Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn

Addendum to the Cross symbolism in the Golden Dawn: The formulae of L.V.X. in the Neophyte and Adeptus Minor Grades

by GH Frater S.R.


In my previous essay on the cross symbolism in the Golden Dawn my main point were that the principle of the redeemer or saviour (Christ Force) through this cross symbolism as contained in the Neophyte 0°=0° Grade of the Golden Dawn (First Order) foreshadows the same in the Adeptus Minor 5°=6° Grade of the Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (Second Order).

In this addendum I want to stress this relationship between the formulas of the Neophyte and Adeptus Minor. I hold that they both attract and express the Light Force or Life Force, in the Golden Dawn tradition referred to as the L.V.X., in a pure and undifferentiated way, as contrasted to the Elemental Grades, from Zelator 1°=10° to Philosophus 4°=7° Grades. In the Elemental Grades the L.V.X. force is filtered through the Elemental lens, as it were. But not so in the Neophyte Grade and in the Adeptus Minor Grade (and also in the Portal Grade which is interlinked with that of the Adeptus Minor).

This undifferentiated and pure form of the Light Force is represented through the L.V.X. formula of the 5°=6° Grade of Adeptus Minor (for a analysis of the L.V.X. formula please read this essay upon the Mystery of the crucifixion) and through the threefold circumambulation in the 0°=0° Grade of Neophyte which is said in the ceremony to “take place in the Pathway of Light”.

In a way this undifferentiated power of the L.V.X. Force is furthermore expressed through the invocation of the Four Elements in a balanced disposition, such as represented in the Ceremony of the Portal of the Vault of the Adepti (Portal Ceremony for short) and in the Consecration Ceremony of the Vault of the Adepti. This invocation of the Elements in unison is also an expression of the Fifth Element, that of Spirit or Quintessence. And in my opinion Spirit, Akasha or Quintessence is pure L.V.X. as expressed through the realm of the Elements or Malkuth, the Kingdom.

The L.V.X. force is of course not limited only to the Elements, but also to the Seven Planets, Twelve Zodiacal Signs and the Ten Sephiroth. But throughout the Outer Order and the Adeptus Minor Grade it is foremost expressed through the Elements. In this instance we have to remember that initiation in the Golden Dawn tradition is done upon the Three of Life as expressed through Malkuth in Assiah, being the densest and Elemental part of the manifest or material world.

The L.V.X. force is however also particularly expressed through the Seven Planets in the Adeptus Minor Grade in relation to the Seven Sides of the Vault, which distinguishes it from the Neophyte Grade and links it to higher realms of the creation. But for this addendum I will leave the Planets aside and focus only on the Elements which still are of primary importance in my opinion.

Now the Elemental significance is quite obvious in the Adeptus Minor Grade, through the Vault Consecration Ceremony, where the Elemental Watchtowers are invoked, and in the Portal Ceremony (which I regard to be a prelude to the Adeptus Minor Ceremony) where the Elemental Tablets are activated in synthesis. The Elemental Watchtowers or Tablets, together with the Elemental Cherubim, are however also represented upon the door or entrance leading into the Vault of the Adepti (see image below).

The image upon the entrance to the Vault

The Elemental Cherubim are further displayed upon the circular Altar within the Vault of the Adepti, clearly serving to remind the Adepts of the Elemental Forces in play through the Adeptus Minor formula (see image below). If in want of a more full exposition of the symbolism of the Vault of the Adepti I must refer the reader to my essay upon the Tomb of Christian Rosenkreutz.

The Cherubic emblems upon the Circular Altar

But I furthermore hold that the Elements are also to be represented in the Neophyte Grade, through the visible and invisible godforms. This is primarily represented through the four Cherubim at the four (Elemental) Quarters (Ahathoor, Tharpesh, Thoomoo and Ahapshi), and secondarily through the Four Children of Horus at the corners (Ameshet, Tmoomathaph, Kabexnuv and Ahepi). But they are also, and more manifestly so, represented by the godforms and Officers on the Dais.

