Fama Fraternitatis - 1614

Wiewohl wir nun wohl wissen, daß es umb ein ziemliches noch nicht an dem, da wieder unserm Verlangen oder auch anderer Hoffnung mit allgemeiner Reformation divini et humani, solle genug geschehen, ist es doch nicht unbillich, daß, ehe die Sonne auffgehet, sie zuvor ein HELL oder dunkel liecht in den Himmel bringt und unter dessen etliche wenige, die sich werden angeben, zusammen tretten, unsere Fraternitet mit der Zahl und Ansehen des gewünschten und von Fr.R.C. fürgeschriebenen Philosophischen Canons, einen glücklichen Anfang machen oder ja in unserer Schätz (die uns nimmermehr aufgehen können) mit uns in Demut und Liebe genießen die Mühsamkeit dieser Welt überzuckern und in den Wunderwerken Gottes nicht also blind umbgehen.

Vi vet dock att det enligt vår åstundan och andras förväntningar efter någon tid kommer en allmän reformation av både gudomliga och mänskliga ting. Ty innan solen går upp, upplyses himlen av
MORGONRODNADENS ljus. I väntan på denna reformation församlas några få som med sitt antal skall utöka vårt brödraskap, höja dess anseende och stärka dess förhoppningar och ge de av Fr.R.C. föreskrivna Filosofiska Canons en lycklig begynnelse. I all ödmjukhet och kärlek skall dessa nytillkomna tillsammans med oss dela våra skatter, som aldrig skall förgås, och så lindra denna världens möda och inte längre vandra ovetande om kunskapen om Guds underbara verk.

Howbeit we know after a time there will now be a general reformation, both of divine and humane things, according to our desire, and the expectation of others: for it is fitting, that before the rising of the Sun, there should appear and break forth AURORA, or some clearness, or divine light in the sky; and so in the mean time some few, which shall give their names, may joyn together, thereby to increase the number and respect of our Fraternity, and make a happy and wished for beginning of our Philosophical Canons, prescribed to us by our brother R.C. and be partakers with us of our treasures (which never can fail or be wasted) in all humility, and love to be eased of this worlds labor, and not walk so blindly in the knowledge of the wonderful works of God.


Det brittiska ordenssällskapet Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn och den tyska Frimurarlogen L'Aurore Naissante, vilket grundades i London 1888 respektive Frankfurt-am-Main 1807, delade på samma hebreiska namn Chevrah Zerach Bequr Aur, förevisat i gyllene gult vid bloggens huvud, vilket ordagrannt kan översättas till “Stigande Gryningsljusets Sällskap”. Denna tyska Rosenkorsiska Frimurarloge i Frankfurt, vilket måste anses vara det ursprungliga modertemplet till GOLDEN DAWN, kallade sig på tyska även Loge sur Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, vilket kan översättas till “Gryende Morgonrodnadens Loge”. Detta skiljer sig åt från den engelska seden att översätta orden Bequr Aur till “Golden Dawn” eller “Gyllene Gryningen”. Med anledning av Rosenkorstraditionens tyska ursprung är en mer korrekt översättning av Bequr Aur, genom franskans L'Aurore Naissante och tyskans Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, inget annat än GRYENDE MORGONRODNADEN. Denna hänvisning till ett stigande gryningsljus, morgonrodnad eller aurora är en klar hänvisning till den allmäna reformationen omnämnt i det ovan citerade stycket från Fama Fraternitatis. Denna blogg har dock valt att behålla den försvenskade anglo-saxiska termen GYLLENE GRYNINGEN för att denna, invand som den är, lättare associeras med den Rosenkorsiska tradition som här ämnas att framställas.

Licht, Leben, Liebe

tisdag 27 juli 2010

Speech is Silver, Silence is Golden (Dawn): An addendum to Secrecy and the Golden Dawn


1. In the light of the recent discussions concerning secrecy and vows of silence I feel that there has arisen the need for me to address this issue again, although I confess that I feel very reluctant to do so. First of all I’m reluctant because anything I may say in this matter may be interpreted as an attack on other branches of the Golden Dawn Community which whom I don’t share their view on Secrecy. But if we ought to discuss the implications of Secrecy and Silence we have to be bold enough to follow this course to its end, even though some conclusions may be seen as provocative. But provocation isn’t my objective at all. To be honest I would rather had remained silent than provoke.

2. But the main reason for my reluctancy is that in this modern laissez faire age I sense that it is futile to try to defend the traditionalist view on magical secrecy. Thus I don’t express my views here primary to engage in a debate anyone, or to prove anyone wrong. My primary motive is to provide information for my students and potential students so that they know what to expect from me or of any membership in the Temple that I head. Thus I’m not writing these words to gain any sympathy for any cause, as it’s a lost cause.

3. The Golden Dawn Tradition, since Aleister Crowley’s and Israel Regardie’s breech of their vows, is in the hands of the armchair or solitary magician (not that I equate these two). Some Temples today, although the Chiefs have noble ambitions, are noting more but meeting places for solitary occultists who seek only to gratify their own spiritual urges before the collective needs of their Temple or the Tradition itself. Few members of the modern Golden Dawn Community knows the meaning of the words “service” and “dedication” to their Temple and the preservation of the integrity of the Tradition. To be honest, I don’t like what has become of the Golden Dawn Community.

