Monday, October 8, 2012

"Self Initiation," 1,000 Points of Light Initiative: Good News for Self Initiates and Solitary Practitioners!

by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin


"Initiation” simply means “to begin.” Can someone “begin” the magical life through self-initiation?

"Absolutely!"

Like learning any new hobby, learning ritual magic is something anyone can begin at home with a good book, perseverance, and practice. But, like learning a sport, to get good requires an effective coach. Some people may want to hire a good coach from day one to avoid developing bad habits and a steep learning curve. In contrast, some are not sure if they are ready for that level of commitment and are willing to tackle the challenge alone until they are convinced it’s right for them.

Either way, you will have to find a few good resources to start you out. You may be asking yourself a few questions. Have I made the right choice in choosing Ritual Magic? Did I pick the “best” book to guide me through the process? Will I end up creating bad habits that set me back later? Who can I trust with questions as I progress? How will I know if I am really doing it right? Most importantly, you might be asking if self-initiation is really possible.

"Let me share with you my own story in facing this problem over the last two decades ..."


"If you would have asked me about Self-Initiation eighteen years ago, when Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn Praemonstratrix, Cris Monnastre, first appointed me HOGD Imperator, I would have told you: "Self-Initiation is as impossible as self-psychotherapy."

My understanding of the Golden Dawn has evolved a great deal over the past two decades,  however, especially after establishing contact with the Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn's Third Order in 2002.

Back in my early years as Golden Dawn Imperator, my opinion of Self-Initiation was greatly colored by what was then touted as Self-Initiation, yet whose methods more closely resembled New Age guided fantasy than any Golden Dawn spiritual practice.

There is, of course, nothing "wrong" with New Age guided fantasy - as far as it goes. Let us remain mindful, however, that the Golden Dawn tradition is MAGICAL rather than New Age.

After 18 years as Golden Dawn Imperator, I remain convinced the absolute best way to create a magician is with traditional Golden Dawn initiation - with the Initiate physically present together with a fully trained Hierophant in a physical Golden Dawn temple.

This is because ...

"A good Hierophant can awaken the magical Forces in your energetic body FOR you ...  
... since these Forces are fully active in the Hierophant's own energetic body already."

S
elf Initiation books - with working methods more closely resembling New Age guided fantasy than Golden Dawn spritual practice - have contributed to a popular misunderstanding of the true nature of Golden Dawn spritual work. Golden Dawn spiritual practice traditionally uses Ritual Magic and Alchemy rather than New Age methods.

Why go beyond New Age guided fantasy and channelling? 

"To become a Magician!"

Traditional Golden Dawn initiation is about the magical awakening of the LVX current in one's energetic body as well as the awakening and balancing of the Magical Forces of the Elements, Planets, and Zodiac.

What is the significance of awakening Magical Forces? 

"It is what a Magician does!"

In the Golden Dawn's outer order, Earth is awakened in the energetic body in the Zelator grade, Air in Theoricus, Water in Practicus, and Fire in Philosophus. The force of Spirit is then awakened in the Portal grade, before these 5 fully awakened magical elements are balanced and equilibrated in the energetic body of the initiate.

Is it possible to accomplish this on one's own with Ritual Magic? 

"Definitey! ..." 

But - it is also possible to ride a bicycle from San Francisco to New York! - Then again - Why ride a bike, when you can take an airplane and arrive at your destination in only a few hours instead of weeks?

Why initiate through a Hierophant rather than Self Initiation? 

"To become a Magician easier and faster!"

Why try to reinvent the wheel with Solitary Practice of Ritual Magic? The Alpha Omega is not just about "Beginning" ...

IN THE ALPHA OMEGA ...


"WE MAKE MAGICIANS!"

To "begin” is clearly possible on your own, but “to finish” requires help. No matter how talented, every professional has a coach or teacher. What resonates with me is that Ritual Magic can be mastered by any actor, but our goal is not to simply perform a ritual – it is to be a magician. Actors convincingly portray soldiers, surgeons, therapists, and great heroes of all kinds. However, they have not BECOME these people, they only portray them. 

All portrayal is not bad either - not by any means. This is the path of “fake it until you make it.” If I act like a surgeon while I learn to become a real surgeon, in the end I will BE a surgeon. In contrast, if I act like a surgeon but never learn medical science, I am just an actor. Now, as long as I know I am an actor there is no harm done.

