3911 – Alpha Omega Tracing Board Diagram Symbol of the Hermetic Arcanum

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 features a diagram of a heptagram within a circle, as well as other shapes, drawings, and symbols (including symbols of planets which are also the symbols of metals in alchemy). The following words are featured within the diagram: rectificando, invenies, occultam, lapidem, visita, interiora, terrae, spiritus, corpus, anima. There is also writing above the diagram which reads: "The Symbol of the Hermetic Arcanum". The Hermetic Arcanum is the secret work of the hermetic philosophy. The symbolism of some of the images is explained in an extract from The Golden Dawn by I. Regardie below. 

 

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

 

On the reverse, writing in ink reads: "12. East. Portal of 5=6. Executed and presented by V. H. Frater "Fide et 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 side features a diagram of a heptagram within a circle, as well as other shapes, drawings, and symbols (including symbols of planets which are also the symbols of metals in alchemy). The following words are featured within the diagram: rectificando, invenies, occultam, lapidem, visita, interiora, terrae, spiritus, corpus, anima. There is also writing above the diagram which reads: "The Symbol of the Hermetic Arcanum". The Hermetic Arcanum is the secret work of the hermetic philosophy. The symbolism of some of the images is explained in an extract from The Golden Dawn by I. Regardie below. 

 

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

 

On the reverse, writing in ink reads: "12. East. Portal of 5=6. Executed and presented by V. H. Frater "Fide et 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