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SOLASCENDANS – the Etsy Store of Alex Sumner
Tag Archives: Golden Dawn
The Sun has entered Scorpio! If it’s your birthday between now and October 23rd, then may I be the first to say: “Happy birthday, Scorpio!”
You now have the opportunity to celebrate your birthday – or get a present for a Scorpio in your life, from my Etsy shop. This features the sigil, taken from the Golden Dawn’s rose-cross lamen, of the Angel of this month’s astrological sign (in this case Scorpio), in the correct Zodiacal colours.
For more details and to order, please follow this link:
SCORPIO Hermetic qabalistic coffee mug
My Etsy store:
If your birthday falls between now and the September Equinox, may I be the first to say: “Happy birthday, Virgo!”
You now have the opportunity to celebrate your birthday – or get a present for a Virgo in your life, from my new Etsy shop. This features the sigil, taken from the Golden Dawn’s rose-cross lamen, of the Angel of this month’s astrological sign (in this case Virgo), in the correct Zodiacal colours.
I also have similar designs for all twelve Zodiacal signs. Eagle-eyed followers of this blog will notice that these comprise artwork with which I first came up in 2016. I shall also be using my new Etsy store for other merchandise featuring my original artwork.
For more details and to order, please follow this link:
VIRGO Hermetic qabalistic coffee mug
My Etsy store:
Following straight on from my last post…
Kether, in the TOLPIAS system, is the “north pole of the ecliptic” as opposed to the celestial north pole. The co-ordinates for Kether can thus be worked out precisely as 18h 00 Right Ascension, +66º 30′ Declination.
This can be shown on a star map here. Focus on the exact centre of the screen as you zoom in and out. It turns out – as expected – to be right in the middle of the constellation Draco. Below is a rather unhelpful NASA photograph of the same co-ordinates:
The nearest star to those co-ordinates is 42 Draconis, otherwise known as Fafnir, named after the dwarf who turned into a dragon. Curiously it has a planet, 42 Draconis B, supposedly named “Orbitar,” for no particularly good reason, other than some astronomical society submitted it as the winning entry in a naming competition.
It seems like the occult community missed a trick here, by not getting its act together!
One curious fact about Fafnir is that it may be Kether to us, but it is the (Northern) Pole Star for the Planet Venus.
Incidentally, if you are wondering, “Malkuth” in the TOLPIAS system would be at 6h RA, -66º 30′ Dec, which is closest to the star Eta-1 Doradus in the constellation Dorado, the Swordfish (or Dolphin) – also the (Southern) Pole Star for Venus.
You have the power to contact alien beings and extraterrestrial intelligences, using the Magic of the Golden Dawn! In fact, this is exactly what the original teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn were always leading up to!
Seriously: recently I have been investigating the Theoricus Adeptus Minor teaching of the “Tree of Life Projected In A Sphere” – which can be found in Regardie’s The Golden Dawn – and have come to the conclusion that it is no less than a method for astrally projecting ultimately to anywhere in the universe – and all whilst remaining within the GD paradigm.
I will avoid giving a full explanation of the entire “Tree of Life Projected In A Sphere” (which I shall hereinafter abbreviate as “TOLPIAS”) teaching in this particular blog-post, save to say that the basic theory behind contacting Aliens using this method is this: first determine, astronomically, where these Aliens actually are, in terms of the star around which their planet orbits. Given that the TOLPIAS scheme involves mapping the constellations to one’s Sphere of Sensation, it should then be possible to work out the position of the Aliens’ homeworld in relation thereto, and which card of the Tarot would correspond to that particular section of the sky.
The method I have used in my own particular experiments consists of first, working out my horoscope in terms of the “Mathers / Sidereal” system; secondly, during meditation, build-up the TOLPIAS in imagination with myself in the midst thereof, with the degree of my ascendant as determined under the “Mathers / Sidereal” system facing due east. The complete visualisation of TOLPIAS would involve not only imagining the positions of the various Sephiroth, but invoking divine and angelic names as appropriate for each one. This being done, I visualise where the various Tarot cards lie, and then imagine drawing down energy into my Sphere of Sensation by the four-fold Dragon formulae.
