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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Golden Dawn - Historic Lecture

Historic Lecture - Golden Dawn by V.H. Frater Sapere Aude (Dr. W. Wynn Westcott)

rosy cross

The Order of the G.D. in the Outer is a Hermetic Society whose members are taught the principles of Occult Science and the Magic of Hermes. During the early part of the second half of the 19th Century, several adepti and chiefs of this order in France and England died, and their deaths caused a temporarily dormant condition of Temple work. Prominent among these were Eliphas Levi, Ragon, Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, author of the Masonic Encyclopedia and Frederick Hockley, possessed of crystal vision whose M.S.S. we highly esteemed. These and other adepti received their knowledge and power from predecessors of greater imminence and have handed down to us this doctrine and system of Theosophy and Hermetic Science of the Higher Alchemy from a series of practical investigations whose origin is traced to the Fratres Rosae Crucis of Germany, which association was founded by Christian Rosenkreuz about 1398. He and the theologian, Valentine Andrea, have left us, in the works published about 1614, anaccount of the exoteric arrangements of the Rosicrucian Society. It seems likely it was Andrea whopublished in 1614 the Fama Fraternitatis, or Theory of the Society, which must have been derivedfrom the old records of the pupils of Christian Rosenkrawz. But even this arrival of mysticism was anew development of the older wisdom of the Qabalistic Rabbis and of that very ancient secretknowledge of the magic of the Egyptians into which Moses had been initiated. Through the Qabalah,indeed, Europe became possessed of the ancient Wisdom more than from any one other source, forthe Hebrews were taught at one time by the Egyptians and later by the Chaldees of Babylon. It is a curious fact that the classic nations, the Greeks and Romans, have handed down to us butslight glimpses of the Ancient Magic, and this is more notable because Greece succeeded to themastership of Egypt, and Rome to the Empire of both the Greeks and Jews. Greece did indeedsucceed to a share in the mysteries of the Egyptians for the Eleusinian Mysteries were copies of theancient ceremonies of Isis, Osiris and Serapis; but they lacked true magic. And further, the classicwritings contain but faint glimpses of even the Eleusinian Mysteries, and these disclose the fact thatthe pupils were partly ignorant of the true mysteries, a notable example of which is seen in the use ofthe words Konx Om Pax, of which they knew not the meaning, the words being the Greek imitationor translation of really ancient Egyptian words, whose meanings has been kept secret for centuries.Hence the 0=0 Grade is found to possess Egyptian characteristics and symbolism and the HigherGrades will reveal the source of much of the culture and illustrate the language of Eliphas Levi,through whose adeptship the study of occultism has been popularized. The First Order is a group of four grades of which Neophytes are admissible when approved by theG.H. Chiefs after showing themselves possessed of sufficient aptitude and knowledge. Beyond theabove, there are three grades of Adeptship forming the Second Order . These have the power ofselecting Candidates, initiating students into the lower grades and their Chiefs have, in addition, thepower of issuing warrants of Temples such as that of Isis Urania. But the highest of all in this ancientscheme are the Great Rulers of the whole system who severally sustain and govern the Third Order,which includes three Magic Titles of Honor and Supremacy. These represent the Supernal Triad ofthe Sephiroth and are shrouded and unapproachable to the profane and to all others but the Chiefs ofthe Adepts. In case of a vacancy in this Order, the Chief most learned Adept obtains by decree thewell-earned award. The scheme of the G.D. then is formed upon the type of the Decad of the Sephiroth, the tenEmanations of Deity as figured in the Qabalah whose professors were illuminated by the highermagic of the ancient world. The grades of the First Order will be found to be Hebrew in design and tendency; and inasmuch as the influx of time brought on the revelation of the Christos, the Tiphareth,the Beauty of Microprosopos, Christian design is reflected in the higher degrees. The Neophyte Grade and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Grades, which this present Isis Urania Temple isauthorized to confer after due examination and approval, posses rituals and secrets which have beenreceived from the G.H. Chief adepts and these are placed in our hands to use in the tuition of pupilsin the ancient methods of this Order. This Temple (Isis Urania) was consecrated as a successor toHermanubis No. 2 which had ceased to exist owing to the death of all its Chiefs. The Temple No. 1 of Licht, Liebe, Libra is a group of Continental mystics who have not been in thehabit of performing ceremonies in open lodge, but have conferred the grades chiefly in privacy andin the presence of two or three members, so there is no accurate record of name and rank of all thesemembers. Soon after the formation of Temple No. 3, permission was granted for the consecration ofOsiris Temple No. 4 at Weston-Super-Mare under rule of V.H. Frater "Crux dat Salubrem" and theWest of England has been assigned to him as a province. Almost at the same time, the Horus TempleNo. 5 under the rule of V.H. Fratre "Vote Vita Mea" was also consecrated at Bredford in Yorkshire.These three Temples have members also in the United States, Hindustan, Palestine, Denmark, etc. The name of the Order in various languages is: In Hebrew: Morning Light Shining Society (Chabrath (or Chaorah) Zoreh Aour Bakker) which means The Society of the Shining Light of Dawn. In Latin: Aurora. In German: Die Goldene Demmerung. In French: L'Aube d' OrÆ. Reference may now be made to the Society which was reconstructed by Robert Wentworth Little,student of the mysteries. This Society, which has branches in England, Scotland and the United States, is allied with the G.D. It perpetuated one form of Rosicrucian initiation which was conferred 100 years ago in England and which was mentioned by Godfrey Higgins in his work The Anacalypsis, or an Attempt to Withdraw the Veil of the Saitic Isis. Fratre Little was a student of the school of Levi and also an eminent Freemason, and the Rosicrucian Society as revised by him wasmade by intention and permission essentially masonic, thus severing all connection with thoseAdepts who have not been Craftsmen, as Basil Valentine, Artephus, Nicolas Flamel, Jacob Behmenand Robert Fludd. The Rosicrucian Society in the same manner fails to recognize any worth foroccult research in women. This is also an innovation or the scheme of the Ancient Mysteries in manyof which, notably those of Isis priestesses and virgin prophetesses, were prominent ministers. Note specifically, that there are several instances in the ancient M.S. of our Order, which are writtenin cypher, where reference is made to the fratres and sorores, the words "her or him" occur showingthat in olden time, as at the present day, women rose to high rank and attainment in the secretknowledge of the Order. Mention may be suitably made to Pernelle, the wife and fellow-worker of Nicolas Flamel, of Martine Berthereau, companion of Baron Jean de Chatelet who died about 1645and of the widow lady afterwards symbolized by him as Sophia (Heavenly Wisdom), fellow studentand inspirer of John Georg Gichtel who died about 1700. The occultists of today cannot need to bereminded of the great Hermetists and Theosophists of recent times: of D. Anna Kingsford, who wasindeed illuminated by the Sun of Light; of Madame Blavatsky, leader of the T.S. No occult student,however wide apart his own favored path of wisdom, could fail to recognize in her a master mind ina woman's frame. I cannot fail to express the lament which followed the passing of D. William Robert Woodman, formany years known as the supreme Magus of the Society Ros. in Anglia which is exoteric in its outergrades but whose concerns are regulated by an inner circle of adepti who still hold the secrets of theR.:. C.:. and its masonic society.
The Eastern school of Theosophy and Occultism and our own Hermetic Society of the G.D. arefraternities of students whose predecessors must have come from the same stock of magi as thescientific priests of a remote antiquity. The two Societies, different in modes of teaching and inlanguage, are allied by mutual understanding and respect, and their aim is similar. Be assured thatthe Order of the G.D. can show the way to much secret knowledge and spiritual progress and leadtrue and patient students who can Will, Dare, Learn and Be Silent to the Summum Bonum, TrueWisdom, and Perfect Happiness

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Bikkhu and the Magus

The Bhikkhu and the Magus: Exploring Allan Bennett’s Influence on Aleister Crowley

With a title like “Exploring Allan Bennett’s Influence on Aleister Crowley” I could take this paper in any number of directions. This is because Allan Bennett was a significant person in the early years of Aleister Crowley’s magical career. Crowley met Bennett in 1898 while in the Golden Dawn and almost immediately afterwards had Bennett move in with him and become his magical teacher. A couple of years later Bennett traveled to Southeast Asia due to a number of reasons, primarily health concerns and Crowley visited him there three times over the next four years; the last time being in November 1905. Over these seven years Bennett introduced Crowley to a number of magical practices, philosophical ideas, and yoga techniques. To cover all these subjects would take more time than I have allotted, thus I will concentrate on an important aspect of Crowley’s magical system introduced to Crowley by Bennett that gets very little attention: the Magical Memory.

