Monday, August 18, 2014

G.D. Rituals: The Analysis of the Keyword or Ritual of the Hexagram

AKRitual UPDATED! Continuing analyzing the rituals of the Golden Dawn, I am finding new aspects on the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram. That ritual is part of the Golden Dawn inner order RRetAC curriculum. However as a preparation, encapsulating the LBRH, we need to perform the Analysis of the Keyword Ritual. So I began to investigate this complex ritual.   

I would like to open a discussion regarding the concept of an Adept and its required preparation in an esoteric school settings like the Rosicrucian orders, not only AMORC but other Rosicrucian schools or orders as well

Note: This is not a work of fiction but a deep research into the subject supported by many years of study and practices and directed to sincere students of the Rosicrucian Traditions. 

Released eBooks by Frater T.A.S. ::FRC XIII:

Summary of Topics


I originally posted my thoughts on the AKR a couple of years ago when I was very chocked with my findings about the Enochian magic introduced into the Golden Dawn curriculum and I reflected those negative impression on my take of this ritual as well. However, compelled by the excellent comments I received I decided to review my post and here we go. I am re-writing this post in the light of my recent research and my own experience with the practice of the AKR and the LBRH.  

Reviewing the literature about the AKR ritual I found the material published is limited to the description of the ritual itself lacking any esoteric analysis of it structure or contents. Aiming to deepen my understanding of this ritual I decided to innovate by applying some sort of decryption methods to unveil the secrets kept under the formula used for this ritual.

My analytic method will include the analysis of each Keyword using:

  1. The Hebrew Gematria.
  2.  The Tarot Correspondences.
  3. The Paths of the Tree of Life
  4. The Hermetic Rosicrucian Key (for a synthetic analysis of all 3 Keyword) 

The idea of this innovative method of esoteric analysis is to  define the core elements of each Keyword and its meaning in the ritual.

Keywords or Magical Formulas?

Actually, the first think that I realized was that the AKR involves 3 Keywords instead of "the Keyword". 

The keywords presented in the AKR are:
  1. INRI
  2. LVX
  3. IAO
  4. LVX
Why those Keywords were ordered that way in the ritual? Is there a special reason for such arrangement?

So let's take a closer look at each of them and their significance in the ritual structure. 

INRI is the proclamation of the divine alchemical formula "Igne Natura Renovatur Integra", which is a invocation and at the same time a statement of intention of the ritual performer affirming that by the power of Fire, or the One Life-Force, their nature will be transformed. It is also an attunement with the Divine Source. 

LVX at this stage of the ritual invokes the decend of the Divine Light as a preparation for calling the Holy Guardian Angel (HGA) or Higher Self. 

IAO is the invocation of the aspect of the One Life-Force to reach its higher cycle of activity and transformation/transmutation through birth-death-ascension expressed to the descending Light of ones HGA or Higher Self. The descending Ligh connects to ones Tifereth center grounding the higher energies. 

LVX at this stage is a confirmation aspect of the ritual, aligning the Divine Light connecting it firmly with ones heart center triggering the Divine Spark into manifestation. 

After this overview about each of the Keywords, I'll provide an in depth view of each one. 

The Kabbalistic Analysis

The The Keyword I.N.R.I.

Gematric Analysis of I.N.R.I.

The following cryptic inscription was placed over the cross above the Jesus' head on his Calvary Cross.

There are several interpretations for INRI:

According to the Christian Bible the inscription means: "IESUS NAZARENUS REX LUDEUM" meaning in English "Jesus of Nazareh, King of Jews".

The Jesuit interprets the inscriptions as: "IUSTUM NECAR REGES IMPIOS" meaning "It is just to exterminate impious kings".

Rosicrucians and Masons interpret the inscription as: "IGNE NATURA RENOVATUR INTEGRA" meaning "By fire Nature is Renewed", which is right on the spot as a meaning for a powerful magical formula related to the transformative power of  the Fire over the bodly elements, transmuting its lower vibrations into higher and close to the Divine.

