Monday, May 7, 2012

777 Book of Correspondences

This is my 777th blog post, so today I chose to talk about (drum roll please)...777.

777 is Aleister Crowley's expanded and modified version of the Golden Dawn document known as The Book of Correspondences. Just like the guide sheet for the creation of Godforms seems to have been restricted to the office of Hierophant, the Book of Correspondence seems to been restricted to the office of Praemonstrator. This is not to say that other members did not know of its existence. Parts of it was spoon-fed to the students of the system in the Knowledge Lectures of the various Grades. By the time that one was an Adept Minor, one had a large part of the Book of Correspondences available to them. Inside the Order, one could assemble the known parts that were circulated among the Knowledge Lectures, and add to it, making a personal copy of the document (much like the members of BOTA end up with a Book of Numbers--think Sepher Sephiroth). Or at least, that is the way I understand the extent of its circulation among the Order.

Crowley was most likely working from Allen Bennett's personal copy. Today, most ceremonial magicians own a copy issued though Weiser. I brought my copy back in September 1994; it is now held together with packing tape. I filled a couple of hardbound journals with some additional material that I mapped to the paths of the Tree of Life.

777 was not the first set of correspondences to be published. Agrippa and several magical calendars predate Crowley's publication, as do some materials focused on astrology. But I will admit that for organization, Crowley is the winner.

In recent times, there have been several books that have expanded the possibilities of information to be included in one's personal copy of the Book of Correspondences. These include The Magician's Companion: A Practical Encyclopdic Guide to Magical & Religious Symbolism (Bill Whitcomb) and The Magician's Tables: A Complete Book of Correspondences (Alan Richardson).

The best expansion of 777 (at this time) is Stephen Skinner's The Complete Magician's Tables. Not all the tables in Skinner's work agree with Crowley's--but that is ok. And I love randomly googling names from his Uniform Timeline.

Needless to say, my favorite version is my own. I think most working magicians and witches would say the same. After all, it is the version that corresponds exactly with the associations that I use in my own personal magical workings.


Fr. A. said...

776 1/2 by James Eshelman is outstanding.

Fr. A. said...

The expansions of Crowley consist primarily in adding material directly from Rosenroth. In Sepher Sephiroth he acknowledges this by abbreviations.

Andrew B. Watt said...

I agree with you that the correspondences that you assemble yourself are the most useful; indeed, the act of writing them out, and writing them down, has an effect on you, and helps bring them into your sphere of sensation. Diagramming, or drawing them, or even making the incenses appropriate to the forces, or the oils, helps fix them in your mind, as well.

Fr. A. said...

Excellent comment Andrew! The more operative one makes their craft, the more the correspondences are imprinted upon the Sphere of Sensation.

Imperator David Griffin said...

In the AO we use hierarchies of entities that were created long ago specifically for spiritual development. The advantage to using such purely theurgical, oath bound systems of hierarchies, is that contact with the entities pulls you up energetically rather than the magician needing to pull oneself up buy one's own bootstraps. Again, the different between a traditional and a do it yourself, post-modern approach to magick.

Fr. A. said...

The best English text on Gematria is "Gematria and the Tanakh" by Brian Pivik. An extremely well researched book with an excellent section on actual Kabbalistic exegesis.

neognostica said...

Great Essay Morgan.

Great comments, with minor exception.

(shakes head sadly)

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

Well, I am kicking around changing my comment policy to "no free advertising" for groups and individuals who think that I am involved in conspiracies against them. I no longer consider anyone who believes that I am involved in a conspiracy to be my brethren, especially if they have completely changed the rituals and hierachies. In order to be brethren, one has to share common rituals and lore...and that ship has sailed long ago.