Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On the Pagan Mysteries of Hecate Triformis: An Important Clarification

Upon careful reflection, recalling nearly two decades of being defamed on the Net by anonymous trolls, prudence dictates I make a few essential points of clarification following my recent post about Hecate, before the trolls get the chance to misrepresent things yet once again.

These days a simple Google search on Hecate will turns up some pretty spectacular things. It seems Hecate has been defamed on the Net even more than I have! 

Judging from a plethroa of websites, Hecate seems to have been turned almost into a modern, female version of the Devil. In fact, it seems to have become quite fashionable to associate Hecate with just about any sort of evil imaginable. There are websites that associate Hecate with just about everything from Satan, to Lucifer, to Cain and even the Necromacon. Not to mention that many in the Neo-Pagan movement associate Hecate with the eldest of the triad, Mother, Maiden, Crone.

Despite the celebrity of so much infamy, the truth is that the Mysteries of Hecate today remain quite occulted, having been hidden away for many years. Of all the things you today find written on the Net and in books about Hecate, no one really knows the traditional Hecatian mysteries or even understands much at all about what they really even are.

A simple look on YouTube and will find Rites of Hecate celebrated on the FULL Moon ...

When Hecate is in truth the Goddess of the DARK Moon!

Whereas Diana is traditionally the Goddess of the Full Moon, Hecate is traditionally associated with the New or Dark Moon.

And Hecate Triformis has always been a triune Goddess, Lady of the Celestial, Terrestrial, AND Infernal realms.

And as Diana managed to survive the Christian times in her guise as the Virgin Mary, so Hecate also infiltrated Chirstianity in the cult of the Black Madonna. And like the Dianic tradition, the Hecatian tradition protected by the "del Bosco Sacro" clan is a tradition descending from Pagan nobility.

While the Dianic mysteries present The Great Rite as a marvelous spiritual path for married or committed couples, Hecate's mysteries of The Great Rite may be even better suited for certain individuals of alternative sexual preferences or presently not in relationship.

I am pleased to announce that, thanks to the generosity of Diana and Dianus del Bosco Sacro, that my wife Aegeria and I have become fully empowered to teach together both the Mysteries of Diana as well as Hecate in America, including both Full Moon and New Moon mysteries of The Great Rite - all under the guarantee, seal, sponsorship, and protection of our Italian Pagan family, del Bosco Sacro del Lago di Nemi (The Sacred Forest of the Lake of Nemi).

But if you are looking for black magic, Satanists, Luciferians, human sacrifice, or merely eating babies, then perhaps you should rather look somewhere else, as this is not what the true mysteries of Hecate are really all about - despite what you might have read on the Dark Side of the Net.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The State of the Golden Dawn

by David Griffin
Archon Basileus - Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega
International Imperator - Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

Readers of the Golden Dawn blog will recall how the esoteric community was recently stunned by the unexpected announcement that the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order have finally decided to transmit the rest of the Golden Dawn's Second Order curriculum beyond the published (5=6) Adeptus Minor material given to S.L. MacGregor Mathers in 1891. This is huge news for the Golden Dawn community and could potentially usher in an unparalleled epoch of fraternity and prosperity. Sadly, it could also mean a resurgence of the terrible flame war that ravaged the entire Golden Dawn tradition for nearly a decade.

Readers versed in contemporary Golden Dawn history will recall when, in 2002, the physical (not channeled) Secret Chiefs of the Third Order made their presence known for the first time in 111 years - when they transmitted to the Alpha et Omega - the entire initiation rituals and curriculum and that had been planned for the Golden Dawn's Third Order since its inception. The Secret Chiefs had hoped that this transmission would revitalize the Golden Dawn, bringing advanced Adepts together at the table of brotherhood on an equal basis from the entire Golden Dawn community. 

They were to be badly disappointed. It seemed that, even in over a Century, the Golden Dawn still had not matured enough for Adepts to finally put the interests of the Golden Dawn tradition ahead of petty personal and egoic interests. Upon the announcement by the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega of this historical transmission, our order was brutally attacked from all sides.

Without even bothering to ask what our intentions truly were, our order and its leaders were systematically defamed with falsehoods and misrepresentations on a vast array of Yahoo fora, websites, and blogs belonging to leaders of various Golden Dawn orders. We were even sued in United States Federal court, in an attempt to deprive us of our right to use the name of our outer order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, in the USA.

