Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Refutation of Aaron Leitch's Review of David Griffin's Ritual Magic Manual

Since 1999 when the Ritual Magic Manual first appeared, written by me, David Griffin, erroneous and unsubstantiated allegations of 'plagiarism' have been repeatedly and erroneously made by Mr. Aaron Leitch, the Secretary of the Board of Directors of a competing Golden Dawn order. Let us set aside for a moment the questionable ethics of Mr. Leitch having published such a scathing review of my The Ritual Magic Manual while pretending to be an "objective" reviewer - when he was in fact acting at an agent of a competing Golden Dawn order, yet concealing this fact.

I have frankly never even taken Mr. Leitch's allegations of plagiarism seriously, since I had never even heard of him until after the Ritual Magic Manual had already been published and Leitch published his much quoted, allegedly "objective" review of my work.

Tonight, however, since I am already taking the time to once and for all refute the baseless allegations of plagiarism made by Aaron Leitch. I therefore went to his website at:

Where I found Aaron Leitch making the below false allegations of plagiarism by me:

Finally, I should once again mention the author's discussions of the Sidereal Zodiac. The rear cover flap of the book proclaims:
"In the most significant breakthrough… David Griffin has herein achieved a brilliant new synthesis of Enochian and Astrological Magic." I can't help but to agree with the significance of this new synthesis (on pages 635-639), especially since I published the material originally in the Spring 1998 issue of Eschaton Publishing's Terminal Journal. The essay is entitled A Discourse on the Enochian Watchtowers. The curious reader can obtain back issues from The text itself can be found archived (and discussed!) at the Enochian-L mailing list: Also, for easier reference, it can be read on my own homepage Unfortunately, you will not find any of these sources in the bibliography of Mr. Griffin's book.

Tonight, while tidying up refuting assorted defamation regarding alleged plagiarism by me, I actually managed to find and read this article by Leitch for the first time, at:

Now I must admit that although I had suspected that Leitch's "review" had all along been nothing but a politically motivated hatchet job on my Ritual Magic Manual by a member of a competing Golden Dawn order, I nonetheless was open to the possibility that Aaron Leitch had perhaps made the same discoveries based an independent but similar careful study of the original John Dee manuscripts from the British Museum and had reached identical conclusions that I did. After all, stranger things have happenned!

So tonight deciding to get to the bottom of this once and for all, I read what all of Leitch's wailing and gnashing his teeth over the years was really all about:

Leitch writes:

As above, I again point out that the Elders upon the Watchtowers are Zodiacal in nature. This view comes mainly from my study of the Shem haMephoresh- the 72-fold Name of God- which is related to the Decans of the Zodiac. Tradition holds that the Elders of Revelation hold these Divine Names (each Elder with three of them inscribed on His crown). Thus is the Zodiacal association of the Elders apparent- with two Elders for each Sign. The next question, of course, is how to know which Signs the Elders are aligned with. First, I'll address the Watchtowers themselves.

OK, so Leitch is coming at this from a completely different angle than I am.

Originally, I had attempted to place (for instance) all Air Signs in the Eastern Tablet, all Fire in the South, etc. However, there is no basis for this outside of Golden Dawn Tradition, so I had to do something more concrete. I attempted to see if the Parts of the Earth and their Zodiacal Kings would help (remember the Parts' Names are what the Watchtowers are composed of).....but after working them out I saw that the Signs were dispersed through the Watchtowers in no particular pattern. And, the reasoning for this is clear when one reads the Call of the Aethyrs- which deals with separating the Forces of the Earth into chaos.

Allright. Leitch tried the allocation of the elements to the four quarters. This doesn't work to integrate the two systems, but at least he seems to have recognized that there is a problem with the Mathers arrangement borrowed from Royal Arch Freemasonry, which is more than can be said of Zalewski!

