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

torsdag 30 juni 2011

How to marry the Bridegroom with his Bride: A follow-up to Alchemy and the Golden Dawn


TODAY – at last – there seems to be a somewhat general agreement in the Golden Dawn community that Alchemy should serve as the capstone to the initiatic system, or at least take on a more substantial role in the senior Grades. This has not always been the case, however. With the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn / Alpha et Omega® this process was initiated following the general reformation anno 1999. As the Alchemical corpus is vast and contains many different aspects (“ways” and “paths”), this implementation and integration of Alchemy with the Golden Dawn has since then been a work in progress, and continues to be so.

I have already written about how I regard these issues in a previous essay; my ideal projected Order. This present essay may bee seen as a companion or follow up to this initial contribution. Or rather it is a comment on recent discussions regarding this would-be marriage of the Golden Dawn with Alchemy. In this respect the “Bride” is the Temple or Order of the Golden Dawn Dawn in the Outer and the Vault of the Adepti of the R.R. et A.C., the bridegroom being the Hermetic Alchemical Tradition since antiquity preserved through the Third Order.

I have, since the very start of my studies of the Golden Dawn Tradition, often asked myself: “Why is the Order actually called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn? Why not the Qabalistic Order of the Golden Dawn instead? Most of its teachings are Qabalistic anyway? Where is the Hermetica? Where is the Alchemy?” Well, it’s time for the Golden Dawn to properly deserve its designation “Hermetic”, don’t you think?

Now, quite recently, this has become a general discussion and debate – finally! But other than this superficial likeness, that most of us agree with the premise that alchemy should become integrated somehow with the Golden Dawn tradition, the different factions within the community are dealing with this deficiency or lack of Alchemy in the Second Order or R.R. et A.C. in completely different ways. What we see today is rather a polemic how Alchemy should correctly be interpreted. This major difference may be properly analyzed using the already suggested model of “traditionalism” vs. “reconstructionism”.

Reconstructionist reformers are quite stubborn on their self reliance in creating their own system / interpretation of Alchemy – from a non-operational perspective – and forcing it into the Golden Dawn system. There is also a general skepticism, amongst reconstructionists embracing modern natural sciences as dogma, regarding the true value of operational Alchemy, either of the “external” and laboratory type, or of the “internal” kind, the latter often associated with Eastern Tantra and Yoga or Daoism, and thus “foreign” to the Golden Dawn. Few reconstructionists belive in a true material Philosopher’s Stone. Thus they are only interested in developing the speculative or “spiritual” side of alchemical interpretation, which is beyond the scrutiny of natural science, the Stone serving as the metaphor for the illuminated Soul, or similar such notions. Thus is created a dualism between spirit and matter, which is the very antithesis of true Alchemy.

Traditionalists on the other hand are instead doing research into older alchemical and Rosicrucian Mss. and oral traditions to develop their Second and Third Orders in an alchemical (and operative) direction. They also agree upon that there exists an intrinsically Occidental form of Internal Alchemy which is akin to Oriental Tantra but at the same time unique and distinct from the latter, seeing the physical body and matter as an expression of spiritual forces. Traditionalists believe in a actual Philosopher’s Stone and in the reality of transmutation, both of the body and of base metals. Some of these researching Adepti have also struck gold in their digging, finding a dusty copy of the legendary Arcana Arcanorum, and some even fewer receiving internal processings which goes way beyond that.

One well known and respected authority of the post-modern reconstructionist faction of the Golden Dawn, who also disputes the veracity of physical transmutation using the agent of the Stone, has even stated that the Alchemical tradition needs to be adapted to the Golden Dawn paradigm for it to work with the latter in harmony, to prevent any changes to the overall Golden Dawn sub-systems, etc., which is quite baroque for a traditionalist as myself. This type of militant reconstructionism not only tries to reconstruct the Golden Dawn, but the entire Hermetic tradition behind it as well. For a traditionalist it is the other way around in the process of integrating Alchemy with the Golden Dawn tradition; the alchemical tradition has millennia behind it compared to the single Century with the Golden Dawn and should properly mould the latter.

That said, the more I study and practice the Royal Art and do comparative study of esoteric traditions, the more I am convinced of the fact that Alchemy truly is an archetypal language (in a non-Jungian sense) which forms the foundation for most spiritual and religious systems. May I please refer the reader to my latest blog effort. As an example, just by chance while attending a wedding ceremony, I noticed the symbol of the Ouroboros (the serpent biting its own tail) in the Church, flanking the statue of the Crucified Christ. Students of alchemy are well aware of its significance as a symbol of the Royal Art. Its interconnection with Christ and his resurrection is intriguing and proves my case; a wedding ceremony in itself is of course charged with an alchemical significance.

The twin Ourobori (the two gilded circles)
on each side of the crucifix, at Varbergs Kyrka.

