Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Alchemy and Golden Dawn Ritual - The Inner Planes

by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin

Recent weeks have seen some highly interesting discussion over on the International Golden Dawn Yahoo Forum, which you can visit here. One relatively new practitioner of Golden Dawn Magic posed the question whether or not Astral Projection is dangerous. One reply led to the below post, which I find important enough to cross-post here on the Golden Dawn Blog.

Popi Oso wrote:
"Greetings Fraters and Sorors.
Reading these posts has been interesting, watching the way peoples thinking and discussing things change over time.
Astral projection is not dangerous. You cannot get lost. You cannot die. There is no such thing as an entity able to overcome the will of your HGA and eliminate your connection with it or life. "Astral nasties" - love that term btb - are nothing more than insects in the food chain of beings, and only live in the lowest levels of the astrals, usually below even the navel center, though a few manage to hook onto human sexuality as feeding sources. They are like leeches. The function of the LBRP is to put a match to them and remove your own lower harmonics of which they resonate with and thus are drawn towards and use as feeding ports.
We live in a world filled with petty people playing silly dramas and generating thought forms with little concern or awareness as to the consequences of the creation of them.
As members of a portion of society focused on development of awareness beyond primal survival, simple sexual gratification and herd instinct , and power over others ( even though many newbies will say that they do wish for power over others - the path is self correcting and as power is gained, the inclination to abuse others falls away due to increasing congress with the laws of cause and effect and power being in direct ration to ones willingness and ability to serve the overall evolutionary process. ) In any case, we become the vanguard of awareness within the body of which we are an integral aspect, humanity. At the heart, we experience a threshold shift and become attuned to greater and more subtle element of life.
These begin as minor shifts, learning how to fly, see auras, attune the body to extended harmonics of awareness, learn assorted given language of symbolisms and create patterns of energy flow within our own eggs which as Kundalini is aroused creates change. Shaktipat, Kriyas, sounds, colors, synesthesia of senses, all are normal and harmelss aspects of altering your body energies into extende ranges of awareness.
The function of the classes and materials as found here are to give pattern to energies which will create changes in your awareness. A symphony only occurs when there is harmony with the assorted wavelengths of sound produced. While it is possible to learn more than one song at a time, serious students do not usually study fifteen differing types of music at the same time, the learn the basics of one style and expand into more, or become masters of one style. As with music, so also with these modulations of energy which we discuss. Delve intently into one, and figure out its tone and range, then extend your studies into others as inclination and interest takes you. But Dive in headfirst, and commit. Dabblers get trivialized and discarded by the body as a whole, because lack of commitment means lack of ability and focus. You will not be capable of expanding into a presence able to hold earth in your hands, if your dancing about like a monkey excited at seeing a cat.
Egregores are an interesting aspect of a space where energy work has been done. With commitment to being a bodhisattvha of earth, freedom to enter into the circle of any group with humans development as a goal becomes possible and easy. I personally don't particularly enjoy the harmonics of most christian protestant groups, because they limit the range of acceptable frequencies into constraints I find onerously limiting. No aura seeing/work, no mental body manipulations, no higher planer work, and give glory to their god for everything rather than risk being noticed for hubris. Bah Humbug, Thor isn't apt to shake the hand of a meek and humble sheep. He'd kill a wolf threatening his mutton, but he sure the hell wouldn't want his followers to Be mutton. In any case, others, such as Eastern Orthodox, Two-by Twos, Original Quakers, whilst using a specific language of the things I mentioned couched in other terms, at least are open to the skill sets involved. thus, entry to not restricted and the egregores do not exclude or make one uncomfortable after you have mastered some basic skill sets for energy manipulation. As a witch says, the key to every door is perfect love and perfect trust. Love under will, as another has been quoted many times.
Bottom line is no, astral projection is not dangerous and its educational and interesting and usually limited to this plane, which is literally, elementary school. What else would you call a place where one learns what the elements of life are and how to bring your own into harmony with yourself? When you make enough progress and begin to climb your way towards eagle peak or above the clouds that fog the minds of humanity and blind them like a warm blanket does... but provides necessary protection whilst the young shoots are developing... when you make it above the clouds, the law is clear that a hermit with a lantern will appear to point you a bit farther on the Path. But you have to learn the disciplines and skills necessary to first find the path, A path, and make some progress within the structure of it, enough to clear away some of the damn sleepers foggy limitations of awareness and get your ass up tall enough to get noticed. Nobody is going to pick you up. Nobody is going to rescue you from your self created nightmares. Nobody is going to beat you down either though.nor will you get gobbled up by some egregious starveling monster of depravity...though your quite capable of creating something nasty enough to hurt you... till you wise up and stop feeding the damned thing.Learn the elements, learn some language skills, learn some energy flows, and above all, focus on having an interesting and enjoyable learning experience, because you will exactly and immutable create exactly what you expect, so learn to manipulate your expectations, its the highest art of the highest sort. It (and it alone) determines what you allow into your reality. (need I find the twenty different quotes which say this in assorted ways?)
But keep in mind one other fact in your Learning to be a Good Observer (Technician, Ambassador and Speaker)- you must first master your own heart. You need to walk the hall of mirrors and see the faces of your won history from the beginning. You have to learn the step up after that of the assorted "-mancies", you have to pass the threshold of historical mystery schools and the secrets they hold dear, and learn to speak from silence in the heart, not knowing what words will come next as you give that truth of an oracle. then you will come to the Commons, that place the threshold of personae ends and only souls continue. You can only step into the clear blue after self mastery in the heart. this in no way is a rejection of you personally, its simply that initiation occurs when someone standing in the light invites you to join them, and as far as I know, it always takes three souls to open the portal.
I could be wrong, i have been, and told so a few times. But, come onto the Path, step up and be counted as a true Seeker and soul ready to uplift humanity as a whole and individual souls as you meet them. I was taught that the Path consists of the members you meet along its ways. 40 years of meeting souls has done nothing to counter that premis. The secrets are an open book found in your own library of your heart above the clouds.  Learn to ask and read, No librarian has ever misled a seeker, and no seeker has ever failed to find soul if they persist."
Love and light
- Popi Oso 
The above post by Popi Oso I find astonishingly accurate according to my own spiritual experience as an Adept, even though Popi uses symbols and terms other than I would have chosen, which is why I have cross-posted it here.

