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Enochian Magic at the Gates of Hell

“Sunday afternoon, David had called and asked us to meet him at The Gates of Hell in the sculpture garden at Stanford University, fifteen minutes or so from our home.  We arrived to find him standing before that hauntingly beautiful and massive piece, with a cigarette dangling from his lip and his perpetually disheveled and mismatched clothing flapping about him in a warm spring breeze.  

Gates of Hell - Rodin

There, in the blazing afternoon sun, with a bronze and pensive Rodin staring down at us from high above the imposing door of Tartarus, Jones read the 18th Enochian Key, and the Call of the 9th Aethyr, which is called ZIP.  Gone now were the days of incense and robes, of tables and squares and all the accumulated detritus of traditional western ceremonial work.  The world was our Temple, furnished with whatever lay readily to hand, and though the casual passerby, observing what was done that day, would have noticed nothing especially out of the ordinary, the effect was to be nothing of the sort.”

I have posted this quote previously but I think it’s worth posting it again.  This is a quote from ‘The Black Lodge of Santa Cruz’ by Satyr, published online as a supplement to KAOS 14 by Joel Biroco.  The afternoon described is when David Jones of the Centre for Enochian Studies (CES – part of the OTO in California) called his students to a meeting outdoors.  Shortly after this, the CES started meeting in cafes where they performed rituals without props or tools.  It shows what can be done outside the Temple or ritual room.

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RITUAL TOOLS – Altar Cloths – Empowering backgrounds for Ritual, Spellcraft & Divination.

By Julie Snodgrass

Whether it be cotton, satin, velvet, or an old scarf with sentimental value which once belonged to your favourite grandmother, altar cloths can provide a powerful background to the tools and adornments upon your altar.  They are versatile, able to transform even an upturned cardboard box into a pleasing altar.  Hung on the wall, they can provide an evocative backdrop to your altar, or alternatively, cloths can be used to wrap and store your sacred tools when not in use.

Altar cloth

So what sort of altar cloth should you choose?  Many people use a variety of coverings, each conducive to the type of magical work being performed.  Cloths decorated with a magical symbol, such as a pentagram, ankh or triple moon, provide a bold central focus, around which may be arranged your selection of altar tools and embellishments.  Fabrics such as satins and velvets create a sumptuous, regal air, whilst some people prefer fabrics made of a natural fibre, such as cotton or silk.  I must point out that ‘silk’ is a name now applied to a wide range of fabrics, most of which are synthetic, such as rayon.  Silk made from the thread of silkworms is relatively rare outside of China, and carries a hefty price tag to match.

Altar cloths allow us to integrate the power and symbolism of colour into our rituals, workings and readings.  Regarded as both spiritual and powerful, purple is one of the most popular colours for cloths.  Originally, only obtainable from a shellfish, purple was one of the rarest colours, and highly prized, owned mainly by royalty and people of monetary worth.  This accounts for its associations with the planet Jupiter, embodying business, law, royalty and acquisition of knowledge through expansion.  Composed of red and blue, purple embodies both the masculine fire element, and the feminine water element, creating harmony and balance between the two.  Associated with the third eye chakra, it is a popular choice for tarot reading, scrying, and other forms of clairvoyance, divination and psychic readings.

Black is the colour of the Void, of creation from which all things come and to which all things recede.  It absorbs light and energy, so can be used as an altar cloth to draw in energies during ritual, or during dark moon esbats.  At the other end of the spectrum is white, which actually contains every other colour; just as ‘white noise’, such as the sound of breaking waves, contains the whole spectrum of notes. White is all-purpose, reflecting and radiating pure white light and energy from your workings out into the Universe.  White also represents the moon, and a shimmering, white satin altar cloth beautifully evokes lunar energies at full moon esbats.

Green is the colour of the lush vegetation of the Earth, and is associated with fertility and abundance.  Associated with Venus and the heart chakra, it may also be used, instead of pink, when performing rituals and workings involving love and relationships.  I know some people have an aversion to too much pink on the altar, creating for them an overriding evocation of Barbie.  However, if you don’t mind pink, it’s an interesting synchronicity that Barbara Cartland, the world’s most successful and well-known romance writer, used pink extensively in her décor and wardrobe, making her synonymous with the colour.

