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Sunday, March 31, 2013

FINAL UPDATE: International Festival of Golden Dawn Magicians (April 6-13) near Las Vegas, NV


Remember MacGregor Mathers' "The Rites of Isis?"
That was then.
And now ...
Alpha Omega presents ...

The Rites of Nephthys
World Premiere! 
at the ... 
2013 Intl. Festival of Golden Dawn Magicians

Invitations went out on Facebook for the first time yesterday for next week's International Festival of Golden Dawn Magicians, near Las Vegas, Nevada. (You will find complete details HERE.)


I was quite astonished by the flood of messages I received today, warning me that the invitation quickly  spread on Facebook and that, as a consequence, we now risk being overrun by more people than we can properly support. It seems there is huge interest in the supplemental beginners' Magick from the Secret Chiefs being unveiled at the Festival.

It is therefore important to make a few facts and rules clear.

1. The Festival is open to all practitioners of Golden Dawn Magick (Solitary Practitioners and Self-Initiates, as well as Golden Dawn Initiates and Adepts.


2. RSVP is REQUIRED using this contact link. If you show up without having RSVP'd, you risk being turned away once we have reached capacity. The only exceptions to this are for the following three events, to which the general public is additionally invited:
  • Isis Temple Social, Saturday April 6 @ 7:00 PM.
  • Grand Enthronement of Isis Ritual, Tuesday, April 9 @ 7:00 PM (children welcome when accompanied by a parent).
  • World Premiere of "The Rites of Nephthys," Wednesday, April 10 @ 2:35 AM (The exact time of the New Moon in Aries. There will be a 4 planet concunction in Aries for this historic event!
Additionally:
  • There will daily training in classical Golden Dawn Magick, which is open to all festival participants.
  • There will be additional daily training in the beginners' Magick newly released by the Secret Chiefs, including traditional Egyptian Magick for the Alpha Omega's new "Egyptian Section." Participation in this training requires a separate registration and is open only to physical initiates, albeit of any Golden Dawn temple. (There will also be an opportunity for A.O. Neophyte initiation on Sunday, April 7, so that Self-Initiates and Solitary Practitioners will not miss this unique training opportunity).
  • For qualified candidates, initiation will be available in all grades through Adeptus Minor during the course of the festival.
  • There will be an evening drum circle each evening, so don't forget to bring your drums!

3. Registration upon arrival is required, including disclosure of other order affiliations (for internal use only).

4. Recommended donation for Festival attendance is $49. 
5. This is a drug-free event. Use of any illegal substances anywhere on Isis Temple property is strictly prohibited and is grounds for expulsion from the Festival.

6. This is an alcohol-free event, except as noted below.
  • BYOB is welcome at the Isis Temple Social (Sat 4/6 @ 7:00 PM)
  • BYOB beer and wine are welcome at group meals.
7. No campfires are allowed.

8. We will be preparing communal meals together. The cost and labor of meals we will share as a community.

9. This is a child free Festival. You must be at least 18 years of age to attend. No under the age of 18 will be allowed on Isis Temple grounds during the Festival, except for the "Grand Enthronement of Isis" Ritual, where children are welcome, but must be accompanied by a parent.

We look forward to seeing you at Alpha Omega's Isis Temple and the ...


International Festival of Golden Dawn Magicians

Your hosts,
Leslie and D.J. McQuade Griffin


PS: Here are some photos from last year's International Golden Dawn Festival, which was for "Adepts Only."

 
Tecopa Hot Springs with David and Leslie Griffin
Death Valley National Park (Artist's Drive)
Death Valley National Park (Devil's Corn Field)
European Adepts Relax at the Armagosa Opera House
Near Death Valley National Park
A Las Vegas Wedding - Isis-Hathor Style!
Laying Tile for Isis Mother Temple
Isis Temple
A Few Adepts finish the ceiling of the Vault of the Adepti
Who Says Chivalry Is Just For Men?
The Yeats Sash Returns to Ireland
Soror S. and her Viking Sword
Watch out boys!


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


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dark Night Mystic - or Golden Dawn Magician?


by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin

Over the past month or so, there has been a fascinating discussion, which has gone far to clarify the differences between the goals and methods used by various Golden Dawn orders. The discussion centers around the very real differences between the Magical spiritual path and the Mystical spiritual path.

All science grows in three main phases. These are (1) a common vocabulary, (2) correlation, and (3) effect-cause-effect. This means that every known science began by first establishing a common vocabulary that permitted its proponents to communicate. Without a clear definition of each term, conversations end up turning into arguments even when both sides are actually proclaiming the same truths.

Aristotle was quite adamant that we must always begin by clarifying our terms. Unfortunately, when important terms and concepts, such as “Magick” and “Mysticism” are used with imprecision, we end up fighting about something that isn’t really important. I won’t bother with the last two phases as they are not relevant to this discussion.

