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Dee Had the Ethiopic Book of Enoch   1 comment

I was just watching an episode of Angela’s Symposium:

In this, she discusses the Book of Enoch (specifically 1Enoch, or the “Ethiopic Book of Enoch) and its influence on John Dee.  This is something I explore in depth in my books (I think especially in The Angelical Language, Vol I).  In case you are not familiar, I discuss in that work how the mythos of 1Enoch became the basis for Dee’s Enochian system.  However, as that text was considered long-lost in Dee’s time (it wouldn’t be re-discovered until the 17th century), I had always assumed the story had simply survived orally until it reached Dee. 

But I was wrong!  At the time I published, I was not aware of a man named Guillaume Postel (d. 1581 – the year before Dee began his angelic workings).  Dee knew Guillaume, and Guillaume actually had a copy of the Ethiopic Book of Enoch!

Neither Dee nor Postel could read the book, as it was written in Ge’ez, but Postel had been told what was in it by the Ethiopian from whom he had purchased the book.  Postel, then, related this information to Dee – and THAT is how the mythos contained in the “long-lost” Book of Enoch made it, fairly intact I might add!, into the journals of Dr. John Dee.

Here is a link to the Ethiopic Book of Enoch’s Wiki page, in case you want to study more about it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Enoch#Ethiopic

Posted October 19, 2022 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

How Solomonic Talismans Work   6 comments

Greetings, Talismanic Mages!

Solomonic Pentacle of Venus – Eli Cohen

The following is a clarification about Solomonic Talismans I recently posted to Facebook:

Apparently there is some confusion over the subject of Solomonic Talismans, how they are made, and exactly what I’m teaching about them. So let me clear up a couple of points.

When someone mentions the “charging” of Solomonic Talismans, I tend to point out there is no mention of “charging” such Talismans in the texts. There is simply no point where the practitioner is instructed to direct their personal energy at a Talisman and “empower” it. This is a modern concept (specifically energy-model magick), not found in the grimoires.

So, how do the Solomonic Talismans work? Primarily, they are empowered by the time they are made. Just as you were born and took your first breath – thereby setting your natal chart for life – so too is this true of Solomonic Talismans. After it is fashioned, you consecrate it – either on the day/hour of the Talisman’s Planet, or on the day/hour of Mercury. (Think of the making of the Talisman as birth, and the consecration as the Christening.) One could argue this consecration is the “charging” – and that’s fine. (Actually, you do give the spirit its “charge” – that is its instructions – at that time. So there you go.)

But some folks are getting confused, thinking I am making a blanket statement about ALL Talismans ever. Or even that I am stating this is how it MUST be done, even with Solomonic Talismans. That is not the case.

First and foremost, the Key says its Talismans are not just for use during evocations, but can also be carried for various kinds of protection. Now, honestly, it probably assumes you know to perform the evocations with the Talismans first, THEN carry them for protection. But, that phrasing in the grimoire has given rise to several extra-Solomonic Traditions making use of the Talismans in their own way. Hoodoo being one great example – wherein a Talisman can be charged by merely placing it next to a relevant Psalm in a Bible for seven days. Or, even better, the methods developed by our own Balthazar Van Der Merwe (def. check out Balthazar’s Conjure on YouTube!).

EVEN the Key of Solomon agrees that an election isn’t always necessary:

Key of Solomon, Book II, Chap. I:
“So exact a preparation of days and hours is not necessary for those who are adepts in the art, but it is extremely necessary for apprentices and beginners, seeing that those who have been little or not at all instructed herein, and who only begin to apply themselves to this art, do not have as much faith in the experiments as those who are adepts therein, and who have practiced them.”

So, the more adept you are, the less you are restricted by the magical timing. (Andreas Erneus points out this may apply to evocation instead of Talismans – but I’ve generally taken this passage to heart for everything.) And, indeed, when I do work for myself, I rarely bother with elections (unless I’m making a full Talisman). That is to say – as I have years of experience AND altars here to every Angel I work with, then I don’t have to worry so much if the Moon is waning, or Mercury is Rx, or even if I’m working in the proper hour. Because those angels live here, I’m not calling them long-distance.

But, for clients, I follow all the timing every time – because they are paying me to do things RIGHT, not for my personal theories on how I can do it quicker and easier. To me, that’s just honest business practice. You do NOT half-ass a Talisman or other magical tool and fail to inform your clients you are doing so.

Having said all of that – if YOUR Tradition tells you to point at a Talisman and direct energy into it, or breathe life into it, that’s fine. (The GD does that – and guess what Order in which I’m an officer?) I’m not telling you that your tradition is wrong, nor am I suggesting charging Talismans “doesn’t work.” Simply stating the facts of what is and is not in the Solomonic texts is NOT an attack on your Tradition.

Of course, if you try to tell me that “everyone knows” you are “supposed to ‘charge’ Solomonic Talismans”, I’m going to inform you that you are incorrect. 😉

Some time ago, I made a video discussing these exact same matters:

Posted October 22, 2021 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

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Those Aren’t (Likely) Dee’s Tools in the British Museum   Leave a comment

Greetings Dee Enthusiasts!

