Tag Archives: Pat Zalewski

Talismans & Evocations of the Golden Dawn

J S Kupperman reviews Talismans & Evocations of the Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski [Bookshop, Amazon, Abebooks] in Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition, Vol 1, No 5.

Zalewski Talismans and Evocations of the Golden Dawn

Talismans and Evocations marks Pat Zalewski’s return to commercial publishing. This latest work, just one of several planned with Thoth Publications, like many of his previous books is a unique contribution to the corpus of Golden Dawn related literature already available today. The book is divided into two sections. The first and longer section discusses the art of evocation. The second much shorter section deals with the creation and consecration of talismans.

There have been no previous publications about the Golden Dawn’s teachings concerning evocation, making Talismans and Evocations unique in subject matter. This initial section is divided into five chapters dealing with history, the “Z documents” of the Golden Dawn’s inner order, the seven rays of Theosophy, angelic hierarchies, astrology and application and tools. Section two, Talismans, consists of a single chapter. However, this chapter discusses topics ranging from talismatic or magical images to magic squares called kameas to the creations and use of sigils. The first section begins with a ritual of evocation written and performed by several of the more famous members of the Golden Dawn, including Florence Farr and Alan Bennett. The second section ends with a ritual of talisman consecration written by Alan Bennett.

As usual Mr. Zalewski’s writing brings something new to the field of Golden Dawn magic and is thus a valuable resource for any student of the Golden Dawn. The real value in this book is that it is not just a “how to do magic” book. Instead Talismans and Evocations provides the reader with all of the tools necessary for them to figure out how to write their own rituals. It should be noted, however, that this is not a book for beginners. Proper use of the information contained in its pages depends greatly upon the experience and knowledge of the reader, such as a thorough understanding of the Golden Dawn’s inner order’s (the RR et AC) Z formula and the basic principle of occultism as espoused by the RR et AC.

Mr. Zalewski offers a great deal from the historic perspective as well. For the first time rituals and teachings written and used by members of the Golden Dawn are published along with copious amounts of notation by the author. This includes not only the previously mentioned rituals of evocation and talismanic consecration but also rituals for the consecration of the adept’s magical weapons that had not been seen before, coming from notebooks from the New Zealand branch of the Stella Matutina, one of the offshoots of the Golden Dawn after the 1904 schism.

As with any book there are a few errors and inconsistencies. These mostly have to do with editing; there are numerous typographical errors, missing words and a handful of repeated paragraphs. Others appear to stem from the book having been written over an extended period of time. For instance on a section concerning the ritual of the hexagram the notation states that the unicursal hexagram will be used in the diagram and explanations as it is much easier to use than the traditional hexagram. A few pages later, however, one finds the diagrams of the traditional hexagrams as well as the so-called hexagrams of Saturn, which should have also been omitted.

Pat Zalewski’s Talismans and Evocations of the Golden Dawn is a valuable resource in the genre of Golden Dawn magic. For the first time anywhere the Golden Dawn’s teachings on the practice of evocation and the creation of talismans are published in a single volume. Despite typographical errors and the occasional internal inconsistency Talismans and Evocations is highly readable and informative. This book would be an excellent addition to the library of either the student of occult history or the practicing magician.

Three Books of Golden Dawn Tarot

Jeffrey S Kupperman reviews Three Books of Golden Dawn Tarot in Divination, Vol 1 No 4, from the archive of Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition.

Wang An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot

An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot [Amazon], Robert Wang. 158 pages. Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, ME. $7.95 USD

First published in 1978, An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot was the first book available that discussed solely the tarot as conceived by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (GD). Now students of the works of Israel Regardie, who had a great deal of input to both this book and its corresponding “Golden Dawn Tarot” deck had a quick reference manual for all of “Book T”. “Book T” also appears in the Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic and the Golden Dawn, however neither of these works are known for their easy indexing.

An Introduction contains more than just the raw tables of “Book T”. The first 51 pages of this small book discusses several topics anent the history surrounding the Golden Dawn tarot. For instance decks produced by various members of the GD are mentioned as well as how and often why they differ from the GD manuscripts. There is also a section talking about the differences between “exoteric” and “esoteric” tarot decks. More importantly, at least from the practicing magician’s point of view, there is a discussion on how the tarot can be used in ritual and for skrying.

