Sunday, December 29, 2013

Nick Farrell's Cash Cow - Golden Dawn Publishing Business as Usual

Nick Farrell has profited handsomely over the years publishing Golden Dawn books that profane unpublished Golden Dawn materials (Mathers Last Secret) or defame Golden Dawn founders (King Over the Water). Mr. Farrell surprised the esoteric community last week, renouncing forever the Golden Dawn, yet attacking the Golden Dawn egregore in the process, while dragging the members of his MOAA order along with him, whether they liked it or not. You can read more about this HERE.

"MOAA continues to be ...
 ... a traditional magic order ...
... but is not ... 
...a traditional Golden Dawn order."

One would think one could simply take Mr. Farrell at his word.

But wait!

Not even a week has passed since that announcement before Mr. Golden Dawn NOT published yet another vanity press Golden Dawn book!

The book is called "Beyond the Sun – The Secret Teachings of the Missing Golden Dawn Order." You can find it HERE.

What should any reasonable person believe - Mr. Farrell's words quitting the Golden Dawn or his continuing Golden Dawn publishing business.

Does something not smell a bit peculiar here?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

ASTONISHING NEWS: G.H. Frater Sincerus Renatus (7=4) Leaves Alpha Omega!

An Open Letter from ...
G.H. Frater Sincerus Renatus (7=4)
Hermetiska Orden av Den Gryende Morgonrodnaden
in Hyperboria

G.H. Frater S.R. today wrote:

Four days ago, on Winter Solstice, I declared that I have left the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Outer Order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega® (H.O.G.D./A+O). The fact is that I left the H.O.G.D./A+O already a fortnight ago but decided to wait with the official declaration until the December 21st as I wanted all of the interested parties and my own students a chance to know about and react to it beforehand. I wasn’t sure that I would make any declaration on the Gyllene Gryningen Blog until the next Vernal Equinox, but as the reaction on the blogosphere was swift following my Facebook declaration, I have finally decided to break my silence on the blogosphere as well, on this Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, Yule or Christmas Day. What better day to make such a declaration that on the birthday of the Sun? These are the times optimal in which seeds should be planted to bear fruit in the Spring.

As I said, the news has already spread over at the blogosphere in two instances, one positive and one not so positive, or at least sceptic or perhaps cautiously favorable. However, in that sceptical last instance (which I won’t link to as it is a source of worst kind of gossip and mischievious rumours) my resignation has been turned into a schism. I feel obliged to my gentle readers to correct this misrepresentation about my departure. It is not a schism. There is a mutual recognition between the H.O.G.D./A+O and myself, and whatever I plan to do or organize regarding the furtherment of the Tradition. To schism would be a violation to my own principles. On the contrary, I have my former Chief’s blessing in leaving the H.O.G.D./A+O and to continue the work independently on my own. In the comments section on one of my latest postings David Griffin wrote the following:
"It is a great pleasure to welcome yet another traditional order in the greater Golden Dawn community. This is actually quite important, considering how post-modernists repeatedly attempt to misportray their faction as the entire Golden Dawn community, as though no traditional GD orders exist at all!" 
- David Griffin
Not that I consider myself necessarily to be part of the “greater Golden Dawn Community”, nor that Mr. Griffin’s recognition is vital or fundamentally essential for my continuing work, even though I do welcome it, but it is significant nonetheless in our present discussion; if I had actually schismed from the H.O.G.D./A+O as has been suggested, would he have given me such a blessing? Hardly. And now that Mr. Griffin has welcomed “yet another traditional order in the greater Golden Dawn community”, I also feel obliged to confirm that my old Temple, which was authorized by the H.O.G.D./A+O already in 1997, will continue with the work in administrating legitimate Hermetic initiation in a traditional manner, but totally independent and fully autonomous, and quite separate from the “Golden Dawn Community”. At this present state of things, seeds have been carefully selected and planted into the dark and fertile hyperborean soil which will blossom in full in Spring. A “new” Order is being created as I speak, with the old Swedish Mother Temple as its nucleus, which at the same time is a direct continuation of what was already created in Sweden two decades ago. You, my gentle reader, have to wait until Spring Equinox for more news regarding this coming deliverance. Right now it has to grow safely protected in silence and mystery in a state of pregnancy.

