Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sexuality & the Golden Dawn (Interview with David Griffin)

Soror Sophia, here. I am here this morning with David Griffin, GH Frater Lux ex Septentrionis, the International Imperator of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega®. David is also the author of the groundbreaking, Ritual Magic Manual, so sought after that it has been recently selling for as much as $1,000 on the internet.
David Griffin
David is here today to discuss Sexuality and the Golden Dawn with us. David claims he was contacted in 2002 by the Golden Dawn's mysterious "Secret Chiefs of the Third Order," who gave him the initiation rituals and teachings that complete the highest grades of the Golden Dawn system. These had been left unfinished due to the untimely death of Golden Dawn founder, S.L. MacGregor Mathers in 1917 due to an influenza epidemic in Europe.

Welcome, David. It is nice to have you here, and discuss these things with you.

Thank you, it is nice to be here.

The entire subject of esoteric sexuality and the Golden Dawn is highly controversial. We live in a period when openness toward sexuality and sexual content is a hallmark of Western attitude. Yet, the idea that teachings on sexuality are part of the Golden Dawn is causing such a stir in the community. This has led to a lot of negativity and tension and arguments among various Golden Dawn personalities to the point of fear mongering. As someone who isn’t an adept of the order, I find the whole issue confusing. I am hoping by having you on the air we can clear things up for people like me, who are interested in the topic, but are also put off by fuss.

Let me start by asking you this question that has most likely crossed the mind of many-to-be initiates of your order. If I was to join your order today, can I continue my education through the Golden Dawn grades without getting involved in any practical sex magic?

The answer to your question is a resounding yes. To begin with, we need to get clear on what is actually meant by 'sex magic'. Neither the original Golden Dawn, the Stella Matutina, nor has our order, the Alpha et Omega ever employed nor do we today employ physical sexual activity in ritual, in the sense that is sometimes ascribed to certain rituals of the OTO, nor do we endorse the sort of ritualistic sexual experimentation carried out by Aleister Crowley.

Aleister Crowley

There are no orgies in the Alpha et Omega, nor are we an order of hedonists. The topics of sex and magic are taught within the order according to classical Hermetic and Alchemical principles. It is no different than taking a sex-ed class. You don’t really expect to go there to practice sex hands on. Frankly, it would have been easy for us to just skip the whole topic and avoid the controversy like others have done. We chose to put the tradition before convenience because we firm believe in being the true bearers of the torch of the classical, traditional Golden Dawn.

I have read some tough stuff on the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn website attacking you with slogans like "No sex magic in the Golden Dawn!," and accusing you that all of this is just a red herring designed to take advantage of lower desires. EOGD leader, Robert Zink has even written that "sexual alchemy has nothing to do with the Golden Dawn or the magic of Light."

I read some of that stuff too. To make any sense of this, you must consider that there is more than one Golden Dawn order around. For the longest time, all you really needed to start a Golden Dawn order was books on the Golden Dawn published by Aleister Crowley and Israel Regardie. Some of these Golden Dawn orders have been doing really good work, but others have deviated substantially from classical Golden Dawn, abandoning even traditional initiation in favor of dubious, "Astral Initiations."

Our order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, within S.L. MacGregor Mathers Rosicrtucian Order of Alpha et Omega is very traditionalist. This means that we remain faithful to the Hermetic and Rosicrucian traditions.

I am all for diversity in the Golden Dawn community, however. I personally have no problem even with Robert Zink abandoning classical fundamental Golden Dawn principles and transforming his EOGD in a decidedly New Age direction. I do find it ironic, however, that people who don’t stick to the cornerstones of the Golden Dawn tradition in spirit and practice are the first to dismiss classical Golden Dawn teachings that they are not familiar with, simply because it wasn’t in print.

The idea that positive sexual transformation isn’t part of the magic of Light is akin to saying before someone attains spiritual enlightenment they need to castrate themselves. Yesod is as much part of the Tree of Life as Kether. The word Yesod means foundation and we associate this emanation with the genitals in human body. The foundation of the whole Tree of Life lies in this sexual energy that has the corresponding Divine Name El Chai (God the Ever Living). We talk in the Golden Dawn about the middle path. This path takes us right from the material world to the highest Divine crown through the beautiful solar fire we associate with being an adept. It does so through the foundation of the Great Work – the living energy of sacred sexuality. Frankly, sexual alchemy has everything to do with the magic of Light because it is its foundation according to the Golden Dawn and western occultism.

I believe one of the reasons many people formed an opinion that sex magic and the Golden Dawn are incompatible stems from a prevalent belief that "If Mathers didn't write it, then it ain't Golden Dawn." This later translated into “If Regardie didn’t write it, then it ain’t Golden Dawn” especially since Regardie’s book is the primary guide for Golden Dawn teachings to modern practitioners.

These are indeed drawbacks of relying on published content as one’s guide to the teachings of a secret society that existed in an era that requires a lot more discretion when it comes to sensitive topics such as sexuality.

One of the things to remember is that the Golden Dawn didn’t emerge out of a vacuum. It has its roots in much older traditions. The Golden Dawn is both a Hermetic and a Rosicrucian order. Our critics fail to consider two things.

First of all, Mathers had his own teachers that he called Secret Chiefs since he was sworn to protect their real identities. The same holds true for my teachers as well, which come from the Hermetic same order that Mathers' teachers did.

The other thing that our critics fail to consider is that S.L. MacGregor Mathers died before he could ever finish developing the Golden Dawn system. The Golden Dawn is a ten grade system corresponding to the Sephiroth on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, beginning with Neophyte and Zelator at the bottom of the tree, and ending with the Magister Templi, Magus, and Ipssissimus grades on top. Mathers was only half way through putting the teachings together when he died in a flu epidemic that burned through Europe.

S.L. MacGregor Mathers

Yeah. I remember you talking about this before. Didn't you finish some of this development in your Ritual Magic Manual?