Despite having attempted to clarify the distinction between Magick and Mysticism in two previous articles, there nonetheless remains a tragic amount of confusion among aspiring Magicians about the actual differences between Mysticism and Magick. As long as leaders of our community continue to use the words "Mysticism" and "Magick" interchangeably, instead of as representing two distinct, spiritual paths that are diametrically opposed in both their methods and their goals, we should not be surprised by continued confusion among our students.

The discussion began when Peregrin Wildoak HERE wrote:
"In the first Order we purge or purify our personality selves, allowing them to be loose and clearer enough to handle the Illumination we generate via our magical practices in the second Order. This second Order magical work illuminates us enough that, eventually, we become who we are and realise (not just know) we are actually the One, and thereby we experience Theosis in the third Order." 
Peregrin above perfectly outlines the Christian Mystical approach to the Golden Dawn that found its finest expression in A.E. Waite's Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. It does not reflect, however, the methodology of the traditional Golden Dawn.

Immediately following the 1903 schism, William Butler Yeats wrote an article entitled "Is the Golden Dawn to remain a Magical order?" Ever since, a chasm has emerged between those orders in the Golden Dawn community who gravitate more towards Mysticism and those who gravitate more towards Magick. This has created fundamental differences between one Golden Dawn order and the other, which endure in our Golden Dawn community even until today.

Since these fundamental differences are not so easily recognized by aspirants or by an unwary public, it has become rather urgent to clarify them. In short, it is high time that Christian Mysticism no longer be confused and conflated with Hermetic Magick.

This was further underscored when Donald Michael Kraig recently wrote an article entitled "Dark Night of the Soul" on the Llewellyn blog, in which Kraig equated the "Dark Night" of the Christian Mystical spiritual path of St. John of the Cross with the Golden Dawn's "Crossing of the Abyss," which derives from diametrically opposite Magical path of the Hermetic tradition. You can read Frater Kraig's entire article HERE.

Those who have followed this discussion will understand my frustration that the debate appears not to have progressed, despite my having already addressed these issues in two previous articles (HERE) and (HERE).

Instead, this time it was Nick Farrell who today published a new article (HERE), again entitled "Dark Night of the Soul," yet again using the terms "Mysticism" and "Magick" interchangeably (as did previously both Kraig and Wildoak) as though these two terms were synonyms describing a single spiritual path and methodology.

What each of the above referenced articles have in common is that Fratres Kraig, Wildoak, and Farrell each describe a spiritual path whose aims and methodology closely resemble the Christian Mysticism of A.E. Waite, as distinct from the aims and methods of the spiritual path of Hermetic Magick used by the traditional Golden Dawn.

From the perspective of the Hermetic and Magical traditions, including luminaries such as Giordano Bruno, Marcilio Ficino, Cornelius Agrippa, Gerolamo Cardano, Pietro D'Abano, Theophrastus Paracelsus, and Eliphas Levi (not to mention the entirety of Egyptian, Chaldeaen, and Sumerian Magick), the goals and methods that Kraig, Farrell, and Wildoak each describe in the above referenced articles are not those of Magick at all, but purely those of Mysticism.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with Mysticism as a traditional spiritual path. Mysticism is a great path and even the right or the only path for some people. It is however, diametrically opposed to the traditional Magical spiritual path in both its goals and its methods.

I am also not saying that modern Golden Dawn orders must remain static as the Golden Dawn was in 1888. It is natural that most Golden Dawn orders have evolved in a Mystical direction and have adopted many of the the aims and methods of Waite's Christian Mystical, "Fellowship of the Rosy Cross."

Nonetheless, Mysticism and Magick remain two quite distinct and separate spiritual paths. The primary difference between Magick and Mysticism lies codified in the actual methods of practice, together with the Mystical or Magical inclinations of the practitioner. 

Whereas the Mystic seeks union with the Divine without, through subordination or "loosening" of the ego, Magicians instead are conquerors of the ramparts of heaven. Magicians seek not union with any sort of Divinity outside themselves. They seek rather to liberate from the chains of matter the "Divine spark" that lies hidden within each human being.

The Mystical path refers to the capacity and will of the practitioner to place oneself in a passive position in relationship to eternal Being and the forces of nature, which the Practitioner begins to invoke and pray to, so they may manifest and enlighten one, thus spiritually uplifting and exalting the practitioner.

The Magical practitioner, on the other hand, does not place him or herself in a passive state towards natural and Divine forces, but rather in a positive state. Recognizing the Divine Spark inside oneself, the practitioner actively collaborates with Eternal Being rather than waiting for its manifestations.

In Mysticism, the practitioner expects Divinity to manifest itself, and to ascend the staircase that leads from below to on high aided by the Divine hand that takes us and leads us ever upwards.

Magick does not expect this, instead conquering the Inner Planes through one's own effort rather than through Divine aid. Thus, whereas the Mystical approach is one of submission, the Magician instead is a conquerer.

