Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes (The Golden Dawn Debates III): Nineveh Shadrach vs. Robert Zink

New Age marketer, Robert Zink, has reformed the Golden Dawn into a New Age order in his Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn, by replacing classical Hermetic initiation and teachings with New Age replacements like "astral initiation." Mr. Zink justifies this New Age Golden Dawn approach by claiming that, the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, one of the central and foundational Hermetic texts, is really all about New Age, "law of attraction."

Hermetic scholar, Nineveh Shadrach, who recently produced an unparalleled translation of the Emerald Tablet directly from Arabic, disagrees completely with Robert Zink's New Age interpretation of the Emerald Tablet. This episode of The Golden Dawn debates, compares and contrasts Robert Zink's and Nineveh Shadrach's completely divergent understandings of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes.

On the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn blog Robert Zink (G.H. Frater P.D.R. wrote:
"Speaking of personal empowerment, here is an area that I began to study some time ago. I wondered why so many adepts who knew so much about magic were so broke all the time. I have seen this in every Order and it shocks me. 
Then I realized that there was a type of magic that the Golden Dawn did not formally teach and that many non-magicians who achieve wonders seem to employ. I began to study their magic. Yes, these magicians invoke, yes they do inner planes work, but unlike so many in the traditional magical world, they do something more, they take action. They are also very good at removing negative thoughts from their mind too. 
I often find the traditional magician not so good at this, wondering and hoping rather that living in a world of positive expectation. Too many of our traditional magicians of the Golden Dawn have not taken the time to study the teachings of Hermes, yet many of these so called new age magicians have never heard of Hermes and yet seem to apply the principals of Hermetics to their work and life better than those in the Golden Dawn. They know how to activate the Law of Attraction, and that might be more important in the long run than knowing how to light a candle or ring a bell."
The 2006 New Age, self-help film, The Secret, uses a documentary format to present The Law of Attraction. As described in the film, The Law of Attraction principle posits that feelings and thoughts can attract events, from the workings of the cosmos to interactions among individuals in their physical, emotional, and professional affairs. 

The Secret website cites the Emerald Tablet, written by Hermes Trismegistus , as "... one of the most important historical documents known to mankind". Rhonda Byrne, producer of The Secret, posits that the earliest trace of The Secret occurred in the Emerald Tablet, followed much later by the Rosicrucians — a "secret order that espoused many of the ideas of The Secret." 

In an effort to market his Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn to a New Age market, Robert Zink (G.H. Frater P.D.R.) has taken The Secret's association of The Law of Attraction with the Hermetic and Rosicrucian traditions as justification to make The Law of Attraction the central tenet and practice of his Golden Dawn order.

New Age Mentalism vs.  Hermetic Spirituality
As has been made clear by magical scholars like Nineveh Shadrach, however, the Emerald Tablet of Hermes concerns itself with quite specific things, none of which really have anything to do with The Law of Attraction. In reality, Robert Zink's claim that The Emerald Tablet of Hermes has to do with The Law of Attraction, is based on little more than claims made by The Secret combined with Mr. Zink's fanciful interpretation of the Hermetic addage, "as above, so below," In reality, this represents a gross oversimplification of one line from the Emerald Tablet, better translated as:
It states: What is the above is from the below and the below is from the above. The work of wonders is from one.
Robert Zink does not appear to really understand the Emerald Tablet of Hermes nor to have even read the book in which the Emerald Tablet of Hermes was found, which explains what this line of the Emerald Tablet actually means. Written by Apollonius of Tyana, this book makes clear that this passage of The Emerald Tablet has nothing at all to do with The Law of Attraction.

In order to shed light on the true meaning of The Emerald Tablet in the Hermetic tradition  in contradistinction with recent New Age interpretations, I am publishing at the end of this article, an interview with magical scholar and renowned expert on The Emerald Tablet, Nineveh Shadrach. I am also publishing his excellent translation, from original sources, of The Emerald Tablet, together with its accompanying documentation.

Since the factual, historical origins of the New Age notion of The Law of Attraction do not really lie in the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, from where does The Law of Attraction actually arise then? The New Thought book The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles was the actual source of Rhonda Byrne's inspiration for the film, The Secret. This was preceded by numerous other New Thought books, including the 1906 book Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World by William Walker Atkinson,] editor of New Thought magazine. Other New Thought books Byrne is purported to have read include self-help authors like Prentice Mulford's 19th-century Thoughts Are Things; and Robert Collier's Secret of the Ages from 1926.

