a ritual or portion of a ritual designed to establish communication with a higher spiritual entity. The magician allows a higher being to use his physical body as a vehicle for communication with the physical world. A potent prayer used to invoke a deity.
the right-hand or white pillar of King Solomon's Temple. The masculine Pillar of Mercy on the Tree of Life. Together the Pillars of Boaz and Jachin symbolize the polarized forces of night and day, strength and mercy, active and passive. Jachin is represented by the white pillar in the Hall of the Neophytes. (See Boaz; Pillar of Mercy.)
(singular form - Kabir): the "great gods" from the ancient Samothracian Mysteries. The names of the Kabiri are Axieros, Axieokersa, Axiokersos, and Kasmillos.
Keryx (or Kerux)
Greek word meaning "herald." An officer in the Neophyte Hall who leads circumambulations and gives announcements.
Konx om Pax
a Greek-based magical phrase used in the Eleusinian Mysteries. Used by the Golden Dawn to mean "Light in Extension." An Egyptian version of the phrase is Khabs am Pekht. (See Light in Extension.)
Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. A basic Golden Dawn ritual which cleanses the temple or ritual space of unwanted energies.
Hebrew phrase meaning "the World forever, unto the Ages." A phrase used in the Qabalistic Cross. (See Amen.)
License to Depart
granting a spiritual entity permission to leave the temple or circle after the work of magic has been completed.
Light in Extension
signifies "Light rushing out in One Ray." The divine light extending itself into manifestation.
that segment of Qabalah which interprets the codes found in Hebrew words contained in mystical texts. Methods of Literal Qabalah include gematria, notariqon, and temurah. (See Qabalah, Gematria; Notariqon; Temurah.)
a Greek word meaning "word." To the Gnostics this was the term for deity manifest in the universe. The creative principle and underlying law of the universe. Lotus Wand: the primary implement of an Adept. It is used to invoke or banish all manner of energies.
the Latin word for "light." In the Second Order of the Golden Dawn it implies "the Light of the Cross," since the letters L, V, and X are all portions of one type or another of the cross. These letters are attributed to primary Egyptian gods and to certain grade signs as follows: L = Isis Mourning; V = Apophis and Typhon; and X = Osiris Risen. Along with the sign of Osiris slain, they present the cycles of life, death, and rebirth inherent in the seasons-the Equinoxes and the Solstices.
the art of causing change to occur in one's environment and one's consciousness. Willpower, imagination, intention, and the use of symbols and correspondences play a major role in this art. (See Theurgy)
the twenty-two trump cards of a tarot deck, which relate to the twenty- two Paths on the Tree of Life.
Mansions of the Moon
the twenty-eight days of the Lunar cycle. Each day is assigned to a portion of the 360 degrees of the Zodiac, beginning at 0 degrees Aries.
the act of quieting the mind in order to "listen" to the inner communications from the Higher Self.
the branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value. A priori speculation upon questions that are unanswerable to scientific observation, analysis, or experiment.
the archangel of Kether and the most powerful of all Hebrew archangels. Said to be the archangel who governs the entire Tree of Life generally, and the white pillar specifically. He is also right-hand Kerub of the Ark of the Covenant. (See Sandalphon.)
the central pillar on the Tree of Life. The Exercise of the Middle Pillar is a Golden Dawn technique for awakening the Sephiroth or Galgalim of the Middle Pillar within the magician's sphere of sensation. (See Pillar of Mildness; Galgal.)
the fifty-six cards of a tarot deck, similar to the a deck of modern playing cards, consisting of forty numbered cards and sixteen court cards. They are attribued to the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life.
from Greek monos, meaning "alone, single, sole." One indivisible. Sometimes used to describe Kether.
a special, magical name chosen by the magician for use in a magical lodge. A magical name is taken on in order to disassociate oneself from the mundane world for the duration of the magical work. Many magicians choose mottoes that have personal spiritual significance for them.
from the Greek word mystos meaning "keeping silent." The word is often used to describe the doctrine of initiatory schof magic.
comes from the Greek word neophytos or "newly planted." A beginner. The Neophtye grade is the first initiation into the Golden Dawn. It is symbolized by the number 0 within a circle and the number 0 within a square. A person who has been admitted into the grade of Neophyte. A temple that is arranged for a Neophyte initiation is called the Neophyte Hall.
Nephesh (also Nephesch)
in Qabalah, the part of the soul located in Yesod which is described as the Lower Self or Lower Unconscious. Contains primal instincts, fundamental drives and animal vitality. Sometimes called the etheric double or the astral body.