The danger is when I start to believe I am one simply because I can portray one so well that people cannot tell the difference (until I am in the operating room, that is!). My fear of Self-Initiation is someone can portray a magician without ever really becoming one. If someone learns to portray a magician perfectly, they may trick themselves and waste a lifetime living a delusion. The real question is:

"What do YOU want? 

... To just do Ritual Magic ...

... or do you want to be a Magician?"

Sadly, at the beginning of the 21st Century, there are still not enough Golden Dawn temples to provide traditional initiation for all aspiring magicians who seek it. Moreover, as I mentioned earlier, there are people who are just not sure if they are ready for that level of commitment and are willing to tackle the challenge alone until they are convinced it’s right for them. 

This is why the Alpha Omega recently launched our 1,000 Points of Light Initiative, to make Magicians - by providing guidance, corrections, etc. for Ritual Magic practice in a series of live Webinars - and by encouraging people to create their own Personal Temple altars and spaces.

This is also why I wrote the Ritual Magic Manual ...

The Ritual Magic Manual fills an essential need for would be Golden Dawn magicians by providing everything you need for the magical component of Self-Initiation on your own, in a complete - step by step - user-friendly format.


In the Ritual Magic Manual, you will find all of the pentagrams, hexagrams, Egyptian God Forms, Enochian and Qabalistic names sigils and names of power, flashing colors, etc. - all in one place!

Why do Ritual Magic? 

"It is the method of the Magician!"

The Ritual Magic Manual contains not only the Elemental invocations necessary for the successful magical completion of the Golden Dawn's outer order. Additionally, ALL of the magical Forces of the Planets, the Zodiac, and the Qabalistic Sephiroth are included as well, each using a complete, traditional Golden Dawn Ritual invocation.

Here is what some Magicians who have worked with the Ritual Magic Manual are saying:
"The Ritual Magic Manual is packed with all the Rituals practiced by the Magical order. If you have this book along with Donald M. Kraig's - Modern Magick, then you are off in Self Initiation." 
- Ixus Radion 
"Self-Initiates will find the magical training you need here. Solitaries will find no more thorough a reference manual. Pagans will find the Golden Dawn's "Book of Shadows." Thelemites will find 'Liber O' on steroids." 
- Frater WA 
"Everything needed to complete GD basic magical training is between these covers - with some vital extensions of the Enochian Work too... pronunciation guides, 12 Zodiacal Kings, Colour and the Sigillum, etc."  
- Ad Astra 
"As to the overall accuracy of names and sigils in this book, Griffin notes the instances where he corrects (or deviates from) established sources: examples of this include (much-needed) revisions to the Hebrew spellings of the Qlipothic hierarchy given in Crowley's 777." 
- David L. Smith
Since the Alpha Omega is out to make magicians with our 1,000 Points of Light initiative - I will personally be providing Ritual Magic coaching - without charge - during our first scheduled Webinar in English, on Saturday, October 27, at 12:00 PM PDT, here in the chat room of The Golden Dawn Blog.

I am also concerned about how expensive the Ritual Magic Manual has become. With scalpers asking insane prices reaching $1,000 for a new hard bound copy, the Manual has moved beyond the financial reach of many aspiring magicians today.

In the Alpha Omega, we reward Magicians who demonstrate merit. Therefore, I will be giving a complementary electronic copy of The Ritual Magic Manual to all sincere, aspiring Magicians who attend the Ritual Magic Webinar on October 27.

"See you at the Webinar!"

Golden Dawn Imperator David Griffin

ALPHA OMEGA ...


"MAKING MAGICIANS - SINCE 1888!"

17 comments:

  1. Im still not sure that registering with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is important for a solitary. If your solitary, than be solitary. But I must admit, this is a refreshing change in direction for the HOGD and it's imperator in particular; thank you (finally). Mr. Griffin's offer of a free e-copy of this masterpiece, dictates my humble endorsement. David Griffin's Ritual Magic Manual is the reason I practice the occult to this day. You can read, read, read; you can go on every forum, you can even get a teacher; but IMO you can do nothing without Theurgy. Theurgy throws people because its so much work and study to get to the point of even knowing what to do, and when. David's book has the recipe for every cosmic force, and my blog usually has the best times to work with each force......... I STRONGLY URGE EACH AND EVERY SOLITARY TO ATTEND THIS WEBINAR; AS IMO THIS BOOK IS ONE OF THE ONLY DIRECT MAGICKAL REFERENCES AVAILABLE. Consider that everything we argue about on these blogs is mostly theory and basically a waste of time; where the difference is, is that everything in that book is pure magickal reference. No debate points, no flaming; simple pure magick, like no other book available. Any solitary would be crazy to miss this opportunity. And anyone who knows me, knows that I have given Mr. G no slack. This endorsement has not come easily, but if it is real, than Im in.

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  2. --- "AaronLeitch" wrote:
    > I can see both sides of the coin. The astrological correspondences are - for me- most important where it comes to Golden Dawn ritual work and meditation. However, when it comes to using the deck for practical readings, I tend to view the images as equally if not more important. (Which, in fact, is why I prefer the Smith-Waite deck when doing readings to the Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot.)
    LVX
    Aaron Leitch

    I disagree with Aaron Leitch's choice of the Smith-Waite deck for practical Tarot readings. For a Golden Dawn reading, it is better to use a deck containing more traditional Golden Dawn symbolism like the Wang deck.

    Waite added in a lot of superfluous symbolism without sufficient justification, in my opinion. This untraditional symbolilsm is most clear in the images of Waite's lesser arcana cards.

    David Griffin

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  3. I read in several Golden Dawn books that you should perform the LIRP in the morning and the LBRP in the evening. What do you recommend for those of us just beginning?

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  4. The prevalent misunderstanding about performing the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram in the morning, then the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram in the evening, is a MISTAKE. Regardie created this misunderstanding due to his incomplete understanding of the Golden Dawn System of Ritual Magic.

    This mistaken notion has been repeated blindly in books written by uninformed Golden Dawn authors.

    You should ALWAYS banish - both in the morning and in the evening, otherwise you open a magical portal that you leave hanging out there all day long. This is actually dangerous.

    The LIRP us actually a sort of general Elemental invocation, used for example, when opening the Hall of the Neophytes in the Alpha Omega.

    In the Alpha Omega: "We Make Magicians!"

    David Griffin

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  5. You can find step-by-step instructions for the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram on page 46 of The Ritual Magic Manual.

    I deliberately left out the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram out of the Ritual Magic Manual to try to overcome the confusion in the publc mind caused by Regardie's mistake and uninformed GD authors sheepishly repeating Regardie's error.

    If you are interested in the LIRP though, just use the invoking pentagrams from the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram for the element, Earth, in the Ritual Magic Manual, beginning on page 69.

    Golden Dawn Imperator,
    David Griffin

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  6. RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR BEGINNERS

    I was recently asked what Golden Dawn books are essential for getting started in Ritual Magic. An essential reference tool is Regardie's "Golden Dawn." I can also recommend Donald Michael Kraig's Modern Magic as an interesting book with some theory as well as a couple of introductory Golden Dawn rituals.

    If you are serious about the Ritual Magic of the Golden Dawn, however, you are going to want to get your hands on a copy of The Ritual Magic Manual I wrote, which has become exceedingly hard to find due to extreme demand.

    Here is what one magician says about the RMM:

    "Everything needed to complete GD basic magical training is between these covers - Elemental Work, Planetary Work, Zodiacal and Sephirothic Work, with some vital extensions of the Enochian Work too... pronunciation guides, 12 Zodiacal Kings, Colour and the Sigillum, etc." - Ad Astra

    Golden Dawn Imperator,
    David Griffin

    "ALPHA OMEGA - Making Magicians Since 1888"

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    Replies
    1. Thanks much for posting this - so very appreciated!

      I have been lurking here (in a good way) for quite some time - I am not interested in initiation, but I like to be well-aware when people ask questions, and I have referred them to some resources, including this yahoogroup (and blog) so they can make a well-informed decision.

      Interestingly, I personally have two of your three essentials (and I shall link them here so we know exactly what is referenced):

      http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Dawn-Teachings-Ceremonies-Llewellyns/dp/0875426638/

      http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Magick-Twelve-Lessons-Magickal/dp/0738715786/

      I know Donald Michael Kraig and really like him (he signed my prior version of this book and I have the recent edition as well), and I am glad to see you think of him in a high regard as well :-)

      When I found your book link (which I believe follows):
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Ritual-Magic-Manual-Practical/dp/0965840891/
      I saw it was out of print, or at least not for sale via amazon itself.

