Thursday, September 10, 2009

Refutation of Pat Zalewksi's Review of David Griffin's Ritual Magic Manual

The Following refutation is in response to Pat Zalewski's unsubstantiated accusations that I, David Griffin, somehow plagiarized his work in my Ritual Magic Manual. As will be shown below, such allegations clearly have no scholarly basis, but are rooted in mere political sniping from a competing Golden Dawn order.

I would like to begin by clarifying that Pat Zalewski is correct in his assertion that in the research involved in my integration of the Enochian materials of John Dee into the RR+AC systems of Planetary and Zodiacal magick, I relied mostly on primary reference materials, primarily the original manuscripts of John Dee obtained on microfilm from the British Museum, together with the papers of S.L. MacGregor Mathers. In the rare instances where any secondary sources were used they were, of course, properly footnoted.

Zalewski's cited example also clearly demonstrates how thoroughly referenced the Ritual Magic Manual actually is, in itself quite unusual for modern Golden Dawn books. In this sense, my quickly written above statement quoted by Pat Zalewski is indeed slightly inaccurate, which I readily admit and for which I readily apologize, of course, for any potential resulting misunderstanding.

Nonetheless, Pat Zalewski's above statement does nothing to support his repeated and unsupported claims that I have 'plagiarized' his work. On the contrary, the footnote he references from the RMM actually provides solid evidence of how groundless his accusations of plagiarism actually are! I am therefore grateful to Mr. Zalewski for pointing out this footnote and providing me with an excellent opportunity to further refute his baseless and unsupported allegations of 'plagiarism.'

The American Heritage Dictionary defines 'plagiarism' as "the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own." This is clearly not the case in this present instance, as I have obviously referenced Mr. Zalewski's work according to proper academic standards. Moreover, I mention Mr. Zalewski's work in order to demonstrate how I consider the position he sets forth in "Golden Dawn Enochian Magic" to be flawed. This is followed by my own position which is based on a careful examination of the original John Dee documents, in this case "Earthly Knowledge, Aid, and Victory," in Sloane MS. 3191. This is completely acceptable scholarship according to all academic standards and certainly does not constitute 'plagiarism' as Mr. Zalewski would like us to believe. On the contrary, this example goes far to prove that I indeed did 'not' plagiarize Mr. Zalewski's work, but rather took issue with it.

Zalewski's position that I consider to be flawed in this instance is properly referenced in the Ritual Magic Manual as: Pat Zalewski, Golden Dawn Enochian Magic, St. Paul: Llewellyn, 1990, pp. 31, 32. Mr. Zalewski's position is flawed because it is based merely upon an unreflective aping of the position set forth by S.L. Macgregor Mathers in a lecture to members of the Golden Dawn, entitled "On the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac," in which S. L. MacGregor Mathers attempts to explain the Golden Dawn correspondences according to the distribution of the twelve Tribes of Israel encamped in the desert as they appear in the Old Testament. Mathers attempts to elucidate these correspondences by weaving a tapestry of associations with the Tribes, derived primarily from Biblical sources. These include the children of Jacob, their various Mothers, their order of birth, and the blessings of Moses and Jacob upon the various Tribes. Interestingly, Albert Pike presents a nearly identical exposition of similar associations in Morals And Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Mathers then comments upon the various armorial bearings ascribed to the twelve Tribes. This ascription exactly corresponds to that of the twelve ensigns attributed to the twelve Tribes in English Royal Arch Freemasonry. Thus it becomes apparent that the source from which the Golden Dawn borrowed this particular set of correspondences is English Royal Arch Freemasonry, and in his own work, Pat Zalewski merely followed these correspondences without even considering the difficulties underlying the arrangement MacGregor Mathers copied from Royal Arch Freemasonry.

The successful and correct integration of Enochian material from John Dee into Rosicrucian Zodiacal Magic has historically met with two difficulties. The first impediment arises because John Dee, in "Earthly Knowledge, Aid, and Victory," attributes the Twelve Tribes of Israel to the Signs of the Zodiac differently than does the R. R. et A. C. The Signs of the Zodiac thus correspond differently with the Enochian Zodiacal Kings in the Dee versus the R.R. et A.C. system. The second difficulty relates closely to the first and concerns the best method of attributing twelve Divine Names from the Elemental Tablets to the Zodiacal Signs.

