3914 – Alpha Omega Tracing Board Diagram Key 15 of the Tarot, the Deceiver (Devil)

Physical description:
Cream coloured card with black, purple and red ink.
Museum classification:
Ritual Magic
Size:
24cm x 30cm
Information:

These tracing board diagrams were most likely 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 of this board features an ink drawing of a beast with a goat's face, beard and horns, human arms and torso, bat wings and eagle's claws for feet. The beast stands on a pedestal, holding a flaming torch in one hand and a horn in his other, raised. Below him are two smaller demons seemingly bonded to each other and to the beast and his pedestal. Behind him, there are two pentacles - one smaller above his head, and a larger, inverted, behind his head. This presumably is in connection with the idea of 'as above, so below', which refers to the concept of inversion, wherein to understand something, the opposite must also be explored eg. to understand heaven, one must also understand hell. The eagle claws also look like pentacles. The bat wings are supposed to indicate darkness. The goat motifs may refer to the deity Bamphomet, the Wiccan Horned God, Pan, the Greek God, or as a symbol for Capricorn. The idea of 'deceiver' refers to humans being bound only by their own limits - this has been referred to as 'conscious bondage' which can help to explain the two smaller figures who are bound.

The card is explained below in Israel Regardie's 'The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic'.

 

This particular board diagram is further explained in a handwritten manuscript (object 3921) as shown below.

 

The following images from the same text explain more about The Golden Dawn.

The back of the document reads:

7. East

Then has the sticker of The Rosicrucian Order of the A.O.

Portal of 5=6

Executed and presented by 

V. H. Frater ‘Fide at Amore’

Oct 4th 1908.

The "5=6" inscription pertains to the structure and grading of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (also known as Alpha et Omega, or the A.O.).

The structure of the Golden Dawn:

First Order
Introduction—Neophyte 0=0
Zelator 1=10
Theoricus 2=9
Practicus 3=8
Philosophus 4=7
Intermediate—Portal Grade

Second Order
Adeptus Minor 5=6
Adeptus Major 6=5
Adeptus Exemptus 7=4

Third Order
Magister Templi 8=3
Magus 9=2
Ipsissimus 10=1

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

These tracing board diagrams were most likely 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 of this board features an ink drawing of a beast with a goat's face, beard and horns, human arms and torso, bat wings and eagle's claws for feet. The beast stands on a pedestal, holding a flaming torch in one hand and a horn in his other, raised. Below him are two smaller demons seemingly bonded to each other and to the beast and his pedestal. Behind him, there are two pentacles - one smaller above his head, and a larger, inverted, behind his head. This presumably is in connection with the idea of 'as above, so below', which refers to the concept of inversion, wherein to understand something, the opposite must also be explored eg. to understand heaven, one must also understand hell. The eagle claws also look like pentacles. The bat wings are supposed to indicate darkness. The goat motifs may refer to the deity Bamphomet, the Wiccan Horned God, Pan, the Greek God, or as a symbol for Capricorn. The idea of 'deceiver' refers to humans being bound only by their own limits - this has been referred to as 'conscious bondage' which can help to explain the two smaller figures who are bound.

The card is explained below in Israel Regardie's 'The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic'.

 

This particular board diagram is further explained in a handwritten manuscript (object 3921) as shown below.

 

The following images from the same text explain more about The Golden Dawn.

The back of the document reads:

7. East

Then has the sticker of The Rosicrucian Order of the A.O.

Portal of 5=6

Executed and presented by 

V. H. Frater ‘Fide at Amore’

Oct 4th 1908.

The "5=6" inscription pertains to the structure and grading of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (also known as Alpha et Omega, or the A.O.).

The structure of the Golden Dawn:

First Order
Introduction—Neophyte 0=0
Zelator 1=10
Theoricus 2=9
Practicus 3=8
Philosophus 4=7
Intermediate—Portal Grade

Second Order
Adeptus Minor 5=6
Adeptus Major 6=5
Adeptus Exemptus 7=4

Third Order
Magister Templi 8=3
Magus 9=2
Ipsissimus 10=1