A blog post written by Aaron Leitch – via The Hermit’s Lamp: The Continuing Tradition of the Modern Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Tag Archives: Golden Dawn
I like astrology, but I don’t think tarot cards are necessary. Why do people use tarot cards for astrology?
I like astrology, but I don’t think tarot cards are necessary. Why do people use tarot cards for astrology?
Alex Sumner’s answer:
(A2A) Astrologers do not necessarily use Tarot cards: Tarot readers might however use Astrology. For example, relating a Tarot card to an associated Astrological meaning might help a Tarot reader interpret a given tarot spread.
In the late 19th century, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn taught that because there are 22 major arcana in the Tarot, they can be allotted to the 12 signs of the Zodiac, 7 planets, and 3 of the Elements (Air, Water and Fire). The symbolism does actually make sense, e.g. “Justice” = Libra; “The Sun” = the Sun; “Death” = Scorpio (because Scorpio is equivalent to the 8th House, which is the House of Death); etc.
Furthermore, the Golden Dawn taught that the suits of the Minor Arcana correspond to the four astrological Triplicities; whilst there is a method of assigning the individual cards to the Zodiac which aids in clarifying their meaning.
I say Astrologers do not necessarily use Tarot cards, but of course they may choose to do so nevertheless. One of the things I like to do is to do a Horary Astrological figure at the same time as doing a Tarot reading, on the basis that a Horary chart drawn up for the Time, Date and Place of a reading ought to corroborate the Tarot cards, or perhaps the cards might supply the details of how to interpret specific features of the chart.
To Treadwells last Monday for an evening entitled “Golden Dawn: Hidden History,” featuring a talk by GD expert Dr Tony Fuller. The small meeting room was packed (the event was sold out). I noticed a large number of dodgy characters from the London occult scene (i.e. people I knew!) lurking in the audience, as well as representatives of at least two or three different Golden Dawn orders dressed in mufti.
Tony, 73, had been planning to do a slide-show but opted instead to just talk from notes. He revealed that he himself had been introduced to the occult as a twelve year old boy reading Dennis Wheatley’s “The Devil Rides Out,” and following up references to real-occult works mentioned in the otherwise fictional novel. At the time he did not know that the Hermes Temple of the Stella Matutina was active (though on its last legs) in Bristol, England, whilst elsewhere in his native New Zealand was Whare Ra Temple, in Havelock North.
Whare Ra, he said, was a temple which in its heyday had approximately three hundred members. Havelock North, the town in which it was situated, only had a population of about a thousand. In other words, almost a half of the adult population of Havelock North were members of Whare Ra! That this was possible is due to the fact that the town had been a hotbed of spiritual activity for some time before the Stella Matutina ever arrived there – the “Havelock Work” was founded in 1908, mainly by people who themselves went on to play prominent roles in the Whare Ra temple.
Tony pointed out that the prominence of symbolism of the Divine Feminine in the Golden Dawn – for example, the way in which both Isis and Nephthys feature as god-forms in the temple of the Neophyte, with Hathor standing guard in the far East – as well as the feminine figures in the Tarot keys which make up the paths of the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life. The fact that there was such a feminist trend in the GD he attributed to the influence of Anna Kingsford on its original founders.
Amongst other items of information I gleaned:
- Tony acquired an amount of Alpha et Omega material from a former member who had travelled to New Zealand to get her grades in the Stella Matutina at Whare Ra. Amongst this cache was the only known copy of Mathers’ 6=5 ritual, as well as the long-lost corpus of Theoricus Adeptus Minor papers (nb: these have now seen the light of day in Sandra Tabatha Cicero’s The Book of the Concourse of the Watchtowers.
- Tony showed us an Ankh (pictured above), at least a hundred years old, once belonging to Reginald Gardner, one of the first chiefs of Whare Ra. The example above is approximately 28cm tall (I photographed it against a sheet of A4 paper to give an example of its scale). Curiously, the only teaching regarding the Ankh was reserved to one of the Third Order grades (in the Stella Matutina the grades went all the way up to 9=2) – Tony described this as in a certain way the “key” to Golden Dawn magic.
- Although Mathers had written detailed analyses of the Neophyte and Zelator rituals (the Z papers, and the ZZ papers, now published in Pat Zalewski’s Inner Order Teachings of the Golden Dawn), to the best of Tony’s knowledge, no equivalent analyses were ever written about any of the higher grades, such as Theoricus, Practicus, Philosophus, etc. As to why this was, Tony believed that it was because there was no need – once an Adept was high enough to be in a position to be concerned about such things, he or she ought to be able to work out the details for him/herself.