This senseless and unnecessary conflict caused irreparable damage to the reputation of the entire Golden Dawn tradition. Even worse, the Third Order witnessed this shameful spectacle and wanted to write off - once and for all - the Golden Dawn as simply a failed initiative. For a full ensuing decade, they refused to transmit the rest of the Second Order curriculum that Mathers never recieved - for the 6=5 and 7=4 grades of Adeptus Major and Adeptus Exemptus.

Today, our Golden Dawn community stands at a crossroads, as the Golden Dawn's full Second Order curriculum, including for the 6=5 and 7=4 grades has finally been released by the Third Order. But are we as a community finally ready to share these advanced Golden Dawn teachings responsibly at the table of fraternity as equals? Or is the Golden Dawn community still too immature - blinded by individual interests - to put our differences behind us once and for all?

In recent months, the Star Trek mythos has figured prominently on this blog. I grew up with this mythos and firmly believe that it can today show us as a community the best way forward. The United Federation of Planets provides an excellent role model for what the Golden Dawn community could today become, with each of our temples and orders sharing equally the benefits of the higher Golden Dawn practices, united by a common resolve to uphold the Prime Directive, yet each temple and order maintaining its complete independence and autonomy.

As a first step in this laudable direction, immediately upon transmission, the Alpha et Omega offered to share the advanced (6=5) Adeptus Major and (7=4) Adeptus Exemptus teachings with interested and qualified Adepts from across the entire spectrum of the Golden Dawn community, regardless of what Golden Dawn temple or order. There have been numerous responses already, and we have already begun this process of sharing.

But will the Golden Dawn community ever be ready to transcend factionalism and competition in favor of fraternity and spiritual development? 

Sadly, the first month that has passed since our announcement on July 18 seems to indicate that the Golden Dawn community might never be mature enough. The same sort of accusations and deliberate misrepresentations about the Alpha Omega and our leaders that typified the decade old Golden Dawn flame war, are being published once again by leaders of various Golden Dawn orders.

Over the last week, there have been numerous attempts to attack the Alpha Omega even on our own forum and blog. We have, of course, used our moderator discretion to prevent these misguided "flame war" attacks from appearing at least on our own forum and blog. Consequently, as was the case during the terrible flame war that nearly destroyed the Golden Dawn, the Alpha Omega is once again being accused of "censorship" by various Golden Dawn leaders. 

A leader of one Golden Dawn order, for example, this week wrote:
"...a response I posed to this blog early Tuesday morning was conveniently never published."
In another rhetorical tactic reminiscent of the decade long flame war, leaders of certain Golden Dawn orders are once again also accusing our order of being the aggressors in the same breath that they are attacking the Alpha Omega. For example:
"I am posting this here since obviously complimenting and showing interest in American Occult currents meets with censorship on some groups these days, if it is not in line with certain groups' "marketing" and "attack plans".
Admittedly, moderation does remain a problem with communication in the Golden Dawn community. For example, on one Yahoo group operated by a Golden Dawn leader, dozens of new "flame war" attacks on our order and its leaders have been published over the last month. This same Yahoo group does not allow anyone at all from the Alpha Omega to post there. Not even renowned bloggers GH Frater Sincerus Renatus or H Frater AIT are allowed to post, and many hundreds of posts defaming our order and its leaders remain archived there from the decade long flame war.

One additional characteristic of the Golden Dawn flame war were countless misrepresentations about the Alpha et Omega published over and over, propaganda style, across various venues on the internet. Sadly, even this nonsense has now begun again! 

For example, the leader of yet another Golden Dawn order wrote this week:
"The fact there is a belief that lineage can be passed by signing pieces of paper is indicative of a lack of magical knowledge and a desire to make one's product more superior to others."
Paper lineage?

This GH Frater is not stupid, even though he is here pretending to be. Having managed to create a Golden Dawn order according to his personal vision, he knows full well that the Alpha et Omega has previously refuted this same misrepresentation over and over, ad nauseum.

