Friday, May 31, 2013

The Golden Dawn Saga: The Final Chapter: COMING SOON!


Don't miss the surprising final episode of The Golden Dawn Saga, as the runaway smash hit series returns to The Golden Dawn blog!


by David Griffin

Coming Soon!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pagan Scholarship and anti-Pagan Propaganda

by David Griffin

"Pagans today have NO roots in antiquity!"
"Because we wiped out every trace - We KNOW."

Many Pagans today believe there are no clear links between ancient and modern Paganism. They are convinced there exist only reconstructed Pagan traditions and that any direct, lineal survival of ancient Paganism has been completely debunked by modern scholars.

Such misunderstandings are unsurprising, since modern Pagan research has been misrepresented over and over on Christian websites, blogs, etc. Most Christians are neither involved nor even interested in such shenanigans. There are, however, elements within Christianity that still have not given up trying to suppress Paganism, especially now that Paganism is growing, and are not above using modern propaganda methods to achieve their objective.

Take, for example, the impartial sounding Religious Studies blog. There you find claims that any connection between modern and ancient Paganism has been thoroughly debunked by modern Pagan scholars. Yet on the same blog, you find the historical veracity of Jesus proven by mere quotation of Biblical scripture!

Why is it that aspects of Paganism are subjected to one standard of scrutiny and those of other religions to a completely different yardstick?


Sadly, even "pro-Pagan" scholars are not above such double standards. Take for example, how Pagan "hard polytheists" have recently been branded fundamentalists by Wiccan Sabina Magliocco, Chairperson of the Department of Anthropology of California State University, Northridge, when Magliocco wrote in the article you can read here
"These [Pagan Fundamentalisms] have centered around two hot-button topics: the historicity of Wiccan foundational narratives, and the nature of the gods." -Sabina Magliocco
Sabina Magliocco

Why is it that Pagan hard polytheists are branded fundamentalists, yet Christians, Jews, and Muslims, who likewise believe in the objective existence of THEIR Gods are not likewise denigrated, nor are Hindu hard polytheists for that matter either.

Such a double standard coming from a self-identified Wiccan is unethical enough on its own, but out and out fear mongering about an unspecified and unsubstantiated "Rise of Pagan Fundamentalism" has no place  in responsible academic research.

Let us next examine the foundational narratives relevant to the survival of ancient Paganism, likewise branded fundamentalist by Dr. Magliocco. Note that Magliocco is quite careful to confine her fear mongering about "Pagan fundamentalists" to Wicca, regarding the "historicity of Pagan foundational narratives."

Such caution is thrown to the wind in anti-Pagan propaganda elsewhere describing Pagan scholarship, however. In the article on the Religious Studies blog entitled, The origins of neopaganism and Prof. Ronald Hutton we find, for example:
"Some neopagans, however, claim that their religion is a direct, lineal survival of ancient paganism...  
... 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 ... 
the Religious Studies article then wildly concludes:
... 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."
Ronald Hutton

Note the way the above, anti-Pagan propaganda narrative seamlessly jumps from Prof. Hutton of Bristol University's Department of History's research on Wicca in southern England to the unsupported conclusion that Paganism as such disappeared from Europe with the spread of Christianity.

I am not suggesting that Pagan scholars like Prof. Magliocco or Prof. Hutton are secretly persuing a Crypto-Christian agenda. These scholars are indeed, however, playing directly into the hands of Christian propagdists out to impede the growth of Paganism.

What is it then that contemporary scholarship actually does say - if not that Paganism disappeared from Europe until the 19th Century Pagan revival?

Prof. Magliocco, for example, readily admits that:
"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
This statement is strongly supported by data provided by anthropological informants of my wife, anthropologist/initiate, Leslie McQuade Griffin, as we shall see below. Dr. Magliocco, however, continues:
"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.
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."
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.

On the subject of Pagan survival, HPS McQuade recently wrote:
"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.

Pagan scholars be should be even more wary how statements they make may be misrepresented by others and turned against our Pagan community, and as far as ethics go, there is no place in academia for fear mongering,

Historians and anthropologists investigating the survival of remnants of Pagan antiquity should examine the Western esoteric tradition more closely.