Before going further though, I think it may be useful to give some background information about Allan Bennett since many people are unfamiliar with him or only know of him through his brief time in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or through his friendship with Crowley. Bennett was born on December 8, 1872 in London. His parents were Catholic and his father was an engineer. His father died early in Bennett life. There is much we don’t know about his childhood, although there are few conflicting stories about his mother and his upbringing. He did have one sister who often cared for him because he was very sickly with asthma. He was trained as a chemical analyst and was employed briefly in London. Yet his health kept him bedridden quite frequently.

In 1893 he joined the Theosophical Society and was a member until 1895. During this period, 1894, he took initiation in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and assumed the name Frater Iehi Aour which means “let there be light.” Within a year had entered the Golden Dawn’s Second Order. He met Crowley in 1898 when Crowley joined the Golden Dawn. At the end of 1899 or the beginning of 1900, due to continued health problems, Bennett moved to Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka) and began to study yoga abandoning magic, the Golden Dawn, and all associated with it.
In August 1901 Crowley made his first visit to Bennett in Asia and they went for an extended retreat where they both practiced yoga.
By the end of 1901 Bennett had decided that Buddhism was his calling and that the West, in particular England, should know the truth of Buddhism. He relocated to Burma and in December 1901 became a novice within Theravada Buddhism. In February 1902 he took his Bhikkhu ordination and became the second Englishman ever to become a Theravada monk. At his Ordination he assumed the name Ananda Maitreya which he later changed to the Pali version, Ananda Metteyya. Crowley second visit was just after the ordination.

Bennett founded the International Buddhist Society, the Buddhasasana Samagama, in 1903. He began a publishing campaign sending pamphlets and a quarterly journal to English speaking countries. His goal was to establish a Buddhist Sangha in the UK and in April 1908 he returned to England to promote Buddhism and establish this Sangha.

While there he helped found the Buddhists Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He returned to Burma in October 1908, six months after his arrival. His health problems persisted for years and in 1914 he de-robed, returned to England with the intent of going to a better climate in California. However, due to the same health issues, he was denied passage to the US and thus was stranded in the UK. While no longer a Bhikkhu, he supported the London Buddhists as best he could. He presented lectures and wrote for and edited the Buddhist Society Journal, The Buddhist Review.

In January 1923 his only book was published, The Wisdom of the Aryas. His joy from that was short, however, because he died two months later of an intestinal blockage. He was fifty-one when he died.

Now let’s turn to the importance that magical memory has in Crowley’s work. For him, the magical memory began to develop as a practice when he stayed with Bennett for three days in Burma in November 1905. While there Bennett, having been a Bhikkhu for almost three years, instructed Crowley to explore his karma and his past lives. As Crowley writes in The Temple of Solomon the King, Bennett said, “Explore the River of the Soul. … whence and in what order you have come by.”1 This was no easy endeavor. But subsequent pages in Temple of Solomon the King note how Crowley struggled with this task. Eventually Crowley comes to the realization that the purpose of his life, the reason for his myriad past lives, and the impetus of his karma was to teach the one method of attaining Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.
Later this process of “thinking backwards” through the line of karma becomes a magical practice described in Liber CMXIII (913) or Thisharab, Thisharb being the word Berashith spelled backwards. Published in The Equinox, Volume I, number 7, in 1912, Thisharb is described at the beginning of the document as, “not intended to lead to the supreme attainment. On the contrary, its results define the separate being of the Exempt Adept from the rest of the Universe, and discover his relation to that Universe.”
Temple of Solomon the King, in The Equinox, Volume I, number 8, p. 10. 2 Ibid., 13. 3 Liber Thisharb, in The Equinox, Volume I, number 7, p. 107.

Moreover, “It is of such importance to the Exempt Adept that We cannot overrate it. Let him in no wise adventure the plunge into the Abyss until he has accomplished this to his most perfectest satisfaction.”4 Furthermore Crowley writes in Magick or Book Four:

The danger of ceremonial magick --- the subtlest and deepest danger --- is this: that

the magician will naturally tend to invoke that partial being which most strongly

appeals to him, so that his natural excess in that direction will be still further

exaggerated. Let him, before beginning his Work, endeavour to map out his own

being, and arrange his invocations in such a way as to redress the balance. Crowley adds a footnote to this saying, “The ideal method of doing this is given in Liber 913”. Also, in one of his last books, actually published after his death, Magick Without Tears, he writes, “’Magical Memory’ – the memory of former lives … ‘Magick’ [the book] … gives a very full and elaborate account of this memory, and Liber CMXIII [913] (Thisharb) a sound official Instruction on the main methods of acquiring this faculty.”

As we can see, this is an important aspect of Crowley’s system, and strangely, one few, if any academics, have explored. One of the reasons may be that Crowley had difficulty with the practice itself. Liber CMXIII [913] lists two ways of examining one’s magical memory. The first being the process of “thinking backwards,” or thinking in reverse order. First you review your day, and then the year, then multiple years, all the way back to your birth and then past that to previous lives. The second method is to extrapolate what happened in previous lives based on processes and conditions of this current life. Again, in Magick Without Tears, Crowley writes, “None of my writings, by the way, deal with the First Method; this is because I could never make headway with it; none at all. F[rater] Iehi Aour [Allan Bennett], on the other hand, was a wizard at it; he thought that some people could use that way, and others not.” Here we find Crowley referencing Bennett in connection to the Magical Memory, and it is not the first time. In fact, within Liber CMXIII [913], there is a direct reference to read an essay by Bennett published in Crowley’s Equinox the year before Thisharb’s publishing in 1912. The essay is entitled, “Training the Mind.”

The “Training the Mind” essay by Bennett is very important because it tells us a little more about the relationship between Crowley and Bennett. The essay, published in Equinox Volume I, Number 5, details how using Buddhist meditation one can cultivate Right Concentration, one part of the Buddhist eight-fold path. As Bennett writes at the beginning of the essay, “the object of this paper is to set forth what is written in the books of these methods of cultivating and purifying the mind.” This goal is important to note because what few people know is that Bennett never wrote this essay for the Equinox. In fact, “Training the Mind” was not the original title. Instead Bennett wrote this essay for Buddhists in the United Kingdom and entitled the essay “On the Culture of Mind.” It was originally published in 1908 as a pamphlet for Bennett’s organization, the International Buddhist Society. It appears Crowley obtained a copy, renamed and published it in the Equinox. He also made small edits throughout the essay. There are questions as to how he obtained a copy and when, especially since it was originally published in 1908 and the last recorded communication that I know of between Bennett and Crowley was in 1905, but nevertheless, the essay tells us that even after Crowley has abandoned Buddhism for Thelema, he still sees the Buddhist methods of meditation as useful.
Looking back at Liber 913, we can also gain more insight into this essay and specifically what Crowley found attractive about it. In his reference to the essay, he specified certain pages he found most important. In Liber Thisharb he writes, “The first method to be described has been detailed in Bhikkhu Ananda Metteya's ‘Training of the Mind’ (EQUINOX, I. 5, pp. 28-59, and especially pp. 48-56).” Crowley adds that the point of the practice is to “freedom from all desire” and “aid the adept in the second method.” When looking at pages 48-56 we find this section details the process of “thinking backwards.” First it discusses the continuity of rebirth and how if we could lookback over our lives “then indeed we might realise the utter misery and futility of all this earthly life, might understand and grasp those three characteristics of all existent things.” Those three being sorrow, impermanence and no-self.

Following these pages we come to the detailed instructions of what Crowley calls the first method of Liber Thisharb, thinking backwards. The process consists of entering a meditational state and then beginning to review the recent past slowly working towards more distant events in one’s life. Over the course of many meditations one finally comes to the earliest parts of one’s life. As Bennett writes,

Time after time retracing in their order the more important events of this life, at last, one day you will bridge over that dark space between death and birth, when all the Sankháras are, like the seed in the earth, breaking up to build up a new life; and one day you will suddenly find yourself remembering your death in your last life.

