Donald Michael Kraig | From “Inner Secret” to Minor Diversion

When Aleister Crowley was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, he was initially impressed with the intensity and seriousness of the vows he took never to reveal any of the secrets of the Order. He quickly became disappointed, though, when those “secrets” were revealed to be relatively mundane—or at least well known—things like the Hebrew alphabet and the signs of astrology.  […]
Source:  Inner Secrets

A Brief Defense of the Golden Dawn System of Magic

On the Occult Corpus website, a poster by the name of alwayson posted a thread entitled ‘How to Become Better than a Golden Dawn Magician,’ in which he claimed that one could easily do […]

Source: A Brief Defense of the Golden Dawn System of Magic

Embarking on the Mysteries | The Secret Teachings Of All Ages (Manly P. Hall)

Join me LIVE as we read “The Secret Teachings of All Ages” by Manly P. Hall and understand what only a miniscule fragment of humanity has glimpsed. I hope you all are as excited as I am to be reading the Secret Teachings of All Ages. Today we finish up the introduction and explore the thinkers who shaped modern philosophy. This will give us the necessary information to embark on the mysteries and begin exploring the hidden symbolism of secret societies, occult doctrines, and esoteric philosophies.

NOTE: This book is in the Public Domain

Rosicrucianism | Silence: Inner Learning through the Power of Silence (AMORC)

Silence:  Inner Learning through the Power of Silence by Jeanne Guesdon, S.R.C., Former Grand Master of AMORC France; From the Rosicrucian Digest, December 1978, page 17.

Silence, one of the most difficult things to achieve in our world today, was an important key to the Pythagorean Path, and to all of Mysticism. Former Grand Master Guesdon reminds us of its importance across the ages.

1,600 Occult Books Now Digitized & Put Online, Thanks to the Ritman Library and Da Vinci Code Author Dan Brown

Back in December we brought you some exciting news. Thanks to a generous donation from Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, Amsterdam’s Ritman Library—a sizable collection of pre-1900 books on alchemy, astrology, magic, and other occult subjects—has been digitizing thousands of its rare texts under a digital education project cheekily called “Hermetically Open.” We are now pleased to report, less than two months later, that the first 1,617 books from the Ritman project have come available in their online reading room. The site is still in beta, so to speak; in their Facebook announcement, the Ritman admits they are “still improving the whole presentation,” which is a bit clunky at the moment. But for fans and students of this literature, a little inconvenience is a small price to pay for full access to hundreds of rare occult texts.  […]


The Journey of the Rose

In my dream I saw that I was walking through a beautiful garden that was filled with roses, walking on a path that was lined by rose bushes and in front of me I could see a beautiful tree that was full of healthy, delicious looking fruit. I saw a rose vine spiraled around the tree and in the heart I saw Venus sitting on a throne holding her son/sun on her lap. As I looked up at the top of the tree I saw Venus joined as one with the son/sun whose face changed to Jupiter. […]


An Alchemical Mass

An Alchemical Mass

This is an interesting alchemical text, by Melchior Cibinensis, in which an alchemical process is pictured in the form of the Mass. From Theatrum Chemicum Vol III. 1602.

Introitus. Our Lord, fount of goodness, inspirer of the sacred art, from whom all good things come to your faithful, have mercy.

Christe. Christ, Holy one, blessed stone of the art of the science who for the salvation of the world hast inspired the light of the science, for the extirpation of the unbelievers, have mercy.

Kyrie. Our Lord, divine fire, help our hearts, that we may be able, to your praise, to expand the sacraments of the art, have mercy.

Graduale. He descends like rain upon the fleece, and as showers falling gently upon the earth. Allelujah. O blessed creator of the earth, whiter than snow, sweeter than sweetness, fragrant at the bottom of the vessel like balsam. O salutary medicine for men, that cureth every weakness of the body: O sublime fount whence gushes forth truly the true water of life into the garden of thy faithful.

Ave Maria. Hail beautiful lamp of heaven, shining light of the world! Here art thou united with the moon, here is made the band of Mars and the conjunction of Mercury. From these three is born through through the magistery of the art, in the river bed, the strong giant whom a thousand times a thousand seek, when these three shall have dissolved, not into rain water… but into mercurial water, into this our blessed gum which dissolves of itself and is named the Sperm of the Philosophers.