Brocken it down to its components we may unleash the INRI formulae's secrets.

Firstly we translate INRI into the Hebrew:
Hebrew for INRI

Then we look into the existing correspondences for each letter:

Table of Correspondencies

As we can see, each of the INRI letters has an correspondence with a Hebrew letter, its numerical value; an alchemical element and a zodiacal symbol. 

Source: Wikipedia

Insights on Hebrew Gematria:

I - YOD (10 - Yam) + Fire (+) Aries (Expression of the inner nature)
N - NUN (50 - Nur) + Earth (-) Capricorn (Focus)
R - RESH (200 - Ruach) + Air (+) Gemini (Communication)
I - YOD (10 - Yebeshas) + Water (-) Scorpio (Transformation)

So we have the powerful combination of the four Elemental principles into the formula as well as a perfect balance of zodiacal energies:

a) We start by expressing our inner nature while vibrating I
b) Then we focus our concentration in it with N);
c) Then we open the communication with our inner self with R (the sacred breath);
d) Finally we start the transformation by the Light with the final I bringing the power to the ritual.

As we can see, the perfect formula to open the AKW ritual. Preparing the basics...

Gematric value = 270 = 9 == The volume of a cube of 53, which reduced to 9 as its least number, and refers to Yesod, the Foundation.

The Gematric value of 9 also tells us about the rising the vibration of the sacred space to 3x3 or reaching the manifestation into its second level assuring the balance of the micro and macro cosmos.

So that formula was placed at that point to create the basic conditions for the ritual.

Tarot & TOL Analysis of I.N.R.I.

Now let's take a look on the same letter fom a different angle using the Tarot analysis.
Tarot correspondences also can be found using the Hebrew letters associated to each Tarot Key.

I - The Hermit (9); Path 20

Key = The Hermit (9) - Receptivity, Symbol of adeptship and prophecy. 
Path = 20: Joining Chesed and Tifereth. 
Yesiratic Correspondence: Willful Intelligence

N - Death (13); Path 24

Key = Death (13) - Transformation - Release of Energy
Path = 24: Joining  Tifereth and Netsach
Yesiratic Correspondence: Imaginative Intelligence

 R - The Sun (19); Path 30

Key = The Sun: 19 - Source of Energy, physical and spiritual. 
Path = 30:  Joining Hod and Yesod
Yesiratic Correspondence: Collecting Intelligence

I - The Hermit (9); Path 20

Key = The Hermit (9) - Receptivity, Symbol of adeptship and prophecy. 
Path = 20: Joining Chesed and Tifereth. 
Yesiratic Correspondence: Willful Intelligence

Insights on Tarot correspondences:

a)  INRI opens and closes with the Hermit, which shows the Path.
b) In its core we find Death and Sun, which reveals Transformation and contact with the Source, which are much related with the contact with our HGA or Higher Self.
c) From the Yesiratic Correspondences we have the (I) Willful; (N) Imaginative; (R) Collecting; and (I) Willful Intelligence, which express exactly the stages required for the inner contact. 

The TOL paths related to the keyword INRI reveal to us that a balanced association between the Pillars of Justice and Mercy is created having its main focus on Thiphereth the sit of the HGA. 

I - Calls the virtues of Beauty and Mercy.
- Calls the qualities of Splendor and Foundation.
R - Calls the virtues of Beauty and Victory.
I - Calls the virtues of Beauty and Mercy. 

Also we may notice that the related Sephiroth connect the worlds of Aziluth, Beri'ah and Yetzirah  bridging those worlds to manifestation. 

So the Tarot applied to the keyword INRI also revels that the keyword awakens the required skills to create the perfect energies for the ritual and the contact with the HGA.

Applying the Tarot keys to the keyword INRI, which opens the AKR ritual, we realize that those 4 letters create the proper vibrations for the contact with the HGA, calling the Path, the Vision, the Inner Voice, grounded on the Foundation of the material plane. 

The Keyword I.A.O.

