Don't miss the surprising final episode of The Golden Dawn Saga, as the runaway smash hit series returns to The Golden Dawn blog!
"These [Pagan Fundamentalisms] have centered around two hot-button topics: the historicity of Wiccan foundational narratives, and the nature of the gods." -Sabina Magliocco
"Some neopagans, however, claim that their religion is a direct, lineal survival of ancient paganism...
the Religious Studies article then wildly concludes:... How much of this is actually true? In particular, how much of modern Wicca is a genuine survival of ancient paganism?... The evidence shows that Wicca was created by Gerald Gardner and a small number of other middle-class occultists between the 1920s and the 1950s ...
... Paganism as such disappeared from Europe with the spread of Christianity, and did not reappear until the pagan revival got under way in the 19th century."
"There are very clear links between ancient and modern Paganisms ... The links can be found in folk customs, in the Western tradition of magic and esotericism, and in art, literature and philosophy." -Sabina Magliocco
"As an anthropologist, I am bound by a code of ethics which demands that I put the good of the communities I work with before anything else, including my research program and professional advancement."I am not questioning Dr. Magliocco's ethics in particular, but the above statement invokes the entrenched belief held by many Pagans that the ethics of academic research can be blindly trusted. This, in reality, is not always the case, as Leslie McQuade shockingly outlines here:
|Leslie McQuade Griffin|
"As an archeologist, I have had the great fortune to work in some pretty amazing places, from the English Heritage, Eartham Pit dig in West Sussex where Homo heidelbergensis was discovered during the dig, to the Botai dig in Kazakhstan for the Carnegie Mellon Museum of Natural History, where I was told to cover up the discovery of artifacts made of bone which bore a striking resemblance to screw drivers, which would be astonishing for the time period - to the Chatan-cho dig Okinawa where we were ordered to conceal our discoveries by the Japanese government since they didn't like that we found Koreans rather than Japanese.Thus, when McQuade began to concentrate more on ethnography, she was already aware of the profound role scholarly bias and even political expediency frequently play in academic research. On significant archeological digs, McQuade was ordered to manipulate and suppress data to skew results of research.
I left archeology when the sanctity of scientific data was repeatedly sacrificed for political expedience. As a scientist, I wanted no part in such hypocricy."
"Initiates also hid themselves within Christianity itself, transmuting the ancient Egyptian symbols into versions easily hidden in the symbols and tenants of the new, aggressive faith for re-emergence when the time was both safe and right.
As has been demonstrated by my Italian Pagan informant, Dianus del Bosco Sacro, in his article, “The Great Rite, Hermeticism and the Shamanic-Pagan Tradition of the Sacred Forest of Nemi,” these same initiatic mysteries can be found preserved encoded in divergent symbol systems across centuries, from the frescoes of the Villa of the Mysteries of ancient Pompeii to the symbols of Hermetic alchemy, only to reappear in Leland’s “Aradia: The Gospel of the Witches.” [Fenris Wolf V: Journal for Magical Anthropology, Stockholm 2013]In addition to Dianus, Frater Lux E Tenebris, my alchemical Master and point of contact with the Golden Dawn's Secret Chiefs, has additionally agreed to serve as anthropological informant for Leslie's Pagan ethnographic research. Leslie showed the present article to Frater L.e.T. for comment this morning. Frater LeT added the following to conclude the article:
"There is not one form of Paganism, but two that have survived since antiquity. Prof. Magliocco and others are correct in their observations regarding folk customs, cunning folk, etc. These, however, are but remnants of a "low" Pagan tradition, crumbs of ancient wisdom found among ignorant common folk, mixed with superstition, etc.
There is, however, a pure Pagan current that survived by remaining completely underground. The ancient Pagan Sacerdotal tradition was preserved by initiatic societies, and there is plenty of publicly available evidence of this survival. For example, Pagan thought reached its apogee with Plotinus. From there arise all of the visible teachings that follow.
Many Pagan mysteries were concealed inside Christianity itself albeit under another name, for example in Gnosticism in the early centuries. We find Pagan teachings again in the writings of Giordano Bruno, the high magic of Tomas Campanella, Marcilio Ficino, and the group gathered around the De Medici family.
We find Pagan teachings again in Trithemius and Agrippa, who while posing as Christians in order to protect themselves, nonetheless communicated the ancient Pagan Celestial Magick. Just look at the letters his "Christian" friends sent to Agrippa before the publication of his occult philosophy (which contains PAGAN Magick with but a Christian veneer), warning Agrippa to be very careful lest he be arrested, tortured, and burned.