Yes. I did. Mathers had only finished integrating Enochian and Qabalistic magic for the Elements, but not for Planetary and Zodiacal magic before he died. I finished this integration in 1999. But what has caused so much controversy was when the Secret Chiefs, who had created the Golden Dawn to begin with, contacted me in 2002 and gave our order all of the materials for the highest grades of the order that Mathers died before he could finish.

When we talked in the past, you had mentioned to me that one the advanced teachings you received from the Secret Chiefs were secret techniques concerning Hermetic Inner Alchemy. You also mentioned that this involves both love and sexuality.

That is right. We are a Hermetic order, and thus our attitude toward the relationship between sexuality and spirituality is as it has always been in the true Hermetic tradition. For 2,000 years, the Hermetic tradition has radically diverged from the sexually repressive attitudes of the Roman Catholic Church.

I am aware that the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn has moved in a decidedly Roman Catholic direction. I noticed a recent YouTube video that the EOGD released, in which they conflate the Egyptian Goddess, Isis, with the virgin Mary. The Roman Catholic church has been doing this sort of stuff for Centuries as a tactic to try to wipe out Paganism.

The Hermetic tradition has never been a Roman Catholic one. On the contrary, the Hermetic tradition managed to survive DESPITE the Vatican and its Holy Inquisition. In fact, the entire history of the Hermetic tradition is filled with a friendly relationship with Pagan movements, not a hostile relationship as has been the case with the Roman Catholic church. Even the Neophyte ritual in the Golden Dawn instructs to hold all religions in high regard, as there is truth to be found in all of them!

Likewise, unlike the Roman Catholic church and my critics from other Golden Dawn orders, the Hermetic tradition does not see sexuality as anything sinful in any way. We don't see any real distinction between sprit and flesh either. This mistaken distinction unfortunately became enshrined early on Christianity because of the Roman Catholic church. There were from the very beginning, however, Gnostic Christian groups that fully embraced the spiritual importance of sexuality and the mysteries of spiritual sexuality. These have been recently referred to as the "Magdalene Mysteries" and were even mentioned in the film, "The DaVinci Code".

In the Hermetic tradition, we see the human body as an essential aspect of spirit. Our bodies are the vehicles or Temples of Spirit.

Everything you have told me so far makes perfect sense. It is unfortunate to see how it ruffled some feathers. I can’t say for sure what went through their minds. It could be jealousy especially among groups that only have the half of the system. It could also be that some people have projected too much of their Roman Catholic upbringing or religious beliefs unto a Hermetic system like the Golden Dawn.

I can understand some people's feathers being ruffled - but the work of our order is not about stroking people's egos. It's about finally making advanced spiritual technology and accelerated energetic evolution available to people.

Nothing justifies throwing such negativity on the path being trodden by sincere seekers looking for unity and oneness and soul growth. Such negativity does people a disservice because it makes it harder to access authentic Hermetic teachings thanks to all fear-mongering nonsense.

OK. I can guess from everything we discussed so far that you disagree with the statement that spiritual sexuality in the Golden Dawn is a red herring designed to take advantage of lower desires.

Absolutely! Statements like this are red herrings intended to frighten people away from our order. More importantly, however, such prudish, repressive attitudes towards sexuality demonstrate a profound ignorance not only of the true nature of the Golden Dawn, but of the entire Hermetic and Rosicrucian traditions as well.

People who react in Golden Dawn circles with prudish and repressive attitudes towards sexuality are clearly stuck in Victorian ethics and the belief that sexuality is somehow sinful or evil.

By contrast, in the highest teachings of both the Hermetic and Rosicrucian traditions, love and sexuality are understood precisely as they are in the highest teachings of the Taoist and Tantric alchemical traditions in the East. In all true alchemical traditions, no matter where they are found around the world, love and sexuality are equally seen as two primary motors for spiritual development.

I honestly find it bizarre that people are projecting such Victorian ethics on a society that was marked by its progressive attitude in the spirit of its time. In the true, classical Golden Dawn, the concept of sexual polarity lies at the very heart of the GD system. The Golden Dawn was revolutionary in admitting both men and women on an equal basis already in 1888. The concept of sexual polarity permeates the entire symbolism of the Golden Dawn's rituals and teachings. It is beyond my comprehension how any Golden Dawn leader can properly teach their students unless they have fully grasped such a fundamental principle in the Golden Dawn as the central importance of sexual polarity.

The notion of sexual polarity also permeates the Qabalah, as any serious researcher will attest. In a similar vein one can see that the same concept of sexual polarity permeates much of the work of A.E. Waite and is particularly evident in his 'Holy Kabbalah' and in much of the imagery of his rituals for the higher grades of Waite’s, Fraternity of the Rosy Cross.

AE Waite
Even BOTA, which developed out of the Alpha et Omega, Paul Case's successor, Ann Davies, gave considerable prominence to the concept of sexual polarity, Ann Davies also delivered a long and lengthy series of lectures on this very subject, some of which recommended the sexual practice of 'Karezza.' In short, the concept of sexuality is inextricably involved with the Mysteries, and particularly as found within the Golden Dawn, Alpha et Omega, and Stella Matutina systems.

This certainly does not sound like there is "no evidence of spiritual sexuality in the Golden Dawn" as some of the other Golden Dawn groups have claimed.

The fact that teachings regarding sexuality have always been primarily a transmitted in the Golden Dawn and the Alpha et Omega via oral tradition does not mean that there is no other evidence of these things.

Golden Dawn historian Ithell Colquhoun, for example, wrote an important biography of S.L. MacGregor Mathers. This biography does have certain errors and is flawed in a number of respects. Colquhoun is quite right, however, to give some prominence to the question of the importance of sexual energies within the Golden Dawn. In fact many of Colquhoun's speculations or intuitions, based on slender evidence, have been proven by subsequent research to be very accurate.

Ithell Colquhoun

Particularly noteworthy is Colquhoun's mention of an oral tradition regarding sexuality within the original HOGD as well as in the Alpha et Omega. Colquhoun also mentions that, in her opinion, the sexual aspects should appear in the highest grades of any occult fraternity, including the projected Third Order of the original Golden Dawn, as is presently the case in the Third Order of Mathers’ Alpha et Omega.