Gematric Analysis of I.A.O.

IAO - Isis:Apophis:Osiris

IAO or IAIO is he central peace of the AKR, which is an abbreviation for the invocation of Isis-Apophis-Osiris. Then I asked myself, why this trilogy of Isis (Birth) - Apophis (god of Death/Destruction) - Osiris (Resurrection)? It is also clear that the trilogy means the holy cycle of Birth-Death-Ressurrection imprinted in all old traditions referring to the cycles required to the soul to evolve. 

IAO - Taken from the Hebrew:
Hebrew for IAO

In the original scriptures, the Hebrew alphabet  did not have vowels. IAO is written יהו Iod-Hei-Vav and is pronounced IAO. 

  • Iod is pronounced “I” (ee). 
  • Hei at the end of a Hebrew word is pronounced as the sound ”ah.” 
  • Vav sound depends upon its position in the word: it could be  ”oh, uh, or ee,” so in IAO the letter Vav is ”oh.” 

You may notice that יהוה (Iod-He-Vav-He), which is the Tetragrammaton, the sacred name of God, that the letter He is repeated. According to Diodorus Siculus the God of Moses was יהו Iod-Hei-Vav, IAO, because the letter Hei is repeated again at the end.

“Iao as the name of the Jewish God is first mentioned by Diodorus Siculus (Bibliotheca Historica, 1, 94:2) and by Varro (cited in Lydus, De Mensibus, IV, 53). It is an original Jewish term which is well attested by the Aramaic papyri from Elephantine from the Persian period (A. Cowley, Aramaic Papyri of the Fifth Cen­tury, Oxford 1923, pp. 16, 66, 70, 85, 99, mf., H9f., 125,135,149,162; E. G. Kraeling, The Brooklyn Museum Aramaic Papyri, New Haven 1953, pp. 84f., 132,142,154,168, 192, 236, 238, 248, 250, 270, 272). It does not occur in the textus receptus of the Septuagint, "having become a vocabulum ineffabile for the Jews" (Stern, GLAJJ, vol. i, p. 172), but it does appear on a fragment of the Septuagint version of Leviticus, probably from the first century B.C.E., thus exactly from the same time as Diodorus (O. Eissfeldt, Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Tubingen 3i964, p. 960).” [Phobix, p. 232, note 128]
“Another occurrence of Iao's name is found in 8 the remaining fragments of Varro, the great Roman scholar from the first-century bc. In a fragment which probably formed part of his On Human and Divine Matters of Antiquities, in which he studies the human construc­tion of the divine, Varro says 'that among the Chaldaeans, in their mysteries, he (i.e. the God of the Jews) is called "Iao"' (Varro, edn. B. Cardauns, frg. 17; Stern, No. 75). This passage from Varro, pre­served in the sixth-century Lydus from Constantinople, is directly followed in Lydus by a reference to (9) Philo of Byblos, according to whom—Lydus says—'Iao, in the Phoenician tongue, refers to the noetic light' (Lydus, De mensibus 4.53 = FGrH 790, frg. 7; Stern, No. 324). This addition shows that Philo of Byblos indeed appears to have known the Jewish God not only as 'Ieuo' (as we have seen above; Stern, No. 323), but also as 'lao'. The actual fragment from Varro serves to underscore the fact that in the first century bc the information about the name of the Jewish God found its way into various encyclopaedic works: not only those by Alexander Polyhistor and Diodorus Siculus as discussed above, but also Varro himself. …" (Glen)
NoteReference of a deeper understanding of IAO can be found in the Book of Enoch 3.

A notarikon formulated from the first three letters of Isis, Apophis, and Osiris, formulate the Divine name of the Gnostic IAO.

Tarot & TOL Analysis of I.A.O.

