The Flying Rolls of the original Order were a series of instructional documents which were issued periodically by the Chiefs of the Second Order (R.R..et A.C.) for those students who had obtained the Grade of Portal or higher. The name alludes to the means by which these documents were distributed — a single copy (“roll”) was circulated (“flown”) from one student to the next. Each one was sent by post to the student in a plain, unmarked envelope, on which the postage stamp was affixed upside down — this was the “secret code” that indicated the letter came from within the Order and was not to be opened in the presence of the “profane”. Each recipient was instructed to send the papers after a certain period of time to another designated recipient, and that recipient to another, until the “roll” had “flown” to all the intended recipients, at which point it was returned to the Order. In some cases the student was allowed to make a personal copy (by hand) of the text, in other cases no copying was allowed
Students were ordered to store the papers in their possession in a “cover” that bore the seal of the Order (probably a folder provided by their Lodge.) On the cover was the following label:
“This material is private and has been lent to me on trust, to return on demand. It contains nothing of pecuniary value and nothing personal to myself. I hereby direct my legal representatives whomsoever, in case of my death or incapacity, to return the same at once, unread and unopened, to [the address of W. Wynn. Westcott].”
In fact, it was the address on one of these covers, left (either accidentally or deliberately) in a London taxicab, that led the authorities of the British Crown to discover Westcott’s involvement in a “secret occult society”. Westcott was a Coroner for the City of London, and his employers demanded that he either quit the Order or lose his job, and he subsequently resigned as Chief. The Order’s obsession with secrecy had, in the end, led to their public exposure!
There is some excellent and useful knowledge to be found in the Flying Rolls, but some of the material is of dubious value to the modern student of the Golden Dawn; for example, the exhortations concerning their rules of “secrecy”. Some may seem anachronistic and even clearly inaccurate, such as comparing Enochian script to the Ethiopian Alphabet. They are presented here for whatever use the student may find in them, and as a historical archive of the teachings of the original Order.
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WARNINGS By G.H. Fra. N.O.M. (Dr. W.W. Westcott)
Anyone who being a 4=7 and passes five Examinations, becomes a nominal 5=6, and is competent to preside at First Order Assemblies, wears a White Sash across a Black Sash, and has reached the top of the G.D.
PART I: A SUBJECT FOR CONTEMPLATION By G.H. Fra. N.O.M. (Dr. W.W. Westcott)
Remarks by V.H. Fra. Levavi Oculos and Three Suggestions on Will Power by V.H. Sor. S.S.D.D.
To obtain magical power, one must strengthen the will. Let there be no confusion between will and desire. You cannot will too strongly, so do not attempt to will two things at once, and while willing one thing do not desire others.
INSTRUCTIONS By G.H. Fra. N.O.M. (Dr. W.W. Westcott) If you are leaving home, or will be away, or if there be any reason why these messages should not be sent to you – you must inform the member from whom you receive messages. Messages are to be returned to N.O.M. whenever they cannot be sent to the proper member; and a note is to be added, Read More. . .
AN EXAMPLE OF A MODE OF ATTAINING TO SPIRIT VISION AND WHAT WAS SEEN BY TWO ADEPTI— S.S.D.D. AND F. ON NOVEMBER 10TH 1892 By V.H. Sor. S.S.D.D. (Florence Farr) and V.H. Sor. F.e.R. (Annie Horniman) Secure for an hour or for longer absolute freedom from interruption. Then alone, or with one or two other Adepti, enter the vault, or private chamber. Remain in silence and Read More. . .
SOME THOUGHTS ON IMAGINATION By V. H. Frater Resurgam (Dr. Berridge) The uninitiated interpret Imagination as something imaginary in the popular sense of the word; i.e. something unreal. But imagination is a reality. When a man imagines he actually creates a form on the Astral or even on some higher plane; and this form is as real and objective to intelligent beings on that plane, as Read More. . .
CONCERNING FLYING ROLL NO. II A Note by G. H. Frater D.D.C.F. ó 7=4 (S.L. MacGregor Mathers) With regard to the admirable note by V. H. Soror S.S.D.D. on Will Power and Use, I would suggest that: Before bringing the scarlet ray into such intense action in the Heart, as is explained by her, that the Adept should elevate his thought and idea to the contemplation Read More. . .
ALCHEMY By V.H. Fra. S.A. (Dr. W.W. Westcott) Chemistry, the modern science of which investigates the constitution of material substances, is the lineal descendent of Mediaeval and Ancient Chemy. The syllable AL is the Arabic indefinite article, like the Hebrew He, meaning ‘The’ chemistry—the Higher Chemistry, treating of the essential nature of the Elements, metals and minerals; while modern chemistry rejoices rather in being a science Read More. . .