That no remnants of ancient Pagan "high" Sacerdotal traditions have yet been uncovered, does not necessarily mean they no longer exist.

Scholars may have just been looking in the wrong places...

"A chair? Impossible."
...or sitting on the data all along!

Friday, May 24, 2013

ISIS RISING: Pagan Magick, Anthropology, and Christian Mysticism

by Anthropologist-Initiate
HPS Leslie McQuade Griffin

The difference between magick and mysticism is clear, as they have two completely different methodologies to achieve the same goal. 

Mysticism involves emptying one’s self and asking for a hand up.  Magick pulls one up by one’s own bootstraps, transforming through hard work.  Now how would YOU like to say you entered the next life? 

This is not a matter of pride,  but rather a matter of inclination.  Some people are naturally inclined towards a mystical path and others toward the Magical one.  You see successful vegetarians just as often as you see successful non-vegetarians.  I am most certainly NOT saying that one is better than the other.  These are simply two among several ways of achieving immortality.

Christianity has taken the Egyptian symbols and attempted to claim them for their own.  How peculiar.  When studying geology, I was taught that what comes first in time is oldest.  It is so simple and true that the same ideas are transferred to archaeology and to history.  It forms the basis of modern patent law.  If something came first, it is older than what comes after.  Why, if there is the imago of a goddess breastfeeding a child on her lap, do the Christians call Mary a Holy Mother, but call Isis, who is older and shown in the same manner, a Pagan idol?  This is the Christian attempt to coopt Egyptian symbols and claim for their own.  How can it be more clear?


And the Egyptians did not have a monopoly of the use of this image. Women have been breastfeeding infants since before we were human. One look at a mother gorilla or chimpanzee should sufficiently evidence that.  Divine motherhood is a human archetype, and not the exclusive providence of ANY faith, but most certainly a Pagan symbol long before a Christian one.  Those that claim otherwise can only be described as Historical Revisionists.

Already, in the 1533 translation of The Golden Ass, we find a confusion between Magick and Mysticism.

In the middle of the second paragraph of the third chapter we read:
“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. “
She is clearly described as a Magitian (sic.), and yet rather than say “Leave off this hight and magickal kinde of talke”, the respondent conflates magic and mysticism by calling  it “mysticall kinde of talke”.  To make the matter more clear, it is as if one person is telling the story of a baseball player, but the person listening to the story says he isn’t interested in hearing a story about cricket!

This exact type of conflation has been going on between adherents of the different schools of immortality for millennia. I find it amazing that in this modern age of science, no anthropologist before me who has been willing to set vainglory aside and swear myself to secrecy for the chance to learn from actual initiates who have carried the initiatic tradition from the Pagan past to our digital present. 

As someone trained in the participant observer method of ethnography, and the experimental method in archaeology, I understand how critical personal experience is in the understanding of certain concepts within social science. 

It is no accident that 100% of the world’s cultures have concepts such as God, Goddess, afterlife, soul, and transcendence.  What is interesting is the number of otherwise good anthropologists who are unwilling to make the conceptual leap from the position of an outside observer to a full participant in the esoteric milieu of the culture being studied.

Many times, those who do are relegated to the derogatory status of  “gone native” or “true believer”.  Granted this has not always been the case.  It only seems to be the case when people are studying Magick and Witchcraft. 

Anthropological journals are teeming with stories about the mystical traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, et cetera.  The people who go native into these mystical traditions are lauded.  Go native into a Magickal tradition, which are most usually Pagan and pre-Christian, and the response is completely different.

This is because of the alleged lack of reliable, repeatable, verifiable data.  This argument quickly devolves into a chest-bumping contest between who has the oldest or most documents. 

In fact, much of the documentation the detractors of Pagan continuance demand is incredibly hypocritical. Do Christians not remember the burning of the library of Alexandria?

