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GOLDEN DAWN Polygons & Ploygrams
The Second Volume of Hell Fire Club Books Golden Dawn Facsimile Series. POLYGONS & POLYGRAMS. On the various lineal Figures (1909) transcribed by or for ‘A.C.’ with a private Theoricus Adeptus Minor paper issued by Dr Felkin.
The Second Volume of
Hell Fire Club Books
Golden Dawn Facsimile Series
An original and unusual Golden Dawn paper suggesting the development of advanced Adept work in the Inner Order Rituals of the R.R. et A.C. From the essential diagrammatic material of the 4◦=7▫
a 68 page colour reproduction of the original
manuscript plus a further 6 page reproduction of a private Inner Order communique, complete with an introduction
by Dr. Anthony Fuller
POLYGONS & POLYGRAMS On the various lineal Figures (1909) transcribed by or for ‘A.C.’ with a private Theoricus Adeptus Minor
paper issued by Dr Felkin
This is an extremely rare manuscript version
Page 93 of the ‘A.C.’ MSS on the 11 curses
Limited to 120 facsimile copies bound in quarter black kidskin and purple moire silk
Title label recessed into the board with gold titles to spine, black Tiziano endpapers, text pages hand sewn with purple silk ribbon.
We present here an exceedingly rare manuscript version of the Golden Dawn document entitled ‘Polygons and Polygrams’, intended it may at first seem for the curriculum of the 4=7 Philosophus Grade. Although printed versions of it have been published in Israel Regardie’s two separate collections of Golden Dawn papers in both cases these contain serious errors and omissions. Similarly, the diagrams provided lack some of the requisite detail and, in comparison to those presented here, appear to be crudely executed.
More importantly, they are in black and white whereas this manuscript provides beautifully coloured images, hand coloured in different inks. There is some evidence to suggest that this copy of the Polygons and Polygrams was intended not for the Outer or First Order Grade of Philosophus 4=7, to which it was originally issued in line drawings, but rather to the more senior Adepts of the Second Order, the Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis.
Although its provenance is not entirely certain it is known that the manuscript was created in the United Kingdom and that it travelled to New Zealand and was possessed by a member of the New Zealand Smaragum Thalasses Temple in New Zealand (more generally known as the core of the ‘Whare-Ra’ phenomenon) of Dr.Felkin’s Hermetic Order of the Stella Matutina.
The copyist has not been identified other than the initials “A.C.”, two symbols for the sun, intersected by the Hebrew word for sun, Shemesh, and the date 1909. Whether the copyist was themselves ‘A.C.’ or whether the manuscript was copied from (or perhaps even for) an individual bearing those initials we cannot say. Certainly the focus upon the colour structure of the diagrams and the exactitude of their execution suggests an advanced interest and application of the material.
Notwithstanding this paucity of information it is known that a large collection of Golden Dawn and Cromlech Temple papers were brought to New Zealand in 1964 by a member of the Hermes Temple of the Stella Matutina, called Charles Renn.
Renn had travelled to New Zealand to take the higher Adept Grade of Adeptus Exemptus, 7=4 in the Smaragdum Thalasses Temple because Hermes had closed over the preceding year. When he and his wife decided to emigrate permanently a few months later he brought with him many higher Grade rituals and papers given to him by the last senior Chief of Hermes, Mrs Edith Carnegie Dickson, or the “Greatly Honoured Soror Dominus Illuminatio Mea, 9=2 of R.R. et A.C.”
Mrs Dickson had succeeded her husband, Dr. W.E. Carnegie Dickson as the senior Head of the S.M. and inherited his extensive collection of Golden Dawn material. It seems likely that the coloured Polygons and Polygrams paper was amongst Renn’s papers, particularly because these papers also contain a one page note which, inter alia, states that “within the higher Grades can be found the ritual development of certain of the Polygons and Polygrams similar to that performed on the Pentagram and Hexagram within the Adeptus Minor Grade”.
Page 21 of the MSS
The notion that this Outer Order paper should be the basis for advanced adept work is confirmed in a number of references made in other documents. The first is an undated “Private Manuscript” which Dr.Felkin wrote to the members of the Theoricus Adeptus Minor Grade which was the highest Grade attained by members of the Golden Dawn prior to 1900 and probably the highest Grade of the S.M. at the time Felkin wrote this document.
Presented here for the first time is the full text of the previously unpublished manuscript but in the context of the Polygons document attention is drawn to Felkin’s discussion of subjects to be learned and practised in the higher Grades, and specifically his comment:
“And whereas ye had learned and practised certain elementary formulae of the Hexagram and the Pentagram, so now shall ye learn other and more advanced formulae of the Heptagram and the Dodecagram. Whereby ye may see more perfectly in the Spirit Vision, and may produce more directly material results… and hence it is important that ye know thoroughly that (illegible word) already ye have learned of the methods of dealing with the planetary and elemental forces by means of the Rituals of the Pentagram and the Hexagram”.
