Thank you once again for another very interesting essay. There were elements there new to me and it was very well put together. As you may know (being a member of a small Australian Order) I have no connection to the larger European or American Orders and have not read much about the 1999 Reformation. I am therefore intrigued that the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega has a Rosicrucian Outer Order. Am I correct in assuming this change was instituted to bring the whole Order more in line with some of the traditional European Orders that did not have an Hermetic Outer Order and Rosicrucian Inner Order? (an innovation of the GD and its immediate precursors). Obviously you are not in a position to reveal any secrets. But I am curious if at Neophyte in the ROAO one is (re)confirmed as a member of the Body of Christ, which many people see as a hallmark of the Rosicrucian mystical tradition. Please accept these questions in the spirit they are made - genuine curiosity. Thank you.
Thank you for your interest in the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega. You will recall that when the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was founded in 1888, the outer was Hermetic rather than Rosicrucian. It was the Second Order that was Rosicrucian, the R.R. et A.C. It was actually S.L. MacGregor Mathers himself who changed this in 1909 when he founded the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega. In the Alpha et Omega, the entire three order superstructure became Rosicrucian, including even the outer order, although all three additionally remain firmly rooted in the Hermetic tradition as well.
The reasons for the Rosicrucian Reformation of 1999 were many. First of all, the Golden Dawn was never intended as any sort of orthodoxy, with its teachings set in stone once and for all for all time. On the contrary, it has always been an extremely dynamic and evolving system.
Our order, on the other hand, has remained traditional and faithful to the Hermetic and Rosicrucian traditions. This also has meant, however, that we found ourselves in the odd situation of continuing to require people to swear oaths of secrecy about material that had meanwhile become readily available in any bookstore. Even the magical system of our Second Order, the R.R. et A.C., had been published and could be used by anyone. This made it extremely odd for us to expect Golden Dawn initiates to wait until they got into our Second Order, the R.R. et A.C., to practice magic that they were practicing already and could readily buy in any bookstore. Believe it or not, however, this remains the case with other Golden Dawn orders until today!
We therefore decided that something needed to be done. Thanks to the publication of Golden Dawn material by Crowley and Regardie, it was impossible to put the Genie back in the bottle. So, to begin with, I took this development yet one step further nad published the Ritual Magic Manual, making the old R.R. et A.C. system of Sephirothic, Elemental, and Astorlogical available to everyone in a user friendly format. This was primarily to help the Golden Dawn comunity, because the Golden Dawn leaders I had experienced in America didn't have a clue how to work the system beyond the Opening by Watchtower.
Or better yet, ask them which pentagrams or hexagrams to use and which names to vibrate to invoke any random square or any of the walls of the Vault of the Adepts. You will see that they do not know. Golden Dawn leaders should know these things by heart! They are well known to any of Second Order Adept of the Alpha et Omega because I circulate flying rolls on these subjects to deepen that training to Adepts of the Alpha et Omega beyond what I published in the RMM.In writing the RMM, I made the R.R. et A.C. magical system more readily available to more people than ever before. Much of this practical knowledge had been all but lost to modern Golden Dawn orders. In return for my service, the Ritual Magic Manual, the Alpha et Omega and myself have been criticized and attacked over and over by competing Golden Dawn orders.
And this nonsense continues even until today. There is one Golden Dawn order, for example, that continues to falsely proclaim on their website, that the RMM contains "demonic invocation." I have repeatedly refuted these misrepresenations, even openly on their own forum. Nonetheless, they go on publishing these deliberate falsehoods, merely to try to scare people away from the manual and from our order.Frater Dean Wilson on the Mishan Ha Echad Blog wrote:
Peregrin at Magic of the Ordinary made a somewhat distressed post (and one that I and many others can empathise with) on the state of modern Golden Dawn groups, the constant flame and turf-wars, and what has ultimately turned into a "Battle of the Blogs" in recent months. Sufficed to say, it is my intent that Mishkan ha-Echad will never be party to this kind of behaviour, which does no one in the Golden Dawn community, nor the name and spirit of the system, any good.
I understand that there are some people out there that feel very frustrated becuase of how the HOGD/AO has been constantly attacked and defamed for years now. I can understand how some of you may wish to lash out against our attackers. Putting yourselves at their level is not the answer, however. I urge you to support our order's peace initiatve by showing restraint instead.
Frater Peregrin, on the Magic of the Ordinary Blog wrote:
Yes, it will great to end the ‘turf wars’ as you describe them. Being isolated in a small traditional Order in Perth, Australia, I have no background how they started. I do know they have cluttered up the Net and any searches on our tradition finds them fast. So, without taking any sides, I do like the idea of David Griffin’s that a first step should be to completely remove ALL flame, attacking, offensive posts/sites NO MATTER WHO put them up. Get rid of it ALL from ALL SIDES, so at least newcomers and seekers can see what our tradition is really about: love, service and light.