Tarot correspondences also can be found using the Hebrew letters associated to each Tarot Key.
 I - The Hermit (9); Path 20

Key = The Hermit: (9) = The Path
Path 20: Joining Chesed and Tiphereth (Mercy & Beauty)
Yesiratic Correspondence: Willful Intelligence

A - Emperor (4); Path 15

Key = Emperor (4) = Vision
Path 15: Joining Chockmah and Tifereth (Wisdom & Beauty)
Yesiratic Correspondence: Natural Intelligence

- Hierophant (5); Path 16

Key = Hierophant (5) = Interior Hearing
Path 16 = Joining Chockmah and Chesed (Mercy & Wisdom)
Yesiratic Correspondence: Triumphal Intelligence

Insights on Tarot correspondences and TOL related Paths:

Applying the Tarot keys to the keyword IAO, the core of the AKR ritual, we realize that those 3 letters express the direct contact with the HGA, reflecting the Path, the Vision and the Inner Voice. 

The TOL paths reveal to us that IAO is related to pillar of Mercy, and the Sephyroth of Tiphereth, Chesed and Chokmah, highlighting the virtues related to the contact with the HGA. 

Tiphereth is the sit of the HGA

I - Calls the virtues of Beauty and Mercy.
A - Calls the virtues of Beauty) and Wisdom.
O - Finally connects the virtues of Mercy and Wisdom, the high virtues of the HGA.

Also we may notice that the sephirotic triad works in even numbers connecting the Supernal triad with the middle triad, the worlds of Aziluth with Beri'ah from the perspective of the pillar of Mercy, one of most exalted virtues. 

The Keyword L.V.X.

Gematric Analysis of L.V.X.

L.V.XLux = Light

In Latin "U" is written as a "V", so it becomes "Lux", meaning "Light".

The Death-Rebirth Cycle - These three letters also are Qabalistically and visually/formally linked to the principle dynamic structure of all Western Mysticism, that of the Death-Rebirth Cycle. 

According to The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, in the AKR: 

L == Isis Mourning (Osiris slain by Set)
V == Apophis Triumphant (the Rule of Death)
X == Osiris Risen (Resurrection)". 

We can have two transliterations to the Hebrew, one for the meaning "Light" and other for the acronym LVX.

Hebrew for Light

Hebrew for LVX

As we can see, the numerical value for LVX, 3 is threefold implied in the word Light, which gematric value is 9. 

Tarot & TOL Analysis of L.V.X.

Tarot correspondences also can be found using the Hebrew letters associated to each Tarot Key. 

L - Justice (11); Path 22

Ritual Gesture: Reference to ISIS
Key = Justice (11) - Law of Undeviating Justice
Path 22: Joining Geburah and Tifereth. 
Yesiratic Correspondence: Faithful Intelligence

V - Hierophant (5); Path 16


Ritual Gesture: Reference to APOPHIS
Key = Hierophant (5) - Interior Hearing
Path 16: Joining Chockmah and Chesed
Yesiratic Correspondence: Triunphal Intelligence

X - Judgment (20); Path 31

Ritual Gesture: Reference to OSIRIS
Key = Judgment (20) - Universal Consciousness
Path 31: Joining Hod and Malkuth
Yesiratic Correspondence: PerpetualIntelligence 

Insights on Tarot correspondences and TOL related Paths:

Tarot Keys Numerological Value: The Cube of Space (4).
Tarot: Observing the Law of Undeviating Justice and listening to the inner voice we are guided by the Universal Consciousness. 
Path Yesiratic Correspondence: Manifested dominium of the Cosmic Intelligence. 
Path Planetary Correspondence: Predominance of the Ligh over Darkness.

