Thursday, December 29, 2011

Last Word to Morgan on Flamewar

Is Morgan Serious About Improving Communication in the GD Community?

In the comments section of Morgan Drake Eckstein's article to which my last post replied, Morgan recently published the following sniping comment from Nick Farrell. It is noteworthy that, despite Morgan's call for more direct communications in the Golden Dawn community, he has subsequently failed to publish my direct rebuttal to Farrell's comment on the same venue.

This seriously calls into question the credibility and sincerity of Morgan's call for direct, fraternal communication in the Golden Dawn community. Granted, it has only one day since I attempted to post a rebuttal, but it so far appears that my praise for Morgan may have been a bit premature. 

PLEASE NOTE: Publishing propaganda style "talking points" from Golden Dawn camp, while denying direct rebuttal from the other on the same venue, has been a major factor undermining legitimate debate and sincere fraternal dialogue in the Golden Dawn community for nearly two decades now.

Contrary to recent allegations made by Morgan, this is not pretending to be some sort of Internet Police. This is just being fed up with nearly two decades of "talking point" internet soap box sniping undermining legitimate discussion and fraternal harmony in the Golden Dawn community.

Below follow both the comment from Farrell Morgan published and my missing rebuttal:
"I dont think there is an abyss of thought within the European Golden Dawn and the rest of the world. I assume you mean Griffins lot?? If you said that there was a growing gulf between Griffin's order and he rest of the universe I would agree, but centering it on the EU is a bit unfair."
Here is my rebuttal:
Care Frater Nick, 
Have you still not grown tired repeating the silly talking points over and over like a broken record like your worn out meme of "Griffin vs. the rest of the universe"?
Has the time not long passed for such cheap rhetorical tactics better suited to the world of propaganda and merely derail real fraternal discourse and scholarly debate?

I for one certainly have better things to do than to go on refuting talking points you and Pat spout over and over "ad nauseum" for yet another decade!
The reality, whether we like it or not, is that traditionalist Golden Dawn orders like the HOGD/AO and the August Order of the Mystic Rose (just to mention two visible examples) will likely never agree on everything with reconstructionist Golden Dawn orders like your MOAA and Pat Zaewlski's OGD.
This, however, is no justification to continue the sort internet sniping contained in your above comment and that has plagued our commmunity for nearly two decades now. 
I invite you to abandon merely repeating propaganda "talking points" over and to instead engage in sincere fraternal dialogue and debate instead.
The Golden Dawn community has suffered more than enough already due to cheap rhetorical tactics like these. 
Let us instead agree to disagree like grown men about the many things that we actually do disagree about, yet nonetheless show the world the Golden Dawn community has outgrown the silliness that has plagued our community for nearly two decades now. 
Enough is enough already. 
Fraternally,
David Griffin

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An Open Letter to Morgan Drake Eckstein

Over the last couple of days, Morgan Drake Eckstein has written a couple of thoughtful articles about the present state of the Golden Dawn community, with one drawing parallels with the broader Pagan community and even with the American political scene. You can find this article here. There are several things in these articles, however, that Morgan appears to have misunderstood, or perhaps is pretending not to understand. In the following open letter, I address these issues:

Care Frater Morgan,

Congratulations on a humorous and insightful article, which I by and large enjoyed. You have eloquently delineated several of the challenges presently facing our common Golden Dawn community. For example, you wrote:
"What one does not need to imagine is the lack of communication between the two schools."
I think you have hit an essential nail on the head here. I applaud you for encouraging greater direct, fraternal communication between traditionalist and reconstructionist Golden Dawn orders. Certainly the Fratres et Sorores in the HOGD/AO are open to this. Everyone from the Golden Dawn community is welcome to post on the HOGD/AO Yahoo forum for example, here.

Sadly, most of the leaders of the Golden Dawn reconstructionist camp, on the other hand, stubbornly refuse any direct, fraternal dialogue. Despite the HOGD/AO trying to promote harmony in the GD community for years, they refuse any and all direct, fraternal dialogue. On the one hand, they refuse to post on our forum. On the other hand, they also refuse to allow anyone from our order to post any reply directly on their forum either. It is this intransigent stubbornness from the reconstructionist camp that unnecessarily perpetuates tension in our Golden Dawn community, with the respective camps reduced to talking past one another from their respective soapboxes across the internet.

Next you wrote:
The primary issue is whether or not to accept the existence of an European Third Order---acceptance of such implies that you are willing to follow their public Head and spokesperson, are willing to increase your level of secrecy to the point where all published material are no longer considered valid (including the Mathers material) and all the rituals and lessons have been rewritten to re-install absolute secrecy, and are willing to be expelled if one of your fellow lodge members breaks their secrecy oath. Acceptance also implies that all modern developments of the Golden Dawn system (aka any that developed after the Cipher Manuscript) will someday be abandoned.
Here I can not at all agree with you. No one has ever said that all modern developments need to be abandoned. No one has said that anyone needs to follow anyone else either. Have you really so completely misunderstood, or are you simply making this up and falsely attributing it to Golden Dawn traditionalists?

In reality, the HOGD/AO has said over and over for years that there is plenty of room for diversity in the Golden Dawn community. This is what makes the GD community grow and thrive.

Diversity is a good thing. Our order, at least, is willing to live and let live. It is the GD reconstructionist camp that constantly has been attacking the traditionalist Golden Dawn orders, and certainly not the other way around. we at the HOGD/AO fully embrace diversity in the Golden Dawn community, even if we do not always agree with you and others on everything.


Again, I find your honesty and insight demonstrated about direct communication in our community to be highly commendable. Sadly, however, it appears that you are not always willing to fully embody such a lofty and admirable level of integrity, as in when you wrote today:
"As far as I have been able to determine from the outcries of the internet police is that if someone does not agree absolutely with your opinion, your lesson plan, your Grade system, and your version of Golden Dawn history, then it is flame war."
Aw come on, Morgan. Please quit pretending to be stupid as it is obvious that you are not. You know full well the difference between flame war and honest, fraternal discussion and debate. You also know full well that the HOGD/AO encourages and fosters fraternal discussion and debate, and does not pretend to be any sort of internet police.

It is also true, however, that after nearly two decades of recurrent and repeated attacks on our order not only on the internet but even in court as well, that I personally have precious little tolerance left for such destructive behavior in our community.


"So what is flame war?", you ask. Do I really need to spell it out to you even yet once again? Well, OK, let's give you the benefit of every doubt.

Fraternal discussion becomes flame war, in my opinion, when fraternal discussion is hijacked by cheap rhetorical tactics. These include but are not limited to the use of "talking points", repeated over and over, propaganda style. You can tell that a discussion has degenerated into flame war, when the person you are engaging ignores every counter argument, and merely repeats their talking points over and over. Do you really need concrete examples of this? OK, go over to Pat Zalewksi's Yahoo forum and search for the search terms "secret chiefs," "SC," "third order," or "Desmond Bourke."

What do you find with such a simple search? - Hundreds upon hundreds of attack posts repeating the same "talking points" over and over like a broken record. Our order's leaders and members have wasted literally thousands of hours rebutting the "talking points" that have been written over and over on these subjects on that forum, propaganda style for well over a decade.

