Thursday, April 30, 2015

Beltane, Alexandrian Wicca, and the Passing of Alex Sanders

by Sean McCabe, Leslie McQuade, and David Griffin

I. Commemorating the Passing of Alex Sanders
by HP Sean P. McCabe
Progenitor - Hibernian Line of Alexandrian Wicca
Imperator for England, Ireland, Scottland, and Wales - 
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn®
 (EU OHIM reg. 000063925)
Baphomet Presides Over Alexandrian Wiccan Rite
led by Alex Sanders and based on cross gender sexual polarity

This week we celebrate the Festival of Bealtaine traditionally the end of winter and the beginning of summer in the Celtic wheel of the year. We also mark the anniversary of the passing of Alex Sanders and celebrate his life and the Alexandrian tradition of Wicca which he so kindly made available to everyone. He was born Orrell Alexander Carter on 6th June, 1926 and his Craft name was Verbius. 

Alex Sanders was not shy of the media and there are umteen photos of him and Maxine in the public domain - but I think his hallmark ritual photo is that of Baphomet - the Horned God. 

The Bel-fire is the name of the Celtic god Bel or Balor and can be traced back to the Middle Eastern Baal. The Gaulish-Celtic equivalent Horned God is Cernunnos who mates with the Great Mother not unlike the Celtic Pan. The figure of the Horned God, Baphomet became enshrined in the cultural psyche and is recorded in many medieval paintings and woodcuts, some bearing the motto: Solve et Coagula, to dissolve and congeal; to separate and join together.

At the International Grand Sabbat of Alexandrian Wicca held at MagickAll 2015 in Pahrump, Nevada we joined together, earlier this month, not only as Barefoot Coven, Hyperborea Coven and Coven Hibernia but also to celebrate the life of Alex Sanders. What better way to celebrate and honour Alex' life than by his favourite and traditional iconic image of Baphomet presiding over the Grand Sabbat!


Afterwards during the festivities the Wicker Man burned upon the saucer valley ground which rests over a primodial reservoir of water and as the flames danced into the night sky, Nuit smiled upon us from the starry heavens - the Star Goddess!

I wish you and yours a very Happy and enjoyable Bealtaine and your Bel-fire burns bright! 

Blessed be,
Sean. P. McCabe 
(Sean McCabe was initiated into Alexandrian Wicca by Janet Farrar - thus his lineage is as close to Alex Sanders as any man can be).




II. The True Meaning of Beltane
by HPS Leslie McQuade
High Priestess of Barefoot Coven
Hibernian Line of Alexandrian Wicca
International Cancellaria -Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn®
 (EU OHIM reg. 000063925)

Beltane is about sex. In the old days, you would go to the ritual bonfire, become God or Goddess, and when your eyes locked with that particular someone, it was off to the privacy of the wilderness to have divinely inspired, ecstatic sex.

Witches know that the Star Goddess says “…Behold ~ ALL acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”. The Great Mother says “and as a sign that ye be truly free, ye shall be naked in your rites…and ye shall dance & sing, feast, make music and make love …all in my praise. For mine is … joy on earth”.
Our society, for being so hyper-sexualized, is a culture starving for Authentic Sexuality. Beltane is the time of year the clean, pure joy of human sexuality can be explored in the way the Goddess intended. Sex is most certainly NOT only for procreation. Sex is good for your soul. Look at nature. There is no sadomasochism in Nature. Authentic Sex is deep, passionate. It gushes out of you like spring melt-water pushing boulders down the mountainside, laughing at the trees as it tumbles by. Authentic Sex leaves you feeling rejuvenated and alive, as if your very soul has been scrubbed clean. People can see the change on you. They say “you glow” or “you’re just beaming today”. That’s Authentic Sex.



So I’ll say it again. Beltane is about sex. It’s a Pagan Holyday celebrating sexual mysteries ~ mysteries of the very Fires of Creation.

Happy Beltane!


II. "Walpurgis Night"

by HP David Griffin of Barefoot Coven
Hibernian Line of Alexandrian Wicca
International Imperator - Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn®
 (EU OHIM reg. 000063925)

Baphomet Presides Over A Walpurgis Night Celebration

Tonight Europe celebrates "Walpurgis Night." Walpurgis Night is the English translation of Walpurgisnacht, one of the German names for the night of 30 April, so called because it is the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess in Germany. It is actually Beltane's eve, a remnant of the Pagan past of Germany. In German folklore Walpurgisnacht, also called Hexennacht (literally "Witches' Night"), is believed to be the night of a witches' meeting on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains, a range of wooded hills in central Germany between the rivers Weser and Elbe.