ON TRACING A PENTAGRAM BY GEOMETRY By V.H. Fra. Anima Pura Sit (Dr. Pullen-Berry) Let AB be any line of the length required for the distance between the points of Earth and Fire. Bisect AB in O and from O draw OH perpendicular to AB. Cut off OC to equal AB. Join B with C and produce the line BC to F making FC to equal Read More. . .
RIGHT AND LEFT PILLARS By G.H. Fra. N.O.M. (Dr. W.W. Westcott) As confusion is found to exist with regard to the Right and Left Pillars of the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life in relation to the right and left sides of a man, and as to the phases of the Moon-you must note: That in every diagram and picture, the right hand side of the Read More. . .
CONCERNING THE SYMBOLISM OF SELF-SACRIFICE AND CRUCIFIXION CONTAINED IN THE 5°=6° GRADE By G. H. Frater D.D.C.F. (S.L. MacGregor Mathers) This lecture was delivered on Good Friday, March 31st, 1893, to the Adepti in College Assembled. Dealing first of all with the diagrams in the First Order and proceeding upwards, it will be noticed that in the lowest Grade in the Outer (0°=0°) there are no Read More. . .
CLAIRVOYANCE By G.H. Fra. D.D.C.F. (S.L. MacGregor Mathers) In order to obtain a clear idea of the relation of Man to the Universe, and to the spiritual planes, it is necessary to understand and perceive that the scheme of the Ten Sephiroth, and their symbolic representation as the Tree of Life is to be applied both to the Macrocosm and to the Microcosm; to the Celestial Read More. . .
TELESMATIC IMAGES AND ADONAI By G.H. FRATER D.D.C.F. (S.L. Macgregor-Mathers) Now there is also a mode whereby, combining the letters, the colours, the attributions and their Synthesis, thou mayest build up a telesmatic Image of a Force. The Sigil shall then serve thee for the tracing of a Current which shall call into action a certain Elemental Force. And know thou that this is not to Read More. . .
SECRECY AND HERMETIC LOVE By V.H. Sor. S.S.D.D. (Florence Farr) We have all no doubt heard of the terrible physical tests applied in Egyptian Initiations and are aware that violence amounting to torture was used in the Ancient Mysteries before the Neophyte was considered fit to take the first steps in his Ascent of the Mountain of God. Though the methods of our Order are different Read More. . .
TALISMANS AND FLASHING TABLETS By Frater Sapere Aude (W. Wynn Westcott) A TALISMAN is a magical figure charged with the torce which it is intended to represent. In the construction ota Talisman, care should be taken to make it, as far as is possible, so to represent the Universal Forces that it should be in exact harmony with those you wish to attract, and the more Read More. . .
MAN AND GOD By G.H. Fra. N.O.M. (Dr. W.W. Westcott) The circle of Members of the Adeptus Grade of the Order R.R. et A.C. is a fraternity of students of the Hermetic Sciences and of the Hermetic Art. The chain which unites us is in the acceptance of the doctrines and wisdom contained in the Rituals of our Order. The same assertion is true of the Read More. . .
THE HISTORY OF THE ROSICRUCIAN ORDER By G.H. Fra. N.O.M. (Dr. W.W. Westcott) The opening words of that part of the 5=6 Ritual which deals with the History of the Order of R.C. are as follows: Know then 0 Aspirant, that the Order of the Rose and Cross hath existed from time immemorial and that its mystic rites were practised and its hidden knowledge communicated in Read More. . .
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE SEVEN SIDES By G. H. Frater N.O.M. Among those characteristics which are truly necessary in the pursuit of magical knowledge and power, there is hardly any one more essential than thoroughness. And there is no failing more common in modern life than superficiality. There are many who, even in this grade which has been gained by serious study, after being charmed and Read More. . .
PROGRESS IN THE ORDER By V.H. Sor. F.e.R. (Annie Horniman) A few words on the natural wish to make progress in our Order may interest some of those who have just joined us and also whose efforts seem to lead to little or no result. Of course the experience of each one is unique, and must be so; no one could have been led into the Read More. . .
THE AIMS AND MEANS OF ADEPTSHIP By G.H. Fra. N.O.M. (Dr. W.W. Westcott) Among the objects for which you have joined the Second Order some are specially named by the Obligation which you have taken, and others are indicated by the documents which you have received on loan. Speaking generally however, we may say that the main object is what is called the Higher Magic or Read More. . .
ELEMENTARY VIEW OF MAN By G.H. Fra. D.D.C.F. The following diagram will of course be immediately recognised by all of you : Now supposing a physical man to be here represented, Kether is the Crown and is above the head. The junction of Chokmah and Binah in Daath is in the head itself. Then Chesed and Geburah will correspond to the arms and shoulders, Tiphereth and Read More. . .
KNOW THYSELF By V. H. Sor. V.N.R. — 6=5 (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 Manís Microcosm. Therefore, before Read More. . .
