Mathers' Last Secret Revised - The Rituals and Teachings of the Alpha Et Omega ペーパーバック – 2011/10/11
Kindle 端末は必要ありません。無料 Kindle アプリのいずれかをダウンロードすると、スマートフォン、タブレットPCで Kindle 本をお読みいただけます。
The Golden Dawn Tradition is experiencing a period of rapid growth and development. For over 100 years the rituals of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega (R.O.A.O.) have been locked away in private collections and unavailable for many occultists to study and compare. The publication of these rituals are particularly interesting as they demonstrate the direction Mathers moved after he was expelled from the original Order of the Golden Dawn. As Nick Farrell clearly demonstrates in this book, Mathers moved to a Masonic style of operation in marked contrast to the Stella Matutina which developed in a Magical direction. Nick Farrell has made every effort to keep the rituals and diagrams true to the original Nisi material even when the discrepancies were likely incorrect. This is valuable for those who want to examine the material as close to the original manuscripts as possible. Nick Farrell's 'Mathers' Last Secret' will be discussed many years from now right along with Pat Zalewski's 'Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries' and Israel Regardie's 'The Golden Dawn'.
That's the nasty bit over and done with!
Mathers' Last Secret revised, hardback edition, has been published in a limited edition of 111 copies by the Rosicrucian Order Of The Golden Dawn. Copies can be purchased direct from their site at $47, (or from Amazon) if there are any left, and payment can be made by Paypal, so it is nice and easy to buy! The book is well produced, and I noted the binding headers top and bottom (thank you to the publishers), the text is clear and of a size that one can enjoy reading and can concentrate on the content, rather than having to struggle with difficult print. Thank you to the publishers for providing decent gutters so that the reader is not peering into the binding to read the edges of the text. The illustrations are clear, and again the print is legible without the use of a magnifying glass! Decent paper, whereby the type does not show through, and a good quality dust cover. A book which ought to last for a many years - it will see me out, and one I can enjoy reading without fear it will fall to pieces! So,I can find nothing to snipe at in terms of the book itself! I personally think the book is worth the additional price tag over the paperback edition, purely on the basis of having a quality hardback volume, rather than a paperback, particularly as it is likely to be a source of reference, and a regularly quoted source, for the forseeable future.
It is really easy for people to criticise works of this nature, and the criticisms usually come from people who write nothing themselves and sit on the sidelines sniping. For better or worse Nick Farrell has put pen to paper and produced what I consider to be a really useful book. Of course there are things I would have liked to see included, but at what point does an author stop when the subject matter is almost inexhaustible? At what point does the publisher haul the reins in and remind the author of costs?
Nick Farrell writes with a clarity of style that is easy to follow and enjoyable to read, and his many years experience in practising magic shine through. Here is someone writing about the Golden Dawn, who has not only actually read the original material, but thoroughly understands it. Here is an author who has written an original text without resource to simply churning out what other people have said (often mistakenly) a million times before. I very much appreciated some of the somewhat controversial remarks made, some of which I agree with, and some of which I would place on the debating table! Surely, a book which stimulates one to think, is a sign of a good text!
I did not want to enter into the fray about publishing secrets, but on reflection I do feel it is worthwhile making a comment or two. When Israel Regardie published his 'Golden Dawn', he indicated that he had not revealed any of the secrets of The Golden Dawn. The more I work with Golden Dawn material, the more I appreciate how true that statement was. In my opinion it is not possible to learn the 'secrets of the Golden Dawn' simply from reading a book. One can only discover those secrets (if you are dilligent enough) by working with the material - constantly. In one sense Nick Farrell has revealed all, it is there for us to see and read, but in reality I do not think he has 'revealed any so-called secret'. It is true he has put the skids under some of the 'photocopy' adepts (not before time, and we all know who these individuals are) What Nick Farrell has done is make this material available for wider study and wider use, and one hopes that progress may be made towards a better understanding of it. Surely this approach will benefit everyone who has a genuine interest in the Golden Dawn, and will only harm those who are feathering their nests on the back of possessing 'secrets', or, those who use 'secret knowledge' as a means of power and control. The folly of this approach can be clearly seen in the history of the Golden Dawn itself.
