Mishkan ha-Echad

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The Batteries of Knocks

One aspect of the Opening and Closing of each grade in the Golden Dawn is the Battery of Knocks, which is unique for each one and represents its own magical formula applicable to the energies of that grade.

In 0=0 the Battery is !!! (3) or ! ! ! (1 1 1) repeated three times to give three rounds of three, albeit in alternating fashion between the three main officers in the temple, while saying a particular word in the formula, as follows:

Hierophant: ! Khabs
Hiereus: ! Am
Hegemon: ! Pekht

Hiereus: ! Konx
Hegemon: ! Om
Hierophant: ! Pax

Hegemon: ! Light
Hieropahnt: ! In
Hiereus: ! Extension

Chic Cicero wrote a short article on the Neophyte Battery as being a representation of the Qamea of Saturn, which definitely makes sense in terms of its 3X3 pattern and the alternation between the three officers. This three-fold pattern clearly references the White Triangle, which is a symbol of the Supernals and the Light therefrom (which is particularly important for this grade), and Saturn is frequently employed to reference these Supernals, being the closest of them to us (and the only planet related to those Sephiroth). Saturn can also be seen as the "three-fold bondage of Mortality" (represented by the thrice-wrapped Cord about the Neophyte's waist), for he is the planet of bondage and limitations, while Binah herself, as Supernal Mother, is the ultimate source of our mortal and material lives.

The Battery for 1=10 is !!!! !!! !!! (4 3 3), employed by each of the three main officers. This enumerates to 10, the number of Malkuth which this grade is attributed to. It again contains a three-fold nature, referencing the Light once more, albeit the base of the Triangle could be seen to be represented by the unique first round of four knocks, symbolic of the four-fold division of Malkuth.

The Battery for 2=9 is !!! !!! !!! (3 3 3), employed by each of the three main officers. On the surface this appears to have similarities with the 0=0 Battery, but all three rounds are given by a single officer before being repeated by the other two. It also lacks the "Light In Extension" formula. However, the 3X3 nature could still be seen as a reference to Saturn, which is the planet opposite to Luna (the planet of the Theoricus grade) on the Hexagram. The enumeration of 9 is also a reference to the 9th Sephirah to which this grade is attributed. The hidden Light symbolised by 3 is still present.

The Battery for 3=8 is ! !!! ! !!! (1 3 1 3), employed by each of the three main officers. The enumeration of 8 is a clear reference to the 8th Sephirah of Hod to which this grade is attributed. Again, the hidden Light is also present.

The Battery for 4=7 is !!! !!! ! (3 3 1), employed by each of the three main officers. The enumeration of 7 references the 7th Sehirah of Netzach to which this grade is attributed. As above it is divided into rounds of three, with the spare knock left over.

The Battery for Portal is !!!! ! (4 1), employed five times in the order of Chief Adept, Second Adept, Third Adept, Hiereus, and finally Hegemon. This emphasis on 5 references the Quintessence, the fifth element of Spirit to which this grade belongs. The rounds emphasise the four elements and then the one that crowns and unifies them all, bringing them and the initiate into balance. Another Battery, with and without knocks, is employed in the Portal relating to the formula Paroketh, where each of the four Hebrew letters making up that name are stated).

The Battery for 5=6 is ! ! ! ! ! ! (1 1 1 1 1 1), with one round per each of the three officers in an alternating pattern much alike the 0=0:

Chief Adept: !
Second Adept: !
Third Adept: !
Chief Adept: !
Third Adept: !
Second Adept: !

Clearly there is a mystery in their alternation that has yet to be unlocked. What is not a mystery, however, is that the enumeration of the knocks equals 6, the number of the Sephirah of Tiphareth to which this grade is attributed. The alternation between 3 officers again intimates the Light, while the single knock employed by both could be taken as a suggestion of the unity the Adeptus Minor must undertake with his or her Higher Self.

These Batteries, and the many others employed throughout the grades, play a vital role in the initiation ceremonies and the Opening and Closing of each grade. Like many elements of the Golden Dawn system they should not be underestimated, for in them lies a key of great magical potency which allows every initiate to access the energies of these grades long after their own initiations.


Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

Crowley had a whole chapter in Magic: Practice and Theory about the knocks.

The Adept Minor knock is easy to understand once you realize that the officers represent the three polarities of a hexagram.

Dean Wilson said...

Excellent, thank you for the info :)