In Sweden, today is a day when children dress up as witches and tonight, as a remnant of Scandinavia's Pagan past, all across the country people will gather to light the bonfires of "Valborgsmäsafton," popularly considered a rite celebrating the coming of Spring and the passing of Winter's darkness. According to Swedish folklore, tonight witches fly on their broomsticks to "Blåkulla" to celebrate the Sabbat.

A Walpurgis Night Bonfire in Sweden

It is quite fitting as HP McCabe writes above, that today Alexandrian Witches of the original Hibernian line celebrate the life and passing of Alex Sanders. For me, tonight is also a time when I remember my Swedish Son, Adam Kadmon, who passed away in a tragic car accident last July. Tonight I shall remember with mixed pleasure and sadness all the times Adam and I stood together, enjoying the beauty and warmth of Walpurgis Night bonfire.

Tonight, Adam, you shall be sorely missed. May the Goddess tonight bless both you and Alex Sanders as those who love you honor you.

Adam Kadmon Griffin (1992-2014)


Monday, April 20, 2015

How On-Liine Trolls Manipulate Public Opinion and Attempt to Manipulate Spiritual Communities

Don't miss this incredible, breaking news story about new, additional revelations about the use of professional, paid on-line trolls to attack the reputations of targets on the internet HERE.



Defamation campaigns by anonymous on-line trolls are no stranger to either the Golden Dawn or the Pagan communities. My reputation was targeted for decades by on-line trolls using anonymous websites, blogs, and ads for them on Facebook and Yahoo. In the Pagan community, the same thing happenned to American Pagan activist, Starhawk, and Australian Pagan leaders She DMontford, Lizzy Rose, and the late David Mattachik, among others. Shortly after the death of David Mattachik months ago, a "target list" was exposed on this blog with these names and other spiritual leaders on it. 

I am not saying that either the NSA or Monsanto are necessarily targeting spiritual leaders, but stories like these about paid professional trolls kind of make you wonder, don't they? I mean, come on - 20+ years is an extremely long time for a defamation campaign to continue against any one person. It is nothing short of miraculous that my reputation has survived intact until now. Now who might have a vested interest in manipulating the Golden Dawn and Pagan communities by using paid, professional trolls for to target spiritual leaders for defamation? And why?

And what about that target list of people who are either dead or have been targeted for defamation by on-line trolls for extended periods of time.




Both the Golden Dawn community and the Pagan community (in Australia and in the USA) caught a lucky break a few months back, when thanks to a mole in a "secret" group, a "target list" that included an entire list was exposed of people who are either recently deceased, recently arrested under suspicious circumstances, or have been subjected to years of defamation and reputation attack by on-line trolls.

Since this "target list" was dragged into the light, there has been a period of peace where the defamation stopped. This peace continues to hold in the Golden Dawn until today, to the great credit of many Golden Dawn leaders and initiates.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Secret History of Egyptian Freemasonry

It is my great pleasure to announce that on April 10, 2015, the first lodge convened of the Sovereign Sanctuary of Alpha Omega of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis of Egyptian Freemasonry.

The Sovereign Sanctuary of AΩ operates completely separately and independently from the EU headquartered, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. 

Please note:

  1. Women are admitted on an equal basis with men.
  2. In our higher grades, we teach the secret Magick and Alchemy of the original Arcana Arcanorum. Unlike most Freemasonry, our masonry is not merely symbolical or speculative. We are operative, esoteric Masons.
  3. We have established formal recognition and reciprocity with a network of lodges of Egyptian Freemasonry all across the world.
  4. Those interested in becomming an Egyptian Freemason or in forming a lodge of Egyptian Freemasonry are invited to contact me privately.
The Secret History of Egyptian Freemasonry
From a private manuscript translated into English by
Golden Dawn Imperator David Griffin
Count Alessandro di Cagliostro
Among the "schools of transmutation" that have existed through the Centuries, the association known as the Neapolitan Hermetic School claims the distinction of being the oldest in the West. It was at the time of Emperor Augustus that a small colony of Egyptians settled in Naples (in the area known today as Piazza Nilo) bringing with them the oral tradition of the secret techniques they had learned in their homeland. 

The forced Islamization of Egypt would nearly erase these techniques, except for a restricted circle of initiates of the Christian religion, until, in the nineteenth century, certain of Napoleon's officers who were initiated in Italy found with great emotion a substantial correspondence between rituals in their possession with those still in use in the land of the Pharaohs. Rarely have Master Masons found better opportunity to accomplish the secret task of their degree, to "unite that which had been divided." 