We have repeatedly clarified that the true lineage of the Golden Dawn is spiritual in nature - like Dharma transmission in Zen Buddhism in the East, containing not merely traditional Hermetic and Rosicrucian lineage in the formal sense, but containing specific sets of spiritual exercises designed to produce specific spiritual breakthroughs and realizations. The advanced spiritual practices the A.O. just received for the (6-5) Adeptus Major and (7=4) Adeptus Exemptus grades of the Golden Dawn's Second Order are perfect examples of what the spiritual lineages of the Golden Dawn really are.

As proof of the existence and authenticity of these advanced Golden Dawn lineages with their attendant spiritual practices, our order has already begun to share them with interested and qualified Adepts from the entire spectrum of the Golden Dawn community. Sure you have to fulfill all of the traditional Golden Dawn requirements, including a binding secrecy committment (as has always been the case throughout history), but concrete proof of these advanced lineages is now available to the entire Golden Dawn community.

We have even published one small example of the spiritual practices and content of these advanced Golden Dawn lineages, when we revealed for the first time anywhere that the magical squares published by Agrippa and included in the Golden Dawn's (5=6) Adeptus Minor grade curriculum are not the real magical squares, but are only encrypted versions! 

We likewise revealed for the first time that the so-called "planetary seals" published by Agrippa and included in the Golden Dawn's Adeptus Minor grade are, in reality, but encryption keys to unencrypt the "sealed" squares to unleash the true magick and full power of the system. This Golden Dawn spiritual lineage once possessed by both Trithemius and Agrippa contains Theurgical spiritual exercises that produce profound spiritual awakening, ultimately culminating in union with the Divine at the center of the square.

This advanced system of magical Theurgy is but one crown jewel in the advanced the R.R. et A.C. magical lineages, and it has has prior to last month never before been known or practiced by any Golden Dawn Adept in history. This magnifiscent system of theurgy, properly understood as a three dimensional cube, unlocks untold numbers of parallel dimensions on the inner planes, each with its own R.R. et A.C. magical system. John Dee's system of Enochian magic and the entire reality of of the Enochian universe, represents but only one single square of this vast three dimensional cube. The Golden Dawn's advanced  R.R. et A.C. lineages contain numerous such magical systems and universes.

So why are all of these leaders of various Golden Dawn orders so nervous - that they are suddenly attempting to rekindle the extinguished Golden Dawn flame war? Yet another Golden Dawn leader answered this question clearly this week when he wrote:
"Recently there has been a trend to try and convince people within the GD that its roots are superior to the GD, and those roots were and are the 3rd Order. It does not take an Einstein to work out where this is heading - an instant ready-made 3rd Order.
The GD is a stand alone Order (First and Second), and that is why it was developed from numerous other groups. Mathers never got a chance to finish it, and it is up to us to finish the job. Now how you develop it is up to you guys, but it needs doing. In my group I have already made inroads into that direction, and I hope others will follow. Now I am not telling what to do or how to do it, but if the GD is to develop further, it must develop, and not stay at ThAM as far as written material goes.
All I know is how hard I have worked over the years in doing this, while working with a great bunch of people who want to think beyond 1900. This forum, and others, are another manifestation of that trend of thinking as well. Everyone contributes in their own way.
My take on this is simple. A Second Order should manifest a superior breakdown of the First, and the Third should help break down the Second in a form of reductionism. Each should interlock with the one before it, and the final teachings should be in a form of reductionism. This, however, is just my view."
The above post makes readily apparent the real reason why suddenly all of these leaders of Golden Dawn orders are attacking the AO again, after years of relative harmony in our Golden Dawn community. They are terrified of the physical existence of the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order - and that it somehow negates their own personal vision of the Golden Dawn. They are even more terrified that the advanced Second Order spiritual lineages that the Third Order just handed the AO, may somehow negate their own curriculum that they are developing for their Golden Dawn order for some time.

Nothing could be further than the truth. As I have been saying all along, there is room for great diversity in our Golden Dawn community. There is plenty of room for both the advanced R.R. et A.C. lineages presently being transmitted by the Alpha Omega as well for  whatever new Second and Third Orders leaders of Golden Dawn orders want to develop for their students.

