Hermetic Alchemy And The Golden Dawn

Hermetic Alchemy And The Golden Dawn Image
Pat Zalewski just wrote: I was recently discussing the book Splendor Solis and was asked the usual question of did I have a Mathers copy. The answer is I do not. Ethel Colquhoun mentioned it in Sword of Wisdom and her frustration as to not being able to find a copy. Bob Gilbert hinted he had a copy on his shelf. What intrigued me to this work was that Colquhoun was she associated it to the 22 cards of the tarot.

Overall, I have never been great fan of Mathers alchemical judgment which I thought was superficial at best, based on the use the "Purifying Fire" diagrams in ritual and lack of any real alchemical analysis in the 5=6. Westcott's own work on this is not much better.

In my Kabbalah of the GD book I broke down a 3, 7 and 12 stage alchemy that could be applied to the 22 trumps as I am convinced that was the only sensible way to go in looking at the trumps from a whole alchemical viewpoint. However I have already done an analysis of this book and that is included in my course.

I am sure that in time the Mathers analysis of Splendor Solis will find its way onto the market and when it does it may be a disappointment as to content. Now if Garstin did the analysis then you'd really see something, but he did not.

Out of all the alchemical works, Splendor Solis is something special and I would suggest that GD temples use it in their inner order courses. The best plates are from the British Library but if you are going to do any analysis worthy of the names then bring in earlier and later versions of the plates and contrast them, that is what I did.

Have you got all this Frater SR (Sincerus Renatus)? If you are going to play proctologist you might need a bigger brighter flashlight on your helmet. (Editor's note: I apologize for republishing such vulgarity. Such dripping sarcasm - stock and trade of the GOLDEN DAWN HATFIELD AND MCCOY FEUD - unfortunately continues to distract from legitimate scholarly discourse.)

PatPat Zalewski is on an entirely erroneous track when it comes to alchemical images. It is obvious from the above post that Pat Zalewski is clearly NOT an INITIATE of Hermetic Alchemy.

The error in Pat Zalewski's thinking is attempting to impose a Golden Dawn framework onto enigmatic alchemical images.

Carl Gustav Jung made this same error in his approach to alchemical imagery as well. This approach indeed did provide Jung with much needed justification of his theories of the process of individuation and of the collective unconscious that were not being readily accepted by the scientific community of Jung's time.

This also led Jung, however, to completely false conclusions about the true nature of Hermetic alchemy, which has nothing to do with any sort of psychological individuation process.

Hermetic Alchemy, in truth, instead deals with the cultivation of a "Body of Glory" or "Solar Body of Light" (Gold), which is created through the transmutation of the "Prima Materia", the matter of the physical body (Lead). The goal of this "Opus Magnum" is for the alchemist to separate his or her consciousness from the physical body at the moment of death, and to project it into this "Solar Body of Light," thus becoming consciously immortal in the Solar dimension that exists at the speed of light.The transmutation of this "Lead" into "Gold" is accomplished by "cooking" the "Prima Materia" with the subtle fires of the body itself, the most powerful of which are love and sexuality.This central role of love and sexuality, male and female, Sun and Moon, in spiritual development using Hermetic Alchemy, combined with the Holy Inquisition of the Roman Catholic church, is one essential reason why the true nature of Hermetic Alchemy has been kept the most carefully guarded secret of the Western mystery tradition for nearly 2,000 years.

Thus, the fallacy that Pat Zalewski has fallen into, is precisely the same trap that Jung fell into as well, and for precisely the same reason - namely that Mr. Zalewski is trying to use alchemical images to justify his personal theories about the Golden Dawn.

I can assure you that the images of the Splendor Solis have nothing to do with the 22 trumps of the Tarot.

In fact, the series of images of the Splendor Solis actually describe how to achieve immortality and how to cultivate of a Solar Body of Light.

Each image describes in precise detail - specific techniques to be used at each step of the way - albeit in a manner that is only intelligible to an INITIATE of Hermetic Alchemy.

True alchemical knowledge is not based on useless speculation about Tarot Cards or Unconscious archetypes.

Hermetic Alchemy is a powerful INITIATIC tradition - and its understanding has been faithfully transmitted from Alchemical Master to Apprentice for over two Millennia in Europe! Unless one is actually INITIATED into the mysteries Hermetic Alchemy - it is better to merely leave alchemical imagery alone - as the best one can hope for is to come to completely erroneous conclusions - and to become hopelessly lost in the alchemical labyrinth - as is clearly presently the case with Pat Zalewksi.

There is indeed a relationship between Hermetic Alchemy and the Golden Dawn. Hermetic Alchemy permeates the entire symbolis, grade rituals, and magical system of the Golden Dawn. It is, however, the true practices of Hermetic Alchemy, known only to INITIATES of the highest grades of the Golden Dawn (unavailable to Pat Zalewski) that reveal the true meanings of the rites and practices of the Golden Dawn.

It is certainly not the other way around as Pat Zalewski is attempting - to justify his personal theories about the rites and practices of the Golden Dawn using the enigmatic images of Hermetic Alchemy. In so doing, Pat Zalewski is going about things completely backwards. He is putting the proverbial cart before the ox - so to say.It is only the alchemical Master that can unfold the mysteries of Hermetic Alchemy before the eyes of the Apprentice - and for the Profane and Unitiated these mysteries shall forever remain a book sealed with seven seals - for they look but do not see.

Truly I say unto you - as the Hermetic sages have said before me - that for the profane and the uninitiated:


G.H. Frater Lux Ex Septentrionis
Imperator Ordinis, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega

"Ex Deo Nascimur.
In Yeheshua Morimur.
Per Sanctum Spiritum Reviviscimus"

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Three Books Of Occult Philosophy Book I

Three Books Of Occult Philosophy Book I Image

Book: Three Books Of Occult Philosophy Book I by Henry Cornelius Agrippa

Book I of The Three Book of Occult Philosphy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa

The Three Book of Occult Philosphy purports to be the work of Henry Agrippa, the 16th century author of "Three Books of Occult Philosophy". But the 4th Book was obviously not written by Agrippa and bears no resemblance to his style of writing. Although it can be traced back to the 16th century as it is mentioned by Agrippa's student, Johann Weyer in his "De Praestigiis Daemonum", the work remains of uncertain provencance.

In part a partial summary of some of Agrippa's writings, this facsimile of the English translation by the 17th century Cambridge scholar Robert Turner, comprises spurious essays on Geomancy and Magick under the name of Agrippa, The Heptameron of Peter of Abano, and books on Astrology and Demonolgy, concluding with the Arbatel, a largely Judeo-Christian outlook on the dangers of magic.

It is a very quick and easy read, despite the portions dealing with Geomancy and Astrology that even those serious about such subjects would find largely frustrating and incomprehensible.

The work largely remains of pure historical interest with not much of serious substance to an undertanding of Magic and Occult Philiosphy.

This volume is a facsimile of Robert Turner's English translation (1654); the original volume first appeared (in Latin) in Marburg around 1554. The original volume included a large number of short texts of varying interest, but Robert Turner's (1654) (for unclear reasons) decided only to translate a few of them. This edition includes 6 short texts: Of Geomancy (H.C. Agrippa); Of Occult Philosophy the Three Book (pseudo-Agrippa); Heptameron or Magical Elements (pseudo-Peter de Abano); Isagoge: An Introductory Discourse on the Nature of... Spirits... (Georg Pictorius Villinganus); Of Astronomical Geomancy (Gerard of Cremona); and the anonymous Arbatel of Magic. Only the Geomancy is actually by Agrippa, and it doesn't fit well with the other texts. The Three Book is, as another reviewer noted, certainly spurious; it purports to be Agrippa's "secret key" to the Occult Philosophy, of which he spoke in a letter to a friend. The Heptameron and the Arbatel are grimoires of some interest for those interested in black magic, as indeed is the Three Book itself; the Isagoge is a rather dull dialogue about spirits; and the Astronomical Geomancy is more or less impenetrable but perhaps interesting in a peculiar way. There have been a number of reprints of this volume, some now surprisingly valuable despite their modernity; all, however, have trimmed out one or more of the already few texts. As such, this is probably the best edition available. It is, like all Kessinger products, a cheaply-bound xerox facsimile of the original 17th-century text, but it's readable and includes everything. If you collect grimoires or magical texts, this is a very famous one, and you ought to have it; copies of the various Latin printings turn up with some regularity, and those with access to Latin would do better with those, although they are of course quite expensive. If you're looking for works by Agrippa, the Geomancy is all you'll find here, but it's interesting in a number of respects. If you want to know about Agrippa's ceremonial magic, however, you need to read book 3 of the Occult Philosophy, available in a nice Llewellyn edition.