And guess what?

Every single rebuttal, every single refutation, has simply been ignored.

And guess what else?

The same talking points have simply been repeated over and over, propaganda style for over a decade.

Enough is enough already.

Sincerely,
David Griffin

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Will This Never End?

Today Pat Zalewksi wrote:
"With a Secret Chief you have a belief structure and no need to learn; in some cases you even have lineage, which means you also do not have to learn and just get a piece of paper handed to you. I can think of a couple of Orders that did this plus a variant of no lineage, but a lot of SC's and no need to go beyond the published papers. Without a SC you have to learn and produce, because it is not a belief based system and it is processed based."
Today Tony DeLuce wrote:
"It typically takes the exceptionally focused and hardworking Initiate 10+ years to make it to Major Adept and when they arrive they get to perform practices with Magic Squares or begin Herb Alchemy? – both of which in my opinion have nothing to do with the Work of this Grade and could have been taken up as practices pretty much off the street."
In light of thorough, scholarly refutation of similar nonsense published over and over already by GH Frater Sincerus Renatus and me (most recently here and here) what Zalewksi and DeLuce are really up to is already so transparent that it no longer qualifies as fraternal discourse.

Let it suffice to say that, for sloppy reconstructionists in our community, the Golden Dawn Internet Feud is clearly still alive and well!


The continuing attacks on traditional Golden Dawn orders by GD reconstructionists like Zalewksi and De Luce, do raise one question though ...

Don't these guys have anything better to do than endlessly rakeing shit?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Golden Dawn Secret Chiefs Debate



Recent years have witnessed a dramatic polarization of the various Temples and Orders of the Golden Dawn community into two entrenched camps. The basic fundamental approach to the Golden Dawn of each of these camps is so vastly different that they appear to agree on precious little.

On the one hand, there are "traditionalist" Golden Dawn orders like the August Order of the Mystic Rose and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which operates under the authority of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega, and others like them. Traditionalist Golden Dawn orders understand the Golden Dawn as but one late manifestation of preceding, Hermetic and Rosicrucian traditions that continue to live until today, and hold that the Golden Dawn can only be properly understood from the greater perspective of these deeper esoteric traditions from which the Golden Dawn originally arose and continues to derive its teachings and its authority, even until today.

Traditionalist Golden Dawn orders hold fast to traditional Hermetic and Rosicrucian values and practices, which include the fundamental importance of things like initiatic secrecy and traditional initiation inside of real Golden Dawn temples, instead of New Age, astral initiation, etc.

Firmly entrenched in the other camp, are "Recontrructionist" Golden Dawn orders like Pat Zalewksi's "Order of the Golden Dawn" and Nick Farrell's "Magical Order of Aurora Aureae." These orders teach that the Golden Dawn has been a fraud from the beginning, founded using documents faked by liers, S.L. MacGregor Mathers and W. Wynn Wescott, who founded the Golden Dawn. G.D. Reconstructionist orders such as these teach as a fundamental tenet that the Golden Dawn is a dead tradition, which died when the Whare Ra temple closed its doors, and that the Golden Dawn today needs to be "reconstructed" according the the personal, ideosyncratic visions of leaders like Nick Farrell and Pat Zalewksi.

Because "Reconstructionist" Golden Dawn orders hold the fundamental belief that the Golden Dawn is a dead tradition, to be reconstructed as anyone sees fit, they feel completely comfortable with throwing out traditional elements of the Golden Dawn, like oaths of secrecy, the sanctity of oath bound material, and even traditional Golden Dawn initiation. Pat Zalewksi and Nick Farrell each have abandoned secrecy, publishing previously secret Golden Dawn material, for example. They rationalize this by considering this as mere "historical" material deriving from an essentially dead tradition.

Since the fundamental approaches to the Golden Dawn are so vastly different between the traditionalist and the reconstructionist camps in the Golden Dawn community are so diametrically opposed, it should surprise no one that there is unending philosophical disagreement between these two camps.

Clearly, the only way that there can ever be peace and harmony in the Golden Dawn community, is if the Traditionalist and Reconstructionist camps can simply agree to disagree, and allow room in the diversity of our common Golden Dawn community even for such fundamental differences.

Unfortunately, however, Golden Dawn reconstructionists appear completely unwilling to leave traditionalist Golden Dawn orders in peace. On the contrary, they attack them repeatedly, which is why Pagan author, Frater Barrabbbas, and others have characterized them as "agressive" reconstructionists. As one example, Nick Farrell, for instance, recently published the rituals of the Alpha et Omega and attacked the notion of the Secret Chiefs in an article that he wrote for an on-line journal.

Few subjects are as contentious between Golden Dawn traditionalists and Golden Dawn reconstructionists as the Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn's Third Order, from whom S.L. MacGregor Mathers claimed he received the material for the Golden Dawn's Rosicrucian Second Order, the R.R. et A.C. 

Golden Dawn reconstructionists, like Pat Zalewski's and Nick Farrell, claim that Mathers lied, that his Secret Chiefs are nothing more than figments of Mathers' imagination. Obviously, Zalewski and Farrell can in no way be considered to be in any way objective in this matter. How could they be, since the very existance of the Secret Chiefs negates their most fundamental theory, namely that the Golden Dawn is a dead order whose material is to be dissected as objects of historical curiosity.

To make matters worse, the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega, a traditionalist Golden Dawn order asserts to have not only reestablished contact with Mather's Secret Chiefs, but has even received more Second Order material from them. Evidence for this can be viewed online here and here and here. As additional evidence, the order has also offered to share these advanced Second Order Golden Dawn teachings with qualified Adepts from all across the Golden Dawn community, and has already begun to do so!

All of the above explains why Pat Zalewksi's has published a new series of posts in recent weeks attacking Traditionalist Golden Dawn orders and the Secret Chiefs yet once again. It is noteworthy that Zalewksi really raises no new arguments and most of what he says has been refuted over and over across the Internet, for example by GH Frater Sincerus Renatus on the Gyllene Gryningen blog of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn® in Europe. These articles cah be viewed here, here, and here, nor am I the only one who has needed to defend our order against such nonsense either. They have also been refuted on numerous articles on the Golden Dawn blog, for example here.

Sadly, repeated, thorough, and consistent refutation never seems to stem the tide of disinformation from aggressive Reconstructionists. Let us therefore, yet once again, refute Mr. Zalewski’s latest arguments point by point.
Pat Zalewski
Zalewksi begins:

"Why then would the S[ecret] C[hief]’s make their presence known to the public by “adepts or disciples” of their own teachings? I’d like to know that as well, especially when the SC’s came out of the closet some months ago, went public on a certain GD blog, heralded by the writer of said blog and on an audio interview. It appears that silence is not their concern. All we got from them was wishy-washy bullshit, as one would expect.

What I am getting at is the SC’s producing papers for temples they support, not necessarily for publication.

One of the things you must expect if you follow the SC dialogue is what comes out it. I have noticed that in some temples that claim this very little is produced to back it up in the way documentation for said temples."