What then are the historically verifiable spiritual practices of the Hermetic and Rosicrucian traditions, since they are clearly not New Thought Mentalism's The Law of Attraction? One account of how Hermes Trismegistus received the name Trismegistus, meaning "Thrice Great," is because, as he claims in The Emerald Tablet, he knows the three parts of the wisdom of the whole universe. These are the Hermetic triad of spiritual practices, or Trivium Hermeticum: alchemy, astrology, and theurgy (magick), by means of which spiritual attainment is accomplished in the Hermetic Tradition. It is precisely these three, historically verifiable spiritual disciplines that the historical Rosicrucians have always practiced as well.

It is therefore no surprise that the Golden Dawn has always taught the practice of astrological magick in the same manner that earlier Hermetic and Rosicrucian orders taught alchemy. Today, however, there are important differences between one Golden Dawn order and another - for the simple reason that Golden Dawn founder, S.L. MacGregor Mathers passed away before he could finish writing the entire Golden Dawn system. Most Golden Dawn orders therefore teach only the basic Golden Dawn material published by Israel Regardie.  

There are, however, Golden Dawn orders that have further developed their Inner Orders using teachings from other places, like for example, from the philosophy of Aleister Crowley called Thelema. Other Golden Dawn orders strive to become side-orders of Freemasonry. Robert Zink has taken his Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn in a decidedly New Age direction, selling EOGD members psychic readings, 24 Strand DNA activations, etc. Mr. Zink has even created a New Age Inner Order he calls "Goldfire" or "Mastermind", wherein Mr. Zink promises to teach the secrets of how to make a million dollars or how to get rich quick with New Thought mentalism, etc.

Our order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega, also further developed our advanced curriculum. We were lucky in this endeavor, because we were assisted by secret Hermetic and Rosicrucian orders that are older than the Golden Dawn. These Fratres et Sorores gave us advanced Hermetic and Rosicrucian spiritual practices and teachings to complete the higher grades of our order.

The most important of these advanced teachings is Hermetic Internal Alchemy from ancient Egypt, which is a system of energetic evolution for the development of a "solar body of light." Using these advanced techniques, it is possible in a single incarnation to complete the energetic and spiritual growth of the Opus Magnum that would normally require many lifetimes, and to achieve conscious immortality by creating a purely energetic body capable of immortality inside the stars.

Interview With Nineveh Shadrach
on the Emerald Tablet of Hermes
by VH Soror SIAA

Nineveh Shadrach
VH Soror SIAA: I was looking through the story of the discovery of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes by Apollonius of Tyana. When Apollonius went searching in the Catacombs he encountered an apparition that looked like himself. The apparition spoke to him and said: ‘O Apollonius get up and enter this catacomb to reach the knowledge of the secrets of creation and from it, attain the craft of nature.’ Apollonius, puzzled by all this, replied, ‘I can’t see in its darkness and no torch will remain lit, due to the strong winds.’

The apparition didn’t seem at all phased by Apollonius’ objections. He looked at him and again commanded him to go back in: ‘O Apollonius get up and enter the catacomb. Put your light in a transparent glass bottle to shield it from the winds and it will not extinguish and you will be illuminated by its light in the darkness.’ Apollonius was really ecstatic at that idea, but one more question remained unanswered.

Who was this apparition?

Nineveh Shadrach: This is a good question. Apollonius outright asked him: ‘Who are you, for you have given me a gift?’ The apparition responded: ‘I am your subtle perfect qualities.’”

There is a great mystery in this revelation. For the qualities in question are: coldness, dryness, heat, and moisture.  There are two major states. There are the subtle and the dense. The dense is all that we see with our exterior senses from the physical world.  The subtle matter is what we refer to as Ruah or Pneuma – of which sentient and intelligent spiritual bodies are made from transparent, spiritual light, which are connected with the physical bodies of all things. It is the substance from which all other qualities emerge. In its purest form is known as Aether or the Light of the Heavens and the Earth.

VH Soror SIAA:  What does the subtle body influence?

Nineveh Shadrach: It influences your inner senses such as intuition, spiritual sight, logic, deduction and all other facets of deep consciousness.  This is why, when the apparition had left, Apollonius stated that he awoke. For he was in a state many would consider similar to dreaming, as his awareness was more attached to the subtle spiritual state than the veiled materialism.

VH Soror SIAA:  Did he successfully venture in and what did he find?

Nineveh Shadrach:  The glass did indeed keep the flame safe from the wind. Inside the catacomb, he found an elderly man sitting on a golden chair and in one hand was an Emerald tablet. Written on the tablet was:

This is the description of nature.

Between his hands was a book; written in it was the mystery of creation and the knowledge of causes of all things. He contentedly took the book and left the catacomb.

This book is none other than “The Emerald Tablet of Hermes”.

