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Apart from my daily work, my chief preoccupation was to prepare for the Operation of the Sacred Magick.
The first essential is a house in a more or less secluded situation. There should be a door opening to the north from the room of which you make your oratory. Outside this door, you construct a terrace covered with fine river sand. This ends in a “lodge” where the spirits may congregate. It would appear the simplest thing in the world for a man with forty thousand pounds, who is ready to spend every penny of it on the achievement of his purpose, to find a suitable house in a very few weeks. But a magical house is as hard to find as a magical book to publish. I scoured the country in vain. Not till the end of August 1899 did I find an estate which suited me. This was the manor of Boleskine and Abertarff, on the south-east side of Loch Ness, half way between Inverfarigaig and Foyers. By paying twice as much as it was worth, I got it, gave up my flat and settled down at once to get everything in order for the great Operation, which one is told to begin at Easter.
The house is a long low building. I set apart the south-western half for my work. The largest room has a bow window and here I made my door and constructed the terrace and lodge. In side the room I set up my oratory proper. This was a wooden structure, lined in part with the big mirrors which I brought from London.
On first arriving at Boleskine, I innocently frightened some excellent people by my habit of taking long walks over the moors. One morning I found a large stone jar at my front door. It was not an infernal machine; it was illicit whisky — a mute, yet eloquent appeal, not to give away illicit stills that I might happen to stumble across in my rambles. I needed no bribe. I am a free trader in every sense of the word. I have no sympathy with any regulations which interfere with the natural activities of human beings. I believe that they aggravate whatever trouble they are intended to prevent; and they create the greatest plague of humanity, officialdom, and encourage underhand conduct on both sides, furtiveness and espionage. Any law which tends to destroy manly qualities is a bad law, however necessary it may seem on the surface. The tendency of most modern legislation is to bind Gulliver with packthread. I have never broken the law myself, because the things I happen to want are so utterly different from those desired by men in general, that no occasion has ever risen.
But I observe with regret that humanity is being compelled to turn its attention from its proper business by having to comply with innumerable petty formalities.
Salmon fishing on Loch Ness should be remembered by people who are praying for “those in peril on the deep”. It is a dull year when nobody is drowned. The lock is large enough to get up a regular sea; and the hills are so arranged that the wind can come down in all sorts of unsuspected ways. The most violent storms often arise without five minutes' warning. In addition, there is one section of the loch (north-east of Boleskine, on the same side) where the shore for some two miles is a rocky precipice just too high above the water to be climbable, even if one could get a footing.
It is useless fishing in settled fine weather; one wants it overcast, neither too hot nor too cold, neither windy nor quite calm — unsettled weather, in a word. One morning I got into a salmon which subsequently turned the scale at forty-four pounds. He was terrifically game and really much too heavy for my tackle. Again and again he ran out the line and we only held him by rowing for all we were worth in his direction. It was nearly two hours before we got him into the boat.
The excitement over, I observed that a sleet was driving heavily and that the loch was white with foam. Also that we were off a lee shore, and that shore about the middle of the precipice. We could do nothing but pull for life in the teeth of the gale, which increased in violence every moment. We were both already tired out. Despite every effort, we were forced, foot by foot, towards the rocks. By great luck, there is one gap in those infernal little cliffs. But the boat was not under control. However, we had to risk it and managed to get ashore without being smashed, to beach the boat and walk home. That was the worst of it.
But I was often caught on the wrong side of the loch. So near and yet so fat! There was the house a mile away and there was I with thirty miles to make to get there. I have never heard of the steamers being wrecked, but that is perhaps because they are wrecks already.
I took Lady Etheldreda to Scotland with me. I have had many dogs in my time; but she was sui generis. I had trained her to follow me on the mountains and she was not only an admirable rock climber but an uncannily prophetic tracker. For instance, I would leave her at the foot of a precipice beyond her powers and, after a climb, descend another precipice to another valley, often in mists so thick that I could not see ten years in any direction. But I would invariably find her at the foot of the rocks after making a detour of perhaps ten miles across unknown country.
