by Golden Dawn Imperator
Many thanks to all of you who made the last Webinar so wonderful. It was great so meet you all in our Cyber-Temple's new interactive lecture hall. Following the Webinar, I received an email asking me the following question:
"I just read a post written by Pat Zalewski and want to know how to compare it to what you teach so I can make a decision about which Order to join." - Eduardo Gomez
Here is the post from Pat Zalewksi Eduardo refers to:
"When GD orders develop their own 6=5 and 7=4 then they will adjust aspects of their teaching to fit in with these rituals. One on the primary missing elements in the GD teachings was how to approach the alchemical side of things and adjust that to GD teachings.
The old GD in the 5=6 studied numerous old alchemical mss given to selected members. However in the old AO proper, we see a different picture emerging when Garstin's work is considered. He took things from the laboratory and made them an internal construct. This was not new as far alchemy goes, but it was more articulate and directive than most before it. Atwood's work was the base line around 1900 that the internal aspects were brought into focus. Notes from Yeats also indicate that he was breaking alchemy into rudimentary forms of sexual expression.
When I wrote the alchemy and GD ritual book I did so to help a person adjust to a new way of thinking in the GD and that was to apply alchemy and ritual. However this was simply one new dynamic that I utilized in our 6=5 and 7=4 levels. This in turn had be adjusted an layered and extrapolated to suit selected alchemical texts to study to march in step with these levels of exploration.
To do so you have to approach alchemy in layers be it in a larger or smaller dynamic. I wish all you guys in the GD temples there who are exploring these levels the best, as in many respects in our age of information, we appear to have unique access to areas that the early GD chiefs and members did not through the digital revolution." - Pat Zalewski
I am pleased Pat Zalewski has come to understand the importance of alchemy in the higher grades of the Golden Dawn, but alchemy not just an interesting subject for academic research.
In Hermetic Orders like the Alpha Omega, Alchemy is an essential SPIRITUAL discipline and requires regular practice!
Rosicrucian alchemy, properly practiced, produces a material transmutation of the physical body into an energetic body called "Soul," which in turn evolves consciousness. For good reason Alchemy has always been called the Royal Art of Immortality!
Mr. Zalewksi's approach to the Golden Dawn's Second Order is also an academic one, where his students analyse the initiation rituals of the Outer Order.
But hey ACADEMICS, where's the MAGIC?
The Golden Dawn is, after all, a MAGICAL tradition!
Is the Magic Regardie published REALLY all the Magic there is in the Golden Dawn?
Not in the Alpha Omega!
In the Alpha Omega ...
... WE MAKE MAGICIANS!
In our Second Order, Alpha Omega Adepts practice advanced MAGIC revealed by the Secret Chiefs last year at the International Conclave of Golden Dawn Adepti!
I am not saying that the Alpha Omega and our H.O.G.D. are better than Zalewksi's Golden Dawn Order. However, we indeed DO THINGS quite differently - and you can learn to do them too.
Since Pat Zalewksi is still in graduate school, it should come as no surprise that Pat's approach to the Golden Dawn would be an academic one.
Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with academia. But everyone is familiar with the problems of academics trying to push their "thought-only" ideas into the “real world.” They don’t work as advertised.
It’s not because the scholarly work is necessarily wrong, it’s simply that when even great ideas meet reality, they usually won’t work. Looking at symbols may be a great academic exercise, but it will not create a change in consciousness. If it did, every professor working in symbology would be a prophet.
Even if Pat is a “bad” academic, he is treating Magic like any professor of mythology and lore. Is that what people want? Does that make Magicians? Do people want to be Magicians or scholars of mythology?
Here's an example: You can read and study about the plight of the poor. You can analyze why they are poor. You can speculate on the negative aspects of being poor. Or, you can get your butt out there and feed the poor. Action is the watchword.
You can read and study and compare Golden Dawn Magic or you can DO Magic. Only one path will make you a Magician! Study is important, but only to support your practice. Not AS your practice.
