Category Archives: GD

THE LESSER BANISHING RITUAL OF THE HEXAGRAM

Within the Golden Dawn corpus, there is a slightly odd ritual called the lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram. It is performed after a lesser ritual of the pentagram by adepts and various reasons have been provided for its existence mostly centred on an apparent need to neutralise any planetary energy before beginning a working.

Based on the drawing of two different triangles in different positions in the quarters it is the most used of a collection hexagrams. However, the root of the lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram might provide us with some clues as to its use and why it is an important daily practice for the modern magician.

One of the founders of the Golden Dawn took the triangle diagrams from a drawing of the Key of Solomon Magic Circle where it is placed in the outside circle along with the highest magical names of power. The triangles are not explained, but it seems likely to me that that they are geomantic symbols. Two of them (in the South and West) are variations on the geomantic symbols for Carcer, the East is Fortuna Minor and the last, in the North is Conjuncto. Within the circle of Key Solomon, these geomantic symbols make a great deal of sense. In this case, their role is creating a ring of protection around the magician.

When looking at Geomantic figures, it is a good idea to see them as a recipe which fuses together to create a powerful effect. In this case, we have a strong Saturnian flavour figures which form a separation between the outside world and what is in the circle. Carcer means Prison and is attributed to Saturn. The northern hexagram is the geomantic opposite to Carcer. Conjuctio is assigned to the mutable Mercury and draws things together rather than separate them. However, Conjuctio
to unite the other hexagrams to mark off and seal the protective circle.

Fortuna Minor in the East is an odd addition to the magic circle. It represents the Sun when it is setting, in other words, the sun as an old man. It is a symbol of the beginning of the night, the light shining in the dark. It is both the beginning (Genesis counted the day beginning at Sunset) and the end which makes it a good symbol for the start of a magic circle. The image of the old man also works with the concept of this magic circle being Saturnian and marking the passage of time. The Sun, in any format, is always going to have some protective aspect against darkness, but in this case, it is the herald of the dark. However, the East is where the Sun rises, so this geomantic symbol is placed in a position of reversing that idea. It is the process of Time as the protector of order (Aion the Roman god of time was Lion faced) and the continuation of everything that was.

The writer of the Key of Solomon would have been aware of the associations of the east so placing a seemingly contrary symbol there had a purpose. The goal of the magic circle was to contain and protect. Fortuna Maior and Fortuna Minor, can be best associated with wheels, circles, and cycles are both cycles and associated with time. Fortuna Minor is the downward part of the wheel of fortune and the weakening of active positive solar force and he move to constrained negative solar force. With this force rising in the east the stage is set for a time of darkness and restriction… ruled by the magical image of an old man. Fire and water are imprisoned (carcer) and everything is joined together in a boundary of mercury (conjucto). All rather useful for a defensive magic circle, but when the lesser banishing ritual of the hexagramis done you create the antithesis of restriction. Time is shattered, the fire and the waters are liberated and boundaries and restriction are dissolved

Drawing of geomantic symbols is a creative art. Traditionally they could be drawn by joining up the dots of a geomantic figure, differently. However geomantic figures did not have to be constructed using lines. They could also use shapes and curls, the lines containing the dots could be made closer or further apart to make more geometrically balanced shapes. Golden Dawn members were shown a list of some of these Geomantic shapes, but it is clear that this was only a starter kit so that the students were aware of the possibilities.

Geomantic symbols are important because they represent planetary force manifesting in the earth. They bring down power to a level where the magician can directly use it.

The Golden Dawn added to the lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram symbols by placing the points of each triangle onto the tree of life. One of the missing parts of Golden Dawn teaching about the Lesser hexagram was the critical placement of the solar symbol in the centre. So far, I have only seen this solar symbol in AO, but I doubt it, as NISI is rather early in AO history and did not seem to deviate much from early Golden Dawn teaching.

By doing this, Mathers provided an additional overlay of teaching which connected the triangles to the Tree of Life and showed how the planetary forces moved around Tiphareth. While this is useful to place the lesser banishing ritual of the hexagramin the context of the wider planetary hexes it has the function of enabling Mathers other innovation, the idea of creating a banishing and invoking an aspect to the hexagram. If you wanted to remove a force, you drew the triangles anti-clockwise from the planetary point and if you wanted to invoke you drew the towards the planetary symbol from the one before it. The second triangle is the mirror opposite of the first. This does not apply to the fourth hexagram where the triangles are flipped.

In the lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram, the use of banishing versions of the geomantic symbols makes for an impressive symbolic system. Rather than providing a magical circle, which the invoking ritual would still do, it serves to break down existing restrictions and structures. Rather than allowing the constrictive, separate prisons of the double carcer symbols, it banishes any limitations which might be there. Rather than setting boundaries or uniting forces in the circle with the conjuncto symbol it is breaking them down or destroying all connections. The banishing of the sun at midnight is the removal of the element of time and the divine order. This would render the immediate environment chaotic.

So why is this important?

When you perform a magical act, you are creating a change in the status quo and challenging the natural Saturnian force. Some of these limitations will exist in the magician, others from society and on a broader scale the natural flow of the universe. By rendering the space antagonistic to Saturnian inertia you are giving your magic a chance.

But it is important to realise that with the  lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram you are creating chaos which allows the universe to be reassembled in the image that the magician wishes. For some types of magic a lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram beforehand would not be a good idea. If you are trying to use magic to take control of an already chaotic situation, it would be unwise to banish Saturn because you are making matters worse.

There is an additional point which applies more when you have made magic your life. That is that continual attempts to change the universe, or the move to do something significant creates a backlash from those Saturn forces which seek to keep things the same. The myth of Saturn and Jupiter and the war of the Titans applies here. At a certain point in your magical career you will be a symbol of a force for change and like Jupiter be a target for those forces of inertia that insist that things stay the same.

What is worrying is very often you are unaware of it or might mistake the process for a spiritual test. What you will notice is that your magic does not work in the same way as it did, you might find it challenging to meet your spiritual contacts, or find yourself too tired to do magical work. It is similar to the inertia that someone has when starting the work. However, unlike that stage of your personal development, forcing yourself to be more disciplined does not resolve the matter, in fact, it might make it worse.

Performing a daily lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram would help prevent this backlash before it becomes too crippling, you will always face this particular issue (it is part of the natural way the universe works), but at least it will not harm you too much.

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram becomes an important mini-ritual for Golden Dawn practitioners which has less to do with its planetary attributions and more to do with the forces of order and chaos and creating the right circumstances for your magic to work.

The lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram  deserves to be performed in most workings (after the first lesser ritual of the pentagram) when the ceremony requires some change to an existing order. It should also be done regularly with the intention of counteracting those forces of normality which restrict evolution. If the latter is performed, it might be appropriate to call upon Jupiter for assistance.

Vepar the demon spirit of Augustus’s tenth

http://littledoomwitch.tumblr.com/post/63686939185/demon-a-day-vepar-vepar-duke-color-green

How useful are the spirit lists for identifying what each spirit does?  Where they are given descriptions, they are often at odds and we are left with trying to find references to the limited amounts of symbolism we are given. What I found was that some of this symbolism might be a little obscure.

Vepar is a demonic spirit whose name means “Boar.” Yet the spirit lists describe him appearing as a mermaid who is a “guide of the waters” and in charge of shipping weapons and infecting wounds. What does that have to do with a boar? How does infecting wounds, so they kill people in three days become part of the remit for a spirit who guides troop ships?

It is a little more possible to flesh out details when you apply decan meanings (particularly the GD ones which would give you Saturn in Taurus) but this is artificial and probably off track.  The symbols do give us some clues and might point at the spirit’s source.

Searching for Vepar, I came across one source which I had not thought of. Roman Legion unit names and symbols. These unit symbols were often packed with symbols for many different reasons.

One of my researches though down the Vepar symbolism found the Legio X Fretensis (“Tenth Legion of the Strait”) was a legion of the Imperial Roman army. It got its name from a battle it won in the Strait of Messina although it also was part of the fleet that won the Battle of Actium.

This Roman legion had the symbols of the bull, a ship, the god Neptune, and a boar. The Bull might be because the unit was formed when the sun was in Taurus or because it was a symbol of Venus (who was Augustus’s family spirit).

Either way, we have the full set – sea, troop ship, boar, Taurus, and Venus. It also was part of the army which destroyed Jerusalem.  It garrisoned the city for at least 200 years afterwards.  It might be that the spirit lists had somehow demonised the Roman legion which helped destroy the “holy city” and because a symbol of a pagan boot on the throat of Jews and Christians living in the area.  When Legio X Fretensis and the other Roman legions celebrated their victory they did so for three days, according to Josephus.

Sorry, you can’t be alt-right and a member of the Golden Dawn

A debate has started on Facebook about me banning a couple of people from a GD discussion group for disseminating alt-right ideas.

Some people think that the issue is political and you should not be talking about politics on a Golden Dawn chat group anyway.  While there is some truth in this, for me the issue is NOT political at all. Alt-Right ideas are not political at all but are the antithesis of everything the Golden Dawn represents.

Stripping away “political” ideas of alt-right we are still left with the following fundamental beliefs which are alien to the core of the Golden Dawn:

  • The superiority of white males.
  • Hatred of Jews and Muslims and homosexuals.
  • A misogynistic opposition to “feminism” which is a call for women to adopt traditional roles.

The Golden Dawn founders were familiar with these views as they were typical of those which surrounded them in the late Victorian period.  However, they were explicitly outlawed by the Golden Dawn which wanted to move away from them. Firstly, the Golden Dawn wanted to see equality between the sexes within magic. It is possible to make a case that the GD was formed for that purpose. It paid dividends to the GD as some of its most significant ritualists and teachers were women. A GD adept is sworn to protect equality within the order. Someone holding misogynistic views, or who wants women to get back to a support role to men, therefore, would not be allowed to take the 5=6 oath.

Religious intolerance of any type is forbidden in the 0=0.  All religions are said to “contain a light of the highest of which you seek.”  So if you attack Jews or Muslim beliefs, you are insulting the Higher which manifests through them.

Lastly, the Order teaches at that all things come from one thing and humanity is part of a single divine being. What race is Adam Kadmon?  If you are saying white males are superior, you are disconnecting yourself from the unity which is the human race.

Working against unity, against humanity, is not the path of a Golden Dawn magician. It is the path of something darker. So, this is why alt-Right types are unwelcome within the Golden Dawn tradition. This goes over and above any political beliefs that might be held about “guns,” “family,” “global warming” “abortion” etc.

Of course, there might be some modern GD groups that disagree and allow race-hate, sexism, homophobia and intolerance amongst its members.  It is just that in my little patch of the post-GD garden we frown upon such things. To me it is a bit like a Satanist wanting to be a Roman Catholic – there are fundemental reasons why such a mix is impossible. Personally I think that the Golden Dawn, despite is age is not the voice of conservative magic but rather liberal.

The Whare Ra Etheric Link ritual

Whare Ra differed from the other Golden Dawn groups because of a little ritual called the Etheric Link. The ritual was given out after the 7=4 and was supposed to provide a direct connection to the Rosicrucian current.

The Link ritual was obtained by Robert Felkin from Rudolf Steiner when the latter was still a Rosicrucian. There are several theories as to where Steiner obtained the ritual, which are historically interesting, but not the subject of this article. I am more interested in what the Link does and what it represented at Whare Ra. Please note that these are my ideas, and are not official and are up for debate.

The Golden Dawn writer Pat Zalewski once said that the Etheric Link ritual represented the end of a process which started in the 0=0. There the candidate is linked to the current as part of the rite. It is strengthened at each initiation and always as part of the egregore of the order. Finally, in the 7=4, the candidate gets their own version of the link which is independent of the Order.

In theory, this means that the candidate can form their own order, or go off and do their own thing. Note this does not mean that they are allowed to go off and form another Whare Ra temple. That required a note from the chief of the order, a note from their parents, and at least three forms of ID and a utility bill. Golden Dawn researcher Tony Fuller has said that in different periods of Whare Ra history the Link was given only to chiefs or those who might one day become chiefs. However, the link later was given to others normally after the 7=4. In fact we have evidence of this in the form of the two great initiators of the post-Whare Ra adepts Frank Salt and Jack Taylor who were not order chiefs (however senior they were in Whare Ra) but had the link and did pass it on to their students.

Tony Fuller has found evidence that the Felkin used to give the link out at any point in the second order where the candidate needed it. (Often at 5=6) although he did give it to Westcott at 6=5 (he also gave him the 5=6 and the 7=4) . At some point it was bumped up to 7=4 with Jack Taylor referring to it as a capping off process. This could suggest that either the later chiefs felt it too powerful for a 5=6 and/or discovered something new about it which Felkin either did not know or had not spotted.

So the question is what IS the link and what did it do?

