Friday, December 21, 2012

Sex-Magick and Scientific Discourse (Reply to Peregrin Wildoak)

by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
- Albert Einstein

Peregrin Wildoak recently wrote an article in reply to a recent post on the Golden Dawn blog called: "Sexuality and the Golden Dawn." You can read the G.D. Blog article here. You can hear the original interview on Blog Talk Radio here. You can read Peregrin's reply here.

There is much to agree with in Peregrin's article, not the least of which is the article takes a tone akin to scientific discourse that enables the discussion to advance.

You may have noticed that, over the past several months, the Alpha Omega has been working very hard to improve the quality of dialogue in the Golden Dawn community, so that philosophical discussion can more easily advance.

In the past, dialogue easily got bogged down by Golden Dawn scholars (myself not exempted) presenting positions as though they were the "right way" or the "true Golden Dawn way." Dialogue in the past at times got derailed by subtle forms of mudslinging or even open personal attacks.

The purpose of scientific publications is to create a conversation based on logical reasoning and/or experimental research. Doctoral students are constantly reminded they are “joining the conversation” through their research.

All of us are doing nothing more than continuing a conversation that started nearly 200 years ago. Peregrin’s essay on sex in the Golden Dawn exemplifies the type of “conversation” we at the A.O. hope to inspire within the G.D. community.

For too long, leaders within the tradition have sniped and fought each other to the detriment of ourselves and of the Golden Dawn community.

To this end, we at the AO several months ago introduced three guiding principles for entering a conversation that we strive to conform to with each new blog article. The time has come to offer thes principles to the community at large to enhance our dialogue and move toward a respectful approach to sharing and learning from one another.

They are:
  1. Never negative.
  2. Attack poor reasoning - not people.
  3. Offer alternative approaches or answers – not the “right” way.
Perhaps this list will grow over time. While we as a community have not yet reached the rigor of the scientific journaling process, we can only begin this transition by supporting one another.

My personal mission is to contribute to the Golden Dawn community by correcting the damaging methods that have crept into it over the past decades (myself not exempted). The previous path of the G.D. leadership would not have left a lasting legacy worthy of praise by future generations.

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.“
 - Thomas Jefferson

With these few guiding principles set forth, let us move forward to discuss the "sex" question.

Peregrin Wildoak writes:
"There is no evidence the Golden Dawn taught sex magic, even at its highest levels... 
...sexual magic was not part of the classical (pre 1903) Golden Dawn. And the other day I saw comments from Pat Zalewski and Nick Farrell echoing this view."
I am pleased to see that, according to Peregrin, not only his independent research, but also Pat Zalewski’s and Nick Farrell’s independent research support the Alpha Omega's philosophical position, I have stated over and over for years, for example when in reply to fear mongering marketing, I wrote here:
"Indeed so-called "gutteral sex magick" has no place in the Golden Dawn. There is no Golden Dawn order, nor has there ever been one with orgies nor the sort of practices ascribed to Aleister Crowley."

hen it comes to sexual magic, the real question is not where the Golden Dawn was before 1903, but rather which direction the Golden Dawn should go here and now in the 21st Century.

"Gutteral sex magick?" Is there anyone in the Golden Dawn community who can take such a rumor seriously? Sadly, not everyone outside the community is as knowledgable as we are. When people go to Google searching for information about the Golden Dawn, then read things like "Golden Dawn sex-magick is a red herring designed in to take advantage of lower desires," it harms the entire G.D. tradition.

When it comes to negative marketing, we as a community can do better (myself not excepted). I am pleased several Golden Dawn leaders are taking mature positions that help dispel false rumors about "hedonistic Golden Dawn sex cults." Such things harm the entire Golden Dawn.

Peregrin continues:
"This does not mean the Golden Dawn rituals and teachings are devoid of the symbolism, connections, motifs and structures for sexual magic."

I am pleased to see Peregrin’s research supports the repeatedly revealed teachings of the Alpha Omega, for example here:

"In the Golden Dawn, all of the rites, symbols, and even implements and vestments are permeated through and through with the fundamental doctrine of sexual polarity."