Colquhoun further discusses actual rituals pertaining to sexual polarity performed by early members of the Golden Dawn. In particular, she discusses at length the unpublished "Lilith" ritual of A.E. Waite that she found at the Warburg Institute. Finally, Colquhoun also discusses issues pertaining to Golden Dawn ritual and tantra groups regarding sexual polarity and the role of women in both tantra groups as well as in the original Golden Dawn.

What about the argument put forth by Robert Zink of the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn that it allegedly is well established fact that S. L. MacGregor Mathers and his wife Moina lived in a celibate marriage and that this proves that there is no spiritual sexuality in the classical Golden Dawn tradition?

In reality, no reputable Golden Dawn historian has ever presented a single shred of evidence to support such a preosterous notion. If those inventing such myths had any real evidence, they would have produced it long ago. All Robert Zink and the proponents of the celibacy myth have done until now is to quote a letter from Moina Mathers to Annie Horniman completely out of context.

Annie Horniman
Even in this letter, Moina Mathers does not actually say she lived in a celibate marriage with Golden Dawn founder, S.L. MacGregor Mathers. What she does say is that their marriage is "pure." Contrary to the interpretation of the chastity myth proponents, marital purity is not necesarily the same thing at all as chastity. It more likely refers to marital fidelity. To interpret this as making it "well established fact that the Mathers were chaste" is once again based on mere prudish, Victorian attitudes towards sexuality.

Moina Mathers

What then do the Mathers and other early Golden Dawn Adepts actually say about sexuality and the Golden Dawn in their writings?

To begin with, sexuality is treated somewhat more explicitly in certain original Theoricus Adeptus Minor documents written by Mathers, particularly in one paper known as 'The Opening of the Knowledge of the Masculine and Feminine Potencies necessary unto the the manifestation of all things, symbolized in the diagram of the Flaming Sword between MTTRVN and SNDLPVN'.

Next it should also be noted that the once Chief Adept in Anglia, Florence Farr, also alludes to a sexual doctrine in the Golden Dawn Flying Roll XIII, entitled "Secrecy and Hermetic Love."

Florence Farr

More importantly, however, in a letter to Annie Horniman dated 8 January 1896, from S.L. MacGregor Mathers himself writes:

"I must ask you, whenever matters of sex arise in the Order, and you are asked for instruction thereon: to refer them to G.H. Frater N.O.M."

S.L. MacGregor Mathers

It should be noted that Mathers here asks Horniman to obtain direct or oral teaching on the subject from Golden Dawn Chief Wynn Westcott, and he does not refer her to any documents issued by the Order. This is a clear reference to the Golden Dawn oral tradition on this subject.

Wynn Wescott

Next, Moina Mathers, writing to the relatively prudish Annie Horniman, attributes teachings on the "Sex question" to a much "higher grade" than 5=6. In fact, in the aforementioned 1895 letter misquoted by my detractors, Moina Mathers actually writes to Anne Horniman:

"Knowing as yet only something of the composition of the human being as a Theoricus Adept, you are really not in a position to form an opinion on these subjects . . . discussed as . . . the human sexual connection. . . . So if one of these . . .come up you would have to refer the question to a member of a much higher grade than Theoricus Adept.
In short, Horniman was upset about a sexual instruction and wrote complaining to Mrs. Mathers. who responded that Horniman was unfit to judge matters concerning spiritual sexuality because she did not possess the complete instructions of a "much higher grade."

Moina Mathers

Then there is the letter that Moina Mathers wrote to Paul Foster Case, explicitly alluding to teachings in relation to sexual polarity in the Higher Grades of the Alpha et Omega:

Paul Foster Case
"Care et V.H. Frater Perseverantia,
As I hear that the Sex Theory subject has been under discussion in Thoth Hermes Temple, I should like to say a few words to you on the subject. I regret that anything on the Sex question should have entered into the Temple at this stage for we only begin to touch on sex matters directly, in quite the higher Grades. In fact, we only give a rather complete explanation of this subject in that Grade where the Adept has proved to be so equilibrated and spiritualized that he is complete lord of his passional self. Believe me, this is not mere theory. I am not speaking to you from a merely theoretical point of view . . ."
Finally, there is case of female Alpha et Omega initiate, Dion Fortune, who like Paul Foster Case went on to found her own occult school. Having joined the Alpha et Omega in 1919 Dion Fortune quickly aroused the anger of Moina Mathers as too independent for her grade level. Trouble began when Dion Fortune published a work entitled "The Philosophy of Love and Marriage" in 1925. Moina Mathers objected to Dion Fortune’s open disclosure teachings on sexual polarity in the higher grades of the Alpha et Omega. Several other statements Dion Fortune published in the Occult Review irritated Moina Mathers so much that it ultimately led to Dion Fortune leaving the AO.

Dion Fortune

Here is one such statement Dion Fortune made, and I quote:

"The management of the sex forces is an exceedingly important thing in occultism, and the attitude towards sex in the east and in the west is poles asunder."

Here is another one:

"Those who have entered into the deeper aspects of occultism know that Kundalini, the Serpent Force which lies curled up at the base of the spine, is really the sex force which has its centre in the sacral plexus from which issue the nerves which govern the reproductive organs. In the normal way, this force is fully absorbed in its physiological functions, but there are two ways of rendering it available for other purposes, for its psychic aspect it is a very important potency on the Inner Planes; it can be sublimated above its natural plane of expression, as done by the ascetic; or it can be degraded."
From the conflicts between Moina Mathers and both Paul Foster Case and Dion Fortune, we see clear and compelling evidence of the sexual mysteries in the Golden Dawn and Alpha et Omega. These were, however, and still remain the most carefully guarded treasures of the order. The conflicts with Paul Foster Case and Dion Fortune also show to what lengths Moina Mathers actually went to protect the sanctity of these mysteries."

You have presented a compelling argument. Before we move on, do you have anything else you would like to say in response to those who have tried the paint these mysteries as out of sync with the Golden Dawn?