FREE WILL By V.H. Fra. Q.L. (Oswald Murray) While Oriental Theosophy postulates the unity of all Life in its basic source, it makes the attainment of conscious union between the lower of intellectual aspect of mind with the Soul or Higher Manas dependent on the effort of the former, or in other words of the striving of the personality. Again in the Hermetic School, of which Read More. . .
TATTWA VISIONS By V. H. Sor. V.N.R. — 6=5 (Moina Mathers) TEJAS OF PRITHIVI (fiery part of Earth) After going through the symbols, I find myself in a volcanic district. No fire is to be seen, but the type of land is volcanic. Hill and mountains, hot air, and sunny light. Using a Pentacle, and calling on the Earth Names, I see before me a species Read More. . .
ON HORARY ASTROLOGY By V. H. Frater Resurgam (Dr. Berridge) Verified Horary Figure by Nemo. Question: Will querited die of his present illness? Hearing by letter that my maternal uncle, an octogenarian was seriously ill from pneumonia, I drew a figure for the moment of intuition to do so, which was while reading the communication. His illness had commenced about February 7th and he was now Read More. . .
ESSAY ON CLAIRVOYANCE AND TRAVELLING IN THE SPIRIT VISION By V. H. Sub Spe (J.W. Brodie-Innes) The best theory of the phenomenon of Clairvoyance seems to be founded on the relation between Man as the Microcosm and the Universe as the Macrocosm; regarding the former as a reflection in miniature of the latter, as in a grass field full of dewdrops each drop might present a Read More. . .
PLANETS TO TATTVAS — A SUPPLEMENT TO XII By G. H. Frater D.D.C.F. (S.L. MacGregor Mathers) In Flying Roll XII there appears Venus (Daleth) as Water of Earth. The Planets are not Tattvas but have a sympathy with them. The Planets are not Elements but have a great sympathy with them. Planets represent, for the most part, the compound action of the Elements with the Spirit. Read More. . .
THE PRINCIPIA OF THEURGIA OR THE HIGHER MAGIC By V. H. Frater L.O. (P.W. Bullock) The obscurity reigning in the public writings of those who have treated of Occult subjects has had the effect of veiling to a very large extent, any clear conceptions, which might have otherwise been apparent, respecting the methods of the sacred Science, and it has occurred to me that it might Read More. . .
ON THE VALUE OF MAGIC IMPLEMENTS AND INSIGNIA IN METHODS OF DIVINATION By G.H. Fratres D.D.C.F. (S.L. MacGregor Mathers) & N.O.M. (Dr. W.W. Westcott) As far as the Adeptus Minor is concerned, the successful practice of Divination, whether Astrology, Geomancy, or Tarot depends upon the training of intuition. The rules of Astrology, the dots of Geomancy and the law of the opening of the Key are Read More. . .
ON LIEUTENANTS By G. H. Frater D.D.C.F. — 7°=4° (S.L. MacGregor Mathers), Chief Adept On their attainment of the Grade of Theoricus Adeptus Minor I appoint the four following members of the Second Order, viz. V.H. Fra. Levavi Oculos [P.W. Bullock], V.H. Soror Sapientia Sapienti Dono Data [Florence Farr], V.H. Fra. Resurgam [Dr. Berridge], V.H. Soror Fortiter et Recte [Annie Horniman], to assist the G.H. Frater Read More. . .
TATTWAS AND SKRYING AND HIEROPHANT’S MAKING 0=0 SIGNS By G. H. Frater D.D.C.F. (S.L. MacGregor Mathers) 1. Concerning Tattva Cards and Tattvic Clairvoyance or Skrying The Cards used should be of a convenient size. The Tattvas thereon should be as uniform as possible, that is the full sized Apas should be as nearly as possible of the same area as the full sized Tejas—that is if Read More. . .
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE ENOCHIAN AND ETHIOPIC ALPHABETS By V.H. Soror V.N.R. (Moina Mathers) In the Book of the Concourse of the Forces it is stated that the letters of the Enochian Alphabet are of the nature of sigils and can therefore be better employed for magical purposes than our ordinary Roman characters, and we find proof of their force and correctness as to correspondence in the Read More. . .
THE THEBIAN LETTERS by V.H.Fra. N.O.M. (Dr. W. Wynn Westcott) In the Flying Roll which explains the Yetziratic formation of an image of Adonai ha-Aretz it will be noted that the name is written upon the girdle in Theban characters. Many members having asked for this alphabet, I now issue this roll to furnish the required knowledge.Here follows a table of Theban letters, as found in Read More. . .
VISIONS OF SQUARES UPON THE ENOCHIAN TABLETS By Sor. V.H. Fra. F.e.R..S., V.H. Fra. A.P.S.R. A Vision of the Square ‘n’ of the Airy Lesser Angle of the Tablet of Water By V.H. Sor. Vigilate (Helen Mary Rand) Having recited the 4th and 10th Enochian Calls, and invoked the Angelic Names of the Tablet of Water, and the Airy Angle, I was carried up by the Read More. . .