At this point I am ready to commence Projecting, which I first do to the appropriate Tarot card. There I establish contact with a spirit-guide – all so far using conventional GD methodology. I then ask the spirit-guide to accompany me to the alien star-system, and to their planet, and have a good old-explore, trying to make contact with local inhabitants, and so-forth. To end the session I travel back with my spirit-guide, and take my leave of him or her in the usual manner.
So, for example, to go visit the Pleiadians on their homeworld one would first project to the “Prince of Pentacles” – one could even imagine that the Prince of Pentacles is taking you in his chariot through space.
The actual utility of attempting to do so I leave to others to determine for themselves. On my first ever attempt to make telepathic contact with aliens, I did not necessarily receive spiritual teachings of cosmic importance, but I did succeed in channelling enough plot-lines for an entire series of a certain popular TV sci-fi show (the producers have yet to get back to me). More seriously I have found that certain spiritual currents do interact with the Earth from outer space – as it were – and that this method is way of interacting with them not just in abstracto but also in the way they manifest upon this planet.
“Mathers / Sidereal”
The positions given in the “Mathers / Sidereal” column in the tables below are worked out in the following manner: the difference in Right Ascension between the position of the star in question, and that of Regulus (Alpha-Leonis) is taken, and converted into Degrees of Longitude. By then assuming Regulus to be 0º of Leo, one can determine the position of the star in question in relation thereto.
This results in a peculiar system of “Sidereal Astrology,” but unlike Sidereal systems which are popular among astrologers today. The primary difference being that in the Fagan-Bradley method, Regulus is assumed to be 5º of Leo – the Lahiri method is almost the same at 5º 53′. If this were so, then the “Age of Aquarius” will occur in approximately 400 years time. However: if MacGregor Mathers’ attribution of Regulus to 0º of Leo is accepted, then the Age of Aquarius is actually beginning (almost literally) now. Mathers’ line of reasoning was that all measurements should be taken from Regulus given that it was the brightest star on the Ecliptic: Regulus also corresponds to one of the four points associated with Tiphereth.
All systems of Sidereal Astrology are attempts to make the astrological zodiac more closely approximate the actual heavens than Tropical Astrology, but they are still approximations only. This is because astrology assumes the zodiac is divided into twelve segments of equal size (i.e. 30º each), whereas in reality the size of each constellation varies greatly. Hence the reason why the Pleiades (for example), although astronomically in the constellation of Taurus, nevertheless falls in the astrological sign of Aries in Mathers’ system of astrology (it would be 29.75º of Aries under Fagan/Bradley).
Given the “Mathers / Sidereal” longitude of the star in question, one can then work out the precise Tarot card by noting its declination in relation to the path of the ecliptic. A decent Star-Map helps greatly here, and by “decent” I mean “more accurate than those given in The Golden Dawn! Two cases in point are the positions of Wolf 1061 and Trappist 1 (see below). These lie so close to the Ecliptic that it is necessary to pin-point exactly where these stars lie in their respective constellations, as it is the difference between the “Prince of Cups” and “Death” on the one hand, and the “Prince of Swords” and “The Star” on the other.
Stars which have been speculated to be orbited by at least one Earth-like planet capable of sustaining life – as found by either the Transit or Radial Velocity methods of detection.
The first set of planets with which I shall deal derive from yer actual Astronomy. At the time of writing (November 2017) there have been 13 exo-planets out of 3,693 so-far detected which Astronomers believe are capable of sustaining life, including three Earth-like planets in the Trappist-1 system alone. The fact that only a small number of constellations appear to have such planets is probably because only a small portion of the Universe has been investigated. Hence if we are going to introduce at least a smidgeon of rationality into this whole business of contacting aliens, it would make sense to start here.