The (Surviving) Dee Collection at the British Museum

It’s not often John Dee pops up in the mainstream – so when he does, you can bet it’s going to get attention from the Angel-botherers. Especially the ones, like me, who count Dee as something of a personal hero. So it’s little surprise this article from CNN is currently making the rounds:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/06/world/obsidian-mirror-aztecs-queen-elizabeth-i-scn/

Before you get too excited, there is nothing really ground-breaking here – that is, for most of you who are likely reading this blog and clicked on this particular post. It just says they ran some tests that prove the obsidian mirror in the British Museum’s John Dee Collection is, indeed, from Mexico. Honestly, this was something we already knew – it’s an Aztec mirror. The test just finally proved it. For some reason.

But, of course, I had a few things to say about the museum’s collection of Dee’s magical tools. (I would warn you it might ruin some of your fantasies…. but you’ve already read the title of this blog post, so…) I first wrote a long comment on the Facebook post where I discovered the article. But once I realized how long it was, I decided to also copy it onto my wall in a post of its own. Now that post seems to be making the rounds all on its own – so I decided to post it here, to make it easier to find and share.

So, without further ado, here are some facts about the British Museum’s collection of “John Dee’s” magical tools, in two parts:

PART 1: The black mirror attributed to Dee is not only unproven to have ever belonged to him, but it seems even more likely it did not. Consider this object is in a collection that includes a large golden re-creation of Kelley’s Watchtower Vision – an object Dee was never told to create, that plays no role whatsoever in the magick, and Dee left no record of having created.

To be frank, NONE of “Dee’s” magical objects in the British Museum are certain to have been his. We don’t *know* he cast those wax Seals. Even the now-lost Table of Practice was described as being quite colorful; but Dee was told, when he asked the Angels about using color, they “had no respect of color.” So either Dee decided that meant he could add color, or not, as he wished (which is possible) – or he didn’t make that Table.

Considering these items are in a collection of things very unlikely to have belonged to Dee, AND the fact that old wizards at the time LOVED to claim they had artifacts from ancient wizards they didn’t really have…. well it’s not looking good for the “Dee” collection. (Maybe it should be renamed the “Stuff People Have Claimed Once Belonged to John Dee” exhibit?)

PART 2: Also, and I can’t stress this enough!, Dee never, ever, at ANY time in the journals, used a black mirror to scry the Angels! Not with Barnabus Saul. Not with Kelley. Not with Arthur. Not with…. damn I forget the last dude’s name. [NOTE: there were actually at least two: Bartholomew Hickman and a Mr. Nicholls – the latter of whom did not win Dee’s favor.] But not with any scryer at any time did Dee EVER use a black mirror.

He used a clear quartz stone [sphere] in a frame made for a crystal ball. And this was NOT the stone the Angels “gave” to him.

That one was yet another stone – about the size and shape of an egg, but also kind of flat. IOW – sort of like a lens. That one was for scrying the Parts of the Earth (aka – spying on foreign nations), and while we have the record of an Angel directing Dee to find it, there is no later record of him using it. (I say he probably did, but we don’t have those records. More than likely they were in a separate top-secret military journal that only the Queen and/or Walsingham could see.)”

Posted October 9, 2021 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

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Who is the Great Mother Galvah?   1 comment

Greetings Gnostics and Enochites!

One of the most obscure figures found in Dee’s diaries (speaking here of the celestial actors) is the angelic being known as Galvah (interpreted to mean “The End”). She appeared to Dee and Kelley only after most of Liber Loagaeth had been transmitted. In fact, it was specifically Her job to reveal the 49th and final Table of the Book – which itself was said to encompass the End Times and the reign of the Antichrist. Supporting this, Kelley envisions Her being swarmed by vile and dangerous animalistic demons, who fawn upon Her rather than intimidate or attack Her.

If you read only this entry in the journals, you might be forgiven for assuming Galvah is a dark and possibly evil being. Perhaps She is Lilith, or even the Whore of Babylon! This latter would associate Her quite nicely with the Book of Revelation, itself a prophecy of the End Times.

Yet… Galvah is referred to at one point, by the angel Illemese, as “Wisdom.” And another angel – named Madimi – calls Her “mother.” Well, unless you’re in the “Enochian angels are really demons” camp, this doesn’t do much to support Galvah being Babalon the Harlot. As many of you, who have read my Enochian books, are already well aware, I have long argued Galvah is in fact Sophia – Wife of God, Mother of Angels. This would be one of the Gnostic underpinnings of the Enochian system. Her name as given in Dee’s journals – “Galvah” – seems to be directly related to the Table of Loagaeth She was transmitting. The last one.

Makes sense – but doesn’t it seem a bit too “on the nose”? I mean, sure She came to deliver the last Table – and that Table deals with the End Times. So, I’ve always taken for granted that Her name here was primarily centered around Her specific task – to reveal the final Table. But, there has to be more to the name of the Mother of God here… To be fair, I did settle on something of an answer: She is, in fact, one half of the phrase “Alpha and Omega.” The Christos/Logos is the Alpha, and Sophia is the Omega. (In fact, I have written that “Galvah” means something closer to “omega” than to the simple phrase “the end”.) There you go – the deep mystery of Her name revealed!

