Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Alchemy and the Golden Dawn Debate (featuring Frater Lux E Tenebris, representing the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order of the Golden Dawn)

by David Griffin

Alchemy and Golden Dawn Ritual
Pat Zalewksi's New Age alchemy book (Alchemy and Golden Dawn Ritual), based already in the opening chapters on material channeled from an alleged disincarnate entity called "Guru Das,"  has both sparked lively debate and drawn derision from numerous practicing alchemists. For example, Pat Zalewski's former friend in New Zealand, "Rubaphilos Salfluere" recently wrote on the HOGD/AO Yahoo Forum.
Rubaphilos Salfleure
"Thanks for the welcome. I have an extensive interest and experience in alchemy, and its expression in the GD system (having been a long time and keen student of the GD system), so I would be more than happy to answer questions on the subject, if any are forthcoming.
I know quite well about Pat Zalewksi's 's so-called alchemy. I met his wife at an alchemical seminar in the late 80's, and eventually became good friends with her and Pat. I visited them at their (then) home in Wellington a number of times, to discuss the GD and alchemy, and his (then) new books. So we talked a lot about alchemy and we discussed his plans for this alchemy book of his at length. And you are right, it is merely an exercise in hooking together correspondences between some alchemical ideas and concepts inside the GD system. The most superficial and highly inaccurate way of trying to decode alchemical literature. Pat Zalewksi knows next to nothing about actual alchemy. And I know for a fact that he has no understanding of the advanced lab tradition (the process of confecting the Philosopher's Stone), as his wife and he only discussed and worked on Plants, and had no access (back then, at least) with anyone involved in the advanced work.
But, anyway, once you realise that he only publishes for the money (as he once said to me), and doesn't really care about the content of the books, then you stop taking anything he says, seriously. And on that basis I don't think there is any value in talking about the guy."
To which I responded:

I also am a practitioner of Hermetic alchemy, and an initiate of the Internal Alchemy of the Third Order of the Golden Dawn.

This is something very different, however, than what Pat Zalewski is trying to promote as so-called, "Spiritual Alchemy," which is not alchemy at all, but merely an intellectual game searching for analogies to string together from Golden Dawn Ritual and classical alchemical texts and images. Pat's calling these intellectual gyrations "Spiritual Alchemy" in his new book, Alchemy and the Golden Dawn, will merely confuse people and lead them astray from discovering the true spiritual beauty and potential of alchemy.

In reality, the rites, knowledge lectures and even the magical system of the Golden Dawn do indeed contain analogies for the advanced processes of Hermetic Internal alchemy in the Golden Dawn's Third Order. This is something very different though than Pat Zalkewski's intellectual games.

For example, Pat says absolutely nothing about the actual alchemical practices and techniques encoded in the rituals. He merely paints a bizarre tapestry of barely related symbols. For example, he ties together New Age ideas allegedly channeled from "Guru Das,"  then links them to a couple of features of Golden Dawn ritual, as though the two were somehow related.

In the process, Pat uses a huge amount of smoke and mirrors, deliberately making himself  difficult to understand, as though being as abstruse as possible might fool people into thinking he actually knows something about alchemy. In reality, Pat seems only to know Jungian psychological theory derived from alchemy, as well as channeled material from New Age gurus, judging from the actual sources Pat quotes in the book.

I do not get the impression that your approach to alchemy, however, is merely an intellectual and speculative one like Pat. Thus I suspect you and I might be able to have a meaningful dialogue to shed new light on the true nature of alchemy for the Golden Dawn community. I must state from the outset, however, that I am somewhat impeded in what I may discuss openly, as I am an INITIATE of Hermetic Internal alchemy. As such, I take the sanctity of oath bound material very seriously.

I was initiated as an 8=3 of the Alpha et Omega over a decade ago. At that time, I was initiated into the beginning phases of Hermetic Internal alchemy as well.

I am an apprentice of a Hermetic Master Alchemist, Frater Lux E Tenebris. As you are likely aware, the relationship between Master Alchemist and Disciple is not to be underestimated. This relationship has at all times through history been the crux of traditional alchemical training. This is something that seems no longer to be understood in the alchemical community, however. Nonetheless, the Master-Apprentice relationship is the single most important factor in traditional Hermetic alchemy. Thus, should you pose questions I am not best qualified to answer, I will pass them onto my superiors in the Golden Dawn's Third Order, to provide you with a more proper response.

Alchemy teaches that Spirit and Flesh - Energy and Matter - are actually two sides of one and the same coin. It is life affirming - and seeks to uncover and use the secrets of nature for the spiritualization of matter.

Hermetic Internal Alchemy teaches that material life on planets is just a caterpillar stage to life as pure energy - inside the Sun and stars - at the fast vibrating end of the universe at the speed of light ...

And the Opus Magnum - the true goal of human life on earth is Energetic Evolution: To cultivate of a Solar Body of Light through physical transmutation - thus avoiding incarnating over and over in material bodies subject to death. In other words, to become Consciously Immortal!

The Secret of transmutation of all metals into gold lies inside each and every one of us - for the "Prima Materia" (First Matter) of Internal Alchemy is the living matter of our physical bodies. The "Opus Magnum" (Great Work) of Hermetic Internal Alchemy is the transmutation of Lead - the matter of your physical body - into Gold - pure Solar Energy, Divine consciousness, and immortality.