My reasons for leaving the H.O.G.D./A+O are several, but generally strictly personal and not of the general interest of the public. One of the reasons that I choose to share with you regarding why I left the H.O.G.D./A+O is that I have grown weary of the international focus of the Order, something that I have never been comfortable with; now I will be able to focus entirely on Scandinavia and my native Hyperboreans. But I must make this clear for all you gentle readers, regardless if you are a member of the H.O.G.D./A+O or not: I still love the H.O.G.D./A+O and feel sincere and deep gratitude for my 18 years in it. This Order has been my nursery, elemental school and university, and I wouldn’t be the man that I am today without it. But it’s time for me to part from it and finally move on. This is a natural thing and nothing to be worried or alarmed about. One thing is for sure, and that is that I will still remain within the Hermetic Tradition in general and in the Golden Dawn Tradition in particular, and I believe that my previous devotion to it will benefit from the parting and independence.


An Open Reply From ...
 G.H. Frater Lux ex Septentrionis (8=3)
Imperator, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Chief Adept, Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega

Care G.H. Frater S∴R∴,

You are quite correct in your assertion that you do not in any way need my recognition. According to long established rules of the Golden Dawn, each regularly initiated Adeptus Exemptus (7=4) is vested with all of the various lineal affiliations. That Adepti Exempti hold these lineages has on more than one occasion protected the fire of the Golden Dawn from extinction.

Each regularly initiated Exempt Adept, by virtue of these traditional authorities, is empowered to reconstitute the Order of the Golden Dawn, should it ever prove necessary.

According to traditional Golden Dawn rules, your choice  is completely "regular" to exercise your 7=4 authorities to establish full independence and autonomy for the Hermetiska Orden av Den Gryende Morgonrodnaden in Scandinavia.

This is something completely different than the actions of (5=6) Minor Adepts like R.W. Felkin and A.E. Waite, who rebelled upon barely reaching the Inner Order to create their own schismatic orders, Stella Matutina and Fellowship of the Rosy Cross.

On a personal note, S∴R, it has been a privilege to oversee your spiritual development through the Golden Dawn's complete Outer and Inner Orders, from (0=0) Neophyte through (7=4) Exempt Adept, over the course of the nearly two decades we have known one another. 

Upon completion of the cycle of initiations of the Alpha Omega's Rosicrucian Second Order, the R.R. et A.C., you have entered into a profound understanding of the value of initiatic death, sojourn in world beyond, and ensuing rebirth.

Your departure from the Alpha Omega evokes a host of feelings for me. There is the sadness a Father feels when his Son moves away from home, but there is also the fulfillment a Father feels for his Son's achieving a Master's degree.

Although you choose to exercise traditional 7=4 authorities to establish full independence and autonomy for the Hermetiska Orden av Den Gryende Morgonrodnaden in Scandinavia - you may  still always count on my counsel whenever you may feel so inclined.

You may also count on my abiding friendship.

Meanwhile, even though you will clearly be missed, the Alpha Omega of course will continue its own initiatic work in Scandinavia without interruption.

G.H. Frater Lux ex Septentrionis (8=3)
Imperator, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Chief Adept, Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Golden Dawn Scandal: Nick Farrell Abandons Golden Dawn

Yesterday, Nick Farrell published an article entitled, "The Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea is not a Golden Dawn Group" that you can read HERE. In this astonishing article, Mr. Farrell forever disavows the Golden Dawn:

"MOAA continues to be ...
 ... a traditional magic order ...
... but is not ... 
...a traditional Golden Dawn order."

To abjure a tradition such as the Golden Dawn, with such a long, proven a track record in making Magicians - in order to create an order according to one's own personal vision - is a step as ambitious as it is audacious.

In their departure from the Golden Dawn, I congratulate Mr. Farrell for his courage - and wish the students of the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea all the best in the new direction they have embarked upon.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Happy holidays!