In fact, this was stated so well this week by the Alpha Omega's H Frater AIT on his Heaven's Within Earth blog, that I am republishing AIT's entire article here:

H Frater AIT

Innovation and the Golden Dawn
I've been reading with interest the Golden Dawn forum of GH Fra Zalewski (don't know his motto, and Google isn't giving up the goods.) If one can stomach all the bickering and bullshit, there are some thought-provoking things going on in the community.
It seems that groups who don't have Third Order contacts are developing their own material...not even necessarily basing their material on older papers, but applying their own understanding of Magic and Alchemy to the structure and culture of the Order to create new methods and vehicles.
This is awesome. Variety=Growth, man.
There have been only two ways to move the GD toward completeness, and one is to have contacts with the Third Order, which is, I understand, a group of Adepts who've kept the fire of the Hermetic tradition lit in a continuous link since back in ye olden days. This is the best if you can get it; there are some things in Alchemy you just are not going to learn if you don't have an Alchemical master to instruct you. This isn't an elitist thing, it's just the truth. Not because many of the secrets cannot be communicated through written material, but because there are fundamental components that have been held close that aren't necessarily encoded in the Emblems or even the written works. Things that have only been communicated mouth-to-ear. There are some things that require a particular kind of initiation to understand. We aren't the only ones for whom this is true; the Tibetan, Indian, and Chinese masters all understand this. "Transmission" refers to more than simply paper, it refers to an actual Transmission.
This doesn't mean you can't get a solid Alchemical practice going without this. What is out there now will get you there, if you do the Work. Do enough of the Work, and you can get what you need to complete the Great Work through invocation and communication with entities like Tzadqiel, who teaches the Royal Art. There are a number of different alchemies, and any number of different valid practices, some of which are completely public. There are simple alchemical methods that are public understanding that will get the job done if worked at diligently over one's lifetime. They may not be the best methods available, but they'll get you there. You don't need an engineering degree from MIT to be an engineer...
A physical analogy would be the martial arts; you can learn to defend yourself without having all the hidden bunkai your Art has to offer. You won't have Mastery of that particular Art, though, the Keys to that particular tradition. You'll be strong, and you'll get the job done...but. You won't have gnosis of that Art's tradition, and that is something worth having, in my opinion.
The other method for moving the Golden Dawn forward is to go ahead and add to the Tradition with understanding gained from years of practice. Application of understanding to the culture of the tradition to develop it further. If you don't have contact with the Third Order, you must do this if you're to be part of a living tradition; you have no real choice. Either sit around and re-hash old shit or innovate. I'm pleased to see both of these options being exercised by my Fraters and Sorors of the Golden Dawn.
This Order is living and breathing.
It is growing.
In my own Order, GH Fra LES has received transmission of new occult systems and the keys to traditional Hermetic Internal Alchemy...this is awesome. Some of this stuff is mind-blowing, and incredibly rich. Powerful in application, from what I understand. We have a fully developed Second Order, with un-profaned content that has great potential to enrich the practices of the Magicians who work it. Awesome.
In other Orders, reading this forum, we find that the Order heads are working to complete their Second Orders and to develop content for a Third. No one is sitting still. No one is saying that what's in the old books is all there is, that what's in the original Order's papers is the only knowledge of worth for the Golden Dawn. Even though I believe the transmissions our Order has received would enrich them further, I'm glad to see these other branches of the Golden Dawn growing the tradition in their own way regardless of whether they take David's offer to learn the new transmissions from our Third.  
The tradition is being filled with innovation and new understanding right now, and this makes me ecstatic. We've lasted longer with our bickering and bullshit then any other modern Western occult movement. Not the largest of the lot, but there's quality in there. Good times. 
The Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega, and our outer order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, long ago fully embraced diversity in our Golden Dawn community as a great thing. We are not only willing to live and let live. In fact, we have already begun sharing the advanced R.R. et A.C lineages with Adepts from other Golden Dawn temples and orders. 

The Alpha Omega remains willing to take fraternity even further with the Golden Dawn community - using Star Trek's United Federation of Planets as a role model. After all, does a United Federation of Initiatic Orders not have a very nice ring to it?

So, what is it that we as a community want ...

Just another decade of self-destructive flame war ...

Or a Golden Dawn Renaissance, setting a shining example for the rest of the esoteric community!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Neo-Pagan & Neo-Golden Dawn Reconstructionists

Raymond Buckland, Seax Wicca
Neo-Pagan Reconstructionist
In recent months, we have here on the Golden Dawn blog been discussing how the anthropological concepts of traditionalism, reconstructionism, and revisionism (routinely used to analyze spiritual traditions) can help to better understand divergent philosophical approaches prevalent in the Golden Dawn community. I remain convinced that a great deal of differences between us can easily be overcome by understanding and better defining how vastly different our philosophical approaches really are.