Download Henry Cornelius Agrippa's eBook: Three Books Of Occult Philosophy Book I

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Philosopher Stone

Philosopher Stone Image

Book: Philosopher Stone by Israel Regardie

This book presents text and analysis of three major alchemical works, approached symbolically, using the symbol systems and viewpoints of magic and psychology. According to author, Alchemy "aspires towards the development of an integrated and free man who is illumined."

Francis Israel Regardie was an occultist, author and one time secretary to the legendary Aleister Crowley. As an adept of the now defunct secret order known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, he became infamous among the occultists of his day for breaking his oath of secrecy and publishing the order’s complete rituals in his book “The Golden Dawn”. Today this book is a classic best seller and has been revised and re-issued several times. Overshadowed by his association with Crowley, much of his work has been left unappreciated by those outside of the realms of high magic and occultism.

Regardie was born Francis Israel Regudy in London, England on the 17th November 1907. His parents were poor Jewish immigrants and during the course of WW1 when his older brother joined the army, his name was accidentally written down as “Regardie”. Rather than change it, it was then adopted as the family name. Later Regardie also dropped the use of Francis, preferring to be known simply as Israel Regardie.

In August 1921 at the age of 13, his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Washington D.C. There Regardie was educated and studied art in schools in Washington and Philadelphia. A bright an intuitive scholar, even at that age, he became interested in the theosophical works of Madame Blavatsky, yoga, and Hindu philosophy. He would often be found at the Library of Congress conducting his own studies. Soon after he found a Hebrew tutor who taught him to read Hebrew, an ability that aided him enormously when he started his Qabalistic studies.

On the 18th February 1926, Regardie applied for membership to the Washington College of the Societas Rosicruciana in America (S.R.I.A.). He was initiated into the Neophyte grade on 18th March 1926 and advanced to the Zelator grade on 2nd June 1927. It was during this time that Regardie became interested in occultism and having discovered a book by Aleister Crowley, was soon captivated by his activities and writings.

Regardie wrote to Crowley in Paris and eventually received a reply. Soon after he was offered the job as his secretary in Paris. Regardie saw this as an opportunity to learn magic from a published authority, and in October 1928 he traveled to France and accepted the job. For the next three years Regardie tried to get Crowley to teach him the magical arts. However Crowley never offered and Regardie, a reserved and modest young man, did not pursue the matter. Instead he continued to study on his own, reading every book, article or manuscript that became available to him.

Find Israel Regardie's book in amazon.com:
Philosopher Stone

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Tricky History Of The Hermetic Tradition

Tricky History Of The Hermetic Tradition Image
The basis for Hermetics and Hermeticism is the Greek god Hermes, also known by his Roman name Mercury. Hermes is one of the most interesting and diverse of the gods. He is also one of the trickiest and hardest to pin down. That's why I call him the liminal god. Since Hermes is, among many other things, the god of the crossroads -one of his symbols is a rock defining boundaries- liminal is an apt word to describe him.

Hermes is a messenger, a trickster, protector of travelers, a thief, a guide for souls after death and an orator. Many of these roles are related to the theme of boundaries. Connecting the living and the dead is an obvious example of this, as well as his association with travel and delivering messages for the other gods. He is also an expert at persuasion and oration, and his words are not necessarily true in the literal sense. In this regard he could be conceived as the god of lawyers. Or, to go back to the Platonic dialogues, where Socrates differentiates between true philosophy and sophistry, Hermes would seem to epitomize the latter.

