The Flying Rolls of the R.R. et A.C.
The Flying Rolls of the orginal Order were a series of instructional documents which were issued periodically by the Chiefs of the Second Order (R.R..et A.C.) for those students who had obtained the Grade of Portal or higher. The name alludes to the means by which these documents were distributed a single copy ("roll") was circulated ("flown") from one student to the next. Each one was sent by post to the student in a plain, unmarked envelope, on which the postage stamp was affixed upside down this was the "secret code" that indicated the letter came from within the Order and was not to be opened in the presence of the "profane". Each recipient was instructed to send the papers after a certain period of time to another designated recipient, and that recipient to another, until the "roll" had "flown" to all the intended recipients, at which point it was returned to the Order. In some cases the student was allowed to make a personal copy (by hand) of the text, in other cases no copying was allowed
Students were ordered to store the papers in their possession in a "cover" that bore the seal of the Order (probably a folder provided by their Lodge.) On the cover was the following label:
"This material is private and has been lent to me on trust, to return on demand. It contains nothing of pecuniary value and nothing personal to myself. I hereby direct my legal representatives whomsoever, in case of my death or incapacity, to return the same at once, unread and unopened, to [the address of W. Wynn. Westcott]."
In fact, it was the address on one of these covers, left (either accidentally or deliberately) in a London taxicab, that led the authorities of the British Crown to discover Westcott's involvement in a "secret occult society". Westcott was a Coroner for the City of London, and his employers demanded that he either quit the Order or lose his job, and he subsequently resigned as Chief. The Order's obsession with secrecy had, in the end, led to their public exposure!
There is some excellent and useful knowledge to be found in the Flying Rolls, but some of the material is of dubious value to the modern student of the Golden Dawn; for example, the exhortations concerning their rules of "secrecy". Some may seem anachronistic and even clearly inaccurate, such as comparing Enochian script to the Ethiopian Alphabet. They are presented here for whatever use the student may find in them, and as a historical archive of the teachings of the original Order.
- Flying Roll No. I — Warnings
- Flying Roll No. II, Part I-III — Contemplation and Will Power
- Flying Roll No. III — Instructions
- Flying Roll No. IV — An Example of Mode of Attaining to Spirit Vision
- Flying Roll No. V — Some Thoughts on Imagination
- Flying Roll No. VI — Concering Flying Roll No. II, A Note
- Flying Roll No. VII — Alchemy
- Flying Roll No. VIII — On Tracing a Pentagram by Geometry
- Flying Roll No. IX — Right and Left Pillars
- Flying Roll No. X — Concerning the Symbolism of Self-Sacrifice, and Crucifixion
- Flying Roll No. XI — Clairvoyance
- Flying Roll No. XII — Telesmatic Images and Adonai
- Flying Roll No. XIII — Secrecy and Hermetic Love
- Flying Roll No. XIV — Talismans and Flashing Tablets
- Flying Roll No. XV — Man and God
- Flying Roll No. XVI — The History of the Rosicrucian Order
- Flying Roll No. XVII — The Symbolism of the Seven Sides
- Flying Roll No. XVIII — Progress in the Order
- Flying Roll No. XIX — The Aims and Means of Adeptship
- Flying Roll No. XX — Constitution of Man
- Flying Roll No. XXI — Know Thyself
- Flying Roll No. XXII — Free Will
- Flying Roll No. XXIII — Tattwa Visions
- Flying Roll No. XXIV — On Horary Astrology
- Flying Roll No. XXV
Essay on Clairvoyance and Travelling in the Spirit Vision, by V.H. Sub Spe
- Flying Roll No. XXVI
Planets to Tattvas—a Supplement to XII, by G.H. Fra. D.D.C.F.
- Flying Roll No. XXVII
The Principia of Theurgia or the Higher Magic, by V.H. Fra. L.O.
- Flying Roll No. XXVIII
On the Value of Magic Implements and Insignia in Methods of Divination, by G.H. Fra. D.D.C.F. & V.H Fra. N.O.M.
- Flying Roll No. XXIX
On Lieutenants, by G.H. Fra. D.D.C.F.
- Flying Roll No. XXX
Tattwas and Skrying and Hierophant's Making 0=0 Signs, by G.H. Fra. D.D.C.F.
- Flying Roll No. XXXI
Correspondences between Enochian and Ethiopian Alphabets, by V.H. Sor. V.N.R.
- Flying Roll No. XXXII
The Theban Letters, by V.H.Fra. N.O.M. (Dr. W. Wynn Westcott)
- Flying Roll No. XXXIII
Visions of Squares upon the Enochian Tablets, by Sor. V.H. Fra. F.e.R..S., V.H. Fra. A.P.S.R.