How has Mr. Zalewski has come to this conclusion? Has he been present in any of the Temples of the Rosicrucian Order of the Alpha et Omega? Of course not.  Or has he been privy to any of the secret documents of our Temples? No. In other words, he Zalewksi is merely pulling this out of his ... In reality, despite is pretentions, Mr. Zalewski is in no way qualified to judge anything at all relating to any higher and secret teachings of the Second and Third Orders of the A.O. 

Moreover, even though what the Secret Chiefs actually are teaching, remains "oath-bound material," it does not mean that it does not exist, merely because Pat Zalewksi is not personally privy to it. It is his own fault that he has no respect for oaths, unlike Adepts from other Golden Dawn orders that we have already shared some of the advanced Second Order material with.

Mr. Zalewski then continues:

"For example take the GD tarot. What papers have the SC written for this?
What papers have the SC given about Enochiania?
What papers have the SC given in Enochian Chess?
What papers have SC given for god forms?
What papers have The SC given for rituals?
What papers have the SC given about non material alchemy?
What papers have the SC done on the Convoluted Froces?"

Here we come to the crux of the matter. Pat Zalewksi sees the Golden Dawn as little more than a series of papers. In Pat Zalewksi's personal, reconstructioist vision of the Golden Dawn, he considers spiritual development to be basically an intellectual exercise. Mr. Zalewski’s vision of the Golden Dawn, is that of intellectual understanding - and to manufacture even more convoluted teachings. 

Traditionalist Golden Dawn orders, under the guidance of the Secret Chiefs, on the other hand, understand that the entire purpose of the Golden Dawn is:

"...to become more than human"

I will have more to say about this central point later. First, however, to add to the above I have to say something regarding Zalewksi's laundry list of “G.D. teachings”. Without going into details regarding the particulars of the teachings that have been transmitted by the Secret Chiefs and and about to be transmitted in the near future, I must ask: Why should the Third Order have to adapt itself to Mr. Zalewski’s personal vision or standards of the Golden Dawn? Who, after all, does Pat Zalewski think he is?

Clearly, Zalewksi's entire line of argument is absurd. The Third Order obviously has no need to conform to Zalewksi's personal, idiosyncratic view of the Golden Dawn. Zalewksi is welcome to take his own order in any direction he likes. This adds to the overall richness and diversity of the Golden Dawn tradition. Where problems arise is when reconstructionists like Zalewksi refuse to show the same tolerance and respect for diversity by incessantly attacking  traditionalist Golden Dawn orders and fundamental cornerstones of the Golden Dawn tradition like the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order.

Zalewski continues:

"These are all legitimate questions and should be asked. These are some of the weak spots in the original GD papers that should be filled in. Now I have done my bit in this area and claim no SC guidance and I challenge the SC’s in said temples to do better than what I did in the published area, as a mere plodder."

To be honest, with a few early exceptions, most of what has been published by Mr. Zalewski, in my opinion, has not been particularly impressive, especially not in his later works. This is strange, especially considering Zalewksi's claims to have been initiated, however irregularly, as an Adeptus Exemptus (7=4).

Some of his early writings on Golden Dawn Ritual are quite interesting, at least in parts. But there are also so many errors, and Mr. Zalewksi has been repeatedly caught misattributing his own inventions and constructions to others, like S.L. MacGregors or a "Whare Ra oral tradition."

Zalewksi continues:

"If you are a member of a temple that claims Secret Chiefs then you should have access to material that that goes way beyond what I have published, and if you don’t, then there is a problem with the SC or your chiefs."

Contrary to Pat Zalewski's misrepresentations, the teachings coming from the Third Order into the Second Order of the Alpha et Omega really do go beyond anything that Mr. Zalewski has ever published. Unlike Mr. Zalewksi's convoluted teachings, however, the teachings of the Secret Chiefs derive from actual esoteric transmissions and focus on the spiritual development of the Adept rather than on convoluted intellectual analysis.

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
Sadly, oaths prevent me from going into much more specific detail. One example that has already been made public as evidence of the factual existance of the higher Second Order teachings and practices, regards the Kameoth or Magical Squares of the Seven Planets, which clearly interconnects in a direct way. I previously wrote:

"Let us consider the Golden Dawn’s use of the magical squares originally published by Cornelius Agrippa in ‘Three Books on Occult Philosophy’. The Golden Dawn’s (5=6) Adeptus Minor grade does not really add much of interest to the knowledge of the magick of magical squares beyond that published by Agrippa. The mere advanced (6=5) Adeptus Major and (7=4) Adeptus Exemptus grade curriculum, however, teaches how each Adept can construct their own magical squares, as well as the deeper secrets of the squares published by Agrippa.
For example…no one in the entire esoteric community has known that the squares published by Agrippa and included in the Golden Dawn's (5=6) Adeptus Minor grade curriculum are not the real squares, but are only encrypted versions, and only the tip of the iceburg of a vast, incredible system of theurgy that unlocks untold numbers of parallel dimensions on the inner planes, ultimately culminating in union with the Divine at the center of the square, properly understood as a three dimensional cube. …no one has understood either what the “planetary seals” published by Agrippa really are, when in fact, they are keys to “unseal” the “sealed” squares in order to reveal the true, unencrypted magic squares, and to unleash the true magick and full power of the system.

Once unlocked with the proper initiatic keys, these magical squares reveal to the advanced Adept the entire, secret magical hierarchy of entities of the Golden Dawn system of magical squares, that remain safely encrypted from those who would seek cheap notoriety by publishing the secret names and sigils of the true, servient spirits of Agrippa’s squares."

This is but one example of the quality level of the newly received Second Order teachings from the Secret Chiefs. This is clearly not mere "wishy-washy bullshit" that Pat Zaewlski tries  to assert as a mere "Golden Dawn flame war" tactic. Zalewksi's comment about "wishy-washy bullshit," itself amounts to little more than a desperate and deceitful attempt to divert attention from the actual, substantial corpus of new teachings and techniques for spiritual development that have recently become available to Adepts from across the entire spectrum of the Golden Dawn community!

Zalekwsi's strategy all along has been to ignore all actually presented evidence, repeating over and over that there is "no proof" as though he were a parrot, while secretely trying to provoke traditionalists to release even more information. Another example of actually presented evidence is the recent analysis by Third Order emmisary, Frater Lux E Tenebris, which sheds major new light on the Adeptus Grades of the Second Order. Let me quote some pertinent parts concerning the true nature of the Adeptus Minor (5°=6°), Major (6°=5°) and Exemptus (7°=4°) Grades and the corresponding initiation rituals:

"The three Adept rituals of the R.R. et A.C. are but one valid albeit late manifestation of earlier Rosicrucian rites that contain the knowledge of death, the knowledge of the universe beyond, and of rebirth and regeneration. These rites, which TOGETHER contain the requisite knowledge to become a TRUE Adept, are in reality but three degrees in one.  […]

Inside of the human being who undergoes these initiations and performs these techniques, changes that occur are not merely mental, but also energetic, biological, and cellular. […]

If the mysteries of death are those of the Adeptus Minor, who sacrifices him or her-self scientifically, in order to transform into a different substance (as can be observed in any cabinet of chemistry or physics laboratory where matter is studied), then in the grade of Adeptus Major (6=5), consciousness is gained in the LITERAL sense. […]

During the 6=5 initiation of an Adeptus Major, a special magical technique is employed, which LITERALLY detaches the soul of the candidate, separating it from the physical body, so that the Adept may have the literal experience of what actually happens when you die. […]

In the tomb, in which the Major Adept is enclosed, there is all of his/her consciousness, and in the “world beyond the tomb,” the consciousness of the Adept encounters the consciousness of Nature, once the consciousness of the Adept has been detached from its physical vehicle by 6=5 rites of Magic.