It is true that many of the scrolls containing the record of the Tablet of Hermes used the word Zumrud, which means of greenish color or emerald. It is also true that many such records remain locked in the library of our elders that refer to it as Zabarjad, which is aquamarine.

I should point out that although Zumrud was used mainly to refer to Emeralds, it was sometimes used as another name for aquamarine. The Tablet of Hermes contained the secrets of heaven. Our ancestors looked at the sky and saw its beautiful blue-green stone. It should come as no surprise that the magi would refer to such a holy relic by the color of the heavens over their lands.

The oldest copy of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes comes directly from the Book of Causes by Apollonius himself. He said the original inscriptions he found were in the primordial language, the language of the Assyrians, or Eastern Aramaic. It has been considered to be the holy language of magic by many of the Near East, for it is the closest to the liturgical language of the Magi of Chaldea and Harran.

Here is the text:

  1. It contains an accurate commentary that can’t be doubted.
  2. It states: What is the above is from the below and the below is from the above. The work of wonders is from one.
  3. And all things sprang from this essence through a single projection. How marvelous is its work! It is the principle part of the world and its custodian.
  4. Its father is the sun and its mother is the moon. Thus the wind bore it within it and the earth nourished it.    
  5. Father of talismans and keeper of wonders.
  6. Perfect in power that reveals the lights.
  7. It is a fire that became our earth. Separate the earth from the fire and you shall adhere more to that which is subtle than that which is coarse, through care and wisdom.
  8. It ascends from the earth to the heaven. It extracts the lights from the heights and descends to the earth containing the power of the above and the below for it is with the light of the lights. Therefore the darkness flees from it.
  9. The greatest power overcomes everything that is subtle and it penetrates all that is coarse.          
  10. The formation of the microcosm is in accordance with the formation of the macrocosm.
  11. The scholars made this their path.
  12. This is why Thrice Hermes was exalted with wisdom.
VH Soror SIAA: Do you know why it says the above is from below and the below from the above?

Nineveh Shadrach:  There are two interpretations to this mystery. The first has to do with the movements of the qualities in a single circuit. From the four compounds emerge four Elements: Fire (Heat and Dryness), Air (Heat and Moisture), Water (Coldness and Moisture), and Earth (Coldness and Dryness).
Fire and Air are considered of the above since they are light in weight. Earth and Water are considered of the below for they are heavy in weight. All of them are united by a single quality that is subtle and luminous, known as Aether or Spirit. They are from each other, because they are of the same substance and are nothing more than various mixtures of the same qualities. The air of the above contains the water of the below. Just like the earth of the below contains the fires of the above.
The second interpretation has to do with the connections between the celestials and terrestrials. The upper world is filled with stars and planets whose subtle bodies directly affect the compositions of things in our terrestrial world. This is why the sages have ascribed to each of the above a myriad of things from the world of the below, such as foods, smells, colors, animals, metals, and so on. This emanating Spirit penetrates both the subtle and dense bodies of these terrestrial beings and things and influences them because they all share the one quality and are united by a harmony.
It is like saying these qualities and Elements in one’s nature are the same as those in this tree in our garden.
Your qualities can influence their qualities through the agency of the One. Through this Spirit, all kinds of wonders that many call magic can be done in the world by the interactions of the qualities and their various compounds.
It said all things sprang from this essence in a single projection.
“Indeed, for this world is a projection of the One thing. We look at the various mixtures and compositions of the qualities as they form different dense bodies and give them names. The darkness hides the subtle bodies from the senses and hinders a person’s qualities from ascension on the ladder of the spirit of wisdom.

VH Soror SIAA:  What happens if a person is connected with the subtle body?

Nineveh Shadrach:  If a person is in harmony with the subtle body, then the light of the One will penetrate the dense body. It will lift the darkness from the exterior senses and fill the interior senses. That person will be empowered over all things by this subtle and luminous power.

VH Soror SIAA:  Is that why it was called the principle part of the World and its custodian?

Nineveh Shadrach:  Correct! For no matter the compound of qualities and the variations of species, they are all projections of the same quality. Only through it can things occur, even if it appears that we have taken action to bring about changes.

VH Soror SIAA:  What does this have to do with talismans?

Nineveh Shadrach:  If the subtle luminous body enters an object such a statue, it shall give to it what in nature is known as a soul. That is why one of the greatest secrets of the Magi lies in animating statues or golems and bringing them into life. It was said that they would place words inside them and they would have the power of speech. This is the greatest talisman.
The lesser talisman is when the powers of the stars are summoned by a perfect subtle body of the sage, to enter into the dense body of the talisman. It is then empowered not only with the ability to affect other dense and subtle bodies through the agency of the one quality, but it also develops a soul.