4. Although I still love the Golden Dawn Tradition immensely – and let there be no doubt about that – and even more so the Rosicrucian Current of which the Golden Dawn is part, I often find myself being a stranger in a strange land when I try to orient in this community which calls itself the “Golden Dawn”.

5. Reading suggestions by two well known Golden Dawn leaders, whom I happen to respect and like, that it would be “swell” if any yet unpublished documents ever written by the original Temples, belonging to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (G∴D∴), the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega (A∴O∴) and the Stella Matutina (S.M.), were all scanned and put up on a central data bank on the internet, makes me truly appalled. Honestly I don’t know what to say. It fells senseless even to try. It’s Futile. So I won’t try.

6. Still there are some other notions that have been more moderately suggested by one occult author and Golden Dawn Adept who made everyone a “service” in publishing a particular G∴D∴ / A∴O∴ document, that also concern me. This author has made it clear to everyone that he felt compelled to do make this document available in the wake of one of my essays; we both have one equal cross to bear. But before venturing to read any further I suggest the reader to check out my previous essay on Secrecy and Golden Dawn, as what follows is an addendum to my original statements.

7. First off there is the question regarding “public domain”. It has been suggested that any document, either in a library or in a private collection, must juridically be considered as “public domain” if it is old enough, which basically amounts to all material of the original inaugurations of the G∴D∴, A∴O∴ and S.M. I’m not a lawyer or solicitor but do raise the question if this is actually correct? Private collections are as the word implies “private”, i.e. the possession of a private individual. I haven’t heard anything yet which would suggest otherwise. And even some libraries, such as the Warburg Institute (which houses some Golden Dawn related materials) are only open for scholars, i.e. not for the public. Thus “public domain” in this context is in reality just an empty and meaningless word.

8. In the original G∴D∴, and the A∴O∴ (and I believe also the S.M.), all Order documents were part of private collections. People like W.W. Westcott and S.L. MacGregor Mathers practically owned the G∴D∴ corpus. This is the case with many Orders even today. Most independent Temples are private and the property often belongs to one or some few individuals. So according to this reasoning, anything which I write and have on my computor will become public domain in about 50 years, which means that everyone has the right to access my private files in the future to come and after I have left my earthly husk? I doubt it.

9. It is one thing regarding finding an old manuscript document in a library, although I personally would argue against publication even in these cases or at least be extremely prudent. I know of one Order in Europe who found a version of the Arcana Arcanorum in a public “freemasonic” library. But instead of publishing it they had the good taste of implementing it in their higher mysteries instead – where it properly belongs. Following the above logic, they should instead have made it public in a book, for the greater benefit of the masses. I say definitely no! Especially not material of that particular kind.

10. I once received a document with similar contents as the above-mentioned Ms. from a Frater who had unearthed it from a inaccessible library in my home country in the hope that I would partake in an project of writing a Swedish Rosicrucian anthology. Of course that project never materialized, as was expected. Some documents simply have a way of protecting themselves. Instead of resorting to publication these kind of materials should be utilized within a traditional lodge setting, for which they were designed in the first place. It neither has a place in the bookshelf of a library nor a bookshop.

11. But public libraries aside, I hold that it is outright unethical to publish anything originally belonging to a private collection without the consent of the owner, regardless of it being appropriated as a 3rd, 4th or 5th hand copy, etc. Parts of unpublished collections are known to be improperly floating around between the hands of document collectors and occultists alike, against the consent of the original owners, because of people being disrespectful of their oaths, or because of inappropriate appropriation (i.e. theft).

12. Now, some people believe that I am an all secrecy fundamentalist of some sorts when they read the above paragraphs. I may be rightly categorized as a traditionalist but fundamentalist? I don’t think so. If I were I wouldn’t have had this blog and written so openly about a diverse array of subjects regarding the Golden Dawn and the Western Mysteries. Some Adepts of the really old school views what I’m doing to be a sacrilege and a breach against my vows. They hold that it is better to never utter a damn thing about it, i.e. keeping everything secret, even the published material. On the other end of the spectrum we have the other kind of fundamentalism who often accuses everyone else of being a oppressive fundamentalist, the “open source approach”.

13. Although I wish none of this material were published in the first place, in truth I propose a middle position where you openly and freely discuss the materials published by Aleister Crowley, Israel Regardie, R.G. Torrens, Francis X. King, R.A. Gilbert, Darcy Kuntz, et al, i.e. information which now is “public domain” in the truest sense of the word as it sits in the bookshelves of most occultists already. I am not referring to privately printed and limited editions which turn up on e-bay or amazon from time to time; the contents of this material I don’t discuss openly as it is not widely distrubuted. Thus I speak of anything but the unpublished or limitedly available material regardless of secret manuscripts being written yesterday or one millennium ago.