The majority of the book contains the information from “Book T”, which includes not only the tarot descriptions and their meanings but also associated astrological information and the complex tarot reading known as the Opening by Key. Also included in this work is a paper by Mrs. Felkin, the wife of the Chief of the New Zealand Smaragdum Thalasses, an offshoot of the original GD after its schism. The book concludes with A.E. Waite’s “Ten Card Method of Tarot – Divination”, originally published in his Pictorial Key to the Tarot and a two page recommended reading list.

Perhaps the only thing that is disappointing about An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot is the tarot deck that Dr. Wang produced to go with it. While the deck is accurate to the imagery of the Golden Dawn documents the illustration and color work are lacking in brightness, making the deck appear dull and faded. From the perspective of the GD’s color theory this will cause the tarot images to be less useful tools than they otherwise could be. From an aesthetic perspective the deck fails to compare with decks such as the Thoth deck designed by Aleister Crowley and painted by Lady Frieda Harris or Sandra Tabatha Cicero’s New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot Deck (discussed below).

Cicero The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot

The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot: Keys to the Rituals, Symbolism, Magic & Divination [Bookshop, Amazon] Chic Cicero, Sandra Tabatha Cicero. 235 pages. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN, $14.95 USD

Published in 1996, nearly 28 years after Robert Wang’s Golden Dawn tarot book, The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot is the second of only three books released to the public concerning the Golden Dawn tarot system. Unlike Wang’s work, however, the Cicero’s have gone beyond the original GD documents to create an updated tarot book and deck, which is still based on the teachings of the Golden Dawn.

The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot, like An Introduction contains all of the material in “Book T” (minus the paper on the tarot projected into a sphere, which is also missing from Wang), though some of it has been rewritten in modern language. However, the tarot card descriptions go beyond the simple one or two paragraphs of “Book T” to discuss each card more in-depth. The only criticism of this is that these added descriptions seem to apply mostly to the newer designs developed by Mrs. Cicero and do not always apply to the GD tarot as a whole, though the creative student should have little problem in extrapolating from one deck to another or adding the new symbolism to his or her catalog of symbols.

This book also contains over 70 pages dedicated solely to ritual work and divination. Unlike in Wang, which aside from the Opening by Key only discusses ritual work in theory, the Ciceros give examples of rituals, divination and skrying techniques as well as the complete rubric for performing them. The book ends with a page on the 32 paths of wisdom, a later annotation to the Jewish Kabbalistic work the Sefer Yetzirah and a good sized bibliography.

Along with The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot there is a New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot Deck, designed and painted by Sandra Tabatha Cicero. This deck contrasts drastically from the Wang deck. Its colors are bright and vibrant and for the first time in a Golden Dawn deck the flashing colors are used. These aspects add to the overall usability of the deck for magical work. However the artwork of the deck is very stylistic, almost cartoon-ish, in nature and may not be to everyone’s liking.

Zalewski The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn

The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn: Divination, Meditation and High Magical Teachings [Bookshop, Amazon] Patrick J. Zalewski, Chris L. Zalewski. 395 pages. Open Mind Publications, Hastings, Australia. $50.00 USD Limited to 150 copies.

Published originally in 1997 but not released until several years later, The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn is possibly the most impressive of the Golden Dawn tarot books. This book is a massive volume, almost 400 pages in length on A4 size paper. Like the previous books this one discusses all of the material in “Book T” (including a re-written tarot and the celestial sphere paper). It also goes beyond the published GD documents in its treatment of the cards, however it does so in a traditional manner. Instead of creating a new version of the Golden Dawn tarot, the Zalewskis recreate a version of the original deck, even using images from the Smaragdum Thalasses’s original tarot deck.

The tarot card descriptions within The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn go far beyond the original descriptions and are often two to three pages in length. These descriptions include previously unpublished material from both S. L. MacGregor Mathers and various members of the Smaragdum Thalasses’s Ware Ra temple. Like in the Cicero’s book a great deal of research has been done into the history of the GD tarot and the tarot in general. There is a great deal of new information developed by the Zalewskis as well, as their discussion of the cards on an alchemical level or from the point of view of both spiritual evolution and involution.

