by Golden Dawn Imperator
My recent article on Golden Dawn Qabalah that you can read HERE has stirred no small controversy in the Golden Dawn community. Several people have written me, asking, for example:
"Since the results of your research correcting the Magical hierarchies of the Golden Dawn has been publicly available information since you published the Ritual Magic Manual 13 years ago, then why have so many Golden Dawn authors continued to republish the same errors over and over?"
I really have no idea. I doubt those Golden Dawn authors intentionally mislead people. It has been somewhat strange observing this phenomenon again and again over the last decade though. What I find most peculiar is how, when the Ritual Magic Manual came out, there were a host of Golden Dawn authors who proclaimed loudly all over the Net that "the Ritual Magic Manual is riddled with errors."
There are indeed a few editing mistakes that were not caught in the first edition of the Ritual Magic Manual, mainly a few instances of erroneous pentagrams or hexagrams. In such a huge and thorough manual (666 pages), this is unsurprising. I have been keeping a record of these for correction in future editions. Any Magician using the manual in a correct, critically reflective manner will easily notice these and use the correct forms.
This is very different, however, than ignoring research and republishing errors as though they were gospel truth. When it comes to the Magical hierarchies used in Golden Dawn Magic, slavishly republishing errors in Regardie's Magical hierarchies is grossly irresponsible.
My intention here is not to speak negatively of particular Golden Dawn authors. It is noteworthy, however, that the same people who were quick to attack the Ritual Magic Manual are often same ones who still republish the errors in magical hierarchies from Regardie's Golden Dawn book.
What concerns me most about this is that aspiring Magicians are not being taught to critically reflect on the sources they use. It is high time that students of the Golden Dawn wake up and realize there are a lot of errors in the books they have been using. In fact, most of the printed material the Self-Initiate follows is riddled with errors.
Golden Dawn authors have done a huge disservice to the community by practically encouraging people to treat existing texts as infallible documents. They are so accustomed to the Bible they assume all spiritually-oriented texts are flawless.
In science, there are methods for evaluating a text to determine its worth. Scientists evaluate texts using the (1) Internal Test, the (2) External Test, and the (3) Bibliographic Test.
How to Evaluate a Text Scientifically
- Look for internal consistency within the text. Does it contradict itself?
- Does the text conflict with any known historical facts?
- The work must contain either direct eyewitness accounts or a second-hand report based on eyewitness accounts.
Since few people are aware of these common methods, they have no basis for evaluating a text. This leads to slavish following of books that are misprinted or where the author screws up, as my previous post highlights. How can the GD community get itself out of being considered uneducated, superstitious Neanderthals if they can’t even read a text like a scientist?
What would be a huge service to the GD community is if someone found all the mistakes in a common text, like Regardie’s, and told the reader how many they should find. Imagine if a Neophyte was told there are 1,243 (this number is made up) substantive errors in Regardie’s Golden Dawn book. Until you find each and every one of them, you have no business using that text for Self-Initiation.
People need to be encouraged to keep their own database of names, colors, and all other correspondences and then double check them scientifically like I did when writing the Ritual Magic Manual. In the Ritual Magic Manual, you will find all of my corrections painstakingly footnoted, with references to all original sources where they were verified.
Sadly, a full decade later, the Ritual Magic Manual even today remains the ONLY Golden Dawn book where you will find reliable Qabalistic Magical hierarchies for Golden Dawn Magic.
Dare to think for yourself!