Excerpts From Golden Dawn Flying Rolls

The following excerpts from the ‘Flying Rolls’ give additional information regarding the view of the Will that was understood by members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Flying Roll No. VII – Alchemy

By S.A. (William Wynn Westcott)

Upon Assiah, there has been the Ancient occult Chemistry, the Chemistry of the Adept; who added to facility and knowledge of materials, the magical skill and Will Power of the ability to act on the ‘Soul of things’ – their astral counterparts. Here transmutation is a physical fact, and possibility. – This was both practised and pretended, and real Treatises were written.

I am entirely convinced that transmutation of the lower metals to Gold and Silver is possible and that it has been often done; but not by Chemistry only, but by correlating with physical processes, the Will-action, and the power over the ‘Soul of Nature’, and the ‘Soul of things’, which the purity of life, and the training of the Adept can alone supply.

As to the Alchemist, who, as adept, does succeed in making transmutation, he will be so constituted that riches have no temptation for him and pride no attraction. He will know too, that wealth will be but ill spent, when gained, if squandered upon those who will not help themselves: he will know that individual progress, national progress, and world progress depend not on doles which pauperise, but on the will and effort of individual, nation, and world.

To perform Alchemical processes, requires a simultaneous operation on the Astral plane with that on the physical. Unless you are Adept enough to act by Will power, as well as by heat and moisture; by life force, as well as by electricity, there will be no adequate result.

Flying Roll No. X – Concerning the Sybolism of Self-Sacrifice, and Crucifixion contained in the 5°=6° Grade

By G. H. Frater D.D.C.F. (Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers)

Looking at the Pastos, it will be seen that it represents a kind of triple cube, the whole of which is placed between light and darkness. The lid is half light and half darkness, the upper end is the symbol of light, and the lower, the symbol of darkness, – while the sides have the colours placed between the Light and the Darkness. At the head is placed a Golden Greek Cross, representing the Spirit and’ the Elements, and a Rose of 7 times 7 petals, and there are four rays which go out from it. But at the foot, – that which the feet rest on as if they were exalted by it, – is the Cross exalted on a pedestal of Three Steps, viz, the Obligation Cross. This latter is also to an extent represented on the top in the crucified figure, and symbolises the voluntary sacrifice of the lower Will, which is incidental to allying the intellect with the higher aspirations and to the establishment of your consciousness therein: – thus if the ordinary consciousness were centred in the Ruach you could touch the Neschamah, while if it was in the latter you could touch the Genius.

Flying Roll No. XI – Clairvoyance

By G. H. Frater D.D.C.F. (Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers)

To use the Symbol for Clairvoyance, place it before you, as on a table, place the hands beside it, or hold it up with both hands, then, with the utmost concentration, gaze at it, comprehend it, formulate its meaning and relations. When the mind is steady upon it: close the eyes and continue the meditation, and let the conception still remain before you, keep up the design, form, and colour in the akashic aura, as clearly as they appeared in material form to the outward seeing. Transfer the Vital effort from the optic nerve to the mental perception, or thought seeing as distinct from seeing with the eye; let one form of apprehension glide on with the other – produce the reality of the dream vision, by positive will in the waking state. All this will be only possible if the mind is steady, clear and undisturbed and the will powerful. It cannot lead to success if you are in an unsuitable state of anxiety, fear, indignation, trouble or anticipation. You must procure peace, solitude and leisure and you must banish all disturbing influences.

Astral Projection, although from one point of thought a development of Clairvoyance, yet is from another distinct: in Astral Projection, the Adept emits from his Ego a perceptible ray of his identity, and by cultured and instructed Will, sends it to travel to the place desired, focusses it there, sees there – directly and not by reflection – perceives its bodily home, and re-enters it.

In this Travelling of the Spirit the process may be caused to start also by the Symbol, as before, or by Will alone; but anyway the Divine names should be used and relied upon. If the ray be emitted, and you succeed in this travelling to the place – you perceive a different result to that of the clairvoyant, mirror-like vision – scenes and things instead of being like a picture, have the third dimension, solidity, they stand out first like has relief, then you see as from a Balloon, as it is said, by a bird’s eye view. You feel free to go to the place, to descend upon it, to step out upon the scene, and to be an actor there.

Having attained success in projection you should practice the method when opportunity offers, and having passed to any place, should make efforts – and if you Will – success will follow – to pass through all elements, Water and Earth as well as through Air – practice will enable you to fly through air either quickly or slowly as willed, and to swim through water, or pass through earth and through fire fearlessly with the aid of the Divine Names, in this Astral Projection.

Flying Roll No. XIII – Secrecy and Hermetic Love

By S.S.D.D. (Florence Farr)

Though the methods of our Order are different the Spirit is the same, and unless we have learned indifference to physical suffering, and have become conscious of a Strong Will, a will which fears nothing fate can do to us, we can never receive a real Initiation.

These ceremonies in the lower grades of Our Order are principally active in disciplining our minds; they lead us to analyse and understand ourselves. They deal with the Four states of Matter, the Four Elements of the Ancients which with their synthesis answer to the five Senses. Our Senses are the paths through which our Consciousness approaches the central power which for want of a more accurate word I will call the Will.

It is the object of our lives as initiates to bring this Will to such a state of perfection, strength, and wisdom, that instead of being the plaything of fate and finding our calculations entirely upset by trivial material circumstances, we build within ourselves a fortress of strength to which we can retire in time of need.

Flying Roll No. XV – Man and God

By G.H. Frater N.O.M. (William Wynn Westcott)

The general result of this present life may be upward or downward, for Man has Free Will, within limits, and very expansible limits too. God, or the Divine Powers, did’ indeed design and constitute the plan of Man’s constitution, origin and destiny, and it is but of slight moment, whether in philosophy we view Man as a Ternary, a Septenary or as a Decad, but it is of vital importance to remember that with Free Will comes personal responsibility, and that every thought and act; that we are daily and hourly making the future history of ourselves, and piling up destiny whose realisation cannot be baulked by divine interposition nor changed by a maudlin sentimental repentance, nor by the surreptitious substituted sufferings of others.

Flying Roll No. XVIII – Progress in the Order

Some of the obstacles which keep the Fratres and Sorores in the lower Grades are quite trivial in themselves and might be easily overcome by an effort of Will; but they do not realise that the fault lies in themselves and put down the fact of their standstill to many other causes.

Acts which were meaningless trivialities before are serious matters to a Frater or Soror who is truly striving to rise as high as possible during this life. Habits of indecision and caprice in the minor matters of conduct have a great cumulative force and weaken the will and leave us open to astral influences which must be conquered as completely as our present strength allows.

We must all take courage and look our difficulties full in the face, neither magnifying them nor avoiding them; and we shall find in many cases that a little self-denial, a little exertion of Will, or even a little commonplace prudence will vanquish them completely.

Flying Roll No. XIX – The Aims and Means of Adeptship

By N.O.M. (William Wynn Westcott)

Now in order to get success in Divination it is necessary to cultivate the Will. First you want an intellectual knowledge of the subject. Then a cultivation of the intuitive power is necessary, and finally you must develop the Will. You must have a steady will or else your intuition will be of little avail. Now this cultivation of the Will should be a process which is continually going on. There are fallacies which exist in connection with the Will. A person may say to you, I am extremely interested in all these studies and I am always willing and endeavouring to succeed in them, and he will say to you that he is thinking of the Tree of Life or of some other occult subject while he is doing his accounts or interviewing his wife. Now I am sorry to say that I have to tell such a person that he is on the wrong tack. If you want success you must will only one thing at a time. The habit of doing two or three things at once is fatal to the Occultist. The Will which is necessary is an undivided Will and its cultivation must be continued at all times.

It is therefore necessary to get into the habit of never Willing more than one thing at a time. Never allow your Will to be mixed up with any desire. The Will which is divided is not the Will which can be of any use to you. It is quite impossible to Will strongly to see an elemental, for instance, unless you are able to think only for that moment.

A fixed concentration of mind must be encouraged if you want to have success. We often get strange demonstrations of the strength of the Will. I will give you an example. We continually find that if we turn round in the street to look after someone whom we have just passed, that person is also turning round to look after us. If however, you deliberately try to do this you will probably fail, and the point is that in this latter case your mind is divided between the will to succeed, and the desire to show your power, and the Will is thereby weakened.

Flying Roll No. XX – Constitution of Man

By G.H. Frater D.D.C.F. (Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers)

In Ruach is the human Consciousness and the human Will. In Jechidah is the Divine Will; so that the human Will is like the King of the material body. The automatic Consciousness, as it is called, is in Yesod, and has to do with the lower passions and desires. Being automatic, that is moving of itself, it can hardly be said to be Will. Now this is the danger which threatens the man who yields to the temptations of the lower desires. The Human Will which should be seated in Tiphereth, in the heart, is attracted to contemplation of, and union with, the automatic Consciousness so that the human Consciousness abdicates its throne and becomes automatic. You will find in the life history of men that vice brings about a species of automatic condition which compels them always to move in the same grooves, and it is a known fact that it recurs at regular intervals like a disease, and it is indeed a disease.

Flying Roll No. XXI – Know Thyself

Address to the Zelator Adepti Minores of the Order R.R. et A.C.

By Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum (Moina Mathers)

Perfect knowledge of Self is required in order to attain Knowledge of Divinity, for when you can know the God of yourself it will be possible to obtain a dim vision of the God of All, for the God of the Macrocosm only reflects Himself to Man through the God of Man’s Microcosm.

Therefore, before you would invoke the Shining Ones be certain that you have called upon the Lord of Yourself, that is to say, that the You in Daath (the seat of the Spiritual Consciousness) have allied yourself to the You in Tiphereth (the seat of the Human Consciousness) and to the You in Kether (the seat of the Divine Consciousness), and from thence the Kether sending rays downwards; from it to the Daath, from Daath to Tiphereth and from thence to Yesod, which is the seat of the Automatic Consciousness.

This combination must have taken place with the consent of the Lower Will (in Tiphereth) as being the Human Will.

The King’s abode is in Tiphereth where is placed his throne, the seat of the Human Will, whence he wields the reins of government either as a great ruler inspired by his masters above, the Spiritual and Divine Consciousness, or as the Ruler debased (inspired or, more accurately speaking, obsessed) by the voluntary abdication of his rule, through being led astray by the temptation of the Automatic Consciousness to descend therein and make Yesod his chief abode instead of Tiphereth, thereby permitting the usurption of the Higher by the Lower.

We who are but beginners, and but on the Threshold of the Second Order, can do but little yet in this Great Work, but we are daily approaching this end, if we are fitting ourselves to become the Perfect Man, for he, the Perfect Man, the Adept, whose Human Will is at one with his Divine Will, therefore always in contact with his Genius, or Angelic Self, can attract yet Higher Forces.

Flying Roll No. XXVII – The Principia of Theurgia or the Higher Magic

By V.H. Frater L.O. (Percy Bullock)

Thoughts which are expressed in some way, whether by speech or symbol, are by so much the more powerful than those unexpressed. Expression is the consecration of Will. ‘The Paternal Mind sowed symbols in the Soul’, – and regenerate fantasy shall reveal them.

Will is the grand agent of all Occult Work; its rule is all potent over the nervous system. By Will the fleeting vision is fixed upon the treacherous waves of the Astral Light, but, as it is said, you cannot pursue the Path of the Arrow until you understand the forces of the Bow.

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