      Any plans on republishing (either in a paper form or an eBook) or will this only be available through joining your order? Just wondering - thank you!

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the kind words.

      I also am quite concerned about how expensive the Ritual Magic Manual has become. With scalpers asking insane prices reaching $1,000 for a new hard bound copy, the Manual has moved beyond the financial reach of many aspiring magicians today, for whom I wrote the Manual.

      In the Alpha Omega, we reward Magicians who demonstrate merit. Therefore, I will be giving a complementary electronic copy of The Ritual Magic Manual to all sincere, aspiring Magicians who attend the FREE! Ritual Magic Webinar on October 27 in the Chat Room of the Golden Dawn Blog at 12:00 PM PDT

      The Webinar will be helpful in your Ritual Magic practice, and if you want and electronic copy of the RMM, you merely need to attend the FREE! Webinar.

      Golden Dawn Imperator,
      David Griffin

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  7. Ave G.H Fr L.e.S
    Have you considred republishing the 'Ritual Magic Manual' perhaps through a print-on-demand
    publishing service like Lulu, that doesn't charge, except for the book that are sold.
    Certainly if you made a new version of the book
    available, I would very likely buy it.
    cheers

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    Replies
    1. Care et VH Frater Lenny,

      I am aware of the extreme demand for the Ritual Magic Manual and how scalpers are abusing would be magicians on Amazon as a consequence.

      I presently have no plans to ever release a 2d edition of the RMM, but I am not ruling it out either, as I do not like to speak in absolutes.

      For the moment, I am addressing the problem by making electronic copies available at no charge to sincere, aspiring magicians who show willingness to make an effort. For, example sincere, aspiring magicians who attend the October 27 Webinar here on the blog will receive an electronic copy of the RMM should they so desire.

      David Griffin

      Delete
  8. Hi Mr. Griffin

    I have a question...

    Please, could you tell us if, after the Banishing Pentagram Ritual, should we perform the Sign of Silence (in order to dissipate any remaining energies)?

    I ask this because in one book I saw this addition to the LBRP and thought it was confusing, since if we perform the Qabalistic Cross in order to awaken our Higher Self (bringing it closer to us), then performing the Sign of Silence would defeat our purpose. No?

    Another books tell us to perform the gesture of Opening the Veil (in the beggining of LBRP) and The Closing of the Curtain (at the end of the ritual). This seems to be more in tune, since this is just to adjust us to the normal world and not to dissipate energies awakened.

    Could you please elaborate on this?

    Thank you so much for being available:-)

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  9. In the Alpha Omega, we use the Sign of Silence and the Sign of the Enterer from the 0=0 Grade of Neophyte in the manner that these Signs have traditionally been intended in the Golden Dawn.

    The Sign of the Enterer is used to project energy outwards. In Ritual Magic, we use the Sign of the Enterer to charge a Pentagram by projecting energy through it, once the Pentagram has been traced.

    NB - Energy thus projected through a Pentagram will always engender a reflux current of energy that flows into the magical circle through the energetic portal the Magician has opened with the Pentagram.

    This is highly desirable in Ritual Invocation, as you will feel a strong wave of the invoked energy flowing into the Magic Circle and through you following the projection sign.

    This is not at all desirable when banishing, however. Thus in the Alpha Omega we use the Sign of Silence to seal the portal. Energy rushes only out, but finds a closed door when the reflux current tries to flow into the Circle.

    In the same manner that the Sign of the Enterer is called the "Projection Sign" the Sign of Silence is known as the "Protection Sign." In order to best understand this, please consider the Hermetic maxim:

    "As Above, So Below."

    One can also understand this to mean:

    As Without, So Within.

    Thus the Sign of the Enterer and the Sign of Silence are best understood through the manner in which they affect the energetic body of the Magician.

    Why become a Magician?

    To grow your energetic body - And to learn to control and direct it.

    Our energetic nature, after all, is the only part of us that survives the death of the physical body. This is why Hermetic Magic is also called the Art of Immortality.