But…. not really. Don’t get me wrong – I believe this interpretation to be correct. But it doesn’t go very far to explain WHY. It doesn’t give us insight into what Dee, or his angels, were thinking. Why is Sophia the Omega? Why was She sent to reveal the final Table of Loagaeth, instead of (for example) Abaddon/Apollyon – the actual Angel of the Apocalypse who appears in Revelation? (For that matter, why didn’t Raphael reveal it as he had the other 48 Tables?)

The answer, I believe, is found in the Book of Revelation. Above I mentioned the Whore of Babylon, but don’t forget there is another Lady with a starring role in that old pulp: the famous Woman of the Apocalypse. That’s Her pictured at the top of this post (complete with demonic creatures from the Revelation fawning at Her feet.) From Revelation 12, a Divine Woman in the heavens, crowned with the stars, clothed with the Sun, and the Moon at Her feet. She is persecuted by the Dragon but flown to safety by the Angels, where She finally gives birth to a Child. Tradition holds this to be Mary Herself, giving birth to Christ. Or that She is the celestial Mary giving birth to the Church. But Hermeticism calls her Aima Elohim, the Mother of the Gods (or Mother of Angels). She is equated with the Gnostic Sophia, the Jewish Shekinah, as well as with the Hermetic Soul of the World. In Dee’s journals, Galvah is presented in just this way – referred to as the mother of the “Family of Light” angels (Madimi and her siblings) and Kelley’s vision depicting the spirits of nature rushing toward Her and fawning upon Her. As if She were Mother Nature… because She is.

But whether we call Her Sophia, or Mary, or Shekinah, or Aima, or Wife of God, or Mother of God, or Mother of Angels, or Soul of the World, (or etc), there is one title by which She is most widely known even to common folk: the Woman of the Apocalypse. And therein, I believe, lies the key to understanding why She appears as “Galvah” in Dee’s journals. She came, very specifically, in her form of Woman of the Apocalypse in order to reveal the Loagaeth Table concerning that very Apocalypse. (Keep in mind, we are in this case using the word “apocalypse” in it’s erroneous – yet common – meaning of “the end of the world”.) In this sense, “Galvah” is almost literally a shorthand for Her title given in The Book of Revelation. And this tells us everything we need to know about with whom, exactly, Dee and Kelley believed they were speaking.

Zorge!

Posted September 24, 2021 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

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Loagaeth: The First Leaf (as you call it) is the Last of the Book   2 comments

Greetings Enochian Scholars and Mages!

Dr. John Dee

I’m about to receive some blowback on this one, folks, so get ready! Modern Enochian practitioners (and researchers) are making a massive error. And, here’s the real shocker: it’s coming from a misunderstanding of Dee’s journals.

This error seems to have crept into Enochian study (and practice) sometime around the 1990s – but perhaps it was born even earlier. (Frankly I, blame the whole thing on the Golden Dawn – though only indirectly.) It specifically concerns the practical use of the Book of Loagaeth. If you’ve put any study into the tables of Loagaeth, or seen Enochian discussions online, you’ve doubtlessly run into this already, so you’ll be familiar with the following words:

“And of the First leaf, it is the last of the book.”

Many authors will tell you this is what the Angels (specifically the Mother Galvah) said to Dee and Kelley about the Book of Loagaeth; that the first table (which represents God) is really the last (which represents Earth). This certainly reminds one of the old Qabalistic axiom: “Kether is in Malkuth and Malkuth is in Kether.” In order to use Loagaeth, they say, you must understand this infinitely circular nature of Creation, and thereby know the key: that you must work the Book from the LAST table to the FIRST!

And doesn’t that make sense? If the first table of Loagaeth represents God and the final one the Earth, then it seems right to begin at the Earth and work our way toward God. After all, that’s how the Path of Initiation works on the Tree of Life – beginning with 1=10 (in Malkuth) and working upward toward 10=1 (in Kether). Same thing with Loagaeth, right?

Would I be writing this if that were even remotely correct?

Sorry, but that’s not what Galvah said to Dee and Kelley. Nor did she say anything about the circle of nature or working the Book of Loagaeth backward! What she actually said was:

“The first leaf (as you call it) is the last of the book.” [True and Faithful Relation… p 19]

I know that doesn’t sound so different than what I quoted above, but often (and especially in Dee’s journals!) the smallest of details can make the biggest differences. In this case, it’s that little parenthetical comment Galvah made – often deleted by authors who quote her: “(as you call it).” That little comment is important, because it was actually a call-back to something Dee himself had written months previously:

“…in my mind it seemeth requisite that as all the writing and reading of [Angelical] is from right to left, so the beginning of the book must be (as it were, in respect of our most usual manner of books, in all languages of Latin, Greek, English, etc) at the end of the book. And the end, at the beginning, as in the Hebrew Bible. [Five Books of Mystery, Peterson ed., p 411]

In case that was a bit word-salady (Dee lived at the same time as Shakespeare), here is what he is saying: If Angelical is written and read right-to-left (like Hebrew), then it stands to reason the Book of Loagaeth should be written just like a Torah. Hence, the “first page” of the Book by Western standards will actually be the LAST page of the book.

