Wednesday, October 16, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: "Mansions of the Moon" by Frater V.L.

Introduction by David Griffin

If one only listens to the gutter press in the Golden Dawn Blogosphere, you can easily get the misimpression the G.D. is more about leaders bumping egos than it is about magical work.

Except for the professional tabloid journalists among us posing as "myth-busting" iconoclasts (who thrive on subtle put downs of other G.D. orders and their leaders), the vast majority of Golden Dawn initiates, Adepts, and leaders are hard working people dedicated to helping others and working on their own spiritual growth.

Take, for example, the excellent new book written by Alpha Omega member, Frater V.L. 

The following review of this important book first appeared on the Lux Veritatis (The Light of Truth) blog (HERE), written by solitary practitioner and independent GD magician, Frater A.T.L.V. I am reblogging the review in its entirety, as follows:

BOOK REVIEW: "Mansions of the Moon" by Frater V.L.

by Frater A.T.L.V.

This is a GREAT book! This is a book that all ceremonial and ritual magicians, Golden Dawn or otherwise, should not ignore.  I have been working with it for some time now and it has produced great results.  It deals with a Lunar system of astrological magick, rarely ever discussed, that is completely unique compared to the Solar based planetary day and hour system and corresponding astrological magick we are all so used to. It is written by a very wise man, trained in both the Magical and Mystical aspects of the Rosicrucian and Hermetic Western Mystery Traditions.  An intelligent, intuitive, and brutally honest fellow true Rosicrucian and Hermeticist, Frater V.L., who's blog you can visit at fratervl.blogspot.com HERE 

You may purchase the paperback HERE. There is also a PDF version you can purchase by following the link from his blog listed above.

Review

"Mansions of the Moon" is a book of great value for the magician, and deals with Lunar astrological Magic, a topic which is rarely dealt with in any detail beyond the construction and use of Talismans, as it is in "The Picatrix".  This book is rather a practical manual for the invocation of the 28 presidential Angels that rule their respective 28 Mansions of the Moon.
  
The Mansion system is a system based on the passage of the Moon through the zodiacal Wheel, rather than the more common system which is based on the passage of the Sun through the zodiacal Wheel.  It uses the Tropical zodiac system, which is more suitable in this case as the system is based on observing the movement of the Moon through the zodiac from the Earth's perspective.  Because of this, it does not take into account the variations in the movement of the Sun as does the Sidereal system, and all of the 28 mansions occupy a fixed space in the zodiacal Wheel.

The purpose of the book is not to simply make and consecrate Talismans to these 28 presidential Angels of the 28 Mansions of the Moon, but rather to directly invoke them, just as one does with the Angels of the Elements, Solar zodiacal Planes, Planetary, and Sephirothic Forces, in traditional Golden Dawn Magic, with one major difference.  Timing.

The Mansions of the Moon is by its own right an independent system which works directly with the Zodiac in relation to the Moon, rather than the Sun.  Because of this fact, the timing of the rituals are determined in a different way than the traditional planetary day and hour system.

Since there are twelve zodiacal Signs, and 28 Mansions, naturally, each Mansion does not have a direct correspondence with a just one specific zodiac Sign. Rather, each Mansion occupies a certain number of Degrees and Minutes of the zodiacal Wheel, with overlap in the Signs that they occupy. This gives each Mansion a unique set of properties based on its position within the zodiacal Wheel which the Moon is passing through, which are colored by the properties of the different Signs it occupies.

The current Mansion is determined by the position of the Moon within the zodiacal Wheel, which means that only one Mansion is able to be worked with during a given period of time.  Here a huge difference lies in comparison to the systems of magic based on the position of the Sun in the zodiac, and the use of the planetary hours.  As long as the Moon is in a specific Mansion, you may work with the Rite of that Mansion and its Angel during any time of day or night, without regard to the hours.  You may work with only the Mansion in which the Moon currently resides in, and no other.

The book's Rites are based on a Golden Dawn ritual framework, but can be adapted to fit nearly any ceremonial magician's needs. It is similar in a way to Enochian Magic and Solomonic Magic, in that it uses an altar with a Tablet of Practice along with a scrying medium.  It also makes use of a Lamen that must be constructed for each Angel, similar to the Seals in the "Clavicula Salomonis".  It gives very detailed instructions on how to create everything necessary to work the system effectively.