The great library of Alexandria contained the best works of Pagan science, Magick, literature, medicine, music and the like.  How can we produce documents, which the people who are demanding we produce them know perfectly well that they themselves burned them?


Moreover, the Christian Emperor Jovian, in 364, ordered the entire Library of Antioch to be burned because it had been stocked with the aid of his non-Christian predecessor, Emperor Julian.


Are they not laughing in our faces, O dear Pagan brothers and sisters!

Laughing in our faces that they have convinced us to distrust the spoken word in favor of documents that have systematically been destroyed for centuries.

During the time when we did still have access to people trained in the spoken word, they began a campaign of destruction and torture to shut our mouths forever.  Do you realize just how many inquisitions there were?

And how in the world have we come to a time when even respected academics set aside historical fact for political expediency by denying their reality?  Lucky the Jews are still with us today with proof of the depraved ends to which some will go to suppress the truths of others.  Even today, there are those who actively deny the truth of the Holocaust, or worse still, seek to minimize and downplay the underlying horror such an event represents.

Jews are our closest brothers and sisters as many of the Egyptian initiatic mysteries were translated into their tongue and preserved through the centuries, albeit filtered through their own cultural matrix. 

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]


Today, with the opening of the Alpha Omega’s “Egyptian College of Isis,” the initiatic mysteries of Egypt divest themselves of disguises needed to survive two millennia of Christianity.

Today, the mysteries of the Great Mother Goddess, Isis, step forward from dark places, so shine forth again with long forgotten brilliance.

Today, Isis, Lady of Magick and Goddess of 10,000 names, reclaims her rightful throne as Queen of Heaven.

High Priestess Leslie McQuade Griffin
Egyptian College of Isis
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega








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Sunday, May 19, 2013

S.R.I.A. or ALPHA OMEGA: "Is the Golden Dawn 'Christian' or 'Nonsectarian'?"


by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin

Peregrin Wildoak (a member of S.R.I.A, a recent Trinitarian Christian convert, and a highly vocal Mystical Golden Dawn advocate), just published an interesting article about "Christian" symbolism in the Golden Dawn.

You can read Peregrin's complete article HERE. I am concerned about this article because it reinforces the mistaken belief held by many Pagans that the Golden Dawn is "too Christian" to be a valid magical school for Pagans.

Peregrin Wildoak writes:
"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."
Peregrin Wildoak

That Peregrin speaks of "mysteries" is quite revealing in itself, as the word itself derives not from Christianity, but from "Mystes," the Greek word used to describe initiates of the ancient Egyptian Isinian tradition. This is described clearly, for example, in the latter part of Apuleus "The Golden Ass."

Peregrin has repeatedly claimed in the past that Professor Ronald Hutton has proven that there are no remnants of ancient Paganism that have survived into the present. In reality, however, Professor Hutton's own research has revealed the survival of numerous remnants of ancient Paganism during the decade since he wrote "Triumph of the Moon."

In his above argument, Peregrin attempts to misportray symbols as purely Christian by ignoring that Christianity itself is but a reformulation of earlier mysteries and traditions. In fact, there is not a single Christian symbol that is uniquely Christian. None exist at all. Each and every "Christian" symbol was taken from other preexisting traditions, reformulated, and used by Christianity. These earlier traditions include Judaism, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and certain ideas from the ancient orient. In other words:

"There is no such thing as purely 'Christian' symbols."

I accept that Christianity reformulated these things for their own use, but there is nothing that is, in fact, original. Christianity created itself on ancient foundations. It is like a man that is seated on the shoulders of true giants - the ancient traditions.

With this, I am not saying that Christianity is not a valid religion nor a good path. On the contrary, is obviously is for certain people. I am saying that, however, as Christianity readily admits, Christianity is a Mystical spiritual path rather than a Magical one.

Contrary to popular misunderstanding, Mysticism and Magic are two quite distinct spiritual paths. I have written extensively already clarifying the differences between Mysticism and Magick (for example here and here). For clarity in the present discussion, however, I repeat the most relevant aspects here, as follows:
"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."  