As both the Pentagram and Hexagram are featured within the Polygons and Polygrams paper the implication is clearly made by Felkin that other such geometrical symbols it contains are similarly capable of bearing ‘elementary formulae’. In referring to the Heptagram itself Felkin may have been aware that the Golden Dawn member J.W. Brodie Innes, who was subsequently one of the three original Chiefs of the S.M. and the successor to Macgregor Mathers as Head of the Alpha et Omega Order (A.O.), wrote four papers on the Heptagram which were restricted to the higher sub Grade of Theoricus Adeptus Minor (ThAM). The titles of these four papers are:
Part 1. Of the General Symbolism and Attributes of the Planets.
Part 2. Of the Tarot Trumps attributed to the Seven Planets & the True Designs and Interpretation thereof.
Part 3. Of the Method of Making the Symbol of the Heptagram and the Various Symbols and Telesmata to be used therewith.
Part 4. The Ritual of the Heptagram and the Means of utilizing the Planetary Forces in all affairs of Life.
All these papers are extant and original copies in both Brodie Innes’ handwriting and Carnegie Dickson’s typed copies were also part of the collection which Charles Renn brought out to New Zealand. On one of these copies Dickson has written: “Equivalent papers are available for the Dodekagram, Endekagrametc”.
Thus it seems apparent that at least some, if not all, of the various geometrical figures contained within the Polygons and Polygrams document were intended to be elaborated in various teachings and magical formulae for the Grades above that of Zelator Adeptus Minor (ZAM) where the Pentagram and Hexagram are addressed in this way.
Throughout many of the Adept instructions emphasis is placed on the vast forces and energies contained within such figures and the angles they contain, along with the ability of the accomplished magician to utilise these planetary and elemental forces through ritual. It is probably in such a context that in 1896 four Theorici Adeptus Minores members of the Isis Urania Temple in London performed a ritual for “The Evocation Unto Visible Appearance of the Great Spirit TAPHTHARTHARATH” where their circle of working combined the Octagram, Octangle and Octagon.
Allen Bennett (Frater Iehi Aour) whose ritual for evoking Taphthattharath was later published in Aleister Crowley’s periodical ‘The Equinox’
To what degree manuscripts and instruction were developed for each one of the polygrams and polygons is not known but it seems unlikely that the scheme was completed. There is evidence that Brodie Innes developed some of these for completing the curricula for the Practicus Adeptus Minor and Philosophus Adeptus Minor Grades when he succeeded Mathers as head of the Alpha et Omega Order but it is equally certain that these were not given to Dr.Felkin.
It was precisely because Felkin lacked most of the instructional material for the Grades above Zelator Adeptus Minor that he wrote the private paper published here, presumably to reassure his ZAM members that advanced material would be forthcoming.
Although Brodie Innes and Felkin had worked closely together for many years since the former had initiated Felkin into the Golden Dawn at the Amen-Ra Temple, Edinbugh in 1894 an irrevocable breach developed between them when Felkin learned that Brodie Innes was working with Mathers and had become his deputy. For reasons unclear Felkin had received “inner instruction” that he must never work with Mathers and it was similarly because of this restriction that Felkin felt obliged to leave the Cromlech Temple of the Holy Order of the Sun when he learned that Mathers had joined.
In so doing Felkin deprived himself and his Stella Matutina of much advanced magical material. At the time of the formation of the Stella Matutina in July 1903 Felkin was still at the ZAM level whereas the more advanced Brodie Innes had reached ThAM and he would not provide Felkin with the appropriate papers until he considered that Felkin had attained this more advanced Grade of Adeptus Minor.
Correspondence between the two during this period suggests that Brodie Innes might have enjoyed this advantage and although he released a few ThAM papers to Felkin over the ensuing six years, whilst hinting at others, he never provided Felkin with the full ThAM cuuriculum, nor the more advanced rituals for the Grades of Adeptus Major 6=5 and Adeptus Exemptus 7=4. Hence, Felkin was obliged to create his own and he achieved this partly by incorporating material from the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and partly from “inner instruction” he believed he was receiving from Secret Masters…..
(Editors note: The page numbers in the facsimile reproduction of the ‘Polygons’ paper are non-consecutive due to the fact that the manuscript has a number of blank pages, we have omitted to reproduce these blanks to reduce the need for redundant printed pages.)