Saturday, May 4, 2013

SPECIAL REPORT: 2013 International Golden Dawn Festival & The Rites of Isis

by HPS Leslie McQuade Griffin

High Priestess - Egyptian Section
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn,
Rosicruican Order of Alpha Omega

Leslie and David McQuade Griffin Reveal Secret Chiefs' Magick

The International Festival of Golden Dawn Magicians brought together Solitary Practitioners, Self-Initiates, and Members from a host of G.D. orders for a week of good food, great times and amazing Magick - newly released by the Golden Dawn’s Secret Chiefs.  The time away from the mundane world was like a breath of fresh air and reminded us of why we call The Golden Dawn home.

In short - it was a great Festival.  In fact, it was the kind of event that gets me excited about holding another one next year.  Many important things happened for the participants. One of the most important was getting acclimated to Temple Life.  There is a rhythm there that, if you can carry it home with you to your personal Temple, really gives increased depth to your Magickal work. 

It seems simple, but often times, it is in simplicity that profound truth is hidden in plain sight. 
  1. Meditation - Beginning with the old 1888 Neophyte Meditaion (version 1.0), then concluding later in the week with version 2.0 revealed by the Secret Chiefs at the Festival.
  2. Breakfast - The international participants (8 countries and spanning 4 continents!) went home with a new appreciation for the tradition of a big American style breakfast. Next …
  3. Cleaning - Breakfast can be messy; fried eggs, fried potatoes, fried pancakes, and coffee dribbling from cups held a little too loosely. But not just the kitchen. Cleaning the whole house in the morning is an exercise in purification and in re-creating sacred space. Done every day, it becomes less a chore and more a magical exercise in and of itself. And then …
  4. Physical Exercise - Not a lot, nothing too strenuous. I learned about the importance of morning exercises for team building when I worked at an archaeological dig in Japan. I incorporated some of those exercises into our morning routine. And after physical warm up ...
  5. Spiritual Exercise - Warm up exercises with a modern approach to Magick in Golden Dawn Dojo led by David Griffin. Then…
  6. Class - This was the meat and potatoes of the week (depicted above). The Secret Chiefs revealed and David taught a great deal of the magical formulae and spiritual practices hidden in the Golden Dawn Neophyte grade. This is also where the Secret Chiefs revealed and I taught the Egyptian Magick hidden in the Mathers' "Rites of Isis." 
  7. Processing and Journaling - After class, time to perfect class notes, ask questions and rest a little before lunch. Unless you were on the lunch crew, that is. 
  8. Lunch - Cook, eat, socialize, clean again and (ahhhh) ...
  9. Repose and Meditation. An opportunity to go inward once again.
  10. Initiation - In the afternoon, after repose, came the opportunity for Traditional Golden Dawn Initiations for Self-initiates, Solitary Practitioners and G.D. Members. Those not involved in the afternoon’s initiatic work had free time to explore the Temple grounds, nature in the surrounding countryside, and the numerous attractions that surround Pahrump.
  11. Dinner - Cook, eat, socialize, clean for the last time and then ...
  12. Fire Circle - This was a relaxing and fitting tribal end to our day.
Regarding local attractions, Tecopa Hot Springs was a favorite yet again this year. The hot, geothermal pools, filled with healing mineral salts soak away stress and sore muscles better than any Jacuzzi. And the cosmetic grade mud at the bottom really completes this natural spa experience. Add good friends and intelligent conversation, and the experience at “Hot Ditch” is one not easily forgotten.

David and Leslie at Tecopa Hot Springs

That is not to say that the Festival was without the inevitable “mosquito in Paradise”, as it were.  Although the “Hot Ditch” is amazing, it would really have been nice to have had the 20 person capacity Jacuzzi working, since it was only 15 feet from the back door, and not the 45 minute drive Tecopa is. It was quite frustrating for David and I that one obstacle after the other kept the new Jacuzzi down until just after the Festival ended (of course). Well, there is always next year.

Fire Circle was the perfect ending for the day each evening. Nothing says relaxation and contentment like sitting around a campfire. Fires are a little too easy to build in the desert, so the usual hassle of actually getting the thing started was replaced with a sense of wonder. It really takes no great talent to have the mythic “one match fire” when the humidity stays below 25% year in and year out. 