A perfect example of the Magical path may be found in the Mithraic Ritual deposited in Paris, which shows one such practice of divine Ascension of the Magical initiate. While rising towards Divinity to be received like a prodigal Son or Daughter, the practitioner greets the Gods as equals that gradually appear, not fearing them or subjugating oneself before them, but admonishing them and blandishing them with Magical words that open the gates of heaven.

Whereas Magick is based on knowledge, Mysticism is based on ignorance in the literal sense of "ignoring" or "unknowing." In fact, one of the most important mystical texts in all of Christianity, "The Cloud of Unknowing," speaks of making oneself obscure, humble and ignorant before the unmanifest - to remain there, in silence, gradually emptying oneself, while waiting for something or someone (God) to come and fill the void thus created.

Thus two completely different modalities become evident. Whereas the Mystic reflects the Divine light that is poured out upon him, the Magician generates this light, becoming an emitter himself.

A.E. Waite
The foremost exponent of the Mystical path in the Golden Dawn was Arthur Edward Waite, who completely suppressed Magick in favor of Christian Mysticism in his Fellowship of the Rosy Cross and its Inner Order, the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis, Rectified Rite. Waite's Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, reconstructed in recent years and open only to Christians, today remains the most Mystical order in the Golden Dawn community.


The foremost exponent of the Magical path in the Golden Dawn was the great Mage, S.L. MacGregor Mathers. Mathers understood that the Golden Dawn primarily as a Magical rather than a Mystical tradition. Over time the Magical spiritual path has become more and more pronounced in Mathers' Alpha Omega. The A.O. today therefore remains the most Magical order in the Golden Dawn community.

In between the Alpha Omega and the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, which most clearly exemplify the diametrically opposed Magical and Mystical Golden Dawn paths, there today exist a host of Golden Dawn orders that lie somewhere in between ... that have not gone so far as to suppress Magick outright as did the Waite order, yet nonetheless remain quite Mystical in their approach to the Golden Dawn, as is clearly evident in the above referenced articles written by Donald Michael Kraig, Peregrin Wildoak, and Nick Farrell.

One type of order in today's Golden Dawn community is rooted in Mysticism, uses methods like those set forth in "The Cloud of Unknowing" (purgations, humility, "loosening the ego" and waiting for illumination to come from outside/on high), and draws on Mystical experiences like the "Dark Night of the Soul" of St. John of the Cross, like we have seen in the above writings of Donald Michael Kraig, Nick Farrell, and Peregrin Wildoak.

The other type of Golden Dawn order is that of the Hermetic, purely Magical spiritual path, as taught and practiced in the Alpha Omega, which proceeds instead through spiritual exaltation, and holds the Hermetic philosophical position that every human being contains a Divine spark of the One, which is the entire Universe.

Whereas the goals of what remains of "Magick" in most Golden Dawn orders today has become deviated by Mysticism; with passive methods, and self-negating aims (full of purgation, ego loosening, etc.) ...

... the Hermetic Magick of the Alpha Omega remains positive, active, and life-affirming. Recognizing the Divine Spark inside oneself, the Magical spiritual path actively collaborates with Eternal Being, rather than waiting for its manifestations.

Whereas Mysticism is passive and seeks illumination bestowed through grace from an outside Divinity, Magick is live-giving and self-illuminating, kindling the Divine spark present inside every Magician.

The wonderful thing about today's Golden Dawn community is that our diversity gives spiritual aspirants a plethora of choices. Aspiring Mystics will find their spiritual quest greatly facilitated in one of the Mystical Golden Dawn orders, where they will find all of the purgation and ego loosening they need to eventually attain Mystical illumination.

Thus people seeking a Mystical spiritual path are best joining either the Christian Mystical, Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, founded by A.E. Waite, or one of the Golden Dawn orders led by Donald Michael Kraig, Peregrin Wildoak, or Nick Farrell (at least judging by the mystical goals and methods they each teach on their blogs).

Aspiring Magicians, on the other hand, will find all of the training, support, and guidance you need - in all aspects of the Magical spiritual path, immediately upon entering the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Again, I am not saying the Alpha Omega is the "best" Golden Dawn order. However, our goals and our methods are very different than most other G.D. orders. For example, it goes without saying that in the European headquartered Golden Dawn - we do NOT make Mystics ...

(EU OHIM reg 000063925)
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn®
Making Magicians - Since 1888

Click HERE to explore our Outer Order, undergraduate level Magical training program.

Friday, March 22, 2013

An Interfaith Pow Wow of Earth-Based Traditions?


by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin
Live! from Diné Bikéyah

This week, my wife Leslie and I are finishing the Arizona leg of the 2013 Golden Dawn World Tour. You can read about the Golden Dawn World Tour HERE. In Arizona, we brought traditional Golden Dawn initiation and "Ritual Magick 101" instruction to aspiring Magicians from around the Salt River Valley surrounding Phoenix.