Thus, I do believe there is some merit to “spiritual alchemy” after all, although it is quite a recent invention compared to operative alchemy. As an example, the interplay between the King (God / Sol) and Queen (Goddess / Luna) – “the dual contending forces” or sexual polarity – permeates all levels of manifestation, both in the large and the small. Spiritual or analogical alchemy actually saw its first beginnings with the works of Jacob Boehme of the 17th Century, and was also to some extent developed in the original Golden Dawn as well, more than two Centuries later. Alchemy lends itself very well in better understanding the underlying mechanics of the initiatory system of the Golden Dawn, in particular with respect to the phases of the Great Work and the colours, etc.

Being a typical Virgo I cannot help doing that myself on occasion; it really helps me grasping the greater context of the Golden Dawn system. However I would never dream of changing one letter of the old alchemical tradition. On the contrary, if something should be changed it is the Golden Dawn tradition itself, although that fortunately enough seldom must be done as it was based upon the Hermetic Alchemical Tradition in the first place. As I said, its initiatory system lends itself splendidly for alchemical interpretation.

In his recent book Rosicrucian Tradition of the Golden Dawn Samuel Robinson seems to have done something to this effect, and as it looks in the first analysis, from a traditionalist point of view. I am eagerly anticipating its arrival in my mail box in a week or so, and after a careful reading I will return with a full review. I sense it’s a good piece of work, having been following the written words of the author on yahoo for the last years, although his alchemical analysis seems to be limited to the somewhat flawed Stella Matutina 5 degrees system (along the Middle Pillar); Malkuth (Outer Order and first degree), Yesod (second degree) and Adeptus Minor (third degree). No doubt he has corresponded these degrees to the three stages of nigredo, albedo and rubedo, as I myself once did years ago, that is before I discovered the actual reason behind why the Stella Matutina reformed its 11 grade system into a 5 degrees system; today I do it quite differently that for me makes more sense.

However, it must be stated clearly that any “sprititual alchemy” can only constitute a minor part of the alchemical corpus of the Second Order or R.R. et A.C., which primarily must be an operative alchemical order. Anything less than this constitutes a mere “mental masturbation”, if you excuse my rather vulgar use of language. But alchemy is not about intellectual mind games and fanciful speculation, actually, but rather about the energetic transmutation of the body of the initiate, for him or her to “become more than human”, that is, one of the divine immortals or demi-gods – the divinization of humanity. Its techniques are designed with this aim in mind.

What I like with Mr. Robinson’s take on the work of developing the alchemical tradition is that he seems to have a mainly operational emphasis, focusing on the laboratory aspect of alchemy or “external alchemy”, something that I myself agree upon. However I believe we have to work with all of the kingdoms of nature, not only the vegetable, that is, the mineral as well as animal. Our Rosicrucian ancestors in the 18th Century mainly worked on the mineral and animal kingdoms. This is the heritage that we have to administer to our initiates.

To summarize this present discussion, I must emphasize that if you look upon the Golden Dawn tradition from the perspective of the alchemical tradition the former will reveal itself, but if you do the reverse – that is interpreting the alchemical tradition from the limited perspective of the Golden Dawn – your understanding of Alchemy will be clogged. Or to use the above metaphor of the bride and the bridegroom: In most traditional cultures the bride moves to the household of the bridegroom and also takes upon her the latter’s surname. In the case of the Order of the Golden Dawn, this surname is “Hermetic”.

Please don’t misinterpret my latest metaphor (which happens all the time it seems). If you would know me personally you also would know that I am a strong defender of women’s rights, as also MacGregor Mathers was one Century earlier and any initiate would. In truth, the dual contending forces are equal in standing, as shown by the two Pillars in the Hall of the Neophytes. However, in this particular case, the metaphor of a traditional marriage is quite apt as it is the younger tradition (the Golden Dawn) which should adapt itself to the older Tradition (Hermeticism); it is also a question of the merging of generations. However, from this union also something new and fresh emerges; a future offspring. One such “offspring” is the allowance for alchemical speculation, in the vain of so-called “spiritual alchemy”, if done in moderation and without loosing track of the true aims of operational Alchemy. The other is the merging of Magical Ritual with Alchemical Operation, of which I spoke in my earlier essay. Ora et Labora!

Addendum (2014-03-13)

Since writing this blog yours truly is no longer affiliated with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Outer Order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega® (H.O.G.D./A+O®). However, my general view on this subject stays firmly unchanged, as expressed in the above written text, and what I have authored previously on the Gyllene Gryningen blog still represents my overall opinion. Any practices referred to in reference to the H.O.G.D./A+O® also apply to the Order that I am currently affiliated with, namely the Hermetiska Orden av Den Gryende Morgonrodnaden (“Hermetic Order of the Nascent Aurora”) or H∴O∴G∴M+R


onsdag 29 juni 2011

Theurgic Black Magic


Reading Rufus Opus’ latest blog post and its follow up today I was mildly upset as well as quite intrigued by its contents. Now I haven’t been following his blog or looked at his web page in any greater detail, although it seems to me he is one of the more knowledgeable and proficient magicians out there on the blogosphere, having his foundation in neo-Platonism and esoteric Christianity. It also stands quite clear that he is a very well respected authority on Magic and the classical traditions.