Leitch continues:

And so, I continued with the most simple concept of all: I wrote the 12 Signs down in their circular order as seen in the sky: with Leo in the East, Taurus in the South, Aquarius in the West, and Scorpio in the North. Then, dividing this Circle into four parts, I ended up with four groups of three: a Cardinal, a Fixed, and a Mutable. However, I later discovered that this method of writing down the Zodiac was in error. The old Grimoires did not list the Zodiac in proper order in such cases- and the Shem haMephoresh provides the best example: the Zodiac is written down by way of the Tetragram- with the Triplicities grouped together by Element. First Fire, then Water, then Air, and then Earth.

In other words, Leitch also tried the other arrangement of the elements that we use in the Golden Dawn, "according to the natural position of the elements in the Zodiac." Logical. He then also examined how to distribute the three triplicities. Bravo! At this juncture, it looks like on this one we might indeed have discovered the same thing independently.

But Leitch continues:

As for Enochian material, see the figure given on James' page 103 (The Holy City which is mentioned in Revelation), where the 12 Zodiacal Kings are placed 3 to a direction, and each associated to a Hebrew Tribe. Then, see Agrippa (whom Dee was familiar with and influenced by) for the Zodiacal associations of those Tribes. You will see that even Dee placed the Fire Triplicity upon the Eastern wall of the Holy City, Water in the North, Air in the West, and Earth in the South. This is the zodiacal attribution of Elements to Directions- and is applied to the Watchtowers as well.

In other words, Leitch even thinks of consulting the diagrams in "Liber Scientiae Auxilii et Victoriae Terrestris." Impressive. At this juncture I can "almost" understand his accusations of plagiarism, even though I approached the problem from a completely different direction. Leitch is so close to finding the key that he is looking for that it is almost painful to watch him grope. Unfortunately, however, he doesn't examine "Liber Scientiae Auxilii et Victoriae Terrestris" closely enough. Otherwise, he would have discovered, as I did, independently, that the key to integrating John Dee's Enochian system with RR et AC Zodiacal magic lies not in Dee's first diagram in "Liber Scientiae Auxilii et Victoriae Terrestris" that Leitch cites (The Holy City which is mentioned in Revelation), but in the second diagram contained therein entitled "Ordo Israelis Dispersi, hoc Estate 1585," that contains the key that Leitch completely misses and that I discovered, which proves conclusively that I did not 'plagiarize' Leitch's work. Admittedly, we independently followed similar lines of thinking, yes, although we each came at the problem from a different direction and moreover I managed to solve the underlying problem whereas Leitch did not, which is why we each came to such radically different conclusions and correspondences! Which most conclusively of all demonstrates the mutual independence of our respective research in this arena.

The answer was sitting there right under Aaron's nose all along. He simply did not see it! All he had to do was apply the Zodiacal signs to the numbers 1 to 12 in Dee's "second" diagram, Aires through Pisces, and he would have discovered the actual zodiacal attributions of the Kings in "Liber Scientiae Auxilii et Victoriae Terrestris" that Dee had intended all along, together with the key to successfully integrate Dee's Zodiacal system with R.R. et A.C. Zodiacal magick as I accomplished in the RMM.

Leitch did not, however, whereas I did. Under these circumstances, I can certainly understand Leitch's sour grapes, but this does not support plagiarism at all. To his credit, Aaron Leitch did not merely unreflectively ape the Zodiacal correspondences that S.L. MagGregor Mathers merely borrowed lock, stock, and barrel from Royal Arch Freemasonry. Even more to his his credit, Leitch independently did indeed at least recognize that the solution to the correct integration of the John Dee's Enochian material lies in the correspondence with the elements "according to their natural position in the Zodiac." Because he did not pursue this line of thinking far enough, however, and did not closely enough examine John Dee's diagrams in "Liber Scientiae Auxilii et Victoriae Terrestris, he apparently completely missed the pivotal diagram entitled " "Ordo Israelis Dispersi, hoc Estate 1585,"

Consequentially, Aaron Leitch ended up missing the proverbial boat and wound up merely making a muddle of things by preserving S.L. MacGregor Mathers' quite arbitrary correspondences between the signs and the Enochian Zodiacal Kings that Mathers had borrowed from Royal Arch Freemasonry. Leitch therefore failed to discover the secret key that Dee had cryptically left us that fully enabled my compete integration of the divergent Dee and RR et AC systems of Zodiacal magic in the Ritual Magic Manual.

