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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

THE BEUITIFUL MODELS OF METAPHYSICS - EXPOSED



Models provide useful explanations of how things work. There can be any number of useful models which relate to the same subject. Models for the most part deal with what we cannot hold in our hands or see under a microscope, things that cannot be directly weighed or measured.

For example: There are two well known models for the Atom. The Rutherford -
Bohr model views the atom as a small solar system with a nucleus being orbited by electrons. This implies that electrons are particles and have location. The Quantum model also views the atom with a nucleus, but gives the location of the electron as a probability. More like a wave than a particle. Scientists and engineers use both models.

In the various metaphysical systems we also deal with models for the same reason. There are no absolute mo
dels in a subject this vast. For example: The Tree of Life as a model of the universe or as a model of man. Both of these models have many variations. Each variation is also a model.

Historians and researchers often argue about which models are most authentic or their place history. That is their function. Sometimes uninformed people confuse the various models or cross mix them into some kind of hybrid.

All of the models from our various metaphysical systems give us a box of tools for dealing with the intangible and invisible worlds we explore.

As magicians we must match our subject with the best model from our tool box. We must be flexible and remember what models are for and make full use of them. We must not limit our thinking.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

THE CORE LIBRARY FOR NEOPHYTES AND CANDIDATES

You will find a wealth of published books on all kinds of metaphysical subjects. Many of them are simply created from various core literatures, and published as new works. Finding the best works for study in this vast haystack results in confusion, and may leave you without a place to start. So, I offer a short list of works that can set you on the right track.

I consider this list essential to any metaphysical study. It falls into two groups, the first being those books that deal with attainment through the Western Mystery System. The model for this is the Golden Dawn grade and ritual system oh attainment.

The second being those books that reveal the master symbol system of the Golden Dawn; The Tree of Life and the Qabala from which it sprang. These books are not directly related to any grade. They are an ongoing study at any stage of personal development.

Group One
Hall, Calvin S, and Vernan J. Nordby. 1973. A Primer of Jungian Psychology: New York: Penguin Books USA Inc.
This book is extremely valuable to understanding the transformation process you will go through, and provides a working model of the processes of the psyche. Chapters two, three a
nd four are of special interest to metaphysical students. I consider this required reading. It is the first book you should read. It is written for the layman; an easy read.

Regardie, Dr Israel. Current edition. The Golden Dawn: An Encyclopedia of Practical Occultism: Saint Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications.
The Golden Dawn reveals the knowledge lectures, magical systems, and rituals of the Order. This is the core material of the Orders plan of attainment. There are two different publishers. Use this one as other writings use the pagination of the Llewellyn editions.

Group Two
Fortune, Dion. Current edition. The Mystical Qabalah: York Beach, Main: Samuel Weiser, Inc.

This is the beginning point for your studies of the Western Qabalah and The Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is the master Mandala of the Golden Dawn. It has 32 paths which you should travel and meditate upon. Dion Fortune reveals the first ten, the Sephiroth. They appear as circles on the Tree. She did not reveal the other 22 paths since she was under an oath of secrecy at the time of writing.

I caution you about two things regarding this book. It was written over 70 years ago, and she at times gave her opinion about things which were understood back then. Read it all, but when you study, ignore her personal opinions. They do not pertain to today. Also you must read it several times to extract the knowledge she reveals in each paragraph. Her book is a gold mine for the beginner as well as for the more advanced.

Case, Paul Foster. 1981. The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order: York Beach, Main: Samuel Weiser, Inc.
This book covers what Dion Fortune omitted; the rest of the 32 paths of the Tree. It includes an exposition of the Fama Fraturnitatis and the Confessio Fraturnitatis, documents of the Rosicrucian Order, but not of any earthly organization. This system is one of personal initiation. His book completes the plan of the Tree of Life and the introduction to the Western Qabalah.

Crowley, Aleister. Current edition. The Qabalah of Aleister Crowley: New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc.
His book contains Gematria, Liber 777, and Sepher Sephiroth. The Sepher Sephiroth is an extensive list of symbols and attributes for the paths of the Tree. A fine research tool, however there are a few errors, but none that should affect your studies. After doing the work of 0=0 neophyte in the Golden Dawn system, you will have no trouble finding and correcting most errors in the literature you study.

The Study Method
The first step is to lightly read or peruse the five volumes to familiarize you with their contents. Next, begin a serious read of one section, and find similar information in the other books. Opening several books at a time is the best approach. This cross referencing will reveal new ideas and help you understand the nature of your subject.

In The Mystical Qabala, you may find yourself studying one paragraph at a time, since Dion Fortune packed so much in a few words. Select a subject and do an outline of the information in such a way that you could use it as a teaching guide. Be brief and concise. If you do not mind marking your books, making notes and highlighting will make it easy to connect the important points.