These qualities had their defects. She became an amateur of sheep. It was straightforward sport. She never mangled a sheep, she killed it neatly with a single bite and went off to the next. She had no illusions about the ethics
of her proceedings and she brought superlative cunning into service. She never touched a sheep within ten miles of Boleskine; she never visited the same district twice running; she was even at pains to prepare an alibi. Of course, she was always careful to remove every trace of blood. That was elementary. But she would sham sickness the morning after the kill and she would bring various objects into her kennel, as if to say, “Well, if you want to know who I have been passing the time, there you are!” She also realized that her extraordinary speed and endurance would help her to clear herself. On one occasion she killed not less than forty miles there and back from Boleskine. No one except her master, whom she trusted not to give her away, could suspect that she had covered so much ground — to say nothing of the shikar itself — in the course of the night. She was unsuspected for months — even weeks of watching failed to identify her and if she had not been such a magnificent animal she might have escaped altogether. But her size and beauty were unmistakable. The evidence began to be too strong to pooh-pooh and I had to send her back to London.
Boleskine is in the winter an excellent centre of ski-lÃ¤ufing. There is a little snow in the valley itself, but on the moors behind Strath Errick are tracts of elevated country, extending for many miles. The slopes are for the most part gentle and I have found the snow in first-rate condition as late a the end of March.
On off days at Wastdale Head, it was one of our amusements to throw the boomerang. Eckenstein had long been interested in it and constructed numerous new patterns, each with its own peculiar flight. As luck would have it, Walker of Trinity came to the dale. He had earned a fellowship by an essay on the mathematics of the boomerang. The theoretical man and the practical put their heads together; and we constructed some extraordinary weapons. One of them could be thrown half a mile, even by me, who cannot throw a cricket ball fifty yards. Another, instead of returning to the thrower, went straight from the hand and undulated up and down like a switchback, seven or eight times, before coming to the ground. A third shot out straight, skimming the ground for a hundred yards or so, stopped as suddenly as if it had hit a wall, rose, spinning in the air to the height of some fifty feet, whence it settled down in a slowly widening spiral. Obviously, these researches bore on the problem of flying. Eckenstein and I, in fact, proposed to work at it. The idea was that we should cut an alley through the woods on that part of my property which bordered Loch Ness. We were to construct a chute and start down in on a bicycle fitted with movable wings. There was to be a steam launch on the loch to pick up us at the end of the flight. We were, in fact, proposing to do what has now, in 1922, proved so successful. But the scheme never went further than the construction of the boathouse for the launch. My wanderings are to blame.
The harmless necessary cat sheds those epithets in the Highlands. The most domesticated tabby becomes intoxicated by the air of freedom (so one hypothesis suggests) and begins to run wild. It takes to the woods and lives on rabbits and birds. Its conscience tells it that it is violating the game laws; man becomes its enemy. It accordingly flees at one's approach, though sometimes it becomes mad with fear and will attack a stranger, unprovoked, and fight to the death.
Much to my disgust, commercialism thrust its ugly head into my neighbourhood. The British Aluminium Company proposed to exploit the water power of the valley above Foyers. The Falls of Foyers are one of the few natural glories of the British Isles; why not use them to turn an honest penny?
<blockquote> > I sate upon the mossy promontory\\ > Where the cascade cleft not his mother rock,\\ > But swept in whirlwind lightning foam and glory,\\ > Vast circling with unwearying luminous shock\\ > To lure and lock\\ > Marvellous eddies in its wild caress;\\ > And there the solemn echoes caught the stress,\\ > The strain of that impassive tide,\\ > Shook it and flung it high and wide,\\ > Till all the air took fire from that melodious roar;\\ > All the mute mountains heard,\\ > Bowed, laughed aloud, concurred,\\ > And passed the word along, the signal of wide war.\\ > All earth took up the sound,\\ > And, being in one tune securely bound,\\ > Even a star became the soul of silence most profound. </blockquote>
<blockquote> > Thus there, the centre of that death that darkened,\\ > I sat and listened, if God's voice should break\\ > And pierce the hallow of my ear that hearkened,\\ > Lest God should speak and find me not awake ---\\ > For his own sake.\\ > No voice, no song might pierce or penetrate\\ > That enviable universal state.\\ > The sun and moon beheld, stood still.\\ > Only the spirit's axis, will,\\ > Considered its own soul an sought a deadlier deep,\\ > And in its monotone mood\\ > Of supreme solitude\\ > Was neither glad nor sad because it did not sleep; </blockquote>
<blockquote> > But with calm eyes abode\\ > Patient, its leisure the galactic load,\\ > Abode alone, nor even rejoiced to know that it was God. </blockquote>
Moneys-grubbing does its best to blaspheme and destroy nature. It is useless to oppose the baseness of humanity; if one touches pitch one runs the risk of being defiled. I am perfectly content to know that the vileness of civilization is rapidly destroying itself; that it stinks in my nostrils tells me that ti is rotting and my consolation is in the words of Lord Dunsany. In the meantime, the water was to be wasted in producing wealth — the most dangerous of narcotic drugs. It creates a morbid craving — which it never satisfies after the first flush of intoxication.