Now he makes haste to bind and betroth himself to the virgin bride, and to get her with child in the bath over a moderate fire. But the Virgin will not become pregnant at once unless she be kissed in repeated embraces. Then she conceives in her body, and thus is begotten the child of good omen, in accordance with the order of nature.

Then will appear in the bottom of the vessel the mighty Ethiopian, burned, calcined, discoloured, altogether dead and lifeless. He asks to be buried, to be sprinkled with his own moisture and slowly calcined till he shall arise in glowing form from the fierce fire …. Behold a wondrous restoration and renewal of the Ethiopian!

Because of the bath of rebirth he takes a new name, which the philosophers call the natural sulphur and their son, this being the stone of the philosophers.

And behold it is one thing, one root, one essence with nothing extraneous added and from which much that was superfluous is taken away by the magistery of the art …. It is the treasure of treasures, the supreme philosophical potion, the divine secret of the ancients.

Blessed is he that finds such thing.

One that has seen this thing writes and speaks openly, and I know that his testimony is true.

Praise be to God for evermore.

Theosophy | The Crest Jewel – 1, by Raghavan Iyer

To affirm is to deny. It is obvious that we do this always, but we periodically forget because of narrowing our focus to what we affirm in the language of perceived objects and in terms of the illusive independent existence of a particular set of subjects who see those objects. We fashion a pseudo-system. The universe is boundless, birthless and partless. Both within and beyond visible space and in eternal motion within endless duration, going through apparent vicissitudes like the waxing and waning of the moon or the rise and fall of the tides, through cyclical and cosmically precise changes, human beings have the privilege of exercising the deific power of creative imagination. At the highest level conceivable to a finite mind caught up within the prison of the personality, imagination is ceaselessly enjoying the universe, for example, the play of light and shade upon the green leaves of summer. If we say that there is also continuous negation, we are correct because chlorophyll is gradually negated, and thereby the leaves turn yellow. Thus we know that spring and summer must be followed by autumn. Human beings, however, sometimes forsake these primal facts because they prefer convenient fictions which involve false affirmations.

There is the false affirmation that a whole lot of bodies are in existence today. Do the bodies say so, and if so, how do they know? Apparently they are supposed to have minds, but what is a mind and what is the evidence that bodies have minds? We entertain opinions about these matters, but are opinions the same as ideas and are ideas the efflux of fluctuating moods? Is that the same as thinking, the activity of a Thoreau in the woods and an Emerson in his study? Questions of this kind are deeply troublesome and difficult. Therefore, Sri Shankaracharya states that before you can begin to deserve the Crest Jewel, which is in the crest above the forehead of the human body, the regal gem of pure discernment and spiritual wakefulness, and before you can benefit by it in the three states of consciousness – waking, dreaming and dreamlessness – you must recognize that at the root you have made a false identification. Without knowing it, you have engaged in falsehoods to which you were invulnerable before you learned to walk, before you learned to identify with the body that stumbles and before you learned to talk, to repeat sounds associated by other people with sense-objects. You started to slip into a stupor, and began to live an increasingly unreal existence, mostly reinforcing your sense of unreality but insisting it was the only reality – thereby showing that it was not real to you – against other people’s conceptions of reality. Therefore, that compassionate teacher Sri Shankaracharya states that we must get to the root and core of illusion.

What is the root? We are told that the Crest Jewel is that which causes all our problems but which also is their cure. The Crest Jewel represents the fundamental affirmation that two habitual negatives make a higher-order affirmation. On the one hand, there is a false negation in the notion of reality attached to the apparent freedom of all seemingly separate subjects, and the resulting glamour of the false shadow-play created by supposedly separate selves. On the other hand, there is also the notion of a plurality of separate objects, constituting a false negation of the one homogeneous substance or root-matter which is of the quality of pure primordial light and remains undivided and untransformed. All the various collocations of atoms, in seemingly fortuitous movement, whirl and revolve around invisible centres which are seemingly separate points in one homogeneous universal region, giving rise to the falsehood that there are separate objects. These two false negations have been marked out in the great teaching of the Guru.