Isaac Bonewits
Neo-Druid Reconstructionist

There still remain important roadblocks to the harmony we can yet achieve through better understanding of our fundamental philosophical differences. One impediment is the mistaken belief that the reconstructionist approach is somehow inferior to traditionalism or revisionism and that the term "reconstructionist" is meant as an insult when used to differentiate philosophical approaches to the Golden Dawn.

Those who are unfamiliar with what these terms actually mean, will find them explained very well in two excellent articles by Neo-Pagan magician and author, Frater Barrabbas here and here.

Frater Barrabbas
Neo-Pagan Revisionist

This week, Pat Zalewski published a humorous poem on his Yahoo group that underscores the tensions created in our Golden Dawn community by a misunderstanding of these anthropological concepts, that in reality are extremely useful:

Pat Zalewski
Neo-Golden Dawn Reconstructionist
"Now grab a partner and go to the left, the Reconstructionalists are the best, 
Take your partner to the right, and the traditionalists will die of fright, 
call a chief to tell you what and you'll put everything in the pot, 
Now hold the phone while I change the step, the chiefe brings it on inept, 
now I claim this golden prize and it lasts as long as butterflies, 
Now I don't care as colour is best just as long as I not like the rest 
I'll take my partners in my hands and lead them to the promised land 
where my truth doest prevail even though it is beyond the pale, 
I circle now to meet in the middle but I fear I am taking a piddle 
I hope by now I have got it right, I have to change it again before the night. 
In truth, there is nothing at all inferior in spiritual reconstructionism to traditionalism or revisionism. The Neo-Pagan community, for example, has been greatly enriched  by the hard work of excellent academic reconstructionists. One shining contemporary example is Tony Mierzwicki, whose academic rigor and integrity has been nothing less than impeccable with his reconstruction of the Greek Paganism of Alexandria. Isaac Bonewits of the Neo-Druids and Raymond Buckland, creator of Seax Wicca, are additional examples of fine reconstructionists. The Celtic, Nordic, and Roman Pagan traditions are other examples of  successfully reconstructed and fully revived spiritual traditions.

Tony Mierszwicki, Greek Alexandrian
Neo-Pagan Reconstructionist

There are, however, several important hallmarks necessary for successful reconstruction of a spiritual tradition. Successful reconstruction requires, for example, extreme reverence towards the sources and the source materials of the spiritual tradition, meticulous academic rigor, and a strict adherence to traditional meanings of key concepts within the source tradition. Each of these are key arenas where Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists still have a lot to learn from their more successful counterparts in the Neo-Pagan community.

For example, this week Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionist, Tony De Luce, founder of the "Rosicrucian Order of the Golden Dawn," wrote on Pat Zalewski's forum:
"Ave Pat, 
A “reconstructionist”  sounds a great deal more like someone that would place Hexagram rituals in the First Order and position a European Alchemical Order as the "authentic" 'Third Order' of the Golden Dawn claiming they are the same group that revealed themselves to Mathers :-) . That would fit my understanding of "reconstruction" whereas most of the Golden Dawn community is working from a much more Traditional perspective understanding the importance of symbol placed in its proper place and the function of the Outer Order as preparation for the Inner Order. Developing the teachings beyond ThAM within the constructs of the Golden Dawn and R.R. et A.C. is not “reconstructing” it is “expanding” :-)  
-Tony DeLuce"
In the above citation, Mr. DeLuce attempts to redefine the well established anthropological concepts of traditionalism and reconstructionism. This is not untypical of less than meticulous Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists, who have not infrequently concocted new and fanciful definitions for fundamental aspects of the Golden Dawn tradition.

We have, for example, elsewhere witnessed Mr. DeLuce erroneously claim that Golden Dawn lineage traditionally passes from Chief Adept to Chief Adept, although there is no evidence to support this anywhere in the source material. According to the actual data, the original Hermetic and Rosicrucian lineages of the Golden Dawn, as well as of its later offshoots, have always been vested in the (7=4) Adeptus Exemptus grade, and never in any purely ceremonial office, such as Hierophant or Chief Adept.

By contrast, successful academic reconstructionists in the Neo-Pagan community, without fail have strictly adhered to traditional meanings of key concepts within the source traditions. Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists, on the other hand, have carelessly redefined even the traditional concept of Hermetic and Rosicrucian spiritual lineage -  for example, in order to claim a non-existent "Initiatory Lineage through Israel Regardie." In reality, such a notion is completely foreign to all Golden Dawn source material and Israel Regadie even wrote here that he had no lineage whatsoever to transmit.

Nick Farrell
Neo-Golden Dawn Reconstructionist

Unlike their meticulous Neo-Pagan counterparts, uncautious Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists have - time after time - abandoned all semblance of academic rigor, redefining one traditional Golden Dawn concept after the other, frequently according to mere personal interest or whim. We even  witnessed, for example, haphazard Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists redefine even such key source Golden Dawn concepts as initiation itself.

One Neo-Golden Dawn order, for example, today actually touts "traditional Astral Initiation" on its website, which has, of course, no basis in the source tradition whatsoever and is nowhere to be found in any available Golden Dawn source material. Another Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionist has deceptively packaged even so-called "self-initiation" using New Age guided fantasy, as though it were a traditional Golden Dawn practice.

It is an unwavering faith in the source traditions they are resurrecting that has crowned Neo-Pagan reconstructionists with success in bringing an entire host of once extinct Pagan traditions back to life. Among leaders of Neo-Golden Dawn orders, however, a host of Golden Dawn reconstructionists foolishly continue to claim that the source Golden Dawn tradition has been flawed and based on lies and deception from its inception.

Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists claim, for example, that Golden Dawn founder W. Wynn Wescott, forged correspondence with the Continental Rosicrucians authorizing the establishment of the Golden Dawn - and that G.D. founding father, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, lied when he claimed that the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order were real people from a continental Rosicrucian, magical, and alchemical order that he met with in Paris in 1891.

As a striking example of these sort of self-defeating Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructiionist arguments, only this week Pat Zalewski wrote:
"I think we have pretty much exhausted this Secret Chief nonsense and its changing goal posts(from angels to humans) and especially their inability to produce anything significant from the astral realms. Threads like this are important from time to time to warn newbee's into the GD what path not to travel and what we think of that, especially if they have not had contact with people outside of their own orders."
Successful Neo-Pagan reconstructionists like Raymond Buckland, Isaac Bonewits, and Tony Mierzwicki, have proven over and over how successful reconstruction of a spiritual tradition requires a fundamental faith in the source tradition.

By contrast, Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists like Nick Farrell, Pat Zalewski, and Tony DeLuce all believe that the Golden Dawn is rooted in but lies and deceit. They each, moreover, deny the physical reality of the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order as the source of the Golden Dawn as was specifically and unequivocally claimed by the Golden Dawn's founding fathers.

It has been proven over and over again that successful reconstuction of a spiritual tradition requires not only academic rigor and a deepest respect for the source material. There inevitably also comes a time where perpetual tinkering with the source material is no longer enough.

If a spiritual system is to be successfully revived, the reconstruction must eventually also be brought to life. This requires a leap of faith and a fundamental belief in the value and the validity of the source tradition. Nordic Neo-Pagans, like their Celtic, Greek, and Roman Neo-Pagan counterparts, firmly believe in the validity and value of the Pagan system that has been successfully reconstructed and brought back to life.

Unlike their successful Neo-Pagan counterparts, the Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists fail in their reconstruction attempt because they lack the requisite faith in the source tradition to bring it fully back to life.

Lacking the requisite faith in the Golden Dawn source tradition to fully enliven thier reconstructions, Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists end up instead perpetually tinkering with the source material of what for them forever remains a dead - or at best, an UNDEAD - Golden Dawn tradition.

This fundamental lack of faith in the Golden Dawn is not at all the case with traditionalist Golden Dawn orders, such as the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega and the August Order of the Mystic Rose. Whereas Neo-Golden Dawn reconstructionists like Nick Farrell, Tony Deluce, and Pat Zalewksi, each write that the Golden Dawn died when the Whare Ra temple in New Zealand closed its doors, traditionalist orders see the Golden Dawn as a living tradition that never died. Even when there was no visible outer order activity, the Third Order continued in its work without interruption.

