Tag Archives: Robert Ambelain

The Real Story Behind the Golem

I said

I said “Golem.”

A Golem is said to be an artificial helper, given life through various magical enchantments so that it acts like a sort of automaton. There are several accounts in the form of hearsay evidence that such beings were created in real-life, although it now appears that the most famous one – the Golem of Prague – was almost certainly a literary invention of the early 19th century.

But what of the others? By gathering the various bits of lore together, we can make the following generalisations:

“… even if they do say ‘Jehovah.’”

First of all, creating a Golem is not something anyone can do. Regarding the Golem of Chelm, alleged to have been created by Rabbi Eliyahu, one source stated:

“And I have heard, in a certain and explicit way, from several respectable persons that one man [living] close to our time, whose name is R. Eliyahu, the master of the name, who made a creature out of matter…”

In other words, Eliyahu was not just any rabbi but a Baal Shem Tov (“Master of the Holy Name”), i.e. someone who had been initiated into the Unwritten Qabalah – the true pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton.

Coming from a Hermetic Qabalistic background, I wonder whereabouts the genuine Unwritten Qabalah figures in the process of initiation. I am led to the conclusion that, given that the Unwritten Qabalah – the true pronunciation of YHVH – is the highest secret of the Qabalah, it can be reserved to no other place than the highest grade of the system. Hence a true Baal Shem Tov is what we would consider an Ipsissimus.

Even if Eliyahu’s status as a Baal Shem is a coincidence, the creation of a Golem would nevertheless still require a high degree of mastery of the magical formulae implicate in the Tetragrammaton, as I shall explain infra.

Feet (and everything else, for that matter) of Clay

The Golem is said to be created from the dust of the Earth, or more specifically “clay,” just like Adam, the first man. Likewise, the Golem when destroyed returns to dust – either when de-activated by its creator, or when confronted by a Rabbi with superior Qabalistic skills. The Golem of Prague, for example, was said to have been created from the clay of the local river.

This, however, is a blind. In Hebrew, the word for “clay” is itself Adamah – from the root Adam meaning “man” (hence the name of the first man). Hence, to say that the Golem is created “from clay” is a Qabalistic cipher – the true material out of which it is formed comes from within Man himself.

Sepher Yetzirah

In a dreadful episode of the otherwise classic X Files, a Jewish character tries to explain to Mulder how the Sepher Yetzirah is a spell-book containing the secret to creating a Golem. What is ironic is that not only should the Jewish character have known better, but so should Mulder – who, according to the show’s canon, had previously been the author of a thesis entitled Serial Killers and the Occult.

What is in the Sepher Yetzirah though is a description of how the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet each relate to the human body. This is how the story about the Sepher Yetzirah containing the instructions to create a Golem arose. If (potential sorcerers reasoned) God formed the human body with the aid of the twenty-two letters, might it also not be possible to create an artificial body in much the same way? That is to say, by working Qabalistically with each of the letters, thus creating the Golem by means of a twenty-two-fold enchantment.

Here we begin to see the real (i.e. initiated) meaning of the Golem story. It is not simply a story about a magical automaton, but was a blind for a technique of Qabalistic Magic involving the twenty two letters of the Hebrew Alphabet. Indeed, several eminent occultists have explored this theme in the past couple of hundred years.

Martinez De Pasqually

Martinez De Pasqually (1727 – 1774), founder of the Elus Cohens, prescribed a ritual for initiates of his order: every year, starting on Easter Sunday, they would over the course of twenty two successive days perform an invocation of each of the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet. The details of the ritual were published by the late Robert Ambelain (1907 – 1997) in his book The Practical Kabbalah, which was then translated into English by a certain Piers Vaughan who published it on the internet. Unfortunately Ambelain’s  French publishers took amiss at this and forced Vaughan to withdraw his translations – although not before a great many people, myself included, had safely downloaded them. 😉

Ambelain’s commentary on this ritual is however very superficial. As to the reason for actually performing the ritual at all, he says without elaboration that it is to obtain “kabbalistic super-powers.” It only takes a little more analysis, however, to see some of the deeper potentiality. The rite begins on Easter Sunday – the day of the Resurrection, and hence a day representing re-birth and new life. It focuses on the twenty-two letters, which as we know from the Sepher Yetzirah are attributed to the formation of (amongst other things) Man. Thus the whole ritual can be seen to be a personal rite of creating a new spiritual life for oneself. In this light the Golem thus formed is not a clay monster bought to life; it is a new, spiritually re-generated version of the Initiate himself.

