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In various places throughout the teachings of the Golden Dawn, it is stated emphatically that the Hebrew letters are magical symbols. For this reason, each student should learn how to form them and write them. Good calligraphy was often absent in the old Order, for I have seen manuscripts that go back a long way, in which the Hebrew letters are atrociously formed. If there is any magic in such an alphabet, the intent is defeated by deformed and ill-formed letters.

The student should make a point of learning in some way to write, print or letter these alphabets correctly. A good calligraphic pen, producing thick and thin lines is an absolute essential. A quill must have originally been used centuries ago, but the lettering pens of today are so much superior. If you don't know how to go about it, it might be the easiest thing to enquire at a local university where Semitic languages are taught to be put in touch with a senior student who can then show you how to write the letters. Failing this, contact a local synagogue.

They will not harm you, cook you, or try to convert you. They may be curious as to why you want to know such a feat, but you can make up a half a dozen explanations to account for that - including the truth, that you are studying the Qabalah. They may know less about that than you, but at least they may be able to teach you how to write the letters correctly and that is half the battle won. I n the Zohar there is a pretty legend, rather long-winded but eloquent, about each letter of the alphabet, and how B, the second letter of the alphabet, came to be used as the first letter of the first word of the Bible - Berashith meaning In the Beginning.

There are two main translations of the Zohar that you could make use of, depending on which one you may have access to. Some of the libraries may have the translation of Simon and Sperling; others may have the shorter but earlier version of Nurho de Manhar. (Wizard Book Shelf, San Diego, CA. 1978). Regardless of whose translation you use, read or study the account of each letter appearing before God imploring Him to use that particular letter for the first word of Genesis. It is interesting reading, full of symbolism of one kind or another, and may throw a great deal of light for you on the motives for Mathers' statement that Hebrew letters are magical symbols and as such must be treated with respect and honor.

From the CGDSOM

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