Monday, December 29, 2008

Believing in the rupture

Here is a comment I made in response to a posting done on WitchDoctor Joe's blog about those who believe in the rapture, holy war and the Freemason Conspiracy.

It is not the devil you have to fear, it is those who do not realize that they are serving his purpose.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What is standard Golden Dawn?

One of the things that amuses me is that many people believe that the Golden Dawn and RR et AC system ceased to grow once Regardie published the Golden Dawn material. It also amuses me when people think that Regardie's material is automatically the norm in today's Golden Dawn.

It might be; it might not be.

Even if you have been a member of a group that stuck to the Regardie documents as their baseline, that does not mean that other groups do so.

In order to figure out what is normal in Golden Dawn and RR et AC based groups, one would need to be able to gather information from all the groups that sprung from the tradition and then take the average of the practices. Just because one, or even several groups, do things in certain ways does not make it the norm.

It is like your lineage; one only knows for sure who was in the room when you got your initiation; everything else is just hearsay. Likewise, you only know how the published material and your own group does things; everything else is just hearsay also.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Edomite Solistice

Happy solistice!

It is winter solistice for those of us in the northern hemisphere; it is the summer solistice for those who live in the southern hemisphere.

While Golden Dawn does not officially have a solistice ritual, a remarkable oversight in my opinion, as a wiccan and pagan, I do observe the solistices. I am not such a big observer that I will go and drum up the sun at Red Rocks (it is just too cold to do that in my opinion, even when it is not sub-zero temperatures); but in my own small way, I note its passing.

Mainly I start to pull out the seed catalogs and think about what I want to do in the garden this coming season. Later I will consult the wife about my plans.

Personally, I think that it does a person good to be aware of the passing of the seasons. To know and remember that every thing has its own season is a valuable piece of esoteric lore; esoteric not because it is hidden away from the masses, but esoteric because so many people have forgotten this law of nature.

If you can remember that things come and go, waxing and waning in their strength, you are less likely to be surprised when things crumble. Often the practical benefits of our tradition lies not in the powers that we develop; rather they lay in the patterns of awareness that we inhabit.

For instance, if you can look upon the economic bubbles and the adventures of mismanagement and connect them with the Kings of Edom, remembering what happened to those proud and arrogant Kings, then you will not be surprised when the bubbles break and the energy of the blasted tower comes flashing though.

As Paul Foster Case used to point out, the symbolism of the esoteric sciences are only useful if you make them a part of your mental furniture.

Happy Solistice!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Scary coincidence

Here is a scary coincidence for you. As the Continential Flight #1404 emergency landing was happening at Denver International Airport (I live a few miles west of the airport), I was writing an article on the Tower card.

I realize that it is just a coincidence, but things like this happen often enourgh that I understand how some people can get superstitious and worry about the presence of magicians and witches.

Imagine if I was under the oath of the abyss, can you just see my ego swelling up?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Public Performance of GD Rituals

When I was at the Reiki Circle on Wednesday, before the meeting begun (before anyone other than the Jo, the organizer, and her daughter showed up) I started to do the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and the Middle Pillar ritual.

Jo is well aware that I am a member of Golden Dawn. In fact, we first met at the July OFM (the one that I did that involved a long lecture about the food chain) and one of my fellow lodge members did the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram at the start of the ritual.

Anyway, while I was doing these rituals on Wednesday, a couple of people showed up. And I barely broke stride to wave them past and to tell them to pay no attention to me. I had my back turned when a third person showed up while I was in the midst of the Middle Pillar ritual.

And I didn't care.

As far as I am concerned the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and the Middle Pillar ritual are common knowledge; if you are in any of the circles of the esoteric community, there is a good chance that you have encountered them.

In fact, one person later that night mentioned OTO and Golden Dawn (a failed joke that the two groups get along well with one another) and the another took the Middle Pillar to be a positive sign.

I have seen several groups using these two rituals often without knowledge of their original sources. These two rituals are also included in many public workshops and classes.

Because of this, I really don't consider it a violation of my oaths if outsiders see me, or another Golden Dawn member, perform them.

I do draw the line however in the fact that I will not perform the Supreme Rituals or the Portal version of the Middle Pillar ritual in public. They are not well-known enough that one can consider them part of the standard esoteric toolkit.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Today when downloading and installing the emergency security patch for Internet Explorer 7, I started to think about security and secrecy in Golden Dawn.

[For those of you who have not heard, someone published the fact that Internet Explorer 7, as well as the other versions of Internet Explorer, had a huge hole in its security. In defense of the publisher, they thought that Microsoft had already addressed the issue; Microsoft hadn't. So an emergency security patch for IE 7 was released today. If you use any version of Internet Explorer, I strongly suggest going over to the Microsoft website and installing the patch. Better safe than sorry.]