|Name / Designation||Distance (light years)||Constellation||Tarot-card|
|(Astronomic)||(Mathers / Sidereal)|
|Gliese 667 Cc||22||Scorpius||7.5º Scorpio||Death|
|Kepler-62f||1200||Lyra||11º Sagittarius||King of Wands|
|Kepler-186f||560||Cygnus||26.5º Sagittarius||Queen of Pentacles|
|Kepler-442b||1120||Lyra||13.25º Sagittarius||King of Wands|
|“Coruscant” (Kepler-452b)||1400||Cygnus||24º Sagittarius||Queen of Pentacles|
|Wolf 1061c||14||Ophiuchus||5.5º Scorpio||Prince of Cups|
|Kepler-1229b||770||Cygnus||25.5º Sagittarius||Queen of Pentacles|
|Proxima Centauri b||4.2||Centaurus||5.5º Libra||Justice|
|Kapteyn b||12.8||Pictor||26º Taurus||7 of Pentacles|
|GJ-273 b||12.2||Canis Minor||19.75º Gemini||The Lovers|
(i.e. 3 planets out of a 7 planet system)
|39||Aquarius||14.5º Aquarius||Prince of Swords|
|Ross 128 b||11||Virgo||25º Leo||Strength|
Aliens with whom we are already in contact
Star systems containing Alien Races – as found by “channelling” and other sources.
I now turn to Alien races whose existence has been asserted not by Astronomers or Astrobiologists, but by New Age practitioners and ex-Coventry City footballers. I personally have mixed feelings – some of these alleged alien contacts have inspired the best spiritual teachings of modern times (e.g. the Pleiadians), whilst others have done the most to bring the genre into disrepute – more SewAge than NewAge, as it were. I have a particular bugbear about the significance of Thuban (Alpha Draconis) – it is important in the spiritual history of this planet in more ways than one, but not in the manner alleged by David Icke.
|Name / Designation||Distance (light years)||Constellation||Tarot-card|
|(Astronomic)||(Mathers / Sidereal)|
|An unnamed star which was “in the direction of Orion” but has now shifted to a higher dimension – home of the Essassani||500||Orion||Too vague to get a precise fix!||The Hierophant (or possibly “The Lovers” due to the vagueness of the directions).|
|Sirius – home of Sirian Hybrids (cf Kenneth Grant‘s “Sirius/Set Current”)||8.6||Canis Major||9.25º Gemini||The Lovers|
|The Pleiades – home of the Pleiadians||444||Taurus||24.75º Aries||Prince of Pentacles|
|Arcturus – home of Arcturians||36.7||Boötes||2º Libra||Queen of Swords|
|Thuban – home of Reptilians (according to David Icke)||303||Draco||29º Virgo||Princess of Wands|
Not included – details about the Yahyel or Shalanaya, as apparently they either don’t want to give away the location of their home planet, or they don’t have one, roaming the galaxy in large ships as they do.
Me Sursum Transmitte, Caledone
Aliens that only exist in fiction … OR DO THEY???
Finally by way of light relief, a selection of aliens and their homeworlds which, unlike the alien races noted in the section above, are not claimed to be anything other than fiction.
|Name / Designation||Distance (light years)||Constellation||Tarot-card|
|(Astronomic)||(Mathers / Sidereal)|
|40 Eridani A – location of Vulcan in Star Trek||16||Eridanus||1.75º Taurus||The Hierophant|
|Aldebaran – home of Hastur The Unspeakable, from the Cthulhu Mythos.||65||Taurus||7º Taurus||The Hierophant|
|The Horsehead Nebula – location of Magrathea, centre of the custom-built luxury planet industry||1500||Orion||23.25º Taurus||The Hierophant|
|Altair-4, aka the Forbidden Planet||17||Aquila||25.5º Sagittarius||Queen of Pentacles|
|LV-426 (aka “Acheron”), the planet visited by USS Nostromo in Alien||39||Reticulum||17.5º Aries||3 of Wands|
Not included: any planets from the Star Wars films, given that their location is only specified as a galaxy far, far away; nor from Doctor Who, given that in fifty-four years its writers have consistently avoided troubling themselves with astronomy.