How about I let the words of former Alpha et Omega initiate, Dion Fortune answer some of these absurd notions. I quote:

"Anybody who regards sex as evil, or is in any way afraid of it or self-conscious about it, had better leave occultism alone; for it is only through a perfectly naturalistic attitude towards giving of life that life force can be handled. Let it never be forgotten that there is no such things as sex force per se, but that it is simply the life force on a particular level, and that through this level the force must pass every time it rises and descends on the planes."
Finally, there can no better rebuttal to those who like to create a sexually repressive variant of the Golden Dawn than the words of Moina Mathers herself. I quote here from a circa 1900 interview about the Mathers' “Rites of Isis" in Paris. Moina writes:

"How can we hope that the world will become purer and less material when one excludes from the Divine, which is the highest ideal, part of its nature which represents at one and the same time the faculty of receiving and giving - that is to say love itself and its highest form---love the symbol of universal sympathy? That is where the magical power of women is found."

To Moina Mathers words, I would only like to add that this is also where the magical power of men is found.

I would like to discuss now some of the basics of sexuality and the Golden Dawn, if you don’t mind. You mentioned earlier that one of the Hermetic teachings is to see the physical body as the seat of both consciousness and spirit. Am I correct?

That's right. In Hermetic Science we define Spirit in a very specific way though. To put it most simply we see Spirit quite as solar and stellar energy. We see Spirit as the energetic aspect of our natures. Our Mother is the Earth. She gives us the matter for our physical bodies. Our Father is the Sun, however, that gives us our vital energy that is the essence of life itself.

So in Hermetic Science, you define Spirit and Flesh as energy and matter?

That's right. But we take this even a step further. The Hermetic tradition has been saying that spirit and flesh are two forms of the same thing for thousands of years. Interestingly, thanks to Einstein, science recently confirmed this, although science says it using slightly different language. Modern physics says that matter and energy are two forms of the same thing, just existing as different frequencies of vibration. Einstein even defined this relationship mathematically.

Hermetics takes this notion yet a step further though, and science is on the verge of to proving this as well. Hermetics say that consciousness itself is a function of this one thing that is both spirit and flesh, or matter and energy as modern science calls these things. This is an absolute cornerstone of Hermetic philosophy. You find this same notion repeated in numerous of the world's other great spiritual traditions as well, especially in the East.

Ah! Since energy and matter, or Spirit and Flesh are different forms of the same thing, and since consciousness is a function of the body, then by affecting the body you also affect consciousness.

Absolutely. This is an important principle of the Great Work!

It is the true basis of Hermetic alchemy. We transform our consciousness by transmuting the matter of the physical body into energy. This is the very essence energetic evolution put into its simplest terms.

But where do love and sexuality come in?

In all of the classical alchemical texts you find alchemists cooking the "prima materia" in flasks called Athanors. The same is true in internal alchemy, except that everything is inside of you. Your physical body itself is the athanor and the matter of your body is the true "prima materia." In inner alchemy, everything you find in the alchemical texts are really allegories for things inside of you.

Even the fire that heats the athanor is inside of you. In internal alchemy, it is the subtle fires of the body itself that we use to "cook" the matter of our bodies into ever purer forms of energy. Love and sexuality are two essential and extremely powerful of these subtle inner fires.

You mean we transform our physical bodies into energy by cooking our matter with love and sex?

Yes! This is exactly what you do in Hermetic Internal Alchemy.

I think most people back in the day would have been bothered by this kind of thinking.

Precisely - and this is one important reason why this knowledge has been kept so hidden for thousands of years. If this had come out only few hundred years ago - we could have all gotten burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Inquisition for such heretical notions.

Sounds pretty dangerous to me.

Dangerous? Historically - you bet it was. And this is why the myth of alchemy as a gold cooking pseudo-science has been so useful. It allowed initiates to preserve and secretly communicate the actual techniques of Royal Art of Alchemy using analogies that would not get us burned at the stake!

Yep. Early Christianity posed a serious danger to the survival of the Royal Art of the ancient Egyptians, so the great Adepts of the past became very creative to keep they mysteries intact.

Believe it or not, certain great Initiates even managed to encode and hide many important principles of Hermetic Science in the stories and rites of the Christian church itself. In things like the mass, the eucharist, and the use of bread and wine. This initiatic meaning of these things would be a blog in itself though.

Well ... things have certainly changed today. At least you can talk about these things openly today without fear of getting burned alive!

This is true. But this doesn't mean that there is no danger at all in discussing these things openly even today. Just look at all the heat I received from "esoteric" Golden Dawn orders due to my openness about this! Most people would have kept this to themselves to avoid this kind of modern day inquisitions.

Is there anything that you would like to add David, in conclusion?

I would only like to underscore that our order, Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega and our outer order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, are inheritors of the highest wisdom of 2,000 Hermetic tradition. As such, we teach all three spiritual disciplines that have been the primary spiritual practices of the Hermetic tradition for over two millennia: Hermetic Magic, Alchemy, and Astrology.

Hermetic Science teaches that material life on planets is just a caterpillar stage to life as pure energy - inside the Sun and stars - at the fast end of the universe vibrating at the speed of light! In truth - the Royal Art of Alchemy is the Hermetic Science of energetic development - of evolution of Soul.

True alchemical transmutation - Lead into Gold - uses love and sexuality as subtle fires - to grow a Solar Body of Light - or, in other words, to cultivate a Soul - we do this by transmuting our physical bodies (Lead or Prima. We do this by transmuting our physical bodies (Lead or Prima Materia) - into pure Solar energy (Gold or Spirit). The ultimate goal of the Great Work (or Opus Magnum) of alchemical transmutation - is for to ascend at death into the Solar Dimension - inside of starlight and the Sun - thus becoming consciously immortal.

You also find this same notion of love and sexuality as transmutative fires of our bodies in all the great spiritual traditions of the East - In Tantra as Kundalini - In Taoism, as Chi and Ching ... and as LVX (Lux) in the Hermetic tradition.