The passing of centuries, however, has left its mark. The complex events related to "Masonization" of the Neapolitan Hermetic School in the eighteenth century have contributed to confusion about the kind of spiritual operations that had actually been practiced, and even about their purpose. This short essay reaffirms that the entire complex of the Hermetic operative tradition of the Neapolitan School, which was intended from the beginning for the achievement of inner transmutation [Hermetic Internal Alchemy], and that the subsequent inclusion of para-religious elements could and should be abandoned. 

According to a forcibly approximate reconstruction, it is known today that the original levels of training were three in the Hermetic Neapolitan School. Regarding the first level we do not have much to say. It was but theoretical - and fundamentals of Hermeticism were taught and learned - the science of analogies, symbolism (which within the Neapolitan School was extraordinarily rich and extensive compared with that of other Hermetic schools) and probably also the "Art of Memory." 

In the second level, the actual work of transmutation itself [Internal Alchemy] began, according to a technique characterized by a peculiar form of spiritual practice involving sexual energy. The complex of rituals, etc., later introduced into Freemasonry relative to this practice became known in Latin as the "Arcana Arcanorum."

The true nature of the "Arcana Arcanorum" became one of the best kept secrets in the history of esotericism. Not until 1897, in Paris, the occultist Sedir (born Yvon Le Loup, 1871-1926) published a paraphrased version of the "Arcana Arcanorum" in the form of a pamphlet entitled "The Magic of Venus", but the obscurity of the terminology adopted by Sedir made it nearly impossible to understand almost anything. To briefly summarize, the Arcana consist of three "Magisteriums", plus a Greater Arcanum (or "Secretum Secretorum), which together comprise a system for the regeneration of the physical body and the cultivation of a body of glory [Solar Body of Light].

For reasons not entirely clear (and still much debated), in the mid-eighteenth century significant parts of the Neapolitan Hermetic School decided to merge with Freemasonry. Certainly the dazzling spread of Freemasonry during those years weighed heavily in this decision. Freemasonry was seen as a means to propagate the Neapolitan school outside of Italy. Without a doubt, the special nature of Masonic symbolism played a role in this decision; elastic and capable of easily absorbing and syncretizing very different esoteric systems. This was a feature of Freemasonry especially compatible with Hermeticism, a component of which was included already in Masonry from the beginning, namely the Hiramic symbolism.

There is no doubt that the Neapolitan School was aware from the beginning of the limitations and disadvantages inherent in this operation. Although elastic in symbolism, Freemasonry was rigid in ritual, and would never have allowed the practice of Hermetic transmutation within the columns of the Temple. Moreover, a serious risk of the operative tradition losing its quality for the benefit of the symbolism was also present from the outset. 

But the opportunity to set out in detail, the rich universe of colored symbols that marked the work in a magnificent perennial fresco likely to spread throughout the world, was a temptation that no Hermeticist worthy of the name could resist: A testimony analogous to that represented by the Pyramids, a message to the future, a puzzle to decipher ... certainly also a kind of insurance against changing times, ensuring that the Neapolitan school could rise above any disaster, and recompose the Liber Mutus [silent book] of its symbols where the transmuted Body of Glory had laid eyes on them again. 

It was thus decided to give birth to three systems of Masonic degrees, each of which is described in an allegorical level of instruction: the Rite of Memphis for the first Magisterium, the Rite of Misraim for the second, and Egyptian Freemasonry for the third. 
Prince Raimondo di Sangro di Sansevero
The Rites of Memphis and Misraim both arose in Naples, as a result of a collegial work conducted by many leading figures of the Hermetic Neapolitan School, including, Prince Raimondo di Sangro di San Severo (1710-1771) (to whom we owe the construction of this extraordinary Hermetic monument that is the Chapel of San Severo in Naples) and Baron Henri Theodore de Tschoudi (1724-1769), author of the “Catechismo Massonico della Stella Fiammeggiante” [Catechism of the Masonic Blazing Star.] 

Of the two Rites, the Rite of Memphis was entirely speculative from the beginning, as was the work of the first Hermetic Magisterium it overshadowed: that is, its rich symbolical content was not matched by the practice of any transmutative operations. The Rite of Misraim instead indeed included the practice of the Arcanum (the work of the second Magisterium). Within but a few years, however, as the Rite of Misraim became part of the circuit of international Freemasonry, as anticipated, the Hermetic operative practices sadly were abandoned, because they were perceived outside Naples as presenting an obstacle to the ready acceptance and dissemination of the Rite.