Franz Bardon

The Key to the True Kabbalah, by Franz Bardon.

Bardon (1909 – 1958), described a system of associating letters, their magical or spiritual properties, and the parts of the body in his book The Key to the True Kabbalah. Bardon uses the German alphabet, rather than the Hebrew one, although there seems to be a phonetic correlation between the German letters and their equivalents from the Graa version of the Sepher Yetzirah.

Viewed in the light of what I have discussed regarding the Golem, one can argue that Bardon’s system is not merely to enable the magician to perform various thaumaturgic feats through a sophisticated method of letter pronunciation – but ultimately to re-create or transform the magician himself.

The Rainbow Body

Bardon’s method is notable in that colour-association is used for each letter. Thus if one were to take this to its logical conclusion, if one were to visualise oneself with all parts coloured according to the respective letter, one would end up with a veritable “rainbow body.” A method of how this might be visualised using more Golden Dawn attributions is described in an article I wrote for the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition in 2005 entitled “Healing In The Hermetic Tradition.”

By coincidence – though not necessarily by much – the term “Rainbow Body” refers, in Tibetan, to the ultimate attainment in the Dzogchen Tradition. By taking the esoteric practices known as Thodgal to their ultimate conclusion, it is said to be possible to self-liberate into a non-material Body of Light – which event is also said to be accompanied by the appearance of rainbow-like phenomena, even to an observer. Thus, the Rainbow Body is effectively a vehicle for attaining immortality.

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The Placing of the Elements In A Golden Dawn Temple

This is a follow up post to The Elements and the Four Cardinal Directions by Aaron Leitch. The question naturally arises – why are they where they are? And: should they ever be changed?

As to the first, there are actually several plausible reasons. The first is that the stated reason in GD documents is that they are placed according to “the winds.” As I understand it this refers to Tetrabiblos, a second century work on Astrology by Claudius Ptolemy, thus:

East Dry Spring Air
South Warm Summer Fire
West Moist Autumn Water
North Cold Winter Earth

Whilst Ptolemaic Astrology is thus the proximate cause of the placing, it does enable several layers of symbolism to be interpolated into a temple arranged in this manner.


Now, I have actually seen some exponents of Alchemy claim that Fire is the most volatile of all the elements. However, when learned Alchemy, I learnt differently – that Air is the most volatile. Trying to figure out why these differences occur, I came to the conclusion that those in the Fire camp were taking their cues from Jean Dubuis, of the Philosophers of Nature, whilst the chap from whom I learnt Alchemy was instead inspired by Frater Albertus, of the Paracelsus Research Society.

After the Chaos has been prepared, the elements are separated from it in the order of Most Volatile (requiring only a very gentle heat), Second Most Volatile (requiring a slightly more vigorous heat), Third most Volatile / second most Fixed (requiring a fairly robust heat), and finally Most Fixed (requiring the fiercest heat of all). The Order out of Chaos, as I learnt the elements is

First, Air, the Subtle part of which becomes the Mercury;
Second, Fire, Sulphur;
Third, Water, Salt; and finally

Hence, in this manner, starting from the East and circumambulating Deosil, one encounters the elements in the order they come out of chaos, from most volatile to most fixed.

Adonai vs Jehovah

Pentagram (approximately) drawn on the belt of the Zodiac.

Pentagram (approximately) drawn on the belt of the Zodiac.

The “Fire-first” school however do not rest there: taking the Air and Fire flipped around, they apply the order of the elements to the Tetragrammaton, hence: Fire, Air, Water and Earth = Yod Heh Vah Heh. This is in contrast to the GD view of the matter, which holds that the Tetragrammaton is based on Fire, Water, Air and Earth.

I believe the confusion arises because the Fire-first fail to consider the following point:

The YHVH formula is based on Astrology, and is reflected in the Hexagram Ritual, the placing of the Elements on the altar in the Vault of the Adepti, and the order in which you would see the Cardinal signs rise above the Horizon if you got up at dawn on the Spring Equinox: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn – Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. The YHVH formula (actually the Yeheshuah Formula) is also the reason the for the assignment of the elements to the particular points of the Pentagram.

