HOGD Cross

The Feather of Maat and other words of wisdom


Subjects Covered

Magical Books
Good Teachers
Bad Teachers
Self Initiation


"The Qabalah, or traditional science of the Hebrews, might be called the mathematics of human thought. It is the algebra of faith. It solves all problems of the soul as equations, by isolating the unknowns. It gives to ideas the clarity and rigorous exactitude of numbers; its results, for the mind, are infallibility (always relative, however, to the sphere of human knowledge) and for the heart, profound peace."

Eliphas Levi, The Book of Splendours, page 27

"Speaking of the method of the Qabalah, one of the ancient Rabbis says that an angel coming down to earth would have to take on human form in order to converse with men. The curious symbol-system known to us as the Tree of Life is an attempt to reduce to diagrammatic form every form and factor in the manifest universe and the soul of man; to correlate them one to another and reveal them spread out as on a map so that the relative positions of each unit can be seen and the relations between them traced. In brief, the Tree of Life is a compendium of science, psychology, philosophy, and theology."

Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah, page 13

"If we would know the inner nature of man by his outer nature; if we would understand his inner heaven by his outward aspect; if we know the inner nature of trees, herbs, roots, stones by their outward aspect, we must pursue our exploration of nature on the foundation of the Qabalah. For the Qabalah opens up access to the occult, to the mysteries; it enables us to read sealed epistles and books and likewise the inner nature of men."

Paracelsus, Selected Writings

"The Qabalah, is a trustworthy guide, leading to a comprehension of both the Universe and one's own Self.[…] But the Qabalah is more. It also lays the foundation on which rests another archaic science-Magic. […] The Qabalah reveals the nature of certain physical and psychological phenomena. Once these are apprehended, understood and correlated, the student can use the principles of Magic to exercise control over life's conditions and circumstances not otherwise possible. In short, Magic provides the practical application of the theories supplied by the Qabalah."

Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegranates, pages i-iii



"Magic may be defined as the use of some form of ceremonial, ranging from the simple mantram or spell to elaborate rituals of which the Mass of the Church and the ceremonies of the Freemason are examples. These are two representative types of magic, whatever their exponents may like to say to the contrary."

Dion Fortune, The Training & Work of an Initiate, page 85

"Nature is a magician, every plant, animal, and every man is a magician, who uses his powers unconsciously and instinctively to build up his own organism; or, in other words, every living being is an organism in which the magical power of the spirit in nature acts; and if a man should attain the knowledge how to control this power of life, and to employ it consciously, instead of merely submitting unconsciously to its influence, then he would be a magician, and could control the processes of life in his own organism, and perhaps in that of other beings."

Franz Hartmann, M.D. Magic: White and Black, page 24

"…of all hindrances to Magical action, the very greatest and most fatal is unbelief, for it checks and stops the action of the Will. Even in the commonest natural operations we see this. No child could learn to walk, no student could assimilate the formulas of any science, were the impracticability of so doing the first thing in his mind."

MacGregor Mathers, The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, p. xxiv

"Magic is the art of manipulating the unseen forces of nature […] A white magician is one who is laboring to gain the confidence of the powers that be, and to prove, through the purity of his life and the sincerity of his motive, his worthiness to be entrusted with the great arcana […] A black magician is one who seeks to gain authority over spiritual powers by means of force rather than by merit. In other words, he is trying to storm the gates of heaven; he is one who is seeking spiritual power and occult dominion with an ulterior motive. […] The black magician's motto is "might is right (survival of the fittest.) The white magician's motto is: "right is might" (survival of all.)

Manly P. Hall, Magic, pages 14-15

"By means of the traditional Theurgic techniques it is possible to contact consciously this (astral) plane, to experience its life and influence, converse with its elemental and angelic inhabitants so-called, and return here to normal consciousness with complete awareness and memory of that experience. This, naturally requires training. But so does every department of science. Intensive preparation is demanded to fit one for critical observation, to provide one with the researches of one's predecessors in that realm. No less should be expected of Magic…"

Israel Regardie, The Art and Meaning of Magic, page 19

"What would be a world without the magic power of love of beauty and harmony? How would a world look if made after a pattern furnished by modern science? A world in which the universal truth were not recognised could be nothing else but a world full of maniacs and filled with hallucinations. In such a world art and poetry could not exist, justice would become a convenience, honesty be equivalent with imbecility, to be truthful would be to be foolish, and the idol of "Self" the only god worthy of any consideration."

