Appendices to The First Knowledge Lecture
for Neophyte Study and Practice
Het-Nuit Lodge, OSOGD
Vr. 0.9 – July 2002 EV
NOTE: These are unofficial supplementary exercises.
- The Four-fold Breath
- The Three Ahs
- “No Mind” Meditation
- The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
(See the Appendices for descriptions of the above.)
Practice a Hatha Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong regimen for at least 6 weeks. Do exercises at least every other day. You may use books, videos, or classes to provide the proper information.
Keep a journal of your practices and record your subjective experiences in it on a regular basis. Daily entries are best, but all magical exercises should be recorded, and any interesting speculations and unusual experiences noted for future consideration and as a record of progress.
The letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, their written form, their traditional meaning and their numeration must be memorized. Practice writing the letters every day.
Besides the Hebrew Alphabet, memorize the symbols and meanings of the four Classic Elements, the twelve Zodiacal Signs, the seven Classical Planets along with the Lunar Nodes, and the names, meanings, and Hebrew lettering of the Ten Sephera of the Tree of Life. See “The First Knowledge Lecture”, parts 1 through 4.
The Benediction of the OSOGD:
An effort to establish a new tradition
The following should be memorized; it is spoken by the entire group at the conclusion of any temple or other magical working:
May the benefit of this act, and all acts, be dedicated unto the complete liberation and supreme enlightenment of all beings everywhere pervading space and time; so mote it be. May the benefits of practice, ours and others, come to fruition, ultimately and immediately, and we remain in the state of presence.
[follow with one “Ah”—see Appendix B]
Appendix A: The Four-Fold Breath:
Relax and exhale to the count of four. Hold the breath out for a count of four. Inhale to the count of four. Hold the breath in for the count of four. Repeat the cycle and continue for at least 3 minutes. Count at an even speed that is comfortable to your breathing. It may take a few days of practice till you find a pace that suits your body and obtains the desired result. Practice the Four-fold Breath before all magical workings.
Appendix B: The Three Ahs
This exercise is an adoration and empowerment that accomplishes three symbolic goals: to ask for help from all the gods and powers of the Universe, to receive that help from them, and then to pass on and share that help with others who need it and don’t know how to ask for themselves. Each of these actions is accomplished by the sounding of “A” (the short “ahh” vowel sound, as in “Dawn”).
To begin, first perform the Four Fold Breath. Then visualize a glowing letter ‘A’ inside the middle of your chest. Drawing a deep breath, make the “A” sound and imagine the A glowing inside you, sending out a summons for help to all the powers of the Universe, however you imagine them to be. Draw a second breath, and while sounding the “A”, imagine them responding and pouring their power back to you, flowing into you through the top of your head. Then with the third “A”, send the power back out into the universe with your voice, sharing it with your fellow beings in need.
Appendix C: No-Mind Meditation
Begin by finding a position, balanced but sufficiently comfortable. First, breathe the Four Fold Breath until the body is still and endeavor to remain absolutely motionless. When this is accomplished for at least a few minutes, then endeavor to stop all internal dialogue and mental images and silence the mind completely. It may be surprising how very difficult this seemingly simple exercise can be. To obtain complete mental quiescence even for a few seconds may take much practice, but perseverance will eventually bring results. At first it may be helpful to concentrate only on the breath, and the counting of the four to the exclusion of all other thoughts, and then to eliminate the silent “counting”.
Once a period of mental silence can be maintained for a time (however short that may be at first), one may proceed to more complex and purposeful meditations. One basic exercise is the meditation on the single point: Consider a point as defined in mathematics—having position but no magnitude—and note the ideas to which this gives rise. Concentrate the mental facilities on this, as a focus, and endeavor to feel the Immanence of the Divine throughout all nature, in all her aspects. Then think of the subject of the meditation in a general way—then choose out one thought or image and follow that to its conclusion.
A useful variation is to light a single candle where you can gaze at it comfortably. After gazing for several minutes, cover your eyes and endeavor to hold he image of the flame in your “mind’s eye” as long as possible. Regard that image to be the “point” of your meditation.
Appendix D: Performance Notes on The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
The Kabbalistic Cross
Stand facing east. Allow the body to relax. Feel your awareness expand outward to the Universe, while at the same time feel your feet firmly grounded beneath you maintaining a firm foothold in your Earthly existence. Breathe deeply and fully, and prepare to make your entire body vibrate with the sound of your voice.