The main issue for me personally is that Rufus Opus has used and frequently is using ritual magic to affect the free will of individuals that annoys him. Using a consecrated material substitute for that particular annoying person he invokes the 7 Planetary Lords and initiates her to their influence to remedy her “sickness” or “faulty ways” of thinking and feeling towards her neighbors – i.e. to stop being such an pain in the neck. This, he claims, he is doing for her own good.

But him being a professed Christian, it makes me wonder if Rufus Opus has ever considered the ethics involved in this kind of “black” magic? What about the free will of man? And who is he to actually know what is best for a human being? Isn’t that the prerogative of God? Is it right to use magic to initiate persons against their will? Is it fair to heal people without their consent?

In my humble opinion, it takes a Magician of Christ’s standing (or a man-god) to free individuals from their burden of karma. Does Rufus Opus consider himself being His equal? It does seem to me that he in fact is doing this out of compassion for the souls of these inflicted individuals. But is he aware of all the consequences of his actions and of the intricate interconnections which we call “fate”, that this person is suppose to experience for her to grow spiritually? Is he aware that in doing this he perhaps is ridding that person from a possible important lesson in life because of any future consequences of Rufus Opus’ actions?

Shouldn’t spiritual development and psychic maturity mainly come (or originate) from within the person, and not from any outside influence? Even if someone can be an important initiator to start a process of growth, personal insight still have to come from within to have any fundamental changing effect, as may be construed from the word itself. Isn’t it the work of the Divine Genius or Holy Guardian Angel of that person to teach her lessons? Isn’t Rufus Opus, when he stepps in, taking his place in Its stead?

These are just some questions that popped up reading Rufus Opus’ last two blog posts. I have my personal opinion regarding all of this, but I don’t know for sure what is the right conduct in instances as this. I suppose there is a line that may be crossed where a Magician can put on the cloak of Christ to remedy mental and behaviour sickness of this kind, but are these instances that he has exemplified – i.e. that of people causing strife and being generally annoying – really belonging to this category? I’m interested in hearing your opinions on this matter.

Rufus Opus himself refers to this formula of Theurgy used against others as the “truest form of Black Magic”. But I don’t know if one form of black magic is actually better than any other. Compare this use of magical manipulation of someone’s free will with an ordinary magical attack where you want to injure or hurt someone. In the latter case you at least have left that person’s free will and integrity intact, even if his life perhaps has been shattered to ruins, if you know what I mean. So I don’t actually know which of these two kinds of black magics is morally superior. What I’m sure of though is that any such magical manipulation of someone else’s fate creates negative after-effects for the magician himself; consider the heavy burden of karma being carried over from that other person. That is a heavy burden ideed for an ordinary magician to carry.

Personally I have never resolved to using back magic of any kind, nor would I do it in any future, perhaps with the exception of warding off someone else’s direct magical attack against me or any of my beloved ones (especially the latter) – but then again that last example wouldn’t constitute any “black magic” in the first place as self-defense is ethically permittable. As I have said in a recent previous blog post, there are situations where severity is required to deal with certain aggressions. However, I’m not a particularly paranoid person, although I do believe that I and others close to me in fact have experienced magical attacks in the past.

What I would do, if being in a similar situation as that of Rufus Opus, is to pray for the annoying person’s soul to receive the Light to better her ways – that is, receive the Light only if she consent to it. Remember that no true initiation forces itself upon any individual; the conscious consent of the candidate is always an important factor also during the ceremony itself (see the “Ritual Z.3” of the R.R. et A.C. corpus). That kind of working could also have involved opening up a direct line with that person’s Holy Guardian Angel, praying for it of doing that, having one’s own Angel communicating with the other person’s Angel or, if one somehow knows the other Angel’s name, through evocation. But then again not forcing anything upon any of them, neither Angel nor Man, only requesting for the Angel’s guidance of the poor soul. As a kind of compassionate prayer.

Perhaps the best solution to all of this would have been to invoke one’s own Holy Guardian Angel or Divine Genius to provide for oneself some more patience and forgiveness towards the other person. We cannot (or shouldn’t dare to) change anyone else, but we definitely can and should change ourselves. As initiates that is our main and constant task.

I’m not trying to be overly judgmental of Rufus Opus’ actions and ideas here, although I would admonish caution against anyone considering what he has suggested. His blog posts have raised several important issues and questions that I wanted to address. What I’m saying is that it may be proper to do this kind of workings if you are working under the consent of the Divine, being given the authority to burn away someone else’s Karma or alleviating his burden of Guilt or Sin, partaking of the level of initiation that equals that of Jesus Christ. In the Golden Dawn scheme of things, this would equal someone being at least a Magus 9°=2°. I hope that Rufus Opus has already earned this spiritual standing, for the sake of his own soul and that of his victims.