    In the Alpha Omega, we teach that the plasticity of the energetic body is the basis of all practical magic, but this is a subject for advanced Magicians that goes beyond the scope of your present question.

    To make correct energetic use of the Neophyte Signs most readily understandable, let me take a metaphor from the Star Trek universe.

    The Sign of the Enterer in Trek-speak is like "fire photon torpedos," whereas the Sign of Silence is "raise shields."

    The Sign of the Enterer teaches a Magician to project energy. The Sign of Silence teaches a Magician to close and seal the energetic body.

    I hope this contributes to your magical growth in some small way.

    Golden Dawn Imperator,
    David Griffin

    Why practice Magic? - It is the science of energetic immortality.

    In the Alpha Omega - We Make Magicians!

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  10. Oh, I forgot to mention that you will find the correct use of these things in the Ritual Magic Manual, as follows:

    Sign of the Enterer, p. 38
    Sign of Silence, p. 39
    Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, p. 46

    You will also find easy to follow, correct pronunciation symbols, with spelling of divine names, etc. from earlier source documents, with Hebrew pronunciation corrected by a Rabbi and Enochian pronunciation corrected from indications in original Dee documents.

    Why reinvent the wheel on your own?

    The Alpha Omega has been making Magicians since 1888.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your help, sir.

      It certainly answered more than my original question (other doubts I had lurking in my mind about the meaning of magic) and it also is refreshing to see someone of the status of an Imperator of a Golden Dawn order coming to talk with the students and offering help in understading the teachings:-)

      Keep up the Good Work

      Have a nice week!

      Delete
  11. Question about self-initation David. I see you call other books with golden dawn self-initations as guided fantasy, which I would completely agree with. Then you suggest that with the RMM one can actually self-initiate. I am curious though..how is your method different? Is there an actual self-initation part in the book? How would one use the RMM to self-initate?

    Now that question being asked I would like to say THANK YOU. These webinars and this initative is HUGE. HUGE!!!!!!!! With the madness that the Golden Dawn Community has been engulfed in it is breath taking to see someone stand out and say "look, cut the crap. we aren't about hocus pocus baolgna. we aren't about scams. we aren't about greed and lies and power trips. we are about people helping people. we are about the great work. we are about unification." It brings me great joy to see you working so hard on so many great ideas. Thank you, deeply, for all of your hard work.

    P.S.

    Republish the RMM!!!! I love hard copies so much and am DYING for this. I actually have a savings fund for this. 300 bucks in it so far. I will definitely come to the webinar, the RMM is definitely the cherry on top. But please please PLEASE!!!!!!!!!! republish this book in a hardcopy format! Hell, I'll send you 300 bucks and maybe you'll even sign it! :D

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    Replies
    1. Care Frater NAN,

      I am aware of the extreme demand for the Ritual Magic Manual and how scalpers are abusing would be magicians on Amazon as a consequence.

      I presently have no plans to ever release a IId edition of the RMM, but I am not ruling it out either. I do not like to speak in absolutes.

      For the time being, I am addressing the problem by making electronic copies available at no charge to aspiring magicians who show willingness to make an effort.

      For, example sincere Aspirants who attend the October 27 Webinar here on the blog will receive an electronic copy of the RMM, should they so desire.

      David Griffin

      Delete
  12. Care Frater NAN,

    The Ritual Magic Manual does not pretend to be a book of Self-Initiation. It is, however, precisely what it purports to be - a manual of Golden Dawn Ritual Magic.

    It is also true, however, that a fundamental aspect of traditional Golden Dawn initiation is the awakening and balancing of the Magical Forces in the energetic body of the candidate.

    Can this particular aspect be accomplished with the Individual Practice of Ritual Magic.

    Definitely - but with a HUGE amount of discipline and practice.

    But why ride a bicycle across country when you can take a jet in a few hours instead of weeks.

    Why get initiated by a Golden Dawn Hierophant???

    To become a Magician faster and easier.

    And with all due respect to New Age Golden Dawn orders, New Age methods like guided fantasy - while interesting in their own right - have NOTHING at all to do with the TRADITIONAL Golden Dawn.

    Why practice Ritual Magic instead of New Age guided fantasy?

    It is the method of the Magician!

    David Griffin

    "In the Alpha Omega ...
    ... We make Magicians!"

    ReplyDelete