... from all of us at the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of the Alpha et Omega!
With much love,
AΩ High Priestess and Imperator
Leslie and David Griffin

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Core Golden Dawn 3: Inferences or Judgements Magicians Make

with Alpha Omega Imperator
David Griffin

Lesson Three:

"What types of inferences or judgments ...
.. do Golden Dawn Magicians typically make?"

The fundamental inference of the Hermetic tradition, from which the Golden Dawn is but one late manifestation, is that:

"Everything is ONE."

A second inference follows, since everything in its recondite structure is the replica of the One, that:

"As above ...
... so below."

The third inference then follows that by acting on the Microcosm, the human being, we can as a consequence affect the Macrocosm or Universe.

We stop with these first three inferences, because, properly understood, the resulting conclusions explain the whole of Magic.

If everything is one, it follows that we are Divine in power and virtue, although we are not conscious of this for a variety of reasons. Thus we know that, as part of the one, we can not die since the One is eternal ...

"Nothing is created ...
... but everything transforms."

If all is One, it further follows that ...

"We are all Divine ...
... in power and virtue."

... but we remain unaware of this for a certain series of reasons. Yet we know that being part of unity, we may not die in so far as the One is eternal and nothing is created but everything transforms - Thus this indicates to us that also in our small unity ...

"We may transform ourselves ...
... into something else."

... precisely as does the Universe, which is always in movement and transformation.

Thus the Magician, rather than waiting for nature to take its normal course of evolution over millions of years, accelerates the process using the same natural laws, to arrive at the completion of the evolutionary process in a vastly accelerated manner.

This brings us to the second inference which affirms "As above, so below," which carries us to the conclusion that each observation of the laws that govern the great world (Macrocosm, Universe), should in principle, by virtue of the previously stated laws, rule also in the small world (Microcosm, or the human being).

From here follow all of the techniques of purest Magic, which teaches how to move within ourselves the precise energies (third inference) which in turn through resonance (since everything is interconnected) move the energies in the great world (macrocosm) in such a manner that each internal conquest can reverberate and become manifest in the macrocosm or great world rather than remaining pure illusion.

(EU OHIM reg 000063925)
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn®
Making Magicians - Since 1888

Click HERE to explore our Outer Order, undergraduate level Magical training program.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ritual Magic 101: Middle Pillar, LVX Energy, and Magical Training Without a Nearby Golden Dawn Temple

by Golden Dawn Imperator

David Griffin

In reply to to my earlier article, "Questions About Ritual Magick 1: "Where Should I Begin?" (HERE),  Dr. Jeeves wrote:
"Thanks to John Miller and Imperator Griffin for this post. It raises a couple of questions which have been on my mind as well. 
I am in some ways like Mr. Miller: I have read a good deal of material over the years but only in the last few months have I been practicing ritual magic daily and in earnest, including the two rituals Imperator Griffin mentions. Over the last four or five months, I have been reading this blog, perusing the website as a whole, and in some cases downloading some of the material in the library section and reading it, because I also hope at some point also to apply for initiation into the HOGD/Alpha et Omega. But one thing I have not been clear on after reading through the website is: does the actual training only go on at a temple or is it just the initiation which must go on there? Since I live five hours away from the closest temple and have a family, I don't think I could train at that distance. This blog and other material I have read have convinced me that actual, physical initiation is essential; so that is not in question for me. But is the training only at the physical location? I noticed that some things are given on-line, but I can't tell if the entire training can go on on-line or not.  - Dr. Jeeves
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega is dedicated to making Magicians, no matter where in the world they live. We offer exclusively traditional Golden Dawn initiation inside of physical, fully licensed and chartered Golden Dawn temples, so this does mean that Alpha Omega members will one day need to travel to one of our temples for initiation. 

With the exception of physical initiation, everything else can be successfully completed at a distance. We encourage those who can afford to do so, to take their initiations as soon as they complete the requirements for each grade, but not everyone has the financial resources to do this easily. We therefore also permit aspiring Magicians to complete several of our curriculum sections at a time, so that they may take several initiations in one trip to one of our temples.

The Alpha Omega is committed to provide quality training for Magicians at a distance. To that end, we opened our Members' website in 1999, where you find our entire curriculum, on line examinations, tutorials fora, on-line classroom, etc.