Leslie and I were not about to leave Arizona without paying proper respects to the Hopi and Diné peoples on Hopi land and the Navajo Nation (Diné Bikéyah). As practitioners of a Pagan, Earth-based Magick and tradition, Leslie and I have admiration and deep respect for the traditional ways of Native Americans as we do for all Earth-based traditions and religions.

Young Diné Fancy Dancer

Regular readers of the Golden Dawn blog may recall our report from our earlier visit to the Diné people last Summer at the Inter-Tribal Pow Wow they hosted in Bluff, Utah. You can read about the experiences we had at this awe inspiring and spiritually uplifting inter-tribal gathering of Native American peoples HERE.

PowWow Navajo Nation Fair 2012

While visiting Hopi lands and Diné Bikéyah, Leslie and I have been meeting with old friends and discussing the possibility of arranging an interfaith gathering of practitioners of Earth-based traditions from around the world.

We have discussed this idea with practitioners of several Native American ways, as well as several Pagan traditions. So far, we have encountered a general openness to the idea of greater dialogue between Earth-based faiths, yet only cautious optimism about the feasibility of such an interfaith gathering.

Leslie and I are therefore taking a leap into the void - in the humble aspiration we might help make this dream become manifest reality, by 
  1. Setting a concrete date, and by
  2. Offering the land surrounding Isis Mother Temple of the Alpha Omega as a possible venue for such a gathering. 
We believe 2016 may be a realistic time frame to organize such a gathering, so we are beginning now to send forth cautious feelers towards manifesting an interfaith gathering of Earth-based traditions.

This is one small way the Alpha Omega is trying to help the spiritual evolution of human kind.

P.S: You are also cordially invited to attend the International Gathering of Golden Dawn Magicians we are hosting at the Alpha Omega's Isis Mother Temple near Las Vegas, Nevada in just two weeks. There will be Magicians from around the world, good food, initiation, and plenty of freshly released, traditional Golden Dawn Magick from the Secret Chiefs. You can find complete details HERE and HERE.

Yá'át'ééh! -from Diné Bikéyah,

Leslie and D..J. McQuade Griffin



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

REVEALED: Secret Chiefs - Egyptian Roots of the Golden Dawn


by Golden Dawn Imperator


David Griffin

Various orders of today's Golden Dawn community share many aspects of ritual, teachings, and practice deriving from a common source. Nonetheless, there still do remain significant and important differences from one Golden Dawn order to the other.

In previous articles (here and here) we have examined how one important Golden Dawn offshoot, Arthur Edward Waite's "Fellowship of the Rosy Cross," abandoned Hermetic Magick in favor of Christian Mysticism. Waite's Mystical F.R.C. fraternity continues to exist even today, revived within the Secret College of the Societas Rosicruicana in Anglia (S.R.I.A.).

S.L. MacGregor Mathers "Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega" likewise continues to exist today, however, at the opposite end of the esoteric spectrum as the most Magical of Golden Dawn orders. Each of the other orders of the contemporary Golden Dawn community fall somewhere in between these two poles.

Between the poles of Mathers' Alpha Omega and Waite's Fraternity of the Rosy Cross, the distinction between Magick and Mysticism is by no means the only such polarity defining today's Golden Dawn community. 

The classical Golden Dawn is a late 19th Century manifestation of the Hermetic tradition, which, together with the Pythagorean tradition, preserved Egyptian initiatic mysteries down through many Centuries. The 1888 Golden Dawn is, in fact, best understood as a reformulation in Judeo-Christian symbols of ancient Egyptian mysteries to create an esoteric vehicle suitable for the 19th Century English speaking world.

Arthur Edward Waite took this reformulation even further in his Fraternity of the Rosy Cross, suppressing the Golden Dawn's Egyptian roots completely, in favor of esoteric Christianity. Contemporaneously, S.L. MacGregor Mathers' Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega further developed the Golden Dawn in a profoundly Egyptian direction, which became visible in March 1899, when Moina and S.L. MacGregor Mathers publicly performed the "Rites of Isis" on the stage of the Theatre Bodiniere in Paris.

The prominance given to Egyptian mysteries already in the earliest phases of the Alpha Omega is evident already at the opening of the earliest Mathers version of the Alpha Omega Neophyte ritual, which unlike all other Golden Dawn versions, opens:

"Fratres et Sorores of that section of the Mysteries of Egypt known as the Rosicrucian order of A.O..."

The Golden Dawn as it was in 1888, although it was extremely avant guard for its time in admitting both women and men on an equal basis, nonetheless remained somewhat patriarchal. This is evidenced by the prominence given to the to the male God forms of Osiris and Horus in its hall of the Neophytes.