Felkin believed that the ritual gave the candidate an etheric link to Christian Rosensenkreutz so that the person became his “son” and “spiritual heir.” This is a spiritual leadership role within the Rosicrucian movement. CRC was the initiator and the creator of the Rosicrucian Order. So in many ways it was the right to initiate into the Second Order of the Golden Dawn.

This provided Felkin’s order with a Rosicrucian connection which gave it legitimacy.

In this context, it was important for Felkin who needed to establish a Rosicrucian link which was better than whatever it was that Mathers was offering. While it is possible it is unlikely that the link was written by Steiner and may have some connections with earlier masonic/Rosicrucian bodies, what the physical link ritual did became irrelevant.

It is the nature of magic that something which appears as one thing can be transmuted over time into something else. New Zealand was disconnected from the European occult scene and here was a ritual that patched its adepts into the Hermetic and Rosicrucian current – the Western Mystery Tradition. To the adepts who accepted the link it became something else.

It was not going to provide them with the authority of lineage, at least not in the sense that a mason would understand it. But then, they did not need it – they had Whare Ra and that was not really going anywhere.

Firstly, it gave them the power to initiate into the second order. When you perform a second order initiation you have to make several connections at the same time. You have to connect to the egregore of the second order and also the divine. The Godform of CRC acts as an intermediary between these two forces, forging a chain between god, the order and the candidate.

The connection with CRC represents the Rosicrucian tradition and the position as a son of CRC enables the initiation to take place.

This chain though is connected through history and not just Rosicrucianism, but all those orders and magicians which gave birth to that particular movement.

One initiate’s experience of the link ceremony was that it opened up a vortex in front of him, like a time tunnel.

“I saw CRC, but it went much further back. I followed it until I found myself besides a great river near a mud hut with rough wooden statue of Thoth outside. An Ibis landed on the river and I realised that this was the birth of Hermeticism.”

Another person told me that they felt the link was like a long huge Akashic library in which all occult knowledge was written. A book was each adept’s contribution to the Great Work.

Another who was less impressed with his experience said he had the impression of the age of an ancient tomb and a person who was old was watching him.

One thing you notice is that the experience of the link is subjective but the symbols are similar – ideas of profound knowledge spanning back over time.

Another thing about the link is, like many initiations, sometimes it “takes” and sometimes it does not. If it does not there is nothing bad. The person’s occult work is always focused in service within the order which gives them the link. They do not need to draw on information, or energies which do not come from that.

When the link takes there is a desire to research and to create your own contribution to the tradition. To be your own link in the chain. It might be to be a leader, or it might simply be a desire to share your slant on the mysteries with your students. You will train your students until they are ready for you to pass the link onto them so that the Chain of Hermes is never broken.

 

Cracking the Ritual of the Pentagram

There has never been a more abused and misunderstood ritual than the Golden Dawn’s Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram (LRP). Along with the Cabbalistic Cross, it has been kidnapped by others who have unintelligently hammered it into their own traditions. Even though it is included in almost every occult handbook in the Western Mystery Tradition, few have tried to define what it actually does or look at it in context of the Golden Dawn tradition.

Before we start, let us make this clear. The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram has about as much to do with elemental magic as a packet of peanuts has to do with the workings of poetry of William Topaz McGonagall. As we will see, this myth has come about because of a fundamental lack of understanding about the Golden Dawn and how it worked. The failure to understand the depth and power of this simple ritual has lead many armchair occultists to develop ‘improved’ versions. While these improved versions might ‘work’ within their own traditions, they do not work within the context of the Golden Dawn system.

The LRP and the Golden Dawn
The LRP was handed out to those who joined the Order at the 0=0 grade. It was a fairly basic ritual which was the only form of practical magic that anyone in the outer order was allowed to perform. In the early Golden Dawn, the inner order with its emphasis on elemental pentagrams, had not been developed. True, elemental pentagrams were drawn by the Heirophant in the elemental grades but few would have been aware that this was happening. Even if they were aware, any candidate would not see a
“Earth pentagram”.

To an innocent candidate, the pentagram in the LRP was a complete, classic magical sign’ that was drawn in four directions by the operator. Also the mindset of the order and the people who went through it, was you did what you were told. Only the very stupid would NOT realise that the angels were Archangels but the impact of what a six-rayed star being between the columns was, would have passed most by. As for colour, the GD was extremely protective of the use of colour in the outer order and it is extremely likely that the whole operation was monochromatic. It was only in the inner order, when this was developed, that colour became particularly important.

Some of this material was leaked out into the outer order. For example we find that in the later Whare Ra temple 0=0s were given black cards with the divine name and the pentagram in colour to stare at to add their visualisation of the ritual.

We also know that it is impossible for the LRP to be linked to any elements because it lacks a spirit pentagram as part of the rite. It would be an anathema to the GD’s rule of always “invoking the highest first” before doing any working not to have included a spirit pentagram first. When elemental pentagrams are used, they have to be accompanied by a spirit pentagram something which is clearly lacking in the LRP.

The first reference to an LRP pentagram being used in an exorcism within the GD is in Flying Roll XXXIV where Brodie Innes uses a pentagram to deal with an Earth elemental which was bringing sickness to his wife. However, on examination of the case, Innes does not perform an LRP at all and instead invokes the elemental to give it form before blasting it. Innes was also an adept at that point and well capable of using the full versions of the pentagrams.

Another case is recorded in Dion Fortune’s Psychic Self-Defence where she draws a pen- tagram between her and an astral creature and vibrates a divine name. Again nothing like the LRP , although it shows similarities. Later in her book, she gives a watered down version of the LRP as a tool for exorcism but strips it of a lot of its GD symbolism.

Much of the alchemical and exorcism attributions for the LRP seem to have come from Aleister Crowley. While it is possible that he got these from Bennett or Mathers, it is also likely he got them from his own meditation. However, Crowley’s use of the LRP forced him to make some changes to the function of the Rose Cross Ritual. It is from him (and later Dion Fortune) that we get the idea that pentagrams light you up on the astral, whereas the Rose Cross Ritual keeps you nicely incognito.

By the time Israel Regardie appeared on the scene, these attributions were being adopted at least outside the existing GD.

The Symbol of the Pentagram
The pentagram is associated with the planet Venus, because when viewed from Earth, successive inferior conjunctions of the planet plot a nearly perfect pentagram shape around the zodiac every eight years. This is important when you consider that entry to the vault of Christian Rosenkreuz is through the Venus wall.
Another attribution is its association with the five-pointed star of Geburah. In this guise the pentagram is showing humanity’s ability to control things and spirits because of its five-fold nature. Since most of the universe is populated by elemental or pure spiritual beings, the fact that a human is a mixture of both gives them considerable protection and power. But as far as occultists are concerned, the pentagram is a symbol of a perfected human being. It is a symbol of spirit ruling over the elemental nature.