This can be a bit hard to visualize – unless you’re Jewish or Arabic, of course! So if you need to wrap your mind around this, try this exercise:

1 – Grab a book, any book – so long as it is written in a Western language (so, for instance, NOT Hebrew or Arabic). Place the book face up, unopened, on the table in front of you. You’ll be looking at the front cover.

2 – Now open the front cover and look at the first page. It might be a title page, or maybe just a blank page that precedes the title page. All familiar so far, right?

3 – Close the book and turn it face down. It should still be right side up – but you are now looking at the back cover.

4 – Now open the back cover and look at the last page in the book.

5 – Finally close the book again and look at the back cover.

If the book you are looking at were written in Hebrew (like a Torah), you would currently be looking at the FRONT cover of the book. You would read the book by opening the cover from left-to-right, and as you read you would turn the pages from left to right. Flip the book over to what YOU call the front cover, and now you’re looking at the BACK cover of a Torah. For all intents and purposes, from your Western-minded perspective, you would be reading the entire book backwards. In case it helps, here is a photo of a Torah opened to its first page (though to us it looks like the last page):

This is what Galvah was telling Dee: that the first leaf of Loagaeth should actually be where DEE would assume the last page of a book should fall. She was simply confirming what Dee had postulated some time beforehand. So, in the end, the Mother Galvah was not expounding upon the cyclic nature of the Universe. Nor was she instructing him to work the tables of Loagaeth backward! She was just telling Dee to turn the book over.

Sometimes the reality isn’t as sexy.

ADDENDUM: Oh yeah! About the Golden Dawn and their Path of Initiation upward on the Tree of Life: this is why I said I indirectly blame them for this error. Because modern occultists often forget just how deeply the GD affected modern esotericism – and sometimes take things that were original (or at least unique) to the GD as if they were a “given” for all occultism. A great example is our case here: the GD chose to work their Pathways from the bottom upward, while the much older Merkavah Mystics chose to work theirs from God downward. Not only did Dee live quite some time before the GD, but he was heavily influenced by the Merkavah system. Therefore, the tables of Loagaeth are intended to be worked from the highest heaven we can open (table 2) and work our way down to the Earth.

Posted June 22, 2021 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

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The Hermit’s Lamp: The Continuing Tradition of the Modern Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn   2 comments

by Aaron Leitch (Frater O.C.)

Originally published in the Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic:

The Hermit carries in his lamp the flame of the Divine Light. It is merely a small spark of the infinite Source, fallen here to Earth – “the Light that shineth in darkness, yet the darkness comprehendeth it not.” The Hermit holds the Lamp aloft, keeping that spark away from the floods, and flames, and shadows of the air that seek to overwhelm it, and high enough for aspirants to see above the shadows of the world. As a ship on troubled waters needs the guidance of the lighthouse, so do seekers of gnosis follow the distant glow of the Hermit’s Lamp.

I see in this symbolism a perfect metaphor of the Golden Dawn Tradition. Say what you will of the individual personalities of its founders and early members, or the several controversies and schisms that mark their early formative years, the Golden Dawn endures. It was created as a repository of the Western Mysteries; an attempt to combine the best of what all of its members had learned and practiced, and to pass that wisdom down through succeeding generations. They certainly butted heads time and again, and even went their separate ways more than once, but what they created was larger than themselves, and has refused to pass quietly into obscurity.

“By Names and Images are all Powers awakened and reawakened.” This is perhaps the most foundational tenet of Golden Dawn magical philosophy. Even if one group puts down the scepter for good, another can simply pick it up and invoke the forces anew. And, indeed, over it’s nearly century and a half of existence the Golden Dawn has never been entirely dormant. Even after most of the European Temples had closed – either falling victim to schism or the two World Wars – at least one well-hidden Temple continued to operate in New Zealand. (Smaragdum Thallasses Temple No 49 – known best today as “Whare Ra”, named for the house in which the Temple resided.) It remained active until late 1978, when dwindling membership (and the advanced age of its adepts) prompted its Chiefs to skip the autumnal equinox ceremony and close its doors forever.

But the Golden Dawn was not done! In 1977, a future branch of the Order was already being constructed by an American occultist named Charles “Chic” Cicero. No stranger to esoteric practice, he was already running a Thelemic camp of his own in Georgia, and had close ties to the head of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), Grady McMurtry. For a time, he operated his GD Temple alongside his Camp. However, as he has often stated, his heart truly belonged to the Golden Dawn Tradition.

While he began with no connection to the original Order, and had no way of knowing the secretive Whare Ra existed, his Temple was active and performing the rituals as published by Israel Regardie to “re-awaken the Powers.” Mr. Cicero even went so far as to construct a Vault of the Adepti, with the intention of exploring the Inner Order mysteries. Regardie himself was still alive and, as fate would have it, also living in America. Both men believed Regardie to be the last living adept of the original Order, prompting Cicero to contact the elder to let him know someone out there was still putting the system into practice.