Shared from Quora.com
Q. Can 15-year-olds join the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn?
A. (by Alex Sumner):
(A2A) No – for two reasons:
1. When you are accepted as a member, you are in effect making a contract to abide by the by-laws of the organisation and to stay regular with your subs. Whilst Minors can enter into contracts, they are voidable at will – so no organisation is going to risk a 15-year old flake out on them.
2. Just about every Golden Dawn temple I know either meets on licensed premises or adjourns to one after a hard day’s ritual, so they would not want someone who’s under-age to tag along with them and risk them being refused entry. 🙂
My advice is simply to keep studying the available Golden Dawn materials for now, such as The Golden Dawn or Self Initiation into the Golden Dawn, and if you are still interested in three years time, apply to join after your 18th birthday.
A traditional Christian viewpoint is
Angels are neither male nor female in a human sense, because they belong to a different order of beings. Still, when biblical writers try to describe angelic appearances, they consistently use masculine pronouns and male attributes:
1 Chronicles 21:16: David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem.
Luke 24:4 (at Jesus’ tomb): While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
Revelation 10:1: Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars.
The idea of female angels, then, must have come from outside Judaism and Christianity. … Many pagan religions featured winged servants of the gods … and some of these were distinctly female.
The foregoing editorial betrays its patriarchality, because some of these winged beings weren’t servants of the gods, but gods and goddesses in their own right, e.g.:
However, a separate website points out that “[w]hile angels generally appear as men in Scripture, Zechariah 5:9 may suggest this is not always the case.” I.e.:
Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.
In Islam, the position is more neutral, i.e. that it is impossible and indeed inappropriate to say one way or the other:
The angels are not regarded as either male or female. As for being female, Allah has stated that they are not female … As for describing them as male, no such thing has been narrated.
In the magical system of the Golden Dawn, there is supposedly a way of ascribing gender to an Angelic being, to wit: analyse the Hebrew letters making up its name in terms of whether they are masculine or feminine – the majority will determine the overall gender (or “epicene” if there is no majority). However – this applies only to the Telesmatic Images of these Angels – in other words, the images that we create in order to visualise them, not what they necessarily are in themselves. In terms of actual gender, the GD accepts that Angels do not have gender in the sense that we humans understand the notion. However, unlike the chauvinistic examples of exoteric religion quoted at the beginning of this article, the GD accepts that Angelic beings do appear as both Male and Female (or other).
This is rather good news for members of the GD, as it has been pointed out that the Secret Chief of the Golden Dawn is an Angelic being. Therefore Fratres and Sorores are free to believe that the Secret Chief is either male or female, and can regenerate between the two as the occasion arises! 😉
So there has been an article in the blogosphere on this subject by Nick Farrell already, but in my opinion, its description of what the GD owes to Freemasonry not go far enough. Here then is my own take on what concepts from Freemasonry have found their way into the Golden Dawn.
Each of the three degrees of Craft Masonry has its own “Lecture” which contains the traditional teaching of the degree. These are written as a Catechism i.e. question and answer format: the original intention being that they could be performed in Lodge as a ritual, if there was not any other degree work to be worked at any given meeting. Furthermore, before being advanced to a higher degree, each candidate was expected to learn the Degree Lecture, and undergo an examination in its contents before proceeding. Unlike the Golden Dawn, the examination was done in oral form in Lodge, in front of the other brethren.
The lectures of the degrees of Masonry can be found here.
Unfortunately, what has happened in modern Freemasonry is that the Degree Lectures are seldom printed with the ritual books, nor are they automatically given to each candidate after he has taken his degree. Furthermore, there is no volition on the part of the United Grand Lodge of England to oblige Lodges to do so. What is left of this traditional practice is that candidates are given a small set of questions to memorise, which in each case amounts to a mere fraction of the original Degree Lecture – without necessarily being made acquainted with the traditional teachings from which they are derived.
Thus, the inclusion of Knowledge Lectures in the Golden Dawn, far from being an Hermetic innovation, is actually an attempt by its founders to get back to the original essence of Freemasonry!
Spiritualisation of the Lodge Room Prior To The Ceremony
One Golden Dawn order used to require members to que[ue] up to enter the temple and give the handshake and whisper the password to the sentinel to get in – all forced, masonic and all un-necessary.