Once the Adept’s consciousness has been magically detached from his or her physical body, he or she then confronts what the Adept knew or thought to be – with what is in reality, and thus can make a complete correction in the eyes of God. It is in the 6=5 grade of Adeptus Major, therefore, that contact can truly be stabilized with one’s higher Self, Divine essence, or “Angel” (and not in the 5=6, as has been popularly misunderstood for over a century). […]

Far removed from all metaphor and mysticism, the LITERAL bath of the Adept in the Upper Astral realm, where resides that which does not live on Earth, reawakens the powers slumbering within the Adept. Thus, it is upon entering the 7=4 that the keys are bestowed of how to use these awakened powers for the common good, as well as to lead the Order. This is why the power to reconstitute the Order, if necessary, has at all times in history resided with Exempt Adepts, together with the Hermetic and Rosicrucian lineages of our Order, as is also the case with the Golden Dawn.

Magical and alchemical techniques are given in this grade that carry the Adept to triumph in his or her Opus Magnum (Great Work). Far from all metaphor and mysticism, these techniques are physical, observable, and have nothing to do with mysticism, obfuscation, or the sort of smoky theological arguments about these grades that have appeared in books and on the Internet of late. […]

In this state, the Adept comes to understand the language of Nature, even to perceive and to comprehend the Universal movements of the Spheres. The Adept understands even life and death, living on the extreme peak of both. The Soul of the Adept is quiet and balanced – and nothing can shake this Soul – becoming what Agrippa called a Static Soul – a Soul tranquil, equilibrated, and no longer fluctuating.

Thus we witness the miracle of the trinity of grades of the true Rosicrucian Adept, the nature and purpose of which is totally different than what people had come to think and write of them today. Although to the outside, these initiations appear to be three grades, they are in reality but one deeply profound initiatic process, which fully develops the Soul of the Adept."

This is clearly not mere "wishy washy bullshit" as Pat Zalewksi's flame war would like you to believe. Frater Barrabbas Tiresius, a well respected Alexandrian Wiccan High-Priest has observed all of this  from the perspective of the pagan and non-Golden Dawn perspective. He recently wrote about the above on his blog, Talking About Ritual Magick:

Frater Barrabas
Alexandrian Wiccan Elder and Pagan Author
"I have been carefully studying a recent transmission from the spokesperson for the secret chiefs of the HOGD faction of the Golden Dawn, translated and edited by David Griffin for the benefit of everyone. This transmission is entitled “Traditional Initiatic Meaning of the Three Grades of the R.R. et A.C.,” and was written by Lux Et Tenebris. […] What was being transmitted was truly remarkable, and it was obviously far beyond anything else that I have read on the same subject. […]

Most of the Golden Dawn organizations seem quite unable to write about anything substantive when it comes to the degrees beyond Adeptus Minor. I would suppose that it might have something to do with the fact that the Golden Dawn material which is in the public domain only goes that far, and the various degrees and lore beyond that point have been, at least up until to now, merely suppositional. Some might say that the higher degrees of the second order (5th, 6th and 7th) are too secret and mysterious to talk about, or that those who could talk about them are oath bound and constrained to be silent. Of course, that hasn’t stopped some in the Golden Dawn community from writing and talking about nearly everything in a public forum, so I suspect that it mostly has to do with the fact that the higher degrees are essentially undiscovered country for most GD organizations.

Yet in this specially transmitted document are the definitions of the initiatic degrees of the vaunted second order of the Ruby Rose and Golden Cross, written by someone who is the gate-keeper for the third order. You should expect that such a revelation would be quite remarkable if it were indeed a communication from the secret chiefs. Such a communique would have to walk a very fine line between being revelatory, and revealing confidential and oath bound information. I have carefully read over this transmission and I have found it to be profoundly revealing and truly amazing. […]

I have shared this transmitted document with my peers, and they all agree that it is remarkable and quite amazing. I have seen nothing like it in the various Golden Dawn material that I have in my possession or have ever read about. It is deep, profound, and also, quite insightful. I found myself saying, “Of course, it was all so obvious!” at various points while I was reading it. If anything could convince me that the various claims made by David Griffin of being in contact with secret chiefs were true, this brief transmission should prove it beyond dispute."

Such is the material, which Pat Zalewksi, using feigned objectivity, would unreflectingly dismiss as "wishy-washy bullshit."

Zalewski continues:

"There is a lot of bullshit floating about re astral contacts who produce nothing. The chances are you’ll be told that the SC don’t do this type of advice. Well isn’t that convenient!"

Here again, Zalewski shows no understanding of the value of, nor respect for, oath bound material. Instead, in typical flame war style, me merely dismisses out of hand all actually presented evidence.

Zalewski continues:

"Now you can stick your head in the sand and ignore what I have said here or ask the hard questions. Mathers never finished the 5=6 degree and SC’s and today we hear that the SC’s come in and try and give advice for the 3rd order when they have not finished delivering the full 5=6? If the SC’s have not delivered the full sub grades of the 5=6 then we have to argue what good are they. It is most likely that someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes if they have not – and go figure who."

Here Zalewksi is just pretending there is no evidence, yet once again. Zalewksi continues:

"The SC’s are like santa clause in a impoverished area. Lots of best wishes and no presents."

This last statement removes any and all doubt that what Zalewksi is really up to here is merely engaging yet once again in cheap, "flame war" propaganda. This sort of nonsense has gone on far too long in the Golden Dawn community, and it creates the false impression that the Golden Dawn is nothing but a bunch of groups that are at one another's throats all the time.

Enough is enough already.

Furthermore, Zalekwsi's reference to “Santa Claus” of course tries to instil the idea of Traditionalists as myself adhering to a belief system instead of science. Peregrin Wildoak has lately suggested something similar on his blog, comparing Traditionalist Golden Dawn with a confessional faith. Nothing can be further from the truth. 

The Secret Chiefs are sharing their wisdom right now in our modern age. It is shared to the Second Order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega – and as I just said, the Alpha et Omega in turn is sharing this material with worthy Adepts of any other Golden Dawn Order. This is a FACT, not a fantasy or a dogmatically held belief.

Unlike Pat Zalewski, there are many brother and sister Adepts in Golden Dawn orders across the Golden Dawn community who respect the sanctity of oath-bound material and who deserve to have access to traditional Hermetic and Rosicrucian teachings beyond the Adeptus Minor material published by Israel Regardie.