Osiris and the Hierophant is linked to Spirit or Akasha, Aroueris and Past Hierophant to Fire, Thoth and the Cancellarius to Air, Isis and the Praemonstrator to Water, and finally Nephthys and Earth to the Imperator. These stations, Officers and godforms transmit their respective currents into the Hall of Neophytes. So in my opinion there definitely exist Elemental currents in the Neophyte Grade.

These Elemental currents are physically anchored to or made manifest upon the black Double Cubical Altar and the four symbols of the Eucharist or mystical repast, the four members of Osiris. And in this contex remember also that Osiris represents the Fifth Element of Spirit and bears the colours of all Four Elements in union upon his collar. This again is an expression of the L.V.X. (the Osirian drama or Christian passion) through the agency of the Four Elements and Quintessence.

It is also interesting to note the special format of the Consecration Ceremony of the Vault of the Adepti, which is supposed to be regularly performed at the Rosicrucian holiday of Corpus Christi. Besides a shortened version of the Portal Ceremony opening and closing, and the actual Adeptus Minor Grade opening, it starts off with an invocation of the four Watchtowers.

This initial part of the Consecration Ceremony was lifted out by Israel Regardie and adapted by him into a Watchtower Ceremony by inserting the especial Enochian Call taken from the Portal Ceremony, comprising parts of the First Enochian Call or Key (related to the Element of Spirit) and a invocation of the governors of the Aethyr ZAX (which more or less is a recitation of the Tablet of Union, i.e. the Fifth Element of Spirit), which he himself referred to as the “Formula of Opening by Watchtower”.

The Watchtower Opening in the Consecration Ceremony begins with the standard cry which also initiates the Neophyte Grade Opening, i.e. “Hekas, Hekas, Este Bebeloi!”, and it finally ends with the deosil circumambulation by three and the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe. This is a clear reference to the Neophyte Grade and for me gives a confirmation and proves beyond any doubt that the Adeptus Minor Grade is interlinked with that of the Neophyte Grade formula.

In Regardie’s version of the Watchtower Ceremony, created to be used by the single Adept, there wasn’t any elaborated “Closing by Watchtower”, a fact which has been remedied by modern practitioners of the Golden Dawn. This Closing by Watchtower also incorporates the widdershin or reversed circumambulation, which even more links it to the Neophyte Formula. In my own personal work with the Watchtower Ceremony I have also incorporated the purification by Water and consecration by Fire in both the Opening and Closing, plus the Magical Eucharist of the Four Elements, together with the Closing by Watchtower to stress the Neophyte Formula even further.

The use of the Portal Grade (Enochian) Call by Regardie is also significant in my opinion as it interlinks the Neophyte Hall to the Portal Ceremony Hall. Personally I have for a long time seen the Portal Hall as marking the return to the Hall as described in “Ritual Z-1: The Enterer of the Threshold”, i.e. the ritual analysis of the Neophyte Grade and its symbolism.

The Z-1 describes the Neophyte Hall as comprising the lower part of the Qabalistic Tree up to the level of the Veil of Paroketh (or of Nephthys), i.e. the four Sephiroth of Malkuth, Yesod, Hod and Netzach and their respective interlinking paths. This is the exact equivalent of the placement of the Tree of Life in the Portal Ceremony Hall. But by rending the Veil of Paroketh you will finally see the Vault of the Adepti or Tiphareth and the Tree of Life which unfolds beyond and up to the Abyss and the Veil of Isis (see illustration below).

While each of the Elemental Grades may be seen as comprising a part of that Hall, i.e. a microscopic blow up of the particular Sephirah constituting the Elemental Grade (Zelator with Malkuth, Theoricus with Yesod, etc.) or a microcosm of the Tree, the Hall of the Neophyte Hall and the Portal Ceremony/Adeptus Minor Hall instead shows the Tree of Life on a macrocosmic level.

So the only conclusion which I can draw from all of this is that the Neophyte Grade and its Hall foreshadows the currents and mysteries which is presented in a full blown format in the Adeptus Minor Grade.

So in my opinion Israel Regardie showed a stroke of genius when he “created” the Formula of Opening by Watchtower and presented it together with the “Formulae of the Magic of Light”, or “Ritual Z-2” as it is known for short. The Z-2 breaks up the Neophyte Ceremony into component parts and translates them into stages that can be adapted into personal rituals.