Neshamah (also Neschamah)
in Qabalah, the highest part of the soul. The Greater Neshamah encompasses Kether, Chokmah, and Binah. The highest aspirations of the soul. The Neshamah proper, or intuitive soul, is found in Binah.
a form of Literal Qabalah. A method for obtaining the hidden meanings of Hebrew words by viewing them as acronyms of phrases, or vice versa. The word is derived from the Latin notarius or "shorthand writer."
Hebrew for "female of Zauir." The female counterpart of Zauir Anpin. The Partzuf attributed to Malkuth, and associated with the final letter Heh of Tetragrammaton. Also called Malkah, the "Queen," and Kalah, the "Bride." (See Partzufim.)
from the Latin word occuiere, meaning "to cover up." Hidden or secret. Occult wisdom signifies secret wisdom. Wisdom that is not known to the masses.
Opening by Watchtower
a ritual created by Israel Regardie which is based upon the SIRP and the ceremony of the Consecration of the Vault of the Adepti. It is used to invoke the elements and set up a consecrated space as a prelude to the main ritual.
Opening of the Key
a complex method for reading the tarot used in the Second Order of the Golden Dawn. It utilizes five consecutive tarot spreads in a single reading.
a geometric figure based upon the pentangle, which has five lines and five "points." Figures based on the pentangle include the pentagram and the pentagon. The pentagram, or five-pointed star is also called the figure of the microcosm, the pentalpha, and the wizard's foot.
A Greek word which means "five-lettered name." Refers to the Hebrew name of YHShVH - Yeheshuah or the Hebrew name of Jesus, which is the Tetragrammaton, YHVH, with the letter Shin placed in the center of the name.
Hebrew word meaning "faces" (singular - partzuf). Refers to a teaching in the Zohar that divides the Sephiroth into five archetypal countenances that constitute more anthropomorphized expressions of the Sephiroth in accordance with the Tetragrammaton. They express YHVH in terms of father, mother, son, and daughter (or bride). The Partzufim include Arik Anpin, Abba, Aima, Zauir Anpin, and Malkah (or Nukba de-Zauir).
The Stone of the Wise. An alchemical symbol of the transmutation of humanity's lower nature into a higher, more purified spiritual state. True spiritual attainment and illumination. In practical alchemy, the Stone signifies the manufacturing of gold from a base metal. In spiritual alchemy, it is the transmutation of the Lower into the Higher. (See Alchemy.)
comes from a Greek word which means "lover of wisdom." The Philosophus grade is the fifth initiation into the Golden Dawn, and the last of the four elemental grades which comprise the First Degree of the Order. It is associated with the element of fire and the seventh Sephirah of Netzach. It is symbolized by the number 4 within a circle and the number 7 within a square. A person who has been admitted into the grade of Philosophus.
Pillar of Mercy
The right-hand pillar on the Tree of Life, comprised of the Sephiroth of Chokmah, Chesed, and Netzach. (See Jachin.)
Pillar of Mildness
also called the Middle Pillar or the Pillar of Equilibrium. The central pillar on the Tree of Life comprised of the Sephiroth of Kether, Daath, Tiphareth, Yesod, and Malkuth. (See Middle Pillar.)
Pillar of Severity
The left-hand pillar on the Tree of Life, comprised of the Sephiroth of Binah, Geburah, and Hod. (See Boaz.)
the intermediate grade between the First and Second Orders of the Golden Dawn. The Second Degree of the Order. A person who has been admitted to the Second Degree.
that segment of Qabalah which deals with the construction of talismans used in ceremonial magic. (See Qabalah.)
the fourth initiation into the Golden Dawn, and the third of the four elemental grades which comprise the First Degree of the Order. The name practicus indicates that the initiate is beginning to put theory into practice. It is associated with the element of water and the eighth Sephirah of Hod. It is symbolized by the number 3 within a circle and the number 8 within a square. A person who has been admitted into the grade of Practicus.
Latin word meaning "guide" and "one who prophesies." The teacher. One of the Three Chief Officers in the Neophyte Hall.
also called the "Sign of Silence" and the "Sign of Harpacrates. One of the Neophtye Signs of the Golden Dawn.
the Greek word for "soul." The mind functioning as the center of thought, emotion, and behavior and consciously or unconsciously adjusting or mediating the body's responses to the social and physical environment.