In our continuing quest for excellence, we are once again in the process of a major restructuring. Right now, for example, I am working on our on-line class schedule for AO members for the coming year. We have some interesting new course offerings coming up, including a lecture on Critical Thinking for Magicians.

Most importantly, we are completely revamping our curriculum with the assistance of a University professor who has been developing courses for universities for 20 years. This is important, since the Golden Dawn material is daunting and most students need a step-by-step coursework to successfully navigate and master the material. As a part of this process, we are significantly changing our teaching methods to more closely resemble those of modern, on-line universities.

Dr. Jeeves continues:
A rudimentary question from a new practitioner: once I began doing the Middle Pillar Ritual, I noticed that my body began to -- quite naturally -- make rhythmic motions while doing it; perhaps a little like "dancing in place". At first I was surprised, since I was concentrating on the ritual itself and I did not expect any spontaneous movement of my body. But I have also not resisted it, since it seemed to flow quite naturally from the ritual. Your comment that the MPR "begins to charge your energetic body" has led me to think that my experiences of this are not so odd as I at first thought. While I understand the energetic and physical bodies are not identical, it still makes sense to me that the energetic charge might appear as rhythmic movement in the physical body... Am I understanding that correctly?" - Dr. Jeeves
What you are describing closely resembles what in the Tantric tradition are called "Krias." In Tantra, these spontaneous movements are frequently accompanied by small eruptions of energy along the spine. Since "Kundalini" in Tantra, "Chi" in Taoism, and "LVX" in Western Magick are merely different cultural and symbolical concepts to describe the same physical/spiritual energy, it is not at all surprising to hear about what you are experiencing while performing the Rite of the Middle Pillar.

One of the greatest challenges, the Alpha Omega faces in making Magicians at a distance is teaching aspiring Magicians how to initiate the flow of LVX energy in their bodies. Unless a Magician learns to awaken, strengthen, and direct this flow of energy, one remains only at the level of playing at Magick. You can go through all of the motions with great precision, yet they will remain empty forms and devoid of any real Magical power, unless the LVX energy is activated and flowing according to will inside of the physical body of the Magician.

I am including a link below to where you can find our more about our training program. Please feel free to post any additional questions that you may have here!

David Griffin
Imperator, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Chief Adept, Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega

(EU OHIM reg 000063925)
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn®
Making Magicians - Since 1888

Click HERE to explore our Outer Order, undergraduate level Magical training program.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Core Golden Dawn 2: Questions Magicians Ask and Problems They Try to Solve

with Alpha Omega Imperator
David Griffin

Lesson Two:

"What kinds of questions do Golden Dawn Magicians ask?"
"What kinds of problems do they try to solve?"

The questions each Golden Dawn Magician asks her- or himself are:
  1. How can I become more than human?
  2. What are the techniques or practices that permit my Divine Spark to fully emerge and manifest within me?
  3. How should I live and work internally to reach this objective?

As a consequence, the problems Golden Dawn magicians must resolve are posed by the practice of true and ancient techniques provided by traditional initiatic science, which can lead to actual completion of the research established by the above questions.

The first problem involves the reliability of the methods, which can only be solved by certainty of their provenance, their having been tested by previous practitioners who attest to their efficiency.

The second problem involves the ability to learn and practice the ancient methods correctly rather than according to one's own understanding, which would distort them and nullify their efficiency.

The third problem Golden Dawn magicians try to solve is how to develop their energetic body. For Golden Dawn magic to become effective, one's energetic body must over time be developed, integrated into daily life and used frequently, as is the physical body.

Having accomplished this, the Magician is on the right path for spiritual development according to the Magic of the Golden Dawn.

(EU OHIM reg 000063925)
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn®
Making Magicians - Since 1888

Click HERE to explore our Outer Order, undergraduate level Magical training program.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Core Golden Dawn 1: What is the True Purpose of the Golden Dawn?


with Alpha Omega Imperator
David Griffin

Lesson One: 

"What is the main purpose or goal...
...of the Golden Dawn System of Magic?"