As I previously wrote on this blog, and Pat Zalewksi is well aware:

"Let it be known that the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega does not want to dominate any other order. On the contrary, we want to see the entire Golden Dawn community continue to grow in the direction that was originally intended for the Golden Dawn by the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order. We therefore have no problem with sharing the teachings of the higher grades beyond (5=6) Adeptus Minor with Inner Order Adepts from Golden Dawn orders and temples other than the AO.

Please understand, however, that we must be extremely careful about whom we share this unprofaned material with, as I am personally accountable to ensure that this material will not be profaned like the (5=6) Adeptus Minor material was by Crowley. To qualify, therefore, you must have not only been physically initiated as a (5=6) Adeptus Minor, but you must prove yourself trustworthy, be willing to swear to keep the advanced grade material secret, and you must actually keep your word as well.

Unfortunately, there are individuals in our Golden Dawn community who would stop at nothing in order to gain cheap notoriety. These individuals would publish anything they can get their hands on just for cheap fame. And by this, they prove that they are not true initiates, because initiatic secrecy has at all times been considered necessary not as a question of power, but rather as a question of sacredness. The Divine Science should never be profaned."

Zalewksi then concludes:

"So what does this third order teach that is so astounding? The answer is Alchemy. So you can skip the GD and do alchemy under the new fabricated rules. If you are already an alchemist and work the mineral world, then you can skip the order and do your own thing, so even the SC and 3rd Order can be bypassed."

Has this flame war nonsense not gone on far too long already?

Clearly, alchemy is indeed an essential aspect of both the Hermetic and the Rosicrucian traditions. Furthermore, the higher and secret initiatic transmissions regarding the Royal Art of Alchemy definitely do offer a most excellent opportunity for spiritual development.

But for Pat Zalewksi to so arrogantly belittle the entire Hermetic and Rosicrucian traditions in this manner, merely betrays his faulty understanding about the true Hermetic or Rosicrucian traditions, and anything beyond his intellectual and convoluted reconstructionist approach to the Golden Dawn.

At the end of the day, this approach to the Golden Dawn, espoused over and over by Golden Dawn reconstructionists, like Pat Zalewski and Nick Farrtell, can be nicely summed up in Zalewksi's own words, quoted directly from above:

"you can skip the order and do your own thing."

The choice has never been clearer. You can either:

"Do it yourself" with Pat Zalewksi 

or you can choose instead the

Traditional, Rosicrucian, and Hermetic Golden Dawn!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Matrix and the Golden Dawn

by David Griffin


My entire adult life, I have been haunted by one, solitary, unshakable idea. In fact, this single notion has entirely shaped a spiritual quest that would take me not only to the far corners of the Earth - but lead me on the greatest occult adventure I ever could have imagined, namely that:

"Reality is not what it seems."


I grew up in the 60's - And in the 70's transmuted the 60's Mantra, "Challenge Authority," into my personal prime directive: "Challenge Reality." In fact, this was to later become the fundamental leitmotif of my entire spiritual quest.

Thus my magical career began with a quest to prove that the walls of reality are not at all as solid as they seem. My magic wand, to this end, I consecrated having climbed to the apex, on top of the the Great Pyramid of Egypt. To follow up, I invoked all of the angels of the decans and the quinants at the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan.


I spent thousands of dollars constructing my magical implements and even many thousands more chasing the predictible path of total solar eclipses around the world - celebrating one ritual more incredible than the other under the light of precious minutes of solar totality.

To celebrate the first Uranus-Neptune conjunction in history that mankind was conscious of (February 2, 1993) I managed to spend the entire night alone inside the King's chamber of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. Although it cost a fortune to bribe the guards, to me it was worth every penny to prove to myself that I could do even this, as reality is not at all what it seems!


The other notion that shaped my spiritual path like no other has been a persistent belief that there is life inside the Sun. As a kid, I was practically weaned on Star Trek, and yet, while everyone else was asking "is there life on other planets," I have always been utterly convinced that there is life inside the Stars.

All of this, of course, eventually led me to the Golden Dawn, and later to a deeper, more occulted, inner school of the Hermetic tradition, where I found notions like the Inner Planes and the Solar Body - that made final sense of the labours of Hercules I had completed along my spiritual quest.


I guess therefore, it should come as a surprise to no one that when "The Matrix" first came out in 1999, the year I wrote the Ritual Magic Manual, and the year of the Reformation of the Alpha et Omega, it quickly became one of my all time favorite films.

I am therefore extremely pleased to read a most wonderful article here, written by my talented disciple, GH Frater Sincerus Renatus, about The Matrix and the Golden Dawn. To what Frater S.R. has already said so eloquently, I have but one thing to add:

To all my readers, and to all members of the Golden Dawn everywhere, I invite you to remember:

"There is no spoon!"

Friday, October 21, 2011

Llewellyn Worldwide Publishing, Witch Wars and the Golden Dawn



Donald Michael Kraig recently wrote on the Llewellyn Publishing blog:
"I currently know of two Golden Dawn-like groups where the leaders were members of another group, became initiated into the 5=6 degree, almost immediately quit or were kicked out of the group, and then started their own versions of the Golden Dawn! One actually tried more than once before coming up with a scheme to call his group the Golden Dawn even though his new rituals actually reverse Golden Dawn concepts. (Why call it the “Golden Dawn” if you don’t want to follow the teachings of that group?) The other frequently declares that he is trying to structure peace between Golden Dawn groups while he regularly leads the battles by writing attacks on other groups and individuals."
The above is vintage Golden Dawn Flame War verbiage...

... With Donald Michael Kraig hiding behind a mask of feigned objectivity - and not revealing which Golden Dawn order he belongs to while misusing his author's ethos and the Llewellyn blog as a "bully" pulpit.

Particularly noteworthy is how Kraig mischaracterizes legitimate, scholarly debate in the Golden Dawn community as "attacks," while he himself attacks half of the Golden Dawn community in the very same paragraph.

This is the sort of bullying, duplicitous misrepresentation that typifies Witch War as well as the decades old, Golden Dawn internet flame war, which sadly - judging from the above rant - appears to be alive and well  today on the Llewellyn Worldwide blog - with Don Kraig acting as "de facto" spokesperson of a Golden Dawn order that has been kindling flames in our Golden Dawn community for nearly two decades now.

Enough is enough already.