14. Time is absolutely not a factor here. In my opinion worldly laws of “public domain” do not nor could ever apply to esoteric material, something true initiates are expected to be conscious of. Hence the function of the oath of secrecy which truly goes beyond any laws or rights concerning public domain; I’m talking about spiritual laws here. When the candidate stands in the Hall of Maat in the presence of the Holy Ones, any oath taken reverberates not only in the Temple Egregore of one’s own Order but on a universal and cosmic level as well. The oath goes beyond any spoken words said but also touches the intent and meaning behind these words. Silence and secrecy is a universal spiritual concept.
15. So it follows that even if Regardie or Torrens, et al, did publish different versions of the G∴D∴ rituals and documents, if I would acquire an original document I would never publish it even if it was a 100% match of any of the public versions (although there in my experience seldom is a 100% match in reality).

16. Thus I will have no part in this newly found tradition of profanation. You will never see a book in the bookstore with my name appended to the cover which reveals hieretho unpublished “Secrets of the Golden Dawn”. I won’t compromise the integrity of the Tradition for any personal fame, fortune and glory or for my self-gratification.

17. Contrary to what most believe, neither Crowley nor Regardie did the Golden Dawn Tradition any greater benefit. It is a myth that the Golden Dawn wouldn’t have survived without the publication of its curriculum. That was Regardie’s own psychological rationalization which has become a truism of the new millennium of Golden Dawn students. Surely, it wouldn’t had been as popular as it is today. But on the other hand we would be spared from the merchandising and commercialisation of our Sacred Tradition. We wouldn’t have had to watch it being forced into the “grand” New Age market of fast food spirituality.

18. Thus the popularity of the Golden Dawn tradition is a double-edged sword. Like G.H. Fra. L.E.S. has stated elsewhere, suddenly we see Golden Dawn magical formulae being used by chaos magicians, Satanists and neo-pagans of different denominations. What consequences has this brought to the Golden Dawn current? What unwanted forces do we actually bring in into our Sphere of Sensations when we perform a simple LBRP? This is an interesting question to ask from the occult perspective.

19. On the other hand I personally am still ambivalent towards the publication made by former Golden Dawn Adepts like Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, Israel Regardie and Paul Foster Case. Hadn’t it been for them, I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to encounter the Golden Dawn Tradition and experienced my enamorement at first sight of it looking in a Swedish book on the paranormal. Thus on the one hand I’m mighty grateful to Regardie for breaching his vows for my own selfish sake. But on the other, after almost two decades of living with the Tradition and teaching it to other students in a traditional Temple setting, I really can see the damage being done to it since Llewellyn decided in 1969 to republish Regardie’s The Golden Dawn in its a second edition two-volume format. Up until then the Golden Dawn Tradition had just been a curiosity and had a limited exposition through small editions of Crowley’s The Equinox and Regardies The Golden Dawn.

20. But the truth is that it was the profanation by Israel Regardie that almost destroyed important lineages of a living Golden Dawn Tradition working within the Temple context. The last official A∴O∴ Temple closed its activities in the 1940’s in the wake of the publication of the first edition of The Golden Dawn, which was published in four volumes between 1937-1940. But it didn’t destroy the living Golden Dawn Tradition in its entire. The two Temples of the Stella Matutina, the Whare Ra in Havelock North, New Zeeland, and Hermes Temple in Bristol, England, survived. Hermes closed its activities in 1972 and Whare Ra in 1978, perhaps in the wake of the second edition of Regardie’s The Golden Dawn published by Llewellyn in 1969.

21. But by the time of its closure the Hermes Temple was fully immersed in the A∴O∴ current as the remaining Chiefs of the A∴O∴ were in full co-operation with the S.M. Chiefs since the 1950’s through Hermes Temple and the (Solar Order) Cromlech Temple. The fact is that the A∴O∴ and the Solar Order simultaneously also became established in New Zeeland by one immigrant A∴O∴ and Solar Order Chief. Thus the A∴O∴ current never died but found new forms instead. Other remaining A∴O∴ Adepts (often in co-operation with English S.M. Adepts) created independent Temples to preserve the Golden Dawn Tradition intact according to its original intentions as envisioned by the founders MacGregor Mathers and Westcott. One such group run by Apollon Leontas and Desmond Bourke was the London based Serapis Temple, which survived the turn of the millennium.

22. Then we have the Orders created early in the 1920’s by former A∴O∴ Adepts, most prominently the Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A.) of Paul Foster Case and the Fraternity of the Inner Light of Dion Fortune (a.k.a. Violeth Firth). Dion Fortune, who is probably the second best known Golden Dawn author after Aleister Crowley, was also a member of the S.M. after she had been expelled from the A∴O∴. Both these derivative Orders preserved the Golden Dawn Tradition quite intact in their lodge work. We also have A.E. Waite’s Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, which has Temples still active today in England, although that particular tradition deviated far enough not to be properly labelled as Golden Dawn Tradition. Still it has its heritage in the Golden Dawn, which shows in its rituals (which also has been profaned quite recently). Crowley, although stemming from the Golden Dawn family tree, deviated even further and thus cannot be considered in this present discussion.

