Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ritual Magic 101: "Where Should I Begin?"

by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin

I recently received the below letter from John Miller in the comments section of the Golden Dawn Blog. It is so important I decided to answer it here instead. If anyone else would like Ritual Magic advice, I would be happy to answer your questions here too.

Mr. Griffin,

Please excuse me if the salutation is in poor taste, but I must admit I am not well learned in the "great work". I have spent much time reading books like your Ritual Magic Manual, several books by Israel Regardie, Aliester Crowley, A.E. White, Pat Zalewski and so on and so forth... but I just dont get it... the information is... well.... overwhelming... I dont know where to begin. I fear trying any of the rituals, for my sanity as well as my well being.. I want nothing more then to go to a Temple and receive initiation and education properly. However before I make arrangements to go there (No close temples) I would like to be able to be a little educated on how to begin my studies. I know your goal is to help make magicians, and that is what I truly aspire to be, I dont want to be some armchair theorist. Please any information would greatly help, I feel buried maybe you could help me with just where to begin.
Thank you!
Dear John,

Thanks for taking the time to write. Hearing your story warms my heart and makes all of my effort to teach the benefits of Ritual Magick feel worth it. 

I hear your concern, but I really don't think you need to worry about your sanity because of magical practice. 

If you choose a solitary path, I would suggest you work through the Basic Rituals section in the Ritual Magic Manual.
In any case, I would suggest you begin by practicing the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and the Rite of the Middle Pillar on a daily basis. The former begins to purify you energetically and the latter begins to charge your energetic body.

Your desire for formal initiation and working within an order structure are admirable. After all, why try to reinvent the wheel? 

There are many fine Golden Dawn orders out there for you to choose from. Each one has a slightly different focus. Since you express a desire to learn Ritual Magick, it sounds like the Alpha Omega may be a good fit for you.

In our order, you will find a step-by-step curriculum that you can follow at home while you prepare to travel for formal initiation in one of our fully chartered and licensed, physical Golden Dawn temples.

I hear you that the vast amount of material out there about the Golden Dawn can be a bit intimidating. We are doing our best to meet the needs of people like you.

Together with a university professor with many years of experience in the field, we are working hard to continuously improve our curriculum and make it even more user friendly so that people do not feel so overwhelmed by the material.

I am including a link below to where you can find our more about our training program. Please feel free to post any additional questions that you may have here!

David Griffin
Imperator, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Chief Adept, Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega

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Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn®
Making Magicians - Since 1888

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


  1. Thanks to John Miller and Imperator Griffin for this post. It raises a couple of questions which have been on my mind as well.

    I am in some ways like Mr. Miller: I have read a good deal of material over the years but only in the last few months have I been practicing ritual magic daily and in earnest, including the two rituals Imperator Griffin mentions. Over the last four or five months, I have been reading this blog, perusing the website as a whole, and in some cases downloading some of the material in the library section and reading it, because I also hope at some point also to apply for initiation into the HOGD/Alpha et Omega. But one thing I have not been clear on after reading through the website is: does the actual training only go on at a temple or is it just the initiation which must go on there? Since I live five hours away from the closest temple and have a family, I don't think I could train at that distance. This blog and other material I have read have convinced me that actual, physical initiation is essential; so that is not in question for me. But is the training only at the physical location? I noticed that some things are given on-line, but I can't tell if the entire training can go on on-line or not.

    A rudimentary question from a new practitioner: once I began doing the Middle Pillar Ritual, I noticed that my body began to -- quite naturally -- make rhythmic motions while doing it; perhaps a little like "dancing in place". At first I was surprised, since I was concentrating on the ritual itself and I did not expect any spontaneous movement of my body. But I have also not resisted it, since it seemed to flow quite naturally from the ritual. Your comment that the MPR "begins to charge your energetic body" has led me to think that my experiences of this are not so odd as I at first thought. While I understand the energetic and physical bodies are not identical, it still makes sense to me that the energetic charge might appear as rhythmic movement in the physical body... Am I understanding that correctly?


    1. Dear Dr. Jeeves,
      I will answer your questions in my next blog.
      David Griffin

    2. Thank-you. I look forward to it!

  2. What would you say regarding the void gazing meditation? Would you say it is good for beginners?

  3. Imperator Griffin,
    Thank you so much for answering my question. I truly feel honored that the question I posted resulted in a blog post. I hope others out there, who like myself feel buried, see this post and put into action your advice as well. Again, it is with much appreciation that I thank you for answering my humble question.
    John Miller

  4. This is a great vehicle for betterment, David!
    I am impressed at this initiative; keep up the good work!

    God Speed

  5. This is a great vehicle for spreading knowledge, David!
    I am very impressed; keep up the good work!

    God Bless,
    Rich / Fr. IADBU

  6. Imperator Griffin,
    I am an initiate passed through the Michigan Temple. I am very excited to be started on my journey, though am having major problems logging into the members site. I want to pay my dues for the year. I know my alias and I think I know my password. What should I do? I am anxious to get started!

    In Light,
    Chris/Fr. D.i.m.

    1. Please write directly to requesting administrative assistance. One of our administrators will troubleshoot with you, step by step.


  8. In regards to the question of where to start in the Golden Dawn and who to learn from, where to learn the information etc... my name is Adam, I've been studying magic for 27 years, and when I got a hold of David Griffin's Ritual Magic Manual back in 2004, my life in ceremonial magic changed forever! Now, it could be my insight on things, I've been around the block a few hundreds times, but this information is masterful. It is of the highest level on the teaching of ceremonial magic. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to reading comprehension, but this manual is written out in such an easy to understand way, if all you had was this book, and studied, you would be able to affect your life and others' guaranteed! I stake my life on it! Most people get involved in ceremonial magic because they want to invoke Goetia spirits, they are power hungry, or they want change... either way, if you're out for absolute power or spiritual evolution, IT'S ALL HERE IN THIS BOOK. Why listen to me? I'm a 13th degree Rosicrucianist, I've studied all different versions of Ceremonial Magic, Masonic style ceremonial magic, I studied magic in Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Congo... I've seen it all. I just want to get my point across here. I am not initiated into the Golden Dawn, I'm a solo act. And this stuff WORKS! So, my hat's off to you, David Griffin. Bravo, Bravo, Bravo! (and for all the people who have something negative to say about David Griffin's GD, they don't have the knowledge, they don't have the insight. It's ignorance on the highest level.) So, find the book, buy the book, study it, practice the information and watch your life change. Good luck. now DO.

  9. Hi, Do,very good,also,have read,many books on high magic,but by the way frater David express himself,& of what he writes,one!s innerself knows,that this is the real thing,No ego involved.all from the one,Light. 12-5-13-

  10. Dear David,

    I have been away from the blog for a while and I see that there is a lot of interesting new information.

    With regard to this post, I have to share that even though I do not consider myself a "magician" (yet) and I am actually Christian, I have got a copy of David Griffin's book and have experimented with/practiced the basic rituals a long time ago, in a time of great personal/psychological/emotional distress. I think that what David is stating here is quite accurate, if done with seriousness:

    In any case, I would suggest you begin by practicing the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and the Rite of the Middle Pillar on a daily basis. The former begins to purify you energetically and the latter begins to charge your energetic body.

    I believe they sort of help to "balance" your aura (or soul) and charge it with a kind of positive energy. I am not so aware of all the workings, actually, but I also think you'll become more sensitive to disturbances in your progressively acquired energy balance thereafter and be more able to perceive subtle energy flows.