If lust and passion be the intent of your ritual, then a fiery red altar cloth will get things going.  Associated with Mars and the flames of the Sun, it is used in workings requiring extra energy, power and stamina.  Red is also the colour of life blood, and may be useful to women wishing to honour and celebrate menstruation, gaining an energy boost at a time in the month when energies may be a little depleted.  Rituals involving creativity, drive, ambition and transformation may also benefit from a red altar cloth.  The power of red has been known in theatres and bordellos for centuries.  As the nature of fire is tricky, I suggest caution in using too much red, particularly for those living in bushfire-prone areas of Australia, where the element is more difficult to control.  Use it sparingly, balancing it out with a complimentary colour, such as gold.

A blue altar cloth embodies the cool, flowing, changing element of water, and is ideal for healing rituals.  As another colour associated with Jupiter, it is good for justice and legal matters.

Like most practicing Pagans, my trusty altar cloths display their magical histories with colourful splashings of wax, which for me, gives them power and character.  However, if you regard dripped wax as more of a dirty mark to be removed, it’s easily banished by ironing the marks on your cloth between two pieces of brown paper, which will absorb the wax off the fabric.  A way to protect your altar cloth from drips, spills and burn holes whilst in use, is to place a sheet of glass from a sizeable picture frame over the cloth before arranging your props and tools on the altar.  It doesn’t burn and any mess can simply be wiped off.

At some point your altar cloth is going to need cleaning, both physically and metaphysically – and what is washing, but a cleansing ritual.  Hand washing is aesthetically desirable, and the act of gently squeezing the cleansing water through your cloth becomes a magical ritual.  Add a few drops of an appropriate oil, such as frankincense, rosemary  or sandalwood  oil, to the rinse water for a final cleanse and recharge.

* Julie Snodgrass owns and runs the Esoteric Bookshop and is a qualified seamstress, specializing in ritual regalia.

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High/Ritual/Ceremonial Magic(k)

High Magic is the quest for spiritual growth.  The name ‘High’ is used in the same way that the Anglicans refer to ‘High’ Church.  It is often referred to as the ‘Great Work’; or gaining the Knowledge & Conversation of one’s Holy Guardian Angel; know as the HGA for short.

Aleister Crowley in Ceremonial robes.

Aleister Crowley in Ceremonial Robes.

The name probably came from Eliphas Levi whose 19th century seminal work Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie [The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic]……has influenced all ceremonial magic since.  Largely because most authors since Levi’s time have simply copied everything Levi wrote, or everything that Barrett who copied Levi originally, but in English (including faithfully copying the errors too).

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (GD) was certainly High Magic, as is the Hermetic Order of the Red Dragon (HORD) (which essentially sprang from the loins of the GD), the OTO and the massive volume of work of Aleister Crowley (from where we get Magic having the ‘k’ added to make ‘magick’.  However most of the people spelling magic with a ‘k’ would probably be quite horrified and shocked if they found out why Crowley spelt it with a ‘k’.

High Magic is essentially about a spiritual journey by calling of certain spirits for conversation and/or help.  The ‘Great Work’ of High Magic was described by the Golden Dawn as ‘Becoming more than human.’  Crowley described it as gaining ‘The Knowledge & Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel.’, which actually comes from ‘The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage’ a massive magical working taking at least six months of daily ritual.  Just about every Ceremonial Magician aims to do the Abramelin ritual … few actually do.  Crowley wrote a workable alternative in Liber Samekh.  Phil Hine, a Chaos Magician, devised a powerful alternative version.

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HORD Flying Roll #7 The End of Time & the Veil of Illusion

Hermetic Order of the Red Dragon logo


           Flying Roll No.  #7  The End of Time and the Veil of Illusion.

