Donald Michael Kraig recently wrote:
"Recently there have been a spate of attacks on Regardie’s book as being incomplete or not “the real stuff” leading to new books and claims by individuals to have received new information from the Secret Chiefs...
In my opinion, these claims and counterclaims all miss the point. Real magick is not about some new secret ritual, an alternate correspondence on the Tree of Life or a variation on a well-known ritual that changes a word or two. Real magick is about what you do with what you have. And with Regardie’s book, you have a lifetime of training and learning and practice...
I’ve known some people who have tried to figure out the Golden Dawn and its techniques and given up in disgust, saying it was too complicated (complex, yes, but once you understand the complexities it’s not complicated at all). Alternatively I’ve known people who say that it’s too simple, but who have never ventured into the third or fourth volumes. I’ve also known people who have literally reversed important aspects of the rituals, knew they were doing this, but claimed they were doing Golden Dawn work. And, as mentioned above, others claim what’s there isn’t enough and are “receiving” new, more advanced information. I imagine some of these people will attack me for what I’ve posted here, and that’s okay."
(For the benefit of the uninformed reader, Donald Michael Kraig is well known in the Golden Dawn community as an initiate of a Regardie-based Golden Dawn order founded in Georgia by an OTO member/Lewellyn author in the early 1980's. Kraig's Golden Dawn statements frequently so closely resemble the positions of this order that Kraig often appears its de facto spokesperson.)
Care Frater Don,
Who is it exactly that has been "attacking" Israel Regardie's book? Is it, in your opinion, not possible for our two orders to disagree on fundamental philosophical points about the Golden Dawn, without the need to resort to calling philosophical disagreements "attacks"?
Personally, I fully embrace diversity in our Golden Dawn community and view both philosophical disagreement and scholarly debate as not only positive but as actually helping the Golden Dawn tradition to continue to grow and evolve. As brothers from different Golden Dawn orders, can we not agree to disagree without feeling attacked or wagging fingers at one another making wild accusations?
Has the time not come to leave behind old wounds for the good of the Golden Dawn community? - instead of merely not mentioning names while continuing to make sniping remarks?
Moving on to more important matters, I fully agree with you that Israel Regardie's Golden Dawn compendium is one of the most important books ever published. (I personally believe, however, that the Golden Dawn would have been better off today, had Regardie not broken his vows by publishing this material though).
You are correct that Regardie's Golden Dawn compendium contains so much magical material that normal people will never be able to fully master it. The book itself is certainly not incomplete. It accurately reflects the Golden Dawn as it was developed in 1888.
The fact, however, nonetheless remains that the Golden Dawn as it was then developed remained a truncated and incomplete system. The Golden Dawn was never intended to end at the relatively low, (5=6) Adeptus Minor level. The grade system is based on that of the Gold and Rosy Cross Order of 1777 Germany. You are well aware that the grades of the Second Order (6=5) Adeptus Major and (7=4) Adeptus Exemptus were never fully developed by S.L. MacGregor Mathers. Whether you agree with this or not, the reason for this is that Mathers was cut off from his source - as the Secret Chiefs were not at all pleased with what he had done with the 5=6 material.
The net result of this is that there are a great many Golden Dawn Adepts today who were initiated into Adeptus Minor (5=6) long ago. Many of these are the best and the brightest among us in the Golden Dawn community. These Adepts have mastered the published Regardie material (that ends at this minor grade) long ago.
Some of these Adepts have even been initiated into Adeptus Major (6=5). But what did they find there? In most Golden Dawn orders, they either nothing at all - or merely something that their local leaders concocted themselves.
Should these Adepts - the best and the brightest among us - really remain forever stifled in their initiatic progress at Adeptus Minor?
I do not think so - and neither do the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega. This is why they have finally released the material for Adeptus Major and Adeptus Exemptus that they had originally intended to release through Mathers until he botched the Adeptus Minor.
These materials complete the magical developments that begin with 5=6. I have given one example already of how this is the case in my previous blog, regarding the magical squares deriving from Agrippa and how they are still cyphered as included in the (5=6) Adeptus Minor material of the Golden Dawn. The entire original system is now fully revealed in the (6=5) Adeptus Major and (7=4) Adeptus Exemptus grades of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega.
As I mentioned earlier, I believe diversity is a very good thing in the Golden Dawn community. If someone is looking for the personal ideas of Pat Zalewski, his order provides a valuable contribution to our community. If someone is looking for a personality cult centered around Israel Regardie, they can also find that in our Golden Dawn community too. The great news, however, is that if Adepts are looking for traditional Golden Dawn training that completes what they started learning in the (5=6) Adeptus Minor grade, the Alpha Omega is now making this material available to our Golden Dawn community for the first time in history as well.
I must admit that I am a bit surprised at how much venom has been aroused by this joyous new, however. Judging from all of the buzz on the internet, especially on certain Yahoo fora, one would think that the old Golden Dawn flame war had reared its ugly head again.
Rest assured that the A.O. is not trying to lord anything over anyone. We are actually performing a valuable service to the entire Golden Dawn community by making this advanced material available to all of the brightest and best among us - assuming that they can fulfill the same traditional requirements that have been in place since 1888 - and are willing once and for all to keep vows of initiatic secrecy inviolate.
One thing that has surprised me in this entire discussion has been that so many Golden Dawn leaders have come out saying that they do not believe that MacGregor Mathers really met in person with the Secret Chiefs in Paris in 1891 as Mathers himself plainly stated. These individuals are in for a big surprise in years to come, since the advanced teachings are very real and will ultimately be verified by Adepts from a cross section of the entire Golden Dawn community.
Meanwhile, the even the radical reconstructionist Golden Dawn faction is already finding it more and more difficult, in light of serious new academic research, to dismiss Mathers own statements regarding his physical meeting with the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order in Paris in 1891. The cynics and the sceptics in the Golden Dawn community apparently have not read the latest academic research on the subject. I quote from page 159, "William Blake e William Butler Yeats, by Arianna Antonielli (2009: BILIOTECA DI STUDI DI FILOLOGIA MODERNA - Library of Studies in Modern Philology, Florence University Press, p. 159):
"Nel 1891, Mathers viene chiamato a Parigi da un emissario dei misteriosi Capi Segreti del terzo ordine, a lui noto soltanto come Frater Lux E Tenebris. Guardiano delle tradizioni misteriche dei Sumeri, dei Caldei e degli Egiziani, Frater Lux E Tenebris deposita nelle mani di Mathers le chiavi per accedere a quella sapienza antica e segreta. Una volta a Londra, Mathers ha tutto ciò di cui necessita per fondare, nel 1892, l’Ordine Interno o Secondo della Golden Dawn: una società prettamente rosacruciana chiamata infatti ‘RR+AC’, Roseae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis."English translation:
"In 1891, Mathers was called to Paris by a mysterious emissary of the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order, known to him only as Frater Lux E Tenebris. Guardian of the mystery traditions of the Sumerians, the Babylonians and Egyptians, Frater Lux E Tenebris deposited in Mathers' hands the keys to access this ancient and secret wisdom. Once in London, Mathers has everything he needs to found in 1892, the Inner or Second Order of the Golden Dawn a purely Rosicrucian society called the 'RR + AC ', Roseae Rubeae et Aureae Cross. "
Note that the above cited quote recently appeared not on a publisher's publicity blog, but rather in a highly respected academic journal.
Indeed, it is these self same Sumerian, Babylonian, and Egyptian initiatic mysteries that are now being further transmitted in (6=5) Adeptus Major and (7=4) Adeptus Exemptus grades of the Inner Order the Alpha et Omega.