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Nature’s Not So Finer Forces

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on May 31, 2013 | Comments (6)

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 “From the depths to the light,” the motto of Frederick Leigh Gardner, 1857–1930). 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 This document was withdrawn from circulation within the branch of the Golden Dawn into which Regardie had been initiated (the Stella Matutina), but continued to be given to members of the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. This would be rather breathtaking as this paper is dated the same year that Prasad’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, “it was considered highly important by some of the early Order Adepti.”

Regardie suggests that the reason it was withdrawn from his branch of the Order was that the author, F. L. Gardner, didn’t give credit to its source. I find that highly unlikely that Gardner, an upcoming author and antiquarian book dealer, would do that. Further, I have a second edition of Prasad’s book, and there is so much that Gardner doesn’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 Prasad’s book. It seems more like Gardner took some concepts he didn’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  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.

TattwasPage 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.” 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.


This Sunday
June 2
My First Worldwide Webinar!

Topic: Magickal Self-Defense

Thanks to the people at Thelesis Aura Online Academy, I will be giving my first ever webinar. This is not simply a recording. It is a live 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. You’ll hear me talking just like I’m in the room with you.
  • You’ll see my presentation slides. They’ll look just like the slides I’d use at an in-person presentation.
  • You’ll have exclusive access to handouts you can download. They’re in PDF format. You’ll be able to print them out and use them.
  • You’ll be able to ask questions in class. There’s a button to click where you can “raise your hand.” We’ll recognize you and I’ll answer your questions.
  • You’ll see everything and hear me giving the workshop—live.
  •  Can you tell that I’m really excited about it!
  • Did I mention this is going to be LIVE?

To Register CLICK HERE

Reader Comments

Written By Henning Metzger
on June 2nd, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

Hi Don,
I enjoyed your webinar which started at 7.00 PM here in London. I liked your structured and systematic approach
and I look forward to future events. It was great to hear your voice!

Written By Henning Metzger
on June 3rd, 2013 @ 10:23 am

By the way there are two means of self-defence that you did not talk about in the webinar. Even though they are perhaps implied in what you said.

The first (which some may find objectionable) is to form a link between the person who is a target and an animal like a chicken such that the attack is vented on the chicken. The animal is looked after and observed. If the animal dies then the operation is repeated until an animal survives. This is rather reminiscent of the scapegoat of Biblical tradition.

The second I read about in the novels of Robert Faulcon and involved creating gargoyles from clay with a piece of iron inside. These were then charged and then buried underground in suitable places.

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on June 3rd, 2013 @ 10:36 am

Thank you, Henning.
My webinar was meant to be practical. I’m sure there are lots of other techniques that can be used for magickal self-defense. The methods I presented are ones that I know can be used. I don’t think anyone could ever write a book or give a workshop or webinar on all the techniques available.

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on July 15th, 2013 @ 10:33 pm

UPDATE: Since the publication of this post I have discovered that the actual original publication date of Nature’s Finer Forces was 1890. Although this invalidates my statement, “This would be rather breathtaking as this paper is dated the same year that Prasad’s book was published,” it does not change the fact that for some reason the Golden Dawn accepted Tantric concepts of the Tattwas as being important enough to include in their teachings which, otherwise, were quite Western.

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