VH Soror SIAA:  No wonder it was called Father of Talismans and Keeper of Wonders. What is the meaning of the Sun and the Moon?

Nineveh Shadrach:  There are again two mysteries. The first has to do with the art of talismans. The Sun and the Moon are the two luminaries and their movements and alignments are essential to the great works of our art. When the moon moves through various mansions, from it descend different Ruhaniah or Pneuma that will affect the various mixtures of qualities being evoked. The rising of the Sun on the horizon and its cycle through the great belt of the heaven are also important in determining the nature of the subtle energy present that can be infused into the body of the talisman.
It is futile to try to summon the subtle body of love at a time that the luminaries are emanating subtle bodies of conflict.
The second has to do with the soul of the sage and the four stones of the work. The sun is the Fire and the moon is the Water. With the wind (Air) and the Earth, they form the four elemental compositions in all things. They all contain the fifth element, which empowers the subtle body of the sage. To attain perfection of this subtle body, the sage must complete the work of the four stones toward perfecting his qualities.
You need to purify your nature to perfect the stone of Fire. You need to make your spirit tranquil to perfect the stone of Water. You need to cleanse your body to perfect the stone of Earth. You need to stabilize your imagination and whims to perfect the stone of Air.

It is why the sages before us have said:

He whose nature is pure, whose spirit is tranquil, his body cleansed, and his imagination and whims stabilized, and who has followed the truth, has gained a great kingdom.”

VH Soror SIAA:  Is this why in the initiations we focus on the movement of the four Elements?

Nineveh Shadrach:  The apprentice must do the work of the four stones and be empowered by the subtle bodies of the Elements to balance and perfect his qualities. The Tablet of Hermes states that the Spirit is a fire that becomes our earth.

The Fire is the above of the above, while the Earth is the below of the below. The Fire represents the creative subtle body that contains the power of regeneration and destruction. It has transformed through the circuit of qualities into Earth. Our Earth is our bodies, just like the Fire is the subtle body of the life-giving force of the One that becomes the seed of our soul body. When only manifested through the dense, this Fire is the energy raised in the groin. When you focus your fire away from the dense and free your Fire, then it will return to its natural state as subtle. It will manifest as light that flows through your dense body and you will have a stronger connection with the subtle bodies.”

VH Soror SIAA:  Why is that important?

Nineveh Shadrach:  It is important because then you come into harmony with things that are subtle. At which point, it is easier for you to summon the subtle force of greater things so they make take form and penetrate the bodies and be fixed to them.

This is why it is said that through it your spirit and subtle body can ascend from the earth to the heaven. You can then pull down the lights, which are the subtle bodies of the celestials and, bringing them down into the earth, can affect the world as you merge the subtle power of above with the dense bodies of the below.

VH Soror SIAA:  This is the secret of master Talisman workers, but what does it have to do with initiation?

Nineveh Shadrach:  A strong subtle body and connection with the Aether enable you connect with the light of the lights. This is the principle power of the world and the key to the mysteries of the universe. If its presence in your life becomes fixed, then the darkness will flee from you and you will be illuminated. Through this illumination, your own inner reality will be in harmony with the greater reality. The keys of this universe will open to you and you will be a reflection of the great power that we call the light of lights.

Your inner senses will connect with the subtle bodies and be empowered by them. No longer will you only see the forms and images summoned by the qualities. You can now see the true causes of the world. You will awaken and your actions in harmony with the light of lights will be seen as miracles.”

VH Soror SIAA:  So is it false that the Tablet of Hermes talks about manifestation through attraction of the imagination of the mind?

Nineveh Shadrach:  You need to root your imagination in the subtle and luminous. Only by direct action of the luminous spirit through your evolved and perfected qualities will you be able to affect other physical bodies, not through attraction by one of the inner senses, but through infusion of the subtle and its penetration of the dense.”

VH Soror SIAA:  Why is it that we can’t initiate through reliance on the imagination via the astral plane and having it manifest in the physical?

Nineveh Shadrach:  When we speak of the astral plane, we mean the world of the subtle bodies of planetary spheres. It is a world filled with the Ruhaniah of the heavenly orbits.  We do say that the qualities of the above are the same as the qualities of the below. We don’t say that what our imagination creates will naturally manifest itself through invisible agency. What we truly mean here is that our will is influenced by the subtle body of the orbit of Mars, just as our bones are influenced by the subtle body of Saturn. This influence of the subtle bodies is possible because we share the same qualities, which all emanate from the One.