The book gives precise information on the locations of the 28 Mansions, in table form, for easy identification of the current Mansion, the degrees and minutes it occupies, the name of the Mansion, and its presidential Angel.  It goes into further detail with a page on each Mansion, its Seal or Lamen, which contains its Sigil, and for what purposes its Angel can be invoked.

It also contains a section that describes in detail the tools necessary to perform the invocations, and has clear diagrams that make it easy for the magician to be sure they have everything set up correctly. It is very user friendly, and serves mainly as a practical guide for these specific invocations of the 28 Angels of the Mansions, without a lot of theoretical material.

In this sense it is a very valuable book for the magician that knows how to perform invocations, and is looking to work with the energies of the Moon in more depth than just the usual Golden Dawn Luna invocation in which one invokes the Archangel Gabriel and the full hierarchy of the Moon. 

The part of the book that deals with the actual ritual instructions contains valuable commentary that will really help the beginner to understand the component parts of the greater ritual.  It is clear and concise and to the point.  As I said earlier, it is presented in a Golden Dawn ritual framework, but the instructions are given in a way where the magician can omit the Golden Dawn parts of the ritual to suit their own needs if they so desire.

There is also an appendix at the end of the book that gives ritual instructions for the Qabalistic Cross, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, and Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram.  These rituals are used when doing the invocation in the Golden Dawn format, and these additional ritual instructions will be very helpful to those who are not familiar with the basic rites of the Golden Dawn.

Mansions of the Moon, by Frater V.L., is a great book and invaluable resource for both beginning students and advanced magicians alike.  Working with the different Mansions and their ruling Angels brings much insight into the Lunar forces, and is a wonderful tool for the practical magician.  With 28 Mansions and Angels at your disposal, all with their own correspondences and abilities, there is little you can not accomplish with this book when working sincerely with the system.

I personally have had some pretty profound results working with the system, and since starting to incorporate it into my routine, I have been regularly working with it, always discovering new things as I continue to work it.  It has also given me much insight into Lunar energy in general and its various Angels, along with all that they have to offer the magician.

I highly recommend this book to any ceremonial magician, Golden Dawn or otherwise, that is looking for a practical manual for working with Lunar astrological magic, or simply to expand upon the more common rituals that one practices in the Golden Dawn Tradition.
Thank you Frater V.L., for a wonderful and extremely useful book that will no doubt produce endless results and revelations for magicians everywhere. It certainly has for this magician!

Sincerely and Fraternally in L.V.X.,

Frater A.T.L.V.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

THE SECRET TRUTH: Why did Utah's National Parks Reopen Before the Shutdown Ended?


by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin

As you have likely already heard, today a number of U.S. National Parks unexpectedly reopened. What you likely have not heard is the true story about why the U.S. Department of Interior suddenly changed its mind and decided to let individual states finance reopening the National Parks after having initially refused to do so.

In my mundane job as a tour director, today I was on tour in Kanab, Utah and read a fascinating article in a local newspaper. Even better, I later had the opportunity to discuss the matter and confirm the story with a Deputy of the Kane County Sheriff's Department.

I doubt you will hear this on CNN any time soon, but here is what REALLY happened:

Early in the week, the town of Tusayan, AZ raised over a quarter of a million dollars and offered the U.S. Department of the Interior to fund locally the reopening of the Grand Canyon National Park. 

Showing great inflexibility, the Department of Interior turned the offer down flat!

Immediately following the refusal of Tusayan's offer, however, five counties in Utah declared a State of Emergency. San Juan county, Utah, went even further, deciding to take matters into its own hands. 

County Commissioner, Phil Lyman, instructed San Juan County Sheriff, Rick Eldredge, to raise a posse to forcibly remove all barricades blocking National Parks in San Juan county. Sheriff Eldredge raised the citizens' posse, then threatened to deputize them all and send in the posse to remove the barricades - and to arrest anyone who tried to stop them.