"What are G.D. Magicians trying to accomplish?"

The main purpose and objective of the Golden Dawn system of Magic is the emergence into full consciousness of the Divine Spark that lies within each of us, which is stifled by contemporary education and by life experience reliant exclusively on the senses. Magicians seek to complete their energetic evolution in their lifetime, described by the Golden Dawn as:

"To become more than human!"

In the beginning, much wisdom can be gained through critical thinking about Magick; posing good questions, reflecting upon them, and at length discovering answers for one's self. Ultimately, Magick is a journey of Self-discovery. although Magickal training provides the skills needed to unleash the dormant powers of the Soul.

I invite you to begin exploring Core Golden Dawn concepts with me by reflecting upon the following questions.

What does it really mean ...

"to be human?"

What does it truly mean ...

"to become more than human?"

(EU OHIM reg 000063925)
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn®
Making Magicians - Since 1888

Click HERE to explore our Outer Order, undergraduate level Magical training program.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Christianity, Paganism, and the Golden Dawn

by Alpha Omega Imperator
David Griffin

In recent years, the differences between one Golden Dawn order and the other have become more and more clear. The greatest strength of today's Golden Dawn community is our diversity. This same diversity from one order to the other, however, makes the choice for aspirants where to seek training extremely important. All Golden Dawn orders today are not the same today at all.

On the one hand, there are G.D. orders like the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega with the stated mission "to make magicians." In the A.O., we teach Magick from day one and are non-sectarian in our approach. Whereas numerous G.D. orders exclude Thelemites or even all but Christians, in the A.O. we admit and advance Christians, Pagans, Jews, Muslims, Thelemites, etc. - all on an equal basis.

Orders like the S.R.I.A., which admit only Christians, view the entire Rosicrucian tradition as a "Christians only" affair. Christian Sectarian G.D. orders typically suppress Magick to various degrees in favor of Christian Mysticism. Such orders typically also seek to minimize Pagan Golden Dawn elements, dubiously claiming that the G.D. is primarily a "Christian" tradition. In reality the G.D. is not a religion at all, but rather a non-sectarian system of spiritual development.

Pat Zalewski, Chief of the "Order of the Golden Dawn" (co-led by Martin Thibeault) wrote earlier this week:
"When I see people banging on about paganism in the GD it indicates how little they understand of the second order and its sheaths."
"The association to Kether of CRC and Jesus Christ shows a standard association of Rosicrucianism and Christianity which some modern day GDists want to rewrite entirely, along with a few other things. Kether places CRC directly under Christ, so there is no mistake here and that is the highest name. Embedded in the RC manifestos there is certainly enough veiled biblical material to indicate this as well."
"The second order of the RR et AC brings on the concept of redemption through death, and as far as I am aware is not a general pagan concept..." - Pat Zalewksi
Clearly, the above argument attempts to minimize the importance of Pagan elements and influences in the GD. As a practicing Pagan, I am not entirely unbiased in this matter. Still, since my approach to the Golden Dawn is non-sectarian, I remain somewhat objective despite my personal religious faith.

Any interpretation of the entire R.R. et A.C. as "primarily Christian" is, however, in my opinion, a gross oversimplification and even a distortion of the history of Western spirituality.

To begin with, the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order of the Golden Dawn recently shed new, essential light on the true nature of the grades of the R.R. et A.C., which you can read about HERE. This material shows clearly that the themes of Second Order initiations (death, sojourn in the world beyond death, and rebirth) find their roots in the cycles of nature. Although one level of symbolism in R.R. et A.C. initiations is clearly Christian influenced, there are equally profound Pagan levels of symbolism as well. Take, for example, the death of Osiris and the miraculous birth of Horus through the magical power of the Mother Goddess, Isis. This, it may be argued, is the actual myth underlying the initiatic cycle of the Second Order, merely dressed up in symbols palatable to Christians.

Contrary to claims of G.D. Christian sectarians, the initiatic symbols in the R.R. et  A.C. are not at all exclusively Christian.

