3900 – Alpha Omega Alchemy Tracing Board Diagram

Physical description:
Cream coloured card with black handwritten ink text and a red ink diagram of the tree of life. On the back is more handwritten writing in black and rust coloured ink and some damage where the label has been removed.
Museum classification:
Ritual Magic
Size:
24cm x 30cm
Information:

These tracing board diagrams were used as a way to test the knowledge of the members of the order of Alpha et Omega (initially called The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn) and allow them to progress further up into higher levels (grades) in the order. It appears that some, if not all, of the boards were hung in the temple during rituals of the inner order. See the Alpha Omega tag for more tracing board diagrams. 

The front side has a red ink linear diagram of the tree of life, with ten focal points marked with a Hebrew title, a chemical element and a planetary symbol. The left pillar, known as the Pillar of Severity, consists of Binah (meaning 'understanding'), Geburah (meaning 'strength'), and Hod (meaning 'glory'). Binah is paired with Sulphur, and the deity Pallas. Geburah is paired with Gold and the symbol of the sun. Hod is alongside Copper and the symbol of Venus. The pillar is known as the Pillar of Mercy and consists of Chocmah (meaning 'wisdom'), Chesed (meaning 'kindness'), and Netzach (meaning 'eternity'). Chocmah is matched with Salt and the symbol for Earth. Chesed is alongside Siver and the symbol for Moon. Netzach is with Tin and the symbol for Jupiter. The middle pillar is known as the Pillar of Equilibrium, and has Kether (meaning 'Crown'), Tiphareth (meaning 'Beauty'), Yesod (meaning 'Foundation'), and Malkuth (meaning 'Kingdom'). Kether is paired with Mercury the element and Mercury the symbol. Tiphareth is paired with Iron and the symbol for Mars. Yesod is paired with Lead and the symbol for Saturn. Malkuth is paired with Mercury but does not have a planetary symbol. Below this, it reads 'Philosophorum', which presumably refers to Filius philosophorum, which is a symbol in Alchemy.

The position of the letters/symbols/words represents the Sepiroth - The Tree of Life, this is explained in a handwritten manuscript (object 3921) as shown below. 

 

The back of the document reads in black ink 'Grade of Theoricus. 2=9', which is underlined twice and has the 2 encircled and the 9 in a square frame. Below this, it says (also underlined but only once this time) 'Alchemical Sephiroth: 2nd form'. In rust coloured ink underneath this, it reads '14. Second Point. West'. Below this, there is a mark where the label has been removed (pictured).

Alpha-Omega Collection

These items came from a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous.  She inherited them from Dorothy May Cox, who was probably a member of Alpha Omega, and perhaps a relative of Donald W. Cox, who was initiated into AO around 1920.

Resource:
Object
Materials:
Card and ink
Copyright ownership:
MWM

These tracing board diagrams were used as a way to test the knowledge of the members of the order of Alpha et Omega (initially called The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn) and allow them to progress further up into higher levels (grades) in the order. It appears that some, if not all, of the boards were hung in the temple during rituals of the inner order. See the Alpha Omega tag for more tracing board diagrams. 

The front side has a red ink linear diagram of the tree of life, with ten focal points marked with a Hebrew title, a chemical element and a planetary symbol. The left pillar, known as the Pillar of Severity, consists of Binah (meaning 'understanding'), Geburah (meaning 'strength'), and Hod (meaning 'glory'). Binah is paired with Sulphur, and the deity Pallas. Geburah is paired with Gold and the symbol of the sun. Hod is alongside Copper and the symbol of Venus. The pillar is known as the Pillar of Mercy and consists of Chocmah (meaning 'wisdom'), Chesed (meaning 'kindness'), and Netzach (meaning 'eternity'). Chocmah is matched with Salt and the symbol for Earth. Chesed is alongside Siver and the symbol for Moon. Netzach is with Tin and the symbol for Jupiter. The middle pillar is known as the Pillar of Equilibrium, and has Kether (meaning 'Crown'), Tiphareth (meaning 'Beauty'), Yesod (meaning 'Foundation'), and Malkuth (meaning 'Kingdom'). Kether is paired with Mercury the element and Mercury the symbol. Tiphareth is paired with Iron and the symbol for Mars. Yesod is paired with Lead and the symbol for Saturn. Malkuth is paired with Mercury but does not have a planetary symbol. Below this, it reads 'Philosophorum', which presumably refers to Filius philosophorum, which is a symbol in Alchemy.

The position of the letters/symbols/words represents the Sepiroth - The Tree of Life, this is explained in a handwritten manuscript (object 3921) as shown below. 

 

The back of the document reads in black ink 'Grade of Theoricus. 2=9', which is underlined twice and has the 2 encircled and the 9 in a square frame. Below this, it says (also underlined but only once this time) 'Alchemical Sephiroth: 2nd form'. In rust coloured ink underneath this, it reads '14. Second Point. West'. Below this, there is a mark where the label has been removed (pictured).

Alpha-Omega Collection

These items came from a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous.  She inherited them from Dorothy May Cox, who was probably a member of Alpha Omega, and perhaps a relative of Donald W. Cox, who was initiated into AO around 1920.