Through this method Bennett was hoping to show a number of things to Buddhists. First, that the Buddhist assertion of re-birth was true; second, that all life is transitory; third, that karma controls re-birth; fourth, that there is no self just a continuous process of causes and conditions; and fifth, that the Buddhist dukkha, or sorrow, is always present in previous lives. This is all, of course, core Buddhist doctrine. However, we can see that Crowley took the method Bennett described and reapplied it to his magical system. Now within Crowley’s magical system the practice of thinking backwards is used to identify patterns in one’s karma and to work to balance one’s work. Moreover, it is used to understand the unique aspects of the self and to see from where they derive. As Crowley noted to a student of his in 1923, “So called successive lives are only separate in the illusory mode of time. They are like separate arbitrary sections of a picture. The reality is the picture which integrates all the aspects.” Thus we can see that for Crowley, the practice of Liber Thisharb is an important one in his system. Earlier I mentioned the quote from Magick Without Tears where Crowley states that “could never make headway” with the first method, Bennett’s thinking backwards. From this we might think that Crowley tried the technique and was unsuccessful. In fact, this is not true. From August 1918 until August 1919 we have records of Crowley actually practicing Liber Thisharb and recording his previous incarnations. In a diary entry for August 8, 1918 Crowley writes, “The magical memory is the unveiling of the subconsciousness; therefore as I awaken it I find that episodes of my conscious life count less than things built into the unconscious.” From this he engages in a series of narrative about past lives. These lives span centuries and encompass various personalities ranging from Eliphas Levi, Cagliostro, Edward Kelly, Alexander VI, down to unknown personalities like a favorite page of Jacque De Molay, or a deformed hermaphrodite. In many of the entries Crowley writes about how this life influenced his current life. In the entry for July 7, 1919, one of the entries where Crowley discusses his life as Alexander VI, the narrative relates Alexander’s attempt to restore paganism and that the people sided with the Church Fathers. Crowley writes, “This, by the way, explains Levi’s flirtation with Rome and my own position to-day as regards popularity.”

The August 2, 1919 entry denotes Crowley’s “Great Incarnation.” In this entry, Crowley denotes that far in the past, many great masters came together, a “consistory of adepts,” including the previous lives of people who would become Mohammed, Blavatsky, Christian Rosencreutz, and many others. At this meeting these great mystics decided how the future would develop for humanity. Crowley writes, “I got the Pagan and Ritual work, which ended in Alexander VI.” He also notes how others “took care of art, learning, etc.” Interestingly, in this entry Bennett is also present as a previous incarnation in the person of Merlin and Crowley notes that after he was Merlin and before being Bennett, he was also Adam Weishaupt.

In Magick or Book Four, Crowley dedicates a chapter to the Magical Memory. In this chapter he addresses some of the incarnations listed previously. These include Levi and Kelly. Here he discusses how one should test these memories by researching the past lives and comparing details. Crowley writes, “One of the great tests of the genuineness of any recollection is that one remembers the really important things in one's life, not those which mankind commonly classes as such.” He goes on to admit he does not remember anything significant in Levi’s life. He makes similar admissions about other lives and also notes his unknown previous incarnations.

Now to some or all this may sound amusing or absurd. But what is important to keep in mind is that regardless if Crowley was Eliphas Levi or Edward Kelly in a previous life, and regardless if Allan Bennett was masterful at past life regression, both believed remembering previous lives was possible, and moreover, both believed that performing these meditations were important. This is why Crowley continues to mention the practice of thinking backwards over the course of 30+ years, and also write about the magical memory.

As I mentioned previously, Bennett wrote his 1908 essay, “On the Culture of Mind” addressing the technique of thinking backwards. This was not the only time he wrote about this. At the end of 1917 and the beginning of 1918, Bennett gave six lectures on Buddhism hosted by English writer and playwright, Clifford Bax. The texts of these lectures would eventually make up the bulk of his book The Wisdom of the Aryas. In the chapter on attainment he, once more, brings up the practice of remembering backwards. Bennett notes that in the past in Buddhist countries, there were masters who “could look at an aspirant’s Karma as the ordinary man can look at his bodily presentment.” They would recommend the best practices to deal with the karmic legacy of the person. However, the West, lacking this history, does not have people who can assist. Thus he claims the process of thinking backwards is a useful meditation and one that can replace this lack of direction from a master. He also notes that since western practitioners have been trained to think linearly and via “formulas,” the process of thinking backwards is better suited to the practitioners of the West. Thus it becomes quite clear, over a decade since Bennett instructed Crowley to “Explore the River of the Soul” he was still instructing English Buddhist to meditate on past lives, and learn from where they came.

Around this same time period, 1918, Crowley too was teaching this method. He took a brief retreat with his student, Charles Stansfeld Jones, also known as Frater Achad, and they went to Oesopus Island. In fact, based on notes from Jones, this is where Crowley started the process of his own journey remembering backwards from which I quoted previously. Nevertheless, after the retreat, Jones wrote a short essay entitled, “Thinking Backwards.” The first line of this essay reads, “In my initiation I was taught to think backwards, and I am more and more convinced of the value of this practice.” This time period may also be the beginning of their deteriorating relationship, but nevertheless, we can see that the practice of Liber Thisharb is still a central part of Crowley’s program that he was teaching to his students.

I could go on with other quotes from Crowley about the importance of the magical memory and its practice, but I am short on time and I hope that this brief outline has shown how this practice, learned from Allan Bennett, Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya and the Buddhist teachers of Bennett’s in Burma. The latter may sound vague but at this time, I still have not found the exact source of this Buddhist teaching although I have begun inquiries with Burmese Buddhists.
Still much more research needs to be done, about Bennett and also exploring his influence on Crowley. As Symonds notes in his biography, Bennett is one of two teachers Crowley had that he never wrote anything bad about, the other one being the engineer and mountaineer, Oscar Eckenstein. Even in Crowley’s private diary entries when Bennett is mentioned, he is admired and revered. There is obviously a reason for this and more needs to be discovered about Bennett to see why he was such a positive influence. Then there is the research into how Bennett’s Buddhism influenced Crowley, especially Crowley’s ontology. Crowley wrote Berashith shortly after his 1902 meeting with Bennett in Burma. Crowley referred to that document during his whole life and it became foundational in Crowley’s Thelemic cosmology. Then there is the influence in yoga, ceremonial magic, the creation of talismanic rituals and also works published like 777 and Sepher sephiroth. Traces of Bennett’s influence can be seen in numerous places in Crowley’s work and there has been little exploration of it. I am hopeful that as time progresses and the study of Crowley expands, this will change. Thank you for your attention today.
By John L. Crow University of Amsterdam

Friday, August 14, 2009

Qabalah Unveiled Ch.4 (Siphra Dtzenioutha)



1. Tradition."The Book of Concealed Mystery" is the book of the equilibrium of balance.
2. [The word "Dtzenioutha" is difficult to translate, but I think its meaning is best expressed by the words "Concealed Mystery." I have explained in the Introduction the qabalistical meaning of the words "equilibrium" and "balance," § 29.]
1. Tradition.For before there was equilibrium, countenance beheld not countenance.

[By the two countenances are mean, Macroprosopus and Microprosopus. See Introduction, §§ 42, 47, 64, 65, 67. 73, and 77.]

1. And the kings of ancient time were dead, and their crowns were found no more; and the earth was desolate.
2. [The "kings of ancient time" mean the same thing as the "Edomite Kings;" that is, they symbolize worlds of "unbalanced force," which, according to the Zohar. preceded the formation of this universe. I have explained this also in the Introduction, §§ 41 and 56. This and the immediately following sections are supposed to trace the gradual development of the Deity from negative into positive existence; the text is here describing the time when the Deity was just commencing His manifestation from His primal negative form. Therefore, according to the qabalistical ideas, the universe is the garment as it were of the Deity; He not only contains all, but is Himself all. and exists in all.]
1. Until that head (which is incomprehensible) desired by all desires (proceeding from AIN SVP, Ain Soph, the infinite and limitless one), appeared and communicated the vestments of honour.
2. [This Head, which is here described as proceeding from the infinite and limitless One, the Ain Soph, is the first Sephira, the Crown Kether, otherwise called Arikh Anpin, or Macroprosopus, the Vast Countenance. From this first Sephira the other nine emanations are produced. I have explained all this in the Introduction, §§ 38−57, in treating of the Sephiroth.]
1. This equilibrium hangeth in that region which is negatively existent in the Ancient One.

