In Israel Regardie‘s The Golden Dawn, there is a paper entitled “The Tattwas of the Eastern School.” It was addressed to the members of the Philosophus Grade of the Order by Frater De Profundis ad Lucem (Latin for â€śFrom the depths to the light,â€ť the motto of Frederick Leigh Gardner, 1857â€“1930). It was dated August, 1894. This document was withdrawn from circulation within the branch of the Golden Dawn into which Regardie had been initiated (the Stella Matutina), but continued to be given to members of the American branch of the Order, as well as to those who remained loyal to co-founder Macgregor Mathers after the Order’s schism in the early 1900s.
There are some other instructions on using the Tattwas and the changing energies of the Tattwas (traditionally known as the Tattwic or Tattvic Tides, although that expression was not used in this document) in The Golden Dawn, but this paper is the most elaborate discussion of the subject. Regardie called the Tattwas an “alien system” and stated he believed the concepts didn’t mix well with the Western systems that are combined within the Golden Dawn. The concepts and practices surrounding the Tattwas come from ancient India.
Regardie writes that this paper is simply a summary of the book Nature’s Finer Forces written by Rama Prasad and published by the Theosophical Society.Â This would be rather breathtaking as this paper is dated the same year that Prasadâ€™s book was published (although parts of it were published earlier). That means within a few months the leaders of the Golden Dawn took material none of them had ever seen or heard of before and incorporated it into their system. If true, it would be interesting to find out why they felt it was as important as the Tarot, the Kabalah, Enochian magick, and other systems. Regardie decided to include it in his book because, â€śit was considered highly important by some of the early Order Adepti.â€ť
Regardie suggests that the reason it was withdrawn from his branch of the Order was that the author, F. L. Gardner, didnâ€™t give credit to its source. I find that highly unlikely that Gardner,Â an upcoming author and antiquarian book dealer, would do that. Further, I have a second edition of Prasadâ€™s book, and there is so much that Gardner doesnâ€™t cover in his paper that it is hardly a summary at all! In fact, a great deal of this paper has little or nothing to do with Prasadâ€™s book. It seems more like Gardner took some concepts he didnâ€™t understand and tried to make it fit within the Golden Dawn tradition. It also makes me wonder whether Regardie ever took the time to actually read Prasad’s book.
Regardie must have considered the Golden Dawn’s interpretations of the Â Tattwas important even if they were “alien.” The occultist Gareth Knight was kind enough to give me the complete set of the Tattwas Regardie had hand made for himself.
Â Gardner’s paper is filled with undefined Sanskrit terms, moralisms from Christian (and later Hindu) beliefs, and outright incorrect claims. For example, Gardner claims that if the breath goes and comes out of the “wrong nostril it is a sure sign some sort of disease is coming on.”Â That is highly simplistic. Rather, it shows there is an imbalance that, if left uncorrected, could weaken the body and allow a disease to develop. Such imbalances occur all the time and correct themselves automatically.
At one point Gardner writes, “When the Breath comes not out of both nostrils at the same time, it is flowing in the Sushumna. Nothing ought to be done under these conditions, for everything turns out badly.” This is just plain wrong. According to the Tattwic system, the breath is going through the Sushumna when it comes equally through both nostrils. The balance should allow all spiritual things to go forward very well. There is even a spiritual practice, Swara Yoga, designed to increase the time that this naturally occurs.
Gardner writes, “by constant practice one is able to develop two distinct syllables in his thought. It is evident that when a man inhales a sound is produced like HAN. When exhaling the sound is SA. By constant practice, the breath becomes associated with these sounds so that effortlessly the mind understands HANSA in relationship to the Tattwas. Thus we see that one full breath makes HANSA which is the name of the Ruler of the Universe together with His Powers.” Again, this is completely wrong. The tradition is that the breath makes the sound and all the practitioner has to do is become aware of it. “HANSA” (more usually written Hamsa or reversed in the Tibetan version, So-aham) is not the name of the “Ruler of the Universe” and Brahman (not to be confused with Brahma), the ultimate Godhead, is never addressed as “He.”
This is just a sample of the errors promulgated by Gardner. Perhaps the actual reason the paper was withdrawn from Regardie’s branch of the Golden Dawn was because it was so wrong. Perhaps if Regardie had actually read Prasad’s book we’d know more. In my next post I’ll share some of the uses of the Tattwas.
Thanks to the people atÂ Thelesis Aura Online Academy, I will be giving my first ever webinar. This is not simply a recording. It is aÂ liveÂ online training event. And you can attend.
The webinar topic is Magickal Self-Defense. The history of mankind is filled with examples of hexes, curses, evil eyes and magickal or psychic attacks. Although many perceived spiritual assaults are unintended, imagined or even self-induced, one of the consequences of the growth of modern occultism has been the increased potential of planned, magickal attacks. In this online workshop-webinar, I’ll share practical techniques to prevent, detect, and rapidly overcome magickal attacks of any type. Includes information for individuals and groups. You can register through this LINK.
- I will be talking live. Youâ€™ll hear me talking just like Iâ€™m in the room with you.
- Youâ€™ll see my presentation slides. Theyâ€™ll look just like the slides Iâ€™d use at an in-person presentation.
- Youâ€™ll have exclusive access to handouts you can download. Theyâ€™re in PDF format. Youâ€™ll be able to print them out and use them.
- Youâ€™ll be able to ask questions in class. Thereâ€™s a button to click where you can â€śraise your hand.â€ť Weâ€™ll recognize you and Iâ€™ll answer your questions.
- Youâ€™ll see everything and hear me giving the workshopâ€”live.
- Â Can you tell that Iâ€™m really excited about it!
- Did I mention this is going to beÂ LIVE?