The “science” of Magic is important but should be done only after one has reached the doctoral stage of the Art. The Outer Order is the bachelor’s degree of Magic. Its primary purpose is to educate the aspiring Magician in the required vocabulary, symbolism, and practices which are already established and proven to be effective.
The Master’s degree is an applied approach to the science and/or art under consideration and prepares the student to do secondary research in one specific area of knowledge. The “master” is one who can take existing knowledge and apply it to new situations. Finally, the doctoral degree is to learn the methods of primary research and obtain the skills to create new knowledge.
The First Order student is at the bachelor stage. They are not ready to do comparative research of sources. They don’t know enough, or have the skills required, to make informed choices. This is why the work of a university (or Order) is required. It’s not that all of the information isn’t already available and easy to find. It’s a progressive learning experience that removes the requirement of comparative research skills.
An Order offers a controlled environment to gain this knowledge and learn these skills. An Order allows the student to focus on what to learn, when to learn it, and to have an expert proclaim – “you have learned it!”
Pat, and other experienced Magicians, do a disservice by encouraging everyone to start at the doctoral level of personal research. Any professor that tells a student to simply buy a bunch of books, compare what they have learned, and stick with what works, is doing no favors. Students who take this approach are only delaying their growth. There are reasons universities require classically trained Ph.D’s to teach. There are reasons all religions have a school for training clergy.
"I am sick to death of the “do it yourself” crowd that thinks the powerful methods of Magic, alchemy, and spiritual growth are the one area of life that requires no teacher!
On the contrary. This is the one area where it counts the most!
We are dealing with our eternal Soul! We are dealing with forces that can literally make a person insane."
The "do it yourself" approach to Magic may have some validity in the beginning stages, but advanced work, such as alchemy and the Work of the Second Order, is no place for trial-and-error. While Mr. Zalewski may advocate attempting advanced spiritual exercises in a ‘do it yourself’ manner, the Alpha Omega is opposed to such practices.
There are spiritual practices that can only be given to an Adept who has sufficiently developed his or her energetic Soul. Otherwise, too much LVX current all at once (the Chi of the Taoists, and the Kundalini of the Tantrics) could lead to great harm - even a sort of spiritual electrocution!
In sports, one must lift weights regularly over time in order to lift heavy weights without injury. Likewise, a Magician must train their Soul to withstand massive amounts of LVX energy. The Alpha Omega offers full instruction and support during the study of advanced work. This type of help doesn’t exist in most Orders because their Adepts were never properly taught themselves.
Let's take another analogy from sports. We all play different sports on our own and teach ourselves some of the basics. This allows us to discover if that sport is something we are truly interested in and helps us discover our hidden talents (or lack thereof). However, as soon as we realize a particular sport is a good fit for our disposition and talents, we immediately seek out a qualified coach. Unfortunately, the first year or two of our time with a qualified coach are spent undoing the bad habits we mastered with our “do it yourself” approach to learning the sport. Afterwards, we can finally get down to real advancement.
In Magic, this analogy holds. Even those who have been practicing Golden Dawn Magic for years are required to start over when joining the Alpha Omega and entering the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The first year or two is spent undoing bad habits and developing new habits. This is a requirement for making Magicians. Additionally, this time is spent bringing the aspiring Magician into the egregore of the Order.
A mundane example of this process is used by the U.S. Marine Corps. If a U.S. Army soldier with 10 years of combat experience and a high ranking sergeant were to join the Marines, he would be required to strip his rank and go through basic recruit training to become a Marine. There are no exceptions to this process. This process ensures the integrity of the Corps and ensures every Marine has exactly the same experience on their path to becoming a Marine.
Do YOU want a physician that “did it themselves” without the constraints of some authoritarian dictating what they learn?
Do YOU want a surgeon that read some books and uses what “works best for him?”
Do YOU want a mechanic, plumber, electrician, or any other professional that “did it themselves?”
If given a choice between a professional who was trained by experts or who “did it themselves,” which would YOU choose?
Which do YOU want to be?
Making Magicians - Since 1888!