The Golden Dawn’s LVX formula
The Golden Dawn’s LVX formula

The Golden Dawn’s LVX formula

The LVX formula (or analysis of the Keyword) is a key part of the Golden Dawn system of magic. It “calls down the light” into a working and animates thought-forms, symbols and geometric shapes.  Over the years it has been proven to work, but there are some intellectual holes in the process which make somethings redundant and others clumsy or wrong. So let’s look at the formula (I am ignoring the signs and gestures shown left) because they are not relevant to my argument:


Yod, Nun, Resh, Yod

The sign of Osiris Slain

L – the Sign of Mourning Isis

V – the sign of Typhon and Apophis

X- the sign of Osiris risen

L.V.X Lux, the light of the cross!

Virgo, Isis, Mighty Mother

Scorpio, Apophis Destroyer

Sol Osiris Slain and Risen

Isis, Apophis, Osiris

(the spirit Enochian names are invoked to equilibrate the force)

Let the Divine White Brilliance Descend


In short

The LVX formula is a short hand version of the 5=6 ritual which starts with three officers representing the divine name IAO cause the light to descend on the candidate.   INRI refuses to the candidate bound on the cross of suffering and becoming Osiris Slain. The candidate is shown the door of Light (LVX) the forces which resurrect Osiris are applied and the Divine White Brilliance descends



INRI was the form placed above the Cross of Jesus of Nazereth.  It is short for “IESUS NAZARENUS REX Iudaeorum” meaning in English “Jesus of Nazareth, King of Jews.”  John 19:20 states that this was written in three languages — Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. But if you translate INRI into Greek you would get the initials ΙΝBΙ, standing for Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ναζωραῖος ὁ Bασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων. The “traditional” translation into Hebrew is ישוע הנצרי ומלך היהודים this would actually give the acromion Yod, Heh, Vav, Heh but before anyone gets excited this is because the words Jesus of Nazareth, King of Jews are not exactly translated. Our YHVH translation is Hebrew for “Jesus the Nazarite and King of the Jews” and a more accurate rendering would be ישוע מנצרת, מלך היהודים Yod, Mem, Mem, Heh. Either way the Hebrew keyword is a mess and does not reach the place that Mathers or Westcott intended. This idea that Yod, Nun, Resh, Yod could be used in this way was found in esoteric masonry in a paper by Israel Regardie.  The positive side of the issue is that it matches the rest of the GD’s magical system, the bad side is that it is based on a faulty premise.

To be fair although it is part of the 5=6 ritual it is chopped from most people’s performance of the LVX ritual and often forgotten.


Regardie quotes 777 as the source that Apophis represents “death,” and equates to Typhon in the Egyptian myths.  However Apophis was not part of the Isis and Osiris myth. His role in Egyptian magic was not that of the destroyer “which was appropriate for Set/ Typhon but that of the grand oppose to all creation.  He was not so much death as “total oblivion” and “raw chaos.”  The temple of Karnak was dedicated to doing hourly workings to make sure that Apophis was weakened enough for Ra to defeat him.  Death was a good thing, Apophis had no redeeming qualities. Apophis was never worshipped (other than by the Hykos but that is another story) and was despised as the opposite to Maat and creation.  His main rival was not Isis or Osiris, but Ra.  The effect of Apophis is to wink out existence and were it not for the actions of Ra everything would cease to be.  Mention of his name in this formula has always bothered me. It was too powerful for the middle of the formula and unbalances it – Isis and Osiris cannot contain Apophis energy.

Set/Typhon does fit all the attributions given in the formula.  He was worshipped and was never quite the devil of the Egyptian pantheon,  If Set-Typhon were restored then the issue goes away completely (as he is only mentioned by name twice (once association with Typhon and once by himself).

It is referring to Set-Typhon and it seems that he has been bought in as replacement because his greek name started with the letter A and Set-Typhon did not.  We will get to this unnecessary red-herring later.