[By the expression "This equilibrium hangeth in that region which is negatively existent in the Ancient One," is meant that the other nine Sephiroth (which are equilibrated by their formation in trinities) are as yet not developed in the first Sephira. but exist within it as the tree exists in the seed from which it springs. By "the Ancient One", is intended the first Sephira, the Crown Kether, one of whose appellations is Autheqa, theAncient One. From this Sephira, as I have before remarked. the idea of negative existence depends back towards the AIN.]

1. Thus were those powers equiponderated which were not yet in perceptible existence.
2. [These powers are the other nine Sephiroth, which are, as it were powers of the first Sephira; as soon as they are equated they become positively existent through correlation of force. The next two sections explain the manner of their equilibration while yet negative entities, or rather ideas ]
1. In His form (in the form of the Ancient One) existeth the equilibrium: it is incomprehensible, it is unseen.
2. [But the first idea of equilibrium is the Ancient One (the first Sephira, or Crown Kether), because it is the first potential limitation of the boundless light which proceeds from the Limitless One. That is, the central point of Kether is the equilibrium, because the balance does not yet exist, the two opposite poles which form the balance not being yet developed. We must not confuse these two terms, equilibrium and balance. The balance consists of two scales (opposing forces), the equilibrium is the central point of the beam.]
1. Therein have they ascended, and therein do they ascend they who are not, who are, and who shall be.
2. [Therein (in the equilibrium of Kether) have they ascended (developed when they became positively existent), and therein (in the equilibrium) do they ascend (have their first existence), they (the Sephiroth) who are not (exist negatively). who are (then become positive), and who shall. be (exist permanently. because they we counterbalanced powers). This triple expression "are not, are, and shall be." also refers to the triple trinity of the Sephiroth.] (See Introduction. §§ 52, 64, 65 And 66.)
1. The head which is incomprehensible is secret in secret.
2. [This head Is Macroprosopus, the Vast Countenance, and is the same as the Ancient One, or Crown Kether. It is were, for therein axe hidden the other potentialities.]
1. But it hath been formed and prepared in the likeness of a cranium, and is filled with the crystalline dew.
2. [The crystalline dew is the creative lux or Aur, AVR, proceeding from the Limitless One. The Mantuan Codex calls the skull or cranium the first, and the crystalline dew the second conformation of Macroprosopus.]
1. His skin is of other, clear and congealed.
1. (His hair is as) most fine wool, floating through the balanced equilibrium.
2. [The ether is the clear and insupportable brilliance of his glory. The hair is white i.e.; spotless as wool to denote the utter absence of matter and of shell. The Mantuan Codex calls the ether the third conformation, and the hair the fourth, which latter it refers to the Sephira Netzach, victory.]

2. (His forehead is) the benevolence of those benevolences which are manifested through the prayers of theinferior powers. [The supernal benignity which transmits their qualities, powers and offices, to the lower Sephiroth (the inferior powers). It must be remembered that each Sephira receives from that which immediately precedes it, and transmits to that which next follows it. Thus, each Sephira is said to be feminine or passive as regards its predecessor, and masculine or active in respect to its successor. (See Introduction, §§ 43 and 51.) The Mantuan Codex calls this the fifth conformation, and refers it to the idea of the ninth Sephira, Yesod, foundation.]
1. His eye is ever open and sleepeth not, for it continually keepeth watch. And the appearance of the lower isaccording to the aspect of the higher light.
2. (Were the eye to close (the directing thought Divine to be abstracted from the Sephiroth), the whole universe would give way, for its mainspring would be withdrawn. Because the appearance (development) of the lower (nine Sephiroth) is according to (dependent on) the aspect (ruling thought) of the higher light (Kether, the first Sephira). The Mantuan Codex terms this the sixth conformation of Macroprosopus, and refers it, as in the case of the fourth conformation, to the primal idea of the Sephira Netzach, victory.]

1. Therein are His two nostrils like mighty galleries, whence His spirit rushes forth over all. (The MantuanCodex adds that this is the seventh conformation, which refers to MLKVTh, Malkuth, or "the kingdom," the tenth emanation or Sephira of the Deity.)
2. [The creative spirit, or the "breath of life."]
3. (When, therefore, the Divine law beginneth) BRAShITh BRA ALHIM ATh HShMIM VATh HARTz,Berashith Bera Elohim Ath Hashamaim Vaath Haaretz: "In the beginning the Elohim created the substance of the heavens and the substance of the earth." (The sense is: Six members were created, which are the six numerations of Microprosopus viz., benignity as His right arm; severity as His left arm; beauty as His body; victory as His right leg; glory as His left leg; and the foundation as reproductive.) For instead of BRAShITh, Berashith, "in the beginning," it may be read, BRAShITh, Bera

"He created the six." Upon these depend all things which are below (principally the Queen, who is the lowest path, or the bride of Microprosopus, and all the three inferior worlds.)

(The view which the Siphra Dtzenioutha here follows out is that the beginning of Genesis describes not only the creation of the world, but the development of God, for it considers the universe as the outward and material expression of the power of the thought Divine. Microprosopus is as it were the reflection of Macroprosopus, for as Macroprosopus has six principal titles. so is Microprosopus composed of six of the Sephiroth. (See Introduction, §§ 42. 47 and 77.) ShITh, Shith, is the Chaldee form of the Hebrew ShSh, Shash, six. The queen is Malkuth, the tenth Sephira. The three inferior worlds are Briah, Yetzirah, and Asiah. See Introduction, §§ 57−60.]

11. And the dignity of dignity hangeth from the seven conformations of the cranium. (This is the beard of thevenerable and Ancient One, which is divided into thirteen portions).

(The Ancient One is the first Sephira, Macroprosopus. as I have before remarked. The beard, in continuation of the symbolic representation of the head. is divided Into thirteen portions, which answer by Gematria (see Introduction, § 11) to the idea of unity. For AChD, Achad, unity, yields the number 13 by numerical value.]

18. And the second earth came not into the computation. (That is, the kingdom of the restored world, whichelsewhere is called the Bride of Microprosopus, came not into the computation when the six members were said to be created. Or otherwise, when in Genesis iv. 2 it is said in another way, "And the earth," that earth is not to be understood of which mention hath been first made; since by the first is to be understood the kingdom of the restored world, and by the second the kingdom of the destroyed world), and this is elsewhere said.

[The kingdom (of the destroyed world is that of unbalanced force, (See Introduction. §§ 41 and 56, and also note Section 3. foregoing.) This refers to a period prior to the development of the Sephiroth. and musttherefore be referable to the Edomite kings.] 19. And it hath proceeded out of that which hath undergone the curse, as it is written in Genesis v., 29, "From the earth which the Lord hath cursed." (The meaning is: That the kingdom of the restored world was formed from the kingdom of the destroyed world, wherein seven kings had died and their possessions had been broken up. Or, the explanation of the world, of which mention is made elsewhere, proceedeth from the kingdom of the destroyed world.)

[These seven kings are the Edomite kings before mentioned in Section 3.]

1. It was formless and void, and darkness upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of the Elohim vibratingupon the face of the waters. Thirteen (these words, from "it was formless" down to "of the waters," are thirteen in the Hebrew text of Genesis) depend from the thirteen (forms) of the dignity of dignity (that is, the beard of the Macroprosopus, or first formed head).
2. [I have before remarked that the number thirteen expresses unity. The author of "The Book of Concealed Mystery" here argues that the very number and order of the words in the Hebrew text refer to certain forms of the Deity. The terms "face of the deep" and "face of the waters" bear a striking analogy to Macroprosopus and Microprosopus, the Vast and the Lesser Countenances. In this sense the "face of (from) the deep (abyss)" is the countenance formed from Ain Soph, the Limitless One; namely. the first Sephira the Crown Kether.]
1. Six thousand years depend from the six first. This is what the wise have said, that the world shall last sixthousand years, and it is understood from the six numbers of Microprosopus. But also the six following words give occasion to this idea: VIAMR ALHIM IHI AVR VIHI AVR, Veyomar Elohim Yehi Aur Vayehi Aur: "And the Elohim said, Let there be light, and there was light."

[By an exegetical rule of numbers, not so often employed as the others. simple numbers or units signify divine things; numbers of ten, celestial things; numbers of a hundred, terrestrial things; and thousands signify the future, what shall be in an after−age. Hence are the "six thousand years" deduced from the six first words, which also are said to refer to the six Sephiroth of whom Microprosopus is formed; the idea of six being extended into as many thousands, to symbolise that number on the plane of a future age.]