Now the furnaces of the British Aluminium company cost a great deal to light. It was, therefore, impossible to extinguish them every Saturday evening. The people of the neighbourhood learnt this fact with unfeigned horror. Such wickedness was inconceivable! But besides that, it was sheer madness. Did not these people in Glasgow understand the God did not permit such things to happen with impunity? So on the first Saturday night the people betook themselves to points of vantage on the surrounding hills in order to see the works destroyed by the divine wrath. No explanation has ever been offered why it did not come off!
The lady previously mentioned was now made happy as a result of the fortnight we had spent together in Paris. I therefore thought it my duty to take care of her until the following spring. The fulfilment of her hopes would end my responsibility before the beginning of my Operation.
I had asked Jones to come and stay with me during the sic months, in view of the dangers and interference already experienced at the mere threat to perform it. It was obviously the part of prudence to have, if possible, an initiated on the spot. It is also very awkward for a man absorbed in intense magical effort to have to communicate with the external world about the business of everyday life. Jones did not see his way to come, so I asked Rosher, who consented. But before he had been there a month he found the strain intolerable. I cam down to breakfast one morning; no Rosher. I asked the butler why he was absent. The man replied, in surprise at my ignorance, that Mr. Rosher had taken the early morning boat to Inverness. There was no word of explanation; I never saw him or heard of him for many years; and, when we met, though absolutely friendly and even intimate, we never referred to the matter.
One day I came back from shooting rabbits on the hill and found a Catholic priest in my study. He had come to tell me that my lodgekeeper, a total abstainer for twenty years, had been raving drunk for three days and had tried to kill his wife and children.
I got an old Cambridge acquaintance to take Rosher's place; but he too began to show symptoms of panic fear. Meanwhile, other storms were brewing. The members of the London temple, jealous of my rapid progress in the Order, had refused to initiate me to the Second Order in London, though the Chief himself had invited me. He, therefore, asked me to come to Paris, where he would himself confer the Grade. I went; and, on my return, ten days later, found that my protÃ©gÃ©e had also taken fright, fled to London and hidden herself.
Besides these comparatively explicable effects on human minds, there were numberless physical phenomena for which it is hard to account. While I was preparing the talismans, squares of vellum inscribed in Indian ink, a task which I undertook in the sunniest room in the house, I had to use artificial light even on the brightest days. It was a darkness which might almost be felt. The lodge and terrace, moreover, soon became peopled with shadowy shapes, sufficiently substantial, as a rule, to be almost opaque. I say shapes; and yet the truth is that they were no shapes properly speaking. The phenomenon is hard to describe. It was as if the faculty of vision suffered some interference; as if the objects of vision were not properly objects at all. It was as if they belonged to an order of matter which affected the sight without informing it.
By the exercise of dour determination, I succeeded in getting everything ready in good time to begin the work proper at Easter. It is unfortunate that in these days I had no idea of the value of a Magical Record from the historical standpoint. I find few dates, nor have I troubled to set down even such startling occurrences as are related above. I was dead set on attainment. Anything which appeared to me out of the direct road to the goal was merely a nuisance, a hindrance and a distraction. Apart from my memory, therefore, the chief sources of information about my life at this period are poems, rituals and records of visions.
I was very busily at work with the muse. My Appeal to the American Republic was begotten of a pleasant journey with two Americans from Geneva to Paris. The poem is still popular, though from time to time one has to change “The Lying Russian cloke his traitor head” to “Prussian”, and so on. Carmen Saeculare was actually the result of a more or less prophetic vision. Some of its forecasts have turned out wonderfully well, though the century is yet young; others await fulfilment — but I do not propose to linger on merely to obtain so morbid a satisfaction!
The Fatal Force, written in the spring of 1899, possesses one feature of remarkable interest. The idea of the play is that a high priestess, resenting the necessity of male co-operation in maternity, should marry her own son and, subsequently, the son of that union, so as to produce an individual who would be seven-eights herself; the advantage being that he would thus inherit as
much of her power and wisdom as possible. I supposed this idea to be original; but I discovered later that Eliphas LÃ©vi mentions this formula as having been used by the ancient Magicians of Persia with this very intention. That was one of the facts which led me to the discovery that in my last incarnation is was Eliphas LÃ©vi.