And this is my favorite part of the story: It contains the one thing that, I believe, defines the Regardie lineage to this very day – and makes me proud to be part of it. Regardie’s response to Cicero was in no way what you might expect from an adept of an occult Fraternity. He did not patronize the younger man, nor inform him that his lack of a warrant made his “do-it-yourself” Vault ineffective. No, the response of Israel Regardie was (and I paraphrase here, from the letter he sent to Mr. Cicero) that he hoped Chic had a good team of Officers because he wanted to visit and give the Vault a go! Someone built an actual Vault of the Adepti, and Regardie just wanted to take it for a ride. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the response of a true magician.

Regardie did indeed make his historic visit, in June 1982, during which he consecrated that Vault, raised two people to 5=6 in it, and thus passed on the spark of his initiatory lineage (not institutional lineage, Regardie did not have the authority to offer a warrant) to the new American Isis-Urania Temple. After this, Cicero found himself dedicating more and more of his attentions toward the Golden Dawn, eventually leaving Thelema behind on good terms.

Thus, the Order of the Golden Dawn – as an active organization – had never actually gone dormant. The American Order had begun a year before Whare Ra closed, and became official less than four years afterward. It was just a brief moment in time when the Lamp of the Hermit flickered before flaring back into full life. Today, the Ciceros’ Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is a global organization, larger even than the original Order had been in its heyday. The Ciceros also grant certification to smaller groups to operate independent Temples of their own, without fear of legal threats from less reputable people claiming to be “the real” Golden Dawn. Add to that the vast library of books the Ciceros have published on the Tradition, and I dare say not a single GD lodge exists without some ties – direct, indirect, or inspirational – to the modern Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Sadly, I didn’t enter the picture (joining Isis-Urania in 1998) until after Regardie’s passing. Therefore, I didn’t get to witness any of those early days firsthand. However, most or all of this has been told and published by the Ciceros over the years, so there is little need for me to repeat it here in vast detail. I do know from letters, photographs, and anecdotes told by the Ciceros and many others, that Regardie was a close friend and mentor in their earliest days. I know they miss him dearly, and hold him in high regard to this day.

But Regardie’s presence isn’t entirely absent. I see him reflected in the personalities of Chic and Tabatha Cicero, and can plainly spot his influence upon how the Order is run. It is because of this I consider myself quite fortunate to have applied to this Order over any other. (Truthfully, I never actually considered any others.) I found at Isis-Urania an environment free of identity cults, internal politics, or vitriol toward either one another or the sincere aspirants we meet outside of our Tradition. And while one can expect as many personality conflicts and unfortunate social/relational situations as any group of humans must endure, I have not seen the Order produce people with unstable, deceitful, or vindictive personalities. When such people turn up, as they tend to do, they don’t last long and/or are not the result of faithfully following the system.

That is Regardie’s most enduring legacy. It is hardly because we believe he was some ultimate and unquestionable source upon the Golden Dawn Tradition. He wasn’t the only one to publish material concerning the Order. And, once the facts about Whare-Ra were discovered, we knew he was not even the last living Adept of the original Order. He was simply one link in the chain of Adepts that links all of us to the masters of the past.

What endures about Regardie is his “let’s take it out for a spin” attitude that lives on in the Order’s Chiefs today. I even saw it on the very first day I met the Ciceros, though I knew nothing of their backstory at that time. As Chic gave me a tour of the Temple (which is an ever-expanding museum in its own right), pointing out various objects of occult and historical significance, I could sense a kind of glee behind his words. It was less like I was taking a stuffy museum tour, and more as if we were a couple of kids and he was proudly showing me his best toys.

I found the same to be true when speaking with both Chic and Tabatha, who were enthusiastic to discuss the Golden Dawn and Hermeticism without either an air of superiority, or any attempt to “sell” me on joining their organization. Their motivations were not out of ego or some amorphous desire to be “the real Golden Dawn.” They are more concerned with putting the system to good use, so they can perform the ceremonies and have the visions and astral trips and all the stuff that makes being a wizard awesome. Like Regardie, they are the type of people who would rather take your new Vault for a ride than pick it apart. And what I saw during that first meeting hasn’t changed in over twenty years.

Not long after I joined Isis-Urania, I had the rare opportunity to see all three of the HOGD Chiefs in one place. I sat quietly and listened to them reminisce about the early days of the Order, and how quickly it seemed twenty years had passed. At that time, their goal was to “fill the Rose” – meaning to create enough adepts to fill the 22 petals of the Golden Dawn Rose: with at least three 7=4s, seven 6=5s, and twelve 5=6s. If it could be accomplished, and they were already close to that goal, it would mean the Order was strong enough to outlive its founders.

As I progressed through the Grades, and after I entered the RR et AC, I got to take part in the thirtieth anniversary of the Vault’s consecration. The Golden Dawn itself was nearing its 120th anniversary, a time we held to have special significance for the continuing Tradition. (“After 120 years, I shall open…”) By that time, the Rose had been filled and the Ciceros were laboring to establish and maintain several Temples overseas. It was also around this time they began to explore Masonry, where Mr. Cicero quickly rose up the ranks. He had joined in the hopes of learning more about the origins of the Golden Dawn, but I suspect he taught them as much or more about the Hermetic origins of Masonic symbolism. Tabatha Cicero was no less busy, as she came into possession of the documents for another fraternity with historical importance to the Golden Dawn – the Societas Rosicruciana in America (which a young Israel Regardie had joined in 1926) – and was working hard to re-organize and resurrect it in a modern form.

