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  The Murkiest Golden Dawn Teaching
Magick Posted by Xnoubis on December 17, 2000 @ 10:52 PM
from the mined-over-Mathers dept.

The first time I read Regardie's Golden Dawn, it was entirely incomprehensible. As I studied over the years, my understanding of the Golden Dawn material gradually fell into place, and I now feel fairly comfortable with the system. There is one area, though, that pretty much remains a mystery to me: a Mathers paper called "The Law of the Convoluted Revolution of the Forces Symbolised by the Four Aces Round the North Pole." With a title like that, you'd expect it to be simple.


It is the last of the materials relating to the Tree of Life projected in a sphere. I find most of this system fairly useful: the rationale behind Golden Dawn sidereal astrology, the spherical arrangement of the cards of the Tarot, the relationship between the Tree of Life and the Enochian Watchtowers, the inner meaning of the Golden Dawn symbol itself, and other nifty concepts that help to tie the strands of the teaching into a whole.

But then it is explained how the constellation Draco (the Dragon, which surrounds the Kether point of the celestial sphere) is held to possess four loops. The loop closest to the head is the Ace of Cups, followed by loops for the Ace of Swords and the Ace of Pentacles, with the loop at the tail being the Ace of Wands. So far, this matches the spherical Tarot arrangement described previously in the teaching.

Next, though, there is a detailed attempt to explain the loops of the dragon as an interaction of YHVH through the Zodiac. The dynamic is explained very clearly. But why we would be interested in knowing this is never mentioned. There is one trace of a hint:

And as Kether acted directly upon Tiphareth which is, as it were, the centre and focus of the Sephiroth when projected in a sphere, so do the Aces act upon the Sun as the centre and focus of the Solar System. So that the Sun, according to his position with regard to the Equinox and the Earth's surface will translate the effect of the seasons, he being the translator of the force of heat thereto, whether the then position of the Equinoctial points coincide with what we call O degrees Aries, and 0 degrees Libra (reckoning from Regulus) or not.

It sounds to me as if some rationale is meant to be proposed here as to the relationship between the Sidereal and Tropical Zodiacs, which would indeed have been interesting. But unless I'm missing something, that rationale is never actually presented.

Then it turns out that Mathers is only just getting started with the dragon dynamics. The domain of concern here, apparently, is the connection between the Malkuth of one world (out of the Qabalistic Four Worlds: Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiah) and the Kether of the world below it. This connection is hour-glass shaped, with Malkuth tapering into a point that touches the "thread of Ain Soph" and then flares out to the fullness of Kether. Influences proceed from the Malkuth of (for instance) Yetzirah, then touch the Ain Soph, where their form dissolves. The same force then appears in a new form in the Kether of Assiah.

It seems that the dragon dance that was previously described in such detail is the predominant pattern that the influences from Malkuth take as they proceed into Kether. Predominant, but not the only pattern. Recall that in the Golden Dawn's Minutem Mundem arrangement of the Tree of Life, Malkuth is divided into four quadrants: black, citrine, olive, and russet. Since the black (earthy) portion is the bottommost, it's the quadrant that most directly faces the Kether below it. The russet (fiery) and olive (watery) are partially visible to the lower Kether, whereas the citrine (airy) quadrant on top doesn't directly face Kether at all. The pattern based on the constellation Draco already explained corresponds to the influences coming from Earth of Malkuth.

The paper then proceeds to describe the other three patterns. Three, because not only do the fiery and watery portions contact Kether, but the airy portion appears to ooze around the sides of Malkuth to make contact in some sneaky way that is never explained. The influences of each quadrant have distinctive dragon formulae described at some length, but not in enough detail to provide a complete picture of any of them. (I'm almost able to piece together the four dragons of the "Leaping Formula," attributed to the fiery influence, but I don't think that the description matches the illustration, even taking into account that the illustration shows the earthy dragon while the text describes the fiery one.)

So what's going on here? It's possible that the paper makes sense, but I just haven't grasped it yet. Maybe the paper is flawed as published, but there are other Golden Dawn documents I haven't seen that serve to provide a clearer picture. Then there's always the possibility that Mathers was already starting to go off his nut by the time he wrote this.