2:. The seventh (the millennium, and the seventh space. namely, the Kingdom), above that One which alone is powerful (i.e., when the six degrees of the members denote mercies and judgments, the seventh degree tendeth alone to judgment and rigour). And the whole is desolate (that is, the Kingdom, MLKVTh, Malkuth, in the higher powers, is the antitype of the sanctuary, and like as this is destroyed, so also the Schechinah, or Kingdom, is itself exiled) for twelve hours (for the Hebrews include all this time of their exile in the space of one day). Like as it is written: "It was formless and void, &c." (for from the word "it was formless," down to "upon the faces of," are twelve words in the Hebrew text of Genesis.)

[By the same rule, the millennium is deduced from the seventh word. The seventh space here means Malkuth, the kingdom, or the queen, which together with the six of Microprosopus, makes up the seven lower Sephiroth. (See Introduction, § 77, further, for the idea of the balance of mercy and judgment.)]

1. The thirteenth (that is, "of the waters," HMIM, Hamim, which is the thirteenth word) raiseth up these (that is, as well the sanctuary which is above as that which is below) through mercy (since the water symbolizeth that measure of mercy through which judgment and punishments are mitigated), and they are renewed as before (for the six words follow afresh, as in the beginning the six members are enumerated). For all those six continue and stand fast (they are the members of the Microprosopus, and are not as his bride, and from them is the restitution), since it is written BRA, Bera, "created" (which hath a sense of permanence), and then it is written HIThH, Hayitha, "it was" (which also is a phrase of permanence and not of interpolation), for it is very truth (plainly, therefore, the kingdom perished not, although it might be formless and void, but it retaineth hitherto the essence).
2. [Mercy and judgment are opposites, and from the side of judgment comes the execution of judgment, which is destruction.]
1. And at the end of the Formless and the Void and the Darkness (that is, at the end of the exile this sayingshall have place: Isa. ii. 11). And the Tetragrammaton alone shall be exalted in that day (that is, in the time of Messiah).
2. [The Tetragrammaton (see Introduction, § 67) comprehends the whole ten Sephiroth, and consequently expresses their three trinities of balanced force also; consequently, when the Tetragrammaton appears, the formless and the void and the darkness disappear, and form, fulness, and light replace them.]
1. But there are excavations of excavations. (The excavation is the receptacle, like that which is hollowedout, or carved out, like a cave, or any other receptacle. Therefore all receptacles are inferior with respect to the superiors, among which the "shells" hold the last place, which here are described, which are) under the form of a vast serpent extending this way and that. (Concerning this serpent the author of the "Royal Valley" speaks thus in his "Treatise of the Shells." The fragments of the receptacles, which have fallen into the world of Creation, of Formation, and of Action, therein exist from the Outer; and judgments are more consonant to these, which are called profane, and have their habitation in the middle space between the Holy and the Unclean. And from the head is formed that great dragon which is in the sea, and is the sea−serpent, which is, however, not so harmful as the earthly one. And this dragon hath been castrated since his crest (or membrum genitale), together with his mate, have been repressed, and thence have been formed four hundred desirable worlds. And this dragon hath in his head nostril (after the manner of whales) in order that he may receive influence, and in himself he containeth all other dragons, concerning which it is said: "Thou hast broken the heads of the dragons upon the waters" (Ps.lxxiv. 13). And here the idea or universal form of all the shells is understood, which encompasseth the seveninferior emanations of the queen after the manner of a serpent, as well from the right as from the left and from every side.)

[The excavation or receptacle of a Sephira is that quality whereby it receives the supernal influence from that which immediately precedes it; hence each Sephira has a double quality of receiving and of transmitting, which passes through the four worlds in each which the Sephiroth exist, though in gradually decreasing light. (See Table subjoined.) The "shells," Qlipoth, are the demons, in whom again is a form of the Sephiroth, distorted and averse. This great dragon which is here described is evidently identical with the leviathan of Job. He is the executor of judgment, the centripetal force, the old serpent ever seeking to penetrate into Paradise; finally, in a more exoteric sense he is Satan and the devil, the accusing one. In the Sepher Yetzirah, a most important qabalistical book, he is called Theli, ThLI, the dragon. Now, by Gematria. ThLI = 400 + 30 + 10 = 440; and if we "repress his crest" i.e., take away the first letter, which is Th, Tau,¤00, there will remain LI = 40 = M, Mem, the water. The "400 desirable worlds" are the numerical value of Th, and signify the power of the Tetragrammaton on the material plane (See note to section 21, foregoing). There is much alchemical symbolism contained in the "Siphra Dtzenioutha." The "Seven Inferior Emanations" of the queen, are the seven lower Sephiroth viz., Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth, Netzach, Hod. Yesod, and Malkuth; or Microprosopus and his bride, the king and queen. Shells," Qliphoth, are the evil spirits.]

26. His tail is in his head (that is, he holdeth his tail in his mouth, in order that he may form a circle, since heis said to encompass holiness). He transferreth his head to behind the shoulders (that is, he raiseth his head at the back of the bride of Microprosopus, where is the place of most severe judgments), and he is despised (since in him is the extremity of judgments and severities, whence wrath is the attribute of his forms). He watcheth (that is, he accurately searcheth out and seeketh in what place he may gain an entry into holiness.

And he is concealed (as if laying traps; since he insinuateth himself into the inferiors, by whose sins he hath access to the holy grades, where the carrying out of judgments is committed to him.) He is manifested in one of the thousand shorter days. (Numbers are called days, and numbers of the inferior world short days; among which tens are attributed to the factive, on account of their decimal numeration; hundreds to the formative, since they are numbers of the light of their author, and draw their existence from the tens; but thousands to the creative, for the same reason. But that dragon hath about this his. most powerful location, whence, if a defect occurreth only in one numeration of that system through the fault of the inferiors, he is immediately manifest, and thus commenceth his accusations before the throne of glory.)

[Here is the origin of the well−known symbol of a serpent holding his tail in his mouth, like a circle the serpent of Saturn. The reason that he raiseth his head behind the shoulders of the bride (Malkuth) is because he is. so to speak, not only the executor of judgment, but also the destroyer; destruction as opposed to creation, death as opposed to life. For the whole Sephiroth are represented as being the balance of mercy and justice, and the tenth Sephira is especially of the nature of justice, as also is Geburah. the fifth. He is concealed, because he is not called into action till justice requires him. The term "decimal numeration" of course refers to the ten Sephiroth. The presence of the serpent when revealed, is an accusation, because it shows that the balance is destroyed; just as in a watch, if one of the wheels be injured, irregularity is at once manifested. Now, life, when it consists of birth into another form, necessarily implies death in the previous form. The throne of glory is the Briatic world.]

1. There are swellings in his scales (that is, like as in a crocodile; because great in him is the heapingtogether of judgments). His crest keepeth its own place (that is, there is in him no further power of hastening to things beyond in the Outer). [There is in the destroyer no "hastening to the outer," because he is centripetal and not centrifugal.]
1. But his head is broken by the waters of the great sea. (The great sea is wisdom, the fountain of mercy andloving−kindness; which, if it sendeth down its influence, judgments are pacified, and the hurtful power of the shells is restricted); like as it is written, Ps. lxxiv. 13: "Thou hast broken the heads of the dragons by the waters."
2. ["The waters of the great sea," are the influence of the supernal mother, Binah, of whom Malkuth is the reflection. But Binah receives the influence of Chokmah. See Introduction.]
1. They were two (male and female, whence the text of the Psalm speaketh of the dragons in the pluralnumber; but when the plural number is given in its least form, two only are understood). They are reduced into one (for the female leviathan hath been slain, lest they should seek to multiply judgments). Whence the word ThNINM, Thenanim (in the before−mentioned passage of the Psalm), is written in a defective form (purposely to denote that restriction).
2. [I may refer the reader to the Talmud for further information regarding Jewish ideas of the Leviathan. Thenanim is written in a defective form, because the letter I of the plural is omitted. Written fully, it should be ThNINIM, instead of ThNINM.]
2. (But it is said) heads (in the plural number, for the purpose of denoting a vast multitude, as well of speciesas of individuals in that genus); like as it is written, Ezek. i. 22: "And a likeness as a firmament above the heads of the living creature." (Where also the word living creature, ChIH, Chiah, is put in the singular as a genus of angels; and heads in the plural for the purpose of denoting species and innumerable individuals.)

["Thou hast broken the heads of the dragons (Thenanim) by the waters." It must be remembered that this dragon is said by the author of the "Royal Valley" to be the king of all the "shells" or demons. Now, the demons are divided into ten classes. corresponding to the ten Sephiroth, but in an averse form, and are calledin the book, "Beth Elohim," the "impure Sephiroth." The heads of the leviathan (cf. the Lernæan Hydra which Hercules slew) are probably these. Compare the description of the beast in Revelation.]

31. "And the Elohim said, let there be light, and there was light." (The sense may be sought from that Psalm

xxxiii. 9) where it a written, "Since He Himself spake, and it was done." (First, therefore, is commemorated)the Path HVA, Hoa, (that is, the mother of understanding, who is called ALHIM, Elohim, near the beginning of the verse. "And the Elohim said." She also is called HVA, Hoa , in the words of Psalm xxxiii. 9, on account of her truly secret nature) is alone (as well with Moses as with David). The word VIHI, Vayehi, "and it was done," is also alone. (As if the six members were considered separately, seeing that V, Vau, occupieth the first place in the word VIHI, Vayehi.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Qabalah Unveiled

Qabalah Unveiled by M. MacGregor Mathers




As a pupil of my late husband and in later years collaborator in his more esoteric studies, I take this opportunity to say a few words in regard to himself and his work. Moreover, since his death at the end of 1918, I have received innumerable visits, letters and enquiries from all parts of the world from students of his writings. As most of these questions would appear to bear on his more esoteric knowledge, I will quote his own words (see page 13, paragraph 22, of the Introduction): "The term 'Unwritten Qabalah' is applied to certain knowledge which is never entrusted to writing, but communicated orally. I may say no more on this point, nor even whether I myself have or have not received it."

Simultaneously with the publication of the Qabalah in 1887, he received instructions from his occult teachers to prepare what was eventually to become his esoteric school. In this connection were associated with him the late Dr. Woodman and the late Dr. Wynn−Westcott, both eminent Masons and Qabalists. They, with my husband, held high Office in the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, and other Masonic bodies.

Since the year 1887, when the first edition of the Qabalah Unveiled appeared, the whole attitude of the thinking world has changed considerably towards occult philosophy and science. The gigantic strides madeby science since the end of the last century, the staggering facts disclosed by its practical demonstrations, simultaneously with the development of the great occult movement, must strike all thoughtful people as the evidence of some imminent change in the evolution of this planet. Material science would appear to be spiritualizing itself and occult science to be materializing itself. If not clasping hands, they are certainly making tentative attempts in that direction. The Ancient Wisdom, the Sacred Books, taught. that we cannot understand Matter without understanding Spirit, that we cannot understand Spirit without understanding Matter. That Matter and Spirit are only opposite poles of the same universal substance. All through the Qabalah runs this axiom: "that Malkuth is in Kether, that Kether is in Malkuth." The same idea is repeated through the Gnostic teaching: "the earth that is in the heaven, the heaven that is in the earth."

Religion has its word, science its promises and demonstrations, philosophy its systematized theories, art its creations and ideals, and yet these in their fundamental separations fall short of that Synthetical ideal which the Spirit of Humanity unceasingly demands. There remains always the perpetual cry of humanity, that plaint of a world in pain demanding apparently in vain some solution to the problem of existence. The answer of the ancient world to this cry of the Spirit of Humanity is to be found in the establishment of the Mysteries, as containing in their penetralia that which even the highest then known forms of religion had not, namely, a philosophico−religious reply resumed in Formulas and Ceremonies, to the problems of Life and Death, of Nature, of the Gods, of Spiritual Beings, etc., and lastly of the linking of these as a whole back to the First Cause of all things.

In 1888, after the publication of the Qabalah Unveiled, my husband started the working of his esoteric school. To write the consecutive history of an occult Order is a difficult matter, as difficult as to write the life of an Adept, there being so much of an inner and secret nature necessarily involved in both; so much of the symbolical in the historical, so much of the latter in the symbology.

The general constitution of the teaching, the skeleton of the work, was handed to him by his occult teachers together with a vast amount of oral instruction. The object of the establishment of this school was similar to that of the foundation in ancient times of centres for the Celebration of the Mysteries. The literature of this school, with a few exceptions, was written by my husband under the direction of these teachers, based upon the ancient mysteries, chiefly those of Egypt, Chaldea and Greece, and brought up to date to suit the needs of our modern mentalities. It is a system eminently suited to Western occultism, which a man can follow while living the ordinary life of the world, given that this is understood in its highest sense. Dr. Woodman and Dr. Wynn−Westcott aided in the administrative side of this school and its teaching to a certain extent.

As a pioneer movement, for the first ten or twelve years it encountered many of the difficulties that beset work that is given ahead of its time, but we had been told that the beginning would be in the nature of an experiment and that the students would be sifted. Dr. Woodman had died in the year 1890, and in 1897 Dr. Wynn−Westcott resigned, after which my husband entirely reorganized the school under orders, and further teachings were given him. The teaching is principally by Ceremony, Ritual, and Lecture. Purity of aspiration and of life are the first and essential qualities demanded of the student. A simultaneous development of soul, mind and body is insisted upon. The curriculum comprises the study of the intelligent forces behind Nature, the Constitution of man and his relation to God. The whole aim and object of the teaching is to bring a man to the knowledge of his higher self, to purify himself, to strengthen himself, to develop all qualities and powers of the being, that he may ultimately regain union with the Divine Man latent in himself, that Adam Qadmon, whom God hath made in His Own Image.

Great stress is laid on the ideal of Fraternity. The potency of Fraternity has ever been an essential factor in an Occult order, apart from its altruistic aspect; there are. also the spiritual and psychic. Any breach in the harmony of a circle will permit the entry of an opposing force. A Spiritualist of experience will bear witness to the truth of this statement.

Through all the Sacred Books, be they our Bible, the Qabalah, the Egyptian Books, the Vedantic Teachings, the Druidic traditions, etc., the Symbols of the Rose and of the Lily or Lotus and of the Cross, reveal themselves as veritable living images of some great fundamental truth. I am prepared to affirm that any Order, Society, group of students, etc., forming themselves with the aim of studying the composition and nature of the manifested Universe, must inevitably fall under the symbolism of the Rose, of the Lily or Lotus, and of the Cross. The Rose with its mysterious centre, its nucleus, the central Sun, is a symbol of the infinite and harmonious separations of nature.

The symbol of the Lily or Lotus is very similar to that of the Rose, with some slight differentiations.

We know that the symbol of the Cross is practically the Key−note of the New Testament. It is the Quaternary in Nature, the four letters of the Holy Name, I.H.V.H., the Tetragrammaton, Jehovah, which with the addition of the letter of the Holy Spirit, Shin, becomes Yeheshuah, the Name of the Messiah. In Alchemy, whether Spiritual or physical, we are told that the ultimate secret is to find the centre of the Cross. A true understanding of the four−lettered Name, containing as it does the powers of the four elements of nature, Air, Water, Fire, and Earth, from their lowest degree to their highest aspect, would imply a knowledge and power of creation as well as that of death and destruction. Is it not for this reason that its pronunciation has been forbidden by the Qabalist? The Ancient Wisdom implied that this Name might only be pronounced by the Initiate who has attained the Supreme Initiation, that is to say "He who has learnt to be One with the FIRST MOVER and be His Will."

Regarding the distinction between monotheism, polytheism and pantheism, this distinction hardly exists for the Initiate. Verily there is little difference between a single God and a harmony of Supreme Forces, so absolutely linked that the effect would be that of an indivisible unit, a plurality whose action is unified, an unity whose action is pluralised.