And that is the rest of Regardie’s legacy: the continuing and continually-expanding Western Tradition. Before the – let us say – late 1980s or so, the occult mysteries of the West had been narrowed down to just a few organizations, most of them Thelemic or Neopagan in focus. But thanks to the meeting of Regardie and the Ciceros, thanks to the dedication they have shown the Tradition over the decades, and to the writings they have provided for us, the original Golden Dawn Tradition not only survives, but in fact thrives. It has become a massive influence on modern occultism, as much or more than the old Order had influenced the occult revival of its day.

And don’t think the Golden Dawn only produces Adepts who write about the Golden Dawn! The tendency I have seen is for those who enter the RR et AC to tend toward specialization in one subject or a small group of related subjects. Some certainly dedicate themselves to Golden Dawn rituals and teaching; yet, others have become expert astrologers, or focused on geomancy, tarot, sacred geometry, the grimoires, Enochiana, folk magick, collecting and/or translating rare texts, crafting, various forms of art and music, the sciences, and more – many of them publishing and heavily influencing their chosen fields. I have to chuckle when I see someone declare the magical lodges are outdated and irrelevant in today’s occult communities, because such people are always unaware of what is really going on behind the scenes – where members are doing real Work that truly affects the world, but (as is proper for a secret society) most people don’t even know they are there.

Today, I sit on the dais as a Temple Officer as we bear down on the Order’s fortieth year. Our founding adepts are now elders themselves, having held the Lamp of the Hermit aloft for four decades, and gathered the aspirants of the next generation. And I have certainly seen some incredible people pass through our Hall. The legacies of Regardie and the Ciceros have already spread beyond the boundaries of the Golden Dawn, and there is no doubt whatsoever the Lamp will continue to burn brightly for generations to come. Khabs Am Pekht!

Zorge,

Aaron Leitch (Fra Odo Caosg)

 

Posted June 14, 2020 by kheph777 in golden dawn, Uncategorized

Stuart Myers / Ocha’ni Lele – Breaking the Molds   9 comments

Ochani Lele

Today is Wednesday, November 27th, 2019. This is the day (at about 7:30 am Pacific time) the world lost one of its most important occult figures – Stuart Myers, aka Ocha’ni Lele. He passed in hospital, with loved ones nearby and literally hundreds of fans and well-wishers praying that his life be extended. But, if you know Stu, you might not be surprised that he refused to endure a lengthy illness or make his friends care for him in his final days. No, when Stu was ready to go, Stu went. And that was that.

Stuart Myers was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1966. His mother was an unwed teenager, and he was raised by his mom, aunt, and grandparents. He attended Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA for four semesters, where he studied English Literature and Psychology. But make no mistake – Stu was a rebel, hanging out with all the wrong people and getting into trouble. Before long, he had abandoned the mundane path and set out on the much-less-traveled path of magick, occultism, and ancient mystery religions. It was a calling he could not resist – and he was destined to change the world.

Ochani Lele 2That is when I met him. By 1993, Stuart was living in Orlando, FL where I grew up. I had moved out to the west for a couple of years after graduating high school in order to (briefly) attend college. It was during this time my own path landed me in Denver, CO and my first encounters with a Neopagan community. Upon returning home, I naturally took steps to establish contact with the Pagans in and around Orlando – which led me to contact one of the few occult bookstores that existed there at the time. (Then called Dragonwood, but its name has changed several times since.) I spoke to the owner of the shop on the phone, and explained that I was a “Qabalistic Witch” (that is, a Neopagan who also studies the Qabalah – a rarity at the time). Her response was: “You need to talk to Stu!”

I forget now if she took my number or gave me his… but one way or another I quickly found myself on the phone with this “Stuart Myers” person. I was met with a boisterous, happy, and flamboyantly gay man. I introduced myself and, again, referred to myself as a “Qabalistic Witch.” He responded with an excited, “Ooooo! Let me get my cigarette!” From there we spent a fair amount of time discussing the Qabalah and how its principles apply to Wicca, and likely several other subjects as well. I learned that he was a third-degree initiate of British Traditional Wicca, and a published author (something I hoped to be myself someday). I don’t recall what all we talked about or how long we spent, but I do know a real friendship was born that day.

Between the WorldsStu had already published his first book – a gem that is very rare today called Between the Worlds, from Llewellyn Worldwide. He was initiated into a rogue Wiccan lineage that branched from the Lady Sheba lineage (which is itself a rogue lineage) – because of course Stu was from such a lineage! His education in the early forms of Wicca made him privy to the influences of such systems as Thelema and the Golden Dawn upon them. Thus, he had chosen to explore Hermeticism and the Qabalah as well – which was something most Neopagans in the 80s and 90s would have refused to do. His book was the result of these explorations and his own teachings on how to integrate further Qabalistic concepts, correspondences, and practices into Wicca. Hence the title “Between the Worlds.”