But my favorite explanation is that the membership was getting bored, so Mathers wrote a complicated paper that intentionally made no sense. The dedicated initiates would strain to find the inner meaning of it, while everybody else would assume that they didn't get it because they slept through at least one of their knowledge lectures.

Go ahead, please prove me wrong . . .



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    Re: The Murkiest Golden Dawn Teaching
    by Kallah on Monday December 18, @08:07AM
    Greets Xnoubis!

    If my library weren't piled in moving boxes in a friend's garage, I might access my copy of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's commentaries on _Sefer Yetzirah_. I believe the answer to your question RE: draco is near the back of that book.

    Re: The Murkiest Golden Dawn Teaching
    by Kallah on Monday December 18, @08:13AM
    Also, you wrote:

    "...but the airy portion appears to ooze around the sides of Malkuth to make contact in some sneaky way that is never explained."

    LOL! Maybe Moina's paints were runny, that day? ;^>

    Re: The Murkiest Golden Dawn Teaching
    by Tim Maroney on Tuesday December 19, @07:54PM
    I have never seen much point in this kind of cosmological occultism, preferring an experiential mode focusing on trance technologies, and so I won't comment on the possible intent of the text. However, I did turn up these interesting links:

    QBLH: Liber XIII - The Law of Convoluted Revolution -- The text itself, or at least part of it, as an appendix to an equally unhelpful essay on the QBLH web site.

    The document seems to have something to do with a "Tattwa Tides Calculator", the purpose of which is obscure to me. According to the site operator, Parush (a devout Thelemite-hater who runs #alchemy on Undernet), it "is used to calculate the exact times that the astral tides are in flux and reflux."

    Finally and most distressingly, the document has somehow become part of anti-Semitic mythology, and it is ascribed to the "Learned Elders of Zion." The origin of this hateful usage appears to be the site Jew Watch, but it has spread to other Christian and Islamic anti-Semitic sites. It is no clearer to me how this document can be read as bearing on purported Zionist plots than how it can be used to calcuate astral tides.

    Tim Maroney


    • Re: The Murkiest Golden Dawn Teaching
      by Xnoubis on Wednesday December 20, @10:08AM
      I don't have time to check out that QBLH essay in detail, but it looks interesting at a glance. I'll try to get back to it later.

      Tattvic Tides are a part of Golden Dawn doctrine that is derived from Hinduism, or at least I've heard it so claimed. I've never worked with it, but it seems like an interesting exercise, rather like an alternative to the Government of Hours, as a method for tracking subtle differences in the astral. If I ever do work with that system, I'll want one of those calculators. Nifty!

      Like the Government of Hours or astrology, the Tattvic Tides appear at first glance to be an attempt to describe the world as it is, and in that light seem to be of dubious merit. To me, such systems are more valuable when viewed as "focal settings" that are designed to produce certain transformations when held as working hypotheses. In other words, if you set out to independently discover the truth of what's going on around you, you'd never find these systems in operation. But if you go about your life investigating the possible truth of one of these systems, it changes your experience and opens up new fields of inquiry.

      The connection between the "Convoluted" teaching and the Tattvas hadn't occurred to me, but it might very well be fruitful. Did you find such a connection written down somewhere, or did you just recognize it?

      The anti-Semitic connection is so off-the-wall that it would almost be humorous if it weren't so horrifying. It's particularly ironic that they would associate Golden Dawn teachings with Judaism, since I can't get the Jewish Qabalists of my acquaintance to see the Golden Dawn system as anything but "Christian Qabala." Can't win for losing!


      • Re: The Murkiest Golden Dawn Teaching
        by Tim Maroney on Wednesday December 20, @10:43AM
        What in particular do you feel is valuable about investigating the possible truth of apparently untestable metaphysical hypotheses? I work with things I don't believe in all the time -- the chakras, for instance -- but I do so in a mode of conscious fiction rather than of inquiry into possible truth.