Proof that Christianity is a Mystical spiritual path and not a Magical one lies, for example, in the prohibition of Magic in the Bible. One poignant example of this is the struggle between St. Peter and the Magician, Simon Magus.

Leviticus and Deuteronomy prohibit certain kinds of Magic, specifically divination, seeking omens, mediums who commune with the dead, and spell-casters. For example, Deuteronomy 18:11-12 condemns anyone who:
"...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".
Galatians includes sorcery in a list of "works of the flesh". This ban is repeated in the Didache, written during the mid to late first century.
"The practice of Witchcraft and Magic were regarded as Sins by Christians that needed to be repented of, confessed, and forsaken."
Martin Luther shared some of the views about witchcraft that were common in his time. In his Small Catechism Luther taught that Magic was a sin against the second commandment.

I believe that anyone who approaches any of the “Christian” demoninations and asks if that particular group would allow for ANY form of Magic to be performed as part of an approach to Jesus as God, they would be denied.

If no Christian denomination (including the Anglican church Peregrin was confirmed into in 2011) will permit Magic to be practiced within the canon of their teachings, I cannot conceive of how it can be considered a Christian practice. To me, this seems obvious. It would be like asking an Orthodox Jew to allow worship of Jesus within the Temple walls – simply inconceivable.

In fact, the "Rituale Romanum De Sacramento Paenitantiae" specifically lists Magic and Astrology as mortal sins, and illucidates the following for grounds for excommunication from the Church:
"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."
It is important to note that Martin Luther did not turn away from the above, but instead additionally combatted the magical understanding of the way God works with human creatures as promoted among spiritualists of his time.

Evangelical Christian groups, likewise condemn Magic, whereas other Christian groups even go so far as to condemn ANY form of Magic as Satanic. Such groups obviously would, of course, regard Masonic Rosicrucians as Satanists as well, even though they themselves claim to be Trinitarian Christians.

All of these are fundamental internal inconsistencies in the argument presented by Freemasonic Rosicrucians - "that the Rosicrucian tradition is exclusively Trinitatian Christian" - and they have so far completely failed to explain, resolve, or even properly address any of these issues. The same holds even more true for the equally flawed argument that the Golden Dawn is essentially a Christian tradition, as presented, for example, in the above referenced article by S.R.I.A. member, Peregrin Wildoak.

One of the earliest Golden Dawn Adepts, Arthur Edward Waite, also a prominent member of S.R.I.A., recognized these fatal inconsistencies and attempted to overcome them by eliminating all Golden Dawn Magic, and transforming the Golden Dawn into a purely Mystical order which he founded, called the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross. The F.R.C. has now been revived within the Secret College of the S.R.I.A., and shares S.R.I.A.'s "Christians only" view of the Rosicrucian tradition.

Arthur Edward Waite

Nonetheless, none of the above-listed fatal inconsistencies in their philosophical and spiritual positions, have ever been properly addressed by either the S.R.I.A., the F.R.C., and certainly not by any of the Golden Dawn orders the S.R.I.A. today directs and controls.

Has the time not come for the Christian Mystic faction in our Golden Dawn community to once and for all honestly address the fundamental inconsistencies in their philosophical positions on Rosicrucianism, Magic, and the Golden Dawn?

Why is it that Mystical and Trinitarian Christian oriented Golden Dawn orders do not simply admit what they are and abandon Magic and the Golden Dawn as did A.E. Waite with his Fraternity of the Rosy Cross? Such orders would be far more honest to do this. Why do they not? Do they not stubbornly cling to Magic and the Golden Dawn merely as a question of marketing, since Magic attracts so many people?

Let me make this clear. I am not against Mystical orders nor am I against Christianity. I am merely against the dishonesty of Mystical orders pretending to be Magical Golden Dawn orders in order to attract students looking for Magic rather than Christian Mysticism.

One sees the diference between Magical rituals and Mystical Rites clearly already in ancient Egypt, where no Goddess or God is prayed to. Prayer to a Goddess or God is only seen in later dynasties where the influence of Mysticism had gained a foothold in Egypt, to the decadence of earlier, purely magical traditions.

