Ceremonial Magic Unveiled
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Pages (PDF): 15
Publication Date: 1933
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Ceremonial Magic Unveiled is an article that first appeared in the Occult Gazette in January 1933. It is of particular relevance in revealing Dion Fortune's considered opinion about The Golden Dawn as well as Aleister Crowley.
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If I read the signs of the times aright, the veil of the Temple of the Mysteries is being drawn back at the present moment. There are phases in the spiritual life of mankind just as there are weather cycles extending over periods of years, and the tide which began to move during the first decade of the twentieth century is gathering head as it proceeds. The signs of the times are to be seen in the publication of certain books on magic in which the genuine secrets are given, and given in a form available for any reader with a capacity for metaphysical thoughts. Among the most important of these are Israel Regardie's two books: The Garden of Pomegranates and The Tree of Life.
The Garden of Pomegranates, oddly enough, deals with the Tree of Life, the famous glyph of the Cabbalists, which is used as a card-index system in which are filed all ideas concerning man and the Universe according to certain well-understood systems of association, and which by means of the pattern of its arrangement, is used to discover the correspondences and relationships between them.
The Cabbala is increasingly being recognised as the basis of Western Occultism. Anyone who wants to appreciate esoteric philosophy as taught in that system, and more especially anyone who wants to make practical use of it, whether in magic or meditation, needs a working knowledge of the Tree of Life. Information on this decidedly recondite subject has hitherto been to seek in a number of books, some of them rare and hard to come by, and many of them confused and elusive in their wording. Mr. Regardie has given, in a lucid and concise form, and Messrs. Rider have issued at a moderate price, a most admirable handbook on the technical system of the Tree.
It is lucid, comprehensive and concise, and performs a very useful service in correlating the Cabbalistic, Eastern, and Egyptian systems. It is thus possible for the student to trace out the interrelation between the two systems which are worked together in the West, the Egyptian and Cabbalistic; and for the Theosophist to recognise the classification with which he is familiar, when it is applied to the glyph of the Tree in the technical methods of Western occultism.
Mr. Regardie has the inestimable advantage of knowing the Hebrew language; in this, as an occultist, he is unique; for although most occultists working the Western tradition have enough Hebrew to transliterate the Words of Power for inscription on pentacles and talismans or for numerological work, they number no Hebrew scholars among their ranks, but are all dependent on translations; even MacGregor Mathers and Wynn Westcott did not translate from the original Hebrew but from Latin versions, and they have saddled the Western schools with some tiresome errors of transliteration and pronunciation.
Mr. Regardie gives a classification of the Tree and the constitution of man according to the Cabbalists, and of the correspondences between them, which is much more lucid and illuminating even than that given in McGregor Mathers' admirable introductory essay to The Qabalah Unveiled, for he gives the correspondences in terms of modern psychology as well as of metaphysics and the psychic states.
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