        I don't know what connection Parush means to draw between the two doctrines when he writes, on the referenced page:

        The above, more detailed look at the clock, also includes an outer circumference allowing us to see the relationship between tattwas and astrology. More detail about this matter can be found in Israel Regardies book "The Golden Dawn", Page 603, under "The Law of the Convoluted Revolution of the Forces Symbolised by the Four Aces Round the Northern Pole". The deeper understanding of these matters leads to great insight into the workings of astral physics.


        You might ask him at Undernet #alchemy, or at parush@paxprofundis.com, but it might be most productive not to mention any Crowley interests, or to be connected to #thelema or #oto, when conversing with him.

        The anti-Semitic connection is indeed bizarre and I was rather confused at first when it came up in the course of my Copernic search for "Convoluted Revolution of the Forces". It shows what an excellent research tool the Web can be, since I would probably not have stumbled on this connection by any other means.

        Tim


        • Re: The Murkiest Golden Dawn Teaching
          by Xnoubis on Wednesday December 20, @11:15AM
          The answer that reflects my real feelings is in the negative -- begging the question though it might be. And that is that all hypotheses regarding inner experience are inherently untestable. If we limit our view of what is true for inner experience to what can be demonstrated through repeated testing, that is our choice, and it tends to determine certain things about our subsequent experience. If we choose other standards, we have other experiences.

          To try to answer in the positive: I measure the success of an experiential hypothesis by whether it contributes to the sense that my life has meaning. Does it make me feel more grateful to be alive? Does it contribute to my relations with others? Does it help me to integrate aspects of myself? Does it encourage a sense of sanctity and bliss in the moment? Is it funny?

          > when he writes, on the referenced page

          Oops! I was too busy gawking over the pictures to read carefully.


    Re: The Murkiest Golden Dawn Teaching
    by Maozim on Saturday December 23, @07:18PM
    I am not saying that this information is not useful on the plane where it was manifest, but this sort of crap is very indicitive of what was wrong with Mathers and the magickians of hs time.
    First of all, Word to Mathers, he was da bomb, I respect him much. He was the finest magickian of his age (which fell shortly), and deserves one hell of a place in the histories. The science of magick was simply not sophisticated. It was filed with a lot of bad concepts, and old thought.
    From what I have pieced together, Mathers, who was da MAN on the magic scene, never manifested any roles of mention after the "adept" stage. This is, of course, quite a magnificent flash. But at that time it was incredibly rare. Now, one who truely gives one's self to the Work will likely, at some point in his life, be able to fill Our Queens's cup.
    Aliestar is, of course, the man responsible for the potential of magister-y. He also paved the way for the Magi. I feel he did not manifest enlightenment past the veil of the Magus, but I won't argue this point.
    For the last 3/5 of my life (not that long), I've been consumed with an idea. I have been working on what has become a show.
    The show would be designed to transmit a meme, which would cause a correspondant shift in the biochemestry of the veiwers . . .
    I have completed the first part of my work, and am now writing up the system. It is a matter of typing, and the thesis will be done. I then will have to actually create the show, but nothing wil slow me now that it is conceived.
    I will, of course, make the work available on-line as soon as it is created.
    I beleive that I can unify all systems of thought and belief, scientific and magical, et al. I can give a medium of consciousness. I will explain all phenomena, in all levels of reality, and on all planes. It'll be so simple, even Buddha could do it. And the show, which will succeed the book, will give all this if one but comes in through the door.
    It is obvious to say that I expect no one to "buy" this, without seeing the work. I certainly wouldn't. How many people in our circle make nutty claims?
    But I charge all of you this: Tell me what wisdom would you give me, as I do thus? Where have things "gone wrong?" and "gone right"? What concpets in magick do you find more usefule, and more cumbersome?
    Been burnt by the HGA? Did converting the essential oils of oil of Abramelin into their amphetamine analogue produce the Philosopher's stone? Do robes get in the way? Is the Great Work useful? What about being always happy, what if I wanna be sad? People, tell me all. I utturly stake my reputation on what is coming. Soldiers, take up arms.

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