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777 is a rip-off?

To: alt.magick.tyagi
From: (mordred)
Subject: Re: 777 is a rip-off? (?)
Date: 6 Feb 1995 14:18:15 -0800

[from alt.magick: (Bill Heidrick)]

Mathers, Crowley and 777:

  Crowley listed the source material for the tables in Liber 777 in
his original Preface.  It's understandable that he slighted any part
Mathers may have had in collecting the material, since the same preface
goes into detail in attacking the apparent frauds associated with
the founding of the Golden Dawn -- as Crowley believed them to be at
the time.  Wynn Westcott is perhaps a better candidate for origin of
much of the basic material in the early columns of 777 than Mathers.

  Did Mathers originate or simply copy without citation of sources?
More the latter, I would say.  His famous allocation of the planets
to the heptagram was lifted from Oedipus Aegyptiacus (Kircher).  His
introduction to _Kabbalah Unveiled_ is a massive plagiarism of Ginsburg's
essay _The Kabbalah It's Doctrines, Development and Literature_ (slight
reference to some quoted passages, followed by blocks of unaltered text
without citation and the rest minor rearrangements of material from
scattered paragraphs.

Mathers' translations are more than suspect:

Greater Key of Solomon --- multiple English MSS among those consulted
Lesser Key of Solomon ----    "        "     "    "     "       "
Abramelin --- He had to go all the way to France to find one that
              wasn't in English or Hebrew.
Zohar --- texts he "translated" had been rendered into Latin and modern

The principal sources for the Golden Dawn Hebrew pantheon appear to be,
in order:

Tycho Brahe's _Calendarium Naturale Magicum..._
Kircher's _Oedipus Aegiptiacus_
Possibly Agrippa's _Occult Philosophy_ and Trithemius _Stegonographia_,
    but elements used are adequately covered in Brahe and Kircher.
Possibly Rosenroth's _Kabbalah Denudata_, but again that seems to be
   only for portions afterward published in more modern editions.
Miscellaneous works by 19th century authors on Qabalah.

The sources for Qabalah proper would include the Yetzirah.

  Frankly, I think Mathers usually grabbed a book or two for whatever he
was doing and copied without credit.  The different topics can all
be traced to a very small number of sources per topic.  Only the
Enochiana may reflect substantial original work, and that seems based
on just two dozen pages scattered about Casaubon's _True and Faithful
Relation..._  In addition to this, Mathers seems to have worked up
bibliographies of MSS and sources, either not consulted or only briefly
examined, as padding to suggest original, in depth research.  Other
Golden Dawn members may have added uncredited essays based on examination
of those sources --- as seems to be the case for Enochiana.  This system
is a good one, but it is dishonest in the omission of credits for
the actual sources used.

   Crowley at least credited the sources of the new material, as well
as some of the sources he believed antecedent to Mathers' and Westcott's

93 93/93
Bill Heidrick

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