23. Furthermore, early neo-Golden Dawn Orders, or Golden Dawn derivative Orders, such as the Order of the Cubic Stone, founded by David Edwards and Robert Turner, and Countess Tamara Bourkoun’s Order of the Pyramid and the Sphinx, relied on unpublished documents belonging to private collections such as that of Gerald York. We also have the Servents of the Light (S.O.L.) of W.E. Butler, who was a direct successor to Dion Fortune’s Fraternity of the Inner Light although it worked with different rituals but within the “Western Mystery Tradition”, with its roots firmly planted in the soil of the Golden Dawn. Thus my point is that the Golden Dawn Tradition would have survived without the publication of Regardie’s editions of The Golden Dawn. I further hold that the secret Golden Dawn Tradition, as it once were preserved in its original Temple format, would have had a better chance of survival into the 21st Century wouldn’t it had been for Israel Regardie’s breach of his sacred vows.

24. The last point which I would like to bring to attention in my follow up essay on Secrecy is the curious opinion that one should make a clear distinction between the oral tradition and that of written documents. While old documents in private collections are of “public domain” and ought to be readily accessible for the uninitiated, as suggested earlier, the Oral Teachings are an entirely different matter. This is an entirely new spin on this matter and one of the clearest cases of rationalizations to justify publication. Traditionally there has never been any distinction made between teachings of a Hermetic Order, neither between “oral” or “written”. The oath of secrecy applies to both without evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation of any kind whatsoever.

25. Furthermore the next logical leap in this kind of rationalization is that there is no harm in publication of old manuscripts as they are not able to be unlocked without the necessary keys, which is given orally. Perhaps this is the case in some traditions, but not in that of the Golden Dawn. Thus I don’t agree with the opinion that one cannot properly apply the published G∴D∴ corpus without the help of “oral” traditions. Much of the Golden Dawn Inner Order material is straightforward and has a practical approach, at least when it comes to individual formulae. Many solitary G∴D∴ students have based their work solely on the written material of Crowley and Regardie quite successfully. Thus if you perform a certain Golden Dawn ritual according to the instructions, there will be obvious effects.

26. Besides, who says that an “oral” tradition encountered is necessarily a beneficial one? With so many Temples around which bases their existence on Crowley, Regardie, Torrens, King and Kuntz, there are lots of opinions and diverse experiences regarding the Golden Dawn tradition held by people irregularly initiated into the tradition. Although I do believe there exist sound oral traditions and experiences that may be shared which greatly may enhance the workings, some “oral” traditions can be a deviation to the original intent of the material and create noting but a stumbling block for the aspiring student. There are so many Golden Dawn students and teachers alike eager to share with their experience, often contradictory when compared, which has created somewhat of an inflation of “oral” traditions today.

27. But even amongst regularly initiated students there are diverse opinions of how to properly apply the “canonical texts” written by MacGregor Mathers and Westcott. Most Temples in the original G∴D∴, A∴O∴ and S.M. were quite independent and thus developed their own “oral” teachings, for better and for worse. Even here amongst chartered Temples teachings started to deviate in some quarters and develop in others. Even rituals were rewritten, as all who have compared the different publications or unpublished versions are well aware of.

28. Then we have the fact that the Stella Matutina was the offspring of a schism that separated a great body of Adepts from their original source of teachings, i.e. S.L. MacGregor Mathers who possessed the connection between the Second Order and that of the Third Order. Even Westcott seems to have supported the continuation of the A∴O∴ rather than S.M. after all dust and smoke had cleared away. Cut off from the Third Order source the Chief of the S.M., Robert Felkin, started to look for a new Secret Chief and finally found Rudolf Steiner. Through this contact some Steinerian concepts were introduced and the outlook upon the initiatory system reformed to adapt the G∴D∴ scheme to that of Steiner’s Misraim Service. Thus although the S.M. is properly an integral part of the Golden Dawn Tradition, and even made some very interesting developments on its own, it is also clear to me that it in parts deviated substantially from the original G∴D∴ and stood in contrast to the contemporary Rosicrucian Order of A∴O∴ which faithfully continued the original Golden Dawn Tradition of the G∴D∴, until it’s English branch became somewhat of a hybrid Stella Matutina-Alpha et Omega Tradition four decades after the demise of MacGregor Mathers.

29. But not even the “true oral traditions” of the Golden Dawn, who have found themselves in print, may be fully trusted to be part of the Golden Dawn Tradition proper as they emanated from a spin-off Order to the Whare Ra Temple in New Zeeland, called Order of the Table Round (O.T.R.), which continued its work after the closure of the last S.M. Temple. Thus many modern Temples, created from published works of both Crowley and Reagardie, and that of more modern authors, project their diverse visions of what the higher Grade teachings are supposed to be based on material which never takes off from the Adeptus Minor 5°=6° Grade. This material they use as a base to extrapolate teachings belonging to the Adeptus Major 6°=5° and Adeptus Exemptus 7°=4° Grades, and even to their vision of what the Third Order beyond the Abyss should properly look like.