To my knowledge, the statement I made repeatedly (here, for example) still remains true today:
"The Alpha Omega is the only Golden Dawn order that offers traditional Hermetic spritual practices in the highest grades that include spiritual sexuality."
Let's be crystal clear about one thing though. I am not referring here to "sex-magick" nor have I ever been referring to "sex-magick" in this context either. 

Over the years I have clarified again and again that practices involving spiritual sexuality in the highest grades of the Alpha Omega are those of Hermetic Internal Alchemy - not "sex-magick."

I have also revealed Alpha Omega teachings regarding the true nature of Hermetic Internal Alchemy repeatedly over the years as well, for example in 2005, when here I wrote:
"Hermetic Internal Alchemy is in reality a system that uses the subtle fires of the human body, including love and sexuality, as potent tools for spiritual development by transmuting the matter of the physical body into ever purer and more refined forms of energy." 
And here when I wrote:
"The Secret of transmutation of all metals into gold lies inside each and every one of us - for the "Prima Materia" (First Matter) of Internal Alchemy is the living matter of our physical bodies. The "Opus Magnum" (Great Work) of Hermetic Internal Alchemy is the transmutation of Lead - the matter of your physical body - into Gold - pure Solar Energy, Divine consciousness, and immortality. 
This Internal (PHYSICAL) Transmutation is fueled by the internal fires of your body - among which LOVE and SEXUALITY are primary motors for spiritual and energetic evolution. 
Hermetic Internal alchemy is "internal" in the sense that we use an inner laboratory, an internal athanor, and an internal fire - all inside of the human body in a PHYSICAL sense"
Peregrin continues:
"Any practical magical exploration of these themes however is best conducted well outside the gaze of the Neophyte and indeed the Outer Order."

Again, Peregrin’s philosophical position supports the long-held Alpha Omega position I have revealed repeatedly, most recently here:
"Such teachings are of the variety "go home and practice with your husband, wife, or partner(s) depending on your gender, sexual orientation and relationship style."

Referring to a letter from Moina Mathers to Paul Foster Case, reproduced from the recent GD Blog article, Peregrin writes:
"There is nothing here that indicates methods and processes for physical sexual magic were taught at all."

Yet once again, conclusions of Peregrin's independent research support my own philosophical conclusions (See above).

Peregrin continues:
"The “not mere theory” clause is obviously used to emphasise the implicit warning that “sex matters” not be approached before the adept is completely in control of his “passionate self”.

Again, Peregrin's conclusions support the long held philosophical position of the Alpha Omega. Alpha Omega teachings still have more to say on this subject, however.

What does Moina Mathers really mean when she writes:
"In fact, we only give a rather complete explanation of this subject in that Grade where the Adept has proved to be so equilibrated and spiritualized that he is complete lord of his passional self."  
Is Mina talking about asceticism? Is she uttering some sort of moral injunction against sexuality? Since we don't have a time machine, it is impossible to prove what Moina Mathers really meant.

Moina's statement does, however, make perfect sense in light of teachings I received as Apprentice of Hermetic Master Alchemist, Frater Lux E Tenebris. 

Although (due to oath-bound restrictions) I can not go into detail about the actual methodology of Hermetic Internal Alchemy, the time is ripe to lift the veil just a tiny bit more.

The Hermetic Alchemical Initiatic tradition teaches that, prior to even beginning the alchemical processing of Hermetic Internal Alchemy, the the Adept must first gain complete mastery of his or her emotions.

This is accomplished by cultivating ongoing emotional balance and equilibrium at all times in daily life. This is not any sort of moral injunction, but rather a technical requirement of alchemical processing.

And this is only ONE prerequisite to begin Hermetic Internal Alchemy. Yet how many Second Order Adepts have achieved even this? Few. Very few.

The problem is that alchemical processing in Hermetic Internal Alchemy requires "circulation," as frequently alchemical processes in an external laboratory do as well. "Circulation" within the human body, however, can be quite dangerous for someone who is not properly prepared.

When it comes Internal Alchemy, since the entire alchemical Opus occurs in the laboratory of the human body, everything about us gets "circulated," including our emotions.

"Circulation" in Internal Alchemy is meant to purify and exalt our spiritual nature. However, if an unprepared alchemist circulates mood swings or even powerful emotions, they may end up creating greater and greater emotional instability instead of spiritual exaltation.

