Monday, December 10, 2012

Qabalah and Planetary Magic

Alchemical Qabalistic Magic

by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin

Since I published my recent article on Qabalah and the Golden Dawn (HERE), scholars in the Golden Dawn community have requested I provide references to substantiate inaccuracies in the Golden Dawn's Qabalistic hierarchy for Planetary Magic.

I first presented this evidence in 1999, on pages 142-144 of the Ritual Magic Manual. I reproduce it here for the convenience of scholars of the Golden Dawn tradition:
"Regarding the Planetary Hierarchy of Divine and Angelical Names, new research has revealed the traditional distinction between Sephirothic and Planetary Hierarchies to be false.  The correct distinction lies rather between Sephirothic and Kameothic Heirarchies.  In the "Planetary" Hierarchy, the Divine Names are those of the Sephirothic Heirarchy, whereas the names of the Planetary Inteligences and Spirits derive from a system of Magic Squares called the Kameoth.  
All that remains of the "Planetary" Hierarchy are the so-called Archangels of the Planets, spelled in most modern sources as: Cassiel, Sachiel, Zamael, Michael, Anael, Raphael, and Gabriel.  Interestingly, of all the Hierarchies, these "Archangels" are the only entities whose Names Regardie does not give in Hebrew.  Furthermore, the Hebrew spellings given by Aleister Crowley for these Names in 777 (Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings, ed. Israel Regardie (York Beach:  Weiser, 1973), p. 35) are completely inaccurate, likely representing a retransliteration into Hebrew of the English transliteration given by Regardie. 
Various versions of Sepher Ratziel, an important Jewish magical text, clearly demonstrate the origin of these Names in the Sephirothic Hierarchy. (See Aryeh Kaplan, Sefer Yetzirah, The Book of Creation, in Theory and Practice, 1st Paper ed. (Yorke Beach:  Weiser, 1990), p. 168) for examples of various versions of this Hierarchy from Sepher Ratziel.) 
Interestingly, the names of the Archangels Michael and Raphael are not always transposed in the various versions of the Sepher Raziel manuscripts as they are in the "Planetary" Hierarchy.  Furthermore, earlier manuscripts indicate that the notion itself of a "Planetary" Hierarchy likely originates as a Qabalistic adaptation of an earlier system of Planetary Magic, apparently Chaldean in origin. (See The Wisdom of the Chaldeans  in Three Works of Ancient Jewish Magic, ed. and trans. Moses Gaster and Samuel Daiches (Hastings:  Cthonios, 1986) for the transcription of an early manuscript indicating the likelihood of a Chaldean origin and Qablistic adaptation of this material.) 
Once restored to correct Hebrew spellings, it becomes clear that the names of this Hierarchy are indeed not "Archangelic" in nature at all. (See, ibid, for the correct spellings of the names of this Hierarchy.) 
For example, when correctly spelled in Hebrew, the name of the "Archangel" of Mars is in reality the arch-demon "Samael". With one notable exception, most of the other names of this Hierarchy are virtually identical with the Archangels of the Sephirothic Hierarchy.  Interestingly, the name "Sachiel" given by Regardie as the "Archangel of Jupiter" comprises but a corrupt transliteration of the Name of the Sephirothic Archangel of Chesed, "Tzadqiel"
It seems likely that the Planetary Hierarchy originated when early Qabalists wished to adapt a yet earlier system of Planetary Magic for Qabalistic use.  In the earlier system, the entities are of a nature similar to the characteristics adttributed to the Planets in traditional Astrology.  The creators of the Qabalistic Hierarchy apparently replaced the names from the earlier magical system with the names of Archangels drawn from the corresponding Sephiroth on the Tree of Life. 
The Malefic Planets, Mars and Saturn, presented a unique problem, however, since Sephirothic Archangels could not adequately represent their destructive energies.  The Qabalists therefore attributed the Demon Samel to Mars.  For Saturn, they found a classical Qabalistic solution.  They permuted the Name fo the Archangel of Binah, "Tzaphquiel," by exchanging its first and third letters, "Tzaddi" and "Qoph."  The resultant permutation, "Qaphtziel" adequately represented the malefic energies of Saturn.  Apparently, ignorant scribes later corrupted "Qaphtziel" through transliteration into "Cassiel." the form in which Regardie published this name and authors have copied and republished it ever since.
As I pointed out in my recent article on this subject, what we likely have here isa Hebrew retransliteration of a hopelessly corrupted English transliteration of  a Latin transliteration of the original Hebrew. In short, the Hebrew spellings of this hierarchy you find in 777 and other modern Golden Dawn books results from the sort of mess children enjoy when playing the game of "telephone.

I conclude in the Ritual Magic Manual:
In conclusion, the Planetary Hierarchy previously employed by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn should no longer be used.  Instead, Rosicrucian Magic must henceforth distinguish between Sephirothic and Kameothic, rather than Sephirothic and Planetary Hierarchies.  Therefore, when performing Planetary Invocation, when performing Planetary Invocation, Magicians should first inovoke the Divine Name, Archangel, and Angel from the Sephirothic Hierarchy, followed by the Kameothic Planetary Intelligence.   
In Magical Evocation, the Magician would follow this with an Evocation of the Kameothic Planetary Spirit.  Never invoke the Kameothic Spirits, however, since their nature is clearly demonic.  The Planetary Rituals in the Ritual Magic Manual fully integrate the results of this new research."
Saturn Talisman - Front Side - from the Ritual Magic Manual

I was largely successful in finding pre-Golden Dawn sources for most of the Qabalistic hierarchies used in Golden Dawn magic. I painstakingly footnoted these sources and integrated corrections into the rituals of the RMM, where necessary, again with the appropriate footnotes. Thus, the Ritual Magic Manual is not only a valuable resource for practicing Magicians, but also for scholars of the Golden Dawn and Ritual Magic.

Alchemical Kameothic Magic

As I stated in my last article HERE, I remain concerned that aspiring Magicians are not being taught to critically reflect on the sources they use. It is high time that students of the Golden Dawn wake up and realize there are a lot of errors in the books they have been using. In fact, most of the printed material the Self-Initiate follows is riddled with errors.

In the case of Ritual Magic, such errors can be potentially dangerous, such as in inadvertently invoking the Qabalistic arch-demon "Samael," misrepresented in the Golden Dawn as the non-existent "Planetary Angel" "Zamael"!

Beware of wrong Magical names.

Think different!

Ritual Magic Manual

No comments:

Post a Comment