This Internal (PHYSICAL) Transmutation is fueled by the internal fires of your body - among which LOVE and SEXUALITY are primary motors for spiritual and energetic evolution.

Hermetic Internal alchemy is "internal" in the sense that we use an inner laboratory, an internal athanor, and an internal fire - all inside of the human body in a PHYSICAL sense, rather than merely psychological or intellectual, as in what has today misleadingly and confusingly come to be known as so-called, "spiritual" alchemy. We practice the art of PHYSICAL transmutation instead of mere speculative, intellectual gyrations based on New Age channelling.

Rubaphilos replied:
Regarding your statement that: "Hermetic Internal Alchemy is a completely different alchemical way to both of these. It is a classic lab tradition, but using the physical body as athanor, prima materia, fire, everything ... but in a physical sense," I would be curious to know if you have any quotes from classic alchemical literature to support that idea. (I am always interested in classic references to the internal work). 
Rather than give a less than perfect answer myself, I instead phoned the Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn, requesting a proper reply. I received via email the below response from Frater Lux E Tenebris, who wrote:

Lux E Tenebris
"Each true Alchemist indicates these things in every genuine alchemical work. Read for example the works of Fulcanelli and Canseliet his pupil. These are modern references to this Art of Alchemy.
Alchemy as a function of its first law states that Unity is All including the Unity of matter. Thus when the mystery is discussed it is discussed on many levels: The physical plane, the subtle plane, the mental plane, and the strictly divine.
You have to remember that energy is always ONE in various shades of it and therefore has no meaning to speak of physical energy and physical references. When it comes to these things you just have to speak of a unique energy and the indications are everywhere and in every tract, as the philosophers say time and again: "We do not contradict each other , but rather say the same thing in different symbols."
In any case, for the edification of the readers of your forum, I will indicate the first paragraphs of the The New Chemical Light where scholars of good faith can find what has been requested.
But then again, this is just one of hundreds of such tracts. But do I really need to give you a bibliography of hundreds of books that deal with alchemy ...
Practically every one covers this same topic, at least for those with eyes to see!
Below are some very clear directions written by a true alchemist of the past centuries. But then again, who poses such a question to begin with, however, merely demonstrates their lack of initiation in The Royal Art, and thus an inability to see what is right before their eyes, as, for example, in Sendivogius, "The New Chemical Light."
- Lux E Tenebris
Rubaphilos responded:
"I am very familiar with Sendivogious' New Chemical Light (since it is standard reading for any lab alchemist). I'm not quite sure, though, how his text shows proof of an internal alchemy tradition. Historically it is well known that Sendivogious was a lab alchemist (after the tradition of the likes of Albertus and Dubuis, for example), that he had a laboratory and performed many experiments there, and that he performed transmutations with a Philosophic Stone in front of reliable witnesses. So I'm not quite sure what I am supposed to be seeing in the quoted passages, outside of his obvious references to esoteric chemistry.
I think I would have to twist the facts a good deal in order to even begin to believe Sendivogious was expounding the secrets (even in allegorical form) of some system of alchemy that required an alchemist to work some physical process on himself.
Seeing no point in further pestering the Third Order, merely to reply to someone wanting to debate the meaning of classical alchemical texts like a Lutheran pastor and a Catholic priest debating theology, I instead merely replied myself:

Care Rubaphilos, You overlook that Sendivogious even mentions sperm directly, albeit the English translator chose the word "seed" instead, which illustrates yet one more problem facing those who choose to stumble around in the alchemical labyrinth without the torch of initiation by a Master to guide them.

You apparently remain blinded by an entrenched belief that alchemy in the INTERNAL laboratory (inside the physical body) and alchemy in the EXTERNAL laboratory (in the external world) are SEPARATE disciplines.

Have you never learned the most fundamental and basic law of alchemy, the "Unitary Theorem," namely that:

"All is ONE!"

Have you never yet felt the sacred flow of the Divine forces of nature INSIDE of you while in your EXTERNAL laboratory observing a distillation, a crystillisation, or perhaps a combustion?

Have you never experienced INSIDE of you an almost religious exaltation while observing EXTERNAL matter transmuting beneath your hands?

If not, then what you are practicing still remains mere chemistry and not yet alchemy.

A true alchemist is one who has learned and EXPERIENCED DIRECTLY that there is NO DIFFERENCE between INTERNAL and EXTERNAL operations...

The UNITY of all things is the most basic principle of true alchemy. Energy and matter are ONE.

Have you not yet understood that, because matter is ONE; the Vital Principal, the Vitale Energy is present in whatever manifestation of matter, and thus the Great Work can depart from whatever Prima Materia, whether outside or inside of you?

Anyone who has not yet directly experienced the SIMULTANEOUS INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL TRANSMUTATION of matter is still but playing at alchemy - and has not yet become a true Philosopher of the Art.

And whether alchemist or magician ...
The path to the summit remains the same.

In the Second Order of the Golden Dawn, for example, we teach EXTERNAL MAGIC using cups, wands, daggers, and pentacles made of dead wood and steel in the outer world.