This is a fundamental reason why the actual spiritual practices employed in Hermetic Internal Alchemy have always been reserved for the highest grades of Hermetic or Rosicrucian Orders, even those that came long before the Golden Dawn. These particular spiritual practices can be extremely dangerous for the unprepared - and, practiced improperly, can lead to self-destruction rather than spiritual exaltation.

This is why they have always been kept so secret. This is also why they should never be attempted without the guidance and supervision of a Master Alchemist.

I invite the reader to again examine Moina Mathers statement again below, In light of this discussion, it should now be readily understandable.

Moina Mathers wrote:
"We only give a rather complete explanation of this subject in that Grade where the Adept has proved to be so equilibrated and spiritualized that he is complete lord of his passional self."
Peregrin continues:

"The dangers of prematurely acting within the sexual-magic realm are real, as are the results which are sadly visible in any modern Neo-Pagan and magical community."
"physical sexual magic should be limited to the Inner Order, if undertaken at all. 
In fact, I would say a rough rule of thumb would assign the practices to the Chesedic Adeptus Exemptus grade."
Peregrin's conclusions, based on many year of his own magical experience, yet once again closely mirror my own long held philosophical position on this subject. Of course, Peregrin is not talking here about turning the Golden Dawn into some sort of hedonistic sex cult.

Peregrin is talking about serious occultism and has obviously given the matter a lot of thought. If one were to introduce the Science of Sexual Magic into the Golden Dawn, I concur with Peregrin that the Adeptus Exemptus grade would be a logical place to begin to introduce the fundamentals.

The Alpha Omega could be very helpful with this process, since we have a huge amount of oath-bound material concerning sexual magick, even though we have so far chosen not to include it in our own curriculum. I am certainly not opposed to the idea. If the Golden Dawn community wanted to move in this direction, the Alpha Omega could certainly be of assistance.

I do foresee fundamental obstacles, however, in addition to the one briefly touched on by Peregrin above. We are all aware of the sexual abuse that has occurred under the guise of "sex-magick" in the Neo-Pagan community as well as in the wider magical community. The Golden Dawn community has not been immune issues surrounding sexual abuse either.

I mention this not to point a finger at or "attack" any particular person, but because sexual abuse is a serious concern. There is a very real risk that introducing sexual magic into the Golden Dawn's Second Order, might unintentionally open the door for the sexual abuse of Golden Dawn members. I would very much like to hear how Peregrin and other Golden Dawn leaders propose our community might overcome this obstacle.

The other danger is that if Golden Dawn orders decide to expand their curriculum to include sexual magick, they open themselves to the sort of fear mongering negative marketing attacks like those we have already seen. I would like very much to hear how Peregrin and others who would like to see sexual magick included in the Adeptus Exemptus grade, propose that our community tackle this problem as well.

It would be extremely risky for the reputation of the entire Golden Dawn for anyone to include sexual magick in any grade of any Golden Dawn order, unless the problems of sexual abuse and fear mongering marketing are first addressed by the community and lasting solutions found.
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
- Albert Einstein

Think Different.

Alpha Omega
We Make Magicians!

Click HERE to explore our Outer Order, undergraduate level Magical training program, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn!"

Don't miss:

1 comment:

  1. Gratifying to see that the debate is finally moving in a sensible direction. You hit the nail squarely on the head with the questions you raised here GH Frater L.e.S.

    I can confirm that the dangers of "circulation" you refer to are also fully recognized in Eastern Internal Alchemy, especially with Reverse Circulation.

    While this common ground will come as no surprise to anyone in the know, I find it important to keep stressing that Alpha Omega's advanced teachings are mirrored across the great Spiritual Traditions of the world, and treasured as Secrets of the highest Grades. The marvel of it is to find that these teachings have been concealed within Western Hermeticism all along.

    So many of us beat a path to the East to fight our way (literally) into a position where we could gain access to some of the genuine Mysteries... this has typically taken a minimum of 10 years and both good luck and deep pockets for regular visits to India and China... and now we find that the FULL teachings are available to us in our own Western Gnosis! (The gods have a strange sense of humor sometimes;-)