Sheriff Eldredge next entered into intense communications with County Sheriffs of the other four Utah counties severely affected by the closure of Utah's National Parks.

Rumors abounded that the other four County Sheriffs would also raise posses to forcibly remove the barricades from National Parks within their counties.

The U.S. Department of the Interior, faced with a serious possibility of a major confrontation between armed National Park Service Rangers and armed Deputies of County Sheriff's Posses intent on removing barricades, suddenly decided that it might not be such a bad idea after all to accept offers from states wishing to pay expenses to reopen National Parks within their state boundaries.

All of this, of course, will likely never show up on the national news. I only know so much about what really happened because I am on tour in Utah, ask a lot of questions, and managed to confirm the story with a Kane County Sheriff's Deputy this morning.

Those of us who work in the visit USA tour and travel industry, as well as those of us who visited newly reopened National Parks today - each owe a debt of gratitude to Utah's San Juan County Sheriff, Rick Eldredge, and to the courageous  citizens of the of San Juan County Sheriff's Posse, who were ready to risk life and limb to face down armed U.S. Rangers to remove barricades blocking entrances to Utah's National Parks.

Sheriff Rick Eldredge
American Hero of the Month

Clearly, the spirit of the Old West is still alive and well in Utah!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Donald Michael Kraig's Appeal: Will the Golden Dawn Stand Together For Tolerance?


by Alpha Omega Imperator
David Griffin

The past week has experienced an unexpected and extremely welcome show of unity from across the entire spectrum of the Golden Dawn community. Given the fractious history of our modern Golden Dawn community, this is particularly heartening.

The matter began with an article written by Donald Michael Kraig over on the Llewellyn blog (here) entitled "A Call to Leaders of the Golden Dawn," wherein Frater Kraig pointed out the danger posed to the Golden Dawn spiritual community caused by growing confusion with the Greek ultra-nationalist political party, Chrysi Avgi, whose name has repeatedly been given in the media as "Golden Dawn."

Donald Michael Kraig issued the following appeal:
"If you do not support the goals and ideals of Greece’s Golden Dawn, stand up and let people know this ... Even if you disagree with other Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn groups, I would propose that you consider standing in solidarity with them on this one, single issue."
Due to the threat posed to the Golden Dawn spiritual tradition by confusion with Chrysi Avgi, Kraig's appeal aroused an astonishing show of unity across the entire Golden Dawn community, coming from such diverse Golden Dawn leaders and areas as Donald Michael Kraig, Nick Farrell, Aaron Leitch, and even from solitary G.D. practitioner and independent blogger, Frater ATLV.

Given the fractious history of the modern Golden Dawn community, it is wonderful to witness such unity surrounding at least one issue. Despite our differences, when there is a significant outside threat to the reputation of the entire Golden Dawn tradition, our entire community has proven we can put our differences behind us and stand together when needed!

In this regard, Frater ATLV wrote here:
"This problem has brought about something rarely seen in the Golden Dawn Community ... solidarity. It is indeed rare to see the various leaders and authors in the Golden Dawn Community stand together, united, on any issue."
About the threat posed to the Golden Dawn tradition, Aaron Leitch wrote:
"Frankly, I don’t think anyone who has ever heard of the Golden Dawn is going to confuse us with the Greek neo-fascists Chrysi Avgi (which translates into English as “Golden Dawn”).  But, those folks aren’t the problem. 
The real problem is for those who have never heard of us before, and whose first introduction to the term “Golden Dawn” is through the popular media talking about the Greek party.  (Do a Google search on the term now, see what comes up and in what order!)  Then, if those people encounter an actual Hermetic Order of the G.D. book, website, or member they will jump to the immediate conclusion that they are seeing something fascist. 
And that can bring real problems.  Previously, if your boss or landlord or (in some cases) extended family discovered that you are into some kind of mysticism called “Golden Dawn”, they would likely think you were way too into Harry Potter and move on.  Now, if those same people were to hear that you practice “Golden Dawn” they might think you’re a closet nazi – which could lead to serious problems for you."
The Alpha Omega stands shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the Golden Dawn community in denouncing the confusion caused by political extremism in Greece being called "Golden Dawn" by the media. The Alpha Omega advocates racial and religious tolerance.