The Mother's Tragedy seems to have been influenced by Ibsen, with a touch of Bulwer Lytton.
In The Temple of the Holy Ghost, however, the reader may trace the progress of my soul's development. A few of the poems in this book are comparatively normal. One can see the extent of my debt to various predecessors, especially Baudelaire. But while there is a certain delight in dalliance with demoniac Delilahs, there is a steady advance towards the utmost spiritual purity. In “The Athanor”, the invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel reveals my true aspirations; while in “The Mountain Christ”, “The Rosicrucian” and others, it is evident that my ambition was not to become superior to the rest of mankind except in order that I might redeem them.
The Oath of the Beginning.
I, Perdurabo, Frater Ordinis Roase Rubeae et Aureae Crucis, a Lord of the Paths in the Portal of the Vault of the Adepts, a 5Â° = 6Ã¸ of the Order of the Golden Dawn; and an humble servant of the Christ of God; do this day spiritually bind myself anew:
<blockquote> <HTML><blockquote> > By the Sword of Vengeance:\\ > By the Powers of the elements:\\ > By the Cross of Suffering: </blockquote>
That I will devote myself to the Great Work: the obtaining of Communion with my own Higher and Divine Genius (called the Guardian Angel) by means of the prescribed course; and that I will use my Power so obtained unto the Redemption of the Universe.
So help me the Lord of the Universe and mine own Higher Soul!
This idea is further expanded in the obligation which I took in respect of the Operation. The influence of my initiation into the Second Order is manifest. While I remained in the Outer Order, I had not definitely realized the fact that I was bound up with the welfare of humanity and could only satisfy my aspiration by becoming a perfect instrument for the regeneration of the world. I quote once more:
The obligation of the Operation.
I, Perdurabo, in the Presence of the Lord of the Universe, and of all Powers Divine and Angelic, do spiritually bind myself, even as I am no physically bound unto the Cross of Suffering. (1) To unite my consciousness with the divine, as I may be permitted
and aided by the gods Who live for ever, The Aeons of Infinite years; that, being lost in the Limitless Light, it may find Itself: to the Regeneration of the Race, either of man or as the Will of God shall be. And I submit myself utterly to the Will Divine.
(2) To follow out with courage, modesty, loving-kindness and perseverance the course prescribed by Abra-Melin the Mage; as far as in me lies, unto the attainment of this end.
(3) To despise utterly the things and the opinions of this world lest they hinder me in doing this.
(4) To use my powers only to the Spiritual well-being of all with whom I may be brought in contact.
(5) To give no place to Evil: and to make eternal war against the Forces of Evil: until even they be redeemed unto the Light.
(6) To harmonize my own spirit so that Equilibrium may lead me to the East; and that my Human consciousness shall allow no usurpation of its rule by the Automatic.
(7) To conquer the temptations.
(8) To banish the illusions.
(9) To put my whole trust in the Only and Omnipotent Lord God: as it is written, “Blessed are they that put their trust in Him.”
(10) To uplift the Cross of Sacrifice and Suffering; and to cause my Light so to shine before men that they may glorify my Father which is in Heaven.
Furthermore, I most solemnly promise and swear: to acquire this Holy Science in the manner prescribed in the Book of Abra-Melin, without omitting the least imaginable thing of its contents; not to gloss or comment in any way on that which may be or may not be, not to use this Sacred Science to offend the Great God, not to work ill unto my neighbour: to communicate it to no living person, unless by long practice and conversation I shall know him thoroughly, well examining whether such an one really intendeth to work for the Good or for the Evil. I will punctually observe, in granting it, the same fashion which was used by Abra-Melin to Abraham. Otherwise, let him who receiveth it draw no fruit therefrom. I will keep myself as from a Scorpion from selling this Science. Let this Science remain in me and in my generation as long as it shall please the Most High.
As all these points I generally and severally swear to observe under the awful penalty of the displeasure of God, and of Him to whose Knowledge and Conversation I do most ardently aspire.
So help me the Lord of the Universe, and my own Higher Soul1!
- Some of the above phrases are prescribed by Abra-Melin itself; others are adapted from my 5Â° = 6Ã¸ documents.
