Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Who invented the R.R. et A.C. color scales?


Did Moina Mathers invent our system of colors? Some modern Adepts speculate that it was actually her who did the ground work, saying that the knowledge of color theory required for such an undertaking must have come from an artist. It is possible or even probable that she did create them, for as the saying goes, behind every good magical Order or best-selling tarot deck is a woman artist who didn't get paid very well for her efforts. Even so, it doesn't take an expert artist to figure these colors out. I mean we were all able to learn these scales, and after the ZAM training is finished, every Adept is a color expert, but not every Adept is an artist! The first thing I noticed (when when I was in grade 10 art class and studying GD instead of doing my math homework), was that the twelve colors stem from the six primaries and secondaries, and how well that fits with Astrology and Hebrew on the Complete Symbol of the Rose Cross. In the ideal world of color theory the angles of the astrological aspects work together exactly the same way as paint is mixed. Of course most of our paint pigments don't behave perfectly, and in the execution of our magical work is really where artistic ability in mixing comes in.

I think Mr. Mathers, with his possibly near-schizophrenic level of synthetic genius could have easily picked up a color wheel his wife left laying around and holding it up to an astrological chart put two and two together. At any rate, we all know she was a huge contibutor, and whether she invented it the system of color or not, there is no doubt in my mind that she did most of the hard work painting everything just right.

The artist of this painting of Moina Mathers is Linda Macfarlane. A prolific artist, her specialty is painting portraits of magical women. She did a beautiful rendition of Levi's Baphomet, who by his or her hermaphroditic nature slipped under her female-only criteria. For years it hung in our local downtown temple at the turn of the millennium.

Linda and her ex husband Peter were the people behind the original 93 Publishing in Montreal, Quebec, printing the first new editions of many of Crowley`s works for North America. Undoubtedly a knowledgeable and powerful woman in her own right, I have had great conversations with her about her time in Kenneth Grant's OTO, which she had the privilege of being excommunicated from back in the days before it was even called Typhonian. She also has a keen interest in Voodoo, Tantric Hinduism and of course the history and practice of Thelema. Linda has also had the dubious and distinguished honor of being the first magician to introduce H.B. to the Book of the Law. Apparently she picked him up hitch-hiking when he was but a backpacking teenager. Friendly and relatively solitary, I first heard this story not from the relatively ego-less Linda, but from our mutual friends who love to brag about her at parties.

More of her excellent work can be found at:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Reverse of the Complete Symbol of the Rose Cross

Anyone who has taken the time to create a Complete Symbol of the Rose Cross knows how very time consuming, difficult, and how very rewarding such an endeavor can be. For a new Adept, working alone to make this device can be very frustrating, and that's just painting the front of it! Some Inner Orders only give the E Document instructions and it is often quite difficult for the ZAM to figure out the reverse inscriptions. The original Order description requires the new ZAM to reverse-translate it back into Latin, a daunting task unless one has a working knowledge of Latin, or knows others who do. The ZAM is often hard pressed to finish the Jewel by himself and unassisted by others. Some of us belong to Orders who offer additional internal documents with the correct translation, while others are solitary or belong to an Order who takes the above injunction to finish the 5 = 6 Jewel alone literally, as if it were a test.

Perhaps he is lucky, or fortuitous, and the new ZAM happily stumbles upon the above old pre-R.R. et A.C. Rosicrucian ink drawing in an old folio book and ran it through an online Latin translator, ahem, like I did a few years ago.

Here are the instructions from the E Document, complete with the old Orders characteristically archaic forms of capitalization:

"At the top is written in Latin: 'The Master Jesus Christ, God and Man,' between four Maltese crosses, which represent the four pyramids of the Elements opened out. This is placed at the uppermost part because here is affirmed the descent of the Divine Force into Tiphareth, which is the central point between Supernals and Inferiors. But at the lowest part is written the Motto of the Zelator Adeptus Minor, because therein is the affirmation of the elevation of the Human into the Divine. But this is impossible without the assistance of the Divine Spirit from Kether, whence the space above Malkuth is white upon the front aspect of the Cross -white being the Symbol of the Spiritual rescuing from the material. In the centre, between the symbols of the Alchemical Principles of which the outermost is Sulphur, the purgational fire of suffering and self-sacrifice is written in Latin: 'Blessed be the Lord our God who hath given us the Symbol SIGNUM and this is a word of six letters, thus representing the six periods (creative) in the Universe. And the Regimen of the Planets necessary ere the Glory of the Sun can be obtained."

The correct Latin is as follows:



R.R. ET A.C.

Why ``YShY``

My Second Order motto is Yechidah Shemesh Yetzirah, which is rough Hebrew meaning "the true self's solar form".