          Level:   Zelator  10=100

Flying Rolls are not working documents, as such, of HORD.  They represent the opinions, ideas and observations of members and their experiences which may help others in clarifying or making sense of their own experience.  Their value should not be underestimated.  Flying Rolls may be added to and commented on by any member, or any member may submit their own ideas and observations to be made into a Flying Roll.



Within the philosophy of the Qabalah (the Tree of Life) we have a model for the creation of the universe.  How curious is it then that the concept of Ain Soph Aur, the ‘Limitless Light’, (admittedly outside the Tree) echoes the scientific concept of Ultimate Entropy.  That’s when all the energy in the universe is used up and all that is left is a universe composed of ‘dead’ photons, all nicely balanced by being equidistant from each other (the ‘photon’, of course, being, a particle of ‘light’, or was, in this case).


So we have the Qabalistic concept of ‘Limitless Light’ being, at the end of Time, in the form of a black, lifeless, lightless universe of dead photons.  Of course, it can’t be the End of Time because the photons, even though they never had mass, but are taking up Space; then according to Einstein, there must also be Time.


Then there is the further concept of the Veil of Illusion which is within the Qabalah itself.  The Veil of Illusion is just below Tiphareth; the four elemental Sephira (Netzach, Hod, Yesod & Malkuth) being on the other side.  Now the model is that the manifest (physical) universe was created as the Veil of Illusion, from Tiphareth by us; and we, if you like, ‘walked through’ the Veil to manifest as part of the physical universe.


So that gives us the nice circular argument that the Qabalah was created from within an Illusion to describe the Illusion that created it.  Another way to look at it is the Heavens created the physical universe and the Physical Universe created the Heavens.  This self-referential projection/reflection is further defined in the name Qabalah itself.  In Hebrew it is QBL which in the Tarot can be interpreted as “The Illusion of the Juggler creating Balance or maybe keeping everything in Balance”

Q = XVIII = The Moon = Illusion

B = I = The Magician = Juggler

L = XI = Justice = Libra = The Balance

Which could also depict the Magician attempting to change the Illusion which is in a state of Balance, by altering the Balance (Juggling with the Universe).  Or, the Magician creating the Illusion by balancing forces.  Or the Magician creating in spite of Balanced forces (maybe like splitting an atom to release the energy that keeps it together).  Take your pick, or, preferably, come up with a new viewpoint.

Now this, of course, is if you’re looking at the Waite deck where the Justice card depicts a figure holding a scales (balance) and a sword, held upright at its point of natural balance, sitting in front of the Veil of Illusion which has now become all one colour.  The Illusion has now become ‘adjusted’ to a common, presumably workable, monotonous state where everything seems to simply go around and around in circles. (qv the Buddhist ‘Wheel of Becoming’ – also described within the Qabalah as the Path from Netzach to Chesed, represented by the Tarot card, Wheel of Fortune)

QBL with the Waite Tarot

The Crowley deck presents a different view.  Crowley was very fond of the number 11.  There are ten Sephiroth in the Qabalah, so the number 11 is outside of the Qabalah, making it, possibly, a basis for magick (magic here is spelled with a ‘k’, another adoption of Crowley, because ‘magick’ adds up to 11.  A bit like Terry Pratchet’s Octarine, the 8th colour, and, thereby, the basis of magic on Discworld (and, I understand, in Chaos magic).

Further, Crowley decided to shake up the Tarot as he wanted the number 11 to be associated with the Sephira Binah (the Goddess, Babalon, and so on; the name Babalon meaning ‘the Gate of the Egyptian God On’ and On’s number is 11).  However, Waite’s Tarot has the card number 8 (Strength) as representing Binah.  So Crowley swapped card 11 for 8 and renamed it ‘Lust’ in the process to represent Babalon’s lust for the Beast; which, of course, he perceived as himself.  And, he can do this because it’s ALL an illusion anyway.  In the Waite deck, and others preceding him, card 11, as we saw above, is ‘Justice’.  Crowley now makes that card number 8 and renames it ‘Adjustment’.  I guess ‘cos he’s ‘adjusted’ the tarot deck.