During this period I continued the practice of visions of and voyages upon divers spiritual planes. It seems worth while to record a few of these. They afford a clear indication of my progress at this time.
In bed, I invoked the Fire angels and spirits on the tablet, with names, etc., and the 6th Key. I then (as Harpocrates) entered my crystal. An angel, meeting me, told me, among other things, that they (of the tablets) were at war with the angels of the 30 Aethyrs, to prevent the squaring of the circle. I went with him unto the abodes of fire, but must have fallen asleep, or nearly so. Anyhow, I regained consciousness in a very singular state, half consciousness being there, and half here. I recovered and banished the Spirits, but was burning all over, and tossed restlessly about — very sleepy, but consumed of Fire! Only repeated careful assumption of Harpocrates' god-form enabled me to regain my normal state. I had a long dream of a woman eloping, whom I helped, and after, of a man stealing my Rose Cross jewel from a dressing-table in an hotel. I caught him and found him a man weak beyond the natural (I could bend or flatten him at will)1, and then the dream seemed to lose coherence … I carried him about and found a hairbrush to beat him, etc. etc. Query: Was I totally obsessed?
Invoking the angels of Earth, I obtained wonderful effect. The angel, my guide, treated me with great contempt and was very rude and truthful. He showed me divers things. In the centre of the earth is formulated the Rose and Cross. Now the Rose is the Absolute Self-Sacrifice, the merging of all in the 0 (Negative), the Universal Principle of generation through change (not merely the feminine), and the Universal light “Khabs”. The Cross is the Extension or Pekht principle. Now I should have learned more; but my attention wandered. This closes the four elemental visions: prosecuted, alas! with what weakness, fatuity and folly!
I … in the afternoon shut myself up and went on a journey …
I went with a very personal guide2: and beheld (after some lesser things) our Master as he sat by the Well with the Woman of Samaria. Now the five husbands were five great religions which had defiled the purity of the Virgin of the World: and “he whom thou now hast” was materialism (or modern thought).
Other scenes also I saw in His Life: and behold I also was crucified! Now did I go backwards ion time even unto Berashith, the Beginning, and was permitted to see marvellous things.
First the Abyss of the Water: on which I, even I, brooded amid other
- This incident was once quoted by one of my critics as illustrative of the absurdity of Magick — as if Magick were responsible for the irrationality of dreams!
- This horrible phrase was not my own: I must not be judged by it.
dusky flames as Shin upon Maim, held by my Genius. And I beheld the victory of RÃ¢ upon Apophis and the First of the Golden Dawns! Yea: and monsters, faces half-formed, arose: but they subsisted not.
And the firmament was.
Again the Chaos and the Death!
Then Ath Hashamain ve ath h-aretz1. There is a whirling, intertwining infinitude of nebulae, many concentric systems, each system non-concentric to any other, yet all concentric to the whole. As I went backwards in time they grew faster and faster, and less and less material. (P.S. — this is a scientific hypothesis, directly contrary to that of Anna Kingsford.) And at last are whirling wheels of light; yet through them waved a thrill of an intenser invisible light in a direction perpendicular to the tangents. I asked to go yet farther back; and behold! I am floating on my back — cast down: in a wind of Light flashing down upon me from the immeasurable Above. (This Light is of a bluish silver tinge.) And I saw hat Face, lost above me in the height inscrutable; a face of absolute beauty. And I saw as it were a Lamb slain in the Glamour of Those Eyes. Thus was I made pure; for there, what impurity could live? I was told that not many had been so far back: none farther: those who could go farther would not, since that would have reabsorbed them into the Beginning, and that must not be to him who hath sworn to uplift the Standard of Sacrifice and Sorrow, which is strength. (I forgot the Angels in the Planetary Whirl. The regarded me with curiosity: and were totally unable to comprehend my explanation that I was a Man, returning in time to behold the Beginning of Things.)
So I returned; having difficulty to find the earth. But I called on S.R.M.D. and V.N.R., who were glad to see me; and returned into the body: to waste the night in gibing at a foolish medico.
My actions continually testify that I naturally possessed what is after all the most essential asset for a Magician, in singular perfection. It came natural to me to despise and reject utterly, without a second's hesitation or regret, anything soever that stood in the way of my purpose. Equally, I could hold that purpose itself as nothing in comparison with the greater purpose of the Order to which I was pledged.