This is disingenuous on Farrell’s part to say the least, because he does not mention why the members were made to leave the Temple and wait outside in the first place.
I, myself, am aware of an order that did this – it was because the Hierophant was busy conducting an Inner Order Ritual to activate the god-forms of the Temple, in advance of the ceremony.
The details of this Inner Order Ritual are a confidential matter for that order, suffice to say that being an inner order ritual, it would have been inappropriate to perform it in front of members of the outer order. Now, think about this: you have a load of outer order members waiting to enter the sacred space of the temple. Do you make them enter in an appropriate manner, which forces them to think about this sacredness, and re-affirm their connection to the energies invoked at the most recent Equinox ceremony? Or do you just say “Right, in you come, you lot.” ?
But I digress.
The idea of spiritualising the ritual space in advance of the meeting is in fact an old Masonic tradition, and is still practiced in some Lodges in Scotland. The form this takes, however, does not consist of elaborate hermetic rituals, but more simply that the officer appointed to prepare the Lodge (the Tyler) offers prayer whilst doing so – specifically in the lighting of the lodge candles. The Tyler’s actions therefore are a form of Candle Magick to invoke Wisdom, Strength and Beauty into the Lodge room! One can therefore appreciate why the Golden Dawn might want to do this, but after a more Qabalistic fashion. I believe that some Lodges in England follow the Scottish practice or do something similar, or at least they did within living memory. Unfortunately, however, as with the Degree Lectures mentioned above, UGLE does not require individual lodges to do this, with the result that although it is traditional, it is not a common feature of modern Freemasonry.
In the context of discussing the grip, Nick says
Unlike the grade signs [the grip] has no inner use either because you don’t tend to shake hands with strange beings to test them…
I’m glad to learn that Grade Signs are a way to communicate with discarnate entities – as let’s face it, grade signs did not exist in the Grimoire Tradition. This means that the introduction of grade signs is a welcome innovation which the Golden Dawn made. Hmm, I wonder where the GD got that idea from…
People Who Only Turn Up For Their Degrees, Then Bugger off.
The sad fact is both Freemasonry and the Golden Dawn have had their portals darkened by people with entitlement issues. I’m talking about people who are willing to jump up the degree or grade ladder themselves, but lose interest when the focus of any given ceremony is not about them, but someone else. This is really contrary to the spirit of joining a magical order in the first place: the point of not being a Billy No-Mates self-initiate is that there is value in helping each other on the path of spiritual evolution, whether that be in the form of taking a formal office, or just by providing moral support to a fellow initiate.
The idea of clubbing together in a fraternal order to help one another is something the GD inherited from Freemasonry, but so too is the fact that there will be people who are unclubbable, who think “what’s in it for me?” Taken to the extreme, they depart as soon as they realise that the only real progression left open to them comes through service to others – again, a legacy from Freemasonry.
This by itself is unfortunate: but what becomes really irritating is that these same people then go on to think that they are now uniquely qualified to pass judgement on the order – whether it be Freemasonry or the Golden Dawn – when in fact they have the least experience of that which they profess to know.
A magician without a religion is … just an evil paedophile who wears a dress to cover their crimes.
As anyone who has spent too much time in a pub on a Friday night will know, there is nothing more divisive a topic of conversation as Religion – except perhaps Politics. This must be the main reason why discussions on topics of Religion and Politics are banned in all Masonic lodges – because the lodge is meant to be a place of tolerance for people of all faiths and leanings.
Nevertheless, the topic of Religion has raised its ugly head in the Golden Dawn blogosphere this week – just in time for Ishtar, I might add – so I thought I would shove in my two pennyworth.
I am not going to criticise directly what other bloggers have written about the subject. Instead I shall just point out something that no-one has yet considered. The writers of the original GD rituals were Rosicrucians – more specifically, they were members of the SRIA. In one of the rituals of the SRIA, there is the following quote:
[Alchemists] used the language of their physical work to communicate spiritual teaching which at that time had to be kept secret to avoid persecution by the official Church. And many medieval Alchemists whose writings are still extant appear to have been mainly, if not entirely, concerned with this spiritual aspect of the work.