It is quite natural that separate researchers writing at about the same time on a subject with limited primary source material like Golden Dawn Enochiana might consider similar problems with that limited material. To dispel any remaining doubt, however, it should be noted the Ritual Magic manual is a thoroughly referenced work, as I recently demonstrated in refuting Pat Zalewski's unsubstantiated and politically motivated plagiarism allegations. Had I actually read Leitch's paper prior to having written the Ritual Magic Manual instead of for the first time tonight, I would certainly have taken issue with his preserving MacGregor Mathers correspondences between the Zodiacal signs and Dee's zodiacal Kings, as I did with Zalewski over the same issue already in the RMM and as I did in this refutation of Leitch tonight. It therefore should be clear to any reasonable person that Mr. Leitch's allegations of 'plagiarism' are also specious.

Moreover, I am quite surprised that in searching for Mr. Leitch's article this evening, I stumbled across another other more recent article from Mr. Leitch, dated 2006, wherein Mr. Leitch himself clearly builds upon "my" observations that "I" made about Dee's use of diacritical markings in my own recension of the Angelical calls in the RMM already in 1999, without crediting "me!"

As substantiation of "this" observation, the interested reader should refer to my article on the Enochian Calls, written published in the Ritual Magic Manual in 1999 and now available for free download at:

Particularly the following quotation from page 8:

"The most fascinating question regarding pronunciation raised by an examination of Dee's handwritten version of the Angelic Calls in Sloane MS 3191 is his copious use of diacritical marks. This mystery appears to have been completely overlooked or ignored by contemporary Enochian scholarship. The primary diacritical marks used by Dee are ´, ^, and ¨, and they are used over vowels in ninety-five per cent of all instances. These diacritics have been included in the new transliteration as faithfully as possible. In each instance where an Enochian word is given, the spelling used by John Dee in Sloane 3191 including his diacritical marks has been reproduced side by side with its new transliteration shown in bold type. Unfortunately, however, certain substitutions for the diacritical marks actually used by Dee have been obliged by editorial considerations. The mark ^ as in "up" has been substituted for the mark actually used by Dee, which most closely resembles the upward pointing curve used in modern English to indicate a short vowel sound. It is hoped that the inclusion of these diacritical markings shall stimulate additional research regarding their actual meaning."

Note that Aaron Leitsch was obviously aware of my research in this arena as he mentions it in his review of the Ritual Magic Manual. Now compare the above with Leitch's 2006 article at

particularly the section entitled: "Dee's Pronunciation Notes" and draw your own conclusions.

I have no objection to someone building further on my research, but I find it disturbing that Aaron Leitch, of all people, should be building on my work without referencing "me" considering all of the bru-ha-ha without substantiation that Leitch has himself proliferated over the years falsely accusing me of plagiarism.

In conclusion, in light of the foregoing it should be obvious that Aaron Leitsch's reveiw of the Ritual Magic Manual (David Griffin, Golden Dawn Publishing, Beverly Hills: 1999) may not be considered as any sort of legitimate, objective review, but mere political sniping by the Secretary of the Board of Directors of a competing Golden Dawn order.

Sub Umbra Alarum Tuarum, Yeheshua
G.H. Frater Lux Ex Septentrionis
Imperator Ordinis, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega
"Ex Deo Nascimur.
In Yeheshua Morimur.
Per Sanctum Spiritum Reviviscimus"

1 comment:

  1. I was deleted from the Yahoo Ritual Magic list by moderator Aaron Leitch after calling his attention to a similar 'appropriation without acknowledgment' on his part some while back.

    It's a nasty habit, that.