The Alpha Omega was revolutionary since its inception in giving great prominence instead to the great Mother Goddess, Isis, and her dark sister, Nephthys, which one does not find in any Golden Dawn order other than the A.O. An examination of the earliest published version of our A.O. Neophyte ritual makes this elevation of the feminine aspect of Divinity quite clear, where we find the following uniquely A.O. call and response:
Hierophant: Alpha
Hiereus: Omega
Hierophant: First
Hiereus: Last
Hierophant: Beginning
Hiereus: Ending
Hegemon: And the path of the world between. 
Hierophant: Dawn
Hiereus: Twilight
Hierophant: ISIS
Hiereus: NEPHTHYS
Hierophant: Star of the Morning
Hiereus: Star of the Evening
Hegemon: And the Path of the Light between.
The prominence given in the A.O. to the great Mother Goddess, Isis, found its foremost expression in  the "Rites of Isis" publicly performed by A.O. Elders, Moina and S.L. MacGregor Mathers, in Paris in 1899.

The Rites of Isis - 1899
Moina and S.L. MacGregor Mathers

Thanks to the Secret Chiefs of our Third Order, the A.O. today once again presents the "Rites of Isis" in addition to the soon to be unveiled "Rites of Nephthys."

The Rites of Isis - 2013
Leslie and David McQuade Griffin

Today the Rites of Isis and the Rites of Nephthys serve respectively as publicly performed Full Moon and New Moon rituals, which serve as a bridges between the Alpha Omega and the greater contemporary Pagan community.

The Greek letters of our name, "Alpha" and "Omega," allude to the Pythagorean initiatic school of Pagan Greece, an essential line of teachings within the A.O. The prominence given to the Goddess, Isis, refers to the Isinian mysteries of ancient Egypt, crown jewels of the Alpha Omega through our roots in the Hermetic tradition.

Thus, with our unique teachings and magical systems deriving from ancient Egypt, Chaldea, and Sumeria through the Pythagorean and Hermetic traditions, the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega today holds a place of profound Pagan influence among Golden Dawn orders.


Having shed important light on the differences between Golden Dawn orders, let us now move on to clarify, from an Egyptian initiatic perspective, a question of substantial interest for today's Golden Dawn community. Most students are already aware of the traditional division of the universe into four Qabalistic worlds (Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiah) as well as the Qabalistic divisions of the Soul used by the Golden Dawn (Yehidah, Neshamah, Ruach, and Nephesh).

A recent blog I read by Peregrin Wildoak (that you can read here) led me to understand a need to clarify from an Egyptian perspective the functions of the subtle bodies that constitute the human being, which may also be understood as various aspects of the human Soul. 

For this clarification, I approached Hermetic Master Lux e Tenebris, my primary contact with the Secret Chiefs of the Alpha Omega's Third Order, and asked him to clarify this point from an Egyptian initiatic perspective. 

Below follows the reply from Master L.e.T:

The Subtle Bodies and the Human Soul
by Frater Lux e Tenebris
special envoy of the
Secret Chiefs of the Third Order
I dedicate the following to the Sorores and Fratres who wish to better understand the light of the mysteries that shine forth from the Isinian temples of ancient Egypt. There is much talk of subtle bodies or various divisions of the human Soul, dividing it into 2, 3, 4, 7, 24, etc. parts. 
I have been asked by my disciple, Frater Lux ex Septentrionis, to shed light on this subject from the point of view of the Isinian initiatac school of ancient Egypt. 
Before I begin, let me make clear that the human being and the Universe should always best be considered as a single, living organism, which contains within itself the four Elements that constitute everything. 
To those well versed in Egyptian religion, who may object, saying that my words below are incomplete, let me assure you that they are not. I have, however, confined my words to the absolutely essential, in order to facilitate comprehension by those unfamiliar with these concepts. 
I. The Sekhu or Khat - "The Body that Devours." (Physical or "Saturnian" Body as in ruled by time) The Sekhu or Khat is the physical Body that lives and dies, eats, devours, renews, reproduces, etc. It is a sensitive and dense body containing meat, bones, corneous tissue, etc. It is also matter that it is created, serves its function, and then transforms. It is physical matter that we can touch and see and perceive with our five senses. 
Color: Black
Element: Earth
Characteristics: Stimuli, such as hunger, thirst, sleepiness, concupiscence. Physical sensations (warm; cold, pain, pleasure, fatigue, vigor, etc.).  

II. The Ka - "The Body that Feels" ("Astral" or "Lunar" Body) The Ka is a subtle body composed of magnetism and vital energy. The Ka derives from the Sekhu or Khat like the Moon reflects the light of the Sun. The Ka is a more subtle body emanating from first and constituting its denser sensibility - nerves, nerve centers, the brain, etc. In the created world, the Ka is also magnetic and electrical energy. Subtle matter, magnetism and electricity, odic force, also called Astral Light. 
Element: Water
Color: Green
Characteristics: Sensory impressions; instincts, conscience, moral pain, feelings and passions (fear, courage, euphoria, depression, insecurity, love, hatred; goodness; badness, etc.). Sense of order or tendency to disorder. Desires; aspirations; attachments, etc.