When students approach the Golden Dawn looking for Magical training, is it ethical that they should be lured by mystically oriented orders into a training in Mysticism rather than the training in Magic they were actually seeking?

In the Alpha Omega, we do NOT make Mystics ...
We make MAGICIANS!

Peregrin continues:
"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."
I fully agree. This is why we in the Alpha Omega have not at all changed any of the symbols of the Golden Dawn beyond the modifications made by S.L. MacGregor Mathers himself in the early Alpha Omega. The A.O. preserves our Golden Dawn/R.R. et A.C. College perfectly intact as it was passed down to us by Mathers, albeit with our Rituals protected from recent profanation and our Magic supplemented with additional, traditional Golden Dawn Magick given to our Order by our Secret Chiefs.
Peregrin writes:
"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.

Here is what G.D. members from across the community had to say, who actually came and examined the evidence:

"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  
For Pagans who have a problem with symbolism in the Golden Dawn that superficially appears "Christian," the Secret Chiefs have released an entirely separate, Pagan and purely Magical, Egyptian College of Isis within the Alpha Omega. 

Let us be clear. The A.O.'s Egyptian College of Isis is not at all a reinterpretation of Golden Dawn symbolism. This is an entirely separate, completely Pagan based Rosicrucian College with its own distinct and unique Rites, Magic, etc.

Here is what one advanced Golden Dawn Magician had to say about the Magick of the Alpha Omega's Egyptian College of Isis:


"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
Peregrin continues:
"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."
Where is the proof of the above statement? 

To begin with those who insist on superficially interpreting the symbol of the cross in merely Christian terms, clearly remain ignorant of academic research in this arena. Rene Guenon clearly demonstrated that the symbol of the cross is not uniquely Christian at all, but predates Christianity and was merely adapted by the relatively modern religion.

Rene Guenon's "The Symbolism of the Cross" is a major doctrinal study of the central symbol of Christianity from the standpoint of the universal metaphysical tradition, the 'perennial philosophy' as it is called in the West. As Guénon points out, the cross is one of the most universal of all symbols and is far from belonging to Christianity alone.

We have the cross that is a pre-Crhistian symbol. We have roses that are pre-Christian symbols for Venus. So with these clearly Pagan constituent elements, how can one seriously claim that the Rose-Cross is a purely Christian symbol, when, in fact, it goes far beyond Christianity? Aven Apuleus, who was an important Pagan Magician, caused his protagonist to return to human form by eating roses!

When the cross, the Rose, the Chalice, the Patan, the host, the Madonna with child, and not even the dying and resurrecting savior are not originally Christian symbols, but rather Christian reformulations of ancient symbols used for Centuries by Pagan traditions, how then, pray tell, is the Rosicrucian tradition purely Christian by any strech of the imagination?

There is an additional historical aspect to this question as well. Rosicrucian researcher Susanne Akermann has shown that the earliest copy of the Fama Fraternitatis is not written in German, but in Latin, which she discovered in Italy. Rosicrucian research additionally indicates that what was later published as the "Fama Fraternitatis" by the Tubingen circle surrounding Johan Valentine Andrae was developed from the writings of Tomas Campanella, smuggled by Tobias Hess from Italy where Canpanella was imprisoned by the Vatican.

It is further noteworthy that many of the fundamental ideas in the Fama Fraternitatis are purely PAGAN rather than Christian, many of which are found again in the works of Giordano Bruno, whose Pagan ideas were too much for the church, which therefore burned Bruno at the stake for heresy.

As as a further example, let us take the central story line of the Fama Fraternitatis, the recounting of the initiatic journey of Christian Rosenkreutz. It was Pagan tradition, as is testified to by all of the ancient Pagan philosophers and Magicians, from Pythagoras onwards, to take an initiatic journey in the cradle of the Pagan mysteries.

Christian Rosenkreutz did nothing other than to take a typically Pagan journey, and to code switch it into Christian terms appropriate to the times to preserve the PAGAN mysteries underlying the Fama Fraternitatis.

