whilst Regardie set out his rationale in the quote I reproduced above, Crowley however says:
“3. Kerubic Squares.
The upper sides pertain to the element of the Tablet, the lower sides to the subelement. Right- and left-hand sides in this case correspond, according to a somewhat complex rule which it is unnecessary to give here. …
4. Lesser Squares.
The upper side of each pyramid is governed by the Kerub standing on the file above it. The lower side is governed by the Kerub also, but in order descending as the are from right to left above.”Crowley, Liber Chanokh
“Unnecessary to give here” ! If only it had been given, Crowley’s readers would have found the discrepancy without assistance! If one refuses to believe that Crowley could possibly have made a mistake – perhaps because the aforesaid cognitive dissonance is too much to bear – then the only other conclusion one can draw is that Thelema uses a different version of the Enochian Watchtowers to the Golden Dawn. It is certainly a mistake to think that one can use both the Golden Dawn and Thelemic versions interchangeably.
In which I give an interview for Magic Tool Box UK on their YouTube channel on the Golden Dawn.
Sharing this because it features my good friend Christa Vee talking to my other good friend Jackie from the Magic Tool Box on the Goetia.
In which I talk to Jacqueline Wilson of Magic Tool Box UK about all things Abramelin. You actually get to see what I look like in real life in this video, so those of a nervous disposition may want to look away now.
Why the secret symbols of magic and witchcraft fascinate us – BBC CultureWhy the secret symbols of magic and witchcraft fascinate us – BBC Culture
Alex Sumner answered:
OK speaking as a ceremonial magician here… the rationale behind the Pentacles of Mercury or indeed any other planet, from the Key of Solomon, is that when you uncover them, you attract Spirits towards you, even causing them to manifest: and when you cover the Pentacles up, you send the spirits away.
My first thought on seeing this question was “Mercurial spirits might be cool to evoke every once in a while, but do I want to evoke them all the time? When it would be inconvenient for me? To the exclusion of other types of spirits?”
Let’s face it, taking this literally, you could not get naked without being interrupted by a Mercurial spirit. Taking shower or having sex would become a nightmare! Conversely, if you were at work, and you needed the assistance of a Mercurial spirit to help you make an important business decision, you would have to strip off in the middle of the office. If you were at school or college, and you wanted a Mercurial spirit to help you with whatever you were working on, you would have to get naked in the middle of the classroom or lecture hall.
More seriously, there is a school of thought that says that by getting a tattoo of a spirit, you get owned by that spirit, which is not the kind of pact you might be wanting to achieve – i.e. better to establish a healthy relationship with the spirit by evoking it in the proper manner.
So tattoos may be generally cool, but I’d personally think twice about getting one in the form a pentacle from the Key of Solomon.
Alex Sumner’s answer to Would it have any harm if I get The Pentacles of Mercury tattooed on me? – Quora.com