Franz Hartmann, M.D. Magic: White and Black, page 28

"The path of knowledge is that of the occultist and the sage; that of love is that of the mystic and the saint. The head or heart approach is not dependent upon the ray, for both ways must be known; the mystic must become the occultist; the white occultists has been the saintly mystic. True knowledge is intelligent love, for it is the blending of the intellect and the devotion. Unity is sensed in the heart; its intelligent application to life has to be worked out through knowledge."

Alice A. Bailey, A Treatise on White Magic, page 120

"…when I speak here of Magic I have reference to the Divine Theurgy praised and reverenced by antiquity. It is of a quest spiritual and divine that I write; a task of self-creation and reintegration, the bringing into human life of something eternal and enduring.[…] The result which the Magician above all else desires to accomplish is a spiritual reconstruction of his own conscious universe and incidentally that of all mankind, the greatest of all conceivable changes. The techniques of Magic is one by which the soul flies, straight as an arrow impelled from a taunt bow, to serenity, to a profound and impenetrable repose."

Israel Regardie, The Tree of Life, pages 31-32


Magical Books

"The literature of the ages is to the beginner in mystical studies by far the safest approach. It is less dramatic than personal contact and less romantic than pseudo-adepts, but the hazards of deceit and misinformation are greatly reduced. […] The average person who pays twenty-five dollars to some charlatan or only partially informed teacher can secure more and better knowledge in his subject by spending a few evenings reading authentic textbooks from his free public library."

Manly P. Hall, Words to the Wise, pages 31- 32


Good Teachers

"Simple, studious groups of intelligent men and women, making no pretensions but doing and living a high standard of personal and collective integrity, without fads or fetishes, and without elaborate political machinery, are the only groups worthy of even passing consideration. There is no question but that such groups exist, but they seldom publicize themselves. Functioning quietly, they are known by their works and not by their words. To the "joiner," one passing thought: Weigh all things, and cling only to that which is simple, good, reasonable, and honest."

Manly P. Hall, Words to the Wise, pages 27-28

"Helping people on a spiritual path develop to the utmost of their capabilities is the rightful duty of a group leader, whether he or she is called Grand Master/Mistress, High Priestess/Priest, Imperator, Hierophant or by another name. Such a position is not one of being all-powerful. Rather it is a position of responsibility and service to the other members of the group. The duty of the leader should include helping each member to improve on his or her path."

Donald Michael Kraig, "The Spiritual Necessity of Hierarchy, Mezlim, Vol. IV, Issue # 4, Samhain 1994


Bad Teachers

"So many times the follies and indiscretions of senior members, particularly in esoteric orders, go unchecked because there is no datum mark by which judgements can be made. This serious problem occurs so many times in esoteric groups that the ever-growing list of licentious 'Business Gurus' appearing in the press is growing so fast it is embarrassing. The public expects politicians to tell lies and business corporations to be devious and cheat, and scientists to be two-faced and deny responsibility, but it is still not publicly acceptable for those claiming to have transcended their lower nature to misbehave."

Rev. Allan Armstrong, The Order of Dionysis & Paul, an address given at the 1997 Golden Dawn Conference in London

"Students of a mind to affiliate with an occult organization should examine with the greatest of care the merits and demerits of the movement. It is the height of folly to impulsively link oneself with any organization which has not been thoroughly examined and analyzed with all discrimination. Fantastically named organizations should, of course, be entirely avoided. Any group claiming to be the only possessor of most ancient and profound secrets should be avoided at all costs."

Manly P. Hall, Words to the Wise, page 27.

"Charismatic leaders have long been able to take advantage of their followers. Some charge huge sums of money for "initiations" and dues. Some use initiations as a way of obtaining sex under the guise of spirituality. In short, an abusive leader may bully, abuse and coerce followers into providing money, sex, obedience, work, adulation, etc., all in the guise of--or preparation for--initiation."

Donald Michael Kraig, "The Darker Side of Initiation," Mezlim, Vol. IV, Issue # 1, Candlemas 1993

"…teachers must keep their hands off students' wallets and bodies. After all, if a person cannot rise above their appetites then they have no business instructing anyone, not even themselves."

Rev. Allan Armstrong, The Order of Dionysis & Paul, an address given at the 1997
Golden Dawn Conference in London



"It is well known that like attracts like, and that sooner or later we tend to drift into the society of our fellows. Especially is this true of those who have contacted the Divine; the great mental currents which play through the cosmos, just as the invisible magnetic currents play around the earth, bear him to his appropriate place. This is why the esoteric science never goes out to seek its pupils."

Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate, page 30

"'When the ears of the student are ready to hear, then cometh the lips to fill them with wisdom.'"

Three Initiates, The Kybalion, page 12




"All spiritual development comes from within the individual, arising from discipline and self-improvement. No man can increase the spirituality of another. To attempt to do so is to disregard one of the most fundamental laws of nature--the law of Karma. Man earns wisdom by right thought and right action. The legitimate schools of the ancient wisdom, and the legitimate teachers of the doctrine offer spirituality to no one. They merely indicate a path of action, which, if followed with consecration and intelligence over a long period of years, will result in certain improvement of character and knowledge."

Manly P. Hall, Words to the Wise, page 30

"Remember that God alone is our Light and the Bestower of Perfect Wisdom, and that no mortal power can do more than bring you to the Pathway of that Wisdom…"

From the Neophyte Ritual of the Golden Dawn

"We cannot remind our readers too often that the Great Initiator comes in the Silence to the higher consciousness, and is never a human being, however supernatural and secluded. All that can be done by the Servants of the Masters on the physical plane is the preparation of the candidate."

Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate, page 52

"In stating that that the isolated student could now be his own initiator, one important phrase is rendered imperative. And that is he must be persistent and as thoroughgoing and exacting as if he were an initiator in a regularly constituted Golden Dawn temple under the constant scrutiny of officialdom and higher adept authorities. The responsibility for progress is thus placed inexorably on the student or candidate himself."

Israel Regardie, The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic, page 9

"Here you prove that you have truly attained thus far of your own strength, and after, you may progress by the higher Soul within you."

From the Portal Ritual of the Golden Dawn

"The solitary worker is to some extent hoisting himself by his own boot straps. But not entirely, for inner help is always at hand--and aspiration, sincerely, and constantly held, will bring inner help and guidance….the actual presence and cooperation of inner beings, built up generally over time, as faith, familiarity, and knowledge increase, can bring about considerable progress, even for individuals who may be spiritually and psychologically uplifted, their auras cleansed, informed, and changed, by a higher presence acting in any of the ways or the levels that pertain for a magical group."

Gareth Knight, "Images of Growth in the Hermetic Arts," The Golden Dawn Journal: Book III,
The Art of Hermes
, page 218

"…just because self-initiation is possible, that doesn't make it easy. Nor should it be done lightly. This path requires you to be your own task master, and have your wits about you enough to see when you're cheating yourself, being lazy, or in other ways compromising your discipline. Personally I think it beats worrying about whether your teacher is an egomaniac, is leading you astray, or leeching money off of you. It's all a matter of where you turn your attention: To the teacher outside or within."

Richard Kaczynski, "Self-Initiation," Mezlim, Vol. IV, Issue # 1, Candlemas 1993



"Alchemy is also called Hermeticism. Hermes, from the mythical standpoint, is the Egyptian God both of Wisdom and Magic--which concepts include therapeutics and physical science as then it was known. All these subjects may, therefore claim just inclusion within the scope of the significance of the terms Alchemy and Hermetic subjects."

Israel Regardie, The Philosopher's Stone, page 14

"...the study of alchemy, above all other branches of Occult science, demonstrates the value of Analogy in our search after the real meaning of the mysteries of man and his relation to the Universe. "

MacGregor Mathers, An Introduction to Alchemy

"There is more to be gained in Alchemy than vain glory. In fact, vain glory cannot be obtained in Alchemy. It has nothing to do with it and is as far from it as the day separates the night. It comes back to the simple statement […] 'Alchemy is the raising of vibrations.'"

Frater Albertus, The Alchemist's Handbook, page 10

"Therefore learn from Alchemy, which is otherwise called Spagyria. This teaches you to discern between the true and the false. Such a light of Nature is it that it is a mode of proof in all things, and walks in light. From this light of Nature we ought to know and speak, not from mere phantasy, whence nothing is begotten save the four humours and their compounds, augmentation, stagnation and decrease, with other trifles of this kind. These proceed not from the clear intellect, that full treasure house of a good man, but rather are based on a fictitious and insecure foundation. […] Alchemy is, so to speak, a kind of lower heaven, by which the sun is separated from the moon, day from night, medicine from poison, what is useful from what is refuse."

Paracelsus, "Paramirum" Lib. I c.3, et "De Colica"



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