But if one is to become a true Adept, one must first learn to use magical transmutations in the external world to produce inner transmutation in the INTERNAL world of the magician as well.

Otherwise one remains an Adept in but name only.

And moreover ...
Beyond the Abyss at the Third Order level ...

There comes a time when every magician and every alchemist alike must once and for all put away DEPENDENCE on all of the EXTERNAL props that we needed in our magical or alchemical infancy - and realize that we no longer need such training wheels any longer.

The true MAGISTER is no longer dependent on anything at all in the EXTERNAL world.

But instead - through the exclusive INTERNAL manipulation of INTERNAL forces and INNER processes, the true MAGISTER transforms and transmutes even in the EXTERNAL world, without reliance on any EXTERNAL props, implements, or laboratories whatsoever.

But then again, I am likely wasting my breath trying to explain these things to someone who believes that the only true alchemy is but mere chemistry in a laboratory.

For it is written that:

"Neither torches nor glasses...
Can help those who do not want to see!"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

SECRET CHIEFS: Communiqué On Spagery, Archemy, and Alchemy

by Frater Lux E Tenebris
Representative of the
Third Order of the Golden Dawn
(Translated and Introduced by David Griffin)

An Alchemist, Or Just a Puffer?

Translator's Introduction
by David Griffin
Over the centuries, there have been many would be alchemists who have wasted their entire lives and fortunes in the misguided attempt to manufacture gold using alchemical transmutation. Initiates of Hermetic alchemy, known as Philosophers of the Art, have  consistently mocked these individuals, calling them "Puffers" as a derisive reference to the manner that they puffed with bellows at the fires in their laboratories, having completely misunderstood the subtle allegories contained in Hermetic alchemical texts and images.

For alchemical initiates in modern times, the term "Puffer" has come to take on a wider meaning, due to new, more modern misunderstandings of the symbolism of the texts and images in the literature of Hermetic alchemy. Noteworthy as modern schools of Puffery are the modern schools of so-called "Spiritual" alchemy. This certainly does not include the "spiritual alchemy of Jacob Boehme" which is something else entirely. From the traditional point of view of the initiatic tradition of Hermetic alchemy, modern schools of Puffery include the psychological misinterpretation of alchemy of Carl Gustav Jung, the speculative, purely intellectual interpretation of Pat Zalewski, and even the meditative approach of Adam MacClean, who nonetheless remains a fine encyclopedist of alchemical texts and images.

In recent weeks, there has been an enlightening discussion delineating divergent modern approaches to alchemy in the Yahoo forum of our order. During this discussion, a "laboratory alchemist" has appeared who argues that true alchemy and the original alchemical texts and images refer exclusively to laboratory experiments. From an initiatic point of view,his modern Puffer has fallen into the same trap as the Puffers of old, namely a literalistic interpretation of the symbols and allegories of the texts and images of Hermetic alchemy. This approach to alchemy is the modern equivalent of the "gold cookers" of the 18th Century that the Philosophers so derided. In modern times, such individuals, however only see two possibilieies, their own literalistic misinterpretation of alchemy, or the equally misguided intellectual interpretations of the other schools of Puffery outlined above.

The initiatic tradition of Hermetic alchemy is something completely different, whose higher practices remain even today the most carefully guarded secrets of the Western Esoteric Tradition. In order to better illustrate the difference between true Hermetic Alchemy and the modern schools of Puffery, I have just finished translating the following monograph written by GH Frater Lux E Tenebris, representative of the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order of the Golden Dawn.

On Spagery, Archemy, and Alchemy
by Frater Lux E Tenebris

All the authors who have written works on the history of chemistry have stated, "Our chemistry derives, by direct lineage, from the old alchemy". Thus, the origin of one merges with the history of the other. For this reason, actual science would be indebted, in the positive factors on which it is based, to the patient labor of the ancient alchemists.

This hypothesis, which should be granted but a relative and conventional value, is currently accepted as a demonstrated truth - Thus consequently the science of alchemy, stripped of its own principles, loses all the functions that justify its existence, which to justify its very reason for being. Considered in this manner, from afar and through the mists of legend and the centuries, alchemy no longer appears except in a vague, nebulous form - without consistency.

Fulcanelli, the great alchemist, in his wonderful book "The Dwellings of the Philosophers" writes in this regard: 
"But when proof would be necessary, when facts prove indispensable, we content ourselves rather to apply Hermetic principles. The School does not discuss, but rather cuts off. Nonetheless, we declare, in our turn, our aims to demonstrate that these scientists, in good faith, have but embraced and spread a hypothesis. They have erred due to ignorance and lack of profound study. In fact, they have understood only partially the books they have studied, and thus have confused appearance for reality."
At this point we declare clearly, because many educated and sincere people seem to remain unaware of this fact, that the true ancestor of our modern chemistry is but ancient spagery, and not the Hermetic science of alchemy itself. Indeed, between spagery and alchemy there lies a deep and profound abyss, as will be made clear in this brief monograph.

Still according to Fulcanelli, in the Middle Ages and probably in Greek antiquity, if we go back to the works of Zosimus and Ostantes, there existed two degrees, two levels of research in chemical science: the spagyric and the alchemical.