Paganism was deeply occulted following the edicts of the Emperors so that it might not be destroyed. But even much of the structure of the Christian church itself is Pagan in origin, including the title today used by the head of the Christian church, Pontifex Maximus.
And these are but the external signs of what was preserved occulted by the Sacerdotal Colleges, later becoming Rosicrucian and the initiatic orders, and transmitted to us today.
Thus there is not doubt that Paganism has survived. The scholars know this, although they choose to focus on the "low" Pagan tradition as it survived mixed with superstition in folk magic, etc. To admit the survival of the "high," Sacerdotal Pagan tradition is not in the interest of Christianity."The time has come for Pagans to let go of overly naive trust in academia. Academia is never perfectly objective. Scholarly bias nearly always plays a role in research - and even manipulation and supression of data to skew results are not unheard of.
“Verily shee is a Magitian, which hath power to rule the heavens, to bringe downe the sky, to beare up the earth, to turne the waters into hills and the hills into running waters, to lift up the terrestrial spirits into the aire, and to pull the gods out of the heavens, to extinguish the planets, and to lighten the deepe darknesse of hell. Then sayd I unto Socrates, Leave off this high and mysticall kinde of talke, and tell the matter in a more plaine and simple fashion. “
"Each GD initiate has to engage with and embody the mysteries behind a whole raft of Christian symbols, from the neophyte Red Cross (an ‘Image of Him Who was unfolded in the Light’) to the Cross of Suffering in the Vault ... This engagement means the initiate, and collectively the tradition, is working the mysteries through a Christian based lens more than any other lens. This is why I can describe the RR et AC as a ‘Christian’ tradition."
"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 an active 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."
"...casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you."... and Exodus 22:18 states:
"Do not allow a sorceress to live".
"The practice of Witchcraft and Magic were regarded as Sins by Christians that needed to be repented of, confessed, and forsaken."
"Who adheres to Magical beliefs such as the Magic of Cartomancy, Astrology, and all esoteric practices or who converts to other faiths such as Masonry or Rosicrucianism."
"People’s dislike or lack of fit with Christian symbolism often prompts them to want to modify and change the symbols and rituals (which are a way of embodying the mystery of the symbols). However, I think it very unwise to change any symbol until we know and are intimate with the mystery it represents."
"In response to some recent silly and strange claims on the net regarding the history of the Golden Dawn"Since Peregrin and other S.R.I.A. members repeat like a broken record the thoroughly debunked claim that "no evidence" exists of any traditional Golden Dawn Magick other than that published by Regardie, we recently invited our critics (including Peregrin) to come and examine the actual supplemental G.D. Magick and materials from the Secret Chiefs for themselves.
"The supplemental Magick and other materials for the Neophyte grade fit like hand in glove. Some of it is advanced, but when you see it together with the rest of the material it is simple and obvious. You can see that the original material is for learning purposes and the supplemental material is for practical application of the old material. It seems like a natural extension."
- Frater NTI, Gothenburg, Sweden
"To anyone who doubts the existence of the physical Secret Chiefs or the authenticity of their Golden Dawn teachings, if you would have attended the Festival, you would have seen it for yourself. I along with many others who did attend, ARE the proof of its power and authenticity."
- Frater O.B., Alvin, TX
"No one is grafting anything onto the Golden Dawn. The A.O.'s Egyptian College of Isis is NOT Golden Dawn. It is purely Egyptian Magick in a separate College of the A.O. and does not pretend to be anything else. The A.O. is obviously much more than merely Golden Dawn.
I have been practicing Golden Dawn Magick for 11 years. I was quite astonished today when I learned the most basic magical practice of the Alpha Omega's new Egyptian College of Isis. The G.D.'s Rite of the Qabalistic Cross is very powerful, but the Egyptian basic ritual is even better. I was very surprised that one notices changes from the power of this practice immediately."
- VH Frater S.E.M., Mexico City, Mexico
"The power and transformation inherent in the RR et AC is Rosicrucian. Now there are any number of hermetic, alchemical and occult influences within the [Rosicrucian] manifestos, but the overarching theme, current and religiosity is undeniably Christian."
Of Rosicrucianism, noted S.R.I.A. occult and Masonic historian R.A. Gilbert has the view that:
"…once one moves away from the Trinitarian Christian approach to this ascent up the Tree of Life, it ceases to be Rosicrucian." (http://www.rosecircle.org/cms/node/36).
|S.R.I.A. Grand Archivist|
|Sir Edward Bullwer-Lytton|
|Kenneth H.R. MacKenzie|
Click HERE to explore our Outer Order, undergraduate level Magical training program, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn!