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3904 – Alpha Omega Tracing Board Diagram Second Point

Physical description:
Cream coloured card with black and red ink writing. Holes and ribbon used for hanging. On the back is more handwritten writing.
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 side of the board contains a purple and blue ink diagram of a circle divided into three sections by two lines inside the circle. There are Hebrew letters encased in small circles, ten all together. 

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

 

On the reverse, writing in red ink reads: "12. Second Point. To South East of Heirophant, on table."

This text possibly refers to the board being hung in the temple as the following photograph illustrates.

 

Further writing in blue ink reads: "The Lunar symbol inscribed upon the Tree of Life. 2=9 Grade of Theoricus, Second Point. Executed by V. H. Frater "Fide et Amore" 5=6 September 1910. Isis-Urania-Temple". Isis Urania Temple was originally the first temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, founded in 1888 in London.

 

The diagram appears to be related the Moon on the Tree of Life: 

 

The Tree of Life is a representation of the entirety of creation. The Tree is composed of ten spheres - referred to as the Sephiroth/Sefirot as a whole, each sphere denoting a universal quality, such as wisdom or beauty.
"Within the beliefs of the Golden Dawn, each sephira (the singular) has associated with it a number, a divine name of God in Hebrew, an archangel, an order of angels, a colour, and an element (from the Aristotelian four elements) along with other symbols. This array of ten spheres is connected by 22 paths, which are also numbered. In a manner similar to the sephiroth, the associations for the 22 paths connecting them include the assignment to each of one of the 22 Hebrew letters of their alphabet, one of the 22 Major Arcana tarot cards, a divine name of God in Hebrew, and an elemental association. (...) The numbering of the sephiroth and the paths, and the term “sephiroth” are both derived from the Sepher Yetzirah, an early Jewish mystical text which refers to the sephiroth as the ten primal numbers (one through ten) and also to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet in conjunction with these first ten numbers." (source)

Further information from The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie illustrates the similar layout of the Hebrew letters on the diagram:

 

The "2=9" and "5=6" inscriptions on the board pertain 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

 

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 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 side of the board contains a purple and blue ink diagram of a circle divided into three sections by two lines inside the circle. There are Hebrew letters encased in small circles, ten all together. 

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

 

On the reverse, writing in red ink reads: "12. Second Point. To South East of Heirophant, on table."

This text possibly refers to the board being hung in the temple as the following photograph illustrates.

 

Further writing in blue ink reads: "The Lunar symbol inscribed upon the Tree of Life. 2=9 Grade of Theoricus, Second Point. Executed by V. H. Frater "Fide et Amore" 5=6 September 1910. Isis-Urania-Temple". Isis Urania Temple was originally the first temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, founded in 1888 in London.

 

The diagram appears to be related the Moon on the Tree of Life: 

 

The Tree of Life is a representation of the entirety of creation. The Tree is composed of ten spheres - referred to as the Sephiroth/Sefirot as a whole, each sphere denoting a universal quality, such as wisdom or beauty.
"Within the beliefs of the Golden Dawn, each sephira (the singular) has associated with it a number, a divine name of God in Hebrew, an archangel, an order of angels, a colour, and an element (from the Aristotelian four elements) along with other symbols. This array of ten spheres is connected by 22 paths, which are also numbered. In a manner similar to the sephiroth, the associations for the 22 paths connecting them include the assignment to each of one of the 22 Hebrew letters of their alphabet, one of the 22 Major Arcana tarot cards, a divine name of God in Hebrew, and an elemental association. (...) The numbering of the sephiroth and the paths, and the term “sephiroth” are both derived from the Sepher Yetzirah, an early Jewish mystical text which refers to the sephiroth as the ten primal numbers (one through ten) and also to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet in conjunction with these first ten numbers." (source)

Further information from The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie illustrates the similar layout of the Hebrew letters on the diagram:

 

The "2=9" and "5=6" inscriptions on the board pertain 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

 

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.