I would remind Mr. Kraig that the Honorable Jeffrey S. White, United States District Judge, already warned his Golden Dawn order in the court's order dated October 24, 2008 that:
"The Court fully expects [the other party*] will not engage in back door violations of paragraph 4 of the Settlement Agreement, and it will not tolerate any such violations." [This paragraph of the Settlement Agreement viewable here details the non-disparagement clause binding both parties.]
*Case 3:05-cv-00432, "The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Inc. v, Griffin," in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Exquisite Corpse Golden Dawn

by David Griffin

Pat Zalewski, much like Nick Farrell, has written that following the closure of the Whare RA temple in 1978, what remains today of the original Golden Dawn is but an exquisite corpse. To this, Pat Zalewksi today added:
"In general terms, most of us think that Westcott and Mathers lied their heads off to create a blind of secret chiefs and non existent mysterious temples, and Mathers says as much. All I know for sure is the ciphers work, and that's enough, regardless of where they came from or who delivered them. It's still good to have the early GD history out in the open though, and the deceptions revealed."
When Pat Zalewksi writes "most of us" above, he certainly does not speak for anyone from any of the traditionalist Golden Dawn orders, like the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega or the August Order of the Mystic Rose. It is only since the A.O. announced a decade ago (in 2002) that we had reestablished contact with the original Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn's Third Order, that G.D. reconstructionists Zalewksi and Farrell began defaming Golden Dawn founders S.L. MacGregor Mathers and W. Wynn Wescott and dismissing the historical evidence without justification for the physical existence of the Golden Dawn's Third Order in Continental Europe as both Wescott and Mathers repeatedly claimed.

To any truly objective observer, there are as many logical fallacies in Zalewski's and Farrell's aggressive G.D. reconstructionist position, as there are holes in Swiss cheese. Above, for example, Zalewksi says that even though the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order are a mere fairy tale, that even though Mathers and Wescott are cheats and liars, and that even though the Golden Dawn was a fraud from the beginning, the rituals and the magical system of the Golden Dawn nonetheless still work.

Grasping for straws, this swiss cheese argument was the best Pat Zalewksi and Nick Farrell could find to justify The Exquisite Corpse Golden Dawn, which they dissect and reconstruct into a headless Golden Dawn zombie, like a hybrid of Frankenstein and the Night of the Living Dead.

What Zalewski does not explain is why the rituals and magical system of the Golden Dawn actually do work so well, if the founders were liars and frauds and the Secret Chiefs but fairy tales. If Mathers was a madman like Farrell claims, then how did Mathers and Wescott come up with something so radically different than anything the world had ever seen before? Read Eliphas Levi and you see clearly what 19th Century occultism actually looked like. Obviously, either Mathers and Wescott were the greatest magical geniuses of our time, or alternatively they must have had outside help.

Ellic Howe does not even attempt explain this. Zalewksi does not explain this at all. Nor does Farrell.

To get an objective, outside opinion from someone with no vested interest in the Golden Dawn, this morning I phoned a respected Elder of a major Pagan tradition, who requested to remain anonymous, yet she said:
"The overwhelming historical evidence speaks against these guys. The Golden Dawn is a watershed between the occultism of the 19th and 20th Centuries, something radically different than anything that had ever been seen before. If Mathers was a loon, then where did the genius of the Golden Dawn come from? The only other alternative are the Secret Chiefs, which Zalewksi and Farrell already dismiss as a fairy tail.
Why then are Farrell and Zalewski posing as Elders of the Golden Dawn tradition, when in the same breath they attack the Golden Dawn as a fraud? From where I sit as an outside observer this is the height of hypocrisy. 
Farrell and Zalewski look like a snake oil salesmen defaming the most monumental and revolutionary occult achievement in our times, merely to elevate themselves.
I, for one, would not buy a used car from someone like who claims that, while the car itself is o.k., the manufacturer is a fraud and its CEO a rip-off artist!"

Friday, October 7, 2011

Nick Farrell's Latest Attack on S.L. MacGregor Mathers & the Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn

by David Griffin

Is the Golden Dawn a Living Tradition or a Headless Cadaver?
Golden Dawn reconstructionist Nick Farrell argues the Golden Dawn died when Whare Ra temple closed its doors in 1978. Farrell further argues the Golden Dawn was from the outset a fraud perpetrated by Golden Dawn founders, W. Wynn Wescott and S.L. MacGregor Mathers.

Golden Dawn Reconstructionist: Nick Farrell
In a bizarre twist, Mr. Farrell fully depends on these arguments to justify his reconstructionist approach upon which he has built a Golden Dawn order according to his personal fancy. Unlike successful Neo-Pagan reconstructionists, sloppy G.D. reconstructionists like Mr. Farrell view the Golden Dawn as a juicy cadaver, from which they happily saw off the bits they like, discard the rest of the rotting carcass, and use the pieces they like to reconstruct a modern, distorted version of the Golden Dawn, much like Dr. Frankenstein did when he likewise created his monster out of bits and pieces of cadavers.

For years, I have been a primary advocate of diversity in our Golden Dawn community. I fully support the existence of a diverse plethora of Golden Dawn orders. Mr. Farrell's reconstructionist vision of the Golden Dawn, much like Pat Zalewlski's New Age alchemy, clearly adds to the overall diversity of our Golden Dawn community. I nonetheless also defend the right of traditionalist Golden Dawn orders, like the August Order of the Mystic Rose and the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega, likewise to exist unmolested, so that individuals continue to have somewhere they can receive classical, traditional Golden Dawn initiation and training.

One thing I do object to, however, is how certain sloppy Golden Dawn reconstructionists, unlike their excellent Neo-Pagan reconstructionist contemporaries, abandon academic rigor and protocol trying to rewrite history by attacking even the most fundamental aspects of the traditional Golden Dawn.

I was not surprised at all when Nick Farrell recently published yet another article, entitled Secret Chiefs and the Golden Dawn, attacking Golden Dawn founder, S.L. MacGregor Mathers as well as the Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn's Third Order. In this latest attack article, Farrell, who has previously argued that Mathers was nutty as a loon, now argues that the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order were but figments of Mathers imagination (rather than real people like Mathers specifically claimed on numerous occasions).

I will not go into a detailed refutation of Mr. Farrell's arguments, as that has already been done in a fine manner by G.H. Frater Sincerus Renatus, Imperator of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn® and of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega® in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, in a new blog you can read here.

It is significant to note that Mr. Farrell's latest article appears in an on-line journal whose stated purpose is to raise money for a legal fund that finances litigation that unsuccessfully attempted to destroy our order. Thus, Farrell's article may be seen as just another machination in the decade old, Golden Dawn conflict, which covertly continues to be waged against our order, despite our long and incessant efforts to promote peace and harmony in the Golden Dawn community. (Note that, despite ongoing misrepresentation around the internet, our order remains the sole and exclusive owner of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn® trademark in the UK as well as in the entire European Community - EU trademark registration 000063925).

Mr. Farrell's recent, senseless profanation through publication of the Mathers recension of the initiatioin rituals of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega is, of course, also best understood in the same light, as Farrell mistakenly believed these the secret rituals were still in use today in traditionalist Golden Dawn orders like the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega and the August Order of the Mystic Rose. He failed to realize that we revised the rituals in anticipation of precisely such an attack on traditionalist Golden Dawn orders.