See, in your mind’s eye, a sphere of blazing white brilliance just above your head. Raise the right hand up high and draw down a beam of brilliance from the sphere into the top of your head, filling the entire cranium with light. Touch the forehead and intone “A-toh” (Thine)
Bring the hand down before the body and touch the solar plexus (just below the sternum). Simultaneously, see the Divine white brilliance descend in a beam through the center of the body, down between the feet, into the Earth. Intone “Mal-kuth” (Kingdom)
Touch the right shoulder, and see the Light extend in a ray to that point. Intone “Va Gaburah” (the power)
Touch the left shoulder, and see the Light extend likewise to that point. Intone “Va Gadulah” (the glory)
Clasp the hands at the breast and intone “Leh-olahm. Amen” (Forever. Amen)
The Formulation of the Pentagrams
In the East, draw a large banishing Earth Pentagram with a fully extended right arm and forefinger. Start at the lower left hip, draw a bluish white line up to a point high over your head, continue the line down to a point before your right hip, up beside your left shoulder, over to the right and then back down to a point before the left hip. This a symbol of the divine power reigning over the Elements of the universe. See it as an all encompassing representation of great power. Breath in deeply drawing energy from the hidden depths of the universe, then give the Sign of the Enterer toward the center of the pentagram, intoning the God-name “Ah-sher-rah” Feel the power rushing out and charging the pentagram. You may or may not feel anything physically. Just see the pentagram burst into electric blue flame as you intone each name. Resume your standing position and give the Sign of Silence as you receive back the reflux of the energy you have just sent forth.
Draw a white line from the center of the pentagram, making a quarter of a circle as you proceed toward the South. Stop there and draw the pentagram as before, but this time as you give the Sign of the Enterer, intone “Ah-doh-nai” followed by the Sign of Silence.
Continue the white line to the West. Draw the pentagram, give the Sign of the Enterer, and intone “Eh-heh-ee-yeh”.
Continue the white line to the North. Draw the pentagram, give the Sign of the Enterer, and intone “A-gah-lah”.
Return to the center of the circle and see the pentagrams in the air about you. Feel their fierce heat and protection. Raise your arms to form a cross, and see Raphael, the archangel of Air, standing before you in the East. His hair is blonde, his skin is very fair, his robe is yellow with flashes of violet, he stands atop a hill with the wind coming from the cloud-patched sky behind him, and he holds the caduceus in his right hand. Say “Before me” and then intone, “Rah-fah-el.”
Visualize Gabriel, the archangel of Water, standing behind you in the West. His robe is blue flashing with orange. He stands in the shallows by a gushing spring. He holds a silver cup in his left hand, his hair is light brown, and his skin is fair. Feel moisture wafting in from the West. Say “behind me” and then intone “Gah-bree-el.”
In the South, see Michael, the great archangel of Fire. His robe is brilliant scarlet flashing green. He stands in the desert, and fire rises up from the burning sands around his feet. He holds upright in his right hand a flaming iron sword. His hair is black and his skin is dark. Feel intense heat radiating from the South. Say “at my right hand” and then intone “Mee-chah-el” (the ch is pronounced softly as in the Scottish word for lake, “loch”).
In the North, see Auriel, the archangel of Earth. His robes are citrine, olive, and russet. He stands on black soil from which ripe wheat springs up behind him. He holds sheaves of wheat in his left hand. His hair is black and his skin is tan. His eyes and intense , large, and dark. See cattle grazing in the field behind him. Beyond them is forest, and beyond the forest are mountains. Say “and at my left hand” and then intone “Or-ee-el.”
Still maintaining the arms in a cross, say “for about me flame the pentagrams (see the pentagrams) and in the column shines the six-rayed star.” See a hexagram floating in your torso, its uppermost angle peaks in your throat and its lower most rests in your groin. The upright triangle is made of red fire. Its blue, downward-pointing triangle wavers slightly like a reflection on water. Feel the dry heat of the flame and the cool moisture of the water. These forces intertwine in your being.
At this stage in training, the LBRP should be performed at least once per day, preferably upon rising.
Magickal Awareness Development
These exercises are designed to increase one’s powers of observation and awareness. They can be practiced in sections, devoting a week or so to each sense, or practiced concurrently.
- Walk at least 15 minutes daily, looking at everything. Make notes at the end of the walk in your journal.
- Walk at least 15 minutes daily, looking for only one color each day: blue, red or orange, brown or beige, yellow or gold, green, black, and white. Save white for last.