I finally got to meet him face-to-face at another occult bookstore in Orlando. We talked a bit about Wicca there, but Stu was quite excited about another subject he had recently discovered: Palo Mayombe. Palo is an African tradition of magick, and Stuart was exuberantly talking about it with me and others in the store. He said he found it to be so much like Wicca in its structure – with a Goddess figure and a God figure, etc – but it was truly ancient. He was especially taken with the figure of Elegua/Lucero – a being who opens the gates between the physical and spiritual worlds, carries prayers, and answers questions. Stuart said that, as a child, he had once made a little figure out of mud or clay and spent some months treating it as his friend and companion – like an invisible friend. The images of Lucero, it turns out, are nearly identical to the small figure he had made as a kid. Stu knew he had found something important, but he didn’t know he was about to impact history.

I only saw Stuart once or twice before he vanished for a couple of years. I say “vanished”, though I seem to recall I knew he had gone off to explore the Afro-Caribbean faiths like Palo and Santeria (more properly called Lucumi). I wouldn’t learn any details, however, until I discovered by accident he had returned. At the time, I worked overnights and often found myself returning home at anywhere from 4am to 6am. One day, I pulled into a Shell gas station and found none other but Stuart Myers working at the counter! Not only did I spend a few hours with him there that night, catching up on where he had gone and what he had learned, but I found myself stopping in there night after night (whenever our schedules lined up properly) to discuss magick, Palo, Santeria, the Solomonic grimoires, and no end of the day-to-day personal dramas taking place in our lives.

Stuart had, in fact, gone away to take initiation into the Lucumi Faith. At the time of his return, he was still learning and progressing, though he had not yet been Crowned. He quickly became my confidant, and my teacher – introducing me to occult concepts from his Afro-Caribbean standpoint and utterly changing my worldview. Up to that point, I (like many Westerners) had assumed magick was a form of psychology, with the angels and spirits serving as man-made images and names we apply to the aspects of our own minds. Stuart, on the other hand, worked in a world where such beings are real independent creatures who must be approached with proper protocols and convinced to aid us. We found such a similarity between the old grimoires (my calling) and what he had learned from both Satneria and Palo, it revolutionized my understanding of not just the grimoires, but the entire subject of magick itself.

For the record, Stuart never taught me the rituals and secrets of his tradition. But he was able to explain things in the grimoires that he recognized as similar to his own practices. I was lucky that I got to spend much time with him (not just at the gas station, but also his home and elsewhere) and thus see much of his outward practices first-hand. I was lucky that I spent time with him in the early morning hours, talking to him when he was exhausted and perhaps willing to share more than he should have. But, I was most lucky that I introduced him to my then-girlfriend Carrie Mikell (now my wife). The two of them became close friends, and Carrie felt some calling to what Stuart was practicing. She became his “god-sister” and began to explore the Palo path under his tutelage. Because of this, I witnessed and learned even more than I would have. Stuart became one of the greatest influences on both Carrie and I, all of which continue to this very day.

Secrets Afro Cuban DivinationDuring that exciting period in the late 1990s, when myself, Carrie, and Stu were constant companions, and I was penning my very first book, he was just finishing a new book on African-based divination (The Secrets of Afro-Caribbean Divination, Destiny Books, 2000). It would be his first in a long line of outstanding books on the Afro-Caribbean Traditions. They have been highly recommended now for almost 20 years, and I have no doubt they will continue to be for generations to come.

Sadly, Carrie and I moved away from Orlando in early 2001. We stayed in contact with Stuart, but only got to see him on rare visits. He eventually went on to be Crowned, of course – making him a Priest of his Tradition, and taking on the name EWI LADE OCHANI LELE. He began to build his own house and lineage of students, established a series of online classes, performed divination and counseling for his community, and even went on to establish “Lele’s Magickal Fragrances” (later changed to “Lele’s Lotions, Potions, and Magickal Things”) where he made absolutely beautiful one-of-a-kind magical fragrances and potions.

It would not be right to discuss Ochani without also mentioning his infamy as “the Godfather of Scandal.” Stu didn’t make friends with everyone he met – in fact he could be quite contentious if he believed you were being dishonest about your practice. Plus, I can admit, he was never one to feel constrained by “the rules.” He did a thing or two in his path that might shock or offend – sometimes obtaining information through back-door channels, taking pictures of things without permission, etc. Let’s face it, Stu was essentially a force of nature, and little could stand between him and his True Will. But, above and beyond that, he was simply a practical occultist who wanted to learn what worked, and had little time for those who hid behind oaths of secrecy, or grades, or initiatic titles. Stuart was out to learn the Mysteries, and nothing in heaven, earth, or hell was going to stop him!

What I find most amusing about our dear “Godfather of Scandal” is the way his detractors would spend time bashing Ochani Lele and the ways he had learned some of what he knew, but when asked if we should buy and read his books, the answer was always “Yes.” Say what you will of the man, but his work is true. You can trust every word he wrote – and that is a legacy few authors get to leave behind.