Dionysos and Cross
Take, for example, the Assyrian Du-zi (Babylonian Tammuz, or Sumerian Dummuzi) the Egyptian Orisis, the Anatolian Mithras, the Syrian Adonis, the Hebrew Tamheur, and the Phrygian Attis, or Greek Dionysus.

Madonna with Christ Child
ALL of these were dying-and-reborn solar-gods. They were all consorts of the Great Mother - All suffered death, sojourned through the underworld, and were reborn. 

Babylonian Goddess mother Semiramis with divine child Tammuz

Although Christian theology certainly add its own twist on things, his universal solar myth nonetheless remains the likely primeval form of the resurrection story as told in the New Testament.

Egyptian Goddess mother Isis with her child Horus

The earliest known celebration of the rebirth of the sun (on Winter Solstice) in ritual was that of the ancient Babylonians of Mesopotamia, who celebrated their “Victory of the Sun-God” festival on December 25th. This Babylonian cult, especially the cult of mother and child (Semiramis and Nimrod and later as Ishtar and Tammuz) spread out from Babylon over the entire world, only the names changed; Nimrod was renamed in Egypt as “Osiris” and Semiramis became “Isis,” long before the birth of Jesus was adored as “Madonna with her child”. . . .

Christmas, the birth of the Son, was transplanted to the pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice, the rebirth of the sun, some 1,600 years ago, centuries before the English language emerged from its Germanic roots. This is probably why the words for the two mythic concepts of sun and son are so similar, because the pagan Winter Solstice and Yuletide was overlaid with Christmas.

Tammuz’s Winter Solstice festival, commemorating the yearly death and rebirth of vegetation, corresponded to the festivals of the Phoenician and Greek Adonis and of the Phrygian Attis, both dying-and-reborn sun gods associated, like Tammuz, with a sacred tree. As already mentioned, the Babylonian myth of Tammuz, the dying god, bears not only a close resemblance to the Greek myth of Adonis, but also links with the myth of Osiris. 

These dying-and-reborn sun gods are all connected to a very ancient cult of tree-worship. It would appear probable that Tammuz, Attis, Osiris, and the deities represented by Adonis and the Celtic Diarmid were all developed from an archaic god of fertility and vegetation, the central figure of a myth which was not only as ancient as the knowledge and practice of agriculture, but had existence even in the archaic hunting period. 

Tammuz Tree
Traces of the Tammuz-Osiris story in various forms are found all over the area occupied by the peoples from Sumeria to the Druids of the British Isles. Some authorities suggest that apparently the original myth was connected with tree and water worship and the worship of animals. Adonis sprang from a tree; the body of Osiris, pursued by Seth, was concealed in a tree, which grew round the sea-drifted chest in which he was concealed. And Diarmid concealed himself in a tree when pursued by Finn. . . .

In mythology, Tammuz, like Jesus, was born on December 25th and associated with a tree. At the time of the Winter Solstice, the past sun god would die, his branches stripped from him and one piece, the seed, would enter the fire on “Mother-night” as a log. The next morning, the new triumphant sun god was born from the fire as a tree, the “Branch of God,” who was celebrated for bringing divine gifts to men. So it looks like Tammuz was the original Yule log. Tammuz is identified with Adonis, the Semitic name meaning “lord.” Here, again we find the same cosmic pair of mother and child, and again the association with a tree. . . .

Pagan Survival in Scandinavia : Rolling a Jul Log
Another Pagan Remnant in Scandinavia: The Julbock (Yule Ram)
Such Rams pulled Thor's Chariot According to Nordic Paganism
The week long celebration of “Saturnalia,” a period of unrestrained or orgiastic revelry and licentiousness from the 17th to the 23rd of December, was the Roman version of this very ancient Babylonian “Victory of the Sun-God” cult. 

The winter solstice fell within the Saturnalia and was referred to as the “Natalis Solis Invicti” (the “Nativity of the unconquered Sun”). Saturnalia was celebrated from December 17th to January 1st in the Roman Empire. The Roman Emperor Aurelian blended Saturnalia with a number of birth celebrations of savior Gods from other religions, into a single holy day: December 25th. In Roman mythology, the sun represents male divinity, and the “Natalis Solis Invicti” was the “return of the sun god” born of the Mother Goddess. 