In his work, Pat Zalewski does not even recognize these difficulties, but merely copies MacGregor Mathers in an unreflective manner without any consideration of underlying conflict with the original John Dee Enochian manuscripts. The above cited arrangement from MacGregor Mathers and aped by Zalewski, although seductive, is seriously flawed. The Elements of the Tablets from which the Divine Names originate do not correspond with the Elemental Triplicities of the Zodiacal Signs. When used in Ceremonial Magic, the failure of this arrangement becomes obvious. For example, it requires the Magician to invoke Sagittarius (a Fire Sign) using a Fire Invoking Pentagram while vibrating ARSL, a Divine Name from the Elemental Tablet of Water. Furthermore, the attribution of the Elements to the Quarters in this arrangement bears no resemblance to anything else in the R. R. et A. C. system!

What I point out in the Ritual Magic Manual is that John Dee clearly intended a different arrangement than the one that MacGregor Mathers chose, however, and that Dee's arrangement is implied in a diagram, entitled "Ordo Israelis Dispersi, hoc Estate 1585," illustrated on page 635 of the Ritual Magic Manual and available in my paper "The Book Of the Concourse of the Planetary and Zodiacal Forces" that you may download for free from our website at:

The diagram that I provide on page 635 of the Ritual Magic Manual (and reproduced in the aforementioned free download) illustrates an alternative, superior means of integrating the John Dee Enochian and RR+AC systems of Zodiacal Magic. Although Dee does not include the Glyphs of the Zodiacal Signs, but rather the numbers one through twelve, his intention is nonetheless easy to deduce. When one assigns the Zodiacal Signs from Aries as one through Pisces as twelve, the resulting attribution of the twelve Tribes of Israel to the Zodiacal Signs exactly matches those given by Cornelius Agrippa in his book on Celestial Magic. Dee clearly intended to attribute the twelve Tribes of Israel as well as the Enochian Zodiacal Kings to the Signs of the Zodiac according to the correspondences used by Agrippa.

Dee's diagram, thus understood, aligns the Zodiacal Signs according to their Elemental Triplicities in each of the four Quarters. The Fire Signs thus find their place in the East, the Earth Signs in the South, the Air Signs in the West, and the Water Signs in the North. This arrangement exactly coincides with the Golden Dawn attribution of the Elements to the four Quarters according to their "Natural position in the Zodiac." Thus it provides an excellent vehicle for the complete integration of the John Dee Enochian and the R.R. et A.C. systems of Zodiacal Magic.

In conclusion, the example cited by Pat Zalewski in no way supports his baseless accusation that I have plagiarized Zalewski's work. On the contrary, it actually shows in the present instance that I have correctly referenced his work according to proper academic standards. It also shows that not only have I not copied Zalewski's work without crediting him, but that I have actually taken issue with it, because Zalewski's work is in this instance based on an unreflective copying of MacGregor Mathers, and fails to even consider how it conflicts with the arrangement that Dee intended.

My contribution to Golden Dawn scholarship in this particular instance, as enshrined in the Ritual Magic Manual is to recognize the conflict between the Dee and the MacGregor Mathers attributions and to find a satisfactory solution to this problem that integrates well with both systems.

No such arrangement is perfect, and deviating from the arrangement that MacGregor Mathers borrowed from Royal Arch Freemasonry indeed causes issues with other aspects of the R.R. et A.C. system. However, as far as Zodiacal magic is concerned, this heretofore unrecognized arrangement successfully finds a way to integrate the arrangement intended by Dee with an arrangement already present in the RR et AC, according to the 'natural position of the elements in the Zodiac.' This is not plagiarism. It is scholarship but rather an original contribution to the continuously evolving magical system of the Golden Dawn.

Sub Umbra Alarum Tuarum, Yeheshua
G.H. Frater Lux Ex Septentrionis
Imperator Ordinis, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Chief Adept, R.R. et A.C.
Archon Basileus, Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega

"Ex Deo Nascimur.
In Yeheshua Morimur.
Per Sanctum Spiritum Reviviscimus"

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