GH Frater: Sincerus Renatus
Here are a few excerpts from Sincerus Renatus' refutation of Mr. Farrell's latest attack article:
"Mr. Farrell accuses Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers of using lies and deception in trying to uphold the idea of a physical and incarnated Secret Chiefs while at the same time resorting to channeled sources"
"Yet Farrell presents absolutely no sources or references to corroborate his story, in a manner that I have seen with other journalists posing as historians. Thus we must conclude that they are based upon Mr. Farrell’s own fabrications and fantasies, or embellishings, rather than anything solid and historically proven, other than whatever he may have read into Ellic Howe’s The Magicians of the Golden Dawn."
"I won’t go into any greater details regarding Mr. Farrell’s personal opinions on this matter of Secret Chiefs in the flesh or the “mental condition” of MacGregor Mathers, other than making the readers aware that he himself has an interest in refuting physical Secret Chiefs to be anything but a myth and MacGregor Mathers to be a loony. He uses his usual talking points to further his own post-modern reconstruction of a Golden Dawn Order. Mr. Farrell clearly isn’t dealing with this subject from the perspective of a dispassionate and objective historical researcher, but obviously has his own agenda in furthering his opinionated and highly biased position, as any journalist would with an historical revisionist agenda. But I must react when he claims any historical veracity to his speculations."
One can perhaps understand attacks on S.L. MacGregor Mathers and other Golden Dawn founders coming from someone like Ellic Howe, a dubious "historian" with a clear agenda to destroy the Golden Dawn. What is bizarre, however, is to hear the same arguments being parroted by Nick Farrell, who purports to lead a Golden Dawn order he has reconstructed. Why on Earth would anyone in their right mind want to lead an order, or even initiate or teach others a spiritual tradition they believe a fraud founded by liars and forgers?

Pagan Elder: Frater Barrabbas
I am certainly not the only one who has noted this inconsistency in the reconstruction efforts of Nick Farrell. For example, respected Pagan Elder and magickal author, Frater Barrabbas Tireseus, recently wrote here on his Talking About Ritual Magic blog:
"What we have here is an never ending argument between traditionalists and reconstructionists in the Golden Dawn... Reconstructionism, as I defined it in my previous article, builds a modern tradition using properly vetted historical information. The basic premise is to build an antique system as if it had survived into the modern times... In order to give life to a reconstructed tradition, you must believe in it as a thing unto itself, thus generating a kind of egregore...
if reconstructionists don’t believe in the tradition that they have built, then it is still a dead tradition consisting of various assembled parts (with some missing), like some half finished Frankenstein monster laying on the operating table.
A reconstructionist never says that his or her tradition is fake, but that it exists in a kind of metaphysical sense, “as if” it had never disappeared.
Nick’s role of nay-sayer and myth-busting iconoclast doesn’t help his cause of reconstructing a Golden Dawn tradition, since in order to give life to a reconstruction, one must emphatically believe in it... I have a problem with someone who is the supposed head of his order and who claims that the tradition he represents is fake and based on lies and deceit...
According to what Nick has declared in his recent blog, and what other leaders and members of the other reconstructionist factions have said, it would appear that what they are offering to the occult community is a sad testimonial to the Golden Dawn tradition - a headless corpse being passed off as a living thing... Curiously enough, a reconstructionist must also fashion a “head” for his or her tradition...
I think that we can easily see that choosing a living tradition over one that is a headless corpse is a wise decision."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Alchemy and the Golden Dawn Debate (featuring Frater Lux E Tenebris, representing the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order of the Golden Dawn)

by David Griffin

Alchemy and Golden Dawn Ritual
Pat Zalewksi's New Age alchemy book (Alchemy and Golden Dawn Ritual), based already in the opening chapters on material channeled from an alleged disincarnate entity called "Guru Das,"  has both sparked lively debate and drawn derision from numerous practicing alchemists. For example, Pat Zalewski's former friend in New Zealand, "Rubaphilos Salfluere" recently wrote on the HOGD/AO Yahoo Forum.
Rubaphilos Salfleure
"Thanks for the welcome. I have an extensive interest and experience in alchemy, and its expression in the GD system (having been a long time and keen student of the GD system), so I would be more than happy to answer questions on the subject, if any are forthcoming.
I know quite well about Pat Zalewksi's 's so-called alchemy. I met his wife at an alchemical seminar in the late 80's, and eventually became good friends with her and Pat. I visited them at their (then) home in Wellington a number of times, to discuss the GD and alchemy, and his (then) new books. So we talked a lot about alchemy and we discussed his plans for this alchemy book of his at length. And you are right, it is merely an exercise in hooking together correspondences between some alchemical ideas and concepts inside the GD system. The most superficial and highly inaccurate way of trying to decode alchemical literature. Pat Zalewksi knows next to nothing about actual alchemy. And I know for a fact that he has no understanding of the advanced lab tradition (the process of confecting the Philosopher's Stone), as his wife and he only discussed and worked on Plants, and had no access (back then, at least) with anyone involved in the advanced work.
But, anyway, once you realise that he only publishes for the money (as he once said to me), and doesn't really care about the content of the books, then you stop taking anything he says, seriously. And on that basis I don't think there is any value in talking about the guy."
To which I responded:

I also am a practitioner of Hermetic alchemy, and an initiate of the Internal Alchemy of the Third Order of the Golden Dawn.

This is something very different, however, than what Pat Zalewski is trying to promote as so-called, "Spiritual Alchemy," which is not alchemy at all, but merely an intellectual game searching for analogies to string together from Golden Dawn Ritual and classical alchemical texts and images. Pat's calling these intellectual gyrations "Spiritual Alchemy" in his new book, Alchemy and the Golden Dawn, will merely confuse people and lead them astray from discovering the true spiritual beauty and potential of alchemy.

In reality, the rites, knowledge lectures and even the magical system of the Golden Dawn do indeed contain analogies for the advanced processes of Hermetic Internal alchemy in the Golden Dawn's Third Order. This is something very different though than Pat Zalkewski's intellectual games.

For example, Pat says absolutely nothing about the actual alchemical practices and techniques encoded in the rituals. He merely paints a bizarre tapestry of barely related symbols. For example, he ties together New Age ideas allegedly channeled from "Guru Das,"  then links them to a couple of features of Golden Dawn ritual, as though the two were somehow related.

In the process, Pat uses a huge amount of smoke and mirrors, deliberately making himself  difficult to understand, as though being as abstruse as possible might fool people into thinking he actually knows something about alchemy. In reality, Pat seems only to know Jungian psychological theory derived from alchemy, as well as channeled material from New Age gurus, judging from the actual sources Pat quotes in the book.

I do not get the impression that your approach to alchemy, however, is merely an intellectual and speculative one like Pat. Thus I suspect you and I might be able to have a meaningful dialogue to shed new light on the true nature of alchemy for the Golden Dawn community. I must state from the outset, however, that I am somewhat impeded in what I may discuss openly, as I am an INITIATE of Hermetic Internal alchemy. As such, I take the sanctity of oath bound material very seriously.

I was initiated as an 8=3 of the Alpha et Omega over a decade ago. At that time, I was initiated into the beginning phases of Hermetic Internal alchemy as well.

I am an apprentice of a Hermetic Master Alchemist, Frater Lux E Tenebris. As you are likely aware, the relationship between Master Alchemist and Disciple is not to be underestimated. This relationship has at all times through history been the crux of traditional alchemical training. This is something that seems no longer to be understood in the alchemical community, however. Nonetheless, the Master-Apprentice relationship is the single most important factor in traditional Hermetic alchemy. Thus, should you pose questions I am not best qualified to answer, I will pass them onto my superiors in the Golden Dawn's Third Order, to provide you with a more proper response.