Enochian Experiences

Ten years ago, I would not have made a post on this subject for fear of giving others a false direction based on my unique experiences. Say a new student might not have similar results if left to a more personal, experiential, experimental and scientific approach. With a new person doing Enochian, we would just call the spirit up and let the new seer scry away. We would ask them prepared questions about what they are seeing, and troubleshooting the ceremony as we went. Sometimes it took two or three sessions to get things rolling with an inexperienced magician, but most of our colleagues were already Adept at magic before we even began scrying, so we had a lot of success. This care and discretion with new people is something I picked up from my A.`.A.`. experiences with different friends over the years, the old 'don't lead your witness' with respect to magic. Now with experience training 30 or more people with this work, I have seen the same phenomenon happen so many times, I no longer feel the need for such a ponderous and slow approach training people, and am pleased to jot some notes down if they will help anyone else on the matter. Here's a few things that I would have liked to have heard when I was just getting started that aren't in any book.

Practice from the beginning repeating your visions aloud while they are happening, if working alone, learn to record as you go. A little practice makes it easy, and you can learn to let the vision continue on without loosing it. There is nothing more pointless and boring in Enochian group work than working with a single seer who is silent the whole time as they scry and later who can't remember what they saw, or loose trance because they haven't cultivated the skill of writing or repeating aloud for a scribe to record what they have seen. Magic is very serious business, but it can be fun for a group too. No gawking or party tricks, but I doubt anyone would get involved if they weren't at least interested in it! It is like learning to type, it is best to practice the good habits of repeating visions as they come or learning to write as it happens, right from the beginning of the ZAM work. A magician's better speed and accuracy will come as a result. A Canadian, I also liken this to tapping a tree for sap, it is a renewable resource. I have found these simple practices that follow have halped many, including myself, improve in the art.

At the trance-inducing point, after the key is read, I often repeat the hierarchies again, and definitely test using the spirit name (as well as the banners, the seven double letters, all the basic stuff). I like to repeat vibrating the spirit or senior's name the most at this point, it helps me tune in quicker. I vibrate it, but I noticed if people belt it out with too much gusto, it can break the trance, so we often try to not do it theatrically like in an LRP, but let the seer vibrate it quieter, but still properly. Here is the key: do it as taught, but visualize it having a tremendous force in the vision. That way we stay in our trance.

After each bout of vibration, slowly the picture comes clearer, and in stages audio and visual clarity take place. We test it with the traditional order methods, then when I hit the place where full audio and detailed visual contact occurs, like you said, they definitely want you to get to the point! They are very impulsive without being impatient or reckless. There is simply a raw 'get to business' that I have rarely experienced with other entities, and especially not with Goetic or planetary spirits. It is almost as if they are waiting patiently for us to get it together while we take our requisite few moments to go under trance, or 'tune in' and they are already good to go with their first sentence. "Why have you called?" or some such. It feels like a jolt where this imperative impulse to reply quickly is communicated to me. When training a new seer, they are often frightened at this moment, regardless of the preparation before. It really sinks home that these entities behave as if they are independent beings, regardless of one's preconceived personal philosophy on the matter. Let us take the psychological concept of projection into account here. It works for any relationship, spirit or human. For example, the spirit of my wife is only a psychological projection of mine when I mistake her for my mother, and endeavour to set sundry menial tasks for her, otherwise the universe still behaves as if she was an independent being =).

There is also a high level of empathy possible with these communications that some of us don't notice at first, I imagine I can actually feel what they are feeling. Really they are supremely genuine and severe beings.

I prepared a generic list of questions for my first working, mainly because it was what you were supposed to do, but right away they seemed shallow and inappropriate because they were not tailor made for the entity. To choose an entity, I use the astrological attributions of element, sub-element, and possibly planet, etc. For example, the Mercury Senior on the Earth Tablet is Ahmlicu. Then using this as a basis, one can ask specific articulate and relevant questions of them, and at best work with them for a specific personal need, instead of calling them up one after another to create a nice book or grimoire of attributes as was my previous compulsion! With a specific personal concern, they are much more helpful. Regardless of the system of attributes one subscribes to, or how well we know ourselves, starting somewhere with care is better than beginning from a place of no genuine effort towards making a new contact with another being. it is literally the first meeting at the beginning of a relationship.

Finally, I never ask an Enochian Senior to do anything menial for me on the physical plane, that task seems reserved for other ranks of Subservient angle Angels and other spirits. I actually prefer the seven planetary spirits (i.e. Bartzabel, Quedemial, etc) from the Qamea system of evocation for those sundry tasks.

This post originally appeared on the Golden Dawn Forum, and after I received a few replies, I slightly reworded it for purposes of clarity.