I shall be making a public appearance at a day of talks in central London, on Sunday 11th August 2019, where I shall be presenting a piece entitled “Diary of a Ceremonial Magic Operation.” For more details, please follow this link:
The new book by Chic & Tabatha Cicero, “Golden Dawn Magic: A Complete Guide to the High Magical Arts,” is an introduction to the practices of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn: its unique selling point is that it goes into slightly more depth than other such introductory guides. So for example, it does not simply describe the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, or the Middle Pillar Ritual, but outlines preliminary exercises of which a practioner could make use in order to get used to those rituals beforehand.
Moreover, advanced techniques such as god-form assumption, tarot divination, etc are mentioned, and the results are combined to show a Golden Dawn magician would formulate a complete “Z2” Magic of Light Ritual.
It is probably most helpful to think of this as a companion volume to the Ciceros’ “The Essential Golden Dawn,” the difference being that the former book outlines the theory, whilst the latter the practice. Nevertheless, it is at the end of the day only an introduction, and as such the authors continually refer to their other publications as shedding more light on the subject, for example: Self Initiation into the Golden Dawn; Tarot Talismans; as well as Israel Regardie’s The Golden Dawn itself.
You now have the ability to celebrate the Summer Solstice with an anthology of Golden Dawn articles… including one written by yours truly! “The Light Extended” is a new Golden Dawn journal put together by “Frater Yechidah,” who asked me to contribute an article to it. From the blurb on Amazon:
Taking its name from the rituals of the Order of the Golden Dawn, this journal aims to extend the light through information, offering a combination of unpublished original order documents and new material from prominent voices in the esoteric world today. With a unique mix of scholarly articles and practical advice, this book provides an essential resource for those interested in the Golden Dawn system of magic.
Topics include the Qlippoth, Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, the Lord of the Universe, a Stella Matutina Ritual for Influencing a Person for Good, the Body of Light, the 42 Assessors, Hekas Hekas Este Bebeloi, Skrying, Thelema’s relationship with the Golden Dawn, the Assumption of Godforms, a Fire Tablet Ritual, and the Enochian letters.
With contributions from: Chic Cicero and S. Tabatha Cicero, Samuel Scarborough, Frater YShY, Tony Fuller, Jayne Gibson, Adam P. Forrest, Soror DPF, Alex Sumner, Frater D, M. Isidora Forrest, Darcy Küntz, and Frater Yechidah.
This book is officially published on June 21st 2019, but is available for pre-order now. Click Here to go to the Amazon page!
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a magical order founded in 1888. Its teachings focussed on the Qabalah, Hermeticism, astrology, tarot, alchemy – albeit through the lens of Theosophy. In its higher grades (the “inner order”) members passed from the theoretical to the practical and practiced ceremonial magic.
Notable members included S L MacGregor Mathers, Aleister Crowley, W B Yeats, Dion Fortune, A E Waite, Paul Foster Case, as well as a whole host of others.
In 1934, Israel Regardie went public with the teachings of The Golden Dawn, although many of them had been published previously by Crowley.
The original order broke up and stopped operating under the name of “Golden Dawn” in the early twentieth century, but there are nowadays modern revivals of the Golden Dawn, operating in England, America, and elsewhere.
(A2A) Donald Michael Kraig’s “Modern Magick” was my first serious book on practical occultism as well. It is an ideal book for beginners because (a) it contains a lot of suitable material to get you started; and more importantly (b) it also has an extensive bibliography which will clue you in as to where to go and what to read to pursue your studies further.
Other books I generally recommend:
- “The Art & Practice of Astral Projection” – Ophiel;
- “The Mystical Qabalah” and “Sane Occultism” – both by Dion Fortune;
- “The Middle Pillar” – Israel Regardie.
- “Hermetica” – Freke & Gould
- “The Golden Dawn” – Israel Regardie;
- “Magick In Theory & Practice” – Aleister Crowley;
- “The Alchemist’s Handbook” – Frater Albertus;
- “Initiation Into Hermetics” – Franz Bardon;
(Even more advanced):
“The Greek Magical Papyri In Translation” (H D Betz), “Transcendental Magic – its Dogma and Ritual” (Eliphas Levi), “Light on Yoga” (BKS Iyengar), other books by Dion Fortune, Israel Regardie, Crowley, S L MacGregor Mathers, primary texts on Adam McLean’s Alchemy website / Joseph H Peterson’s website, etc, etc, etc.
Anglo-Catholic involvement in the occult is much broader and deeper than most would suspect, writes Richard Yoder
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.