This higher Alchemy can thus be regarded as almost identical with Religion as distinct from Theology. The function of Religion, like the great work of the Alchemist, is the “separation of the subtle from the gross,” the redemption of the spirit, while still dwelling in matter, from the taint inevitable on the lowest planes of manifestation.
Hence: when the Golden Dawn talks about “religion,” it is reasonable to suppose that what is meant is what Westcott, Mathers and Woodman – and their contemporaries -would have understood by the term, i.e. the pure concept of Religion liberated from dogmatic theology, or the true Internal Alchemy.
A LEGEND arose in the time of the Lutheran outburst of a mysterious master called Christian Rosenkreutz, who was buried for a period of all years in the central cavern of the earth. His shrine was seven-sided, and all the symbols of the universe were said to have been found disposed round him in this place. The Egyptian tradition of Seker, the god in the central cavern of the Duat, evidently found an echo in the heart of the inventor of this legendary father 01 mysteries, and it will be interesting to try and discern the meanings of the main symbols of the Rosenkreutz legends in Egypt and in Germany.
The Egyptian Duat, or Underworld, was represented by a five-foldstar, or star of five radiations, enlarging as they receded from the centre, and therefore not bearing the same symbolism as the pentagram. The Rose is fivefold in its structure and is a well-known symbol of silence. The stages of its existence pass from the bud, or potential state of pralaya, to the unfolding of its leaves as the pleroma, or fulness or manifestation of creative power. Consciousness, thought, reasoning, will, and the sense of individuality are five of its powers; the five senses are other manifestations of the same symbol. When the pollen of a flower is ripe the creative work begins, the petals fall and the fruit and seed are formed. The processes of life are a rhythmic coiling and uncoiling; a radiation and attraction, and an emanation or separation. The fruit coils round the seeds, the juices pass to and fro, and finally the busk of the fruit bursts and the seeds fall out separately as emanations, each complete in itself.
So in the degrees of human enlightenment the purest state is Being so unified and perfect that the kind of consciousness that depends upon comparison cannot exist. The second state is the sense of being without bounds, which is often called wisdom. The third state is discernment, or understanding, and may be attained by concentration of the subjective mind upon an object until full understanding is attained. And these states of the unmanifest consciousness arc called Sat-Chit-Ananda in the Vedantic philosophy and Ain-Soph-Aur in the Kabalistic philosophy; and Ptah-Seker-Osiris was the concrete image of these ideas ill Egypt.
Now the Rose of the Rosicrucians was a more complicated symbol than the Cup. As we have seen the Cup was a symbol of creation, and its form was connected with the symbol of a circle in contrast to the Cross. The symbol of the Rose contains five petals and five divisions of the calyx. It is evidently the symbol of creation in activity, not in potentiality only. Perhaps we may believe the Rose to be a symbol of the subtle body of man, which is one with nature, and the Cross the symbol of the body and the name of word of man. The union of the Rose and Cross would symbolize a man able to unite himself to the great powers of Nature, or tatwas, familiar to us under their Hindoo names Akasa, Vayu, Tejas, Apas and Prithivi, or the kingdoms of sound, sensation, perception. absorption and reproduction more commonly called hearing, touching, seeing, eating and generating.
Now the notion of obtaining the natural powers of an adept is most apparent in the traditions that come through Egypt and Chaldea, and the idea of the super-essential state in contrast to power is most apparent in the Oriental traditions. The high caste Oriental has the aristocratic spirit that conceives the height of life on this world to consist in the delicacy of perception associated with perfect self-satisfaction, while the democratic spirit of the West cannot conceive itself without desires, struggles and potencies for gratifying desires : democracy wishes to do and to have; aristocracy is sufficient unto itself.
Rosicrucianism and Alchemy are both allegories constructed by these working democratic minds, and in the alchemical symbolism we can trace the exact degrees of initiation through which the man, still under the great race delusion of progress, must pass before he realizes that his real self is the same yesterday, to-day and forever.