Also, according to Paul F. Case: 

"L. V. X. stands primarily for Lux, the Latin noun for Light. In the Western School of occultism this word is often written with the capital letters separated by periods, to call attention to the values of the letters in the Roman system of numeration. L indicates 50, V stands for 5, and X is 10. Thus the total value of the word is 65. (...)
Thus the number 65 expresses the occult Truth that the Christos (5) at the center of the Temple of human personality is actually in control of all natural forces (6). The indwelling Self is the ruler of the cosmic order. Hence we find that the number 65 is the number of the Hebrew noun ADNI, Adonai, "Lord," a Divine Name which refers particularly to the One Life-Power as ruler of the universe.
The same number 65 is also the sum of the value of the letters in the Hebrew noun HIKL, Haikal, meaning "Temple" or "Palace." In the "Book of Formation" we are told that this "Palace of Holiness" is located "in the center" or "in the midst," In the Biblical Temple symbolism, of which Freemasonry preserves some fragments, the "midst" is called the "Sanctum Sanctorum," or "Holy of Holies." This room had the dimensions of the perfect cube and is related to the whole series of symbolic ideas expressed by the cube which is shown on the seal of B.O.T.A. In Solomon's Temple, the Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy-seat on which rested the Shekinah, or Radiant Presence of God.
By these words we acknowledge that all wisdom and power have their source in the One Light, and by them we also testify that the One Light is the One Life. This One Life, seated in the heart of man, is the True Self, the One Lord, Adonai, enthroned within His Holy Temple. To the extension of that Light and to the manifestation of its power in the lives of men, our work is dedicated.
May the full glory of that Radiance be extended upon you." (PFC, 1960)

Keywords on the Hermetic R+C Key

This section analyses the Keywords focusing on their placement on the Hermetic Rose Cross.
Rose-Cross Lamen

As we may notice on the Rose-Cross Lamen created for the Golden Dawn, as a symbol for the Adepts,  includes the INRI, IAO and LVX keywords inscribed on the rays emanating from the central rose petals, between each pair of arms of the cross.

As may notice that each letter of each of the Keywords or Magical formulas is placed on the R+C associated with the 4 elements.

So what is the meaning of those relationships in association with the Alchemical principles as indicated in the Rose-Cross lamen, the esoteric key?

R+C Lamen Analysis (I.N.R.I.)

The position of the letters also have in intrinsic meaning:


INRI in the R+C Lamen

Clockwise Attributes
I - Relates to the Elemental Principles of Fire and Air as well as to the Alchemical Principles of Mercury and Sulfur.
N - Relates to the Elemental principles of Air and Water as well as to the Alchemical Principles of Salt and Sulfur.

Counterclockwise Attributes
R - Relates to the Elemental principles of Earth and Fire as well as to the Alchemical Principles of Salt and Salt.

I - Relates to the Elemental principles of Water and Earth as well as to the Alchemical Principles of Sulfur and Mercury.

R+C Lamen Analysis (I.A.O.)

IAO in the R+C Lamen

Clockwise Attributes
I - Relates to the Elemental Principles of Fire and Air as well as to the Alchemical Principles of Mercury and Sulfur.
A - Relates to the Elemental principles of Air and Water as well as to the Alchemical Principles of Salt and Sulfur.

O - Relates to the Elemental principles of Earth and Fire as well as to the Alchemical Principles of Salt and Salt.

R+C Lamen Analysis (L.V.X.)

LVX in the R+C Lamen

Clockwise Attributes
L - Relates to the Elemental Principles of Fire and Air as well as to the Alchemical Principles of Mercury and Sulfur.
V - Relates to the Elemental principles of Air and Water as well as to the Alchemical Principles of Salt and Sulfur.

X - Relates to the Elemental principles of Earth and Fire as well as to the Alchemical Principles of Salt and Salt.

Insights from the Hermetic Cross:

INRI - The Spirit acts upon the Mater , which Energized acts back upon the Spirit.
IAO - The Spirit becomes the Catalyst over Matter, fixing the Light on the Matter.
LVX - The Spirit becomes the Catalyst over Matter, fixing the Light on the Matter.

Applying the Sacred Geometry & Alchemical Analysis

According to Paracelsus (1493-1591), the three alchemical primes or tria prima are:

Line within circle.svg Salt - Base matter. Salt represented the contractible force, condensation, and crystallization.
Sulphur.svg Sulfur - The fluid connecting the High and the Low. Sulfur was used to denote the expansive force, evaporation, and dissolution.
Mercury symbol.svgMercury - The omnipresent spirit of life. Mercury was believed to transcend the liquid and solid states. The belief carried over into other areas, as mercury was thought to transcend life/death and heaven/earth.