Sri Shankara begins the text by saying there are three things extremely difficult to have. One is manhood. The second is the longing for liberation. The third is access to Masters. Without the second the third is impossible and the first is useless. If one wants access to Masters, one has to long sufficiently for liberation. One has to want sufficiently, with the whole of one’s being, to become free from the massive burden of inane repetitions that we call life and the impossibility of making it meaningful with the help of borrowed, lifeless and bloodless categories that wear masks and don caps and engage in a perpetual pantomime play called living. Shankara says that there is nothing new under the sun, that it is all the same old story. One might say it began with thinking man, but it really began when man stopped thinking. As a result, a huge rigamarole emerged which men then packaged and called recorded history.

History represents in recent centuries a harsh but also a necessary negation of the absurdities, errors and illusions of the past. When that happens with so many minds, when so many wills are blunted, hearts hurt and human beings lamed and crippled, suddenly we know that springtime is near. The Golden Age is next door. Suddenly we realize what we always might have known – that there are children in this world, that other people exist, that while ten men are gloomy there are another hundred who are happy. Those who are engrossed in being happy do not go around certifying their happiness to the gloomy. The gloomy want certainty, but there is no certitude to be attained anywhere in the realm of differentiation. This is a philosophical truth which everyone knew as a little child. The intuitive negation of childhood, a beautiful sharing with no “mine” and “thine,” was followed by cruel adolescent affirmations which are intensely ugly especially to others and sometimes to oneself. Then came the prolonged adolescence of those who are petrified that they might actually have to assume minimal responsibilities. But when men will not negate, Nature negates. Nature’s power of negation is vaster than the collective power of negation of history, and both seem more awesome and decisive than the capacity of an individual to negate.

Hermes, August 1977
Raghavan Iyer

Operative Alchemy: Avery Hopkins

An open lecture given on the basics of alchemical philosophy and applications. Details on the 3 principles, 4 elements, there internal and external correspondences, the energetic (chakra) centers of man, and the creation of medicines for the body and the mind using alchemical philosophies and operations.




The Tetragrammaton – Masonry Meets Theurgy

The Tetractys and the Sephiroth represent similar concepts; however the link between these two concepts would not be readily apparent were it not for their common use of the Tetragrammaton. The Tetagrammaton serves as a bridge between these concepts which span time, culture (Greek and Hebrew), and multiple Masonic rites and rituals. This paper discusses the Tetragrammaton, the Tetractys, and the Sephiroth and shows how the three are related.  […]


Profile | Who was A.E. Waite?


Arthur Edward Waite (1880)

Arthur Edward Waite was a scholarly American mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. He was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of Western occultism, viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the pathology of religion.  […]


Theosophy | METAPHYSICS AND ETHICS – II, by Raghavan Iyer

Tat tvam asi

   Despite its contempt for metaphysics and for ontology, materialistic science is honeycombed with metaphysical and contradictory implications, and even its “atoms” are “entified abstractions”. “To make of Science an integral whole necessitates, indeed, the study of spiritual and psychic, as well as physical Nature.” But although real science is inadmissible without metaphysics, and those scientists who trespass on the forbidden grounds of metaphysics, who lift the veil of matter and strain their eyes to see beyond, are “wise in their generation”, H.P. Blavatsky declared towards the end of The Secret Doctrine that the man of exact science must realize that

   he has no right to trespass on the grounds of metaphysics and psychology. His duty is to verify and to rectify all the facts that fall under his direct observation; to profit by the experiences and mistakes of the Past in endeavouring to trace the working of a certain concatenation of cause and effects, which, but only by its constant and unvarying repetition, may be called A LAW. . . . Any sideway path from this royal road becomes speculation.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 664

   It is a sign of advance that scientists today are less given than their predecessors in the latter half of the nineteenth century to “metaphysical flights of fancy”. Bad metaphysics is clearly worse than none. On the other hand, as modern psychology becomes less materialistic and as race evolution proceeds, a greater appreciation of the higher intuitive and cognitive capacities will emerge and may enable the most intuitive scientists to venture more effectively into metaphysics.