The great news is that we do not have to go looking for this wisdom in the East. We have our own tradition of spiritual sexuality right here in the West in an unbroken lineage and initiatic transmission that goes back not hundreds, but thousands of years.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Golden Dawn Harmony or Hatfield-McCoy Feud?

Fratres et Sorores of the Golden Dawn Community:

Remember the feeling of doing your first LBRP and the joy and excitement of being part of a magical reality?

Just imagine for a moment if in that swirl of intense excitement you turned to the net to find people like you and all you found were squabbles, hate, and Nazi accusations.

You are starting to experience an episode of anger, disappointment, and disgust at the people who threw black paint on the colorful landscape of your dreams.

People keep asking me why do I continue to angrily harp against these slanderous attack websites? Why do I keep calling for Golden Dawn harmony, when obviously those same people utterly hate my guts?

Simple really!

Everyone knows that lies will reach the end of the world before truth can get its shoes on.

Ask yourself this question, if you love something passionately will you let someone who hates you steal it away from you without a fight?


People who continue to tarnish the name of the Golden Dawn with false slanderous accusations of Nazism are doing just that.

People who refuse to let go of squabbles between orders for the greater good of the Golden Dawn are doing just that.

People who will try to divide us against each and build up straw men to wage war against are doing just that.

Clearly, we will not let this happen.

Still, there are people who refuse to get it.

Robert Zink, using his anonymous troll, alter ego, published a post on the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn Forum claiming that the Nazi blogs defaming the entire Golden Dawn community was authored by Tomas Stacewicz and David Griffin (me).

Imagine that!

Let me summarize their argument. As you read it, think about it logically.

They are saying:

· I am interested in creating an umbrella Golden Dawn order with me at its head

· I would like to be the Alpha dog of the Golden Dawn with largest number of members

· Slanderous Nazi websites appear all over the internet defaming me and the order I belong to

· I am moved into anger by the constant slander and negativity

· I devise a nefarious plan as an ultimate solution to the attack on our order and to ensure total domination and hoards of new recruits.

· I ask for peace and end to the squabble

· I then diabolically create MORE nazi websites to attack our order and defame my name in addition to all the people I have appealed to for peace and end to the squabble.

Obviously, only someone who has parked his brain at the garage or driven by pure hate will believe such an irrational hypothesis. I have said it once and I will say it again. When people see the name Golden Dawn and Nazism in the same breath they will not pick up on the nuance of political history or interpersonal feuds. They will walk away with one message: the Golden Dawn has been tainted.

Here’s the bottom line:

I want peace in the Golden Dawn. I want this nonsense to STOP.

Still, let’s face it…

There are people in the Golden Dawn who prefer to see the feud going. They want you to believe the entire HOGD/AO with its thousands of members doesn’t exist by making this conflict all about their hatred of me.

Here are the facts:

We recognize diversity among Golden Dawn orders.

We have taken the lead in promoting harmony in the Golden Dawn community.

The HOGD/AO has grown into the world's largest Golden Dawn order:

- with more members than any other Golden Dawn order.
- with temples all around the world
- with the Golden Dawn's ONLY membership website.
- with the Golden Dawn's ONLY complete, three order curriculum
- the ONLY Golden Dawn order that teaches Hermetic Inner Alchemy

The reality is I have gone on record long ago as condemning all negative blogs, websites, etc. attacking ANYONE in the Golden Dawn community. I have even published numerous appeals to those misguided individuals who have been attacking Robert Zink to stop. Thankfully, those blogs have been silent for a long time now.

Why does Robert Zink not once and for all likewise condemn the use of negative websites and blogs attacking Golden Dawn orders?

Robert Zink just published a link on his forum to the new site defaming the entire Golden Dawn community.

Why would he do that? Clearly, he wishes to bring attention to the defamation and stir up disharmony.

Robert Zink claims that the entire Golden Dawn community is in harmony while at the same time he is attacking that entire community by linking to filthy sites attacking that entire community.

Obviously, Robert Zink DOES NOT WANT harmony in the Golden Dawn community. He wants conflict, which he calls "bellum."

What is the true meaning of this? Robert Zink needs a scapegoat. He needs someone who he can demonize in the misguided attempt to unite his order.

Obviously, the time has come for Robert Zink to stop promoting strife in the Golden Dawn community once and for all and to finally stand up and sow some real leadership by condemning ALL defamation against ALL Golden Dawn orders instead of just going on attacking the HOGD/AO and its leaders as he has been doing for decades.

Let there be no doubt about it. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega is not going anywhere.


- David Griffin

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Refutation of Pat Zalewksi's Review of David Griffin's Ritual Magic Manual

The Following refutation is in response to Pat Zalewski's unsubstantiated accusations that I, David Griffin, somehow plagiarized his work in my Ritual Magic Manual. As will be shown below, such allegations clearly have no scholarly basis, but are rooted in mere political sniping from a competing Golden Dawn order.

I would like to begin by clarifying that Pat Zalewski is correct in his assertion that in the research involved in my integration of the Enochian materials of John Dee into the RR+AC systems of Planetary and Zodiacal magick, I relied mostly on primary reference materials, primarily the original manuscripts of John Dee obtained on microfilm from the British Museum, together with the papers of S.L. MacGregor Mathers. In the rare instances where any secondary sources were used they were, of course, properly footnoted.

Zalewski's cited example also clearly demonstrates how thoroughly referenced the Ritual Magic Manual actually is, in itself quite unusual for modern Golden Dawn books. In this sense, my quickly written above statement quoted by Pat Zalewski is indeed slightly inaccurate, which I readily admit and for which I readily apologize, of course, for any potential resulting misunderstanding.

Nonetheless, Pat Zalewski's above statement does nothing to support his repeated and unsupported claims that I have 'plagiarized' his work. On the contrary, the footnote he references from the RMM actually provides solid evidence of how groundless his accusations of plagiarism actually are! I am therefore grateful to Mr. Zalewski for pointing out this footnote and providing me with an excellent opportunity to further refute his baseless and unsupported allegations of 'plagiarism.'

