One of the leaps of faith that occasionally disturbs me is the level of confidence that people place on the Cipher Manuscript. And this includes the amount of faith that Westcott and Mathers placed on the document. It is assumed by people that the Cipher Manuscript is a finished project.
Thanks to my experience in designing rituals, I am not confident that the Cipher Manuscript actually represents a finished project. To me, it looks more like an ongoing work in progress where the creator changed their mind about earlier parts, made changes and did not go back to correct earlier pages because correcting pages written in a cipher is a pain in the lower regions.
(For the record, I sometimes do not correct my own outlines, written in the clear, when I change my mind later in the process of ritual design. There is a possibility that the creator of the Cipher Manuscript didn't either. And he would have had more reason not to.)
Yes, I realize that I am a Golden Dawn heretic. The myth of an earlier Order implies that the Cipher Manuscript has to be the shorthand memory aid for a pre-existing set of rituals. This is the way that Mathers and Westcott and most Order leaders have treated it. But what if it is actually a rough draft and not the final draft?
Personally, some of the difficulties presented in the Cipher Manuscript, including the change in the number and style of pentagrams used in the rituals, can be best explained if the Cipher Manuscript is actually an rough outline with the writer changing their mind as they go along and not bothering to make corrections in the earlier sections. Yes, it is heresy...but it is something you have to consider if you are serious about studying the Cipher Manuscript.
And now, we will invoke the spirits of the blogosphere to provide evidence that the Cipher Manuscript is actually a finished project. (No fair just screaming that Third Order says it is a finished project, you must show your work and evidence---otherwise I am going to continue to use to use my outlines and ritual performances as proof that it is a rough draft---and using the rituals that Mathers and Westcott built from the outline is not actual proof either.) Oh great spirits of the blogosphere prove to me that my lack of faith in the Cipher Manuscript is misguided and just plain silly---I dare you. (Hey, it has been a slow Golden Dawn news week...because I chose to ignore certain postings on another blog...and you can't blame a boy for trying to create a new excitement around here. Unless you really want me to discuss the posts on that another blog...in which case, feel free to say so in the comment section.)