There are a few things I feel that do need adding, however, according to my lived spiritual experience in the higher grades of the Alpha Omega.

The LOWER ASTRAL PLANE is the realm of illusion, which is its greatest danger. This is attested to by entire shelves of useless and delusional channeled material in New Age bookstores.

This is why, in the Golden Dawn, we teach the visionary method of Skrying in the Spirit Vision TOGETHER with safeguards and methods of testing visions.

If we are to conquer immortality with the realization of a Solar Body, however, visionary experience in the Lower Astral Plane is not enough. This is why in the higher grades of the A.O. we teach the true method of Astral Projection for visionary experience in the Higher Astral Plane.

90% of what people imagine as Astral Projection is mere illusion. To explain this, I must demystify these concepts by clarifying their true nature.

The Lower Astral Plane is the realm of visionary experience which one may reach while in a WAKING state of consciousness. Skrying in the Spirit Vision operates on this plane.

The Higher Astral Plane, however, is in reality, the world of DREAMS.

This is why, in the Alpha Omega, the so-called "astral body" we also call the LUNAR BODY, because this body is the vehicle Major Adepts use to travel in the dark and shadowy realm of dreams (ruled by the Moon). This sojourn is also the true meaning of the Nigredo of in Hermetic Alchemy.

TRUE Astral Projection, consequently occurs EXCLUSIVELY in the world of dreams. Any "astral projection" in a waking state is just another delusion of the Lower Astral.

At the successful conclusion of the Nigredo, the alchemist reaches the Albedo - awakening in a magnificent, luminous dream realm, which is the Higher Astral.

It is here, in the luminous Albedo world of the Higher Astral - here and ONLY here - where true Astral Projection may occur for the Magician or Alchemist who has fully cultivated his or her LUNAR BODY.

The transition from the NIGREDO to the ALBEDO in Hermetic alchemy comes with the alchemical first SEPARATION (Separatio).

The true meaning of this involves the separation of the LUNAR BODY (Volatile Mercury, Ruach for the Qabalists) from the PHYSICAL BODY (Caput Mortem, Nephesch for the Qabalists).

TRUE Astral Projection can not be achieved without having reached this first ALCHEMICAL SEPARATION, fully awakening in the luminous (Albedo) world of dreams.

This - and ONLY this - is TRUE Astral Projection.

Thus true Astral Projection is not easily attainable, and most who think they have achieved it are merely deluding themselves.

Even in the Golden Dawn, most Second Order grades remain but virtual and titular, as even most advanced Adepts have not yet transcended the Nigredo with the separation of the Lunar from the Physical Body to fully awaken into luminous, Albedo consciousness of the Higher Astral dream state.

And these advanced states of consciousness are but PREREQUISITES for true Astral Projection!

