Sunday, May 12, 2013

AΩ Egyptian College of the Golden Dawn

by Leslie McQuade Griffin
AΩ Egyptian High Priestess

When Moina and S.L. MacGregor Mathers first performed "The Rites of Isis" at the Theatre Bodiniere in Paris in March 1899, no one dreamed or imagined what a revolution the Alpha Omega had begun in the Golden Dawn tradition.

HPS Moina Mathers
The Rites of Isis

It took over Century for the plan set in motion with the “The Rites of Isis” to fully unfold. The occulted designs of the Secret Chiefs had been there all along but the Mathers were unable to fully manifest the plan because they remained too attached to the Christian symbolism of the Golden Dawn. The depth of this devotion was shown near the end of his life, when S.L. McGregor Mathers went so far as to convert to Catholicism.

S.L. MacGregor Mathers
The Rites of Isis

Time has changed this situation fundamentally. First, in the 1950s with the work of Gerald Gardner and his promotion of Wicca, followed by Doreen Valiente, Dion Fortune, Raymond Buckland, Maxine and Alexander Sanders and many other Pagan pioneers. Literally hundreds of Pagan traditions either reemerged or were carefully reconstructed.

Gerald Gardner

And thus the way was paved for the full reemergence of the Isinian Egyptian magical tradition, preserved for many Centuries by the Pythagorean and Hermetic traditions. 

Before I met my husband David Griffin, I had carefully avoided the Golden Dawn because I was Pagan. Sure there was some interesting magical stuff in there, assuming you could get past the bottomless sack of wands, robes, and especially, Christian symbolism. As a Pagan, I was quite turned off by the latter. Like many of my fellow Pagans, I believed the Golden Dawn was just some kind of Christian magic, and with way too much bling. 

David changed all that. First, he helped me to see the GD was Hermeticism re-veiled in Christian symbols; that it was the underlying Magick that mattered, not the symbol system masking it. As a trained anthropologist, it then became a simple matter for me to code switch into symbols more compatible with my Pagan faith.

Still, practicing Golden Dawn Magick remained a bit like swallowing medicine for me - a necessary evil.  Code switching aside, I know there is power in symbols.

Meanwhile, David had asked the Secret Chiefs to retransmit the “Rites of Isis” to the Alpha et Omega they had done previously to the Mathers. To our great astonishment and surprise, they transmitted to the A.Ω. not only the Rites of Isis, but also the Rites of Nephthys, which presently serve as Public lunar rites - and as a bridge to the Pagan community.

Next, David explained to the Secret Chiefs that my resistance to practicing Golden Dawn Magick was due to the symbol systems involved.  He asked them if they could give the A.Ω. a completely Egyptian Magical system, as this would be of great interest to the Pagan community.

To this day, I am astounded by how much the Secret Chiefs love my husband, and how generous they have been with the Alpha Omega. I can still hardly believe that my personal resistance to practicing classical Golden Dawn Magick was an important catalyst that led to the birth of the Egyptian College of the Golden Dawn this year, 2013.

I can not go into much detail about the actual practices of the Egyptian College, with the exception of the “Rites of Isis”, “Rites of Nephthys” and the “Rite of the Grand Enthronement of Isis” since these are semi-public rituals. There are also Isinian sacerdotal rites, performed exclusively by Isinian clergy that as High Priestess of the Alpha Omega's Isis Temple of the Golden Dawn I perform on a daily basis, in addition to the private, sacerdotal versions of the “Rites of Isis”, “Rites of Nephthys” and the “Rite of the Grand Enthronement of Isis”.

Most importantly for Pagans interested in the Golden Dawn, there are purely Egyptian Rites that serve the same function as the basic Magical rituals of the Golden Dawn, including the Qabalistic Cross, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram, and even the Rite of the Middle Pillar. There is also a complete Egyptian system of Astrological Magick, as an alternative to the Qabalistic and Enochian Astrogical Magick traditionally practiced in the R.R. et A.C.

These are not knock-off copies of traditional G.D. rituals either! Actually, the exact opposite appears to be the case - these Egyptian Rites appear rather the original versions of the rituals whose symbols were adapted for practice by the Golden Dawn!

The Egyptian College of the Alpha Omega is very good news for Pagans interested in the Golden Dawn, yet turned off by all of the Christian G.D. symbolism.

In the Egyptian College of the A.Ω., you will find none of that. 

The ISINIAN MAGICK of our EGYPTIAN COLLEGE is Pagan through and through.


  1. Is there somewhere I can go to find out more? I am very interested.

  2. A nicely written article Leslie.

    Many years ago (while Frank Salt was still alive) our Alexandrian coven also incorporated the Golden Dawn initiation ceremonies within our workings. This worked well because our group was based upon Egyptian magic as it theme.

    The Egyptian mysteries and the Golden Dawn work well together, as they do with some wiccan systems, especially the Alexandrian system. Well, it certainly worked for us.

    The Christian thing is a bit difficult, however once people see the common theme of resurrection in both Osiris and Jesus. And the older pagan Greek influenced Egyptian teachings of Jesus (and later symbology of Paul) then accepting those mysteries becomes more apparent.

    It is very good to see you and GH Fr Les (& the HOGD/Alpha et Omega) continuing Mather's Isis work.

    V.H Fr Leonard Stevens

  3. It works for me. The GD was always attractive due to the pull of the Egyptian Mystery - and there is nothing so inherently mysterious as Egypt! This new Egyptian Section continuing and extending beyond the Mather's Isis work really is a dream come true.

  4. Greetings and wishing you well can someone practice both systems at the same time?? thanks