Morgan Eckstein wrote:

"Let it be known that the Ba Iset Order of the Rosy Cross (Evolving Order of Eclectic Ways/Ba Iset Order of the Golden Dawn) is in no way connected to the organization of the Greek political party known as  Chrysi Augi (which Greek name translated in English means "Golden Dawn")." 
The Alpha Omega has already been leading the way for years in openly advocating racial and religious tolerance, which are fundamental guiding principles of our order, as is evidenced on the Alpha Omega Manifesto that you can read on our website here:
"Hermetic doctrine teaches that the entire Universe is ONE - and that we are all but cells in the body of this enormous cosmic entity. As such, the Alpha Omega believes in the brotherhood and sisterhood not only of all women and all men - but of all created things. We therefore hold all religions in reverence, as individual manifestations of a single underlying perennial truth.... 
The Alpha Omega is based on principles of personal responsibility, personal liberty, and self-determination. Each member of our order is accepted for initiation - and advanced in grade - exclusively according to individual merit. We do not discriminate due to race, religion, gender, sexual or political orientation."
- Alpha Omega Manifesto  
Let me be clear and repeat this yet once again. The Alpha Omega has always been - and still today remains - ecumenical in our approach to the Golden Dawn and nonsectarian in our membership. Thus the AO stands for tolerance in ALL senses.

Nick Farrell writes:
"The Golden Dawn system of magic is never about extremes, it is always to do with balance ... One race cannot be superior to another, one religion cannot be better than another."
Mr. Farrell raises a very important point. Indeed, extremism in ALL its forms poses a very real threat to the Golden Dawn spiritual community. Sadly, there are not only political extremist groups causing confusion today, but there are religiously intolerant groups as well, for example those who promote a religious segregationist vision of the Rosicrucian tradition, against which I have spoken out already on many previous occasions on this blog.

In this regard, let us recall that the Golden Dawn is not a religion. The traditional G.D. advocates a philosophy that is non-sectarian and ecumenical, encouraging respect for all religions, as is evidenced in this passage from the Neophyte ritual:
 "Remember to hold all true religions in reverence, for there is none but contains a ray from the Ineffable Light that you are seeking."  
- Golden Dawn Neophyte Ritual
Sadly, this has not prevented sectarianism from gaining a foothold in the Golden Dawn community, especially at the Second Order level. Today, one Golden Dawn order excludes Thelemites from its Inner Order. Another order excludes not only Thelemites, but also Jews, Pagans, and Muslims from entering their Second Order level.

One Golden Dawn order recently published a document claiming that excluding all but Christians from the R.R. et A.C., is the cornerstone of the traditional Golden Dawn! This is historically inaccurate, overlooking that one of the very first Golden Dawn Second Order initiates, Moina Mathers, was of Jewish origin. She was born Moina Bergson, sister of French philosopher Henri Bergson. Their family name, descending from Poland, was originally Bereksohn.

Moina Bereksohn Mathers

Thus, although the Alpha Omega stands firmly with our Golden Dawn brothers and sisters in taking a stand against confusion caused by Chrysi Agvi in Greece, let us recall that religious extremism poses an equally dangerous threat to the Golden Dawn spiritual tradition.

Thus, the Alpha Omega roundly applauds today's show of unity across the Golden Dawn community as an essential and powerful beginning. We respectfully submit, however, that what Frater Kraig has urged does not yet go far enough.

The Alpha Omega today issues another appeal to leaders from across the Golden Dawn community. Let us also stand together in denouncing religious extremism and in fully embracing religious tolerance, nonsectarianism, and ecumenicalism.

Let us together create a world in which all brothers and sisters of all religious faiths - Jews, Muslims, Christians, Thelemites, Buddhists, and Hindus - are All welcome in in ALL grades of ALL Golden Dawn orders - not only without regard for the color of their skin, but also without regard for their religion.

May the Golden Dawn spiritual tradition yet fulfill its destiny as a spiritual light of TOLERANCE in the world!
Alpha Omega
Because we make Magicians!

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

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