The light of the Cross

This phrase, which is usually accompanied by the magician standing in the sign of the cross, or visualising a golden cross is odd because it does not come from the bible.  While it is common in late Christian terminology the phrase does not work in the same way that the Kybalion fails to comprehend real magic or hermetic religion. In the Christian tradition, the Cross does not cast any light (it is a symbol of darkness as a polarity to the resurrection which is the point of light). For this reason, the phrase “light of the cross” is not mentioned in the New Testament.

What is being referred to here is how LVX is made from three crosses. It comes from the 5=6 ritual where the candidate is shown the door of the vault and told that the after 120 years “the Light of the Cross will arise.”

The light of the cross (the sign of Osiris Slain) does not need to be performed because this part of the ritual mimics the explanation the candidate receives before the door. It is a statement that the Light is about to manifest. The LVX arm forms are the signs of the crosses. Magicially this is interesting because the LVX sign implies that the “light of the cross” is not static but is moving through three forms.

Isis, Apophis, Osiris and IAO

The writer of the ritual uses Isis Apophis and Osiris because the letters of their names equal the word of power I.A.O.  I.A.O was an important word. Not only was it a replacement for YHVH in the Greek translation of the bible, it was also a divine name for Jupiter, the King of the Gods.  In the so-called Mithras Liturgy IAO is associated with “fire” and “light.” It is the perfect name for “calling down the Divine White Brilliance” (think of Zeus with his lightning bolt)

But the writer of the GD LVX formula either did not know, or ignored the fact that IAO was written I.A.Ω.   Ω is a much different vowel and Osiris’s name was spelt with the letter O (omicron). It is hard to ignore as there was much written in the bible based around this divine name being associated with Ω which was the last letter of the alphabet.  “I” was associated with Christ and the Sun and Alpha was the first letter and Omega was the last.  “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. — Revelation 22:13,

Significantly omega as pronounced like the AW in “law”; while Omicron which was like the long O in “bone.” Ancient Greek Vowels in their long form (which is best for vibration) gives us the Ee (e as in bean) Ah (a as in father)  Ee Ah Aw which is what you would say if the word was spelt I.A.Ω.

This means that the Godforms that the writer of the ritual cannot be defined by the first letter of their name. If Osiris is not spelt Ωsiris then A does not need to be the problematic Apophis and could be the more logical Set-Typhon.

A line could be added to break the association with the first letters of the English so IAΩ is not seen as being connected to the first part.

The Enochian equilibrium

This part of the ritual is undesirable for several reasons.  The “balancing” takes place before the Divine White Brilliance descends. However light does not need to be balanced and its opposite balancing (which would be its  contending force) is darkness and not enochian spirit names.

At this point in the 5=6 the candidate is inside the vault and the elements are on the outside so they have nothing to do this part of the rite.

Drawing it through the tablet of equilibrium will mean that the light is dependent on the elements when it is independent on them. Drawing the light through enochian tablets unnecessarily limits it.

Again, this appears to be a modern innovation probably from Regardie, many traditional Golden Dawn people never heard of it and I cannot find any reference to it in early papers.

A suggestion for tweaking

The ritual might be better with the following changes and it might worth seeing for a while if it improves things.  Notice that these are not HUGE changes


The sign of Osiris Slain

L – the Sign of Mourning Isis

V – the sign of Set-Typhon the destroyer

X- the sign of Osiris risen

L.V.X Lux, the light of the cross!

Virgo, Isis, Mighty Mother

Scorpio, Set-Typhon Destroyer

Sol Osiris Slain and Risen

Isis, Typhon, Osiris

[In the name of Jupiter, Zeus, YHVH][i]

Let the Divine White Brilliance Descend

I.A. Ω. (Ee Ah Aw)

[Vibrate IAΩ three times]

[i] This optional line allows you to take your pick which God you want to be the light bringer.


  1. Geoff

    \\\”INRI refuses to the candidate bound…\\\”
    Could you expound on this a bit?

    I\\\’m also confused by the Westcott/Mathers-Regardie comment. Are you saying Regardie later found the explanation for this choice, which was never existed by Westcott/Mathers?

    The Apophis bit is illuminating, thank you for that.

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