The placement of the elements in the Outer order of the GD, however, is not based on the YHVH formula but on the ADNI (“Adonai”) formula – which is identical to that of the Four Winds of Ptolemy. What what what? There’s an Adonai-formula, I hallucinate that I hear you ask? Well, yes, actually. There are twenty four  combinations of Aleph, Daleth, Nun and Yod, which each refer to one of the 24 seniors of the Book of the Apocalypse. The Adonai Formula is not generally known amongst English-speaking occultists as it comes from continental Europe. This is what Macgregor Mathers referred to when he mentioned the significance of “ADONAI” in his paper on the magical formulae of the Zelator grade (see: Pat Zalewski’s Inner Order Teachings of the Golden Dawn).

The late Robert Ambelain mentioned it in his book Practical Kabbalah, until his publishers decided to force the translator to take the English edition off-line. Hence I cannot in any good conscience encourage you to search for it online, despite the fact you may feel curious to do so.

Embedded commands aside, the applicability of the Adonai formula to the placing of the elements is thus:

ALEPH Elemental AIR East
DALETH Venus, a planet associated (according to Eliphas Levi, amongst others) with FIRE South
NUN Fixed WATER West
YOD Mutable EARTH North

The Fire-First school of thought thus tries to bang their own placement of the elements into the YHVH formula like a Hollywood film producer trying to bang the wrong actor into the role of Batman: everyone know it does not fit, and it will only upset people. However – by removing the assumption that one necessarily has to work with the YHVH formula in all circumstances, and by learning that there are other Qabalistic formulae which are better suited to the task, a much more elegant solution is provided.


The Human Aura


Just as an aside, I would like to point out that at this point that the order Air – Fire – Water – Earth, is also the order of the elements as they are attributed to the four lower Chakras in Yoga: Air – Anahata (Heart); Fire – Manipura (Solar Plexus); Water – Svadisthana (Groin); and Earth – Muladhara (Base). Hence one is working the Pentagram ritual one can be said to be opening the four lower Chakra, in succession.

Should the Order of the Elements Ever Be Changed?


In Golden Dawn ceremonies we get to travel through time and space, and across dimensions!

Sometimes I hear people opine that when casting the four quarters, the elements should be changed to fit local circumstances – for instance, a number of people who live in the Southern Hemisphere think that Fire and Earth should be flipped around, to match the course of the Sun as seen from their perspective.

Now, what various pagans choose to do in their own traditions is up to them: but what about the Golden Dawn? Should the placing of the elements be changed in a Golden Dawn temple working in the southern hemisphere?

In my opinion, there can only be one answer – a categoric NO. And I say so for the following reasons:

A Golden Dawn temple physically located in England or America, is not operating in England or America;

A Golden Dawn temple in (e.g.) Australia, is not operating in Australia.

Both of them, despite being on opposite sides of the world, are actually operating in one and the same place. The magical inner-workings of the Golden Dawn ceremonies take the Temple, and astrally transport it through Time and Space and across dimensions – to the Hall of the Duat, in the Egyptian otherworld.

Hence, the correct placing of the elements should neither be for the Northern Hemisphere, if your temple is in the Northern Hemisphere, nor for the Southern Hemisphere if it is physically located there, but for how the elements would be placed in the Hall of Judgement in the Egyptian otherworld. And according to the GD tradition, that is: Air, East; Fire, South; Water, West; Earth, North.


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More on Vampires

Following on from my recent post on the subject, I thought I would present the following. I had previously speculated that the Supreme Banishing Hexagram of Binah Ritual ought to be good enough to get rid of any bloodsucking fiend. I have now come across an authentic Rosicrucian ritual for getting rid of Vampires and the Undead. This is taken from “The Sacramentary of the Rose+Croix” by Robert Ambelain – who implies that this is just the sort of theurgic ritual that would have been undertaken by the Elus Cohens (though I cannot attest to the veracity of this statement).

Exorcism against the dangerous Dead (vampires, ghosts, etc.)

The operator of the Exorcism comes next to the body of the presumed Vampire, sprinkles the tomb with Holy Water, or, if the body is outside the tomb, sprinkles the body itself. Put the blessed Crucifix on the dead’s chest or on the tomb and start the Exorcism.

Almighty God, Word of the Father, Jesus Christ, who gave to the Apostles the power to crush the Snakes and the Scorpions, and to annihilate all effort from the Enemy, You whose Power vanquished Satan and made him fall from the sky as fast as lightning, here I am, trembling and begging, I call Your Holy Name for You to forgive my sins, I, N……., Your servant, and for You to give me the necessary Faith and Power to attack this formidable demon sheltered in Your powerful arm, O You who reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. +

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapter VIII, 28ff – “When He arrived at the other side of the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could pass that way. “What do You want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, “If You drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and died in the water.”

Psalm LIXii – “Lord, deliver me from my Enemies and protect me from those who rise up against me! Deliver me from evil-doers and save me from bloodthirsty men. See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, O Eternal! I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me… Arise to help me; look on my plight… You, Eternal, God of Armies, God of Israel, rouse Yourself to punish all the Nations, show no mercy to wicked traitors… They return at evening, snarling like dogs and prowl about the city… See what they spew from their mouths, they spew out swords from their lips, and they say, ‘Who can hear us?’ But You, Lord, You laugh at them; You scoff at all those Nations…O my Strength, I watch for You; You, O God, are my fortress, my loving God…God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me.

But do not kill them, O Lord our shield, or my people will forget…In Your might make them wander about and bring them down. For the sins of their mouths, for the word of their lips, let them be caught in their pride…For the curses and lies they utter, consume them in wrath, consume them till they are no more…Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob…(Silence).”

“They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city…They wander about for food and howl if not satisfied…But I will sing of Your strength; in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my strength. I sing praise to You; You, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.”

Psalm XCI – “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadows of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord: ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’ Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence…He will cover you with feathers and under His wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and your rampart… You will not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday…A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked… If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the Lord who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent…

“For He will command His Angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone…You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent…’Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My Name. He will call upon me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him…With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

The Exorcist takes the Sword in his left hand and the Sacramentary in his right.


I beseech you, ancient Serpent, Evil Spirit, Power of Darkness, by the Supreme Judge of the Living and the Dead, by the Creator of the World who has the power to push you to Hell, go away this instant from this human body. He orders you, cursed demon. He is the one who, from the Heavens, pushed you into the abyss of the earth, He commands you! He is the one who has the power to make you fall back. Listen, O Satan, and tremble so that silence accumulates on your head on the great Day of Anger… Get out this instant, vanquished, crawling and adjured in the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead, and who will purify the world with the Fire. Amen. +

The Exorcist “pose l’Epee”, and sprinkles again the new Body, or if it has been exhumed, on the Tomb.

Then you begin the “Our Father”

“Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into Temptation, but deliver us from Evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Psalm CXXX – “Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness; therefore You are feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I put hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.”

The Exorcist again takes the Sword in his left hand and the Sacramentary in his right.


“I beseech you again, o you vile Spirit, deceitful Ghost, diabolical Invader, I beseech you + in the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, who, after the baptism of John, was led into the desert where he triumphed over you in your own territory. I beseech you to stop fighting against the one who God has created from the mud of the earth for the honor of His Glory! Make way for + Jesus Christ, who, for this man, spilled his Precious Blood. Make way for + the Holy Spirit, who, through the blessed Apostle Peter + made you fall with Simon the magician, who condemned you in Annanie and Saphire, who beat you through Herod, refusing to honor God, who, through his apostle Paul, plunged you into the darkness of blindness along with the magus Elymas, and who, by the same Apostle, made you go away from Pytonisse + with just one word.

Get out now and + go away, vile impostor. Your journey is the desert and your home is the snake. Here comes the Lord, your ruler, an ardent fire walks before him and his igneous sword springs out of the mouth of the One who must come one day to judge the living and the dead and purify the world with fire. Amen. +

God, who possesses mercy and forgiveness, we beg You for the soul of Your servant, N……. (or Your female servant N…….). Do not give him to the hands of the Enemy nor forget about him but order Your Angels to receive him and lead him to Heaven, his country. May he, after believing in you, not suffer the sorrow of hell but possess eternal joys. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord and Master and through Saint John His servant. Amen. +

God, whose mercy procures rest for the souls of the faithful, deign to bless + this tomb and give Your Holy Angel Doumiel the guard. Freed of all ties with sin, may the souls of all those whose bodies lie here be forever rejoicing with You and Your Saints. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord and Master and through Saint John His servant. Amen. +