These two branches of a common esoteric art, Fulcanelli tells us, were widespread in the working class through practice in the laboratories. Metallurgists, goldsmiths, painters, potters, glass makers, dyers, enamel-bulls, distillers, potters, etc.., in the same way as pharmacists, needed to be provided with sufficient spagyric knowledge, which they then completed with the exercise of their profession.

Archemists instead formed a special category among the old chemists, a narrower and more obscure category: whose intended purpose had certain similarities with that of the alchemists, but the materials and the means which they disposed to reach this purpose were exclusively chemical materials and means.

Transmuting metals into one another, producing gold and silver starting from crude mineral or metallic salt compounds: forcing gold content departing from silver and silver content departing from tin, to become effective and removable. These were the things that Archemy proposed. Ultimately, assures Fulcanelli, these were, in truth, Spagerists perched in the mineral kingdom that voluntarily left aside the quintessence from animal and plant alkaloids.

They cultivated their knowledge in small numbers and privately, according to the rather disdainful words used by the true alchemists to indicate these occasional practitioners, unworthy of being called of Philosophers of the Art. Despite their faults, or rather precisely because of their faults, Fulcanelli says that it is exactly these who procured first Spagery, and then modern chemistry with all of its attendent facts, methods, operations, etc.

These are real founders of a science is wonderful and perfect, these men tormented by the desire to seek and to learn everything, these endowed this science of correct observations, of precise reactions, of skillful manipulation and laboriously acquired skill.

Alchemy, however, we repeat, has nothing to do with these successive acquisitions. Only the Hermetic writings, misunderstood by profane investigators, were the indirect cause of discoveries that their authors had never expected.

In this manner, Blaise de Vigenere obtained benzoic acid, by sublimating benzoin. Brandt was able to extract phosphorus while searching for the alkahest in urine. Basil Valentine, the prestigious Adept did not look with disdain at all spagyric experiments, set in order the whole series of salts of antimony and realized red gold colloid. ​​Raymond Lull prepared acetone and Cassius purple gold. Glauber obtained sodium sulfate and Van Helmont recognized the existence of gas.

But, with the exception of Llull and Basil Valentine, Fulcanelli declares that all these researchers are wrong to classify among alchemists, as they were merely Archemists, or Spagyric sages. This is why a famous adept, author of a classic (Cosmopolitan) said quite correctly:
"If Hermes, the Father of the Philosophers, were to rise again today along with the subtle Geber and profound Raymond Llull, they would not be considered Philosophers the "vulgar chemists" or our day chemical from our vulgar (an epithet used by the author for the Archemists and Spagyrists who are not true alchemists (also called true Adepts - from Adeptus = that which is acquired). The "vulgar chemists" would not even consider these great Philosophers as among their disciples, merely because they do not know how to run all those distillations, circulations, calcinations, and all those countless other operations that our vulgar chemists have invented, merely because they have misunderstood the writings of those great allegorical philosophers!"
The books, with their confused text, enriched in cabalistic expressions, are the efficient and genuine cause of the gross contempt which we have reported. Despite the warnings and the solemn reproaches of the authors - disciples or researching students of the golden truth, insist on reading into these texts, meanings from modern, every day speech. They do not understand that these texts have been reserved from the beginning for initiates, and it is essential to possess the secret, initiatic key to unlock their true meaning.

The first work that needs to be done is precisely to discover this key.

Of course, these old treatises do contain, if not all of alchemy, at least its philosophy, its principles, and the art of applying them in accordance with the laws of nature. We must not ever forget, however, that alchemy is an Esoteric Science. Consequently, a living intelligence, an excellent memory, and even work and attention aided by a strong will are not enough to hope to become a gifted in this Art.

Nicolas Grosparmy writes:
"All those are dead wrong who believe that we wrote our books just for them, instead, we have written them to throw off anyone who does not belong to our tradition."
Another alchemist, more charitably, warns the reader with these words:
"Every prudent man should, first of all, learn the Science, and should proceed only if he succeeds to learn the operative principles and methods. Otherwise it is better not even to begin, so do not to insanely waste his time and riches ... Now, I beg those who read this book, to have faith in my words. I repeat once again that you will never learn this sublime science merely with the help of books. This can only be learned through divine revelation. It is for this reason, in fact, that it is called the Divine Art. It can also be learned with the assistance of a good and faithful Master; and since there are few whom God has bestowed with this grace, fewer still those who so teach. "
And finally, we can not overlook the poignant words of one author of the eighteenth century that explain in another way the difficulty of solving this enigma or finding the secret key:
"Here is the first and real reason why nature has hidden this open and royal palace from many Philosophers, even those equipped with highly acute intelligence. The cause is that, already since their youth, they have strayed from the simple way of nature through logical and metaphysical conclusions. Thus, deceived by the illusions contained in the best books, they imagine and swear that this is the deepest and most difficult to learn of any metaphysical Art, although ingenuous Nature advances by straight steps, simple in this path like in all of her others."
These are the opinions of Philosophers themselves about their works. We should not be surprised, therefore, that many scholars have misled themselves about this science, of which they were unable to assimilate even the most basic notions. We want to encourage Neophytes in the Ars Magna, Alchemy, to meditate on this truth proclaimed by imitation:
"These can listen to the sound of their words, but this does not indicate their meaning. In them there is only the letter, but it is up to the Lord to discover their meaning. They propose the mysteries, but it is up to Him to explain them. They show the way that should be followed, but it is He who gives strength to advance."
Here we must specify precisely that when we speak of God or He in Hermetic Science, we mean our Solar self, or particle of infinite being.