- Continue the color walks for another week, going deeper into the color as you walk. At one point stop and focus on the color intently. Allow yourself to flow into it.
- Before meditation daily, do palming. Cover your eyes with your hands so that the hollows of your palms rest over your eyes and your fingers are crossed over the bridge of your nose. If you have palmed correctly, your eyes should be in total darkness. Stare into darkness.
- For one week, walk daily and use the sense of hearing almost exclusively. Focus on sounds without analyzing or identifying them. Notice your automatic tendency to identify them as “something.”
- Play a different kind of music each day of the week. Relax, close your eyes, and follow one instrument through the whole piece.
- Smell everything you eat before putting it in your mouth.
- Blindfold yourself, and have a friend present you with a tray of different objects to smell. Don’t touch or taste.
- Smell the air often–especially before and after rain, in the morning while the morning dew is in the grass, at night, and during breezes.
- Clean out your mouth before eating by gently swirling water around in it.
- For a week place food on your tongue, and note the urge to bite, chew, and swallow. Do this on a full stomach one time and then on an empty stomach.
- With you blindfolded, have a friend present a tray of different objects. Touch and feel, using different parts of your fingers and hands to get impressions.
- For a week, walk outdoors blindfolded, touch things, feel grass, plants, etc.
- For a half hour each day, spend time observing bodily sensations. Observe the different components of each sensation. Focus on one particular sensation eventually and label its various aspects mentally.
- For one week, be aware of what’s behind everything you say. Pay attention at the time you say things.
- Choose a time when temptation is greatest to talk, and then be silent for one hour each day.
- For three days do not use first person references to self: I, me, my, mine. Practice this in conversation and correspondence.
- For one week, refer to yourself as “it.”
- For one week make no negative judgments, and as few positive ones as possible.
Magical Space, Altar and Tools
At the Neophyte level, no special objects or spaces are required. The following suggestions are entirely optional and left to the will of the Aspirant.
There are two magical tools that can be obtained for small expense, and can be an aid in the formulation of visualized images in the Pentagram Ritual. They are used as pointers instead of the outstretched index finger.
One is a simple dagger, preferably with a black hilt and a double-edged blade. It should be comparatively short with a blade no longer than 8 inches, with a hilt that is comfortable to hold.
The other is a simple wand made from a wooden dowel, between 12″ and 18″ in length. It is divided in the middle and painted black on one end and white on the other. When using it for the LBRP, hold it by the black end and point with the white end.
If desired, one may also obtain a crystal ball or other device for use as a meditation focus. Beyond this, the only other accessories needed would be some candles in black and white, and candle holders of brass, pewter or silver. Place them in positions like the Pillars (black/left, white/right) on your altar or workspace.
Magical tools should ONLY be used for magical purposes. They should be wrapped in white cloth and stored safely in their own special place or containers when not in use.
It can be useful to have a special “space” where you regularly practice your meditations and LBRP. Having a separate room set up the way you like is of course ideal, but not everyone has the resources to do this. Setting aside one corner of your living space is quite satisfactory, toward the east if at all possible.
A small table that can be used as a personal altar is also recommended (it gives you a place to set down your tools and books). It can be moved aside or cleared as needed – it need not be “set up” on a continual basis. Cover it with a black cloth of cotton, linen or silk when in use.
Incense is also a desireable addition to one’s magical space, unless one is adversely sensitive to smoke or fragrances. (Aromatherapy oils and an evaporator can often be used by smoke-sensitive persons as a substitute.) Frankencense is tradtional, but any pleasing scent is acceptable.
These materials contain useful study information for the examinations for admission to the Zelator Grade.
- The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie—Neophyte Ritual and Z-Document (in particular the First Knowledge Lecture)
- Self-Initation into the Golden Dawn Tradition by Cicero—Intro 0=0 Explanation,
- Shape of Ancient Thought by Thomas McEavilly
- Golden Dawn Rituals & Commentaries by Pat Zalewski (available in private member library)
- Seth, God of Confusion: A Study of His Role in Egyptian Mythology and Religion by H. Te Velde
- Giordano Bruno and Hermetic Tradition by Francis Yeats (and anything else she wrote)
- Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus by Gregory Shaw,
- Promethia by Alan Moor, et als.
- “Structural Implications in the Sepherot” by Sam Webster
- Kabbalah Of The Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski
- Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind & Magic by Israel Regardie
- Secret Knowledge Of The Neophyte by S.L. Macgregor Mathers
- Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt by R. T. Rundle Clark