For the subtle bodies of the celestials to influence the physical body, your subtle body needs to ascend to the heights, pull from the lights of these subtle bodies with the light of lights, and then descend back into your dense body.

The primary initiations occur through the agency of Elements and the One, thus the subtle bodies of the astral plane are not always necessary. Even if they were, the initiator needs to interact with both your subtle and physical body at once through his subtle and physical body.”

VH Soror SIAA:  Can you do it by sympathetic magic such as initiating a person who will stand as your replacement?

Nineveh Shadrach:  Indeed it is possible to conduct sympathetic magic, for we know that the subtle body can be infused into a physical object, then passed to the target’s subtle body via a talismanic physical body and thus influence the target’s physical body. The key here is that the physical object be passed to the target so that it touches their subtle and physical bodies. If a person stands for another, that subtle body isn’t being passed physically, for if it could be passed physically there would be no need for a replacement.

Sometimes the candidate’s imagination and faith, through focus on the subtle, will attract a luminous subtle body that can empower. This may lead to belief that the work from afar has been successful, but this isn’t so. The candidate’s subtle body’s ability to attract is due to the One substance, but it will only attract within the limits of the perfection of the qualities. It is the elevation and perfection of those qualities that are the purpose of the initiation. Thus, the candidate may experience small wonders from the temporary connection with the higher subtle through the Aether, but this remains restricted due to lack of the actual initiation. In many cases, this experience will fade over time, for the dense will again shroud the luminous and the imperfect qualities will continue until a proper infusion of the subtle has occurred.

VH Soror SIAA:  How would you summarize the message of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes?

Nineveh Shadrach:  It contains the code for successful talismanic magic, it reveals the key to the working of the Elements and the qualities, and is the road of true initiation that leads to enlightenment. It is indeed a gem of gems passed to us by Apollonius of Tayana in his work.

VH Soror SIAA:  What else?

Nineveh Shadrach:  That it is but a single page from his Book on the Causes that spans hundreds of pages.

--- Translation of the first 4 Pages of the Book of Causes by Apollonius of Tayana ---

I speak concerning the antiquity of this book and to describe the maxims which prefaced it, so that you listen to my wisdom and it seeps into your understanding and arouses your [Elemental] qualities.

Anyone whose qualities move when they connect with my words is of sound qualities, free from symptoms, clear in his psyche from the darkness that is a barrier between him and the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. Thus, he obtains through its [wisdom’s] power the power of speech, to the degree of its power and to the degree of the connection of speech to it, so that he is empowered, by what he obtains through refined speech, with glimmers of wisdom, observation of compounds of qualities and the causes of all things.

 If someone’s qualities are not moved upon hearing [these words], it is because the darkness obscuring his light and the increase of density hinder his qualities from ascension on the ladder of the spirit of wisdom, just as dark clouds hinder the light of the illuminated vision from connecting with the radiant lights of the planets.

I will now announce my name, so that you may desire my wisdom and reflect on my words. Thus focus on these night and day, until, through their extensive study, you attain the knowledge of the secrets of creation and wonders of humanity. I am Apollonius, the lord of talismans and miracles. I am he who entered the catacombs and extracted the knowledge of the secrets of creation from the scrolls of Hermes the wise.

Through my distinction, I was given knowledge and wisdom from the administrator of the world. I was in harmony with a subtle quality that was free from afflictions, so I was empowered with and penetrated by its subtlety. I became conscious of all that was hidden from the exterior senses, using the interior senses, which are thought, insight, intelligence, determination, and discernment.  

Through their exterior senses I became aware of everything in their domain, of colors, foods, scents, hearing, taste, and smell.  Nothing was left of created things that are spiritual, subtle, and luminous or dense, thick, and material, which fall under the exterior and interior senses, but I became cognizant of its nature, its causes, and its creation. My writing had an effect on it by its subtlety and balance by compelling the dense physical, which is its opposite.
  
I am informing you, so listen to my words. Everything is derived from the four qualities, which are heat, coldness, moisture, and dryness. The qualities of everything are interconnected, circulating in the same circuit. They are united by one order. They are circulated by one orbit. Its highest are connected with its lowest and its nearest are connected with its furthest, for all of it is from one essence, united by one quality without distinction.

The parts of this essence became distinct when accidentals entered it. The creation was separated, based on the alteration of the composition of the qualities. Different names arose due to the differentiation of substances and forms. The essences, even though different in composition, interconnect, repel each other and unite with each other. Through their union and contrariety, they evoke their shapes through their unions and they repel their opposites through their contrariety.

This is the secret of the world and the knowledge of the causes of the qualities. I only describe to you the oppositions of the four qualities with each other through union and contrariety, so that the knowledge of this will be educational.