Due to their similarity, the two rites were merged and separated several times, until 1908 gave rise to the final merger. Regular Freemasonry recognizes this as the "Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis and Misraim." This rite is, however, in reality neither very ancient nor primitive, because the original purpose of transmitting the first two Magisteriums of superior Hermetic training had been entirely abandoned and lost. The transmission lines of the two separate rites, however, have not completely gone away, and still survive - thanks to the selfless commitment of a few passionate Masons - within small, "irregular" Masonic Orders. 

The task of shaping the structure that overshadows the work of the third Magisterium was assigned to Count Alessandro di Cagliostro. With regard to the biography of this extraordinary man we will write almost nothin, save that his identification with the person of the adventurer Giuseppe Balsamo of Palermo is historically inaccurate: the result of an orchestrated anti-Masonic smear by the Roman Catholic Church. Let us not forget that the real Cagliostro was put to death by starvation in a Vatican prison.

Certain historians of Freemasonry have gone so far as even to speculate that Count Alessandro di Cagliostro never really existed, citing similar cases found in different traditions - for example the figure of Manu in Hinduism - characters whose historical existence are doubtful, but that were created to symbolize and summarize them in the name of a particular function: in the case of Manu, the "primordial legislator," in the case of Cagliostro the "Masonizer," meaning the author of the transposition of the ancient rites of transmutation into Masonic terms, a phenomenon which Cagliostro saw only as the protagonist of the Neapolitan Hermetic School, and that was verified all around Europe in the eighteenth century. In fact, one of the most salient traits of the legendary biography of Cagliostro has to do with his travels in many different countries. 

While not agreeing with this extreme hypothesis, there is no denying that "Masonizing" was the most important aspect of Cagliostro's mission. The task of this implementation had been entrusted by Cavalier Luigi d'Aquino (1739-1783) who according to tradition was also Cagliostro's initiator. Cagliostro had met d'Aquino in Malta in 1766 and went with him to Naples in 1773; here was initiated into the third Magisterium, and with his help, undertook the first sketches of the gigantic work of transferring the entire Hermetic corpus into allegorical form. Ten years later, the news of the death of his teacher took Cagliostro to Paris, and it was in this city that Egyptian Freemasonry was founded. 

Unlike the Rites of Memphis and Misraim, in the terminology of Freemasonry, Egyptian Freemasonry is an Order rather than a Rite: that is, while the first two are optional enhancements to the degree of Master Mason, Egyptian Freemasonry encompasses all three levels (Apprentice, Companion and Master). Thus it represents a sort of parallel Freemasonry, completely independent of the body of regular Freemasonry. 

Structured in this manner, Cagliostro obtained two results for the Neapolitan Hermetic School. First, Cagliostro gained the possibility to initiate women - who, then as now, were excluded from regular Freemasonry. Secondly, Cagliostro guaranteed the preservation of the autonomy of Egyptian Freemasonry, thus averting the threat of a forced suspension of the operative work of Hermetic transmutation, a problem that the Rite of Misraim was already facing, after only a few years.

In this article, we have seen that, although the esoteric content of the former was abandoned early on, the Freemasonic Rites of Memphis and Misraim, as well as the Cagliostro's Order of Egyptian Freemasonry were, in reality, attempts made by the Neapolitan Hermetic School to transmit beyond Italy the highest mysteries of Hermetic Internal Alchemy, the Royal Art of physical transmustation, the ancient Egyptian science of immortality and of the energetics of the human body.
Domenico Bocchini
I will not go into further detail here regarding the history of these operative and transmutative Hermetic mysteries, except to mention that Lord Edward Bulwar-Lytton was also an initiate of this same center of Hermetic operativity. Lytton was initiated while in Italy by Domenico Bocchini in the catacombs of San Gennaro at Capodimonte.
Lord Edward Bulwar-Lytton

Friday, April 3, 2015

Columnhenge & AΩ Temple at Shadow Mountain


With only 3 days remaining before the Golden Dawn Family Reunion, there is still plenty of infrastructure to finish. Today we put up the outdoor shade structure. I am back on my feet after oral surgery, even though my face is still swollen like I just finished a bout with Rocky Balboa.
The picture above shows the work in progress on the new columnhenge. Shadow Mountain is in the background.
This year's MagickAll gathering of Magickal traditions will be held here April 10-12.