Early in 1900 I applied to the Second Order in London for the documents to which my initiation in Paris entitled me. They were refused in terms which made it clear that the London body was in open revolt against the Chief, though afraid to declare its intentions. I went to London and discussed the matter with Jones, Baker and Mrs. Emery. Jones saw clearly enough that if Mathers were not the head of the Order and the trusted representative of the Secret Chiefs, there was no Order at all. Baker's position was that
- WEH Note: This portion is a development of the Hebrew text of the first verse of Genesis.
Mathers was behaving badly; he was sick of the whole business. Mrs. Emery, the nominal representative of the Chief, was trying to find a diplomatic solution. Her attitude was most serious and earnest and she was greatly distressed by her dilemma. She had thought it best to resign quietly, but received a reply of the most staggering character. The letter is dated February 16th, 1900, and I quote the last two paragraphs in full.
Now, with regard to the Second Order, it would be with the very greatest regret both from my personal regard for you, as well as from the Occult standpoint, that I should receive your Resignation as my Representative in the Second Order in London; but I cannot let you form a combination to make a schism therein with the idea of working secretly or avowedly under Sapere Aude under the mistaken impression that he received an Epitome of the School of the Second Order work from G. H. Soror, Sapiens Dominabitur Astros. For this forces me to tell you plainly (and, understand me well, I can prove to the hilt every word which I here say and more, and were I confronted with S. A., I should say the same) though for the sake of the Order, and for the circumstance that it would mean so deadly a blow to S. A.'s reputation, I entreat you to keep this secret from the “Order,” for the present, at least, though you are at perfect liberty to show him this if you think fit, after mature consideration.
He has NEVER been at any time either in personal or written communication with the Secret Chiefs of the order, he having either himself forged or procured to be forged the professed correspondence between him and them, and my tongue having been tied all these years by a Previous Oath of Secrecy to him, demanded by him, from me, before showing me what he had either done or caused to be done or both. You must comprehend from what little I say here the extreme gravity of such a matter, and again I ask you, both for his sake, and that of the Order, not to force me to go further into the subject.
This letter struck at the very heart of the moral basis of her conduct. It put her in the position of having initiated people, for years, on false pretences. She could not drop out and say no more about it. The matter had to be thrashed out.
My own attitude was unhampered by any ethical considerations. I had seen a good deal of Mathers personally. He was unquestionably a Magician of extraordinary attainment. He was a scholar and a gentleman. He had that habit of authority which inspires confidence because it never doubts itself. A man who makes such claims as he did cannot be judged by conventional codes and canons. Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people. For example, assume a Prime Minister who has private information that somebody
has discovered, and is cultivating, a new germ by means of which he intends to destroy the nation. To pass a “Short Act” would be to give the alarm and precipitate the disaster. It would be his duty to override the law and put his foot upon the mischief. Then again, the whole of Mathers' conduct might have been in the nature of a test. It might have been his way of asking the adepts whether they had the power of concentrating on the spiritual situation, of giving up for ever all their prejudices.
Anyhow, as far as I was concerned, Mathers was my only link with the Secret Chiefs to whom I was pledged. I wrote to him offering to place myself and my fortune unreservedly at his disposal; if that meant giving up the Abra-Melin Operation for the present, all right.
The result of this offer was recorded as follows:
D.D.C.F. accepts my services, therefore do I rejoice that my sacrifice is accepted. Therefore do I again postpone the Operation of Abra-Melin the Mage, having by God's Grace formulated even in this a new link with the Higher and gained a new weapon against the Great Princes of the Evil of the World. Amen.
I went to Paris, discussed the situation with Mathers and formulated the following proposal for dealing with the refractory “temple”.
I. The Second Order to be summoned at various times during two or three days. They to find, on being admitted one by one, a masked man in authority and a scribe. These questions, etc. pass, after pledge of secrecy concerning interview.
A. Are you convinced of the truth of the doctrines and knowledge received in the grade of 5Â° = 6Ã¸? Yes or No?
If yes (1) Then their origin can spring from a pure source only?
If no (2) I degrade you to be a Lord of the Paths in the Portal in the Vault of the Adepts.
B. If he reply “yes”, the masked man continues: Are you satisfied with the logic of this statement? Do you solemnly promise to cease these unseemly disputes as to the headship of this Order! I for my part can assure you from my own knowledge that D.D.C.F. is really a 7Â° = 4Ã¸.
If yes (3) Then you will sing this paper; it contains a solemn reaffirmation of your obligation as a 5Â° = 6Ã¸ slightly expanded, and a pledge to support heartily the new regulations.