Unlilke most Neo-Golden Dawn orders, the Inner Orders traditionalist Golden Dawn orders do not end with the material published by Crowley and Regardie. These orders even today continue to receive additional teaching materials from Third Order archives that complete and augment the information Crowely and Regardie published, as with the unencrypted version of the Golden Dawn's magical squares and the secret instructions about how these squares are to actually be used.

Entire additional magical systems and alchemical materials from Third Order archives continue to be newly integrated into the Inner Orders of traditionalist Golden Dawn orders even today, where the (6=5) Adeptus Major and (7=4) Adeptus Exemptus grades are magical and alchemical in nature - and contain entire unpublished magical systems.

In order to promote greater fraternity and harmony in the Golden Dawn community, the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega has offered to share these advanced initiatic transmissions and magical practices with qualified Adepts from any Golden Dawn temple or order from the entire spectrum of the Golden Dawn community.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Golden Dawn Debates: Donald Michael Kraig vs. David Griffin - On The Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn

Donald Michael Kraig recently wrote:
"Recently there have been a spate of attacks on Regardie’s book as being incomplete or not “the real stuff” leading to new books and claims by individuals to have received new information from the Secret Chiefs...
In my opinion, these claims and counterclaims all miss the point. Real magick is not about some new secret ritual, an alternate correspondence on the Tree of Life or a variation on a well-known ritual that changes a word or two. Real magick is about what you do with what you have. And with Regardie’s book, you have a lifetime of training and learning and practice...
I’ve known some people who have tried to figure out the Golden Dawn and its techniques and given up in disgust, saying it was too complicated (complex, yes, but once you understand the complexities it’s not complicated at all). Alternatively I’ve known people who say that it’s too simple, but who have never ventured into the third or fourth volumes. I’ve also known people who have literally reversed important aspects of the rituals, knew they were doing this, but claimed they were doing Golden Dawn work. And, as mentioned above, others claim what’s there isn’t enough and are “receiving” new, more advanced information. I imagine some of these people will attack me for what I’ve posted here, and that’s okay."
(For the benefit of the uninformed reader, Donald Michael Kraig is well known in the Golden Dawn community as an initiate of a Regardie-based Golden Dawn order founded in Georgia by an OTO member/Lewellyn author in the early 1980's. Kraig's Golden Dawn statements frequently so closely resemble the positions of this order that Kraig often appears its de facto spokesperson.)

Care Frater Don,

Who is it exactly that has been "attacking" Israel Regardie's book? Is it, in your opinion, not possible for our two orders to disagree on fundamental philosophical points about the Golden Dawn, without the need to resort to calling philosophical disagreements "attacks"?

Personally, I fully embrace diversity in our Golden Dawn community and view both philosophical disagreement and scholarly debate as not only positive but as actually helping the Golden Dawn tradition to continue to grow and evolve. As brothers from different Golden Dawn orders, can we not agree to disagree without feeling attacked or wagging fingers at one another making wild accusations?

Has the time not come to leave behind old wounds for the good of the Golden Dawn community? - instead of merely not mentioning names while continuing to make sniping remarks?

Moving on to more important matters, I fully agree with you that Israel Regardie's Golden Dawn compendium is one of the most important books ever published. (I personally believe, however, that the Golden Dawn would have been better off today, had Regardie not broken his vows by publishing this material though).

You are correct that Regardie's Golden Dawn compendium contains so much magical material that normal people will never be able to fully master it. The book itself is certainly not incomplete. It accurately reflects the Golden Dawn as it was developed in 1888.

The fact, however, nonetheless remains that the Golden Dawn as it was then developed remained a truncated and incomplete system. The Golden Dawn was never intended to end at the relatively low, (5=6) Adeptus Minor level. The grade system is based on that of the Gold and Rosy Cross Order of 1777 Germany. You are well aware that the grades of the Second Order (6=5) Adeptus Major and (7=4) Adeptus Exemptus were never fully developed by S.L. MacGregor Mathers. Whether you agree with this or not, the reason for this is that Mathers was cut off from his source - as the Secret Chiefs were not at all pleased with what he had done with the 5=6 material.

The net result of this is that there are a great many Golden Dawn Adepts today who were initiated into Adeptus Minor (5=6) long ago. Many of these are the best and the brightest among us in the Golden Dawn community. These Adepts have mastered the published Regardie material (that ends at this minor grade) long ago.