Now I, myself, don't pay much attention to the whole idea of secrecy in Golden Dawn. It is something that is there, but it is not something that is important to me personally. Everybody knows that I am a member of Golden Dawn, and that the lodge I belong to is in Denver, Colorado. I learned about the system's existence though a book; it should be noted that I didn't have much knowledge about the system before actually stumbling into a lodge, but a book did send me in the right direction of an existing lodge.

Most of the people that know of me, know that I am a writer and that I write about Golden Dawn. The members that let me into the system knew that I was a writer, and they guessed that someday I would write about the system; they did not care. Therefore, I am amused by those who run around swearing that absolute secrecy is necessary.

If absolute secrecy is neccessary to a secret society, how do you explain the continued existence of secret societies like the Freemasons? Or better yet, the continued existence of Golden Dawn?

And having seen some of the information that the rabid secrecy crowd are hiding in their Inner Orders, I have to ask where is the harm of releasing this information? It is not like you can levitate cats, heal gunshots instantly, or win the Powerball jackpot. In fact, I suspect that this information is being kept secret purely for ego and due collecting purposes.

Note that I am not against secrecy; I just find the extreme that some people take it to be either frightening or just plain silly depending upon who is doing it.

Locally, we practice secrecy. It is just not the absolute form.

The curriclum is dealt with in a step by step mode. The foundation must be laid first before one attempts to climb to the heights of the Temple.

Some of our members work in jobs where the hint of being something other than a rabid Christian Fundementalist can get them fired; their identities are top secret.

Our experiemental areas, the cutting edge stuff, is secret. Though that is more along the lines of "don't try this at home."

Honestly, I don't know of anybody in the Golden Dawn system that would not agree to this type of secrecy. It is good common sense.

But it is the extreme that some people are willing to go that worries me. When it starts looking like a cult, I start to worry; those who know my history will understand why.

Using the Microsoft model (ignoring the fact that Microsoft issues their system to everyone), lets look at Golden Dawn security. Lets presume that the current is like the internet. Our seasonal passwords are like our normal security passwords on our computers and websites. The fear is that with the published information that anyone can hack into the egregores of our respective lodges and Orders.

Yeah, it is called doing the work.

The only reason that you would not want people to do the work is if you had something to gain if they went though your branch of the system and no other. And that is the only need I see for absolute secrecy.

All the current members of my lodge know all the other members in good standing; it is not like you can fake it. Just being able to parrot information out of a book is not good enourgh. And even material that was developed and published out of Bast Temple is not good enourgh to fake it.

Now, I will admit that there are esoteric reasons for secrecy, but they do not require absolute secrecy or security patches; furthermore that is a post for another day.

Monday, December 15, 2008

GD as an open document

In Golden Dawn today, there are essentially two camps.

There is the camp that believes that the work and lectures of the founders and earlier Adepts of the system is perfect and can not be changed. This camp tends to emphasize lineage.

Then there is the camp that believes that the Golden Dawn system can be changed by those who are currently in the system. This camp tends to downplay lineage, and totally ignores the concept of the Secret Chiefs (at least in the sense of them being the bosses of us all).

Readers of my posts and the lodge's website know what camp I am in; or at least, they should be able to figure it out relatively easily.

Both camps will agree that the system of Golden Dawn as we have it is not completed. It is just how to go about completing it that is in dispute. The parts that are not completed are the Inner Order and the Third Order.

The Secret Chief crowd say that this material is already in existence and that we must humbly submit to the orders of the Secret Chiefs to gain the material. They will occasionally point out that either of those Orders are actually teaching Orders; both emphasize private work. To which, I will respond "If after Adept Minor Theoricus, I am on my own, recieving just approval or dismay at my experimential results, what is the purpose of me trying to convince the Secret Chiefs and their supporters that I should be allowed to go past THAM?"

The other camp believes that Golden Dawn is an open document. Members of this camp may not even believe that a hundred percent correctness in the material is even possible. They believe that the task of completing the system falls to the current and future members.

This idea, that Golden Dawn is an open document, annoys a lot of leaders in Golden Dawn. They point out that it goes against what the founders of Golden Dawn said about the system. They point out that students can not know what works and what doesn't. They are reasonable arguments.

Except that the highest positions in all fields have always had to develop the next level, relying only on results and peer reviews to validate their ideas and theories (using the concept that it is not a theory if it can not be tested).

And what no one wants pointed out is that there is evidence that the founders and the later Chiefs of Golden Dawn were treating the system as an open document. But you didn't hear me suggest that idea, did you?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Drawing down the divine

Tonight's Hearthstone Community Church is going to be doing a drawing down at the Open Full Moon. Actually three of them, Judith Brownlee, Jackie Weller and Alia Denny are all going to be functioning as High Priestesses tonight.

I am probably not going to visit any of the goddesses tonight. I have experienced drawing down before, both as an audience member and as Priest. It can be a powerful experience. And while it is not how Golden Dawn does things (Golden Dawn prefers to use godforms), drawing down is an useful tool in the right envirnoment.

The reason that I am not going to visit any of them is simply because I have no questions to ask that will not get me either a cryptic answer or a whack. What am I concerned about: my next student loan and is college going to be worth it. Hardly stuff that I need to consult the goddess with, especially the versions that I know. All I will get is a riddle that translates as wait and see.

So tonight, I am probably am just going to help out grounding people who do go visit one of the goddesses. It will be good practice for me. That and it allows me to gossip and catch up with my friends which I really need now that finals are done for the semester.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Open Full Moon Dates for 2009

The Open Full Moon dates for 2009 are:
Jan 9
Feb 6
Mar 13
April 10
May 8
June 5
July 3
July 31
Sept 4
Nov 6
Nov 27
There is no OFM for December 2009.
The final 2008 Open Full Moon date is December 12, 2008.
Meets at the First Unitarian Church
at 14th and Lafayette, Denver Colorado
Doors open at 7 pm.
Ritual starts at 7:30 pm.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Writing about the Golden Dawn

One of the things that disturbs people about me is the fact that I am a writer. And I write about Golden Dawn. This scares a lot of people.

I am not sure why. They occasionally cite secrecy as the reason.

Huh? The material I publish about Golden Dawn is mainly book reviews. And the rest is my own creation: stuff based primarily on material that already been published.

I guess it is another one of those bad habits that I picked up from Hathoor Temple. Their opinion, one that made its way into their bylaws, was that the creator of a document controlled the copyrights to it. They couldn't prevent publication. They thought it would be polite if you asked the Chiefs to make sure that there was nothing vital in the document that should not be published; but even in that case, they really couldn't stop you from releasing the material.

Hathoor Temple was also big on citing your sources. It is amazing how many secret documents are actually built up from public (published) sources.

This was how Hathoor Temple decided to deal with the core of the Golden Dawn system being in public domain. They felt that eventually everything from the original Golden Dawn would be published. They also felt that any Order or lodge worth its salt needed to put up or shut up.

It is a different business model than most Orders use. They felt that it was not lineage that counted or how many secret documents that you had; it was your current ability to generate new material and be an asset to the community that mattered---nothing else counted.

Now I will admit that based on my writings that I am probably next to useless as far as the Golden Dawn community is concerned. I ramble. I am opinionated. And quite often I am just plain wrong. Opps, my problem is that I am still human; I must get to work on that problem if I want any respect from my fellow Golden Dawn members.

But I don't care if you judge me by my writing or by the posts that I make on the Golden Dawn forums. And I could care even less if you think that I am not worthy of trust. The only opinions that matter are those of Bast Temple, my mentors, my friends, and my own. If I can live with my bad writing, it is not going to kill the rest of you.

(Though the writer in me would be impressed by writing so bad that it kills; Vogon poetry, anyone? How do I get my writing to be that bad? I want to be a lethal weapon, master of the poison pen.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My get out of jail free card

Early in my personal Golden Dawn history (before I learned what I joined was not really Golden Dawn according to the most vocal historians and pundits), I learned a very important phrase: I don't know.

It actually started before I joined Golden Dawn (I will continue to call it GD because I believe that it is GD despite opinions that tell me that I am wrong). My sponsor spotted me in public with Donald Michael Kraig's Modern Magic (How to Become a non-GD Adept in Eleven Easy Lessons). It is a book that most of us own.

He started right in on me: Why are you reading that book? does it really work? why do you have to learn the Hebrew alphabet?

My standard response, after I got done being frustrated, was: I don't know.

To this day, I am not sure why he decided to sponsor me for membership in Hathoor Temple. But I continued to use the phrase well into my membership. It is an useful phrase. It allows me to ask questions, assign research projects (Temple Officers are mean that way), and helps keep my ego under control (well as much as it is possible for my ego to be under control).

Unlike several Adepts I have ran into over the years, I don't have to dodge behind secrecy ("You will learn that in a higher Grade"), nor do I have to make up answers. If I don't know something, I just admit to it.

And if I do, I either tell the person the answer or give them a full run-down of what all they need to know before I can give them an answer that will actually make sense to them.

(That is a form of secrecy in itself: an answer that makes no sense unless you know X, Y and Z.)

After all, my office and oath requires me to teach and not merely hide the information that I do know. Preservation of information is my burden, not secrecy.

(For those who are concerned with secrecy---if it is already in public domain, why not talk about it? and do you know what I reserve exclusively for the members of my own lodge? are you sure that the public knowledge is all that there is?)

I am not sure if this is the right way to do things or not. It was acceptable in Hathoor, and it is acceptable in Bast Temple. It is my way. Is it the best way to do things? Honestly, I don't know.