We gazed dreamily at first the fire, then the stars, then back at the fire. We sipped our drinks, and listened to the sounds of nature, dying down after a hard day’s work, then to peacocks from a neighbor’s farm, then to frogs, and finally to the drums.

There were several drummers in attendance. Wherever there is a fire, drummers and fire spinners happily join in what easily becomes a complete tribal experience. As we pounded out familiar rhythms, a synergy quickly developed. No two fire circles are ever the same, and the bonds formed at one have a different flavor than at others. Yes, fire circle was definitely a great way to end the day. 

As far as class work is concerned, the Magick of the Rites of Isis comprise the Egyptian Section of the new material supplied by the Secret Chiefs. It was such a joy for me to impart these new teachings on such attentive and capable persons. 

The importance of the Rites of Isis to the Alpha Omega is crucial to the completion of the Egyptian mysteries of the Golden Dawn. The Egyptian lunar “Rites of Isis” performed by Moina and S.L. MacGregor Mathers in public at the Theatre Bodiniere, in March 1899, in Paris was just the beginning.

In reality, the Mathers’ Rites of Isis were just the first step of a whole system of secret Egyptian Magick now released to the A.O. by the Secret Chiefs, and introduced for the first time at the International Festival.

Speaking of Alpha Omega public rites, there are also the complementary “Rites of Nephthys” (Lunar Rites for the New Moon) as well as the Rite of the Grand Enthronement of Isis. The secret magical formulae of the Grand Enthronement of Isis serve to invoke and manifest the energies of the Goddess, fully manifesting the egregore of the Isinian mysteries and embodying it in the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega as well as in Isis Temple.

Each of these Rites were performed publicly during the Festival. I am deeply honored to have filled shoes in ritual once occupied by Moina Mathers, now our honored A.O. elder, and to serve today as High Priestess of the Alpha Omega’s Isis Temple.

HPS Leslie McQuade Griffin
Leslie and D.J. McQuade Griffin in
"The Rites of Isis"

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  1. I can personally attest to just how profound an effect the order in which everything was done at the Festival had! The way the Festival schedule was structured was a perfect foundation for good energy, community, and much more powerful Magick! It is very energizing and had a very natural rhythm to it. This natural & simple routine made the other activities at the Festival all the more personal, powerful, and communal. I have never felt such a sense of family and being "home" before. This "order" to things really helped me to more effectively & properly create & move energy & create much more powerful vibrations within & without myself. Without this ability, ritual in & of itself is but a play without any real Magick! Bringing that routine home with me to my personal Temple and daily life has had an amazing positive effect on my ritual work and mundane life. I would also like to say that I have been working with the Isinian Rites daily since the Festival and they are more & more powerful for me each time. The Egyptian section fits SO perfectly into the A.O. and the G.D. system. It is obvious when working these Rites that they are a very ancient and undiluted source of Magick that can be easily seen as precursors to some of the basic published rituals of the Outer Order. No one is trying to change the system of the G.D., this Egyptian Section is separate from the rest of the curriculum and not meant to replace anything. It however fits like a much needed missing piece and works wonderfully when used alongside the existing curriculum. I am honored to be one of the few with the privilege of having received this invaluable Magick meant for the original G.D., but not released until now due to the Schism. On another note, the Tecopa Hot Springs were a wonderful bonding experience and a beautiful, serene setting for conversation among like-minded people, relaxing and melting away any stress, and cleansing and re-energizing me in its Sacred mud. It is no doubt one of the fondest memories of the Festival I will carry with me! I have to thank David & Leslie again for everything they did to make this possible. Love & Golden Bright Light!!!

    Fraternally in L.V.X.,
    Frater A.T.L.V.

  2. Where is it held, State and area please. I will be Broadcasting this on my Network.


  3. Hi Persephone,

    The Festival was held at Isis Temple in Pahrump, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas. Isis Temple is the International Mother Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega.

    You can see some pictures of Isis Temple here:

  4. In one word: Refreshing!
    In two words: Direct LVX
    In three words: Just damn awesome.