The American Heritage Dictionary defines 'plagiarism' as "the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own." This is clearly not the case in this present instance, as I have obviously referenced Mr. Zalewski's work according to proper academic standards. Moreover, I mention Mr. Zalewski's work in order to demonstrate how I consider the position he sets forth in "Golden Dawn Enochian Magic" to be flawed. This is followed by my own position which is based on a careful examination of the original John Dee documents, in this case "Earthly Knowledge, Aid, and Victory," in Sloane MS. 3191. This is completely acceptable scholarship according to all academic standards and certainly does not constitute 'plagiarism' as Mr. Zalewski would like us to believe. On the contrary, this example goes far to prove that I indeed did 'not' plagiarize Mr. Zalewski's work, but rather took issue with it.

Zalewski's position that I consider to be flawed in this instance is properly referenced in the Ritual Magic Manual as: Pat Zalewski, Golden Dawn Enochian Magic, St. Paul: Llewellyn, 1990, pp. 31, 32. Mr. Zalewski's position is flawed because it is based merely upon an unreflective aping of the position set forth by S.L. Macgregor Mathers in a lecture to members of the Golden Dawn, entitled "On the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac," in which S. L. MacGregor Mathers attempts to explain the Golden Dawn correspondences according to the distribution of the twelve Tribes of Israel encamped in the desert as they appear in the Old Testament. Mathers attempts to elucidate these correspondences by weaving a tapestry of associations with the Tribes, derived primarily from Biblical sources. These include the children of Jacob, their various Mothers, their order of birth, and the blessings of Moses and Jacob upon the various Tribes. Interestingly, Albert Pike presents a nearly identical exposition of similar associations in Morals And Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Mathers then comments upon the various armorial bearings ascribed to the twelve Tribes. This ascription exactly corresponds to that of the twelve ensigns attributed to the twelve Tribes in English Royal Arch Freemasonry. Thus it becomes apparent that the source from which the Golden Dawn borrowed this particular set of correspondences is English Royal Arch Freemasonry, and in his own work, Pat Zalewski merely followed these correspondences without even considering the difficulties underlying the arrangement MacGregor Mathers copied from Royal Arch Freemasonry.

The successful and correct integration of Enochian material from John Dee into Rosicrucian Zodiacal Magic has historically met with two difficulties. The first impediment arises because John Dee, in "Earthly Knowledge, Aid, and Victory," attributes the Twelve Tribes of Israel to the Signs of the Zodiac differently than does the R. R. et A. C. The Signs of the Zodiac thus correspond differently with the Enochian Zodiacal Kings in the Dee versus the R.R. et A.C. system. The second difficulty relates closely to the first and concerns the best method of attributing twelve Divine Names from the Elemental Tablets to the Zodiacal Signs.

In his work, Pat Zalewski does not even recognize these difficulties, but merely copies MacGregor Mathers in an unreflective manner without any consideration of underlying conflict with the original John Dee Enochian manuscripts. The above cited arrangement from MacGregor Mathers and aped by Zalewski, although seductive, is seriously flawed. The Elements of the Tablets from which the Divine Names originate do not correspond with the Elemental Triplicities of the Zodiacal Signs. When used in Ceremonial Magic, the failure of this arrangement becomes obvious. For example, it requires the Magician to invoke Sagittarius (a Fire Sign) using a Fire Invoking Pentagram while vibrating ARSL, a Divine Name from the Elemental Tablet of Water. Furthermore, the attribution of the Elements to the Quarters in this arrangement bears no resemblance to anything else in the R. R. et A. C. system!

What I point out in the Ritual Magic Manual is that John Dee clearly intended a different arrangement than the one that MacGregor Mathers chose, however, and that Dee's arrangement is implied in a diagram, entitled "Ordo Israelis Dispersi, hoc Estate 1585," illustrated on page 635 of the Ritual Magic Manual and available in my paper "The Book Of the Concourse of the Planetary and Zodiacal Forces" that you may download for free from our website at:

The diagram that I provide on page 635 of the Ritual Magic Manual (and reproduced in the aforementioned free download) illustrates an alternative, superior means of integrating the John Dee Enochian and RR+AC systems of Zodiacal Magic. Although Dee does not include the Glyphs of the Zodiacal Signs, but rather the numbers one through twelve, his intention is nonetheless easy to deduce. When one assigns the Zodiacal Signs from Aries as one through Pisces as twelve, the resulting attribution of the twelve Tribes of Israel to the Zodiacal Signs exactly matches those given by Cornelius Agrippa in his book on Celestial Magic. Dee clearly intended to attribute the twelve Tribes of Israel as well as the Enochian Zodiacal Kings to the Signs of the Zodiac according to the correspondences used by Agrippa.

Dee's diagram, thus understood, aligns the Zodiacal Signs according to their Elemental Triplicities in each of the four Quarters. The Fire Signs thus find their place in the East, the Earth Signs in the South, the Air Signs in the West, and the Water Signs in the North. This arrangement exactly coincides with the Golden Dawn attribution of the Elements to the four Quarters according to their "Natural position in the Zodiac." Thus it provides an excellent vehicle for the complete integration of the John Dee Enochian and the R.R. et A.C. systems of Zodiacal Magic.

In conclusion, the example cited by Pat Zalewski in no way supports his baseless accusation that I have plagiarized Zalewski's work. On the contrary, it actually shows in the present instance that I have correctly referenced his work according to proper academic standards. It also shows that not only have I not copied Zalewski's work without crediting him, but that I have actually taken issue with it, because Zalewski's work is in this instance based on an unreflective copying of MacGregor Mathers, and fails to even consider how it conflicts with the arrangement that Dee intended.

My contribution to Golden Dawn scholarship in this particular instance, as enshrined in the Ritual Magic Manual is to recognize the conflict between the Dee and the MacGregor Mathers attributions and to find a satisfactory solution to this problem that integrates well with both systems.

No such arrangement is perfect, and deviating from the arrangement that MacGregor Mathers borrowed from Royal Arch Freemasonry indeed causes issues with other aspects of the R.R. et A.C. system. However, as far as Zodiacal magic is concerned, this heretofore unrecognized arrangement successfully finds a way to integrate the arrangement intended by Dee with an arrangement already present in the RR et AC, according to the 'natural position of the elements in the Zodiac.' This is not plagiarism. It is scholarship but rather an original contribution to the continuously evolving magical system of the Golden Dawn.