Stuart Myers, aka Ochani Lele, has had an incalculable impact on many communities. Perhaps his mark on British Traditional Wicca was small, but there can be no question he has forever changed the modern African Traditional Faiths through his books, his classes, and his hosts of students and clients. He has changed the Western Mysteries as well, because he was at the forefront of the modern grimoire revival and its incestuous relationship with African religion and witchcraft. Even the Golden Dawn has seen practices (such as offerings made to angels and spirits) performed in its Mother Temple that partially trace back to Ochani’s influence. The legacy of Ochani Lele is far-reaching and deep.

As for me – he will forever be one of my greatest teachers, and most beloved friends. The very first time I heard another person “vibrate” a Word of Power, it was his voice. My path into the grimoires – including my undertaking of the Rite of Abramelin – was thanks largely to him. My wife’s own spiritual path has been intimately connected to his. He was a major inspiration to me as an author. Without him the Leitches (as you know us) would simply not exist. He is a part of us – not just me and my wife, but each and every one of us. We owe him so much.

Ochani… Stu, we love you and miss you dearly. If you still want to perform an evocation with us, you are more than welcome to attend and participate. See you on the other side, old man!  Godspeed.

In LVX

Aaron (and Carrie) Leitch

 

Ochani Lele’s Bibliography

The Diloggun: The Orishas, Proverbs, Sacrifices, and Prohibitions of Cuban Santeria, Aug 2003

Teachings of the Santería Gods: The Spirit of the Odu, Jun 2010

The Secrets of Afro-Cuban Divination: How to Cast the Diloggún, the Oracle of the Orishas, Sep 2000

Obi: Oracle of Cuban Santeria, Jul 2001

Osogbo: Speaking to the Spirits of Misfortune, Mar 2014

Diloggún Tales of the Natural World: How the Moon Fooled the Sun and Other Santería Stories, Sep 2011

Sacrificial Ceremonies of Santería: A Complete Guide to the Rituals and Practices, Aug 2012

Teachings of the Santería Gods, Jan 2010

Between the Worlds: Witchcraft and the Tree of Life-A Program of Spiritual Development, 1995

If you would like to contribute to Ochani’s final arrangements, please visit this link to donate:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/1tjq31xtao?pc=fb_co_campmgmtbnr_w&rcid=r01-157449163729-06f9f0ef41c34950&utm

Posted November 27, 2019 by kheph777 in Uncategorized

Llewellyn Blog: The Problem with Personal Gnosis   1 comment

Greetings, Spirit-Workers!

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From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, Jan 23, 2018:

[…] For certain, there is a time and a place for personal gnosis. When students begin asking me if I think their spirits will like this, or be offended by that, I tell them to ask their spirits. If someone was inspired to write a ritual, and they want me to critique it, I tell them to let their own spirits critique it. Where it comes to how you interact with your spirits, it’s entirely between them and you. My opinion means very little in that regard.

But there is a problem with personal gnosis when it comes into conflict with academic research. There is, in fact, a good reason why we need the books after all. The problem with asking the spirits directly is that YOU may lack the necessary knowledge they would need to convey the ideas to you…

Read the Rest at:  https://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2018/01/grimoires-and-the-solomonic-tradition/

Posted January 23, 2018 by kheph777 in magick, Uncategorized

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Llewellyn Blog: Grimoires and the Solomonic Tradition   1 comment

Greetings, Bibliophiles!

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From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, Jan 15, 2018:

I would like to talk about grimoires. Not a specific grimoire, like the Key of Solomon, or Heptameron, or Lemegeton. This isn’t even about their contents, or their history. No, what I want to talk about are the actual physical grimoires – those dangerous things made of paper and cardboard, with arcane scribbles of ink on their pages. Books that at various time and places (including to this very day) could get you arrested and worse. That pretty thing you might like to display prominently on your bookshelf, or perhaps hide away from prying eyes. Most of what we know about the medieval and Renaissance Solomonic tradition comes from those books, and they continue to be a treasure trove of new insights (and magical formulas) as more and more texts are discovered and translated into English (or other modern tongues). They are truly the heart and soul of the modern Solomonic movement; the foundation upon which the tradition ultimately rests.

But the modern movement has lost something that was paramount to the old-world Solomonic tradition: the grimoires themselves. And, once again, I’m talking about the actual physical read-y things that require manual page-flipping to fast-forward or rewind them. You see, in the medieval era, it was believed that a book containing magical spells, names and descriptions of spirits, seals and characters was itself an object of magical power. There were even spells intended to empower and enliven your grimoire – as preserved in books like the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy and the Key of Solomon. However, common thought at the time was that such a ritual was not necessary for a grimoire to be possessed by the spirits listed within it, or even a living demon in its own right. There are medieval records of public occult book-burnings, where witnesses swore they heard the screams of the spirits issuing from the flames as the books were consumed.

Read the Rest at:  https://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2018/01/grimoires-and-the-solomonic-tradition/

Posted January 15, 2018 by kheph777 in grimoires, history, hoodoo / witchcraft, llewellyn blog, Uncategorized

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Evening Mass 8-2017 – Prayer Service for Heather Heyer   Leave a comment

Evening Mass in memory of Heather Heyer as well as the people of Charlottesville, Virginia. See 23:00 for the prayer service itself.

Posted November 3, 2017 by kheph777 in Uncategorized