Friday, April 17, 2009

The Golden Dawn of a New Millennium

by David Griffin - G.H. Frater Lux ex Septentrionis
Golden Dawn International Imperator

Brothers and Sisters of the Golden Dawn,
I just read an interesting article by Frater Perigrin on his Magic of the Ordinary Blog.
First off, I would like to congratulate Frater Peregrin on a fine article. There remains much confusion here in the West regarding the true nature of initiatic spiritual lineages. Most people either think that lineage means apostolic succession as in the case of certain Christian churches or that it is based on mutual recognition as in the case of Freemasonry.
The spiritual transmissions that occur with initiation in the lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, however, like that described by Frater Peregrin in the above linked article, are one of the best examples to help Westerners understand the true nature and value of spiritual lineages.
I am aware that this remains somewhat controversial, but if we in the Golden Dawn community could just get our egos and defensiveness out of the way, both the Hermetic and Rosicrucian traditions also have major spiritual lineages to transmit to intiates, that have been faithfully passed down in an unbroken chain, from Alchemical Master to Alchemical Disciple, for two entire decades of Centuries.
These Hermetic and Rosicrucian spiritual lineages should be transmitted to initiates and practiced. Although some Golden Dawn leaders disagree with me about this, I personally have no doubt that the Golden Dawn was originally created with the specific intention to serve as a vehicle to transmit these spiritual lineages.
What the Golden Dawn community has not yet fully understood, is that this is not a question of ego, or claiming some sort of "legitimacy." These Hermetic and Rosicrucian spiritual lineages can transcend faction and unite us all, while totally preserving the complete independence and autonomy of individual temples and orders.
The manifestation in recent years of these unique, Western spiritual lineages is an event of great historical and spiritual importance. We are talking about nothing less than our spiritual heritage, the Occidental equivalent of spiritual lineages like Zen and Tibetan Buddhism in the East.
In this way, the Golden Dawn has the potential of becoming a major spiritual force in the 21st Century because new, independent, Golden Dawn temples are spontaneously appearing much in the way that Freemasonic lodges spontaneously formed all over the place in the 18th Century!
Although this represents a major development in my thinking, in my current opinion today, the rapid and spontaneous formation of new and completely independent and autonomous Golden Dawn temples should be actively encouraged and as much guidance and support given as possible to emerging temples.
In this way, the Golden Dawn can become a major vehicle for the preservation, transmission, and practice of these secret but quite substantial Hermetic and Rosicrucian spiritual lineages. If the Golden Dawn is to have a major impact on spirituality in the new Millennium, it will be as a vehicle for the transmission to initiates of these Hermetic and Roscrucian spiritual lineages and practices.
On another note, I am pleased to see that the videos published on Easter by our order have inspired a passionate debate about the fine points of Golden Dawn ritual. There is clearly great public interest in Golden Dawn ritual and the public response to our films has been overwhelmingly positive.
When we made the decision to release these films, we knew already that there are petty individuals out there that attack before they think. Despite this, our order and no other Order, had the guts to post material in the open for critical review - even by those who don't understand it - or compete with our order. We went ahead anyway because we are confident enough to tolerate even the sad behavior of individuals who put personal grudges and vendetta ahead of the interests of the entire Golden Dawn.
Sure enough, these petty individuals did not disappoint me. They immediately rolled out any attack they thought might scare people most, for example, pretending my Golden Rosicrucian cross is an "Iron Cross." They quickly followed by anonymously publishing a blog proclaiming our Hegamon as dressed in the garb of the KKK and insinuating that our order is nothing but a nest of Nazi's.
It is interesting to note that the use of such abusive, ad hominem, attacks such as “you’re a racist,” “you’re an anti-Semite,” “you’re a Nazi” and so on is a common tactic used by extremists to scare people into silence.
Such extremist tactics are not about to work on me, however. There is not the slightest chance I will start defending myself by trotting out all my Jewish friends. Remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry was accused of being an “anti-dentite” because he didn’t like going to the dentist? The whole thing is absurd.
It is fascinating, however, to consider the following. Nazism is a form of fascism. Fascism is a form of saying: “only we have the truth and everyone must do it our way.” Have you noticed how all of the attacks on our order since we released the films on YouTube have been of precisely this extremist nature? In other words, the individuals who have been spreading these Nazi rumors have not only been using extremist tactics but have clearly demonstrated their having a fascist approach to the Golden Dawn themselves!
In fact, they are trying to deflect this onto our order in order to shift attention from their own fascist approach. This is a classic instance of "the pot calling the kettle black." We often find outside of us what we detest most about our secret selves. In the Johari window, there is an area called the “secret self.” It is an area of our personality that we cannot see but others can. It’s the psychological defect that causes a closet homosexual senator to take a militant stance against homosexuality.
Unlike those attacking us with extremist tactics and a fascist approach to the Golden Dawn, our order is completely open with material deemed appropriate for the community and we remain willing to discuss, debate, or explain where necessary. We have nothing to hide and we don't prescribe to doing something just because Regardie's book suggests it. Magic is a science and therefore it can be improved.
Our Order nonetheless is run in a way that maintains strict adherence to the methods of the Golden Dawn as the HOGD/AO interprets and understands them.
Our order has a passion for spreading the message of the Golden Dawn as we have received it and we will not allow bullying tactics stop us from spreading the message of the Golden Dawn and the advanced spiritual practices from the Hermetic and Rosicrucian lineages transmitted by my spiritual Teachers in Continental Europe.
In the reaction to our Order's release of these recent films, there is one more thing, however, that concerns me a great deal. The sort of criteria and methods of analysis that have been applied to our ritual performance attempt to assert some sort of "official canon" or "Golden Dawn orthodoxy" in ritual performance or spiritual practice attempting to impose only one "right" way to do things, based on a fascist approach to the published writings of Israel Regardie or other Golden Dawn historical documents.
I fundamentally disagree with this. Any attempt to establish some sort of "Golden Dawn Orthodoxy" in ritual performance or spiritual practice presents a serious risk of the Golden Dawn stagnating as nothing more than an object of historical curiosity.
On the contrary, I believe that the Golden Dawn community needs to come to better understand how the Golden Dawn is just one manifestation of the Hermetic and Rosicrucian traditions and how the spiritual lineages of these traditions have far more to offer than just the Golden Dawn.
Only by becoming an outer vehicle to transmit to initiates these spiritual lineages and practices, can the Golden Dawn can take its rightful place in the spiritual history of a new Millennium.
What Freemasonry was to the 18th Century, the Golden Dawn can become today - the vehicle of a powerful spiritual impulse for a new era.
Fraternally and sincerely,
David Griffin
Imperator Ordinis
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega


  1. Dear David,

    I have just got around to reading this. As I said on my own blog, where you kindly commented with an edited version of this post, there is much in what you say. Thank you for presenting this point of view clearly.

    Regarding the posting of the videos. I am sure there was a massive reaction. I received several emails sniggering at the videos, implicitly inviting me to join in. The fact remains though it was a courageous act as it opens up your Order to all sorts of criticism and speculation. To show our Outer Rituals to the world was wonderful and now I have video links to give to people as a start, at least.

    Yes there were minor differences between the performance of the rituals of your Order and ours, and I guess many other Orders. But to me it is not something to attack or subject to minute examination. Rather it was like (paraphrasing Regardie I think) hearing a well loved and beautiful song performed by another. They held and sparked my interest. Thank you.

    Any criticisms of the Hegemon looking like a KKK Klansman does not take into account that the KKK stole their garb from the sacred (Christian) Brotherhoods who parade in Seville during Holy Week. We cannot control what others do with our sacred symbols, as the Dadouchos Lamen illustrates.

    thanks again.

  2. Nice article. I really enjoyed the videos on Youtube as well. I am going to put that red cross in my next artistic endeavor. May the Theos and Dios bless thee !