Shattering the Vessels

As you may have noticed, I have just changed my profile picture here to something a little more personal and meaningful.  I had originally chosen a frame of William Blake's "Newton" for a number of reasons.  First, for the most topical and obvious, a reference to the study of Newtonian physics and the study of geometry, as it relates to Freemasonry and other sacred subjects.  The second, deeper layer is a tip of the hat to Blake, himself a mystic, who thought of Newton as someone who was unable to think outside his own scientific circles and recognize a greater spiritual reality.  Lastly, as recent historical research would have it, Newton's own esoteric endeavors in subjects such as alchemy and bibliomancy have come to light.  Newton then, as such, lived life with one foot in science and the other in mysticism, something to which I aspire.

Recent events, however, have caused me to brandish my Magic Sword.  In the Golden Dawn Tradition, the Magic Sword is a symbolical instrument of the Sephirah Geburah, and is meant to be employed for the purposes of banishing and the warding off of evil forces and influences.  Therefore, its hilt is painted red, and various Geburic and Martial Names of God, Archangels, Angels and Divine Beings are painted upon it in their flashing color green.  A nearly identical version of the Magic Sword is wielded by the Hiereus, who is the officer in the Golden Dawn Temple who symbolically sits in the darkest part of Malkuth, guarding against the multitudes that sleep through the light and awaken at twilight.

These multitudes are part of the Qliphoth or Shells, the resultant shards of the cosmogonic event called the Shevirat ha-Kelim or the Shattering of the Vessels.  According to Lurianic Kabbalah, the initial Sephiroth or vessels to contain the Divine Light were created in Tohu or Chaos.  So when the Light flowed into the vessels, they were subjected to the process of Din or Judgment when the Light reached Geburah.  They were judged to be imperfect, and thus they shattered.  The shards fell and become the Qliphoth, along with the Light, which scattered in Nitzotzoth or Sparks of Holiness.

However, the effect of pouring pure Light into imperfect vessels is not the reason why I'm writing this blog entry.  Rather, it is about the effect of filling vessels of innocence with the luminescence of external splendor which is internally corrupt.   This is the Venereal radiance, "known as Nogah amongst the Shells", and is often referred to as a form of Serpent.  Affixed to the Middle Pillar, it is Nehushtan, the Celestial Serpent of Wisdom.  Let loose, it becomes the Serpent that slithers around the Qliphothic Tree on the Sitra Achra.

Such is what happens when seekers of the Light, new to a tradition and a community, find themselves joining up with an esoteric group and mentor who looks like the real deal, but beneath the veneer are toxic, or at worst, predatory.  Instead of finding the spiritual alchemical transformation they seek, these seekers instead end up as shattered vessels, divided from their "order" through tragedy, often entirely alone to try and deal with their grief and heal from the damage done to them.  Learning to trust again seems to many of them like an unclimbable mountain, and the idea of joining a different spiritual group practically unfathomable.  Others go "on the rebound", joining a similar group, often presenting itself as entirely different but, under the surface, ends up being painfully similar.

I have been made aware of numerous happenings like this as of late.  I do not know if this is the fallout of the Grand Cross in the Cardinal Signs currently in the Heavens, but it happens much too often to too many good and sincere people.

I myself have been through four different Golden Dawn Orders.  My jump from first to second was a complete rebound.  My jump to the third was an "allergic to Orders" move, as the group of us went totally independent.  For the fourth, I took my time, and proceeded carefully and cautiously.  (Maybe too cautiously than the folks in that Order deserved!)  I have now been with the HOGD for over eight years now, and I'm very happy to be with an Order where the Chiefs are unpretentious, selfless and, most of all, sane.

It is said that wisdom comes from good judgement.  Good judgement comes from experience.  And most of all, experience comes from bad judgement.  So let me say, I have my fair share of wisdom in this particular subject matter.  That said, I have good friends that have had similar yet different experiences, and some who have stared deep into the heart of corruption in some of the leaders in the esoteric community.

It is my intention to come together with a few of those notable fellows and commence a series of blogs as a definitive guide to the perils and pitfalls of dealing with esoteric leaders, mentors and organizations.  Our goal is to share our knowledge and wisdom (see definition above), so that other seekers of the Light won't have to go through the same trials and tribulations that we did.

Stay tuned to this page, as it will stand as an index and table of contents for this blog series.  I hope to get the first installment published within a week.


It is always refreshing to see a well thought out blog that deals with the perils and pitfalls of esoteric leaders, mentors, and organizations. I am looking forward to seeing more of this as well as the contributions from others.


May 15, 2014 at 5:04 PM  

I am very glad to see the discussion on this as of late, and think we need much more of it. This is a very good beginning of a conversation that has been a long time in coming.

May 17, 2014 at 7:00 PM  

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