And this is the great obstacle against which our chemists have collided.

Fulcanelli affirms that if our scientists had understood the language of the ancient alchemists, they would have known the laws of Hermetic practice and the Philosopher's Stone, and a long time ago would have ceased to be regarded as a chimera.

We have said that to meet a Master of the alchemical Art, good and sincere, would constitute the equivalent of a divine gift. The Master are still here, but it is difficult to find him, and even if you find him unwilling to speak, you must be skillful to rob him of that which you wish to know.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

SILENCE BROKEN: Secret Chiefs Communiqué Reveals True Nature of R.R. et A.C. Grades!

Readers will recall how last month the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega revealed that the Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn's Third Order have finally released the rest of the Second Order curriculum beyond that given to S. L. MacGregor Mathers for the (5=6) Adeptus Minor grade. I knew that this announcement would provoke another chorus of "no proof" from Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists and revisionists. This put the Alpha Omega in somewhat of a conundrum. In providing enough evidence to convince objective and reasonable individuals, not only does the A.O. face the problem of the sanctity of oath bound material, but also that every time we release even a crumb of information about the traditional, Rosicrucian G.D. curriculum, Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists quickly assemble an inaccurate, zombie-like copy of it.

For example, following the Alpha Omega's announcement in 2002 that we had reestablished contact with the Golden Dawn's Third Order and that the Secret Chiefs had transmitted to us the grade rituals and complete curriculum for the highest grades of the order (8=3, 9=2, and 10=1), Neo-G.D. reconstructionists harped for years that there was "no proof" of any of this.

Among the evidence the A.O. therefore actually did provide, we revealed the importance and prominence of Hermetic Internal Alchemy in the Golden Dawn's Third Order. We also revealed how Third Order alchemical processes, in symbolical and analogical ways, permeate the entire Golden Dawn grade rituals, knowledge lectures, and even the R.R. et A.C. magical system. We further revealed that the Third Order possesses the clear explanation of all of the advanced alchemical processes encoded in every aspect of the Golden Dawn.

From these few crumbs of information, Pat Zalewksi quickly threw together a few basic alchemical notions to reconstruct an inaccurate, zombie-like copy of the above. Of course, Mr. Zalewksi has no real knowledge of of the underlying Third Order, Hermetic Internal Alchemical processes that are actually encoded in the alchemical symbols that permeate the Golden Dawn and the R.R. et A.C. But with his new book, "Alchemy and Golden Dawn Grades," Zalewksi gives these symbols a completely fabricated meaning, referring them to simple and well known phases and processes of basic alchemy. In doing so, Mr. Zalewski is counting on general public ignorance regarding the true nature and function of Hermetic alchemy, together with the enigmatic nature of alchemical symbolism, in order to pass off his inaccurate, zombie-like copy as the real deal.

Nonetheless, despite the confusion that this creates for the public and for Golden Dawn initiates regarding the true meaning of the alchemical symbolism and allegory in Golden Dawn rituals, etc., Pat Zalewksi's personal interpretation of "Alchemy and Golden Dawn Rituals" indeed has virtue, in that it adds something new to the overall lore and diversity of the aggregate Golden Dawn tradition.

This does serve to illustrate yet once again, however, just how careful the Alpha Omega has to be about what we reveal to the public. This is why, when the A.O. last month announced that the Secret Chiefs have transmitted the Adeptus Major (6=5) and Adeptus Exemptus (7=4) curriculum to our order, I deliberately chose an example from the advanced teachings that would, on the one hand, serve as proof enough for reasonable individuals, yet would not give Golden Dawn pirates any new material with which to knock off fanciful and inaccurate copies.

Since a host of books had already recently appeared about magic squares, drawing attention to this aspect of the advanced R.R. et A.C. magical curriculum carried almost no risk of with it of further piracy. Nonetheless, Agrippa's magic squares provided a great example, since they show how the 6=5 and 7=4 grades further develop material contained in the 5=6. In this case, the advanced Rosicrucian grades teach Adepts how to unlock and use the original magical system of the magic squares that was actually used by Agrippa and Trithemius. These squares were only included in encrypted form in the 5=6 grade.

Nonetheless, quite predictably, barely a month had passed before Nick Farrell yesterday published an article claiming that both the Secret Chiefs and I are barking up the wrong tree about not only Agrippa's magical squares, but even about the entire meaning and purpose of the Golden Dawn's Second Order grade initiations.

And since the evidence we had presented used Agrippa's Saturn square as an example, Farrell went after this with all of the subtlety of a pro wrestler. Instead of proving his point, however, what Mr. Farrell actually accomplished was to provide us with an opportunity to clarify the fundamental difference between the Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionist approach to the R.R. et A.C., and the approach used by the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order, as traditional guardians of the pre-Golden Dawn Rosicrucian mysteries.

In regard to Agrippa's Saturn square, Mr. Farrell in his article published a version of the square embellished with some interesting, yet extraneous Golden Dawn symbolism. This intellectual approach does indeed have value, as is also the case with Mr. Zalekwsi's work above, in that it adds something new to the aggregate lore of the Golden Dawn. What Mr. Farrell's approach does not accomplish, however, is to tell us anything about the original magical system practiced Agrippa and Trithemius. The Secret Chiefs, on the other hand, have now made the entire original magical system used by Agrippa and Trithemius available to Adepts from across the entire Golden Dawn community!

It is noteworthy that this is not merely some reconstructed copy or personal interpretation of some aspect or other of the Golden Dawn. Herein lies the crux of the matter - and most clearly illustrates the two divergent approaches. And this is but one small piece of an entire corpus of traditional Rosicrucian magical systems that the Third Order has just made available for the first time in history.

Yet even this Nick Farrell dismisses out of hand, claiming that all magical systems belong only in the 5=6, Adeptus Minor, grade. According to Farrell, the Adeptus Major (6=5) grade is only "about the surrender of the personality completely to archive the will of the One Thing." And the Adeptus Exemptus (7=4) grade, according to Farrell, is "even more mystical. Instead of working magic, 7=4 [is] the magic, or at least working to become it."

Farrell continues:
"Both these grades depend on the knowledge of the 5=6, but they are not looking for more information. Instead they are looking to apply information gained effectively. So an order teaching new information at the 6=5 and 7=4 grades is barking up the wrong tree. Any new information automatically categorises itself at the 5=6. If it is a system, new or not, it is by its very nature 5=6."
Finally, Pat Zalewski this week wrote on his Yahoo forum:
"Now I am not the sort that meets a secret chief who farts once and the rarefied air produces the explanations. If the secret chief farts three times I presume it will be a positively orgasmic experience. Now the intellect tells us that if the secret chiefs gives us documents in another language then Huston we have a problem. The Secret Chiefs have given you guys hard data and ignored the self knowledge."
As I mentioned in my previous article, what certain people in the Golden Dawn community still do not yet properly consider, is that they are silently being observed. All this time, although they have remained silent until now, the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order have nonetheless been observing the various goings on in the Golden Dawn community.

In light of recent events in this community, the Secret Chiefs have today, for the first time in history, decided to issue a public statement, emailed to me yesterday by their spokesperson, Frater Lux E Tenebris:

The Traditional Initiatic Meaning of the Three Grades of the R.R. et A.C. 
(5=6, 6=5, 7=4)
by Frater Lux E Tenebris
I have been asked by the Magi of the august Order to which it is my great honor to belong, to write about the traditional meaning and true initiatic function of the three degrees of the Second Order of the Golden Dawn (R.R. et A.C.).
The three Adept grades incorporated in the Rosicrucain Tradition are actually re-elaborations of extremely ancient mysteries that have always accompanied humankind since the beginning of its appearance on this earth.
Human beings are born and live with the passing of their lives and the approach of death ever present before our eyes. The birth, life, death and resurrection of the plant world did not escape the careful eye of the ancients. They wondered why it is that what happened in the plant world did not also happen in the world of animals and human beings. The ancients observed that, from the seed of grain was grain reborn, as were human beings from human seed, even if diverse.
In this perfecting the knowledge of nature, the ancients noticed also that the Sun was likewise born, died and was reborn - as was the moon, and as the heavens presented the stars and the planets. In fact, everything in life spoke of this cycle of birth, death and resurrection. It did not take long for the ancients to realize that every law they observed was the same for every thing that could ever be discovered or comprehended.
The Universe is order from chaos and therefore is subject to precise laws that are inviolable and eternal. The universe has two properties: eternity and infinity. The Universe is infinite, as it contains everything that exists. The Universe is eternal, as visible material expression of Beingness.
The Universe, within itself, is mutable and cyclical. The elements contained within the Universe therefore transform into infinite gradations of matter and energy, and this movement, evolution or devolution leads to the creation of Time.
Humankind is a creation of the Universe - and human beings within themselves contain all three of the preceding kingdoms; mineral, vegetable, and animal. Moreover, in human beings Soul, Mind, and Consciousness manifest, being that which makes us human.
As human beings, we notice that our bodies are born, live, and die. By analogical observation, which is the cornerstone upon which all of Magic rests, we discover that our bodies are subject to the same laws like all other things. By noting how the Sun returns, the Moon returns, the seasons return, and plants are reborn - we discover how we are subject to the same fate: Birth-Life-Death-Rebirth.
The point of this is that, as the ancients said, there are only two possibilities for a human being; to be reborn as human or to be reborn as a Soul. With the term Soul, I intend to describe the subtle and invisible complex within human beings, and not just one part of it, which for the purposes of this discussion would be useless.
In Egypt the dead were embalmed and then awakened or caused to be reborn, with particular and energetic practices which coagulated the subtle remains of the deceased, in such a manner that his consciousness could rest upon it and thus live a sort of life beyond the grave.
And the Limbo, the Elysian fields, or Underworld, the Duat, etc. - This inner dimension of man is known by many names - but in any case it means always the one and the same thing.
The initiatic schools, have therefore long understood that the only key, be it to understand nature and therefore the entire universe, or be it to transform a human being, is precisely the perennial law of analogy.
Departing from here, we can observe an entire proliferation of rites and practices analogous to the cycles of time of the earth, the sun, the moon, or stars. This is to ensure that humankind enters into the great cosmic harmony that turns eternally, and thus evolves according a universal law, namely: In the universe things transform from for worse to better as well as from better to worse. In modern times, this is known as the Law of Thermodynamics. For our purposes, however, it is enough to know that this is Eternal Universal Law.
Mystery Schools and initiatic rites can not escape this general universal rule, and thus we find them again and again all across the world, coupled with the eternal laws of the birth of life, of death and of rebirth. Here in the West, we can observe this also in Christianity, the dominant religion of the day, but each initiatic order also has its own corpus of special initiatic doctrines and practices, which cause their disciples to advance along these lines. To this, there are no exceptions.
Thus we arrive at the Second Order of the Golden Dawn, the R.R. et A.C., which as already stated for the other orders, can not escape this rule as an expression of the eternal laws governing everything. In fact, upon initiation in the Neophyte grade of the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn, a new life begins for the candidate.
This entire new life unfolds for the initiate in the grades leading up to Philosophus. Next, the candidate encounters the mysteries of the Divine for the first time in the Portal of the Vault of the Adepts. This transitional grade essential for the incubation of the new Soul in preparation for the second initiatic ordeal - Death following the birth that constituted the first such ordeal as a Neophyte.
In the Adeptus Minor (5=6) ritual, in documents and practices furnished to me not by the R.R. et A.C., but rather by the R+C Order from which the R.R. et A.C. arises, the following is said, which is precise and incontrovertible:
"The Mystery School into which you have been initiated is not a school of mysticism, but rather a school of active Magic. In this order we study the Principles of Sacred Science from a scientific point of view, instead of from the mystical or emotional point of view of religions.
In this Mystery School which transmits the teachings of ancient Mystery Schools of Sumeria, Chaldea, Assyria and Egypt, you will find neither superstition nor obscurantism. We will reveal to you the true inner structure of human beings and their true relationship with the Universe: For this reason, disciple, be ready to follow the course in every phase and fear not the death you shall face..."
This is the grade corresponding to the Adeptus Minor (5=6) of the R.R. et A.C. in the Order, which shall remain unnamed, yet is the foundation and root of all Rosicrucian mysteries ever transmitted in the West
Next, in the ritual which is the source of the 6=5 in the R.R. et A.C., it is written:
"I have died - and now I voyage in unknown realms with my boat (an image of the Subtle Body). Although dead, I am and live in this endless sea, joyous in the knowledge that the body is not everything!
Now I know! Now I can meet my brothers and sisters and receive from them the power of contact with the things above and the things below ..."
For now I shall not dwell upon explaining these words, but shall return to them, once we have first examined the following from the ritual which was the source document for the Adeptus Exemptus (7=4) of the R.R. et A.C.:
"I know you Death - And yet I live! I am dead and I have been reborn. I have conquered death - and I rise like the sun on the horizon. My journey in the world beyond the tomb is accomplished - and now I return with the earth in blossom."
In this journey we may observe and note precisely what happens throughout the universe - and thus also the human beings on their journey towards regeneration.
In these three grades transmitted to the R.R. et A.C. by the mysterious Order from which the Rosicrucian impulse first arose, it is explained in the instructions to the Adept that this is not a path of mysticism and certainly not a path for many - that when we speak of death, you truly die - and that when we speak of journeying beyond the tomb - you truly travel - and when we speak of rebirth - you are truly reborn and not merely symbolically or metaphorically.
Inside of the human being who undergoes these initiations and performs these techniques, changes that occur are not merely mental, but also energetic, biological, and cellular.
Using techniques of Superior Magic of the Adeptus Major (6=5) grade, it becomes possible to have the same experiences as when you die, as all attest who have gone this way before. Once you are "dead" you find yourself in a place that is neither heaven nor earth. In this place, called "beyond the tomb," "dubat," etc., for the first time, you encounter your own complexes of the mind and of the Soul. No longer trapped in the physical body of the Adept, these now take on tangible, visible appearance. It is these which torture or delight the Soul.
If the mysteries of death are those of the Adeptus Minor, who sacrifices him or her-self scientifically, in order to transform into a different substance (as can be observed in any cabinet of chemistry or physics laboratory where matter is studied), then in the grade of Adeptus Major (6=5), consciousness is gained in the LITERAL sense."
The Major Adept encounters these Spirits, Angels, or Demons, meets these energies, gains consciousness of them, gets to know them there, and returns from "beyond the tomb" changed forever, as True Magic and its functions are revealed in subtle detail.
During the 6=5 initiation of an Adeptus Major, a special magical technique is employed, which LITERALLY detaches the soul of the candidate, separating it from the physical body, so that the Adept may have the literal experience of what actually happens when you die.
I understand there have been, and still remain, leaders of orders who have never had contact with the true R+C source. Based merely on their fantasy of the function of these rites, these individuals would nonetheless like to convince you that these sacred rituals and techniques are merely symbolical or mystical. I swear to you, however, that this is not so.
The three Adept rituals of the R.R. et A.C. are but one valid albeit late manifestation of earlier Rosicrucian rites that contain the knowledge of death, the knowledge of the universe beyond, and of rebirth and regeneration. These rites, which TOGETHER contain the requisite knowledge to become a TRUE Adept, are in reality but three degrees in one.
There have been orders that have already deviated these rites and there are others too today who would lead you even further astray. Some today write even that there is no magic beyond the Adeptus Minor (5=6) grade, and that the Major initiation of Rosicrucian Adepts, the Adeptus Major (6=5) is but a mystical appendage of the 5=6 - that there is no place in the 6=5 for advanced Rosicrucian magic, and that the 7=4 is but yet more mysticism.
Our august Order breaks its silence therefore today, so that the original essence of these essential Rosicrucian rites might not be lost merely to a thirst for innovation, led by a chorus of experts who, perhaps even meaning well, would nonetheless otherwise lead you astray.
In the tomb, in which the Major Adept is enclosed, there is all of his/her consciousness, and in the "world beyond the tomb," the consciousness of the Adept encounters the consciousness of Nature, once the consciousness of the Adept has been detached from its physical vehicle by 6=5 rites of Magic.
Once the Adept's consciousness has been magically detached from his or her physical body, he or she then confronts what the Adept knew or thought to be - with what is in reality, and thus can make a complete correction in the eyes of God. It is in the 6=5 grade of Adeptus Major, therefore, that contact can truly be stabilized with one's higher Self, Divine essence, or "Angel" (and not in the 5=6, as has been popularly misunderstood for over a century). It through the the contact that comes from the sojourn in the Underworld in the 6=5 grade, that, in addition to one's earthly guides, one who knows death gains also the guidance from one's Divine source.
The Major Adept knows death, yet the victory is not yet fully won. As the Hermetic adage states, "you must not only separate the volatile from the fixed. It must not only ascend to heaven, but it must also descend to Earth again empowered with the knowledge of superior and inferior things. Then the volatile must once again be reunited with the fixed. Only then will the Earth be reborn and regenerated, and the physical and magical powers of the Adept blossom like the flowers in Spring.
Far removed from all metaphor and mysticism, the LITERAL bath of the Adept in the Upper Astral realm, where resides that which does not live on Earth, reawakens the powers slumbering within the Adept. Thus, it is upon entering the 7=4 that the keys are bestowed of how to use these awakened powers for the common good, as well as to lead the Order. This is why the power to reconstitute the Order, if necessary, has at all times in history resided with Exempt Adepts, together with the Hermetic and Rosicrucian lineages of our Order, as is also the case with the Golden Dawn.
Magical and alchemical techniques are given in this grade that carry the Adept to triumph in his or her Opus Magnum (Great Work). Far from all metaphor and mysticism, these techniques are physical, observable, and have nothing to do with mysticism, obfuscation, or the sort of smoky theological arguments about these grades that have appeared in books and on the Internet of late.
The rest, or everything else that occurs later, can not be comprehended by those who have not yet reached such an advanced state of spiritual development, since the manner in which the human machine functions - and the Soul that inhabits it - are so different to that which we are accustomed to think and see, that it would appear to be but a fairy tale.
In this state, the Adept comes to understand the language of Nature, even to perceive and to comprehend the Universal movements of the Spheres. The Adept understands even life and death, living on the extreme peak of both. The Soul of the Adept is quiet and balanced - and nothing can shake this Soul - becoming what Agrippa called a Static Soul - a Soul tranquil, equilibrated, and no longer fluctuating.
Thus we witness the miracle of the trinity of grades of the true Rosicrucian Adept, the nature and purpose of which is totally different than what people had come to think and write of them today. Although to the outside, these initiations appear to be three grades, they are in reality but one deeply profound initiatic process, which fully develops the Soul of the Adept.
The Magi of the Order from which the Rosicrucian tradition first arose, including the R.R. et A.C., asked me to write this article, so that all may better understand the R.R. et A.C. and benefit from the true Rosicrucian manner in which the Second Order of the Golden Dawn has been intended all along.
Trusting fully in my disciple, Frater Lux ex Septentrionis, I accept that today, there is a need for diversity in the Golden Dawn orders. Nonetheless, there is a limit to what can or should be changed, and certain essential things should be touched at all.
If the original R+C tradition is not to be lost completely in America and the English speaking world, it is even more important that at least some Golden Dawn orders remain not only faithful to the original Rosicrucian tradition, as does the Alpha et Omega - but faithful even to the dark and hidden roots from which the R+C rose first grew, and continues to nourish itself even until today.
Thus, in this strange, modern world of the Internet in which we live today - where one writer claims that "the higher R.R. et A.C. grades not magical, but rather mystical in nature" and another writes that "tradition must be sacrificed to intellect in order to achieve Gnosis..."
I am reminded of the words of Jesus the Christ who, according to the Johannite tradition, is reputed to have said:

"They are like the blind leading the blind!"