VOLUME 3 - Berashith

INTRODUCTION

Gentle Reader,

Here we are, four years later, presenting to you our Volume III of The Lantern.  We do sincerely hope that our Volumes I and II have born some fruit, and that you are now ready for some more ‘food for higher thought’.

We begin Volume III with our main essay Berashith, the work of Frank Salt, a long time member of Dr. R. W. Felkin’s Smaragdum Thallasses, where he was known by his sacramental name or Motto Fiat Lux.  Within Berashith are instructions on applying a mystical approach to interpreting the Hebrew letters, treating them as evocative symbols capable of revealing their own divine meaning or force.  When rightly understood and applied to various divine names etc, the forces of the individual letters are combined to represent unique composite forces. An example of this approach might condense, for instance, the meaning of the ending Aleph Lamed (AL, often terminating the names of Angels and Arch-Angels), as Power (Aleph) in Extension (Lamed). The advanced Adept should immediately see the application of this approach to many of the Order’s methods of teaching, not least of which is the Vibratory Formular of Pronouncing Divine Names, production of Talismanic Images, and for assisting in obtaining the inner meaning of the Tarot.

During his life Fiat Lux submitted this manuscript to various occult publishers but without so much as a nibble, its contents considered too “dense” for the consuming public Golden Dawn community.  With this Volume III we fulfill his wish that this system or method of approach be available to those with ears to listen. 

Following this important work we produce copies of the 22 Tarot Trumps as issued in the Temples of the Stella Matutina, including the Smaragdum Thallasses Temple in New Zealand. While these images have been available on the internet for some time, they are produced here in hard copy for posterity.  The cards were issued to members of the 5=6, and usually painted after the 6=5, upon receiving full instruction of the Four Colour Scales, and appropriately consecrated by the Adeptus Major. Rumours amongst the Whare Ra Adepti indicated that Westcott worked with Felkin to produce this deck, hinting at a post G.D. collaboration born out further in Westcott’s personal diary which states that he received the S.M. 7=4 from Felkin[1].

Next we have a collection of papers on The Elementals.  Members of the Outer Order were gradually introduced to each of the Elemental Powers as they progressed through the Grades, and were encouraged to perceive this quaternary both within their own natures, as well as in the external world and the subtle forces which animate it.  Presented here are the relevant papers on the earthy Gnomes, the airy Sylphs, the watery Undines and the fiery Salamanders.

A modern interpretation of the modus operandi of the Order is that it was more akin to a school or perhaps a magical university, where syllabus and papers are provided for the eager student to learn and to pass the necessary examinations – not too dissimilar to the popular fiction of Harry Potter and “Hogwarts”.  This view has largely developed in the absence of direct knowledge about how the Order actually operated, gleaned from reading books purporting to be about the Order, and extrapolated based on a natural tendancy to want to be told, and habit gained through early and prolonged exposure to the education system, where being taught and regurgitating “facts” is the predominant approach.  This is a far cry from the reality of the situation. Each member was expected to follow a structured daily discipline of ritual, meditation, prayer, exercise and study, not too dissimilar (although obviously less extreme) to the routine of a devout monk or nun in a religious order.  We publish here the Outer Order Daily Rhythms for the Grades of Neophyte to Philosophus as a part of each member’s daily routine.  Similar Daily Rhythms were provided for the higher Grades also.  We trust that some will introduce this practice of discipline into their own routine.

Presented here for the first time is an interesting little Ritual used in the early days of the Stella Matutina and “Whare Ra”, although likely performed on only a few occasions.  The dynamic movement of The Dance of the Zodiac, not too dissimilar to the hypnotic patterns of a kaleidoscope, weaving in and amongst familiar symbology in what must be seen as a work of a kinaesthetic meditation of a single group mind.  D.P. provides an excellent introduction to help set the scene.

Next are three papers[2] on Early Stella Matutina Administration Instructions, containing the names and duties of various senior Adepti appointed to Offices of the Order for Ceremonial, or for members to contact to receive practical instruction and examination in specific subjects of study.  Readers more familiar with Order history will see many familiar names within these instructions.

Our first two volumes have revealed in a few places previously unknown historical information relating to the Order.  This volume is no different.  Following the Dance of the Zodiac is the paper titled: Address by M.C. in Big Room on Recent History of the Order, in which G.H. Chief Sor. Maim Chioth mentions the fragility of the early Stella Matutina.  The “Big Room” refers to one of the rooms at Whare Ra where the Chiefs and some of the senior members sometimes gave addresses to the assembled members, and on this occasion the address was delivered in 1953.  M.C. mentions that the Order went into abeyance for a number of years before Dr. Felkin pulled together two of the old Adepti to help revive it and assist to admit Ms & Mrs Felkin plus one other, thus beginning a new cycle of activity culminating in the establishment of the H.O. 49 in 1912.  Interestingly, this cycle was repeated with the closure of that Temple some 66 years later, and the subsequent work undertaken by various Adepti to re-establish the Order.

As would seem appropriate to this aspect of M.C.’s address, we finish this, our 3rd volume of The Lantern, with transcribed copies of three letters from 1978.  In The Order in Abeyance we present the letter that the three G.H. Chiefs of the Order sent to the membership informing them of the closure of the Temple, the letter the last Senior Chief of “Whare Ra” John von Dadelszen (G.H. Chief Fra. A Beau Sion 9=2) wrote[3] personally to Frank Salt informing him of the closure, and Frank Salt’s subsequent response requesting various papers be sent so that he might re-establish the Order if the opportunity arose[4].  John von Dadelszen and Frank Salt had known each other for a very long time, with familiarity and respect underpinning the tone of the letters. Both were trustees of Mrs Felkin’s Tauhara Trust, so the reference by John von Dadelszen to Tauhara should be read in that light.

We do hope that you have opened these covers with a sense of excitement, and close them again with some insight and motivation to continue your own Work, and that this and our previous volumes have brought you a little closer to that Order which has been so dear to many of us in New Zealand.

Greatful thanks to L.V.L. for editing and preparing F.L.’s manuscript, to A.P. for her assistance with this volume, and to S. for diligently packaging The Lantern and sending them to our patrons.  D.P. has also been a solid contributor to all of our volumes and a supportive collaborator, and in my humble view deserves special acknowledgment and thanks.


                            Entrance to ‘Turama’, house of Reginald and Ruth Gardiner


  

[1] Dated January 17th 1916 – “I received from Felkin his German Grade 7=4. The [this?] agreed to my notes on the Continental Rosics in my Data.”

[2] The first instruction is undated, but contains the Motto of Neville Meakin (Ex Oriente Lux), placing its writing sometime before Meakin’s premature death in 1912, and most likely pre 1910.  The second instruction is for the absence of the Felkins while in New Zealand, and is dated 1912.  The last instruction is dated 1915, and was left for the three V.H. Sorores charged with administration of the UK Temples in the absence of the Felkins, who were then immigrating to New Zealand permanently after a brief return to the U.K. following their 1912 visit to the Antipodes.

[3] The letter was written on a Saturday and dated 23rd September 1978, a significant date in the G.D. calendar, the date of the Vernal Equinox.

[4] He was later joined in this task by former Order Chief Archie Shaw (G.H Chief Fra. Archernar) who assisted in the ceremonial transmission of the higher Grades, 6=5 member Percy Wlkinson (V.H. Fra. Laudate Dominum) and Chief of the Sun Order Beryl Renn (Fratrix Metatron) who provided papers filling in many of the gaps in the curriculum.

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