30. But this situation is not unique to the Golden Dawn tradition. If one looks at the Rosicrucian system called the Misraïm Rite, one will find a veritable mess when it comes to the highest mysteries of Egyptian Freemasonry. There are countless of Lodges chartered, some regularly, some irregularly, and many in between. But everyone at least knows on the European continent that the highest mysteries of their Tradition are referred to as the process of internal alchemy called the Arcana Arcanorum (A.A.) mentioned above. But very few of the operative Misraïm Lodges actually possessed the A.A., which also implies that they weren’t regularly chartered in the first place, i.e. lacking in authentic lineage. Thus many Lodges invented their own A.A.:s which substantially deviated from the actual A.A. Thus there is now a dozen of false A.A.:s being administrated through initiation but only one true A.A. What happens to you and your spiritual development if you receive one of the false A.A.:s and implement it? What would happen to your Magic if you received an “oral tradition” that was in error or had little actual connection to the Tradition which it tries to explain?

31. Thus my advice is, whenever in doubt regarding any “oral” tradition received, always go back to the published corpus and check with scrutiny. If there is a contradiction between the document and any advices that you have received from your teacher or any modern author, you may be sure of that this “oral” tradition he or she represents is a deviation or later foreign incorporation. The only thing that most G∴D∴ students may be sure of is that the original documents as published through Crowley, Regardie, Torrens, King, Gilbert and Kuntz, when viewed and compared together, do constitute the canonical texts and thus are closer to the true Golden Dawn Tradition than anything else published, while books coming from the 1980’s and onwards, who purports to be the “secret oral teachings” of the Golden Dawn, must be regarded to be “apochryphical”. But as with the Christian apocrypha they sometimes may enlighten the canonical texts immensely, but sometimes not. So use your scrutiny wisely.

32. Besides a good teacher often hands out a document without any comments and sees how their student will apply it in practical work. The old Gold- und Rosenkreutz Order used to do this as part of a standard protocol, handing out curious alchemical Mss. who weren’t always easy to interpret. Those who could crack them were worthy of receiving additional instruction. Those who didn’t were hopelessly lost in the labyrinth. Now, we are a little bit more humane in my Temple. But when the student asks questions, sometimes the tutor may answer the questions openly, but sometimes only give a hint or pointer, or even suggest to “meditate” further. I.e. it is always good for a teacher to bring the student into a rapport with his own intuition (inner tutor), and check him against any deviating practices.

33. Thus, not revealing information immediately to a student isn’t at all necessary, as has been suggested, a way of wielding power over the lesser fortunate. On the contrary, more often than not, this is a sign of a truly good and experienced teacher. Inexperienced teachers are like inexperienced therapists; they are way to active and “serviceable”. Thus taking the role as teacher often entails strong temptations to hand out one advice after the other. Often it hurts not to. But the oftentimes best service a teacher may give to his student is to be silent and simply listen to the student, and see what develops in the process contained in that silence. But as they say, the hardest thing is to be a prophet in your own home village; one day I hope I will listen to my own advice better in my wish to become a good teacher and a good listener.

Addendum 2014-03-27

Since the publication of this blog post it has been sanitized and any direct references to particular individuals still living have been removed, in respect of keeping harmony and peace in the Golden Dawn Community.


13 kommentarer:

Solitary Dawn sa...

Well I could now write a legal essay about copyright laws, public domain and so on. Just that this would take too long and be misplaced here anyways. However, there is no automatism that anything old enough becomes public domain per se – or has to become public. The question of whether it may be published without consent of the author (his/her heirs) is another issue of course.

I have to say that I am one of the obvious beneficiaries of the published material. As for the authors you mentioned, I am glad they did what they did - out of very selfish reasons indeed. That does not mean that I would encourage anyone to breach any vows or so. I highly respect these. However, I also would like to have a place to go to and research whatever I need to research. The matter of the facts is that these days, there is so much material out there in the public domain, that it is indeed difficult to separate the nonsense from the valuable material. Of course you may develop a taste for what is real or better – helpful – once you advance in your studies but there is always the question whether you may just follow a false path based on the wrong way taken at the pre last conjunction.

I know, I could join an order and be safe…..but so far I have learned one thing. For the serious solitary student it is always possible to get valuable assistance and support also from members of the orders, without them breaking any vows, oaths etc. Your kind self, the kind Fratres Peregrin and A.I.T. but also some others are some good examples for practiced brotherly assistance, where possible.

Apart from that I find this a very interesting controversy…

Thanks for this post,

in L.V.X

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Care Frater Archad,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Thank you also for being such honest. I appreciate it.

Regarding the assistance of non-members of the Order. I try to help whenever I can. I have to make my priorites of course, my own students in my Temple must have precedence. But whenever I can spare some time I'm happy to assist even non-intitates.

It's not your fault that Regardie and Crowley did breach their vows and made it possible for you to access this wonderful tradition freely (more or less). I certainly don't blame you. On the contrary, any modern Golden Dawn Order must recognize this fact and try to assist whenever possible.

Let there be no doubt about it, that I am not the enemy of any solitary Golden Dawn magician. I call them (as I do you) my fratres and sorores as well. I am though an adversary to any initiates who profane the integrity of the Order and Tradition. Rest assured that these individuals are no brothers or sisters to me. On the other hand I'm quie naive and easily forget... Sometimes to easily.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Solitary Dawn sa...