It is true in a sense that this treasure of all sages, this knowledge of Being which all mystics seek, forms itself vehicles in time and space in which it carries out the imaginations which spring from the relative side of absolute consciousness, and it is interesting to trace the different degrees of attainment.
Alchemical symbolism is mainly the symbolism of distillation.
To take a simple process, let us imagine that we desire to obtain the white and the red tinctures from honey. The alchemist would put the honey in the cucurbite of an alembic. Placing it over a gentle heat be would drive the essential part of the spirit into the bead or beak of the alembic, whence it would pass as steam into the neck of the receiver end become liquid once more as it cooled. This liquid was the white tincture, or spirit of honey mixed with water. This is the symbol of that concentration and meditation whereby the mind of man becomes subtilized and fit to perceive philosophical impressions. The white tincture is the symbol of light and wisdom.
But to obtain the red tincture of power a far more complicated process had to be performed. It consisted mainly of pouring back the distilled spirit upon the black dead-head that had been left as residue in the cucurbite and by the exercise of great care and the addition of certain matters acting upon the mixture in such a way that finally the whole of the original matter .was distilled and no black dead-bead remained and a wonderful red tincture was the result of the transmutation of the black nature.
This symbolical process involves the passing through definite stages of progress in the world of changing life. Let us imagine it carried out to its logical conclusion upon our own earth. We know that the mineral kingdom is the state in which form lasts for infinite ages and can stand great heat and cold without destruction. We know that the giants of the vegetable kingdom last many hundreds of years, but although the process of their growth and decay it prolonged they are not capable of resisting fire or of existing in the frozen zone. We know that certain animals, such as elephants, tortoises and parrots, live for very long periods of time. All these creatures have greater tenacity of existence in the forms or vehicles of life than the human creature.
It is also plain that as the earth becomes more and more subject to violent change, when the great floods and the ice and the burnings visit it, in its old age conscious life must exist in more enduring but 1ess complex, sensitive, visible forms than it does at present. Now consciousness of Being is the name we give to the white tincture which the adept distils from his human form in the alembic of the mind. It is brought about by the fire of imagined emotion and devotion under the stress of intense concentration. To focus thought has the same effect as to focus sunlight. It becomes & force analogous to heat. It is, in a word, emotion evoked by the skill of the sage. In this fire the Adept raises his consciousness until it is separate from the gross body, and no longer aware of the objective world. Passing through the gate of dreams it enters the subjective world and lives in its own brightness. Here it learns that it can create infinite visions and glories, and here the saints rejoice, each in his own heaven. Here finally the sage perceives his own divinity and is united to his God. This is the white initiation in the eyes of the Rosicrucian doctors, and according to the scriptures of the alchemists the sage has gained the white tincture. The objective world only remains in his consciousness as blackness and ignorance and death. In his divine nature he seeks to redeem the dark world, to draw it up into the divine nature and make it perfect. His vision can now show him a world in which man can no longer exist in material human form. His own desire for wisdom has drawn up the human element out of the visible or objective state. He is no longer merely a man in a human body because his subtle body has possessed itself of the characteristic human faculty of self-conscious comparison, the origin of wit, laughter and criticism.
The humanity that is beyond animal consciousness has the power of acting and knowing at the same moment; it can seem one thing and know at the same time that it is another. It is not a noble quality; it is nothing more than the power of laughing at ourselves: and yet it is the great redeeming quality, for it is the germ of all wisdom and enlightenment.
The ordinary dreamer lives in his subtle body as the fool of his own fancy, and the dream shows how little human wisdom his subtle body has obtained: but the subtle body of an adept can perceive the illusionary formulation of panoramas of light and form arising from the half-seized impression of light falling at a certain angle across the red edge of a blanket and the linen of a sheet just as he closes his eyes. The dream of the sage is a consciously guided dream. Like an author, he writes his own dramas and delights in the joys and tragedies of his creation, He no longer suffers from the attacks and sorrows that his own mind creates, but observes them with excitement and interest. He watches his own tears and cuts into the heart of his own emotions.