Sub Umbra Alarum Tuarum, Yeheshua
G.H. Frater Lux Ex Septentrionis
Imperator Ordinis, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Chief Adept, R.R. et A.C.
Archon Basileus, Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega

"Ex Deo Nascimur.
In Yeheshua Morimur.
Per Sanctum Spiritum Reviviscimus"

A Refutation of Aaron Leitch's Review of David Griffin's Ritual Magic Manual

Since 1999 when the Ritual Magic Manual first appeared, written by me, David Griffin, erroneous and unsubstantiated allegations of 'plagiarism' have been repeatedly and erroneously made by Mr. Aaron Leitch, the Secretary of the Board of Directors of a competing Golden Dawn order. Let us set aside for a moment the questionable ethics of Mr. Leitch having published such a scathing review of my The Ritual Magic Manual while pretending to be an "objective" reviewer - when he was in fact acting at an agent of a competing Golden Dawn order, yet concealing this fact.

I have frankly never even taken Mr. Leitch's allegations of plagiarism seriously, since I had never even heard of him until after the Ritual Magic Manual had already been published and Leitch published his much quoted, allegedly "objective" review of my work.

Tonight, however, since I am already taking the time to once and for all refute the baseless allegations of plagiarism made by Aaron Leitch. I therefore went to his website at:

Where I found Aaron Leitch making the below false allegations of plagiarism by me:

Finally, I should once again mention the author's discussions of the Sidereal Zodiac. The rear cover flap of the book proclaims:
"In the most significant breakthrough… David Griffin has herein achieved a brilliant new synthesis of Enochian and Astrological Magic." I can't help but to agree with the significance of this new synthesis (on pages 635-639), especially since I published the material originally in the Spring 1998 issue of Eschaton Publishing's Terminal Journal. The essay is entitled A Discourse on the Enochian Watchtowers. The curious reader can obtain back issues from The text itself can be found archived (and discussed!) at the Enochian-L mailing list: Also, for easier reference, it can be read on my own homepage Unfortunately, you will not find any of these sources in the bibliography of Mr. Griffin's book.

Tonight, while tidying up refuting assorted defamation regarding alleged plagiarism by me, I actually managed to find and read this article by Leitch for the first time, at:

Now I must admit that although I had suspected that Leitch's "review" had all along been nothing but a politically motivated hatchet job on my Ritual Magic Manual by a member of a competing Golden Dawn order, I nonetheless was open to the possibility that Aaron Leitch had perhaps made the same discoveries based an independent but similar careful study of the original John Dee manuscripts from the British Museum and had reached identical conclusions that I did. After all, stranger things have happenned!

So tonight deciding to get to the bottom of this once and for all, I read what all of Leitch's wailing and gnashing his teeth over the years was really all about:

Leitch writes:

As above, I again point out that the Elders upon the Watchtowers are Zodiacal in nature. This view comes mainly from my study of the Shem haMephoresh- the 72-fold Name of God- which is related to the Decans of the Zodiac. Tradition holds that the Elders of Revelation hold these Divine Names (each Elder with three of them inscribed on His crown). Thus is the Zodiacal association of the Elders apparent- with two Elders for each Sign. The next question, of course, is how to know which Signs the Elders are aligned with. First, I'll address the Watchtowers themselves.

OK, so Leitch is coming at this from a completely different angle than I am.

Originally, I had attempted to place (for instance) all Air Signs in the Eastern Tablet, all Fire in the South, etc. However, there is no basis for this outside of Golden Dawn Tradition, so I had to do something more concrete. I attempted to see if the Parts of the Earth and their Zodiacal Kings would help (remember the Parts' Names are what the Watchtowers are composed of).....but after working them out I saw that the Signs were dispersed through the Watchtowers in no particular pattern. And, the reasoning for this is clear when one reads the Call of the Aethyrs- which deals with separating the Forces of the Earth into chaos.

Allright. Leitch tried the allocation of the elements to the four quarters. This doesn't work to integrate the two systems, but at least he seems to have recognized that there is a problem with the Mathers arrangement borrowed from Royal Arch Freemasonry, which is more than can be said of Zalewski!

Leitch continues:

And so, I continued with the most simple concept of all: I wrote the 12 Signs down in their circular order as seen in the sky: with Leo in the East, Taurus in the South, Aquarius in the West, and Scorpio in the North. Then, dividing this Circle into four parts, I ended up with four groups of three: a Cardinal, a Fixed, and a Mutable. However, I later discovered that this method of writing down the Zodiac was in error. The old Grimoires did not list the Zodiac in proper order in such cases- and the Shem haMephoresh provides the best example: the Zodiac is written down by way of the Tetragram- with the Triplicities grouped together by Element. First Fire, then Water, then Air, and then Earth.

In other words, Leitch also tried the other arrangement of the elements that we use in the Golden Dawn, "according to the natural position of the elements in the Zodiac." Logical. He then also examined how to distribute the three triplicities. Bravo! At this juncture, it looks like on this one we might indeed have discovered the same thing independently.

But Leitch continues:

As for Enochian material, see the figure given on James' page 103 (The Holy City which is mentioned in Revelation), where the 12 Zodiacal Kings are placed 3 to a direction, and each associated to a Hebrew Tribe. Then, see Agrippa (whom Dee was familiar with and influenced by) for the Zodiacal associations of those Tribes. You will see that even Dee placed the Fire Triplicity upon the Eastern wall of the Holy City, Water in the North, Air in the West, and Earth in the South. This is the zodiacal attribution of Elements to Directions- and is applied to the Watchtowers as well.