Hebrew word meaning "tradition." It is derived from the root word qibel, meaning "to receive." This refers to the ancient custom of handing down esoteric knowledge by oral transmission. What the word Qabalah encompasses is an entire body of ancient Hebrew mystical principles that are the cornerstone and focus of the Western Esoteric Tradition.
a short ritual that is incorporated into the LBRP. The Qabalistic Cross forms an equilibrated cross of light in the magician's sphere of sensation.
comes from a Hebrew root word meaning "talisman." A Qamea or Magical Square is a diagram showing a series of numbers arranged so as to yield the same number total whether the numbers are added up horizontally by rows, vertically by columns, or diagonally. The number of the sum of each column of figures and the total sum of all the numbers on the square are numbers that are especially attributed to a particular Planet. The Magical Squares or Qameoth (plural) are essentially planetary talismans.
a Hebrew word meaning "shells." Chaotic and unbalanced forces or entities. Evil demons. Negative opposites of the harmonious Sephiroth.
the "fifth essence." Refers to spirit, which is sometimes referred to as the fifth element. That which binds together and governs the four elements of fire, water, air, and earth.
Rising on the Planes
a method of astral work that developed out of the Golden Dawn's technique of Traveling in the Spirit Vision. This is a purely spiritual process that uses the Qabalistic Tree of Life. The magician's consciousness is placed within the astral body, which ascends the various levels of the Tree.
a key symbol of the Golden Dawn's Second Order. It is based on the Rosicrucian symbolism of the Red Rose and the Cross of Gold. The Rose Cross Lamen is worn by Adepts. The Ritual of the Rose Cross is a Second Order ritual for calming and balancing energies. (See Lamen.)
Hebrew word for "breath," "air," and "spirit." The middle part of the Qabalistic soul, representing the mind and reasoning powers.
the archangel of Malkuth. Said to be the archangel who governs the black pillar. She is also left-hand Kerub of the Ark of the Covenant. (See Metatron.)
a Hebrew dialect which was used in Spain and the Mediterranean area. The Hebrew dialect employed by the Golden Dawn.
Hebrew word meaning "numbers, spheres, emanations." Refers to ten divine states or god-energies depicted on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. The singular form is Sephirah.
Hebrew phrase meaning "the Book of Formation." One of the oldest of the Qabalistic texts.
a Hebrew phrase meaning "the Seventy-two-fold Name of God," said to be an extension of the Tetragrammaton. A divine name of 216 letters derived from three verses in the Biblical book of Exodus (Exodus 14:19-21). One of the systems of temurah is used on these verses to obtain 72 names of God, which are each assigned to one of the 72 quinances (sets of five degrees) of the Zodiac. The names of 72 angels are formed by adding the suffixes "yah" or "el" to the 72God-names.
a seal, sign, or signature. A symbol used to represent a spiritual force, such as an angel, archangel, or a divine name of God. Any name or word can be made into a sigil.
An image used in sympathetic magic that is considered to be the magical double of the object that it represents.
The Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram. An Inner Order ritual for invoking elemental energies.
derived from the old English word descry meaning "to see" or "to observe." A form of clairvoyance which usually uses mirrors, crystals, a bowl of water, or other gazing devices. The skrying device is an aid to concentration which helps the skryer calm the conscious mind and allow spiritual visions to come through.
Skrying in the Spirit Vision
skrying as performed by the Golden Dawn is usually done by using a painted symbol -- such as a Tattva card or elemental symbol -- rather than a crystal or mirror to skry into. Geomantic or planetary symbols or tarot cards may also be used for this procedure. Similar in some ways to Astral Projection.
Solve et Coagula
Latin phrase meaning "dissolve and coagulate." Alchemical axiom which points to the practice of reducing a solid to a liquid and back to a solid again. Used as a metaphor for the practice of psychotherapy and self-integration.
Greek word meaning "preparer." An officer in the Neophyte Hall who is in charge of all regalia and purifications.
the psycho-physical circuitry of a human being through which the life force flows. Energy blue-print for the physical body. Sometimes called the astral body, etheric double, or body of light.
celestial or heavenly. In Qabalah it refers to the three highest Sephiroth on the Tree of Life which are often called the Supernal Triad.
Tablet of Union
The Enochian Tablet of spirit which binds together and governs the other four Emental Tablets. Painted on the tablet are Enochian spirit names including: Exarp - the spirit of air, Hcoma - the spirit of water, Nanta - the spirit of earth, and Bitom - the spirit of fire.
an object which is charged or consecrated toward the achieving of a specific end. A talisman is a magical object that has been charged with a force that it is intended to represent. Usually intended to draw something to the magician. (Also see Telesmatic.)
a system of divination that employs a mystical set of 78 cards separated into two main divisions-the Major and Minor Arcana. In many Hermetic groups, they are used primarily for meditative purposes. (See Divination; Major Arcana; Minor Arcana.)
Tattva (or Tattwa)
Sanskrit word meaning "quality." The five main tattvas (Prithivi, Vayu, Apas, Tejas, and Akasa), correspond to the five elements of earth, air, water, fire, and spirit. In the Golden Dawn, the symbols that represent the tattvas are used for skrying. (See Skrying.)