So, to compensate for this deficiency, these orders try to scare people away from the Alpha et Ome with all sorts of personal attacks, by creating and spreading unfounded Nazi rumors, etc., and publishing all of this nonsense partially out in the open, and in tendem even with even nastier stuff on anonymous blogs, websites, etc.
These same groups continue to use smoke and mirrors to try to cover their tracks. They write blogs chock full of attacks on our order, for example, yet claim in the same blog that they are the ones being attacked! It's sad that this has become the best that some Golden Dawn orders have to offer.
A new round of such personal attacks broke loose last week on these competing Golden Dawn orders' fora and anon blogs, following our order's release on YouTube of a video documentary of the ritual and lectures at the 100th Anniversary of the Alpha et Omega in Paris from the Spring Equinox. Sadly, the competing Golden Dawn orders felt threatened by the success of our videos and launched an all out attack and defamation campaign. They even wheeled out again the same old tired and unfounded "Nazi" accusations they have been spreading for years, trying to scare people away from our order. This time, they even falsely claimed that the Rosicrucian Golden and Rosy Cross I wear in the videos is a "Nazi Iron Cross" and that our Hegemon is really a member of the "Ku Klux Klan," merely because his white cape has a hood!
These accusations, of course, have no basis at all in reality, but the competing Golden Dawn orders their fear-mongering tactics to scare new members away from us and to them anyway. I find all of this unnecessary because the HOGD/AO is not looking to "steal" their members anyway. With our YouTube videos, we were just trying share what our Order is doing. Our reward for sharing - pointless and petty attacks from other Golden Dawn orders.
All of this is particularly pointless because there is no reason for these orders to feel threatened to begin with. There is plenty of room for all of us in the Golden Dawn community. In fact, the Alpha et Omega is not even really competing with these Golden Dawn orders anyway, as we are far more selective than they are about who we let in and advance in Grade anyway. Our order is interested in quality rather than quantity of members. We are certainly not interested in the sort of mass membership these other Golden Dawn orders are pursuing. If we were, then why would we make it so difficult to get through our outer order, which is the most demanding of any Golden Dawn order that exists today?
In 1999, once my publication of the Ritual Magic Manual suddenly made the R.R. et A.C. magical system readily usable for Golden Dawn initiates and others everywhere, it became even more essential that the Alpha et Omega reform our magical system to protect our magical egregore. Thanks to the Ritual Magic Manual, Golden Dawn initiates everywhere suddenly became able to work the entire original astrological magic system of R.R. et A.C., despite the limitations of knowledge of of the leaders of their own orders this magical system. The problem was, however, that now even the Satanist crowd you find on YouTube when you search for "pentagram ritual" could use the entire system as well!
Therefore we set out to reform the order along traditional Hermetic and Rosicrucian lines. Thanks to the Ahathoor Grand Temple in of the Alpha et Omega in Paris, the A.O. possesses all the esoteric transmissions and more, that once had been used to create the original Golden Dawn system. We still, nonetheless, did not simply eliminate all published material or we would no longer really be a Golden Dawn order.
We therefore instead took a pragmatic approach, and moved everything published to our outer order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. This transformed the Alpha et Omega into a magical order from the very beginning. Therefore, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega remains until today the only Golden Dawn order that will teach you how to practice magic from the very beginning.
This has not made us very popular among other Golden Dawn orders, as they make people wait for years to practice magic, only because all they really have of substance to offer their students is the published Regardie material. To compensate for this deficiency, these orders attack us on this point, and argue that this is dangerous because people are not ready for magic when they join the order. This is a just a silly argument though. What is so dangerous about giving people guidance and supervision to practice the magic they learned from the Regardie books and are already practicing anyway?
The real reason why these competing orders keep attacking us is their relative lack of substantial material to teach their students. Whereas the teachings of these attacking Golden Dawn orders begin and end with the published Regardie Golden Dawn material, the Alpha et Omega covers this material already at our beginners level in the HOGD. Where the other orders leave off, the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega just gets started!
And now, ten long years later, we have revealed our Banners and East and the West to the world! This is also why in the videos we recently published on YouTube, I wear the Golden and Rosy Cross of the 18th Century Rosicrucians, which was the forefather and model upon which the Rose+Cross lamen of the R.R. et A.C. was based on to begin with.
And with this revelation in our videos in celebration to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega, we proudly proclaim to the entire world:
"Behold, brothers and sisters, for upon the cross of the elements of the Golden Dawn, the rose of the Spirit has blossomed and bloomed!"
It is a shame that - in response to our sharing - that our order has in return received such petty personal attacks. It is a pity that people even on a spiritual path so easily see an enemy in their neighbor rather than a brother. It is a unnecessary for people to feel threatened and attack what they do not understand. They could instead question it and try to expand their consciousness. After all, the Golden Dawn exists today because some asked “Why?” and then proceeded to discover the answers.