The Primary Function of the LRP
Within the Golden Dawn there were several advantages to making a junior person learn the LRP . Firstly, it would teach them how to vibrate names and make correct ritual gestures and visualisation. The LRP also works within the framework of what should be carried out within the outer order. That is, the integration of spiritual energy within all aspects of daily life and a balancing of the personality. The use of a regular ritual has been applied in many religions as a method of rooting the spiritual within the mundane. But once students started doing the ritual, often they would wonder what it was all about and start to look at the symbolism involved and might look particularly at the meaning of the pentagram, which was a symbol of perfected man and a declaration of the dominion of spirit over the elemental nature.

However, there is more to it than that. There were magical meanings held within the ritual which linked it to the student’s 0=0 initiation and to an extent the whole of the first order work.
The idea was to require the operator to subconsciously repeat the work of the outer or- der in the microcosm of the candidate on a daily basis. This becomes the work of the outer order until the person becomes the completed pentagram at portal. In a nutshell, the commonly used LRP has the operator/candidate standing in the centre of the uni- verse, between two pillars, with his or her higher self within the heart centre, flanked by four archangels and on all sides a symbol of the dominion of spirit. This is sending a powerful message to the unconscious mind that they are a channel for their spiritual selves. This is exactly the message that the candidate is given through the 0=0 cere- mony, the realisation of what it means is also glimpsed in the 2=9, when the candidate first sees the completed pentagram in the East.

In other words, what we are seeing with the LRP is not just a clearing exercise, or even an elemental balancing rite but a re-enforcement of the rest of the grade work of the outer order. It is activating the whole of the order in the Sphere of Sensation of the candidate.

The Sphere of Sensation
It is easier to understand the function of the banishing ritual when you look at the Golden Dawn’s idea of the Sphere of Sensation. The concept of the sphere is mentioned in several documents, mostly related to scrying and the Z documents, where it is a part of the 0=0 initiation ceremony. There is much that is original in the idea, which is explained in the document ‘Macrocosm and Man’ yet the idea appears undeveloped.

The idea of a Sphere of Sensation works as a canvas on which an auric energy system can be painted. Brodie Innes says in Flying Roll XXV that the Sphere of Sensation is an egg-shaped aura around the body which made out of ‘Akasha’. Akasha is an Eastern term meaning ‘Ether’ and in context the statement means that it is made of lower forms of ‘spirit’. In the pre-Einstein physics, ether was the unseen energy that held the universe together. Although you could not see it, it was still a semi-physical force. In the Indian philosophy which influenced the Golden Dawn, Akasha was also the spirit that bound together the four elements. When Brodie Innes was saying that the Sphere of Sensation was Akasha, he was saying that it was made of an unseen spiritual energy. However, Akasha has some other abilities, which Brodie Innes was hinting at.

It is the memory of the Mind of God and it holds everything in reflection. One drop of Akasha contains a reflection of everything seen, unseen, past and present. He would say that the Sphere of Sensation is “as the Microcosm and the Universe as the Macrocosm; regarding the former as a reflection in miniature of the latter, as in a grass field full of dewdrops each drop might present a perfect tiny image of trees and mountains, the sky, clouds, the sun and the stars.” In other words, it is like a hologram of the universe that can be cut multiple times and still contain a complete likeness of the original. This is a Microcosmic universe and is built around symbols that the individual has in their unconscious mind and is made out of the patterns of their material life.

The GD students built the tree of life within their sphere of sensation over a period of time and used its spheres rather than those of the eastern chakras. Brodie Innes at- tempted to link the Sphere of Sensation to what is called the Aura, and from that point to the complex tantric work of the East. Like many good theosophists, he believed that India contained much useful magical information which could be taken at face value as being superior to that in the West. He was only partly successful because his efforts were not required to get the sphere of sensation working.

Most Hindu or tantric experts would tell you that the aura of the east with its chakras is a thought-form construction exactly like the Sphere of Sensation and not meant to be taken literally either. It would be better to use a symbol that is more closely related to Western symbolism like cabbalistic the Tree of Life which was what the GD actually did.

All this information would not be known to the outer order candidate. They would not even hear about the Sphere of Sensation until they reached the 5=6 grade. However this did not mean that their own sphere of sensation had not been orientated to this particular format. Mathers, in his Z2 instructions, tells the officers that they must visualise the candidate’s sphere of sensation as having these pillars within them. As the candidate comes into the temple, they are supposed to have a dark and cloudy Sphere of Sensation which becomes clearer at each purification and consecration.

The number of purification and consecrations is the same as the number of black and white pillars in the aura (The Middle Pillar being activated by the balanced light of the Supernal Triangle). The fourth and final consecration is important from the point of view of the LRP . There, the candidate is standing between the pillars his or her hands on each one, in an exact mirroring of the the pillars in the Sphere of Sensation.

In the Golden Dawn, whenever you see pillars, they represent some form of gateway. In her private articles for the Society of Inner Light, Dion Fortune hinted that the two pillars in front represented the future while those behind represented the past, while the gate- way formed on the right and left hand, and the Middle Pillar are the present.

So what you are looking at when you look straight ahead is your future. Symbols that you might see in your own Sphere of Sensation are those that are gearing up to actually manifest. Those behind you are what have already gone. Symbols close to you are the those which are with you now.

To understand the concept of how the Sphere works and communicates it is important to look at the Neo-Platonist idea of mind and symbols. The Neo-Platonists believed that all things are the products of a divine mind and the only way that an object can be created is by using material or by reproduction. The One Thing can do neither because it is infinite so it cannot take any outside source and can only make its universe in its mind. Once you realise the universe is mind and works in the same way as your own (which is a reflection of the universe) then you can use it to bring about change.

As United States comic Bill Hicks summed up how the Universal Mind worked as part of his act: “We are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves.”

The Universal Mind does not talk in words as such. It uses symbols. A word is a symbol, but it only generally means one thing. A real symbol means lots of things on many different levels.

Likewise, the Sphere of Sensation operates on symbols, which it uses a bit like a com- puter language to program the environment. It takes Macrocosmic symbols and con- verts them into personal ones. These reflect back on the Nephesch and the physical body. Our Spiritual side also communicates with us through the Sphere of Sensation using symbols.