Deo Sol Invictus

This day represented the hope and faith that from within the darkest and coldest night (the winter solstice) there would be born a “Lord of Light” (“the unconquered sun”). This sun god would die at the summer solstice at the height of his power (the longest and warmest day), from which point the days would get colder and colder until he was reborn again the following winter. This yearly cycle of a “dying and resurrected” sun deity could be found in many of the world’s ancient religions. . . . 

Some historians of religion see the eventual choice of December 25, made perhaps as early as 273 CE. After decades of arguing by Church Fathers about the correct date of Jesus’ birth (was it March 25, April 18, May 20, November 17, or was it January 6?), finally the eventual choice of December 25 was decided upon.

However, this decision reflects a convergence of the theological anxieties of the Origen and other Church Fathers about mythic pagan gods and the Church’s identification of God’s son with the celestial sun. Again, December 25 already hosted two other related festivals: “Natalis Solis Invicti” (the Roman “birth of the unconquered sun,” or “Deus Sol Invictus”), and the birthday of Mithras, the Iranian “Sun of Righteousness,” whose worship was popular with Roman soldiers. (Deus Sol Invictus, “the unconquered sun god,” was a religious title applied to at least three distinct divinities during the later Roman Empire; El Gabal, Mithras, and Sol.)

Thus, after much argument, the developing Christian Church adopted this date as the birthday of their savior, Jesus. The people of the Roman Empire were accustomed to celebrating the birth of a sun god on that day, so it was easy for the church to co-opt the people’s attention to Jesus’ birth. 

Birth of Mithras: Dec. 25
The festival of Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithras could now be celebrated as the birthday of Christ! As one theologian puts it: “What better way to challenge the Pagans than to usurp their holidays?”

Mithras with Shepherds
The Babylonians also celebrated their “Victory of the Sun-God” festival on December 25th. Preceding Christianity by many centuries, the pagan worship of Mithras, the Persian savior, became common throughout the Roman Empire, particularly among the Roman civil service and military. Mithraism is now recognized as a syncretic Hellenistic mystery religion that developed in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE and was practiced in the Roman Empire beginning in the 1st century BCE.  Mithraism was the prime competitor religious cult to Christianity until the 4th century.

Mithras had many parallels with the Christian god: followers believed that he was born of a virgin on December 25th, circa 500 BCE, his birth in a cave was witnessed by shepherds and by gift-carrying Magi. This was celebrated as the “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.” Mithras was known to his followers as “The light of the world,” or “The Good Shepherd,” and exhorted his followers to share ritual communion meals of bread and wine. During his life, he performed many miracles, cured many illnesses, and cast out devils. He celebrated a Last Supper with his 12 disciples. He ascended to heaven at the time of the spring equinox, about March 21st. . . .

Mithras and 12 Signs of Zodiac
Attis, born of a virgin and changed into a fir-tree, was another sun- or vegetation-god whose story bears a striking resemblance to the Christ story. Wherever the Christian worship of Jesus and the pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians “used to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their gods was the true prototype and which the imitation.” 

Since the worship of Cybele was brought to Rome in 204 BCE, about 250 years before Christianity, it is obvious that if any copying occurred, it was the Christians that copied and later co-opted the traditions of the pagans. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus’ life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to pagans in the Roman Empire. 

Thus, in conclusion,  attempts to minimize or suppress Pagan elements in the Golden Dawn, as well as to claim that the grades of the Golden Dawn's Rosicrucian Second Order, the R.R. et A.C., are purely "Christian" may be clearly seen for what they truly are - as merely involving the co-option scenario of the role of the pre-Christian, Greco-Roman dying-and-reborn savior gods by the crypto-pagan dying-and-reborn savior god, Christ.

"When I see people banging on about paganism in the GD it indicates how little they understand"
- Pat Zalewski
Viewing Christ as a crypto-pagan dying-and-reborn savior God is admittedly a bit of an extreme position. Is it, however, any more extreme than sloppy reconstructionists trying to rebuild the Golden Dawn as exclusively Christian according to a purely sectarian agenda?

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