What do we make of a god like Hermes, who seems to be morally ambiguous at best? Are tales about him meant to be mere entertainment -the ancient equivalent perhaps of contemporary soap operas, where some of the most interesting characters are borderline villains- or is there also a deeper meaning?

To answer this question, we can explore some of the teachings of the Hermetic Tradition. The very words "Hermetic Tradition" are almost as tricky and nebulous as Hermes himself. Many mystery schools, cults and modern day occult systems have sprung up over the ages claiming to be heirs to the "authentic" hermetic teachings. Some of these claim that their knowledge derives from the *real* Hermes, that is Hermes Trismegistus. This teacher is usually placed somewhere in distant antiquity, usually in Egypt (though sometimes Atlantis). He is sometimes referred to as the teacher of Moses. He is also equated with the Egyptian god Thoth.

In the early Christian era, some writings appeared that put down some Hermetic teachings. In later years, these documents were often said to be much older than they actually were. These writings, which are often referred to as Corpus Hermeticum reflected the syncretistic atmosphere of late antiquity in places like Alexandria. They were influenced by diverse sources, such as Christianity, NeoPlatonism, paganism and Gnosticism.

Over the years, Hermeticism has resurged, most notably in the Renaissance, when alchemy, the tarot and other esoteric teachings became popular. Then again, in the 19th Century, England, and to a lesser extent America, saw another wave of occult teachings surface with movements such as Rosicrucianism and Theosophy. Groups such as The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn popularized (at least to some extent; these were never mass movements) the belief that the Hermetic doctrine was an unbroken line that could be traced back to ancient times.

In the early 20th Century a small book called The Kybalion appeared, authored by someone (or several people) only identified as "Three Initiates." This book summarizes some mystical principles of Hermeticism, such as the most famous maxim of all, As Above, So Below. In this book we can also see an early version of doctrines such as The Law of Attraction.

Now, with the New Age movement, Hermeticism has found a new audience, though today people are more likely to combine it with the teachings of other traditions. In a way, this is fitting, as Hermeticism itself was born out of eclecticism.

If this (admittedly simplistic) summary of Hermeticism sounds a bit casual and perhaps skeptical, this is not entirely unintentional. I believe that there is great wisdom in the Hermetic Tradition, but that to gain the most from it requires a highly skeptical attitude towards all teachers, groups and dogmas. In this regard, we might see Hermeticism as the Taoism of the West. Anyone who has read the Tao Teh Ching probably recalls the first stanza, "The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao."

The wisdom of Hermeticism requires that you delve more deeply into the ambiguous nature of Hermes himself. You have to be able to come to terms with a world where truth and falsehood are often hopelessly mixed up. One of the "gurus" of the Hermetic Tradition, Aleister Crowley, certainly embodied this idea. With his controversial life and deliberately paradoxical teachings, you cannot take anything he says at face value. Yet you can't dismiss it as nonsense either. One of his books, in fact, was called The Book of Lies.

To borrow once again from the Chinese wisdom of Taoism, consider the Yin-Yang symbol. It is usually portrayed as a circle broken into halves, one black, one white, symbolizing the duality of Yin and Yang (or male and female, positive and negative, etc.). Yet the symbol has another quality; there is usually a black dot in the white half and a white dot in the black half. This is telling us that a thing always contains an element of its opposite. If you read The Kybalion, you will see that this is perfectly consistent with Hermetic Teachings.

There are tricksters in many traditions. The Norse god Loki and the Native American Coyote are two well known examples. These characters play important roles in the myths in which they reside. They seem to suggest that life itself is not always what it seems, and that the belief in purity, such as pure truth or pure falsehood is itself a myth. Hermes, or Mercury, is often associated with both The Fool and The Magician (both tricksters in their own ways) of the tarot.

So if you study the Hermetic Tradition, you need to be both skeptical and open-minded. Much of what you read may not be true at all. For example, there is no evidence that a man named Hermes Trismegistus ever lived. Yet his teachings may contain great wisdom all the same!

For more about the Hermes and the Hermetic Tradition, see Hermetic Wisdom [http://www.hermeticwisdom.com].

To further explore all things liminal, check out Liminal Worlds.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Larry Christopher

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