Applying Keywords and the alchemical classical elements, according with their planetary correspondences we have the following configuration. 

As we can see the Keywords were placed on the Hermetic R+C because they can create a perfect balance of energies with the Alchemical Elements. 

The Keywords represent the energies or the triangle of manifestation. INRI and IAO bring down LVX.

The alchemical elements in perfect balance represent the sublimation of matter into the Spirit.

What is the Aim of the AKR?

According to teachings of the G.D., the AKR and some of the rituals of RRetAC published by EOGD as a correspondence course, now available for free on the internet, the AO, of the AKR is to assist the student to contact their own Higher Self or HGA. 

However, according to my studies, the hidden reason why the Keywords are encapsulating the Ritual of the Hexagram, they bring the required cosmic conditions for its performance.

What are the Magical formulas in the AKR?

The RRetAC, the Golden Dawn Second or Internal Order, teaches that the Adept must concentrate their major efforts into making contact with their own Holy Guardian Angel, currently known as the Higher Self. 

Now we can do the Analysis of the Keyword ritual perfectly aware of the power and meaning of each part of it. 

The keywords presented in the AKR are:
  1. INRI - Purpose: Awakens the required magic skills to contact the HGA.
  2. LVX - Purpose: Bring down the Light.
  3. IAO - Purpose:It express the direct contact with the HGA, reflecting the Path, the Vision and the Inner Voice.
  4. LVX - Purpose: Connect us with the Universal Consciousness.

AKR Ritual Summary

*Observe that the physical signs of Light, LVX, should be performed with the deepest reverence during the "Analysis of the Keyword." 

Yod Nun Resh Yod.

Virgo, Isis, mighty mother,
Scorpio, Apophis, destroyer,
Sol, Osiris, slain and risen,
Isis, Apophis, Osiris,


The Sign of Osiris Slain (sign),
The Sign of the Mourning of Isis (sign),
The Sign of Apophis and Typhon (sign),
The Sign of Osiris Risen. (sign)

LUX, the light of the cross.

My Light be extended upon you,
Through you
In and about you;
May your Ligh never fade
May it always pervade you.
May my love spark your heart
Into flame ever brighter
Below and above you
Becoming part of your life,
Resurrected, renewed and perfected!
May Light be extended upon you.


Inspirational Thoughts on the Tarot
Rev. Ann Davies

Further Readings

Your comments will be appreciated. 


  1. Care Readers,

    Considering that this post reflects a new approach to the interpretation and de codification of a ritual, I would appreciate your comments and views, not only about the method used but also about the conclusions reached on this article. Also try by yourself and see if your internal guidance will lead you to similar results. In LVX.

  2. the original hebrew of inri is yod nun mem yod (see wikipedia). in turn the greek is iota ni beta iota. this may help further as now the hanged man, reversal and sacrifice is introduced. also iota is the sun, ni is scorpio, beta is aries the ram and the sun in greek gematria
    also, if one goes to the pre 1888 versions of the sepher yetzirah and the original planetary correspondences of the 7 doubles letters but keeping with the known tarot planetary correspondences may open some more doors so to speak as well.
    beth- satrun- universe- top cube of space
    gimel-jupiter- wheel of fortune- bottom of cube
    daleth-mars- tower-east
    kaph- sun- sun- west
    peh- venus- empress- north
    resh- mercury-magician- south
    tav- moon-high priestess (shekinah?) center
    place a dodecahedron around the cube of space with its faces touching each edge for the zodiacal signs. above east aries, north east taurus, and below east gemini (spring) and do the same in the same pattern. you have the platonic solid of spirit surrounding and containing that of earth. kether is in malkuth and malkuth is in kether.
    in L.V.X.

  3. I would like to suggest as a further studies into the Rosicrucian Metaphysics, my ebook, which is my extended research intot the subject: