Sunday, July 24, 2011

Required Hebrew to advance to Zelator

The latest blog meme (those ideas and discussions that truly create a wildfire on the blogosphere as they hop from one blog to another) is Hebrew in the Golden Dawn. So far I have seen this meme on Dean Wilson's GD blog and on Tabitha Cicero's HOGD blog---both of them are taking about errors that crept into the system. And yes, I am jumping onto the band wagon; we are going to talk about Golden Dawn and Hebrew today. Before next week, I think we will see the topic crop up on at least two other blogs.

(Why? Because I rather talk about the Hebrew in Golden Dawn than try to explain how I can work with myths I do not believe in and end up insulting the weather gods in the process---some things you can see are going to end badly, even without looking into a cracked crystal ball. And I imagine other people will also jump on the bandwagon because it will be better than whatever topic that they were going to talk about instead; I have discovered that bad blog ideas can always wait until next week.)

Several years ago (2004), I cobbled together a list of the Hebrew words that one would need to recognize in order to pass the strictest test for advancement into Zelator. Or at least, the strictest test that the branch of the tradition I belong to would issue. I can't speak for the branches of the tradition that I have never been a part of.

When you join the Order (any Golden Dawn based Order to the best of my knowledge), you are not required to know any Hebrew. Can you read and write your local language? Yes? Ok.

(Occasionally, one does hear the rumor about the mythical GD/Freemasonic lodge that predated Isis-Urania #3---I have never seen enough evidence to confirm its existence from a historian's viewpoint. If that lodge existed, Hebrew might have been an entry requirement. A Golden Dawn lodge located in the Middle East today might also have Hebrew as the local language. But those two are only two examples I can think of where Hebrew would be an entry requirement.)

So Neophytes are not required to know Hebrew. From an officer's viewpoint, all Hebrew mentioned in lectures and documents must be explained and translated on the Neophyte level. Example: "The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Aleph, ALPh, which mean 'ox.'"

It is on the Zelator Grade level, that a certain amount of the Hebrew ceases to be explained. Why? Because you were tested on it. If you have been tested on it, the officers of the system are no longer required to give the translation. Example: "One of the symbols of the 32nd path, the path between the sephiroth Malkuth and Yesod, is the letter Tav." At the level of this lecture, one should know what Tav means, and where it is located in the Hebrew alphabet; furthermore, they should know the location of Malkuth and Yesod on the Tree of Life as well as the meaning of the sephiroth names.

Now, I will admit that I am a cruel Praemonstrator (that is when I am in that office): I think that by the time a person reaches the Very Honored Grade of Adept Minor that one should have taken a semester of college level Hebrew. By the way, a single semester of college level Hebrew is not that much---it is about the same as taking a semester of French, Spanish, Latin, or whatever your poison of choice is. It is just enourgh to roll your eyes at some of the mistakes that have crept into the system, to be able to struggle with isolated sentences in the Old Testament, and to annoy your fellow lodge members.

Towards that end, I have occasionally threaten to write "Easy Hebrew for Adepts." But I would rather have someone else do the work---if you write it, I will buy a copy. I don't trust my own limited knowledge of Hebrew enourgh to attempt writing it myself.

The closest I have came to writing "Easy Hebrew for Adepts" is to write a few lists of words about the Hebrew one needs to recognize at the various Grade levels of Golden Dawn. The following list is the Hebrew I do not believe that I have to translate for you if you are a Zelator; it is the Hebrew that you should have learned in Neophyte and could translate if the words showed up on your advancement test. There are a few words in parenthesises (curved brackets for the non-English majors) that are optional---they are words or terms that I would prefer you to know because they would be really useful to know. Towards the end of the list are a few terms that I would suggest that the Zelator should also know. Furthermore, the list is divided into "logical" sections---one can see how I thought the words were grouped when I wrote out the original list.

So can you pass this section of the Neophyte test?

Aleph
Beth
Gimel
Daleth
Heh
Vav
Zayin
Cheth
Teth
Yod
Kaph
Lamed
Mem
Nun
Samekh
Ayin
Peh
Tzadi
Qoph
Resh
Shin
Tav

Final forms---which five letters

(Etz ha-Chayim)
(Ain Soph Aur)
Kether
Chokmah
Binah
(Daath)
Chesed
Gedulah
Geburah
Tiphareth
Netzach
Hod
Yesod
Malkuth

Atah
Ohlam
Amen

H-
V-
L-

QBL---Kabbalah

Sephirah
Sephiroth
(SPhR--Sepher)

YHVH
ADNI
AHIH
AGLA

Elohim
Eloah
Shaddai
El
Chai
Tzabaoth
Aretz

(Ash)
(Eth)
(Ruach)

Rapheal
Gabriel
Michael
Uriel

(Atziluth)
(Briah)
(Yetzirah)
(Assiah)

(Shevil)
(Shevilim)
(Nativ)
(Netivot)

Concept of the Three Pillars

Four Divisions of Kabbalah

(Abyss)

(Lightning Flash)

(4/40/400 World Theory and its' Relationship to the Grades)

(Neophyte Temple floor diagram)

(The Tree of Life mapped on the human body)

1 comment:

Dean Wilson said...

Good post. I think students of the GD need to go beyond the call of duty of what is in the Knowledge Lectures and get to know a little bit more of the language than what the original GDers had. It's relatively easy to do in modern times.

Your Hebrew for Adepts book idea sounds interesting. I'm going to blog a lot about Hebrew over the next few weeks, and who knows, I may decided to write a short book for GDers from it.

La-Chaim va-Aur!

LVX,
Dean.