The Sphere of Sensation and its Relationship to the LRP

We are born facing the wrong way. Our loyal servant, our Sphere of Sensation shows us a distorted vision of the Universe. Our lives are based on incorrect perceptions founded on clouded understandings of the symbols. We often see symbols but can only see them “in a glass, darkly”. Soon optimism gives way to depression, the small becomes large and our view becomes narrow and clouded. In addition, people form links with others through shared magnetism and corrupted symbols. Their Spheres of Sensation become linked and Akashic energy becomes depleted. As people age, they become more fixed and are unable to see the new Universe which is being born around them. Instead they either keep symbols of their own universe, or just live their lives as they always have done.

In such circumstances, the Higher Aspects of the personality lose their ability to influence the Sphere of Sensation and the person finally dies.

The LRP makes changes to the Sphere of Sensation so that the person gradually devel- ops. It does not so much do this by banishing, as it does by placing powerful symbols within the sphere of sensation which become enforced over a period of time.

First you perform the Cabbalistic Cross. This draws down power from the crown to the feet. It balances and energises the sphere for more important work. It also opens the Tiphareth centre to control the operation.

Next you draw a pentagram between the pillars of the sphere of sensation in front of you. You vibrate the name YHVH, which means “I am what I am” again aspirational. In other words, you are placing the symbol of the pentagram into your own future and energising it with your own will. You are looking towards your own portal ceremony where the completed pentagram is unveiled for the first time.

The YHVH name is important because you are talking about integrating the elements under the power of spirit.

When we draw the pentagram on the right hand, we are making a statement of who we are ‘now’. The divine name here is Adonai, which means Lord. We are saying that we are rulers of ourselves.

Now the operator turns around again and is placing a pentagrams over their past and saying the name associated with YHVH, EHVH. This means “I am what I will be.” The operator is looking at their own past and saying “I am not trapped by my past, I am going to be something better”. You will note that this name is in this position because the operator at that moment has his or her back to the future.

The last pentagram is placed between the pillars of the left hand. This represents the gateway to the North which is connected to the Earth. But again it is also the now. The left-hand gateway leads to the ‘now’ of the outside world, the right hand gateway leads to the inner kingdom.

The divine name here is Agla (Mighty art thou Lord of the Earth). What is being said here is that the operator is the ruler of the Earth. Not the planet, but our own personal Earth. Notice that the person has their back to the right-handed pentagram where they are talking about being Lord of their own Inner Kingdom. Now they are claiming that what they see is a product of their own rulership.

The Archangels in the LRP

The next part of the ritual sees the placement of the Archangels. Most people see the Archangels as wearing their elemental badges. Alternatively they are just seen in the light of the Jewish child’s bed-time prayer. It is important to look at who these Archangels are within the GD system.

Before me Raphael
Before me refers to the future. Raphael means “God has healed”. We are asking that God will heal us and guide us. He is also the Sun angel in the Western Mystery Tradition and therefore the initiator into Tiphareth (the 5=6).

Behind me is Gabriel
This refers to the past. Gabriel is the ruler of the Moon. We are making him the guardian of our unconscious mind and preventing our past from destroying ourselves either now or in future. His name “God is my Strength” tells us to build our life not on our past but on the foundation of God.

To my Right-Hand Michael
Michael means “who is as God”. He gives us the image of our inner Kingdom as matching that of heaven.

To my left-hand Uriel
Uriel was the Angel of the Mysteries. His name means ‘Fire of God’ by placing him as the Guardian of Gate of the Earth we are allowing the Earth to be our teacher. The “Fire of God” is the serpent force represented by the staff of the Kerux and his function in the LRP is similar.

The next part of the LRP the operator says a phrase that only makes sense when you see it in terms of sphere of sensation with its four pillars.

Between the pillars is the six-rayed star

The six-rayed star refers to Tiphareth and the Middle Pillar. Until now, the operator has not activated the Middle Pillar and in so doing causes the magnetic balance of the four pillars to come into harmony. Once in harmony, you are bringing the light of spirit into the heart centre of the Sphere of Sensation using the symbol of the Hexagram. This causes the Sphere of Sensation to glow with integrated power, just like the candidate in the 0=0 ritual does when they have received the fourth and final consecration.

The LRP to Protect a Working
The insistence on the LRP before ritual, plus the name itself, implies that the LRP has a hygienic effect and can be used to create sacred space. It does this in two ways. The first is by elevating the consciousness of the operator so that they are tuned into the symbols that were placed in their sphere of sensation during their 0=0 ceremony.

The second method involves a physical change in the environment occupied by the sphere of sensation. The sphere of sensation is spiritualised and expanded to the four quarters. The spiritualised sphere produces a high range energy hum. This hum pre- vents lower astral beings which work on a lower spiritual note (which cause most of the problems in ceremonial magic) from entering the space.

The Sphere of Sensation is projected outwards in a similar fashion to what it was during the 0=0 rite where the candidate has his sphere of sensation magically stretched to the same sub-quarters represented by the pillars in the Sphere of Sensation. In the 0=0 these points are represented by the invisible stations of the Sons of Horus.

When you perform the LRP on an area before a ritual you are projecting your Sphere of Sensation to these sub-quarters. In most GD groups, this task is performed by the Heireus and it is not the officer’s Sphere of Sensation that is stretched but that of his God- form. Most of the time it will be whoever is performing the ritual who will expand their Sphere of Sensation for the purposes of a banishing.

Effects of the LRP
Over the years many people both inside the Golden Dawn and outside it have reported beneficial effects caused by the regular performance of the LRP.

These effects range from clearing out of negative behaviour patterns to actual spiritual awakening and individualisation. Based on the concept of the Sphere of Sensation, it is possible that these effects can happen.

The regular placing of symbols in the Sphere of Sensation of a willing person will slowly change their reality. The unconscious knowledge that their past, present and future are all under their own control, moves them from being a victim in life to a magi- cian of power. Negative symbols of powerlessness and weakness are slowly replaced with that image of occult power, the pentagram.

The symbolic disconnection from spiritual reality is replaced with positive symbols enabling the higher aspects of the self to draw close. It is this effect more than others which makes the LRP a vital part of the daily routine of anyone using the tradition of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

 

This article was posted in the now defunct Hermetic Virtues.  Originally written when I still thought it was all about banishing I have tweaked it a bit.  It still deserves an airing. 

Masonic baggage in the Golden Dawn

The Golden Dawn has more masonic hang-overs than the morning after Christmas dinner with a free bar at United Grand Lodge.

Some of these are useful, because they have generic magical over tones, and some are only there because they are part of a tradition that no one wants to spoil. The concept being that since the GD was formed by masons we should not touch these things.

However, it is important to point out that, contrary to myth, none of the Golden Dawn founders were particularly enthusiastic masons but both Westcott and Mathers started out their lives in masonic groups and so were trained in a masonic way of doing things. The Cipher manuscripts were written by a masonic expert and enthusiast so some of these ideas seeped into the final result. Some of these things were relevant and some of them less so.

The funny handshake: There are two funny handshakes in the Golden Dawn and another one in the second order. The point of these comes from masonry and is a method of recognition. I have seen some Golden People strain their brains to come up with magical reasons for the funny handshake. Often they try and quote a second order paper where the fingers add up to magical forces. However given that the first grip only connects with the fingers and not the thumbs, you have to question yourself as to what the magical significance of not having mars involved in the 0=0 equation really means and why there is a difference between that and the other grips. To quote Dr Who “I love humanity they are always seeing things which are not really there.” The reality is that masons needed a grip so the GD had to have one to. From a magical perspective it is redundant, as shown by the number of occasions you have to give it.  One Golden Dawn order used to require members to que 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. Anyone who has read a GD book knows the funny handshake (much like the masonic equivalent) so its security purpose is redundant. If it lacks a security function then it needs a magical one….  Nope much good there either, the ritual does not depend on you symbolically shaking hands with your fraters and sorors (it is not in the script).  Unlike the grade signs has no inner use either because you don’t tend to shake hands with strange beings to test them (not unless you want the same number of fingers you had before you started shaking back).

The silly walk: The step is supposed to show your entry into the temple of the mysteries it is followed up by the one which is called “six by six” in future grades. Other than giving the Golden Dawn a masonic step it does not need, the symbolism is pointless. Even if the fact that you have stepped into the temple was worthwhile recognising as a symbolic act, bringing the other left up for “six by six” is an invitation for a snooze. There is no being, astral, or otherwise which wants to see you symbolically made a step and then, with all the smug manner of someone who feels that they have got another grade, bring the other leg up. Even if this were a symbol on all Egyptian statues (it isn’t… they all lead with the left leg because offerings were usually put on the left side.) then it still needs to have a meaning.

The Sash: In the early Golden Dawn you should show up at meeting naked but for your sash and still get in.  Not that anyone tried, but you didn’t need a robe and could wear your street clothes. But really this masonic piece of regalia is one of the most useless things to come out of the Golden Dawn. Before the invention of velcro it would fall off your shoulders and had all of the magical impact of Scout badges. More ink has been wasted on the colours of the damn things than is justified and, after you have done a grade you have to sew on some more.  Magically it shows what has been stamped into your sphere of sensation by the ritual. But that should be a private thing, it is not and should not be used to show that you are something better than someone who has not got orange strips on theirs. When officers wear theirs, it magically confuses the person with their role. So, if the Kerux has their 4=7 stripes, it means that the candidate confuses that grade with the officer (who is actually a 2=9).  If the officers take them off, then why does everyone else bother wearing them? In sort, it is masonic baggage (in my view they should be presented at the initiation and never seen again).

Rather than looking for more meanings here than there need to be it is best just to accept that they are masonic baggage which have not much use.  For what it is worth most these are still used in MOAA, but are seen for what they are – historical baggage.

And before someone complaints that I am being anti-masonic… I am not. I am just saying that there are limits to masonic mimicking which is required by a proper magical order.

The Hegemon’s wand and religion

A magician without a religion is like a Roman Catholic priest who spends his spare time fiddling with kids – they may say they are following Jesus, their job might be helping Christians, but at the end of the day they are just an evil paedophile who wears a dress to cover their crimes.

Religion is an unpopular subject among magicians. They see religion as the cause of a lot of the world’s problems, forgetting that most of those problems are caused by humans rather than the religion they follow. If humans had no gods they would be fighting wars over who owned the correct smartphone (if you follow tech sites you will discover that Nvidia and AMD fans have been having wars for the 30 years). Humans do not need Gods to have silly wars. Some magicians think they can get away without God. But religion serves a function which is vital to a magician’s progress.

The religion of the Magician

A magician must have a religion, because the most important magical path is to develop a relationship with divinity and work with it. The name of that divinity is unimportant, neither is how you work with it. What is important is that you see it in a way that you can believe and follow the concepts which are defined by it. To be fair, one thing that a Magician must know is that their religion is not exclusive, even if that is one of that religion’s central premises. Nor can they act like that religion is the only one. However, they must still believe in something much bigger than themselves.
Hegemon and religion

The Golden Dawn has an officer called the Hegemon, who guides the candidate through most of the outer order. They hold a mitre-headed wand which symbolises religion which the Hegemon says, “Guides and Regulates life.” She is a symbol of balance, so the implication is that she is the balanced application of religion. She also does not say what religion in fact later the candidate is told all religion holds a spark of the Divine God and all must be held in reverence.

What this means is that the balanced approach to religion acts as a guide for magicians when there is training, and if you look at the function of the Hegemon through-out the outer order rituals you will see that her function is vital. A candidate without a religion cannot even get into the Temple, let alone face most of the tests and trials of the path.

God’s face is not your own

The first and most important thing about religion is that it provides a basic face for the occult teaching to express itself. It tells you that this face is God and you must see yourself in the light of that being. Without an external face, it is human nature to see themselves as the god of their own universe. While there is some measure of truth behind this, the magician is no more the totality of god than the nail of my big toe is all of me. We are sparks of that central fire which is God. Religion correctly teaches however that there is a separation between that unity which needs to be overcome. Without religion, the central problem behind magic rears its ugly head – narcissism and megalomania.

Rules

Religion gives rules. Some of these rules might be silly but the magician looks to understand the reality behind them. Christians and modern pagans are fond of laughing at Jews and Muslims for banning bacon, forgetting only Nicene Christianity, has no restriction on kinds of animals that can be eaten.

Pagans also forget that one of the few things we know about Celtic religion is that people often declared certain foods out-of-bounds. Cú Chulainn was forbidden to eat dog meat. Pythagorians were not allowed to eat beans.

While Christians object to Islamic killing of livestock, it is unchristian to have bloody meat a practice that both Jewish and Islamic methods of slaughter also prescribe. But this is the extreme end of religion, which the Hegemon wishes to avoid. One avoids eating pork in the Middle East because it was often infected with human diseases and they tended to be seen as a portable sewerage treatment plant. But the weird Eastern prohibitions are not the real rules which a religion provides. Most of the rules that a religion gives you enable you to survive in a material society without stepping on too many toes. Most religions demand, for example, that it is not ok to kill another person. Another set of rules which are useful to a magician are religious worship rules.

While the rules which make a religion unpopular they offer a focus or discipline to daily life which many magicians still mimic even if they are unaware of it. The morning, noon and sunset salutes, practiced by many magicians is a standard religious practice and for a similar reason. The practice of offerings, which is suddenly fashionable amongst magicians is also religious. The reason we follow it though is forcing ourselves to follow a regular practice in which we acknowledge divinity. We can’t do that if we don’t have a divinity.

Moral conduct

Moral conduct is close to being universal and this is thanks to religion being an important part of human society. While Christians and Muslims have issues about how those morals are expressed they have similar concepts. In fact, when Christianity had the same level of control over its population that some Muslim states have now, it was doing the same things that we find objectionable in Saudi-Arabia. Once a religion has political power this function becomes impossible. Once morals are defined by the state, moral failure must be legally treated. For example, I do not park on double yellow lines, not because I am especially moral, but because I don’t want a parking ticket. Morality has been lost.
A magician wants to be the best person they can be. Sure they know they fail, but they must always try. That moral code is very often defined for them by the religion they follow – even if it an ideal.

Reforming the religion

The Rosicrucian manifestos talked about religious reformation and this has been mistakenly used to to talk about protestant versus Catholicism. What each magician does is that they reform their religion until it fits better with the image of god they are working with. This means that they take the most important aspects of that religion and work outwards from that. So, a Christian magician would look at concepts like compassion, and non-judgement and decide that homophobia is not an important part of their Christianity. A Muslim might consider devotion to Allah as the most important thing and dietary or dress code unimportant. This has already happened with Pagans who have already discovered that what you sacrifice is less important than the act itself.

One thing I have noticed since adopting a pagan approach to religion is that I have ended up following a daily pattern of work which is JUST religious. I light candles to different gods and an invoke them. The purpose of this is not magical, as such. It is using a regular rite to connect to the Gods so that when I do need to invoke them, they are not strangers. They know I respect them because every week I have done a little ritual doing just that. It is not worship, really, but it is religion.

Dark of the Golden Dawn

Most people coming into the Golden Dawn talk about it being “light,” “nice” and “spiritual”, when actually the outer order is dark giant skip packed full of rubbish which the candidate has to sort out within five initiations.

Modern GD groups make a great deal of the outer order grades, and they are vital for the process that the system starts in a magician before they start to handle the heavy lifting magical work of the second order.

For a while I have wondered why it was that people join the Golden Dawn only to leave while in the outer order. Of course, you could argue that the “golden dawn was not for them” but actually those who leave often make right angled choices and go into much different fields or pack in the magical path completely. I have yet to see someone depart the Golden Dawn and head into an edgier form of magic. It is more likely that they will head to something safer which takes them away from their pain.

I have written before about how the different outer order initiations effect the candidate. This could be positive, but is more likely to be a negative reaction to the energies of the grade or the ritual.  In the HOGD the 1=10 tended to hit a person’s finances, in MOAA the 2=9 always hits males who have problems with women, the 3=8 creates pressures on relationships etc. I have been told off by the leaders of some GD groups for saying this, because they claim that THEIR candidates only have wonderful experiences in the grades and I must be doing something wrong.  After years of thinking about this I have decided that I probably am right and I am going to come out and say it.

The Outer Order is where candidates process their dark.

Everything about the outer order rituals is about light dawning in the dark, but if you read the script there is an awful lot of darkness.  This effect is probably missed because most modern GD groups meet during the day and don’t memorise their scripts. However, the original GD (and Whare Ra) had most of its rituals conducted in semi-darkness –  just enough so you did not trip over. Things like the tablets were lit by single candles and there was a dull light from the Dias.

Lots of lines within the rituals are about the dark. The 0=0 which is the template for the Outer Order theme talks of “coming forth from an abyss of darkness” the ritual pattern is of a journey through the dark lit by a single lamp.  This is hardly the good and wholesome light which is much talked about.  In the grades the same thing applies, much of the temple is in darkness most of the time. Diagrams, movements emerge from the Darkness and retreat backwards.  The candidate and most of the officers wear black. Even the Hierophant’s red robe would also would also appear dark.  In fact, this is a good reason that the diagrams were all black and white. You could not make out colour in the gloom. Only the white of the Hegemon, the religious impulse standards out with any certainty.

A spiral caused by a sparkler in the dark

The candidate is told that the outer order is all about the black pillar and they are in the dark moving towards the light.  This is where the rubbish I was talking about earlier comes in.  Each of us has stuff within our unconscious which is baggage to be processed in our life. It is not meant to be overcome, it just is and we have to work out ways to live with it. As the light of the ritual shines in darkness it picks out those parts of ourselves which are either repressed or stunted by our life. These then shamble from the dark cave of our unconscious like shades from the underworld. Each grade picks out another monster (or several) to deal with. In most cases this is not a problem, but in other situations the monsters can be too scary. The candidate either breaks down, or runs away. This running is normally done by projection. It was the Order that produced this mess, therefore there must be something wrong with the leader, or the Order. If the group is good, then it provides the support for the candidate and helps them to come to terms with their dark.  They are unable to do so the person flees into their own personal shadowlands, often loudly berating the group they have left. Note, I am not saying that leaving a group is a sign that you have failed to deal with your stuff. There are loads of reasons to leave a group ranging from the leader being the occult equivalent of Donald Trump, a con-person or a front for a terror group, but if the group was good BEFORE you took the grade then you need to look at what has changed your mind.

quote-i-wear-my-shadows-where-they-re-harder-to-see-but-they-follow-me-everywhere-i-guess-bruce-cockburn-73-7-0792This process is terrifying, but still desirable for those who want to deal with the harder magic of the second order.  The light which in the first order gently picks out monsters one at a time, whereas the second order flicks the lights on in the cave and activates many of the unconscious bugbears all at once.  The light of the First Order is more like a bright sparkler than a defuse beam, it comes into the temple from the east and spirals clockwise three times as it lifts up the supernal triangle. It is the sort of light which looks bright only because everything else is dark.  In the darkness we process.