Another new feature to this book is the discussion of color and how the GD tarot was traditionally supposed to be colored. According to the Zalewskis, they have published for the first time the correct Golden Dawn method for card coloring, which is apparently closer to that used in Crowley’s Thoth deck than in any other Golden Dawn based tarot. Along with this is a printing of the four color scales as used by Ware Ra, which different in numerous respects to those which have been printed by both Regardie and Crowley. The final 80 or so pages discuss numerous tarot spreads, including the Opening by Key, tarot skrying and meditation, and the re-written Golden Dawn paper entitled “Celestial Tarot”. The tarot spreads include some spreads which are the creation of the Zalewski and the section on mediation and skrying includes what can only be called “tarot poems” for each of the Trump Cards. Two methods for skrying are given in full as well as several examples of skryings already performed. The final section, “Celestial Tarot” contains reworked diagrams by Chris Zalewski. Unfortunately there is no bibliography, though many of the books used for researched are mentioned in the extensive footnotes.

There are two or three critiques to be made about The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn. The first of which is that, it being a work of self-publication, the binding method is worse than usual bookbindings. The comb binding used is inadequate for the size of the book causing the outside pages to tear. As mentioned there is no bibliography but there is also no index for cross-referencing. Finally there is not as yet a tarot deck to accompany this book, though according to Mr. Zalewski one being painted by Skip Dudchus is nearly finished.

Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries

J S Kupperman reviews Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries by Pat Zalewski at Temples, Portals and Vaults in Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition, No 0, Introduction to the Western Mystery Tradition.

Zalewski Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries

Zalewksi brings student of the Golden Dawn tradition previously unpublished material from one of the original off-shoot Temples of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

The work is published in three volumes, each dealing with a differing aspect of the Golden Dawn. Volume one includes an introduction and history of the Golden Dawn and the Smaragdum Thalasses (ST), the New Zealand branch of the Order founded by Dr. Felkin after the schism in 1903. The rest of the volume contains the grade ceremonies of the Outer Order as used by the ST. The reader may find that these ceremonies somewhat different from previously published versions. Zalewski states that they more closely resemble those used by the original GD and Mathers’ Alpha et Omega than those used by the Stella Matutina.

Volume two consists of Zalewksi’s commentaries on the rituals, as well as anecdotal accounts from his teacher Jack Taylor, a 7=4 and long-time Hierophant under Mrs. Felkin. Each ritual commentary has its own introduction, diagrams, and figures, including tarot cards for each path. Those familiar with Zalekwski’s The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn will find that these tarot cards differ from those used in his first self-published book. Where this volume shines, however, is in its publication of parts of a 6=5 paper on the god-forms and currents of energy in the temple by Moina Mathers.

Volume three of Rituals and Commentaries focuses on the Portal and Adeptus Minor initiation rituals. This volume contains both the ritual texts and commentaries on these ceremonies, as well as the list of 302 endnotes.

Aside from material written by Moina Mathers, Zalewksi provides a great deal of information on Golden Dawn ritual from a point of view that may be completely new to many readers. Not only does he discuss some of the standard interpretations of Golden Dawn material, but he also provides his own interpretations based on his experiences with Taylor and Chakra and Kundalini practice.

Rather than reproducing the Mathers material in full, Zalewski instead incorporates it into his commentaries and diagrams, demonstrating where the various god-forms are stationed and their relation to the pattern of energy in the hall. It is interesting to note that the god-forms used throughout the grade ceremonies differ radically from what might be expected. God-forms used in the 0=0 hall are not necessarily the same as used in other halls, and the same god-form may be used by different officers or stations in different halls. Numerous diagrams are included in these volumes, some of which have never been printed before and many of which differ from those used by the Stella Matutina.

As interesting and informative as this book may be, it still has its problems. Chief among these is the numerous typographical errors. A more thorough editing job would have easily remedied these difficulties.