III. The Ba - "The Body that Thinks." (Mental or "Mercurial" Body) The Ba is a more complete individuality emanating from the preceding two bodies. The Ba is mentality or the Mental body, winged at both the head and feet. The Ba is the constituent part of the human being, most in contact with the Divine. The Ba is the most subtle, or thinking aspect of the human being.
The Ba represents the directing principle of the Universe and of matter. In the modern world, we many better understand this by considering Quantum physics and Quantum mind. The Ba represents the subtle forces underlying universal creation.
Element: Air
Color: Light Blue
Characteristics: Intelligence and will, intuition, thought, creation, spiritual love, neutrality, truth, directing and willed concrete ideas, sense of freedom, premonition and precognition, dominion over the Astral body and thus over the physical body as well. 

IV. The Akh, Khu, or Sahu - "The Body of Light" or "Divine Spark" ("Solar" Body also called "Divine Genius" in the Golden Dawn). The Akh, Khu, or Sahu represents Divine individuality, which manifests in the human being by virtue of the Ba, which in its turn manifests through the Ka, and this through the Sekhu or Khat. The Akh, Khu, or Sahu participates in universal life, unique and eternal. It is the source of vitality, both physical and spiritual. It is the light of eternal consciousness, beyond space and time. 
Element: Fire
Color: Brilliant Red
Characteristics: There is not any point in listing characteristics of the Akh. This must be lived through experience as it is beyond mind and intellect. I add only the following quote from the Adept Fulcanelli:  
"As long as fire exists, matter will not cease in its arduous ascent towards integral purity; passing solid form (earth) to liquid form (water), and then to the gaseous state (air) and then to a radiant state (fire). 
As long a fire shall exist, human beings will be able to exercise their industrious activity on the things that surround them and, thanks to this wonderful igneous instrument, will be able to submit them to their own will, to mold them, to subject them their own purposes. 
As long as fire shall endure, human beings shall be directed towards relationship with the Divine - and the creature shall better know its Creator." - Fucanelli

Let us recall, in conclusion, that the above Egyptian model exists only to better and more concretely understand the human Soul. It does not mean that this division literally exists in human beings. Who asserts this acts like a child who believes in fairy tales, for these four bodies completely interpenetrate one another, and the physical human body contains the other three bodies not only within every cell, but also within each molecule and every atom. 

- Lux E Tenebris
In addition to the above, I wish only to remind our readers yet again, of the stark contrast between the diametrically opposed Mystical and Magical approaches to spirituality. Whereas the Mystic seeks union with the Divine without, through subordination or "loosening" of the ego, Magicians instead are conquerors of the ramparts of heaven.

Magicians seek not union with any sort of Divinity outside ourselves. We seek rather to liberate the "Divine spark" that lies hidden within each human being from the chains of matter.

This now brings us full circle - back to the unique call and response that opens the A.O. Neophyte ritual, which we discussed at the beginning of this article. The final strophe, given below, alludes to this "Divine spark" - as well as to the Pythagorean tradition of Pagan Greece, which, together with the Isinian mysteries of ancient Egypt, figure prominently in the Magick of the Alpha Omega, as they do in no other Golden Dawn order.
Hierophant: Youth
Hiereus: Age
Hierophant: Increase
Hiereus: Decrease
Hierophant: PROMETHEUS
Hiereus: EPIMETHEUS
Hegemon: And the path of Man between.

Prometheus and the "Divine Spark"

We, Hermetic Magicians and Alchemists of the A.O., do not despise matter, nor even so-called "things of the flesh." Instead, we see therein a "Prima Materia" to be purified with fire - to be transmuted in its fourfold ascent through the elements, as so eloquently stated by Master Fulcanelli above...

... until one day this "Divine spark," this "Gold of the Philosophers" shall, liberated from the chains of matter, take its rightful place - immortal and eternal - among the Gods!

Alpha Omega
Because we make Magicians!

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

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Personal Temples: Photos of The Grand Reception Hall at Isis Mother Temple of the Alpha Omega


The Grand Reception Hall at Isis Mother Temple of the A.O.

Thank all of you who have been sharing photos of your personal temples and altars here on the Golden Dawn blog. We will continue to share more and more of them in coming months. 

In anticipation of the International Conclave of Golden Dawn Magicians that will be held here at the A.O.'s Isis Mother Temple outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, April 7-13, we thought we would show you around the Temple grounds a bit more. 

The Grand Reception Hall, pictured above, is where a number of astonishing classes on additional traditional Golden Dawn Magick from the Secret Chiefs will be revealed during the International Conclave.

If you have not yet registered for the festival, you can still do so by writing us here. Space is limited, so you really should register now.