He, who examines it throughout his night and day and doesn’t abandon it, will be knowledgeable of the administration of all beings from its essences and a master of the union of the four qualities and their contrariety. Then he will be empowered, due to knowledge of the causes of things. I have spoken, using these words at the beginning of my book, so that anyone who understands is given knowledge of such secrets of creation and attains the craft of nature.

Now I will inform you about my lineage and ancestry. I was an orphan youth from a town called Tayana. I had no possessions. In my town, there is a stone statue on a golden pedestal, which has written on it: “I am Hermes thrice wise. I made this sign publically and veiled it with my wisdom so it could only be reached by a sage like me.” On the chest of this statue was written in the primordial tongue: “Whoever wants to learn the mysteries of creation and craft of nature, look underneath my feet.”  People didn’t grasp what he said and they were looking at his feet and not seeing anything.

I was weak in my qualities due to my young age.  When my qualities became stronger, I read what was written on the chest of the statue. I realized what he was saying and dug underneath the pillar.

Lo! I was in a catacomb filled with darkness and no light of the sun could enter into it. If you examined it, the winds moved inside it without let up.  In it, he had made a talisman for the wind and he was unrivalled in this. In this way, they had made a house in which the wind flowing through would be forever prevalent. Therefore, due to its darkness, I was unable to find a way to enter it and no torch would remain lit, due to the intensity of its wind.

I became measurably distressed, my grief intensified and my eyes were overcome, while my heart was burdened thinking of the exhaustion I had encountered.    At this point, an elderly man in my own image manifested before me and said: “O Apollonius get up and enter this catacomb to reach the knowledge of the secrets of creation and from it, attain the craft of nature.”

I said: “I can’t see in its darkness and no torch remains lit, due to the strong winds.” He said: “O Apollonius get up and enter the catacomb. Put your light in a transparent glass bottle to shield it from the winds and it will not extinguish and you will be illuminated by its light in the darkness.”

I became delighted and I knew that I would attain my objective. I said to him: “Who are you for you have given me a gift?” He said: “I am your subtle perfect qualities.” I awoke joyously and put the light in the glass, as my qualities commanded me; then I entered the catacomb.

Therein I found an elderly man sitting on a golden chair and in one hand was an Emerald tablet. Written on the tablet was: “This is the description of nature.” Between his hands was a book; written in it was the mystery of creation and the knowledge of causes of all things. I contentedly took the book and left the catacomb.

I learned from this book the secrets of creation and attained the craft of nature and learned the knowledge of the causes of all things. My name was elevated by wisdom and I made talismans and wonders. I created the mixtures of the four qualities, their compounds, their contrast and their harmonies. I have composed this book for those who come after me, as it was composed for me by those before me, and it will not be understood except by the sages.      


The Emerald Tablet of Hermes
 (Translated by Nineveh Shadrach from the Arabic copy in Julius Ruska’s work)

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes




  1. This is concerning what the priest Sajius of Nablus shared at the point of his entrance to the dark catacomb.
  2. He said: I have obtained these wise sayings at the end of the book of the sage Apollonius: Once I entered the catacomb with the talisman cast on it, I came upon an old man sitting upon a golden chair; in his hand was an emerald tablet. Lo!  This was written on it in Syriac, the primordial language:
  3. It contains an accurate commentary that can’t be doubted.
  4. It states: What is the above is from the below and the below is from the above. The work of wonders is from one.
  5. And all things sprang from this essence through a single projection. How marvelous is its work! It is the principle part of the world and its custodian.
  6. Its father is the sun and its mother is the moon. Thus the wind bore it within it and the earth nourished it.       
  7. Father of talismans and keeper of wonders.
  8. Perfect in power that reveals the lights.
  9. It is a fire that became our earth. Separate the earth from the fire and you shall adhere more to that which is subtle than that which is coarse through care and wisdom.
  10. 21   It ascends from the earth to the heaven. It extracts the lights from the heights and descends to the earth containing the power of the above and the below for it is with the light of the lights. Therefore the darkness flees from it.
  11. The greatest power overcomes everything that is subtle and it penetrates all that is coarse.            
  12. The formation of the microcosm is in accordance with the formation of the macrocosm.
  13. The scholars made this their path.
  14. This is why Thrice Hermes was exalted with wisdom. 
    This is his last book that he hid in the catacomb. 
"Emerald is my favorite color!"