Sanskrit word meaning "sharp." The Tattva associated with the element of fire, depicted as a red triangle.
from the Greek word telesmata meaning "talismans." Usually refers to a created or visualized image of a deity or angel, particularly images that have been built using Hebrew letter correspondences.
Hebrew word meaning "permutation." A form of Literal Qabalah which transposes letters of the Hebrew alphabet, swapping one letter for another, usually in accordance with a table or chart. This results in the creation of a new word which can be compared with the original word for interpretive meaning. This technique is most often used to study Hebrew scripture.
a Greek word meaning "four-lettered name." Refers to the highest divine Hebrew name of God, YHVH.
Greek word meaning "miracle-working." Magic used to create changes in the material world.
comes from the Greek word for "beholder," "onlooker" or "student." The Theoricus grade is the third initiation into the Golden Dawn, and the second of the four elemental grades which comprise the First Degree of the Order. It is associated with the element of air and the ninth Sephirah of Yesod. It is symbolized by the number 2 within a circle and the number 9 within a square. A person who has been admitted into the grade of Theoricus.
Greek word meaning "God-working." Magic used for personal growth, spiritual evolution, and for becoming closer to the Divine. The type of magic advocated by the Golden Dawn.
a mental image created and solidified in astral substance by willpower and visualization.
Three Alchemic Principles
three fundamental substances in Alchemy that said to exist in all things. They are Sulfur, Mercury, and Salt, which relate to the ideas of soul, spirit, and body. These substances are not to be confused with ordinary substances of the same name.
Three Negative Veils
three abstract stages of "nothingness" from which emanate the Sephiroth. The three negative veils are Ain, Ain Soph, and Ain Soph Aur.
Tree of Life
a glyph or symbol that is central to the Qabalah. It is a symmetrical drawing of ten circles or spheres known collectively as Sephiroth arranged in a certain manner, with 22 connecting paths running between the spheres. It is considered a blueprint for understanding all things and relationships in the universe, including the essence of God and the soul of humanity. (See Qabalah; Sephiroth.)
that segment of Qabalah which refers to the knowledge of the sacred symbol known as the Tree of Life. (See Qabalah; Tree of Life.)
Sanskrit word meaning "to blow." The Tattva associated with the element of air, depicted as a blue circle. (See Tattva.)
a method by which divine names and words are intoned forcefully and with authority in a "vibration." Properly performed, the vibration should be felt throughout the entire body, and imagined to be vibrated throughout the universe.
one of the four magical elements. Water is said to be a combination of the qualities of cold and moisture. It is considered passive, feminine, receptive, sustaining, subconscious, creative, fluidic, and generative. (See Elements.)
one of the Elemental weapons or implements of the Adept. Used to invoke or banish the element of water.
in Qabalah, the highest part of the soul located in Kether. It is described as the true Divine Self. The purest form of consciousness.
Hebrew name for Jesus. A divine name associated with the five elements of fire, water, air, earth, and spirit. Referred to as the Pentagrammaton. (See Pentagrammaton.)
the third of four Qabalistic Worlds or stages of manifestation. It is known as the World of Formation and is the realm of angels. It is attributed to the spheres of Chesed, Geburah, Tiphareth, Netzach, Hod, and Yesod. It is attributed to the element of air. (See Four Worlds of the Qabalah.)
Four letters (Yod Heh Vav Heh) which stand for the highest Hebrew name for God, which is considered unknown and unpronounceable. These letters are also attributed to the four elements of fire, water, air, and earth. Often referred to as the Tetragrammaton.
Divine Hebrew name of Binah, meaning "the Lord, God." Also associated with Daath in the Exercise of the Middle Pillar.
Hebrew for "short faced." Also known as the "Lesser Countenance" and Microprosopus. The son of Abba and Aima. The Partzuf attributed to the six Sephiroth from Chesed to Yesod, and associated with the letter Vav of Tetragrammaton. (See Partzufim.)
comes from the Greek word for "zealot." The Zelator grade is the second initiation into the Golden Dawn, and the first of the four elemental grades which comprise the First Degree of the Order. It is associated with the element of earth and the tenth Sephirah of Malkuth. It is symbolized by the number 1 within a circle and the number 10 within a square. A person who has been admitted into the grade of Zelator.
a circle or belt which is said to extend eight or nine degrees on each side of the ecliptic (the sun's apparent path around the earth, or the orbit of the earth as viewed from the sun.) A zodiacal wheel is a flat chart which is divided into twelve houses, each of which is said to be ruled by one of the twelve zodiacal signs.