You can find more information about the International Conclave here.

Meanwhile, we wish you all the best from Isis Mother Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega. 

We look forward to meeting you here at the International Conclave of Golden Dawn Magicians.

Isis Shrine in the Grand Reception Hall 
of Alpha Omega's Isis Mother Temple

Your hosts,
Leslie and D. J. McQuade Griffin


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

EXPOSED: Llewellyn Blog Mistakes Mysticism for Magick (Answer to Donald Michael Kraig)


by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin

Today there remains a tragic amount of confusion among aspiring Magicians about the very real differences between Mysticism and Magick.

All science grows in three main phases. These are (1) a common vocabulary, (2) correlation, and (3) effect-cause-effect. This means that every known science began by first establishing a common vocabulary that permitted its proponents to communicate. Without a clear definition of each term, conversations end up turning into arguments even when both sides are actually proclaiming the same truths.

Aristotle was quite adamant that we must always begin by clarifying our terms. Unfortunately, when important terms and concepts, such as “Magick” and “Mysticism” are used with imprecision, we end up fighting about something that isn’t really important. I won’t bother with the last two phases as they are not relevant to this discussion.

Donald Michael Kraig recently published an article entitled "The Dark Night of the Soul." You can read the entire article over on the Llewellyn blog here. I am concerned about the level of confusion perpetuated in the Magical community by this article through imprecise use of the terms "Mysticism" with "Magick."

In "Dark Night of the Soul," Kraig draws a distinction between what he calls "technological/spiritual Magick" and "Religious Magick," yet goes on to describe both of these forms of so-called "Magick" in purely Mystical terms.

From the perspective of the Hermetic and Magical traditions, including luminaries such as Giordano Bruno, Marcilio Ficino, Cornelius Agrippa, Gerolamo Cardano, Pietro D'Abano, Theophrastus Paracelsus, and Eliphas Levi (not to mention the entirety of Egyptian, Chaldeaen, and Sumerian Magick) what Kraig describes is not really Magick at all, but pure Mysticism.

Kraig is absolutely correct that what he calls "Religious Magick," or "seeking a direct relationship between the Divine and the practitioner" is actually Mysticism. But why call Mysticism "Religious Magick" at all?

Mysticism is Mysticism. Magick is something else. Calling Mysticism "Magick" merely creates unnecessary confusion.

As for what Kraig calls "technological/spiritual Magick," which Kraig defines as "Attuning oneself with the Divine," this is not Magick at all either, at least from the point of view of centuries of Hermetic and Magical tradition.

This also is Mysticism, pure and simple. According to long established Hermetic and Magical tradition, Kraig in reality is contrasting two different aspects of Mysticism, which he mistakenly calls "Magick."

Kraig's conflation of the terms "Magick" and "Mysticism" perfectly mirrors the utter bewilderment about the real differences between Magick and Mysticism that plagues today's esoteric community. Sadly, interchangeable and imprecise usage of these terms, such as Kraig's usage in the article under discussion, perpetuates such confusion rather than clarifying and eliminating it.

I have written extensively previously on the differences between Mysticism and Magick (here). I repeat the most relevant aspects, as follows:
"Mysticism and Magick are two quite distinct spiritual paths. The primary difference between Magick and Mysticism lies codified in the actual methods of practice, together with the Mystical or Magical inclinations of the practitioner. 
The Mystical path refers to the capacity and will of the practitioner to place oneself in a passive position in relationship to eternal Being and the forces of nature, which the Practitioner begins to invoke and pray to, so they may manifest and enlighten one, thus spiritually uplifting and exalting the practitioner.  
The Magical practitioner, on the other hand, does not place him or herself in a passive state towards natural and Divine forces, but rather in a positive state. Recognizing the Divine Spark inside oneself, the practitioner actively collaborates with Eternal Being rather than waiting for its manifestations. 
In Mysticism, the practitioner expects Divinity to manifest itself, and to ascend the staircase that leads from below to on high aided by the Divine hand that takes us and leads us ever upwards. 
Magic does not expect this, instead conquering the Inner Planes through one's own effort rather than through Divine aid. Thus, whereas the Mystical approach is one of submission, the Magician instead is a conquerer. 
A perfect example of the Magical path may be found in the Mithraic Ritual deposited in Paris, which shows one such practice of divine Ascension of the Magical initiate. While rising towards Divinity to be received like a prodigal Son or Daughter, the practitioner greets the Gods as equals that gradually appear, not fearing them or subjugating oneself before them, but admonishing them and blandishing them with Magical words that open the gates of heaven. 
Whereas Magick is based on knowledge, Mysticism is based on on ignorance in the literal sense of "ignoring" or "unknowing." In fact, one of the most important mystical texts in all of Christianity, "The Cloud of Unknowing," speaks of making oneself obscure, humble and ignorant before the unmanifest - to remain there, in silence, gradually emptying oneself, while waiting for something or someone (God) to come and fill the void thus created. 
Thus two completely different modalities become evident. Whereas the Mystic reflects the Divine light that is poured out upon him, the Magician generates this light, becoming an emitter himself.  
A.E. Waite
The foremost exponent of the Mystical path in the Golden Dawn was Arthur Edward Waite, who completely suppressed Magick in favor of Christian Mysticism in his Fellowship of the Rosy Cross and its Inner Order, the Rosa Rossa et Aureae Crucis (Rectified Rite). Waite's Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, reconstructed in recent years and open only to Christians, today remains the most Mystical order in the Golden Dawn community. 
The foremost exponent of the Magical path in the Golden Dawn was the great Mage, S.L. MacGregor Mathers. Mathers understood that the Golden Dawn primarily as a Magical rather than a Mystical tradition. Over time the Magical spiritual path has become more and more pronounced in Mathers' Alpha Omega. The A.O. today remains the most Magical order in the Golden Dawn community. 
In between the Alpha Omega and the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, which most clearly exemplify the diametrically opposed Magical and Mystical Golden Dawn paths, there today exist a host of Golden Dawn orders that lie somewhere in between ... that have not gone so far as to suppress Magick outright as did the Waite order, yet nonetheless remain quite Mystical in their approach to the Golden Dawn."
Although this will likely come as a surprise to many of Donald Michael Kraig's readers, judging by what Kraig has written in "Dark Night of the Soul," Kraig's underlying philosophical approach to occultisim, the Golden Dawn, and Magick in general, is not really a Magical approach at all, but rather a Mystical approach instead.