Again, most people who believe they have already achieved this are merely deluding themselves. Albedo consciousness on the Higher Astral requires a FULLY DEVELOPED LUNAR BODY - and this alone requires years of arduous magical or alchemical practice.

In the Golden Dawn Magical System, the Lunar Body is strengthened using the Rite of the Middle Pillar, and the cosmic Forces are awakened using Elemental, Planetary, and Zodiacal invocation. A disciplined regimen of this Magic can indeed lead to the Albedo - with enough persistence and discipline.

I must also add that Astral Projection is not the goal of the cultivation of the Lunar Body. It is merely one confirmatory sign that the Magic or the Alchemy is working and the Lunar Body is being properly cultivated.

I am glad to help to demystify these things. What remains occulted in the higher grades of the Alpha Omega are the OPERATIVE secrets, the actual advanced magical and alchemical techniques used to safely accelerate these processes.

Thus the true meaning of the transmutation of LEAD into GOLD: is correctly understood as the liberation of consciousness from its prison in matter (the PHYSICAL BODY - lead) - and its transmutation into gold: (a Solar body with the luminous consciousness of immortality inside light).

What can you expect to find in the Second and Third Order curriculum of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega?

You will find the actual Hermetic and Rosicrucian Alchemical and Magical TECHNIQUES to accomplish this (lead into gold) transmutation of consciousness quickly, easily, and without danger. 

This is the Hermetic Science of Immortality and it is the greatest treasure of the entire Western esoteric tradition.

Any initiatic explanation of Alchemy and the Golden Dawn, must of necessity clarify the relationship between Golden Dawn Alchemy and Magic and the Inner Planes, and show the importance of the actual advanced techniques of higher Golden Dawn grades beyond the Regardie material.

Any treatment of Alchemy and the Golden Dawn that does not fully include and illuminate these things has no real initiatic value - and amounts to little more than smoke and mirrors or the blind leading the blind.

The Golden Dawn, after all, is an OPERATIVE tradition, and its grades carry with them very specific states of spiritual awareness and techniques to achieve them. Otherwise obtained grades, no matter how lofty, remain merely titular and virtual.

David Griffin


  1. Very interesting. I had always thought this but was never sure. I tried to do astral projection many years ago when I was a mere "dabbler" and found my experience to be interesting but it never seemed like the "whole picture". I could never fully put it into words or understand it, until now. This makes so much sense.

    It is great to see the HOGD/AO truly working towards what Hermeticism and the Great Work actually are, spiritual transcendence. I can't help but be saddened by how the Golden Dawn community has come into the field of the new age and forget what Hermeticism was built entirely upon! This isn't low magick, this isn't "material" magick. The Hermeticist doesn't forego the material seeing it as nothing but illusion The Kybalion says. Instead, they see the material for what it is, and use it to climb the ladder. Balance, true spiritual balance, is the key to Hermeticism.

    Thank you for the wonderful article and thanks to Popi Oso for his thought provoking post as well. Reading this only inspires me to push harder towards mastering the self and stop dabbling.

    In LVX,

    Fr. LUA

    1. Thank you, LUA. It is important to show people now and then the difference between the New Age and the Hermetic traditions.

  2. I enjoyed reading this article a great deal. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, SV. It is important, within the constraints of oath bound material, from time to time let glimmers of the truth shine forth. This is especially important when it comes to alchemy, as cor centuries there have been plenty of charlatans selling snake oil.

      This is particularly important when it comes to the Golden Dawn, since Hermetic alchemy is so enormously valuable for spiritual growth. There is far to much obfuscation out there, all dressed up in complicated words, so the reader will think "why do I not get this?" instead "what kind of malarkey is this guy trying to sell?"

  3. When real teachings are given, one of the qualities is that they arrive with such clarity... there is no question of not getting it, more of how to live and apply it!


  4. An amazing posts from both of you, I'm grateful to post all that here but, i'm wondering, is the astral plane (with its higher and lower secondly planes) all what exist and to achieve the "ulimate goal" or the "enlightenment" or the "soul liberation", we need to liberate our soul just from the physical plane and dwell in the astral plane?!

    i understood that you mean, there is not a casual plane and a mental plane and above the soul plane which is where we should seek to liberating our souls from those lower planes (physical, astral ,casual, mental) to this plane (the plane of the soul or the home of the soul), is it like that or i am misunderstanding something, 'cause this is why i know about enlightenment or the self realization and beyond to God-realization that come after the self-realization.
    but we get rid from incarnating again and again to these lower worlds in the time we get self-realized or enlightened to the fifth plane (the plane of the soul).

    please, I hope to explain me Sir.
    Thank you for your time and effort, we do appreciate it so much.