It is, therefore, necessary for students of Theosophy to see the fundamental difference between what goes by the name of metaphysics and has rightly become suspect today, and the “metaphysics, pure and simple”, with which The Secret Doctrine is concerned. We cannot, however, grasp the metaphysics given in Theosophical teachings unless we perceive its close and inseparable connection with Theosophical ethics. We are told in The Secret Doctrine that the “highly philosophical and metaphysical Aryans” were the authors of “the most perfect philosophical systems of transcendental psychology” and of “a moral code (Buddhism), proclaimed by Max Müller the most perfect on earth”. Without a proper understanding of Theosophical psychology and the teachings regarding the nature and constitution of man and the working of karmic law, we cannot appreciate the metaphysical basis of Theosophical ethics or the ethical significance of Theosophical metaphysics. Hence the importance of a careful study and application, from the first, of the Ten Items from Isis Unveiled or the Propositions of Oriental Psychology, and of the Aphorisms on Karma by W.Q. Judge. Until this is done, we cannot begin to see the ethical import of the statements in The Secret Doctrine or the metaphysical basis of the statements in The Voice of the Silence and Light on the Path.

We are told explicitly in The Secret Doctrine that “to make the workings of Karma, in the periodical renovations of the Universe, more evident and intelligible to the student when he arrives at the origin and evolution of man, he has now to examine with us the esoteric bearing of the Karmic Cycles upon Universal Ethics”. Our ethical progress depends on an increasing awareness of the “cycles of matter” and the “cycles of spiritual evolution”, and of racial, national and individual cycles. The kernel of Theosophical ethics is contained in the statement that “there are external and internal conditions which affect the determination of our will upon our actions, and it is in our power to follow either of the two”. This contains a great metaphysical and psychological truth, which is illuminated by the seminal article on “Psychic and Noetic Action”, written, late in life, by H.P. Blavatsky, the Magus-Teacher of the 1875 cycle.

Theosophical ethics is in the end no easier to understand properly than Theosophical metaphysics. It can no more be grasped by the mentally lazy than Theosophical metaphysics can be comprehended by the morally obtuse. There is nothing namby-pamby about Theosophical ethics and it is as fundamentally different from conventional ethics as Theosophical metaphysics is from conventional metaphysics. Just as modern metaphysics is a shadowy distortion of archaic metaphysics, modern ethics is a sad vulgarization of the archaic ethics taught by the early religious Teachers of humanity. It is to be welcomed that more and more questioning people today are less and less prepared to accept blindly conventional ethical codes merely because they are traced back to so-called scriptural revelations, just as they have little use for the metaphysical speculations of even the formidable minds of the past. If the ethical nihilism of today is even more repugnant to the Theosophist than sterile positivism, he would do well to regard both as the karmic price we have to pay for the moral and metaphysical dogmatism of the past.

Although we may talk of Theosophical metaphysics and Theosophical ethics, and classify texts broadly under these heads, we must get beyond the conventional distinction between metaphysical and ethical statements and grasp central concepts, such as Dharma and Karma, which are protean in scope and profound in content, and incapable of being regarded as purely metaphysical or exclusively ethical. It is significant that the supposedly anti-metaphysical and superbly moral teaching of the Buddha was centred in the complex concept of Dharma rather than in Brahman or moksha, in the stern law of moral compensation and universal causality, rather than in a conception of infinite Deity constructed by the finite mind of man or in any notion of salvation or redemption which caters to the spiritual selfishness of the individual.

In the European tradition, a natural reaction to theocentric systems of thought was the Cartesian affirmation of the autonomy of the individual in relation to knowledge and the later Kantian proclamation of the autonomy of the individual in relation to morality. The Theosophist, however, holds to the Pythagorean and ancient Eastern maxim that man is the mirror and microcosm of the macrocosm. It is in this context that he must evolve from egoism to egoity, from personal self-love to individual self-consciousness, which is impossible without a heart-understanding of the Law of Universal Unity and Moral Retribution. The close connection between metaphysics and ethics in Theosophy is ultimately based on the workings of Universal Law, which affects the exact and occult correspondences between the constituents of man and of the cosmos. This ancient doctrine of correspondences has been ignored by modern metaphysicians and moralists, but it was known to modern mystics and poets from Boehme to Swedenborg, Blake to Baudelaire.

Hermes, May 1975
Raghavan Iyer