Last night, I was studying the reading from the literature class that I am taking this semester--John Milton's Paradise Lost.
Ok, maybe I was goofing off. I was looking up the fallen angels names in Gustav Davidson's A Dictionary of Angels, and in David Godwin's Cabalistic Encyclopedia. I mention this because Toni (my wife) pointed out that it did not look like I was actually studying.
I don't remember Professor Di Pablo mentioning any particular way that he wanted us to study it, other than he wanted us to have fresh in our minds Book I and II for the next class. And I was curious about these names since my first reading of the text. Being a member of Golden Dawn influences how I study and what I focus on; if it didn't affect us and our outlooks, we probably won't be members.
Toni told me that she didn't care what I was doing, as long as I didn't call any of them. (At this point in time, those people who have made their way though the same ZAM courses as I have will roll their eyes.) I told her I wouldn't. I failed to mention my past experiences in this field.
One of the things that some people do not understand is why the initiates of Golden Dawn were issued papers about the Qlippoth (properly "shells", but can be thought of as the fallen angels). It is not that the Order encourages us to work with them--summoning them up to do our bidding, things like that. It is that we have to work with them, or at least enough to be able to cope with them.
To illustrate what I am saying, let me use the ritual of initiation. One of the common experiences of members who have undergone initiation is that they end up having problems related to the sephiroth that they were just initiationed into. For instance, Zelators tend to have physical illnesses and money problems cope up.
Why? Quite often, the problems were there before; the ritual just brings them out into the open. We are surrounded by adverse forces everyday. Call them Qlippoth, fallen angels, or just bad luck--they are present. And we would be damn poor magicians and human beings if we did not learn to cope with them.
Occasionally, I will admit that the ritual is to blame. The problem is that when you bring into the manifestation the energies of a sephirah, you not only bring into our world the positive aspects of it, but also the negative ones. I would say that more members know that the initition rituals work because of the bad things that occured shortly thereafter than by positive manifestations.
It is not that the ritual intentionally calls down bad things; it is that the initiate has yet to learn to cope with the energies.
A fully trained Adept in the hot seat (quite often the Hierophant) can help ease the process. Which is why the system contains information about the qlippoth (there is also the fact that as inititates, we are getting trained to use the grimmoric tradition, which consists of books like The Key of Solomon).
We learn this material, so that we can cope with these energies when we encounter them in our personal lives. And can you really look around the world, and tell me that they are not there, no matter what you chose to call them. I think not.