The Exorcist puts down the Sword and prepares the Incense which he then blesses. The Exorcist goes around the tomb and the Body by incensing them both. He then says:

Lord, may You visit, we beg of You, this tomb and this human body and chase away all obstacles from the Enemy. May Your Holy Angels guard it, keeping the Peace Your Servants, and may Your Holy Blessing + be always on us and on them. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Master, and through Saint John His servant. +

Lord God Almighty, whose Army of Angels surround with trembling, whose spiritual and ardent service we all know, Lord, may You look and + bless this tomb and this human body so that all evil passion, satanic possession, all murderous and bloody madness disappear and dissipate at the smell of this Incense, and may it have no more hold on Your Creature from now on, sheltered from the bites of the Ancient Snake and redeemed by the Precious Blood of Your Son who lives and reigns with You, God the Father, in the Unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. +

If the Body was in a leaden, wooden, or marble tomb, you then take it from it and the body is put on the soil of the tomb. You remove the wood or the metal which will be afterwards put into the fire.

The Exorcist then blesses a great quantity of salt which is sprinkled on the body.

Blessing of the Salt

I exorcise you, Creature of Salt, + by the Living God + by the True God + by the Holy God + by the God who wanted you to be thrown in the water by the prophet Elisha to heal the sterility of the water so that you become exorcised Salt for the rest and salvation of Believers. From all places where you will be sprinkled may all ghosts, prodigies, evil illusions, tricks, and
all wickedness of Evil Spirits to go away and disappear like all Vile Spirits, conjured in the Name of the One who will come to judge the living and the dead, and purify the world by Fire. Amen.+

Almighty and Eternal God, we humbly implore Your leniency and Your Mercy to bless + and to sanctify + this Creature of Salt which You created for man’s use so that those who will use it obtain the Salvation of the Soul and all which will be touched or impregnated by it be from now on purified of all impurities and of all invasion of the Evil Spirit! Through Jesus Christ Our Lord and Master and through Saint John His servant. Amen. +

The Exorcist sprinkles abundantly the tomb (or the body laying on the ground) and says:

“May this Soul and those of all defunct faithful rest in peace through the Mercy of God. Amen. +

“Lord, grant to them eternal rest…”

“And may the light which is never extinguished shine on them. Amen. +

If the acts of Vampirism were to continue and need to be burned as was done before in Central Europe, here is the blessing of the Fire of the stake:

Blessing of the Fire of Cremation

“Lord God Almighty, whose multitude of adoring and trembling Armies of Angels surround You and obey You spiritually with the ardor of the Fire, Lord, may You look + bless and sanctify this Creature of Fire so that it can devour all evil signs and all material support of the wickedness of the Enemy. May by this Fire all supernatural illnesses and disabilities, all magic, spells, charms, and evil be forever destroyed and disappear, forever removed from Your creatures redeemed by Your Precious Blood, O You, He who lives and reigns with God the Father in the Unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. +

“I thus bless you, Creature of Fire, and I sanctify you in the Name of He who created you and appeared to His servant Moses as a scorching bush. I bless you + I exorcise you + and I conjure + you, O Creature of fire, in the Name of He who made the Earth shake and has the power over all things so that you help me against the dark Spirits who, lifted from the dead to torment the Living, want to destroy in them the Image of He who vanquished and chased them into the Abyss. I thus order you, O Creature of Fire, in the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Name of the four Archangels, Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Uriel, chase them away and punish them by burning them in the Fire of Hell, a Fire more scorching than sulphur.”

“Lord, may You bless and sanctify this Creature of Fire which is Yours, so that it becomes a Fire devouring the Demons with all their works and evil doings whatever they are, the ones already done or those to be done, may they be consumed, destroyed, and annihilated through these Holy Flames. All those works, all those things, all those spells, and all the power of the demons, in Your name, Lord, I destroy and annihilate them forever. It is why, Lord, we humbly beg Your Almighty Mercy and Your Infinite Kindness to give to this Creature of Fire such a power that not only this Fire bring to the Infernal Spirits the bitter souvenir of their terrible punishment but also because of their persistent stubbornness against You and Your Ministers, he torments them, he exterminates them, and chases them away. I thus bless + and sanctify + this Creature of Fire, in the Name + of the Father and of + the Son and of + the Holy Spirit. Amen. +

You then throw into the Fire the blessed Salt, in four throws, in the shape of a Cross.

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