These are some of the experiences of the sage who has transferred the human principle from the body of matter to the subtle body.
The material body may in this stage of enlightenment be considered as a beautiful and healthy animal; it carries on the physical functions in temperate ways, unaccompanied by the fantastic imaginations of a human being. And there is little doubt that the bull of Apis was considered to take the place of the body of the adept Osiris in this way. The body of a sacred animal would answer every purpose for the divine man whose invisible body bad attained some degree of complex, conscious life. The nervous forces of the animal world act as the physical basis for the dream-powers of the subtilized or deified man.
In China the flying dragon, the mythical combination of all kinds of animal life, represents the body of the deified man that can command all the elemental states of matter that can exist in the air, the fire, the earth and the water. The dragon is the symbol of the material body of the being who has complete command of the elemental world and afterwards becomes the subtle body in the further stage of being of which we are told in Druid tradition.
When the earth grows older and complex animal forms such as flying-fish and sea-serpents and monstrous alligators, can no longer exist, another symbol must be taken from the writings of the Rosicrucian doctors and the alchemists, and we enter upon the study of the Tree of Life. He who eats of the fruit of the Tree of Life will become one with the Elohim, or creative gods, and will live for infinite ages.
Imagine the world enveloped in a great white cloud, moist and warm like a hot-house ; giant palms and ferns and mosses dripping with moisture: a climate like that of the Cocoa-palm Islands off the west coast of Africa, where animals and men can only live a little time. In this world the adept would use some marvelous tree as the physical basis of his life: and his subtle body would have drawn up into itself all the forces of motion that make a tree less powerful to our minds than an animal. The subtle body in this state would have become a veritable dragon of complex forces. It would have drawn into itself the mixed sphinx-natures of the birds and the fish, the creeping things and the four-footed creatures. The dryad of each tree would be a mighty Druid; the great Pendragon would have his oak as a physical form and would exercise his power in reality as we can imagine the ancient Druid sages exercised theirs in imagination.
This state of the subtle body may perhaps have been symbolized by the Green Dragon of the alchemists, but the Red Dragon arose after still further distillation.
Now we have to imagine a world all fire and molten glory of flame, in which. no tree or flower could exist: a world in which wonderful agate trees would circle the white crystals of their pith with bands of violet and hyacinth and blue melting into stretches of pale chalcedony and shrouded in dark crystal bark, their branches glimmering with emerald leaves: a world in which mineral life has learned at last to show itself in perfect form, where light and fire glowed alternately and played with elemental shapes and images of beauty. And so, at last, we come to the last symbol of the alchemists – the symbol of the final perfection, the Summum Bonum, the Philosopher’s Stone.
Let us imagine what that state would mean for the adept : his gross body a pure ruby, a perfect crystalline form with all the powers of growth, of nourishment, of reproduction drawn from the vegetable kingdom into his subtle body, carried on without disgust or satiety through the beautiful mediums of fiery blossoms and shining leaves ; his subtle body almost visible as a light shining in the fiery world; his children flowers of flame and his physical form an everlasting memory of beauty; his mind an all-pervading consciousness in which blossoming imaginations arose or subsided under the law of his will: a perception unified with a faculty that ordered joy to succeed sorrow and sorrow to succeed joy because he knew that one cannot manifest without the other. A supreme artist, he would rejoice in creation; a supreme critic, he would rejoice in contrast.
So the red tincture would be attained and the black, the white and the red worlds explored and analysed in the imagination of the Rosicrucians and alchemists of the Middle Ages.
We still see the same desire for progress among those who strive for the ancient stone here in this western democratic world of men who desire “to have” and “to do.” But these circles of everlasting recurrence so dear to Friedrich Nietzche are not what he called them. They are not aristocratic.
The aristocracy of mind is shown in the philosophy of Villiers de I’Isle Adam, who cried; “As for living, our servants can do that for us.” It is the feeling of the great Buddhist intellect who sees that in the words “I am not” there is a wonder and a vision and song far exceeding the mere ideas of limited ecstasy and knowledge concealed in the words “I am.”