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    The Golden Dawn Debates II: Nick Farrell & Sam Scarborough vs. Robert Zink on Astral Initiation

    New Age marketer, Robert Zink today wrote on his EOGD blog:
    "The mystical community was shocked when a recent attempt to prove that astral initiation is not valid failed on another blog...I think a more productive path of the HOGD/AO would simply be to offer astral initiation. They are already providing the grade materials in a vending machine style format. This is significantly different from The Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn, which provides complete astral initiation to people who cannot travel to a local temple."
    Despite Bob Zink's misrepresentation, the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega, and our outer order the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, obviously have never been handing out grades like a vending machine. In fact, our curriculum is the most demanding of any Golden Dawn order, since, unlike other Golden Dawn orders, our members learn and practice the entire original R.R. et A. C. magick already our outer order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. I personally believe that the HOGD/AO is the best and most thorough school of ritual magic that exists in the world today.

    The HOGD/AO remains firmly committed to peace and harmony in the Golden Dawn community. Therefore, regardless how many old misrepresentations and attacks on our order Bob republishes, he is going to have wage his "one man flame war" all by himself. This does not mean, however, that our order will not at least refute Bob's attacks. As Bob continues to recycle old misrepresentations, we will simply recycle old refutations as well.

    Let us, therefore, examine what Golden Dawn scholars have said about the New Age initiation Bob Zink invented to replace traditional Golden Dawn initiation, that Bob calls "astral" or "long distance" initiation. Scholars have repeatedly challenged Rob Zink to engage in meaningful debate and to back up his wild claims about New Age "astral" initiation. Instead, he merely repeats his talking points over and over, "slick ad" style, like a late night "Million Dollar Bob" infomercial.
    In a nutshell, Bob Zink claims that, for a mere $200, he can wave his magic wand and, "Poof!," make you a "full Golden Dawn initiate" from the comfort of your living room arm chair.

    In an old article"Invoke Logic to Understand the Truth about Astral Initiation," Bob Zink again set forth his whole gamut of talking points and wierd claims about "astral" initiation. Let us review how Bob's claims have been refuted by respected scholars from across the entire spectrum the Golden Dawn community.

    Bob Zink wrote:
    "There is no record of [MacGregor Mathers] traveling to Germany to receive initiation from the continental adepts!  He was either self-initiated because there were no continental adepts of the Rose Cross, or He was Astral Initiated ...
    ... MacGregor Mathers and Monia Mathers ... initiated ASTRAL INITIATION in the United States shortly before MacGregor death and Monia Mathers carried it out for many years."
    Robert Zink has been challenged, over and over, to provide even a single shred of historical evidence to support these weird assertions. Golden Dawn scholar, Samuel Scarborough, however, writes:
    "I think of myself as something of a scholar on the GD as well as a serious student of the GD system. The same can be said for Nick Farrell or Imhotep, or several others that say that these astral initiations are not verifiable, nor were they done in the original Golden Dawn or Alpha Omega or Stella Matutina after the 1903 Schism in the regular sense. There is no evidence for “astral” or long-distance initiation from those orginal bodies. I disagree with certain groups that claim that these astral (long-distance) initiations were commonplace within the original Golden Dawn. I have never seen any evidence to support such a claim. Nor can I think that Westcott, Woodman, and Mathers received some astral initiation as founders of the GD in the first place either."
    Noted magical author, Nick Farrell (Chief Adept of the Magical Order of Aurora Aurorae), writes:
    "If astral initiation was used within the Golden Dawn there would be some evidence of it... If an astral initiation was taking place then where and when and why did it not leave a trace of paperwork? There are no records of astral initiations being performed, nor any members who are identified as being part of the Golden Dawn who had their initiations astrally recorded. Nor is there any mention of the procedure being used in the various editions of by-laws, nor any diary notes from anyone saying that they had taken part in an astral initiation. While we have access to many different GD rituals, there are no recorded instructions for how to perform one."
    Next, Robert Zink writes:
    "If Long Distant Healing works then the same logic applies to long distant initiation.  Our early brethren of the Rose and Cross-often did healing and there is nothing written that it was only in person.  There astral abilities were often directed at the whole world, or areas of conflict or sickness.  If Healing can be done long distant, then so can initiation ...
    ... it would be ridiculous to believe that the same Order that teaches magic that can affect time and space in astonishing ways, teaches that initiation must be done within a small confined space or a rented Masonic lodge? This is not very logical."
    Contrary to Mr. Zink's straw man argument, no one has ever disputed that Golden Dawn initiation has an astral component. What all true initiates understand and that Mr. Zink fails to grasp, however, is that the astral body is rooted in the physical body. In true Golden Dawn initiation, the astral body is affected by a transfer of energies from the physical body of the Hierophant to the physical body initiate physically present in the same room. To suggest that this can be accomplished "from the comfort of your arm chair, watching television on the other end of the world" is a scam pure and simple. Let us review what other Golden Dawn scholars have said about this matter.

