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The Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn

To: alt.magick,alt.magick.order,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan.magick
From: "Fr. A.o.C." 
Subject: Re: The Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn (LONG response to 333)
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 20:27:00 GMT

Organization: Temple of the Quintupal Triplicity

Alex Sumner wrote:
> I always thought that it was the Past Hierophant who remotely maintained the
> god-form of Osiris on the Hierophant's throne, whilst the Hierophant himself
> built up and assumed the form of Aroueris (Horus the Elder) as he moved
> about the Temple.

Referring to Regardie's Black Doorstop, p. 354:

"On the dais are the Three Chiefs, the Past Hierophant and the
Hierophant. The order in which they sit (as you face East) is:

Imperator - Nephthys
Cancellarius - Thoth
Hierophant - Osiris
Past Hierophant - Aroueris
Praemonstrator - Isis

Hierophant is represented by two godforms... [description of Osiris] ...
This godform never moves from the Dais. When the Hierophant has to move
from the Dais, he is covered by the form of Osiris in action --
Aroueris, which is built up by the Past Hierophant, seated on the
Hierophant's left..."

I seem to remember reading that when the Hierophant moves off the
Throne, the Past Hierophant 'swaps' godforms with the Hierophant and
maintains the presence of Osiris on the Dais, but I can't find the
specific reference to this action; all I find is the above description,
which indicates that the seat of Past Hierophant is 'based' on Aroueris
and 'borrowed' by the Hierophant for moving around the temple. Do you
have a reference for the 'swapping'?

I always thought calling Aroueris "Osiris in action" was a bit strange,
seeing as how Aroueris 'preceded' Osiris, but in Egyptian myth never
actually became King, having been either stung by a scorpion or thrown
from a horse to his 'death' before he could ascend the throne. Harseisis
(Heru-sa-Aset) or Horus-son-of-Isis (sometimes called Horus the Younger,
though the Ptolemic Greeks also assigned that name to Har-por-krat), was
considered the 'heir' to the throne of his father Osiris by virtue of
his being the reincarnation of his older form, come to claim his

It always seemed to me that Westcott & co. were stretching their
Egyptology like silly putty to make it match a pre-determined symbolic
framework -- stretching the 'facts' to fit the theory, instead of
stretching the theory to fit the facts. Putting the Sun-Child,
Heru-sa-Aset, on the Throne of Darkness in the West seems utterly
inappropriate to me. They were undoubtedly influenced by their need to
come up with an Egyptian 'equivalent' to the Christian mythology of
Satan. So they, like the religious propagandists of Osiris before them,
deemed Set the "god of Evil" and even went as far as to equate him with Apep!

Set is the obvious choice to be protector of the temple from the seat of
Darkness, for that is precisely what he did in his place on the Barque
of Ra in the Early Kingdom mythological cycles (during the 3rd
millennium BCE Seth was the tutelary deity of the pharaohs) and revived
in the 19th Dynasty; Set, "the strongest of the company of the gods"
used his spear to slay the Apep (Apophis) snake every night before the
dawn. There's a papyrus depicting this tale which shows him stabbing the
snake-demon, with the haft of his spear over his head depending from the
space between his 'ears'. 

Everything is positioned in an Egyptian sacred painting for a reason.
The Waas-scepter, borne by Ra-Hoor when seated on the Throne (as in many
images, including the papyrus in question and in the Stele of Revealing)
bears a striking resemblance to the head of Set.  The Waas scepter was a
symbol of health, happiness, and divine prosperity, but also of power
and dominion. The head of the Waas is also traditionally made of iron,
the "black metal" which is attributed to Set. Both Frater IO and myself
speculate that this symbolism indicates the strength and power of Set is
being directed through the Waas, which is in turn held by Ra-Hoor as

When looking objectively at the symbolism of the 0=0 Hall, if one were
to choose equivalents to the Officers from Egyptian Mythology, the ones
chosen by Westcott and Mathers are particularly ill-fitting. The
Hierophant is described in the Cipher Ms. as robed in red (Horus' skin
was flaming red, while Osiris' was putrid green), and equaling the
rising sun, power, light, mercy and wisdom. Ra-Hoor is the obvious
parallel to this. The Hierus is described as robed in black (Set's skin
was deep black), equaling darkness, twilight, strength, judgment and
fortitude. Set is the obvious parallel to this.

The only possible reason to use Osiris in the East and Horus in the West
is to force Christian symbolism into the 0=0 Hall. For Westcott and
Mathers, the 0=0 Hall, the most fundamental of all the rituals in the
Golden Dawn corpus, simply HAD to reflect Christian symbolism. Being
Christians, and with a typically bigoted Christian attitude, there
simply could NOT be any other 'correct' religious expression than the
formula of the Slain and Risen Christ-God. Therefore their proxy-Christ,
Osiris, had to be the Hierophant. And since you can't have Christianity
without a Satan-figure to kick around, they couldn't possibly place Set
in his obvious place on the Throne of Darkness in the Hall. Set had to
be the "god of evil", so fiery Horus ends up on the Throne of Darkness
(huh?) and Set, his 'enemy', becomes the Hermetic Order's bogeyman.

- Fr. A.o.C.

"I know that I am mortal by nature and ephemeral; but when I trace, at my
pleasure, the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies, I no longer touch
earth with my feet; I stand in the presence of Zeus himself, and take my
fill of ambrosia."  -- Claudius Ptolemy

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