Peregrin writes making reference to a fundamental tenet of the S.R.I.A. about the nature of the Rosicrucian tradition, as follows:
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
R.A. Gilbert 

Imagine trying to explain Pagan mysteries or to teach Pagan Magic to a closed minded individual in Victorian England. Indeed, the only means of accomplishing such a feat was to disguise the Pagan Magic and teachings with the only symbols that such an individual would understand and be receptive to. 

Indeed, the actual entire original purpose and function of the Golden Dawn was to present Pagan Magic to Victorian England in a form that could get past their Christian blinders. Thus, of necessity, the Golden Dawn is rife with symbolism which, when examined only superficially, appears to be Christian. This, however, does not mean that when you look deeper, you do not find Pagan Magic and mysteries lurking behind.

I am astonished that Peregrin, R.A. Gilbert, and others like them do not appear to as yet even have even recognized the inherent contradiction between their arguments that the Rosicrucian tradition is primarily a Trinitarian Christian one, while they nonetheless profess to be Golden Dawn Magicians, when Magic in all its forms has been forbidden by Christianity since its beginning.

Let me repeat this yet once again. This does not mean that I am against Christianity or even against Mystical orders and schools. On the contrary, there are clearly people who are best suited for Mystical spiritual training.

Trinitarian Christians, for example, will likely find themselves most at home in a purely Christian Mystical order like A.E. Waite's Fraternity of the Rosy Cross or in orders with a Trinitarian Christian requirement like the S.R.I.A. 

Aspiring, MAGICIANS, however, will likely find themselves most at home in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega.

Likewise, aspiring Pagan Magicians seeking purely Pagan magical training will likely find themselves most at home in the Alpha Omega's Egyptian College of Isis.

The A.O.'s Egyptian College of Isis and its Pagan Magic derive not from some fanciful "Inner Planes Contacts," nor is our Egyptian College any sort of academic reconstruction either.

Sir Edward Bullwer-Lytton

Instead this PAGAN Rosicrucian College derives directly from the same Continental European Rosicrucian initiatic source that initiated both Kenneth McKenzie and Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, both of whom are universally recognized, even by the S.R.I.A., as having been initiated into a legitimate Rosicrucian lineage.

Kenneth H.R. MacKenzie

Although it is obviously not in S.R.I.A.'s interest to admit this in public, S.R.I.A. is clearly aware of the legitimacy of this Rosicrucan initiatic source, since it is established historical fact that on several occasions S.R.I.A. attempted to falsely portray both Lord Bulwer-Lytton and Kenneth McKenzie as founders of S.R.I.A., attempting to give S.R.I.A. the appearance of Rosicrucian legitimacy. (This is documented in my previous article entitled "Did W.W. Wescott try to steal the Golden Dawn's Rosicrucian Lineage for the S.R.I.A.?" that you can read HERE).

So, in the end, is the Golden Dawn "Christian" or "Nonsectarian"?

The answer to this question depends a great deal on who you ask. If you ask the S.R.I.A., Waite's Fraternity of the Rosy Cross, or a Christian Golden Dawn advocate like Peregrin Wildoak, you will likely hear the opinion that the entire Rosicrucian tradition is rooted in Christian symbolism and should be reserved exclusively for Trinitarian Christians.

In the Alpha Omega, on the other hand, we are ecumenical and non-sectarian - and therefore open to aspirants of ALL religions faiths. We do recognize, however, that some people will feel a deeper resonance with certain symbol systems than with others.

This is why the A.O. offers more than one Rosicrucian College and Magical training path to choose from. Christians will likely feel more at home in the Alpha Omega's traditional Golden Dawn College, whereas Pagans will likely find a deeper resonance with our Egyptian Pagan College.

In the Alpha Omega, we believe in helping aspirants of ALL faiths to achieve their spiritual goals. We therefore give people a wider range of choices than they will find in other Golden Dawn orders.

Again, I am not saying the Alpha Omega is better than other Golden Dawn orders, although we DO things differently. For example, we offer people a wider range of choices for their spiritual training.

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

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.

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.

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

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