These five books are the core set for beginning your studies. There are others that will build on this foundation for more advanced work.

The Tarot as a Learning Aid
You will need an esoteric tarot and an exoteric tarot as part of your studies. For the esoteric
tarot (for to few; secret) I recommend The Classic Golden Dawn Tarot in black and white. It follows the written instruction for drawing and coloring the Order deck. The instructions were given to new Adepts by S. L. Mathers, a founder and chief of the Golden Dawn in England. Since this is now published it is no longer esoteric, but is accurate. It can be purchased on line at
http://www.dandspublishing.com/ .

For the exoteric tarot I recommend the Mary Hanson Roberts Universal Tarot. This deck was published early on for use by one and all. The artist was Pamela Coleman Smith, under the direction of Sir A. E.Waite, a contributer and scholar to the Golden Dawn System. The deck is unique in that it depicts scenes in each of the minor arcana. This made it possible for those who new how, to associate the meaning of the card to a path on the tree.

There are three other Golden Dawn style decks that you may also use. One is the BOTA Tarot which is more or less a copy of the Waite deck, but with a different coloring system.

The golden Dawn Tarot by Robert Wang. It was first G D deck to be published. Wang worked under the direction Dr Regardie.

The last is the Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot by Tabatha Cicero.

Please Enjoy.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

WHAT EVERY BEGINNER SHOULD KNOW

If you have just discovered the metaphysical world you are immediately faced with questions which need answering.

Can I learn this on my own?
Where are there others of like interest?
Do I need to join a group?
What group should I join?
How do I get initiated?
Where can I find a teacher or lessons?
Who should I trust?
What books do I need to start?
Where can I get answers?

In the search for answers to these questions you will probably look to literature or the internet.

Many metaphysical books are simply rearrangements of the core material. It is the core material that you should put at the top of your reading list. Other works can come later after you have a solid foundation from which to discriminate.

The internet with its groups is good place to get help and to connect with others of like mind; however, some of what you find there is equally dangerous and misleading. It is here that you need to be especially alert to the quality of who is addressing you.

The inter net provides a place where anyone may say anything true of false about anything or anyone. And do that anonymously. This is especially true of group sites where false claims and attacks on others are common. The only effective watchdog to guard against this is your sense of discrimination.

In either case, you must measure everything against a set of characteristics that help to give you a reasonably correct assessment.

You must quickly learn to discriminate: to sort truth from falsehood; to sort fact from fiction; to sort what is useful from what is not; and to identify who to trust and who not.

What follows is a three part article to help you in this task.

Grades and Titles
The first thing you will probably look for are the grades and titles of authors and internet personalities. Some will carry grades from one or more orders. Some hold positions in an order and will reveal their titles.

The quality of a grade from one source may not be equal to the quality of the same grade from another source. Some grades may not be real. Today there are no standards to set the quality of grades.

Grades are of little importance and should only be used as simple indicators. Do not place your trust in grades. Here is a list of things to be aware of when evaluating grades:
Grades are only meaningful within the group that issued them; no where else.
Grades may not reveal the level of knowledge and development of a person.
Grades may not imply transformation.
Grades may only imply knowledge.
Grades reflect the quality of the person who issued them.
Grades and titles only indicate that this person may be a good candidate for a close examination in the other indicators.
Can someone without grades or titles be an Adept? Yes.

Signs of an Adept
Always look for indicators.
An Adept does not flaunt grades or titles, but will respond if asked.
An Adept does not flaunt the Ego or hide behind a false mask or annonimity.
An Adept does not address others in terms of endearment as a means of control or possession (fatherly terms, from on high, etc.).
An Adept will often publish works that are generally recognized in the community.
An Adept is a fellow student in the process of learning.
An Adept is one who has achieved that level of development that causes a state of
Compassion. An Adept without Compassion is no Adept at all.
An Adept lives in the moment; no regrets or anger from the past, no fear or doubt of the
future.

Signs of Transformation and Realization
These are the signs of transformation.
Their words and deeds will reveal their transformation.
They will speak in terms of unity, of elevating the soul.
They will teach or offer up lessons to aid others on their journey of transformation.
They will not speak in terms of separateness, superiority, or denigrate others in order to elevate themselves.
Some may even reveal their final realization; "There is no separateness".

Conclusion
These lists are not complete. You should add your own as you discover them. Not everyone is perfect, but should generally fit your criteria. Adepts are still human, but will always show compassion and will teach at the drop of a hat. Discriminate and take what is useful for your journey.
For the Classic Golden Dawn Tarot visit http://www.dandspublishing.com/servlet/StoreFront

For a collection of Golden Dawn lectures and papers visit http://goldendawnstudyhall.synthasite.com/