Care Fra S.R.,

I did in no way took your post as an offense. You yourself said that you were drawn to - or made aware of teh Tradition by the published material. In that way it happened to me. Also I did not see this post as being anti solitary magician. The context is clear and your other posts make it clear where you stand too. And let me say this, I honestly appreciate your position and attitude towards non initiated practitioners of the GD Tradition.

In L.V.X.

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

In a response to Peregrin Wildoaks latest post on this subject I have the following to say. You may read his post here:


Peregrin and I are talking about two different things. He is addressing revelation of mysteries, which is always personal and is supposed to be facilitated by the training and application of symbols of a tradition, etc. The Christian monks and nuns for example doesn't profess to teach esotericism; all their teachings are part of the church which holds nothing secret as to the teachings of Christ. Still these monks and nuns are mystics and their "secrets" is expressed by their revelations in the mystical state, which cannot be expressed with words - hence it being "secret".

Peregrin also compares with the church mass which is exoteric. The Hermetic tradition and its eucharist is esoteric. This means that a distinction is made between initiates and non-initiates. The hermetic tradition i best taught and conferred through initiations and gradual training and teaching. This means that its teachings must be secret so that the initiate doesn't receive certain instructions and theory premature. At least this is the most optimal situation from the perspective of the initiate. Thus I don't agree with Peregrin that esoteric teachings is for the masses. It is not even for the minority. One hasn't the right to receive esoteric teachings (written or oral). One has to work for it and earn it.

Peregrin also compares with the Tibethan buddist trantric traditions, which according to him openly reveals their secrets. If so it is up to them to reveal their teachings to the public if they like. Besides not even a traditionalist Order as the H.O.G.D./A+O is dead silent, as everyone are very well aware of. It has been bold enough to reveal true secrets concering alchemy to the public which has never seen the light before. But this wasn't done without the consent of the guardians of these secrets, the Alchemical Masters.

Thus it is up to the Western Hermetic schools to decide for themselves if to reveal secrets or not; this decision is not left for anyonoe else outsider or to one particular initiate to decide without the consent of the Chiefs of that particular Order. In my opinion they (the Hermetic Orders) have the RIGHT to uphold the integrity of their teachings, not the other way around. Besides I doubt that we know all about the Tibethan tantric teachings. I'm sure they still have reserved their most precious secrets for their own orders (or monastaries).

But most important, what me and G.H. Fra. L.E.S. is addressing in this debate is the integrity of a working group, the egregore. Even Peregrin knows (or at least should know) that egregores need the hermetic vessel of silence and secrecy for it to thrive. For initiation ceremonies to be most optimally effective it needs a strong egregore. Thus in particular the intiation ceremonies themselves need to be secret, or have parts that are secret and uprofaned.

What if Peregrins own Temple in Perth has written their own or used some versions of the Rituals which weren't public. How would he have felt if someone profand them without his consent?

Not longer that one week ago he on this blog made us aware that the are much more similarites between the different factions than differences. But on this subject of secrecy in the esoteric traditions he, particularily in his above mentioned post, have also made me aware that there is an abyss between us. The importance of secrecy is the very foundation of a esoteric school. So, sorry as I am to say this, Peregrin and me (and the respective factions that we represent) are fundamentally different in our outlook on the mysteries and therefore live worlds apart. Unfortunately I cannot come to another conclusion than this.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Samuel Scarborough just left a comment on Peregin's blog (se above link) with of course hails the view represented by Peregrin. Some examples:

"These original documents published...have only furthered the tradition rather than harmed it. It has given those serious students who are doing the work additional material to compare, to see subtle differences, to gain insight from these differences. This also helps the modern GD practitioner (regardless of stripe) to gain insight into what the writer was thinking at the time the “original” document was written. These ideas can now be expanded upon by more modern GD members as they expand the material of their Orders."

"...those that make the most noise about Secrecy and Profanation of “Sacred material” are doing so not out of a sense of loyalty to the overall GD tradition, the current, or Hermetic Tradition as a whole. They fear the loss of control which is the shroud behind which the material they have is used."

"Not sure the publishing of the Bible has hurt that document being Sacred or the Koran"

See next comment to read my respons to this.

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Samuel Scarborough's thoughts represent the popular view and he definitely will make more friends than enemies promoting open publication of the G.D. tradition. As I said in my essay, the position which I represent is in a minority in the Golden Dawn community. As I also said, it is a lost cause. It is me that represent the un-popular view and take the role as the devil's advocate. I understand this as most Golden Dawn students draw their information on published sources being solo-practitioners.

However, Sam's position is definitely not the traditional one and he perfectly well knows it. But he and others will probably say, "hey man, it's time to adapt to the times of change".

Well, the H.O.G.D./A+0 has adapted to this new "open source" paradigm of 21st Millenium but not in the same way as he or others have. At the turn of the Century, namely in 1999, we reformed our Order because of this situation. We have acknowledged this fact and that our students are much more prepared and knowledgeble that the candidates one century ago. People now practice magical formulae originally reserved to the "Inner Order" in the Outer. The reformed Inner Order is now again sealed hermetically with substantial Rosicrucian and Hermetic, traditional, formulae which never has been published.