This does not mean that Kraig's books do not include a great deal of Magical techniques, albeit borrowed from other sources. Clearly they do. For example, Kraig's Modern Magick borrows heavily from published Golden Dawn material.

Nonetheless, to one versed in the literature of the history of Magick and of Hermeticism, it is obvious that Kraig's underlying philosophical position and personal approach to esoteric work is consistently that of Mysticism, rather than that of Magick.

Although this may astonish some of Kraig's readers, it should nonetheless come as no surprise, considering that Kraig is both a member and a covert public representative of one of the most mystically oriented of all Golden Dawn orders.

If one analyses Kraig's writings carefully, it becomes readily apparent that Donald Michael Kraig has for decades been a primary exponent of the Mystical approach, both to occultism in general, and to the Golden Dawn in particular.

Thus we should not be surprised that the arguments contained in Kraig's latest article conflate the Mystical "Dark Night of the Soul" of the Christian Mystic, St. John of the Cross, with the thoroughly Magical "Crossing of the Abyss," which occurs during the transition between the classical Golden Dawn's Second and Third Orders.

There is precious little I may reveal in public about the true nature of this perilous "Crossing of the Abyss" between the Golden Dawn's Second and Third orders, since this remains oath bound information in the A.O. Let me give a hint, at least, as to the true nature of this Magical (not Mystical) process, however, with the following piece of prose:

The Abyss
We on Earth live in a house of mirrors.
We are like deluded rats running on a wheel in a cage, chasing our cherished illusions. 
Read a book, perform a rite, or perhaps even a guided fantasy... 
... and "Abracadabra!" - Now we are "Self-Initiates." 
Get depressed, find a book in a store front window, overcome the depression ... 
and "Shazaam!" - Now we have "Crossed the Abyss!" 
Is there really nothing more to Magick than what is likely but self-inflicted delusion? 
Is there no exit from the house of mirrors? 
Is there no way past the perilous Minotaur - and OUT of the labyrinth - once and for all?


Is it any wonder that the esoteric community remains so confused about the differences between Mysticism and Magick, when even respected occult authors like Donald Michael Kraig and publishing houses like Llewellyn perpetuate such bewilderment with imprecise use of key terms?

It is important that the actual differences between Magick and Mysticism, as established by many centuries of Magical and Hermetic tradition, be clarified in the public mind rather than further obfuscated.

It is also important that the public comes to fully understand the fundamental difference between the Magical versus the Mystical approach to esotericism - and that they are not at all the same.

It is lastly important that the public comes to understand the fundamental philosophical differences between mystically vs. magically oriented Golden Dawn orders, as well as the difference this makes in practical approach for the spiritual development of initiates, despite that most Golden Dawn orders appear the same when superficially examined.

Let us be clear about one thing.

In the Alpha Omega, we do not make Mystics.

To make Mystics is the mission of religions, churches, and mystically oriented Golden Dawn orders. This is not the mission of the Alpha Omega.

The mission of the Alpha Omega instead is like the first rays of dawn bursting across the sea, banishing shadows, eliminating confusion - And making clear the difference between Mysticism and Magick for legitimate seekers - tired of groping around in the dark alone.


Alpha Omega
Because we make Magicians!

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

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