So now, for Crowley, the Qabalah, QBL becomes …

Q = XVIII = The Moon = Illusion

B = I = The Magician = Juggler

L = XI = Lust = Binah/Babalon


So this seems to become the Magician playing with Sex to change the Illusion. (Or maybe calling on the power of the Goddess in Binah to help her or him change things.) Something that Waite in his very Christian approach to occultism could probably not have countenanced. 

But maybe this is the profound basis for sex magic?  Or is it all simply playing with numbers?  Or, as I like to think of it, painting the Veil of Illusion by numbers.

QBL with Croeley Tarot


Scio Nescio, 5o=60 RRetAC, Chief Adept, Hermetic Order of the Red Dragon, (HORD).

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Hermetic Order of the Red Dragon (HORD)



HORD is a ceremonial magical order established in Australia by an adept of the original HORD in the UK.  The original temple was established by former members of the Weston-Super-Mare temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (HOGD or GD for short).

In spite of the mythology it has been know for some time that the original GD was developed by Freemasons; particularly a group of high-ranking members of the Societas Rosicrucianis in Anglia (SRIA), an offshoot of Freemasonry.  The GD followed much of the structure of the SRIA such as a grading system for advancement in the Order based on the diagram of the Tree of Life (Kabbalah).  But whereas the SRIA studied the occult, it did little or no magic work.  Also, membership was restricted to 3rd degree Masons; which debarred non-masons and women.  On the other hand, the GD focus was the practice and philosophy of magic and getting it to work.  Also, although being established by Masons, membership was open to anyone; regardless of their gender or whether they were Freemasons.

The Hermetic Order of the Red Dragon is not affiliated with any Masonic organization and, as with the GD, accepts candidates regardless of gender, religion or Masonic affiliation.


The working system of the GD, as with the SRIA, was based on the Tree of Life diagram of the Kabbalah.  The Tree of Life is a symbolic representation of the universe and its study is quite complex.  For our purposes the Tree of Life diagram is used basically as a ground plan to explore the magical universe.


The Tree of Life, very basically, consists of ten sephiroth.  Each sephira is assigned certain characteristics such as a name, a number, a colour, a planetary association and an element.


The first three sephiroth (numbered 1 to 3) form a pyramid and represent God/Goddess/The Divine Principle/Universal Law.  This is the realm of pure thought or ideas.

The next three sephiroth (4 to 6) form an inverted pyramid representing a mirror-like reflection of the first three sephiroth.  This is the realm of the archangels.  Here the ideas from the first three sephiroth begin to condense into  tangible form.

The next three sephiroth (7 to 8) is not a mirror image of the three above.  Rather it is a further condensation of the form into energy as it passes down the Tree.  This is the realm of the angels.

The final sephira (10) is the manifest universe.  Here the energy of the form finally condenses into Matter.  This is the realm of the manifest universe, elementals and daemons.  (Note:  The word ‘daemon’ is from the Greek and simply means ‘spirit’.  It is now largely accepted that ‘daemons’ are the manifestation of angels on the physical plane.)

The ten sephiroth are connected by 22 paths which, conveniently, allowed the Tarot to be superimposed on the Tree of Life.  The sephiroth numbered 1 to 10 are associated with the Minor Arcarna; so, the first sephira is associated with the four Aces of the Tarot.  Similarly, each sephira is associated with its corresponding card number down to the tenth sephira which is associated with the four 10s of the Tarot.  The twenty two paths linking the sephiroth are associated with one of the 22 Major Arcana cards.

Advancement in the SRIA, GD and HORD is by degrees or grades.  Each grade is attributed to one of the ten sephiroth.  Advancement is upward through the sephiroth of the Tree of Life.  So that the first grade of the Order is set in the 10th, or lowest sephira on the tree.  The grade is thus designated as 1=10  (1st degree equals 10th sephira).

The lower four sephiroth (7 to 10) are attributed to the four ancient elements.  These are the elemental grades.  These four sephiroth constitute the Outer Order and was the Golden Dawn proper.  The next three higher grades (5=6, 6=5 and 7=4) were the adept grades and constituted the Inner Order called the Rosea Rubea et Aurea Crucis (Red Rose and Golden Cross, RR et AC for short). 