Beacause of the fact that we do possess this hermetically sealed part of the Tradition, we have to be selective of who we accept for candidates. All our candidates must accept (although they may still not understand) the EQUAL value of the four virtues of the Adept:

1. To Will
2. To Know
3. To Dare
4. To Be Silent

These teachings and in particular these practical applications are most optimally taught in the Traditional Temple or Lodge setting. We do in fact do this out of a sense to the student or initiate, and to the overall Hermetic Tradition. The H.O.G.D./A+O also takes responsibility for the solo-practitioner. It is not their fault that they have so easy access the material. Whenever possible we try to guide also the student who have chosen or is unable to take part of a Temple. However, in this guidance we may of course only limit ourselves to the published material and teachings as a reference.

But this reformation aside, I still condemn the actual cause of this reformation. We had to do it out of necessity as the damage were already done. However, contrary to most modern Golden Dawn schools, we still believe in the sanctity of our oaths and the esoteric (hence secret) nature of our mysteries.

It is quite strange that this attitude of publication and profanation is relatively "limited" to the Golden Dawn community and some traditions inspired by it. "Limited" is perhaps not the right word to use in this context as the Golden Dawn tradition is the dominant one in the West. But there exist other Rosicrucian and Hermetic currents, particularily in the more traditional European soil, which has a completely different attitude to that of the anglo-saxon Golden Dawn community. Funny enough, even in the pagan community, which is even bigger than that of the Golden Dawn, and in particular in the Wiccan tradition, they obviously understand the need of secrecy and the esoteric and occult implications of it much more than modern Golden Dawn Adepts.

See next comment for the final part of my response to Samuel Scarborough.

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

In closing, yes we do regard the Hermetic and Rosicrucian Tradition and its teachings as "sacred". One cannot compare it with a religion though or its Mss. with a holy book, however sacred they may be. It is strange that people today don't understand the difference between a esoteric tradition and exoteric religion, or between the religions devotee and the initiate. Still both are part of a Sacred Tradition but serves different purposes.

But both are also expressions of man's understanding of the Most Holy behind these sacred Tradition. Being "sacred" doesn't mean that the word written or spoked is final. But it is sacred as it deals with that part of man and his existance which beyond the wordly and profane. Hence as man develops, so must also the Sacred Tradition, both exoteric and esoteric. This is also the reason for the need of periodical general reformations "both of divine and humane things".

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Argent sa...

Care VH Frater S.R.

the only thing I have to say to your post is "Amen to that!"

in LVX

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Care Frater Argent,

Thank you for you support. We are a dying breed my friend.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Samuel Scarborough has responded to my last post. He doesn't surprise us when he tries to justify the right to publish original and historical Mss. as that would benefit every practictioner of the G.D. community. Sam suggests that it is a "quality of Sevice-to-Others" that motivats people to publish or “profane” the material.

Also, according to Sam it is also justified to profane unpublished material from the historical branches of the Golden Dawn as all modern Orders are re-creations or revivals and thus aren't part of the original branches themselves. He also says that he hasn't sworn any oath to uphold the secrecy of old and original documents.

Regarding my own oath that I took, I likewise haven’t sworn to uphold “old and historical” Mss. But I am addressing the spirit of the oath, not just the words spoken. I don’t think it’s a greater streach of the imagination to also upold the secrecy of historical and yet unpublished Order documents belonging to the Golden Dawn (or Stella Matutina and Alpha et Omega) if one has sworn to uphold the sanctity of one's own Golden Dawn based Order’s modern Mss. I definitely don’t believe that the “Guardians” of our Tradition sees any difference between modern and old material.

The fact is that there are modern Orders today who use variants of old, historical and unpublished versions of the Golden Dawn Grade rituals. It is irrelevant when something was written. The importance is that it is still used and regularily and that it creates a unique egregore which should be protected in its integrity.

Should scholarly concern go before magical concerns? What if there are Collage of the Adepti who use the A.O. 6=5 and 7=4 rituals? Should they also likewise be published for the greter good of the G.D. community?

Personally I believe that initiates deserve to experience these rituals as they are supposed to originally; as a total surprise and in a hermetic vessel upheld by the power of secrecy. Thus I beleive one also serves compassionately the initiate in this way. The Golden Dawn tradition was made by and for initiates, and it should continue to be maintained foremostly as a initiatory Tradition. Thus one shouldn't be able to pick out a book in some New Age bookstore and read about it in the armchair. One should experience it as it was meant to.

But personally I even go beyond the call of duty regarding the prohibition of publication. I would for example not publish anything coming from any genuine Rosicrucian Order as well, such as the Gold- und Rosenkreutz or the Asiatics, etc.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

In his last comment Samuel Scarborough made some interesting remarks of which I will quote the most relevant parts:

"But how many of us have broken our Oaths in one way or another? How many of us have “profaned” the material? [...] What about the “profanation” of releasing videos of our sacred rituals? That too has been done.

