Mishkan ha-Echad

Monday, 8 August 2011

A Cursory Look At The Vault Walls

Jupiter Wall of Magical Order of Aurora Aurea Vault

Initiation in the Inner Order takes place within the illustrious and mysterious Vault of the Adepts, a Golden Dawn recreation of the mythical resting place of Christian Rosenkreuz.

At first glance at the walls of the Vault it might look like a seemingly random series of mystical symbols, including Hebrew letters, astrological glyphs, and alchemical icons. However, it's really a simple and logical array of some of the most potent forces we deal with as magicians.

First, let's deal with the Hebrew letters, which are found within squares with a border. These are the first letters of the names of the Sephiroth, and their placement mirrors that on the Tree of Life. So, the square in the centre of the second line contains Kaph for Kether, the two on the line below are Beth for Binah and Cheth for Chokmah, and so on.

Above the Kaph square is the symbol for Spirit, which is a fairly common sense placement, given the position of the Ain Aoph Aur, etc. above Kether. On either sides of this symbol are the glyphs of the Kerubim, in order of elemental progression up the Tree from right to left: Taurus (Bull - Earth), Aquarius (Man - Air), Scorpio (Eagle - Water), and Leo (Lion - Fire).

These four symbols are replicated further down on the fifth line from the top, where the more familiar astrological symbol for Scorpio is employed. These represent the astrological powers, compared to the Kerubic forces at the top.

The rest of the astrological symbols can be found on the final two lines, on either side of the Hebrew letters Yod (for Yesod) and Mem (for Malkuth). These are placed in the same elemental order as the Kerubic or Fixed Signs, with all the Cardinal ones on the second last line and all the Mutable ones on the last line.

The planetary symbols for Tiphareth (Sol) and Yesod (Luna) are found directly above their Hebrew letter square. The symbol for Saturn is above Sol, mirroring its placement on the Hexagram and its mystical relationship with Da'ath (which borrows its Divine Names from Binah).

The remaining planetary symbols are found directly to the side of the Sephirothic squares, Mars next to Gimel (Geburah), Jupiter next to Cheth (Chesed), Mercury next to Heh (Hod), and Venus next to Nun (Netzach).

The remaining symbols are found directly beneath the Kerubic ones at the top. On the right-hand side there are the three primary elements: Water, Air and Fire. Note the placement of the Water triangle beneath the Water Kerub and the Fire triangle beneath the Fire Kerub, but also note how Air is placed between the two, not below Fire, since it is the reconciler between these two extremes.

On the other side there are the three alchemical symbols of Sulphur, Salt and Mercury. Note the placement of Salt beneath Earth and Mercury beneath Air, with Sulphur on the next line, which matches the placement of Fire across the way.

For a look at the colours on these walls check out this post by Nick Farrell and, of course, the Book of the Tomb.

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