56 copies (numbered by hand) bound in half full-English, ie. with the leather being cut more generously so as to cross to the middle of the front board, giving a luxurious feel to the book. Marbled paper sides using the same sheets as the endpapers.
The spines of the 56 half leather copies being titled ‘Z 3’ with a triangle of dots between the letter and the numeral to signify the Operation of the Magic of Light.
Marbled papers by Ann Muir (traditionally made by hand with carrigheen moss and light-fast pigments derived from natural plant extracts, onto a good stock of archival paper), in a typical nineteenth century style whose coloration is chosen to harmonise with the colour scales relevant to the forces of the Grade Ritual of Neophyte under the activity of Thoth between the Pillars of Mercy and Severity. Black and Gold head and tail bands, 5 double lines gilt to the spine reminiscent of the Nemyss worn during ritual.
Each copy of either binding having a replica of the original bookseller-stationers
printed label inserted to the top left of the inner board.
All copies are reproduced in facsimile to read the exact size of the original script, full colour throughout by offset lithography onto 115gsm paper with a 100% cotton content produced by the prestigious mills of ‘Crane & Company’ who have been making paper since the 1850’s by time honoured methods and to the highest standards.
The document we present is an important historical record and a significant Inner order document for all involved in studying the tradition of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and all those systems derived from it. The original copy, in the possession of an English Cancellarius of the Order derives from the very early years of the Order and the first unfoldments of the Adeptus Minor curriculum as envisaged by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers from 1893 onwards.
The copyists motto ‘Cogito Ergo Sum’ was that of a Mrs Jean Gillison, transcribed from the orders copy ‘Issued by DDCF and NOM’ the inner order mottoes of Mathers and Westcott respectively. The copyist, an otherwise obscure figure, was active in the Order before the historic division of the Order in 1900. Raised to the Second Order of the Rosae Rubae et Aurae Crucis probably around 1895 she most probably joined sometime after 1893 when most of the material she copied was being released for study for the first time.
The Aleister Crowley archive left to the Warburg Institute by J.F.C. Fuller has a document relevant to Jean Gillison, wherein there is mention of a disagreement between Mathers and his financial sponsor Annie Hornimann. Evidently, the irregular teachings of Dr. E.W.Berridge (Frater Resurgam) were the cause. Whether Gillison, as an Adept, came out in favour of Mathers we cannot now tell.
The ‘Z’ series of documents are perhaps the most important and magically illuminating of all the Golden Dawn descriptive papers, revealing layer upon layer of insight into the operations of the formulae of the magic of light.
Additions, omissions or alterations in the early orders material will thus be of great interest to both historians of and scholars within the Hermetic Orders, equally to those interested in and engaged in practically applying the formulae expressed.
The manuscript contains a title page in red and black inks, carefully written, followed by a contents and the subtitle
‘Complete symbolism of Admission of the Candidate…
…Containing the Symbolism of Admission to the Neophyte Grade
Closing, Oration and Equinox’~
Throughout the first sections of our text there are minor alterations and additions, as one would expect from a manuscript copy which would require clarification from oral sources or from memory, such as the insertion of: ‘…as in the case of the Imperatrix..’ at one juncture and so on. But we also find illuminating additional material such as an elaboration of the ‘Tree of Life in The Aura’ which is absent in Regardie.
In our manuscript, terms for the psychological and spiritual faculties of the Initiate are rendered in Hebrew troughout, names of the invisible stations and God-Forms are given in Coptic respectively, whilst (on page 23 of the MS) we have an interesting passage ‘… on Thoth as Metatron .. (written again in Coptic and Hebrew).. in the Sign of The Enterer of the Threshold…’
Other alterations or additions serve as essential stage directions in the performance (physical or astral) of the neophyte Ceremony, ie: MS adds ‘…in the midst of the triangle of Aroueris..’ where Regardies narrative has ‘..in the presence of…’ etc etc.
More Significant are two longer passages one (MS p 29) on the 42 lettered Name and visualisation of the Assessors of the Dead, followed (MS 31-33) by a series of comments on the ‘penal clause’ and the aspect of the ‘Evil Triad’.
The connection between the Candidate and his/her Higher Self is mde evident to the Initiatory Officers (‘…and members of the Second Order who may be present..’) and there follows an injunction to Silence in regard to the ‘Form of the Higher Self’ which may be apparent to the spiritual sight of the assembled initiates.
‘Of the Complete Symbolism & Meaning of the Step,
Sign, Grip, Token, Grand Word & Password
Of the 0’=0’ Grade of Neophyte…’
Alongside alterations in the text at this juncture the MS adds two interesting passages: one a note by S.R.M.D. (Mathers) on invisibility, and another very interesting aside on the use of various robes and masks modelled on Egyptian deities in ‘…private magical workings…not of the Second Order….’
‘The Symbolism of the Ceremony of the Equinox’
Our manuscript adds a small number of points including a reference to ‘..mystic circumambulation..’ describing the ‘…limits of the Sun (gives a symbol)..’ rather than the narrative in Regardie which simply reads ‘limits of the circle’..
Following this is a highly interesting note upon the action of the Solar Light and its connection with the Password, and the connection of the Officers Insignia therewith.
In all, we have here a fascinating piece of evidence from the early years of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the thought of the esoteric school still manifestly developing and distilling into rich pools of insight.
The last page of the Manuscript magnificently titled:
The Portion of The Book of
The Voice of Thoth
Which is called
The Enterer of the Threshold..’