One of the best parts of helping other folk learn this wonderful tradition of western esoteric spirituality is that I receive a lot more than I give. The One is so compassionate 🙂 The other day a corresponding student playfully (I think, you can never tell in an email) took me to task for my valorization of Dion Fortune and the Golden Dawn at the same time. She listed, one after another, contradictions between Dion’s current and take on magic and that of the Golden Dawn. A few of these I readily agreed were real and Dion worked a different type of magic. So I had to explain how I reconciled the two in my own practice and service, and that was a great thing to do. So thanks Sr FD 🙂
Many apparent contradictions between the two systems are, in my opinion, not really there or based on Dion’s inadequate instruction by her GD superiors. An example I think worth discussing in public, is this statement from Dion, quoted by the brilliant Gareth Knight in his introduction to Dion’s ‘What is Occultism?’
I have never found it satisfactory to work with incompatible forces at the same time, and this, I think, is a weakness in the “Golden Dawn” method;it is all together too ecletic and synthetic. I have dismal recollections of consecrating the Lotus Wand to all Twelve Signs of the Zodiac in a single operation. They kept on neutralising each other, and at the end of the operation one felt like the Irishman who tried to take his pigs to the market, each tied to a separate string. People to who magic is a vain observance may be contended with such methods, but for my part I never saw that Lotus Wand again, and never wanted to.
If Dion attempted to consecrate the Lotus Wand using basically the same instructions as those in the Regardie compilation (without oral guidance from a superior) I can see her point. A correct consecration would not have involved the cancelling out of the Zodiacal forces at all. The instructions say to have ready the Ritual of the Pentagram. This however should not have been given to Dion without the Pentagram lecture and diagram outlined in this post. Further oral instruction on the meaning of the diagram and its methods of use should have been given. This would have resulted in the skills required to complete the task successfully.
One of the key mysteries that working with the diagram brings to us, to put it in limiting words, is the unfoldment of the pentagram in all its forms (elemental, Sephriotic, Zodiacal) from the Ain Sof. Correctly understood and practiced this allows the consecrator to produce twelve separate but simultaneously connected invocations of the Twelve Powers. This connection and separation at the same time is held by another oral instruction given to the RR et AC adept; the correspondence of the 12 Apostles to the 12 Signs and 12 Pentagrams. Just as the 12 are separate, even to the point of betrayal, yet are part of Christ’s mission and work, so too are the 12 Signs and the 12 Consecrations apart and united.
Of importance as well is the understanding and practice of the type of consecration being asked for here. They are many types of consecration and several classification systems to explain them, but briefly we can class most consecrations as one or more of the following:
- Psychological or Suggestive Consecration. You think and act as if the bread is the Body of Christ.
- Bringing Forth the Natural Qualities of the Item Consecrated. You expand the qualities of ‘bread’, its creation and function into the etheric-astral-mental component of the bread.
- Charging the Item. You invoke the presence of Christ into the etheric-astral-mental component of the bread.
- Charging and Linking and Item. You invoke the presence of Christ into the etheric-astral-mental component of the bread and keep the link open, so it may be drawn upon later – e.g., when the Communicant receives the bread so that their own openness to Christ draws Him further into the bread as they Commune.
- Birthing an Etheric-Astral-Mental Component of the Item Into Objective Life and Existence. A new etheric-astral-mental structure is created to hold the presence of Christ within the bread’s etheric-astral-mental structure so it will always be there, even centuries after the consecration. Hence those alive statues in the British Museum 🙂
- Changing the Essence of the Item. The ‘essence’ of the bread is changed into the ‘essence’ of the Body of Jesus Christ. This is full transubstantiation and really is done by the One, not the Priest or magician.
In the consecration of the Lotus Wand, like in the consecration of many of the RR et AC and GD temple tools, the type of consecration is a particular form of fourth type, charging and linking. Here the emphasis though is on the linking. If the wand is consecrated in any other way it will not function correctly.
The various powers of the Zodiac are invoked into 12 connected but separate mental level ‘forms’. Each of these forms is linked to one of the 12 bands of the wand on the mental level alone. The link is the key here, not the charging on the astral-etheric level. The links provide a doorway to the 12 powers but these 12 are not immediately present within the etheric-astral presence of the wand, until they are called upon. When a wand is inactive on the altar it is not pumping full of zodiacal force – indeed as Dion suggests, having all 12 powers at once on these levels would be rather chaotic 🙂
The wand is rather a Malkuth means to quickly ‘earth’ the particular powers the magician wishes to call upon. The placement of the thumb on the band of the sign in question links the physical and etheric. The formulation inwardly of the appropriate imagery completes the astral level. The inward recitation of the correct Sacred Word activates the mental ‘structure’ in question. Once done, when the magician performs the Pentagram or whatever ritual, the macrocosmic forces are easily able to be attracted to and move through the mental structure created at the consecration and from their into the lower spheres through the sphere of the magician.
This is a different approach to consecration than often conceived in today’s magical and pagan communities where people like to get their tools buzzing and glowing on the astral like the teeth of tele-evangelists. The Lotus Wand is created simply and beautifully as a doorway. It has no power until it is activated. This is like the Hierophant’s Sceptre in the Outer Order – completely inert until the start of the ceremony when, through the correct keys at the hands of an installed Hierophant, it becomes literally the focal and directing point of nearly all the blessings of the ceremony. I just don’t think Dion was told this or given the inner keys to make it happen. Which is hardly surprising as they are still not out there much. Nuff said?