Originally the publication was meant to be released as separate books by Llewellyn Publications as the Z-5 series. Zalewski did not, however, adequately revise his work to compensate for the merging of the separate works into one whole. The result is noticeable redundancy. The introductory paragraphs to the ritual commentaries are largely repetitive, indicating that they were intended to be printed in separate books, providing minimal new information in each introduction.

Published in 2000, the book was written in the early and mid 1990s. The historical information provided in the first volume, while interesting, is in some cases outdated, and includes several references to the publication dates of Zalewksi’s own work. These volumes were apparently intended to be released before the publication of The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn, which was published a few years before.

While the typos and occasional redundancy contained in Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries can be annoying at times, they in no manner outweigh the importance of the new information in its volumes. The Mathers information alone will make this book invaluable to Golden Dawn scholars and magicians alike. The anecdotal information from Taylor as well as Zalewski’s unique insight (whether one agrees with his conclusions or not) more than make Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries a worthwhile book and an excellent addition to anyone’s Golden Dawn library.

Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries

Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries by Pat Zalewski, edited by Darcy Küntz, from the Rosicrucian Order of the Golden Dawn, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Pat Zalewski Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries

“This is not another beginner book on Magick that so many large publishing houses tend to print. This book was designed for the intermediate and advanced practitioner of the Order of the Golden Dawn. Pat Zalewski was fortunate enough to work with original members of the Stella Matutina and was taught the inner secrets of the Adepts. Now for the first time, these secrets are being published so that those who could benefit from this knowledge will learn as Zalewski had done with his mentor, Jack Taylor. Also being released for the first time is the connection between the Admission Badges and the Temple floor diagrams. Zalewski also discusses in-depth the God-form assumption techniques he learned. Many significant lessons are contained in this book that you will not get from any other source.” — Darcy Küntz, back cover

Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue #116 Israel Regardie and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Used and Rare Books

You may be interested in Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue #116 Israel Regardie and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Used and Rare Books.

“The majority of the books are from the library of a well-known English book-collector who is downsizing due to chronic lack of shelf (and floor) space. The collection includes most of the standard studies of the Golden Dawn, historical, theoretical and practical, by a variety of well known authors including R. A. Gilbert, Ellic Howe, R. A. Torrens, Chic & Tabatha Cicero, Darcy Kuntz, Pat Zalewski, and others, as well as various works by members of the original Order. Aside from mostly being in pristine condition, the books are distinguished by the fact that many are signed or inscribed by their authors or editors.

The catalogues also include a good selection of works by Israel Regardie, whose experience with the Stella Matutina led to the publication of his landmark compilation, The Golden Dawn, An Account of the Teachings, Rites, and Ceremonies of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, (4 Volumes — 1937–1940), since republished in a variety of different forms and formats. The current catalogue includes a number of books that are signed or inscribed by Israel Regardie including an extraordinary association set of the First Edition of The Golden Dawn, with each volume personally inscribed by Regardie to author and psychical researcher Hereward Carrington and including an additional handwritten note by Regardie. Other Regardie rarities include a copy of his The Enochian Dictionary (Circa 1971?) — which is without doubt one of the earliest of the modern Enochian research publications — and the seldom-seen first edition of The Art of True Healing. A Treatise on the Mechanism Prayer, and the Operation of the Law of Attraction in Nature (1937). As is well known Regardie for some time practised as a chiropractor and psychologist (P. R. Stephensen once unkindly termed him a “quack psychiatrist”) and two of the rarer items are pamphlets relating to this aspect of his career: Cry Havoc (1952), a study of the pitfalls of psychology, psychotherapy, and chiropractic; and the (by modern standards) rather chilling Analysis of a Homosexual (1949), a work in which Regardie recounts the case history of a patient whom he claims to have successfully “cured” of homosexuality.