"Can any of us say we have not violated our Oaths in this regard? I really don’t think so. I have published commentaries on GD ritual, that certainly makes me guilty of profaning the material I suppose. Others...have participated in videos of the Equinox ceremony. That is a “profanation” as well. And of course there are all sorts of shades inbetween on profaning the material by all. Those people that answer questions or post blogs are just as guilty as those that publish in a book.

"As it says, “Let him without sin cast the first stone”. We are all guilty in one way or another of violation of Oath and profanation of the material – even if that profanation is just the opinion of an Adept within the tradition."

Sam is clearly making a reference to me who may bee seen on the videos that H.O.G.D./A+O published from the 2009 spring Equinox Ceremony of Ahatoor Temple No. 7, which celebrated the 100 years anniversary of the founding of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega.

All of these videos are short and heavily edited cuts from the entire Equinox Ceremony. It has left out all secret and unpublished parts of the Ceremony peculiar to the A.O. Only some minor details has been signs of confirmation which has perhaps been enlightning for some who has eyes to see.

Also, looking at the videos and editing them together it is hard to understand or have a grip of how an entire 0=0 opening and performance of the Equinox celebration should be performed; no-one may learn how to peroform it without resorting to published litterture in the first place.

Besides, it is no news to my readers that I have been perfectly clear in my blog posts before where I draw the line of what constitutes “profanation” and what doesn’t.

- It is o.k. to show, quote and refer to original historical materials published in books readily available to all.

- It is o.k. to write your own material which comments upon original historical and published material.

- It is not o.k. however to show or quote parts, or publish original historical documents which has not been hiereto published.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Anonym sa...

Dear Frater S.R.,
I do agree with your views on this vexed question. My own, and apparently rather unfashionable view, is that the GD system cannot work effectively unless pursued in secrecy. It is a particularly complex situation in todays world as evidenced by both your and my particular positions which entail a degree of compromise. In my own case, for example, it is an unhappy fact that a significant number of published documents actually emanate from me. This was never my intention and I originally provided these documents to people who had convinced me that they wished to see them solely for their own development. They subsequently, and naturally without consulting me, took the decision to publish them or passed them on to others who did so. Quite apart from the secrecy and trust angles I have, on occasions, been disturbed from my perspective as a would-be 'scholar'; i.e. the commentary they have provided has, all too often, struck me as less than adequate if not actually incorrect. This is currently posing me an ethical problem because I have been made aware that other rituals and papers I have made available to certain individuals are similarly likely to be published. Do I simply accept this as an unfortunate consequence of my naive trust or do I produce my own published version thus at least ensuring that the GD and scholarly public receive an account that is (in my view) more informed and accurate? A tricky issue. But your own situation also, it seems to me, carries a degree of flaw to the extent that your defence over the public video of a GD ceremony is less than entirely convincing. The necessary element of suprise you mention (which I completely agree with with) is surely reduced for a Neophyte who has watched this video. This is not a criticism as such but rather an acknowledgement that the modern age presents a far more difficult environment for those endeavouring to pursue a particular esoteric path in the same way as their predecessors did.

Warm fraternal regards

Sincerus Renatus... sa...

Care Frater Tony,

Thank you for your moral support. It feels quite lonely these days being a member of the "Golden Dawn community" and still nurturing these "unfashionable" opinions. So I appreciate when a Adept of your Greater standing finally express his opinions which happens to confirm mine.

I understand your position regarding the videos and the point is well taken.

Regarding your own dilemma I'm quite convinced that there is only your "naivity" to blame, nothing else. It is difficult to navigate in this modern age of Laissez Faire Order of the Golden Dawn. During the "classical" era of our Order one could trust the word of an initiate or occult student (perhaps with some limited exceptions, such as Crowley and Regardie who both showed us of what to expect of initiates in the future). One should be able to do this also today, but this is obviously not the case; Golden Dawn students simply cannot be trusted anymore to uphold the integrity of the secret material intact. You and I have both learnt this lesson the hard way.

But, what I would like to finally say in this matter, is that you have no responsibility of what oath breakers, word breakers, liers and morally unscrupulous individuals have done with your materials.

I know for myself it is difficult to keep a firm distance to these kind of emotions of guilt, and I still blame myself for the profanation of the 'Book of the Tomb'. I partially profaned it just by making a reference to it (which to my knowledge had never been done before). But deep down inside I know that it wasn't my fault that Nick Farrell profaned it in its entire; I would never had though out that idea myself. He had his own motives which has nothing to do with me. What I provided him with was a particularily good timing for him to do so, something he would have done anyway sooner or later.

Perhaps it is a quite severe position for me to take (and I expect to receive some flak because of it) but at least with their erroneous comments they have effectively upheld the cloak of secrecy, at least partially, over the profaned material, albeit unintentionally.

Personally I would never comment on any of your papers that has been profaned (periodically) on the internet, or recently in a book.

I also beleive that I have gone as far as I can in "revelation" on this blog. Sometimes I nurture the idea to shut down the goddam thing. But then I remember that one of its purposes is to serve the solitary students of the community. But in retrospect I have perhaps sometimes gone to far with this. Sometimes I'm little bit to enthusiastic. But I have learnt my lessons too...the hard way.

Thank's again for your valuable comments.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe