Mishkan ha-Echad

Friday, 24 February 2012

The Bare Minimum

Students of the Golden Dawn system are required to learn the Knowledge Lectures to pass their exam. The information in these is valuable, but it is, in all honesty, relatively scant. Someone with a good memory could easily cram this into their mind within a day or two and then regurgitate it onto their exam paper.

Initiates are also expected to learn key parts of their initiation ritual, including the roles of officers, their godforms, how many divisions the ritual is made into, and so forth. This is probably the more difficult part, but could also be learned in a relatively short period of time.

There are also a number of side lectures that are given out in each grade, most of which provide valuable information, yet many of which are extremely dated and somewhat limited in scope. Modern orders usually expand upon these, either by literally editing the papers or by adding new ones of their own.

All of this, along with the required daily ritual and practical work, is the bare minimum expected of an initiate. It is the launching pad, the starting point, not the entirety of what an aspiring adept should be doing.

Ideally a magician should be doing more. They should be seeking out information and insight, and going beyond what is expected of them. This is the mark of an adept in my eyes, as it shows an independent mind, a drive and willingness to learn and do, a magical maturity that shows that they do not need to be spoon-fed their lessons throughout the grades.

Of course, it is important that these extra-curricular activities are not taken at the expense of the minimum knowledge and practice required within an Order, as this would amount to neglecting the primary duty of study and a failure to do the work that was agreed during the oath.

If an initiate wants more out of magic, they must give more. One drop of blood will pay back tenfold in knowledge. One bead of sweat in practice will result in a downpour of experience and insight in ritual. The bare minimum will provide some of this, but at some stage we have to go beyond it.

For example, instead of just learning the list of Hebrew letters in the Neophyte grade, why not try to understand them? Intellectually speaking, the Neophyte can research their correspondences, while practically he or she can meditate on or skry the letters, giving a personal insight and experience that will make those letters meaningful - and help prevent the valuable occult information from being forgotten.

Aim high and even if you fail to meet those goals you will learn and do and grow well beyond that which can happen with just the bare minimum. Push the boundaries of your knowledge and experience and you will realise just how far you can go, just how much you really know, and just how close you are to becoming more than human.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Poetry: Man or Myth

Mere man or myth, their whispers trickle down
From times where what was real is now but mist.
We, servants of the path, must see their crown,
Yet, in truth, we know not that they exist.

Some say that they are sages from the past,
That they bear secret teachings for the soul.
Despite the threat of time they do outlast
And keep as comfort their cold heart's control.

Others speak of meetings on astral plane,
Where beings have no flesh in which to dwell.
They are real or just part of our own brain.
It matters not; we are under their spell.

Perhaps they are but form to that fair light
That all upon this path see in their life.
In place of angels we now have a blight
That sets our brothers deep in endless strife.

And hidden in the depths of our own mind
Are what we want to see, and hear, and know.
These silent masters are so hard to find,
And in their place there's little we can show.

Magicians mutter what they think is real;
Azazel takes his place across the land.
Whenever we lose grip upon the wheel
We use this slight to mind, this sleight of hand.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Fuelling Magic with Emotion

One of the keys to a successful ritual is the use of emotion. If the prayers and invocations are read in a dreary, boring way it will have little effect upon you or those around you. Good acting depends on emotion and it can cause significant changes in us and how we perceive the world.

Emotion is the Force with which we fill the Form of magic. It is the Will that directs and guides, activating and bringing to life the Imagination. It is what makes godforms come to life and charges our talismans, including the Candidate in an initiation ceremony. It is, in essence, what makes it all work, what turns the cogs of the magical universe.

Buried emotion can be a particularly powerful treasure trove that can be channelled for a productive end in magic. Ignored and unattended it is like a nuclear bomb waiting to go off, but it does not have to be this grim. If it is tapped into and directed towards a magical goal it can become like a nuclear power station, providing immense amounts of energy, fuelling and powering our Will.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Qlippoth and the Golden Dawn

The Qlippoth ("shells") are an area of Golden Dawn study and practice that is often ignored or glossed over. Working with the darker aspects of the universe and ourselves are something that most Right Hand Path magicians want little to do with.

And yet it is an essential part of the ultimate ascent up the Tree. We cannot, for example, fully understand Geburah, in particular, if we do not understand the Qlippoth. We are also missing a key to the puzzle of all the Sephiroth by not understanding what went wrong with the Breaking of the Vessels.

The Qlippothic forces are the extremes. They are what happens when balance is not reached or kept. Therefore we inadvertently encounter them throughout our path, and particularly in the Golden Dawn system in those grades that are not on the Middle Pillar, and yet also in every grade when we get too little or too much of an element, planetary power, etc.

The Qlippoth are parts of us and parts of the universe that are not as they should be. They are what went wrong, what is going wrong, and what might go wrong in the future. They are evil, the potential for evil, and good brought to such an extreme that it has become a new evil of its own.

During some work with the archangel Gabriel he showed me his role as lord over the Qlippoth. He told me that he stands in the West, the place of the Hiereus, because it is there he watches over and guards against the Multitudes. He is the key into our subconscious and also our guide for working with Qlippothic forces.

Gabriel attributed Qlippothic work to the 6=5 grade, which applies with the role of Geburah as the source of evil in Qabalistic tradition. The 4=7 grade receives a dim reflection of these forces within the Outer Order, and this is the grade attributed to the office of Hiereus. In a sense the Hiereus protects against the Qlippoth at the Western part of Malkuth on the temple floor, the place that is the Kether of the Qlippothic Tree, and yet also protects the Outer Order against the Qlippothic forces that emanate from Geburah.

Gabriel can show several techniques for Qlippothic work, most of which are understandably risky and quite terrifying to even think about, let alone actually do, but he also works as a protector, a shield against the shadow, a light within the darkness.

Personally I liken some of this work to the binding of Cacodaemons in the Enochian system, an equally ignored area, and yet a very powerful one. I plan to publish a full technique and guide for such Cacodaemon work in Enochian Magic in Practice, hopefully later this year.

Unfortunately a number of Golden Dawn orders and temples have axed or ignored Qlippothic work, fearful of what it entails. A great deal of caution needs to be applied to even studying these forces, of course, let alone working with them, but that is no reason to completely avoid the subject altogether - a subject that was part of the original Golden Dawn syllabus, even if only in a cursory form.

I think part of of the misunderstanding comes from the forbidding of "evil magic" in the 0=0 Oath, which some magicians think entails any and all Qlippothic work. Of course, there are some who work with the Qlippoth in the sense of black magic, to cause injury and harm to others, and so forth, but this is actually allowing that Qlippothic force to have power over the magician, rather than balancing it within themselves.

Some people think they need to work with the Qlippoth in the sense of making pacts with demons, but that is not true at all. The point is to understand, bind and balance them, and most of this work takes place internally, even if it involves an external demonstration through ritual magic.

As Gabriel indicated, this is high grade work and requires lots of preparation, which comes from prior initiations, lots of personal magical and spiritual work, and a healthy dose of introspection. It is not for the faint-hearted, nor the untested, and it has just as much power to destroy a magician who does not watch where they tread as it has to bring about a greater balance within them.

For those who are truly ready, however, it can prove very rewarding.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Table of Contents for Enochian Magic in Theory


Chapter I: Dee & Kelley
Chapter II: The Magic of the Angels
Chapter III: The Enochian Language
Chapter IV: Liber Loagaeth
Chapter V: The Stone & the Ring
Chapter VI: The Sigillum Dei Aemeth
Chapter VII: The Table of Practice
Chapter VIII: The Lamen
Chapter IX: The Bonorum
Chapter X: The Tablet of Nalvage
Chapter XI: The Great Table
Chapter XII: The Governors & Parts of the Earth
Chapter XIII: The Aethyrs
Chapter XIV: The Calls

Appendix I: Enochian Gematria
Appendix II: Enochian Dictionary

There's still copies of the Limited Hardback Edition left, so make sure to pre-order!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Book of the Concourse of the Watchtowers

Sandra Tabatha Cicero's book on Westcott's Enochian Tablets, with many previously unpublished GD documents, is available for purchase:

It looks like an excellent contribution to both Golden Dawn and Enochian studies, and I look forward to reading it. Expect a review on this blog some time in the near future.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Ruby Tablet, Vol. I, No. 1

The first issue of The Ruby Tablet is out, compiled and edited by Darcy Kuntz.

There are some reprints of articles from old esoteric journals and some previously unpublished papers. For example, this launch issue features the GD Azoth paper.

Darcy isn't charging for this, but he is accepting donations, which I heartily recommend (what's $5 out of your pocket anyway?), particularly as it will ensure future issues of this important contribution to esoteric publications.

Note: File opens as PDF.