In other words, Leitch even thinks of consulting the diagrams in "Liber Scientiae Auxilii et Victoriae Terrestris." Impressive. At this juncture I can "almost" understand his accusations of plagiarism, even though I approached the problem from a completely different direction. Leitch is so close to finding the key that he is looking for that it is almost painful to watch him grope. Unfortunately, however, he doesn't examine "Liber Scientiae Auxilii et Victoriae Terrestris" closely enough. Otherwise, he would have discovered, as I did, independently, that the key to integrating John Dee's Enochian system with RR et AC Zodiacal magic lies not in Dee's first diagram in "Liber Scientiae Auxilii et Victoriae Terrestris" that Leitch cites (The Holy City which is mentioned in Revelation), but in the second diagram contained therein entitled "Ordo Israelis Dispersi, hoc Estate 1585," that contains the key that Leitch completely misses and that I discovered, which proves conclusively that I did not 'plagiarize' Leitch's work. Admittedly, we independently followed similar lines of thinking, yes, although we each came at the problem from a different direction and moreover I managed to solve the underlying problem whereas Leitch did not, which is why we each came to such radically different conclusions and correspondences! Which most conclusively of all demonstrates the mutual independence of our respective research in this arena.

The answer was sitting there right under Aaron's nose all along. He simply did not see it! All he had to do was apply the Zodiacal signs to the numbers 1 to 12 in Dee's "second" diagram, Aires through Pisces, and he would have discovered the actual zodiacal attributions of the Kings in "Liber Scientiae Auxilii et Victoriae Terrestris" that Dee had intended all along, together with the key to successfully integrate Dee's Zodiacal system with R.R. et A.C. Zodiacal magick as I accomplished in the RMM.

Leitch did not, however, whereas I did. Under these circumstances, I can certainly understand Leitch's sour grapes, but this does not support plagiarism at all. To his credit, Aaron Leitch did not merely unreflectively ape the Zodiacal correspondences that S.L. MagGregor Mathers merely borrowed lock, stock, and barrel from Royal Arch Freemasonry. Even more to his his credit, Leitch independently did indeed at least recognize that the solution to the correct integration of the John Dee's Enochian material lies in the correspondence with the elements "according to their natural position in the Zodiac." Because he did not pursue this line of thinking far enough, however, and did not closely enough examine John Dee's diagrams in "Liber Scientiae Auxilii et Victoriae Terrestris, he apparently completely missed the pivotal diagram entitled " "Ordo Israelis Dispersi, hoc Estate 1585,"

Consequentially, Aaron Leitch ended up missing the proverbial boat and wound up merely making a muddle of things by preserving S.L. MacGregor Mathers' quite arbitrary correspondences between the signs and the Enochian Zodiacal Kings that Mathers had borrowed from Royal Arch Freemasonry. Leitch therefore failed to discover the secret key that Dee had cryptically left us that fully enabled my compete integration of the divergent Dee and RR et AC systems of Zodiacal magic in the Ritual Magic Manual.

It is quite natural that separate researchers writing at about the same time on a subject with limited primary source material like Golden Dawn Enochiana might consider similar problems with that limited material. To dispel any remaining doubt, however, it should be noted the Ritual Magic manual is a thoroughly referenced work, as I recently demonstrated in refuting Pat Zalewski's unsubstantiated and politically motivated plagiarism allegations. Had I actually read Leitch's paper prior to having written the Ritual Magic Manual instead of for the first time tonight, I would certainly have taken issue with his preserving MacGregor Mathers correspondences between the Zodiacal signs and Dee's zodiacal Kings, as I did with Zalewski over the same issue already in the RMM and as I did in this refutation of Leitch tonight. It therefore should be clear to any reasonable person that Mr. Leitch's allegations of 'plagiarism' are also specious.

Moreover, I am quite surprised that in searching for Mr. Leitch's article this evening, I stumbled across another other more recent article from Mr. Leitch, dated 2006, wherein Mr. Leitch himself clearly builds upon "my" observations that "I" made about Dee's use of diacritical markings in my own recension of the Angelical calls in the RMM already in 1999, without crediting "me!"

As substantiation of "this" observation, the interested reader should refer to my article on the Enochian Calls, written published in the Ritual Magic Manual in 1999 and now available for free download at:

Particularly the following quotation from page 8:

"The most fascinating question regarding pronunciation raised by an examination of Dee's handwritten version of the Angelic Calls in Sloane MS 3191 is his copious use of diacritical marks. This mystery appears to have been completely overlooked or ignored by contemporary Enochian scholarship. The primary diacritical marks used by Dee are ´, ^, and ¨, and they are used over vowels in ninety-five per cent of all instances. These diacritics have been included in the new transliteration as faithfully as possible. In each instance where an Enochian word is given, the spelling used by John Dee in Sloane 3191 including his diacritical marks has been reproduced side by side with its new transliteration shown in bold type. Unfortunately, however, certain substitutions for the diacritical marks actually used by Dee have been obliged by editorial considerations. The mark ^ as in "up" has been substituted for the mark actually used by Dee, which most closely resembles the upward pointing curve used in modern English to indicate a short vowel sound. It is hoped that the inclusion of these diacritical markings shall stimulate additional research regarding their actual meaning."

Note that Aaron Leitsch was obviously aware of my research in this arena as he mentions it in his review of the Ritual Magic Manual. Now compare the above with Leitch's 2006 article at

particularly the section entitled: "Dee's Pronunciation Notes" and draw your own conclusions.

I have no objection to someone building further on my research, but I find it disturbing that Aaron Leitch, of all people, should be building on my work without referencing "me" considering all of the bru-ha-ha without substantiation that Leitch has himself proliferated over the years falsely accusing me of plagiarism.

In conclusion, in light of the foregoing it should be obvious that Aaron Leitsch's reveiw of the Ritual Magic Manual (David Griffin, Golden Dawn Publishing, Beverly Hills: 1999) may not be considered as any sort of legitimate, objective review, but mere political sniping by the Secretary of the Board of Directors of a competing Golden Dawn order.

Sub Umbra Alarum Tuarum, Yeheshua
G.H. Frater Lux Ex Septentrionis
Imperator Ordinis, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega
"Ex Deo Nascimur.
In Yeheshua Morimur.
Per Sanctum Spiritum Reviviscimus"

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