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A Review of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn’s Flying Roll XIV.

By Scott Lowther


Golden Dawn Flying Roll XIV, written by William Westcott, is a lecture which provides some very general rules in the ethics of talismans and flashing tablets, as well as their creation, consecration and decharging.


"A TALISMAN is a magical figure charged with the force which it is intended to represent. In the construction of a 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 exact the symbolism, the more easy it is to attract the force – other things coinciding, such as consecration at the right time, etc."


Modern day magicians from varying traditions have their own personal practices and tastes when it comes to the creation of Talismans. One practice that most every tradition respects is that a talisman and the symbols inscribed upon it are a reflection of the forces that the practitioner wishes to attract. This consideration of symbolism must then be considered primary.


"...A flashing colour, then, is the complementary colour which, if joined to the original, enables it to attract, to a certain extent, the Akasic current from the atmosphere, and to a certain extent from yourself, thus forming a vortex which can attract its flashing light from the atmosphere. Therefore, to make anything of this description which shall be really operative, so does it proportionately tire you.


The complementary colours are:

White complementary to Black and Grey

Red complementary to Green

Blue complementary to Orange

Yellow complementary to Violet

Olive complementary to Violet

Blue Green complementary to Red-Orange

Violet complementary to Citrine

Reddish Orange complementary to Green Blue

Deep Amber complementary to Indigo

Lemon Yellow complementary to Red Violet

Yellow Green complementary to Crimson"


The current practice of Golden Dawn magicians is to craft talismans using correct symbolism in combination with complimentary colors. The complimentary colored talisman then could be defined as a magical figure charged with the force it is intended to represent, the talisman is fueled into creation by a vortex of spiritual energy stemming from its creator and from its immediate environment.



Without going too far down the rabbit hole of metaphysics vs psychology, the creation and consecration of talismans is the real life practice of creating objects representing "Intentionality" as put forth by the German psychologist Franz Brentano in his work "Psychology from an empirical standpoint." (1874). These objects which represent highly subjective ideas and archetypes are personal and localized to its creator. However, this does not mean that the talisman is incapable of attracting the synchronicity of events for which it was created. For this reason, Westcott went on to describe ethical guide lines when considering a talisman's creation.


1. "...it is not always a just and right thing to form a Talisman with the idea of completely changing the current of another person’s Karma."


2. "What may assist in material things is often a hindrance spiritually, seeing that for a force to work, it must attract elemental forces of the proper description, which may thus, to an extent, endanger your spiritual nature."


3. "It is but rarely that a Talisman for the love of a person is a right and justifiable thing to construct. ...Talisman made for terrestrial love would be sealed with the impress of your own weakness, and even if successful, would react on you in other ways."


Westcott further reveals in flying roll XIV a method of consecrating a talisman after it is crafted using various rituals as taught in the Golden Dawn. Since the publication of the Golden Dawn's rituals, many different traditions, such as Wicca and Chaos Magick, have adapted their own rites and ceremonies for consecrating Talismans. Once again we find that although these rituals and ceremonies may differ in their specific construct, they nonetheless are harmonious with the forces the Talismans are intended to reflect. For the aforesaid reason, I'll not endeavor to describe, analyze, or validate Westcott's prescribed rituals for consecration, nor will I try to compare and contrast his to the current practices of modern Golden Dawn magicians, Wiccans or Chaos magicians. Let it suffice that each tradition specifically treats the creation, consecration, keeping, decharging and destruction of the talisman as harmonious and in alignment with the forces reflected in the talisman.

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