    On Nick Farell's blog, Polimetis wrote:
    "Nick. You know how EOGD always argues that and Initiation is not Theatre and is all about the astral (forgetting, as you say, the importance of basic psycological and emotional impact!)? Well, actually, ancient Drama copmes directly from the Dyonisian and Eleusinian Mysteries, and Tragic Festivals continued to a sacred ceremony and a sacred experience for the Athenians, which is, actually comparable to intiation ceremonies (especially masonic high degrees where only a few of the candidates participate, and most are just onlookers!). 
    I bet no one in ancient Greece could say that if the director mentions the name of an Athenian citizen that was out of town, before the perfomance of a Tragedy, would ‘astrally” experience the awe and pity that the tragedy inspired, and the psycologically healthy Catharthic effect of actually seeing the sacred perfomance!"
    Next, Robert Zink writes:
    "Not everyone is near a physical Temple nor can afford the cost of attending a physical Temple.  Should these people be excluded from the Light of Initiation into the Sacred Miseries?"
    Regarding Robert Zink's claim that "Astral" Initiation helps those who would otherwise not be able to contact the spirit of the order, Nick Farrell responds:
    "So finally we come to (the) point ... that (Astral initiation allegedly) provides a person with a connection to a working group that they would not otherwise had. This is clearly true, but in my opinion any link would appear to be administrative rather than spiritual. A real initiation takes place when the person is ready."
    Robert Zink continues:
    "The cost of 5 initiations before one can be invited into the Inner Order is outrageous for someone on a budget.  The average round trip air fare is about $500.00 the cost of Hotels will bring this up to about $800.00 and then there may be the cost of a rental car, add another $200.00 Plus food.  So each trip to a temple will cost about $1000.00 or more."
    This is grossly inflated and deliberately misleading. In the HOGD/AO, we allow initiates to complete their grade work one grade at a time, and if necessary for financial reasons, to make only one trip to a physical temple location to receive all of their grade initiations at once prior to admission into the Second Order. Robert Zink knows this.

    Then why is Robert Zink is desperately trying to convince you that his New Age "Astral" initiation is as good as the real McCoy? Because he wants to line his pockets with your money!
    Clearly, Bob Zink shares the belief that P.T. Barnum once proclaimed: "There's a sucker born every minute!"

    Sure "Astral Initiation" works - And this is my new Star Fleet uniform!

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Meet "ANONYMOUS BOB"

     by David Griffin

    Sideshow Bob
    It's no secret that Bob Zink hates me almost as much as he hates the HOGD/AO. There is one simple reason for this ... MONEY.
    Sideshow Bob Scheming
    For Bob Zink, the Golden Dawn has always been a money scheme, which is an why Bob was finally expelled by the Adepts of the EOGD. This is also why Bob's EOGD ended up with an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau.
    Bob Zink wanted his EOGD to be the only Golden Dawn order that people could join over the internet, but the HOGD/AO threw a monkey wrench into this plan. This is why Bob hates the HOGD/AO so much that he has over and over attacked the entire Golden Dawn community just to try to scare people away from the HOGD/AO.

    Bob Zink slipped up and got caught red handed attacking the Golden Dawn community on more than one occasion. Bob's greatest goof when he invented his silly "Golden Dawn Nazis" rumor on his personal blog on February 12, 2005.
    Robert Zink Exposed Inventing the Golden Dawn-Nazi Rumor


    "Even today there are some groups whom claim the Golden Dawn name and share affiliation with the Nazi party." - Robert Zink
    The ensuing uproar led to massive resignations from the EOGD due to Bob being exposed attacking the Golden Dawn community creating such stupid rumors. One would have thought  Bob would have learned his lesson and stopped attacking the Golden Dawn community, right?
    Sideshow Bob Plots His Next Move
    Wrong! Instead Bob came up with a dastardly "brilliant" scheme to go on attacking the GD community without losing his order. First off, Bob took down the original Nazi rumor from his own blog so he could deny he was attacking the GD community.

    Next Bob created a whole series of sock puppets on anonymous websites and blogs to attack the Golden Dawn. These have included socks named "Tommy," "Frater Incognito," "Mac" and a host of others.
    Blog of Sideshow Bob's Latest Sock Puppet, "Mac"
    It is only today, however, that I am able finally to show you the man behind the mask - and reveal to you Robert Zink's true, secret identity. 

    Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to introduce to you Sideshow Bob's evil twin and Robert Zink's alter-ego:
    "ANONYMOUS BOB"
    Anonymous Bob UNMASKED!

    Come on, Spock. Admit it. Now that's funny!