129raccoonThe outer order candidate should see themselves like a racoon in a dumpster.  Sure they wash (purify and consecrate) their paws, but they are still dealing with their rubbish and they should acknowledge that is what they are fearlessly doing.  One of the most important lines in the 0=0 is that you should not give into fear. In your personal dark you learn to be the best version of yourself possible. If you tremble at the monsters in the cave, or get turned to stone by your personal medusas you will have no chance when you meet the gods, angels and demons of the second order. For this reason, seeing and comprehending that light which flashes through the outer order and the demons it reveals is all part of the process.

The dark of the outer order is a two-way street. When officers take roles in an outer order ritual, their darkness also comes out. Many Golden Dawn hierophants convinced by the fact that they “are only using light” and projecting an air of benign goodness should realise that when the light comes from the East into the place of darkness it comes through them and projects their darkness on the whole temple. Their shadows can become projected onto the candidate and indeed the whole temple. There is one group which has a “lineage” of teachers using their power to sleep with their students going back at least four lines and growing. Sure the ritual has safeguards against this in the form of the purification and consecration, but there are limits.  Often those who fail to acknowledge their own darkness start to change in response to the light. People who start good, or at least having the right intentions, end up becoming twisted ego-maniacs, others, like Christina Stoddard become progressively crazy and paranoid.

All this is because the outer order rituals are dark ride through the underworld which must be navigated before the White Pillar of the second order can be touched. In the outer order, the candidate then has to wear their darkness with pride.

 

 

Charlene’s “I’ve been to the 5=6 but I’ve never been to me”

When I was 14 there was a terrible song called “I have been to Paradise but I’ve Never been to Me” about a woman who had an interesting life but after living it to the full claims she would have rather have been a housewife  stayed at home and had a couple of kids.  It was a song designed for parody and I wrote one which was my party song for a while.  I can unfortunately remember the lyrics and they were rather rude and not particularly good Perigrine Wildoak reminded me of the song the other day and I had another go at the lyrics only this time with a Golden Dawn theme.

Consider it channelled by a secret chief called Charlene.

 

Never been to me

 

Hey Frater, you did it, got into the 5=6

You did the outer order, and wrote your portal thesis

I’ve no doubt you think about the things you’ll can’t do

But I wish someone had told me what I’m gonna tell you

 

I had a mental disorder in the outer order, because my group was poorly run

It followed Regardie and was far too tardy but thought it was number one

But it got in a jam and ran out of diagrams in the middle of the 3=8

I’ve been to 5=6, but I’ve never been to me

 

So Frater, please, Frater, don’t just walk away

The Outer order is not everything about the Golden Dawn today

I know that you want so much to see grades and funny robes

But it is a short step from that to worshipping cats and believing in alien probes

 

No one gets out of bed for the Table of Shewbread

And don’t talk to me about geomancy

People get bored with the Flaming Sword and the symbol of Venus on the Tree

People take fright with the body of light

and no one follows contacts

I’ve been to the 5=6 but I’ve never been to me

 

Hey, you know the second order is? It’s a lie. A fantasy we create about

People and places as we’d like them to be. But you know what truth is?

Truth is those uneven paving stones that the council put there to trip up blind people.

It’s that person who was your best friend on facebook

Who is now calling you the anti-Christ.

Because you said something bad about Crowley

 

I’ve seen total fails over magic and chem trails

And the logic has got me beat

There are plenty of fools who have made their tools and think they are pretty neat

They spend their life looking for faults in the colours of the vault

But its not my cup of tea

I’ve been to the 5=6, but I’ve never been to me

I’ve been to 5=6, never been to me

 

 

If you are fortunate never to have heard the song here it is… Sadly this version does not have the terrible spoken bit in the middle.

 

WHY YOU NEVER SAY YOUR GRADE PUBLICALLY

The latest issue of Watchers of the Dawn  brings up an interesting issue of what happens when you tell other people your Grade.

This week both Martin Thibeault and David Griffin announced that they held high Golden Dawn grades. Martin said he was a 9=2 and David said that his order offered teaching up to 10=1 (which implies he holds that grade).

Normally no one ever talks about their grade outside their order. There are two reasons for this. One is that people, like Watchers, will say that you are claiming to hold a grade which you cannot remotely have the spiritual experience for and they would equally question your motivation for claiming it.

Martin points out that the grades are “administration only” and such a practice was common in Whare Ra and he would be absolutely correct. However I doubt anyone in Whare Ra knew that the high grades existed. They were shown a plan of the third order in Portal, but the Third Order was seen as being packed with secret chiefs and gods.

Given the status of those grades and the climate of secrecy that existed within Whare Ra it is incredibly unlikely that anyone knew that John Von Dadleson was a 9=2 and he would have been the last person in the world to post that fact on Facebook.

This gets to the core of why people do not publically talk about their grades. People have no reference point. BOTA, for example only goes to 5=6 and gives an administration grade of 7=4 to its supreme chief. In his book True and Invisible Order Paul Case makes the 9=2 a supreme being. HOGD stops at 7=4 and leaves the candidate to find their own way to 8=3, which it does not acknowledge.

We are not comparing like with like either. A 5=6 in the HOGD has gone through a different system of experiences, testing and training that someone in MOAA. That is not saying that one is better than the other but it means that we both have different ideas about what the word means.

So me telling you what grade I am will not give you any indication of what I am or what true grade I hold. However it might allow you to project your own fantasies about what that grade might hold onto me. Thus me telling you is either ego or a marketing tool.

Martin denied he released this information for egotistical reasons, it was just to show that he was Pat Zalewski’s appointed successor and held all the appropriate grades. That would be fair enough, however it is not quite how I would have done it.

Watchers are right in this respect – it smacks of the people who used to scream “look at me” on alt.magick in the 1990s. Grades and declarations do not cut it anymore than that old bugbear — lineage.

What was crucial for Pat’s 7=4 grade was not just that he was given it by one of the greatest Magicians that Whare Ra produced, or even that that grade was acknowledged by other Whare Ra people, but the books and papers he wrote that proved he was worthy of holding those grades.

With respect to Martin, no one outside of his own group knows him beyond these pronouncements of high grades. To outsiders his “achievements” are not his own but someone else’s. Until we see books, web postings, from Martin which are the same calibre of Pat’s we will assume that he is a Mina Mathers to succeed Samuel.

This is not a criticism of Martin at all, but a statement of fact about the way the occult community works.  It is a community packed full of people who say things and very few who do things.  Those who do things get more respect than those who say stuff.

The only way you can get around this is by releasing material to the esoteric community that shows where you are coming from.

It is fine if you don’t want that, but you can’t advertise your grades and special privilege if you don’t, because people like Watchers will be there with hobnail boots on.