Hermetic Virtues


Hermetic Virtues is one of my favorite journals. The latest issue, Volume VI Number 2, continues their record of excellence. This issue begins with an article by Chic and Tabatha Cicero (You can pre-order the new edition of Israel Regardie’s The Philosopher’s Stone with the Cicero’s incredibly valuable notes and additions now) on “Osiris in the Golden Dawn System.”  There is a section, here, that’s fascinating:

…the Throne of Osiris—the Throne of the Spiritual Realm—is situated upon the Dais in the East of the Neophyte Hall, the place of “Light.” Aaron Leitch has pointed out that this was exactly how the Egyptian Gnostics described the Spiritual Realm. In the Gnostic text known as the “Hymn of the Pearl,” the true self, living soul, or spirit of the individual in the hymn “has come from” or “is sent from” the “Kingdom of Light in the East.” The Hierophant’s Throne in the East is described in similar terms: “I am called Power and Mercy and Light and Abundance, and I am the Expounder of the Mysteries … My Throne at the Gate of the East is the Place of the Guardian of the Dawning Sun.”

So it would seem that for the Neophyte Golden Dawn Temple, the evidence shows that Osiris should be in the east.

Next comes a succinct analysis of the Empress card of the Tarot by Harry Wendrich followed by a review of the book, The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order: The Original Edition by Paul Foster Case. There have been four editions of this book, and the fourth is still in print. Now, the first edition from 1927 has been republished. It’s much smaller than the 4th edition, but for the student of occultism it’s amazingly important because it has within it the color and sound practices that were deleted from later editions. You’d have to spend an astounding 15 years in the group Case founded, the B.O.T.A., to receive these teachings.

Also included is a deep study of the “Triangle of the Art” by Nick Farrell. This is the triangle that is used in magickal evocations as described in my Modern Magick and elsewhere. If you’re interested in evocation, you’ll like this article. This is followed by a controversial article, “The Influence of the Golden Dawn on Wicca” by Peregrin Wildoak. In it he reveals,

Golden Dawn initiates, methods and practices were influential upon the sources of Wicca in terms of developing and promoting new ways of viewing Paganism, Witchcraft, the Pagan deities of the Goddess and the God, spiritual magic and ceremonial forms.

There are several other articles in this 62-page journal.

How to Vote

Other than advising readers to find out the facts on issues and candidates (rather than depending upon propaganda, “spin,” and opinion masquerading as news) and urging people to vote, I try to focus on magick and stay away from politics. However, considering recent events, I think it’s important to make a statement.

There is a type of politics that is known as the politics of groups. Simply put, if you’re a member of a particular group that I also belong to, it’s assumed that I will vote for you. For example, it’s assumed that African-Americans will vote for candidates who are African-Americans, Latinos will vote for Latinos, Roman Catholics will vote for Roman Catholics, people with beards will vote for candidates with beards, etc. Currently, there are a couple of well-known politicians who can trace their ancestry to India, and it’s assumed, therefore, that Americans of Indian descent will vote for them.

The sad thing is, some people do vote this way. Issues and ethics are ignored because “S/he is one of our own.”

With the growing number of open people involved in magick and alternate forms of spirituality, it was inevitable that “one of our own” would become involved in politics. Indeed, a man who self-identified as a Heathen has been described as a “rising star” in New York politics. Because of this he had been the focus of many Pagan blogs and articles.

With respect to all of those writers, I don’t think his religion should have been a focus any more than the religion of any other politician. Rather, as citizens it is our duty to learn the issues and see which politician supports those things that are most in line with what we believe. “He’s a Pagan like us!” shouldn’t be the determining factor of our vote if a politician who is Pagan supports issues that are completely or mostly opposed to our own beliefs. In politics, what matters shouldn’t be a person’s religion. What matters should be what they politically stand for.

Unfortunately, for most of the bloggers and Pagan writers, the joy of having “one of our own” superseded “what does this person stand for?” As a result, this person became someone special to many Pagans.

Now, unfortunately, he is allegedly involved in some illegal and unethical political practices.  He was arrested and charged with wire fraud and participating in a bribery conspiracy. If the charges are true, many people who looked at him as “one of us” will be incredibly disappointed.

He is not our community. He is one person. It is important to stay involved in the politics and governance of our country. Look to what people stand for and vote on issues, not because of a person’s skin color, hair color, genetic history or religion.

If you want your voice to be heard don’t depend on someone else merely because you think they might be linked to your faith. Register and vote on the issues.

The Ruby Tablet


 The Ruby Tablet number 4 is a new issue of a journal that includes older articles that have been out of print for ages. It begins with an article on “Time and Space” by William Wynn Westcott, one of the founders of the Golden Dawn. Although the information is terribly dated, I find it interesting that he does describe the theory that life on Earth began on other planets and was carried here. This theory has received increasing support over the past 50 years or so (it’s been called “panspermia”), but avoids focusing on the question of how life ultimately began. Another article is on the history and development of magickal wands. There is an amazing interview with R.W. Felkin, another famous Golden Dawn member. This interview covers his dramatic journey through Africa.

A.E. Waite is the source of an article on The Holy Grail which includes a discussion of the idea of Dr. L.A. Waddell that the Grail is a Sumerian “fetish stone-bowl.” It had belong to the first Sumerian King named Dur or Tur, and Waite says that King Arthur “connects etymologically with Tur” (and Thor). An article on the Divine name composed of the Hebrew letters Yud Heh Vahv Heh is included. It was written by Nurho de Manhar, the magickal name of an early member of the Golden Dawn. There is also “An Outline of a Preliminary Ceremony Connected with the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.” Written by Ithell Colquhoun (author of a biography of Macgregor Mathers), it was transcribed from her hand-written notes by the editor of the journal, Darcy Kuntz.

Not On Llewellyn’s Website

Llewellyn’s website is one of the most popular destinations for people interested in metaphysical topics. Our free, on-line encyclopedia may be the largest encyclopedia of occult, metaphysical, paranormal, and New Age topics on the web. But there is one book that is published by Llewellyn that you won’t find on our website. This is The Magical Life of Scott Cunningham. That’s because it’s an eBook and not available as a book by itself.

The Magical Life of Scott Cunningham shares never-before published insights into Scott’s life. What were his interests? What motivated him? Why did he write what he did? Why was he so important to modern Wicca and Witchcraft? All of these questions will be answered in this small eBook (it’s just $1.99). Oh…and yes, it was written by me. Scott and I shared a 2-bedroom apartment in San Diego, CA, for six years.

You Still have a Chance to
Win a Free Tarot Deck!

That’s right. The contest is still going. All you have to do is make your best prediction about what will happen this year. The person who makes the most accurate prediction, as determined by our judge (me!), will be able to select any of the many Tarot decks that Llewellyn offers. For full information on this contest, click on this CONTEST LINK.

Written by Donald Michael Kraig
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy. He has also studied public speaking and music (traditional and experimental) on the university level. After a decade of personal study and practice, he began ten years of teaching courses in the Southern California area on such ...