Mishkan ha-Echad

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Book Review: The Book of the Concourse of the Watchtowers

The Book of the Concourse of the Watchtowers by Sandra Tabatha Cicero presents a new layer to the Golden Dawn's Enochian teachings, revealing the set of Watchtower Tablets that Westcott was working on, and exploring the importance of colour magic within the order.

This book details Tabatha's explorations of the Westcott Tablets in considerable detail, providing both the appropriate colours from the order's four colour scales and the relevant sigils for the Tablet of Union squares.

The book begins with a brief and lucid introduction to both Enochian magic in general and the Golden Dawn's application of it. A lot of time is then devoted to the use of colour, which the original order considered to be one of the most vital and secret teachings it had.

Tabatha then provides colour keys and formulae for painting a set of Westcott Tablets, saving fellow magicians many hours of work. The inclusion of colour plates to show the Watchtowers in their full beauty is another valuable addition, as is Tabatha's provision of a PDF file of these Tablets, Enochian Chess boards, etc.

Golden Dawn magician Olen Rush provides an intriguing chapter on the Convoluted Forces and their relation to the Westcott Tablets. Even if the Enochian element is removed, this is an interesting and illuminating read on one of the more, shall we say, convoluted aspects of the order's teachings.

This book is primarily a presentation of the material relating to Westcott's Tablets, leaving the exploration of them up to the reader. This is not surprising, given that this is a new area of Golden Dawn research and practice, and we will likely see further revelations about this subject in years to come.

Tabatha has also contributed to the wider field of Golden Dawn material by printing some previously unpublished documents, including the colour notes from Sub Spe (Brodie-Innes) and Sapientia Sapienti Dono Data (Farr), a slew of Theoricus Adeptus Minor papers (The Ring & Disc, the Tripod, the True System of Astrological Divination, and a paper on the Convoluted Forces), and finally Mathers' 6=5 ceremony.

This book is a valuable addition to the bookshelf of any Golden Dawn student. The Westcott Tablets or the unpublished papers on their own would have been worth the money, but Tabatha provides both in what will undoubtedly become essential reading material for higher grades. 

In her epilogue she highlights how these recent findings in Golden Dawn magic show that there are areas of the system that have not yet been explored, or barely so, and that the system that some consider outdated is still unfolding to us like a lotus flower, providing new material for a living, growing tradition.

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