In some ways it was disappointing to see just how much of the magical element of the Golden Dawn Mathers removed, but I had enough previous knowledge for this not to come as a great shock and surprise. It is strange that Mathers developed the Golden Dawn system from what was essentially a Masonic tradition, and then seemed to revert back to the elements he had been trying to 'escape from' when he wrote the original Golden Dawn papers. The original material contains a high level of 'magical working',(which cannot be learnt from simply reading a book) but Mathers' A-O material seems to have taken most of this away. Was Mathers catering for changing conditions, or had he discovered he really could not handle the magical element? He had seen his power in the Golden Dawn slipping away because he could not keep pace with his proteges. He discovered he could not control the Golden Dawn through autocracy alone, so maybe by removing the magical elements he had a better chance of remaning in control of his newly created A-O. Or was Mathers simply being practical and trying to find a means of making a living from his A-O? It strikes me there are some serious lessons to be learnt here. We all know of individuals who seem to have little magical ability, but want to rule the roost through autocracy and careful control of the circulation of information and papers. Nick Farrell's book really does make this point, and let us hope it strikes home, although it is always going to be an issue in any group or society. We see the same sort of thing happening in the local village committee, the local council, or Westminster, in ways that are not that different when one gets down to basics. It is called 'human nature!' Somehow, we have to put our magical working beyond this - part of the process of developing our magical personalities. The development of one's magical personality is, of course, the major function of the Outer Order of The Golden Dawn.
I feel there is a research project into why Mathers wrote the original Golden Dawn material in the way in which he did, and why he later removed so much of the magical element. What were the pressures and influences on Mathers. Did he originally think he could handle the magic, and then later discover he could not, or were there pressures from his peers? Has anyone ever asked the question as to whether Mathers actually wrote all the original material himself, or whether he had help and assistance from others. The Original papers are striking because they hold together in fine detail, no matter how far one progresses up the ladder, they hold good. (OK the odd mistake here and there!) So, whoever wrote the material must have not only been able to envisage the total system, but must also have thoroughly understood both the theory and practice at every stage all the way to the highest grades. Mathers, of course, drew on the Cipher Manuscripts which provided the broad outlines, but could someone with no understanding or magical experience write the rituals and papers that Mathers produced - and what is more the quantity of material he produced? The large number of papers and documents that Regardie makes no reference at all demonstrate a deep understanding of the material, and not just a theoretical understanding, but a knowledge that can only be drawn from first hand experience. Now, if Mathers had that sort of magical ability, why did he remove the magical element from the rituals, and why could he not control the Golden Dawn? Had Mathers changed as a person? Was Mathers the great magician we are all led to believe he was, and did he change the rituals for other reasons? Anyhow, I am not plumping for or against, but am simply saying Nick Farrell has raised a lot of questions I would like to know the answers to. However, I do not think these issues have the slightest bearing on the effacy or value of the Golden Dawn material. It works, it really works, frightenly well sometimes!!
For the Golden Dawn historian it is a real boon to have this material to consult, and to have reliable transcripts. Over the years Mathers has been set up as some sort of super-magician, the fount of all knowledge. Perhaps we are starting to see the truth behind the myths which have grown up around him. Whatever else, Mathers must be credited with 'getting the thing off the ground', even if he ran into trouble. Perhaps that latter point applies to 'Mathers' Last Secret Revised' - Nick Farrell has put pen to paper, got the thing going, and I think provided a great service to all serious students of The Golden Dawn. I am sure he has broad enough shoulders to laugh off some of the more inane of his critics, and to take on board constructive criticism!!
OK, So I have upset everybody. My justification is that this is my review, and you do not have to agree with it.
This book is the second book of a trilogy. (The first being, 'KING OVER THE WATER,' which I have just received.) Although the reader would benefit from reading the first volume first it is not essential, and Mathers' 'Last Secret Revised' may be read and enjoyed as a stand alone volume.
What I would say in conclusion is if you have not already done so, GO OUT AND BUY THIS BOOK, either in paperback or, if you are lucky enough to find a hardback edition buy that. If you are unable to purchase the hardback edition do not be put off, buy the paperback 'Mather's Last Secret'. ($25.95, from the same publishers, and from Amazon) You will have access to most of the content of the hardback edition. For those on a limited budget, I would probably suggest the paperback. Perhaps the decision hinges upon how important having a hardback edition is, as opposed to a paperback edition.
P.S. Looking forward to the completion of the trilogy and the publication of Mathers' Last Torch. (just a wee nudge!!)