Some of these Adepts have even been initiated into Adeptus Major (6=5). But what did they find there? In most Golden Dawn orders, they either nothing at all - or merely something that their local leaders concocted themselves.

Should these Adepts - the best and the brightest among us - really remain forever stifled in their initiatic progress at Adeptus Minor?

I do not think so - and neither do the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega. This is why they have finally released the material for Adeptus Major and Adeptus Exemptus that they had originally intended to release through Mathers until he botched the Adeptus Minor.

These materials complete the magical developments that begin with 5=6. I have given one example already of how this is the case in my previous blog, regarding the magical squares deriving from Agrippa and how they are still cyphered as included in the (5=6) Adeptus Minor material of the Golden Dawn. The entire original system is now fully revealed in the (6=5) Adeptus Major and (7=4) Adeptus Exemptus grades of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe diversity is a very good thing in the Golden Dawn community. If someone is looking for the personal ideas of Pat Zalewski, his order provides a valuable contribution to our community. If someone is looking for a personality cult centered around Israel Regardie, they can also find that in our Golden Dawn community too. The great news, however, is that if Adepts are looking for traditional Golden Dawn training that completes what they started learning in the (5=6) Adeptus Minor grade, the Alpha Omega is now making this material available to our Golden Dawn community for the first time in history as well.

I must admit that I am a bit surprised at how much venom has been aroused by this joyous new, however. Judging from all of the buzz on the internet, especially on certain Yahoo fora, one would think that the old Golden Dawn flame war had reared its ugly head again.

Rest assured that the A.O. is not trying to lord anything over anyone. We are actually performing a valuable service to the entire Golden Dawn community by making this advanced material available to all of the brightest and best among us - assuming that they can fulfill the same traditional requirements that have been in place since 1888 - and are willing once and for all to keep vows of initiatic secrecy inviolate.

One thing that has surprised me in this entire discussion has been that so many Golden Dawn leaders have come out saying that they do not believe that MacGregor Mathers really met in person with the Secret Chiefs in Paris in 1891 as Mathers himself plainly stated. These individuals are in for a big surprise in years to come, since the advanced teachings are very real and will ultimately be verified by Adepts from a cross section of the entire Golden Dawn community.

Meanwhile, the even the radical reconstructionist Golden Dawn faction is already finding it more and more difficult,  in light of serious new academic research, to dismiss Mathers own statements regarding his physical meeting with the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order in Paris in 1891. The cynics and the sceptics in the Golden Dawn community apparently have not read the latest academic research on the subject. I quote from page 159, "William Blake e William Butler Yeats, by Arianna Antonielli (2009: BILIOTECA DI STUDI DI FILOLOGIA MODERNA - Library of Studies in Modern Philology, Florence University Press, p. 159):
"Nel 1891, Mathers viene chiamato a Parigi da un emissario dei misteriosi Capi Segreti del terzo ordine, a lui noto soltanto come Frater Lux E Tenebris. Guardiano delle tradizioni misteriche dei Sumeri, dei Caldei e degli Egiziani, Frater Lux E Tenebris deposita nelle mani di Mathers le chiavi per accedere a quella sapienza antica e segreta. Una volta a Londra, Mathers ha tutto ciò di cui necessita per fondare, nel 1892, l’Ordine Interno o Secondo della Golden Dawn: una società prettamente rosacruciana chiamata infatti ‘RR+AC’, Roseae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis."
English translation:
"In 1891, Mathers was called to Paris by a mysterious emissary of the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order, known to him only as Frater Lux E Tenebris. Guardian of the mystery traditions of the Sumerians, the Babylonians and Egyptians, Frater Lux E Tenebris deposited in Mathers' hands the keys to access this ancient and secret wisdom. Once in London, Mathers has everything he needs to found in 1892, the Inner or Second Order of the Golden Dawn a purely Rosicrucian society called  the 'RR + AC ', Roseae Rubeae et Aureae Cross. "
Note that the above cited quote recently appeared not on a publisher's publicity blog, but rather in a highly respected academic journal.

Indeed, it is these self same Sumerian, Babylonian, and Egyptian initiatic mysteries that are now being further transmitted in (6=5) Adeptus Major and (7=4) Adeptus Exemptus grades of the Inner Order the Alpha et Omega.

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