In the SRIA and GD, each grade constituted a syllabus of knowledge to be learned; starting off with basic outlines of such things as Astrology, the Hebrew alphabet, and the pantheons of Greek, Egyptian and Hebrew mythology.  A candidate wishing to advance to the next level had to pass an exam based on the knowledge acquired at their present level.  Although meditation and scrying were taught in the elemental grades, no magic work was taught.  It was not until the aspirant became an adept was the magical work begun.  The student was expected to spend about nine months in each grade, therefore it could be five years or more before the student would be permitted to get to learn any magic.

Over the years since the original GD, many have questioned the policy of not teaching magic in the Outer Order grades.  The original HORD changed the original GD policy and began its magical training in the elemental grades (1=10 to 4=7).  Advancement is made by demonstrating the ability to perform three magic workings at the member’s current level.  These tasks could be such things as finding the answers to questions or manifesting predetermined outcomes or objects.  The magical work and the method had to be approved by the Chief Adept.  The acquiring of knowledge, such as the Hebrew Alphabet or Astrology, is not required before advancement can be made.  This method is continued by HORD in Australia.

There is no time constraint on advancement, so that time spent at any level depends solely on the skills developed by the magician.  It should be pointed out, though, gaining degrees is not the aim; this is not a race.  Each grade attained adds more energy and power to the magician.  It is better to be certain that one can truly handle the beings and power encountered in the current grade before facing the next level.  HORD is not interested in armchair magic.

It should be noted that an initiate of HORD is free to study and practice any philosophy, religion or system of magic they choose, in any way they choose.  They are also free to be members of other groups or even to work with non-HORD members.  However and oath is required from each Neophyte that they will not reveal the rituals and inner workings of the Order.

Grades and their associations:

Grade         Name                          Sephiroth      Planet        Element

10 = 1          Ippsissimus                  Kether        

  9 = 2          Magus                          Binah

  8 = 3          Magister Templi          Chokmah          Saturn

  7 = 4          Adeptus Exemptus       Gedulah            Jupiter

  6 = 5          Adeptus Major             Geburah            Mars

  5 = 6          Adeptus Minor             Tipareth            Sun

  4 = 7          Philosophus                 Netzach             Venus           Fire

  3 = 8          Practicus                      Hod                   Mercury       Water

  2 = 9          Theoreticus                  Yesod                Moon            Air

  1 = 10        Zelator                         Malkuth             Earth            Earth

  0=0              Neophyte


In its group magical work, initiations, etc., the Tree of Life is used as the ground plan for ritual.  The many pantheons and the emphasis on Egyptian gods and symbolism is not part of the current HORD group workings.  HORD, as a group, works with Archangels, angels (including the Enochian), elementals, planetary and Olympic spirits & daemons (Goetic or otherwise).  In their own work, members are free to explore, experiment and work any system or entities they choose.

The aim of the aspirant in the GD was ‘to become more than human’.  This was often referred to as ‘the Great Work’.  Crowley called it ‘gaining the Knowledge & Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel’.  The aim of the aspirant in HORD could also be described perhaps as ‘gaining enlightenment’.  Much of the work should be undertaken by the aspirant alone.  Group workings are important as training sessions and performing initiations.  The magical work undertaken by HORD includes, but is not restricted to, conjuration of spirits (invocation or evocation), scrying, meditation, astral projection and talismanic magic.

It is assumed that the methodology and practice used in HORD will evolve and change over time as more effective and useful methods are discovered.  This is why the emphasis in HORD is on gaining demonstrable results.

Link to HORD facebook page

The Esoteric Bookshop can make robes to order for HORD, HOGD, the OTO or other Orders.  We also make Neophyte sashes suitable for both HORD & HOGD.  The other HORD Outer Order sashes are slightly different to Golden Dawn sashes but can be made to specifications.

Click here to see Tau robes

Click here to see Neophyte sash