Alchemy teaches that Spirit and Flesh - Energy and Matter - are actually two sides of one and the same coin. It is life affirming - and seeks to uncover and use the secrets of nature for the spiritualization of matter.

Hermetic Internal Alchemy teaches that material life on planets is just a caterpillar stage to life as pure energy - inside the Sun and stars - at the fast vibrating end of the universe at the speed of light ...

And the Opus Magnum - the true goal of human life on earth is Energetic Evolution: To cultivate of a Solar Body of Light through physical transmutation - thus avoiding incarnating over and over in material bodies subject to death. In other words, to become Consciously Immortal!

The Secret of transmutation of all metals into gold lies inside each and every one of us - for the "Prima Materia" (First Matter) of Internal Alchemy is the living matter of our physical bodies. The "Opus Magnum" (Great Work) of Hermetic Internal Alchemy is the transmutation of Lead - the matter of your physical body - into Gold - pure Solar Energy, Divine consciousness, and immortality.

This Internal (PHYSICAL) Transmutation is fueled by the internal fires of your body - among which LOVE and SEXUALITY are primary motors for spiritual and energetic evolution.

Hermetic Internal alchemy is "internal" in the sense that we use an inner laboratory, an internal athanor, and an internal fire - all inside of the human body in a PHYSICAL sense, rather than merely psychological or intellectual, as in what has today misleadingly and confusingly come to be known as so-called, "spiritual" alchemy. We practice the art of PHYSICAL transmutation instead of mere speculative, intellectual gyrations based on New Age channelling.

Rubaphilos replied:
Regarding your statement that: "Hermetic Internal Alchemy is a completely different alchemical way to both of these. It is a classic lab tradition, but using the physical body as athanor, prima materia, fire, everything ... but in a physical sense," I would be curious to know if you have any quotes from classic alchemical literature to support that idea. (I am always interested in classic references to the internal work). 
Rather than give a less than perfect answer myself, I instead phoned the Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn, requesting a proper reply. I received via email the below response from Frater Lux E Tenebris, who wrote:

Lux E Tenebris
"Each true Alchemist indicates these things in every genuine alchemical work. Read for example the works of Fulcanelli and Canseliet his pupil. These are modern references to this Art of Alchemy.
Alchemy as a function of its first law states that Unity is All including the Unity of matter. Thus when the mystery is discussed it is discussed on many levels: The physical plane, the subtle plane, the mental plane, and the strictly divine.
You have to remember that energy is always ONE in various shades of it and therefore has no meaning to speak of physical energy and physical references. When it comes to these things you just have to speak of a unique energy and the indications are everywhere and in every tract, as the philosophers say time and again: "We do not contradict each other , but rather say the same thing in different symbols."
In any case, for the edification of the readers of your forum, I will indicate the first paragraphs of the The New Chemical Light where scholars of good faith can find what has been requested.
But then again, this is just one of hundreds of such tracts. But do I really need to give you a bibliography of hundreds of books that deal with alchemy ...
Practically every one covers this same topic, at least for those with eyes to see!
Below are some very clear directions written by a true alchemist of the past centuries. But then again, who poses such a question to begin with, however, merely demonstrates their lack of initiation in The Royal Art, and thus an inability to see what is right before their eyes, as, for example, in Sendivogius, "The New Chemical Light."
- Lux E Tenebris
Rubaphilos responded:
"I am very familiar with Sendivogious' New Chemical Light (since it is standard reading for any lab alchemist). I'm not quite sure, though, how his text shows proof of an internal alchemy tradition. Historically it is well known that Sendivogious was a lab alchemist (after the tradition of the likes of Albertus and Dubuis, for example), that he had a laboratory and performed many experiments there, and that he performed transmutations with a Philosophic Stone in front of reliable witnesses. So I'm not quite sure what I am supposed to be seeing in the quoted passages, outside of his obvious references to esoteric chemistry.
I think I would have to twist the facts a good deal in order to even begin to believe Sendivogious was expounding the secrets (even in allegorical form) of some system of alchemy that required an alchemist to work some physical process on himself.
Seeing no point in further pestering the Third Order, merely to reply to someone wanting to debate the meaning of classical alchemical texts like a Lutheran pastor and a Catholic priest debating theology, I instead merely replied myself:

Care Rubaphilos, You overlook that Sendivogious even mentions sperm directly, albeit the English translator chose the word "seed" instead, which illustrates yet one more problem facing those who choose to stumble around in the alchemical labyrinth without the torch of initiation by a Master to guide them.

You apparently remain blinded by an entrenched belief that alchemy in the INTERNAL laboratory (inside the physical body) and alchemy in the EXTERNAL laboratory (in the external world) are SEPARATE disciplines.

Have you never learned the most fundamental and basic law of alchemy, the "Unitary Theorem," namely that:

"All is ONE!"

Have you never yet felt the sacred flow of the Divine forces of nature INSIDE of you while in your EXTERNAL laboratory observing a distillation, a crystillisation, or perhaps a combustion?

Have you never experienced INSIDE of you an almost religious exaltation while observing EXTERNAL matter transmuting beneath your hands?

If not, then what you are practicing still remains mere chemistry and not yet alchemy.

A true alchemist is one who has learned and EXPERIENCED DIRECTLY that there is NO DIFFERENCE between INTERNAL and EXTERNAL operations...

The UNITY of all things is the most basic principle of true alchemy. Energy and matter are ONE.

Have you not yet understood that, because matter is ONE; the Vital Principal, the Vitale Energy is present in whatever manifestation of matter, and thus the Great Work can depart from whatever Prima Materia, whether outside or inside of you?

Anyone who has not yet directly experienced the SIMULTANEOUS INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL TRANSMUTATION of matter is still but playing at alchemy - and has not yet become a true Philosopher of the Art.

And whether alchemist or magician ...
The path to the summit remains the same.

In the Second Order of the Golden Dawn, for example, we teach EXTERNAL MAGIC using cups, wands, daggers, and pentacles made of dead wood and steel in the outer world.

But if one is to become a true Adept, one must first learn to use magical transmutations in the external world to produce inner transmutation in the INTERNAL world of the magician as well.

Otherwise one remains an Adept in but name only.

And moreover ...
Beyond the Abyss at the Third Order level ...

There comes a time when every magician and every alchemist alike must once and for all put away DEPENDENCE on all of the EXTERNAL props that we needed in our magical or alchemical infancy - and realize that we no longer need such training wheels any longer.

The true MAGISTER is no longer dependent on anything at all in the EXTERNAL world.

But instead - through the exclusive INTERNAL manipulation of INTERNAL forces and INNER processes, the true MAGISTER transforms and transmutes even in the EXTERNAL world, without reliance on any EXTERNAL props, implements, or laboratories whatsoever.

But then again, I am likely wasting my breath trying to explain these things to someone who believes that the only true alchemy is but mere chemistry in a laboratory.

For it is written that:

"Neither torches nor glasses...
Can help those who do not want to see!"