The catalogue opens with a work called Springtime Two (1958). This anthology of poetry and prose by important avant-garde authors of the time is listed here as it includes the first publication of extracts from Ithell Colquhoun’s then-unpublished occult novel Goose of Hermogenes, her original poems: “Elegy on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn”, “Epithalamium”, and “Little Poems from Cyprus”, as well as some translations from French. We were able to secure a few copies of the book that had been in storage for a number of years, but these will almost certainly not last long. As always there are also a number of rarities scattered throughout the catalogue which include: an Edition de Luxe of L. A. Bosman’s, The Mysteries Of The Qabalah (1913?), inscribed by Alvin Langdon Coburn, a first printing of the W. Wynn Westcott edition of Eliphas Levi’s The Magical Ritual of the Sanctum Regnum interpreted by the Tarot Trumps (1896), and a number of issues of A. Greville-Gascoigne’s The Golden Dawn Magazine (1939-1941), which included contributions by Israel Regardie and others.” [via]

Inner Order Teachings of the Golden Dawn

Inner Order Teachings of the Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski, with an introduction by Nick Farrell, the 2006 softcover from Thoth Publications, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Pat Zalewski Nick Farrell Inner Order Teachings of the Golden Dawn from Thoth Publications

“Hidden Teachings revealed!

For more than 100 years, secret magical manuscripts from the Order of the Golden Dawn’s inner order of adepts (the Ordo Rosae Rubae et Aurae Crucis) have been unseen by most students of the esoteric. This includes the Golden Dawn alchemical teachings, secret teachings of the Zelator Grade and the important Caduceus paper. These have either been gathering dust on some collector’s shelves, or have been worked by those who have continued the Order’s work. So secret were these documents, Israel Regardie was unaware of them and subsequently many of the modern orders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn who were dependent on his encyclopaedic text The Golden Dawn for their teachings have left out much of this work. However, the papers contained in this book provide the much needed keys to understand the Golden Dawn system in its entirety.

Just as the Golden Dawn was not simply dependent upon intellectual information gathered under one heading but also on oral instruction to make the system come alive, so this material came with extensive traditions that make it useful to the student.

For the first time, Golden Dawn authority Pat Zalewski, who was trained by the inner order adepts of the GOlden Dawn, reveals the key to this material.”


The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

The Equinox & Solstice Ceremonies of the Golden Dawn

The Equinox & Solstice Ceremonies of the Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski and Chris Zalewski, part of the Llewellyn Golden Dawn Series, the 1992 first edition softcover from Llewellyn Publications, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Pat Zalewski Chris Zalewski The Equinox & Solstice Ceremonies of the Golden Dawn from Llewellyn Publications

“This book contains historically important material in the form of hitherto unpublished seasonal rituals of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and A E Waite’s ‘independent and rectified rite.’

But they are of more than historical interest. They are powerful instruments toward attaining higher consciousness if placed in the right hands.

They demonstrate the threefold nature of the tradition. That is: hermetic/intellectual, as represented in the Masonic type ritual elements; mystical/aspirational, as represented by their Rosicrucian allegiance; and elemental/geomantic, through celebration of the equinoxes and solstices.

And should we seek to re-work or re-phrase them, we need to maintain this threefold balance. For instance, to try to write out the Christian from the Mysteries of Christian Rosenkreutz would rather be like trying to make an omelette without the eggs! Or if we worked them in serious doubt about the existence of the ‘secret chiefs’ we would have no source of heat beneath our frying pan! Without these elements of faith the rituals would be worked without power. Would be no more than amateur dramatic performances of portentious sounding religiosity. A ritual only exists in its effective enactment, not on the page.

Yet if power is contacted by these means (as it sometimes can be, even inadvertently), it is hardly the type than can be ‘used’ for personal ends or convenience. One might as well seek to tap the power of a tiger by pulling its tail.

So if we seek to work seriously with this material we must look to our motives and true aspirations. These rituals have hidden power, and if we seek to find it we must be prepared for nothing less than personal transformation! These rituals place the keys in our hands. We only have to turn them.” — Gareth Knight, back cover


The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Pat Zalewski’s Alchemy and Golden Dawn Ritual

You may be interested in Alchemy and Golden Dawn Ritual, a newly available book by Pat Zalewski.

This is book 3 in The Golden Dawn Alchemy Series. Previous installments in the series were The Secret Fire: An Alchemical Study – The Golden Dawn Alchemy Series I by E.J. Langford Garstin and Hermetic Alchemy: Science and Practice – The Golden Dawn Alchemy Series 2 by Paul Foster Case