Concerning Science and its "missing links," occult Science has asserted that there exists no void in the Universe, and that the "missing links" are to be found in the invisible world. Modern Science and Philosophy are continually demonstrating that our physical senses are limited and cognize but little in proportion to that perceived by the more subtle methods. Sir Oliver Lodge says: "A physicist is never limited to direct sensory impressions. He has to deal with a multitude of conceptions and things for which he has no physical organ: the dynamical theory of heat, for instance, and of gases, the theory of electricity, of Magnetism, of chemical affinity, of cohesion, aye, and his apprehension of the ether itself, lead him into regions where sight and hearing and touch are impotent as direct witnesses . . . . . . . in such regions everything has to be interpreted interms of the insensible, the apparently unsubstantial, and in a definite sense, the imaginary." Again he says: "I am reasonably convinced of the existence of grades of beings not only lower in the scale than man, but higher also, grades of every order of magnitude, from zero to infinity, and I know from experience that among these Beings are some who care for and help and guide humanity . . . . . and further it is my faith�however humblyit may be held�that among these lofty beings, highest of those who concern themselves directly with this earth, of all the myriads of worlds in infinite space, is ONE on Whom the right instinct of Christianity has always lavished heartfelt reverence and devotion." Here is an almost parallel idea taken from Egyptian Symbolism: "Concerning the harmonious linking together of the divine and the natural; as in the vision of the ladder of Jacob whereon the Angels of God ascended and descended. As also in the very ancient ideals of Egypt, Chaldea, China, India, etc., there was the conception of an unbroken chain proceeding from the highest Godhead, through Gods; angels; spirits, genii; souls, whether in our life or another; spiritual beings; and ultimating through the sacred animals upon the very Ground of Earth Itself, and also even through the trees, plants and minerals. What, then, can be such a chain that links all things unto their divine Origin? Surely it cannot be other than the Descending Divine Influence MEZLA; the Influence of the HOLY and DIVINE SPIRIT."

Take this Divine Spirit in its Triune Manifestation, call it Light, Life, and Love, call it Father, Son, and HolySpirit, or Father, Mother, Son; take Radium as being so very close in nature to the one element of the Ancients and note its triune manifestation, through the alpha, beta and gamma rays.

Regarding seers and mediums, as before remarked, our school lays great stress on the simultaneous development of, crudely speaking, the three planes of being. which development must precede psychic experiment. The methods employed to equilibrate the nature entail considerable study, time and patience. There is no royal road to any science, let alone the science of the occult. Before touching such experiments as obtain in spiritualism, the student would be supposed to be in a measure aware of the nature of the entities he would be likely to encounter, and especially to have some idea of the constitution of Man. When this is achieved he will be equipped and enabled to face the many dangers and difficulties he will encounter in the invisible world.

Take the astral plane in its varied divisions, where some of the adventures described by the seer take place. This plane may be described as a hall panelled with mirrors, where one is confronted with bewildering reflexes. Manifesting therein are numerous and varying entities.

Spiritualism is distinctly a Western movement and has certainly been the means of bringing conviction of the after life to many. The methods employed by spiritualists may be very dangerous, in that they frequently lack the preliminary preparation and knowledge necessary before approaching psychic phenomena. The spiritualist who lacks this specialized knowledge must be prepared to encounter all the dangers with which explorers in unknown lands are beset. He who enters into these regions has sometimes found it easier to open the door than to close it.

A few words which may be of interest on my husband's life. As a very young boy he was intensely interested in mysticism and symbolism generally. He was educated at Bedford Grammar School, −specializing on the Classical side. During his spare moments he collected and made a special study of Celtic tradition and symbolism. This love of Celtic Symbology was inherited from his Highland ancestry. His ancestor, Ian MacGregor of Glenstrae, an ardent Jacobite, after the /45 Rebellion went over to France and under Lally Tolendal fought at Pondicherry. This ancestor was created Comte de Glenstrae by Louis XV. This French title was inherited by my husband and he always used it when living in France. As a young man he came into contact with Kenneth Mackenzie, with whom he had a strong occult link. Kenneth Mackenzie, author of the Encyclopædia of Masonry, had been a great friend of Bulwer Lytton. After some years of seclusion in the country, where my husband led a student's life in preparation for his future work, he met Anna Kingsford, who introduced him to Madame Blavatsky. Madame Blavatsky invited him to collaborate with her in the formation of her Society. After deliberation, notwithstanding his profound admiration for that remarkable woman, this invitation he was compelled to decline. Their ideals were not entirely the same. At that time he was more in sympathy with Anna Kingsford's ideals of esoteric Christianity and of the advancement of woman. Moreover he was profoundly interested in her campaign against vivisection, in which he vigorously aided her. Three or four years later he was told by his Occult teachers to transfer his centre to Paris, where my husband and I lived for the rest of his life. I wish here to record my thanks to my occult masters, and the deepest gratitude to the memory of my husband, comrade and teacher, all of whom have shed such light upon my path.


Qabalah Unveiled - Introduction

Kabalah Unveiled part 2 Introduction by M MacGregor Mathers

I. THE first questions which the non−qabalistical reader will probably ask are: What is the Qabalah? Whowas its author? What are its sub−divisions? What are its general teachings? And why is a translation of it required at the present time?

1. I will answer the last question first. At the present time a powerful wave of occult thought is spreadingthrough society; thinking men are beginning to awake to the fact that "there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in their philosophy;" and, last but not least, it is now felt that the Bible, which has been probably more misconstrued than any other book ever written, contains numberless obscure and mysterious passages which are utterly unintelligible without some key wherewith to unlock their meaning. THAT KEY IS GIVEN IN THE QABALAH. Therefore this work should be of interest to every biblical and theological student. Let every Christian ask himself this question: "How can I think to understand the Old Testament if I be ignorant of the construction put upon it by that nation whose sacred book it formed; and if I know not the meaning of the Old Testament, how can I expect to understand the New?" Were the real and sublime philosophy of the Bible better known, there would be fewer fanatics and sectarians. And who can calculate the vastness of the harm done to impressionable and excitable persons by the bigoted enthusiasts who ever and anon come forward as teachers of the people? How many suicides are the result of religious mania and depression! What farragos of sacrilegious nonsense have not been promulgated as the true meanings of the books of the Prophets and the Apocalypse! Given a translation of the sacred Hebrew Book, in many instances incorrect, as the foundation, an inflamed and an ill−balanced mind as the worker thereon, what sort of edifice can be expected as the result? I say fearlessly to the fanatics and bigots of the present day: You have cast down the Sublime and Infinite One from His throne, and in His stead have placed the demon of unbalanced force; you have substituted a deity of disorder and of jealousy for a God of order and of love; you have perverted the teachings of the crucified One. Therefore at this present time an English translation of the Qabalah is almost a necessity, for the Zohar has never before been translated into the language of this country, nor, as far as I am aware, into any modern European vernacular.
2. The Qabalah may be defined as being the esoteric Jewish doctrine. It is called in Hebrew QBLH, Qabalah, which is derived from the root QBL, Qibel, meaning "to receive." This appellation refers to the custom of handing down the esoteric knowledge by oral transmission, and is nearly allied to "tradition."
1. As in the present work a great number of Hebrew or Chaldee words have to be used in the text, and thenumber of scholars in the Shemitic languages is limited, I have thought it more advisable to print such words in ordinary Roman characters, carefully retaining the exact orthography. I therefore append a table showing at a glance the ordinary Hebrew and Chaldee alphabet (which is common to both languages), the Roman characters by
2. which I have expressed its letters in this work; also their names, powers, and numerical values. There are no separate numeral characters in Hebrew and Chaldee; therefore, as is also the case in Greek, each letter has its own peculiar numerical value, and from this circumstance results the important fact that every word is a number, and every number is a word. This is alluded to in Revelations, where "the number of the beast" is mentioned, and on this correspondence between words and numbers the science of Gematria (the first division of the so−called literal Qabalah) is based. I shall refer to this subject again. I have selected the Roman letter Q to represent the Hebrew Qoph or Koph, a precedent for the use of which without a following m may be found in Max Müller's "Sacred Books of the East." The reader must remember that the Hebrew is almost entirely a consonantal alphabet, the vowels being for the most part supplied by small points and marks usually placed below the letters. Another difficulty of the Hebrew alphabet consists in the great similarity between the forms of certain letters�e.g., V, Z, and final N.
1. With regard to the author and origin of the Qabalah, I cannot do better than give the following extract from
2. Dr. Ginsburg's "Essay on the Kabbalah," first premising that this word has been spelt in a great variety of ways�Cabala, Kabalah, Kabbala, &c. I have adopted the form Qabalah, as being more consonant with the Hebrew writing of the word.
3. "A system of religious philosophy, or, more properly, of theosophy, which has not only exercised forhundreds of years an extraordinary influence on the mental development of so shrewd a people as the Jews, but has captivated the minds of some of the greatest thinkers of Christendom in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, claims the greatest attention of both the philosopher and the theologian. When it is added that among its captives were Raymond Lully, the celebrated scholastic metaphysician and chemist (died 1315); John Reuchlin, the renowned scholar. and reviver of Oriental literature in Europe (born 1455, died 1522); John Picus de Mirandola, the famous philosopher and classical scholar (1463−1494); Cornelius Henry Agrippa, the distinguished philosopher, divine, and physician (1486−1535); John Baptist Von Helmont, a remarkable chemist and physician (1577−1644); as well as our own countrymen, Robert Fludd, the famous physician and philosopher (1574−1637); and Dr. Henry More (1614−1687); and that these men, after restlessly searching for a scientific system which should disclose to them 'the deepest depths' of the divine mature, and show them the real tie which binds all things together, found the cravings of their minds satisfied by this theosophy, the claims of the Kabbalah on the attention of students in literature and philosophy will readily be admitted. The claims of the Kabbalah, however, are not restricted to the literary man and the philosopher; the poet too will find in it ample materials for the exercise of his lofty genius. How can it be otherwise with a theosophy which, we are assured, was born of God in Paradise, was nursed and reared by the choicest of the angelic hosts in heaven, and only held converse with the holiest of man's children upon earth. Listen to the story of. its birth, growth, and maturity, as told by its followers.
4. "The Kabbalah was first taught by God himself to a select company of angels, who formed a theosophicschool in Paradise. After the Fall the angels most graciously communicated this heavenly doctrine to the disobedient child of earth, to furnish the protoplasts with the means of returning to their pristine nobility and felicity. From Adam it passed over to Noah, and then to Abraham, the friend of God, who emigrated with it to Egypt, where the patriarch allowed a portion of this mysterious doctrine to ooze out. It was in this way that the Egyptians obtained some knowledge of it, and the other Eastern nations could introduce it into their philosophical systems. Moses, who was learned in all the wisdom of Egypt, was first initiated into the Qabalah in the land of his birth, but became most proficient in it during his wanderings in the wilderness, when he not only devoted to it the leisure hours of the whole forty years, but received lessons in it from one of the angels. By the aid of this mysterious science the law−giver was enabled to solve the difficulties which arose during his management of the Israelites, in spite of the pilgrimages, wars, and frequent miseries of the nation. He covertly laid down the principles of this secret doctrine in the first four books of the Pentateuch, but withheld them from Deuteronomy. Moses also initiated the seventy elders into the secrets of this doctrine, and they again transmitted them from hand to hand. Of all who formed the unbroken line of tradition, David and Solomon were the most deeply initiated into the Kabbalah. No one, however, dared to write it down, till Schimeon Ben Jochai, who lived at the time of the destruction of the second temple . . . . . After his death, hisson, Rabbi Eleazar, and his secretary, Rabbi Abba, as well as his disciples, collated Rabbi Simon Ben Jochai's treatises, and out of these composed the celebrated work called ZHR, Zohar, splendour, which is the grand storehouse of Kabbalism."
5. The Qabalah is usually classed under four heads:

(±The practical Qabalah.

(²The literal Qabalah.

(³The unwritten Qabalah.

(´The dogmatic Qabalah.

1. The practical Qabalah deals with talismanic and ceremonial magic, and does not come within the scope ofthis work.
2. The literal Qabalah is referred to in several places, and therefore a knowledge of its leading principles isnecessary. It is divided into three parts: GMTRIA, Gematria; NVTRIQVN, Notariqon; and ThMVRH, Temura.
3. Gematria is a metathesis of the Greek word 553±It is based on the relative numerical values of words, as Ihave before remarked. Words of similar numerical values are considered to be explanatory of each other, and this theory is also extended to phrases. Thus the letter Shin, Sh, is 300, and is equivalent to the number obtained by adding up the numerical values of the letters of the words RVCh ALHIM, Ruach Elohim, the spirit of the Elohim; and it is therefore a symbol of the spirit of the Elohim. For R = 200, V = 6, Ch = 8, A = z, L = 30, H = 5, I = 10, M = 40; total = 300. Similarly, the words AChD, Achad, Unity, One, and AHBH, Ahebah, love, each = 13; for A = 1, Ch = 8, D = 4, total = 13; and A = 1, H = 5, B = 2, H = 5, total = 13. Again, the name of the angel MTTRVN, Metatron or Methraton , and the name of the Deity, ShDI, Shaddaï, each make 314; so the one is taken as symbolical of the other. The angel Metraton is said to have been the conductor of the children of Israel through the wilderness, of whom God says, "My Name is in him." With regard to Gematria of phrases (Gen. xlix. 10), IBA ShILH, Yeba Shiloa, "Shiloh shall come" = 358, which is the numeration of the word MShICh, Messiah. Thus also the passage, Gen. xviii. 2 VHNH ShLShH, Vehenna Shalisha, "And lo, three men," equals in numerical value ALV MIKAL GBRIAL VRPAL, Elo Mihkael Gabriel Ve−Raphael, "These are Mikhael, Gabriel and Raphael;" for each phrase = 70l. I think these instances will suffice to make clear the nature of Gematria, especially as many others will be found in the course of the ensuing work.
4. Notariqon is derived from the Latin word nothrius, a shorthand writer. Of Notariqon there are two forms. In the first every letter of a word is taken for the initial or abbreviation of another word, so that from the letters of a word a sentence may be formed. Thus every letter of the word BRAShITh, Berashith, the first word in Genesis, is made the initial of a word, and we obtain BRAShITh RAH ALHIM ShIQBLV IShRAL ThVRH, Besrashith Rahi Eloim Sheyequebelo Israel Torah: "In the beginning the Elohim saw that Israel would accept the law." In this connection I may give six very interesting specimens of Notariqon formed from this same word BRAShITh by Solomon Meir Ben Moses, a Jewish Qabalist, who embraced the Christian faith in 1665, and took the name of Prosper Rugers. These have all a Christian tendency, and by their means Prosper converted another Jew, who had previously been bitterly opposed to Christianity. The first is BN RVCh AB ShLVShThM IChD ThMIM, Ben, Ruach, Ab, Shaloshethem Yechad Themim : "The Son, the Spirit, the Father, Their Trinity, Perfect Unity." The second is, BN RVCh AB ShLVShThM IChD ThOBVDV, Ben, Ruach, Ab, Shaloshethem Yechad Thaubodo: "The Son, the Spirit, the Father, ye shall equally worship Their Trinity." The third is, BKVRI RAShVNI AShR ShMV IShVO ThOBVDV, Bekori Rashuni Asher Shamo Yeshuah Thaubodo: "Ye shall worship My first−born, My first, Whose Name is Jesus." The fourth is, BBVA RBN AShR ShMV IShVO ThOBVDV, Beboa Rabban Asher Shamo Yesuah Thaubado: "When the Master shall come Whose Name is Jesus ye shall worship." The fifth is, BThVLH RAVIH ABChR ShThLD IShVO ThAShRVH, Bethulah Raviah Abachar Shethaled Yeshuah Thrashroah: "I will choose a virgin worthy to bring forth Jesus, and ye shall call her blessed." The sixth is, BOVGTh RTzPIM ASThThR ShGVPI IShVO ThAKLV, Beaugoth Ratzephim Assattar Shegopi Yeshuah Thakelo: "I will hide myself in cake (baked with) coals, for ye shall eat Jesus, My Body." The Qabalistical importance of these sentences as bearing upon the doctrines of Christianity can hardly be overrated.
5. The second form of Notariqon is the exact reverse of the first. By this the initials or finals, or both, or themedials, of a sentence, are taken to form a word or words. Thus the Qabalah is called ChKMh NSThRH, Chokhmah Nesethrah, "the secret wisdom;" and if we take the initials of these two words Ch and N, we form

by the second kind of Notariqon the word ChN, Chen, "grace." Similarly, from the initials and finals of the
words MI IOLH LNV HShMIMH, Mi Iaulah Leno Ha−Shamayima, "Who shall go up for us to heaven?"
(Deut. xxx. 12), are formed MILH, Milah, "circumcision," and IHVH, the Tetragrammaton, implying that
God hath ordained circumcision as the way to heaven.
14. Temura is permutation. According to certain rules, one letter is substituted for another letter preceding or
following it in the alphabet, and thus from one word another word of totally different orthography may be
formed. Thus the alphabet is bent exactly in half, in the middle, and one half is put over the other; and then by
changing alternately the first letter or the first two letters at the beginning of the second line, twenty−two
commutations are produced. These are called the "Table of the Combinations of TzIRVP," Tzirupa. For
example's sake, I will give the method called ALBTh, Albath, thus:

11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
K I T Ch Z V H D G B A
M N S O P Tz Q R Sh Th L

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