The Formulae of the Magic of Light is composed of five parts that are attributed to the five lettered name of Yehesuah, or YHShVH, which is linked to the Five Elements. Yod and Fire is attributed to works of evocation, Heh and Water to works of consecration of talismans, Shin and Spirit to works of invisibility, transformations and spiritual development, and Vau and Air to works of divination, and finally Heh (final) and Earth to works of alchemy.

This sequence of the Elements follows the Qabalistic one according to hierarchy and is the exact one followed in the Watchtower Ceremony when the Four Elements are being invoked in sequence. So it is my opinion that the Formula of Opening by Watchtower is especially well suited with Adepi works in the Neophyte Hall, such as in the Formulae of the Magic of Light, as it actually contains a rehearsal of the Neophyte Grade opening and properly links it to the Adeptus Minor (and Portal) Grade formula.

Another important aspect to consider here is that both the Neophyte and the Adeptus Minor Formulas share the common goal in attracting, through the agency of the ritual, the Divine Genius or Higher Self of the candidate, which is commonly referred to as the “Holy Guardian Angel”. Conversely the goal is also to attract the antithesis, or Evil Persona, but to have the latter checked through the agency of the Higher or Divine Will.

In the Neophyte Grade this is fully described in the “Ritual Z-3”, the final part in the Z-series. Here we are told that the Higher Self or Genius is permitted to descend into the Hall to create a link with the candidate, while at the same time the Evil Persona is held in check by the initiator impersonating the Divine Genius. But the emphasis here is on creating a link between the ordinary self and the Higher Self, where the latter unconsciously may guide the former.

The Evil Persona in the form of the Red Dragon

In the Adeptus Minor Grade this link is enhanced and the Higher Self permitted to form a conscious communication with the ordinary self, commonly referred to as the “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel”. Through this process the Evil Persona, in the form of the Seven Headed Red Dragon as seen upon the floor of the Vault of the Adepti (se image above), is subjugated under the Divine Will of the Genius (se image below). In my opinion this fact translates the Formula of the Opening by Watchtower into a very good support for the Genius and optimally may assist in the preliminary Invokation of the Higher, creating the necessary conscious state in all Theurgical work.

The Red Dragon being subdued by the grace of the Divine Will

So one may see the Neophyte Grade as a prelude and a first meeting between the two selves (Higher and lower), which is taken to a full circle in the Adeptus Minor Grade. Thus as can be seen here these two Grades share a common theme of a Theurgical nature. So my final analysis is that the Neophyte Formula and the Adeptus Minor Formula cannot be regarded as separate, in the same manner as the cross symbolism and the current of the Christos cannot be.

The separation between the Outer Order (G∴D∴) and Inner Order (R.R. et A.C.) remains only because of the Veil being that of ignorance on the part of the Outer Order member. The Adept is traditionally not supposed to reveal his or her insights about this relationship between the Inner and the Outer, so as to uphold this Veil of Paroketh for the sake of gradual unfoldment of consciousness. But for the Adept there is no separation anymore in his or her consciousness between the Outer and Inner Mysteries, as the Veil is lifted permanently from his or her eyes.

Thus to better make use of the Neophyte Formula the Adept uses the Formula of Opening by Watchtower as it better expresses the currents already present in the Neophyte Hall through the lens of the spiritual attainment of the Adeptus Minor. The difference between the Neophyte Grade and Adeptus Neophyte Grade may best be described as between the lowermost and highest ends of a light dimmer. While the currents present in the Neophyte Hall are manifested in a dim or weaker format, as presented through their particular godforms, they come to full life in the Hall as represented by the Vault of the Adepti and its Portal.

Thus the forces or currents on either side of the Veil of Paroketh cannot be properly regarded as of different or differentiated natures as this kind of separation is a sign of illusion or delusion on the part of the observing subject, i.e. the lesser initiate. For the more fully matured or greater initiate any Veils of separation has been duly lifted....or at least should have been. Thus the old hermetic axiom of “as above, so below” is to be applied here.