If no (4) I expel you from this Order.
II. The practice of masks is to be introduced. Each member will know only the member who introduced him.
Severe tests of the candidate's moral excellence, courage, earnestness, humility, refusal to do wrong, to be inserted in the Portal or 5Â° = 6Ã¸ ritual.
III. Outer Order to be summoned. Similar regulations to be announced to them. New pledges required that they will not communicate the identity of anybody they happen to have known to any new member.
IV. Vault to be reconsecrated.
This was accepted, and I crossed to London to carry it out. I find an entry in my little book of Magical Rituals which reveals my state of mind.
April 12th, 1900.
I, Perdurabo, as the Temporary Envoy Plenipotentiary of Deo Duce Comite Ferro & thus the Third from the Secret Chiefs of the Order of the Rose of Ruby and the Cross of Gold, do deliberately invoke all laws, all powers Divine, demanding that I, even I, be chosen to do such a work as he has done, at all costs to myself. And I record this holy aspiration in the presence of the Divine Light, that it may stand as my witness.
In Saecula Saeculorum. Amen!
A further complication had suddenly arisen. In Mathers' fatal letter to Mrs. Emery, he wrote that Sapiens Dominabitur Astris was not dead after all; but in Paris, working with him at that very moment. But when I arrived in Paris, Mathers had been rudely undeceived. The woman who claimed to be Sapiens had bolted, with such property of his as she could lay hands on. That such a man could have been so imposed upon seems incredible. But he told me that she certainly possessed knowledge which only Sapiens had, and also that she had told him every detail of a very private conversation which he had once had with Mme. Blavatsky at Denmark Hill. In the upshot, she proved to be one Mmme. Horos. In the following year she was sentenced to seven years' penal servitude for outrages on young girls. She had in some way used the rituals of the Order which she had stolen from Mathers to entice them to their doom.
My arrival in London as the envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Mathers put the cat among the chickens. My identity was very soon discovered and a typhoon began to rage in the teacup. The rebels resorted to all sorts of lawless and violent acts, and spread the most stupidly scandalous stories, not only about me, but about the few others who remained loyal to Mathers. They did not even scruple to slander a young girl of perfect purity, by imputing to her an improper intimacy with me. It was especially dastardly, as she was engaged to be married. To this day I cannot understand
how people like W. B. Yeats should not have repressed such methods in the sternest way and insisted that the fight be fought with fir weapons. They had seized the furniture of the temple and the vault. I applied to a police magistrate for tit to be handed over. On the hearing of the summons we were amazed to find Mr. Gill, K.C., one of the most famous men at the bar, briefed to appear in a police court to squabble over a few pounds' worth of paraphernalia! The money was furnished by Miss. Horniman, daughter of the Mazawattee tea man, and later of Manchester Theatre fame. She had been expelled by Mathers some time previously.
I knew enough of campaigning to decline joining battle against such heavy artillery as Mr. Gill. Luckily, the value of the property had been sworn at a sum beyond the limit with which a police magistrate can deal. The summons was therefore withdrawn and Mr. Gill kept his eloquence and his fee to himself. There was in reality nothing worth fighting for. The rebel camp broke up in anarchy. They issued various hysterical manifestos, distinguished by confusion of thought, inaccuracy of statement, personal malice, empty bombast and ignorance of English. One error is worth rescuing from oblivion. “Nothing in the above resolutions shall effect our connection with the Rosicrucian order.” The poor darlings meant affect.
They went on squabbling amongst themselves for a few months and then had the sense to give up playing at Magick. Their only survivor is Arthur Edward Waite, who still pretends to carry on the business, though he has substituted a pompous, turgid rigmarole of bombastic platitudes for the neophyte ritual, so that the last spark of interest is extinct for ever. Mathers, of course, carried on; but he had fallen. The Secret Chiefs cast him off; he fell into deplorable abjection; even his scholarship deserted him. He published nothing new and lived in sodden intoxication till death put and end to his long misery. He was a great man in his way. May he have expiated his errors and resumed his labours, with the advantage of experience!
Summer was now at hand and the wanderlust reasserted itself in me. There was no point in my going back to Boleskine till the following Easter. As it happened, Mathers — to whom I returned to report progress — had two guests, members of the Order. They had just comeback from Mexico. The fancy took me to go there. I wanted in particular to climb the great volcanoes. So, late in June 1900, I sailed for New York.
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