The Pseudo-Matthean Doxology from the Lord’s Prayer, Sephiroth, and Classical Hebrew in the “Qabalistic Cross” and other Golden Dawn Rituals


  • Ola Wikander


The article examines the use of Classical Hebrew and a biblical quotation in the rituals and materials of the esoteric-magical order The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (originating in late nineteenth-century Brit-ain) and the tradition deriving from it. The text focuses on how the Order seems to have viewed Hebrew as a “magical language” and especially on its perhaps most famous ritual, the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, the reworking found in that ritual of the concluding doxology in the Matthean version of the Lord’s Prayer (ren-dered in a kabbalistically infused Hebrew version in the Golden Dawn text). It is argued that the Hebrew lan-guage was to an extent used in a largely symbolic (as opposed to a purely linguistic) way within the Golden Dawn, and the use of the Hebrew language and originally Hebrew sources in the Pentagram ritual is analyzed as constituting a fusion of the Christian and Hebrew heritages on which the Golden Dawn ritualists drew. The phonologies of the “Golden Dawn Hebrew” words are also discussed, as are the methods of transcription em-ployed in the ritual and educational materials of the Order and its offshoots. This helps provide a perspective on the various ways in which Hebrew material may have reached the Golden Dawn tradition.