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

söndag 28 oktober 2012

Red herrings regarding the higher teachings of the A∴O∴ and its true Third Order

PAT ZALEWSKI made some comments about MacGregor Mathers’ Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega, the senior Grades and one hypothesis about the Third Order, back on the reconstructionist yahoo-forum a week ago, which has come to my attention just recently and that needs some further problematization on my behalf. I will address these issues as briefly as I can, as I don’t want to repeat myself; therefore you must indulge me to provide you with some links to previous postings by me on this blog. Now, Mr. Zalewski starts off saying, that:
In the enochian system, the tablets and serviant squares were ZAM [Zelator Adeptus Minor] and the Kerubics at THAM [Theoricus Adeptus Minor]. The calvary cross was most likely at PAM [Practicus Adeptus Minor] and the central cross at PhAM [Philosophus Adeptus Minor] and the Tablet of Union at AAM [Adept Adeptus Minor]. On the ritual study since the ZAM was a study of the 0=0 and the THAM a study of the 1=10 the rest of 5=6 sub-grades would be taken up by the elemental ritual. That leaves the Portal and 5=6 to be analysed, and that was most likely done at 6=5 and 7=4 level- if we follow the GD pattern. I very much doubt that any of this was followed through on.
While Mr. Zalewski is quite correct that the Second Order of the original Order of the GD and the Rosicrucian Order of AO seperated the in depth analysis of the Kerubic Squares from the Z.A.M. curriculum and reserved it for the Th.A.M., the rest is speculation on Mr. Zalewski’s behalf regarding the P.A.M., Ph.A.M., and A.A.M. sub-grades and the Enochian teachings, although there is some merit and logic to his suggestions. Regarding Elemental Grade analysis, I agree with Mr. Zalewski that this is most likely and that as the 1°=10° was the study of a Th.A.M., the 2°=9° should have been the study of a P.A.M., the 3°=8° of a Ph.A.M. and the 4°=7° of a A.A.M. However, we do not know if the Portal Grade also was not part of the A.A.M. curriculum.

I personally doubt though that the 5
°=6° was supposed to be analysed at all in that same manner; the Ritual of the Portals perhaps, as it follows the same pattern as that of the Elemental Grades. But regarding the 5°=6° I seriously doubt this as it is of an entirely different nature. We know that the Ritual of the Portals was the precursor to the later 5°=6° Ritual, which created the first nominal Adepti Minori; although them two later becoming attached, the Ritual of the Portals being a species of preliminary “ritual of the paths” which lead the aspirant to the Vault of the Adepti, they are of entire different matters altogether. While the Ritual of the Portals belongs to the same type of rituals as that of the Elemental Grades, the 5°=6° belongs to entirely different types of rituals which sets it (and the other senior Adepti Grade Rituals) apart from the Outer Order formula.

What we also do know is that its symbolism was analysed in The Book of the Tomb, on an relatively early level of the study of the Minor Adept, perhaps even at the level of Neophyte Adeptus Minor. (There exists an entirely different analysis, similar to that of the Book of the Tomb, attached as an appendix to the A
O 5°=6° Ritual, which suggests this.) I seriously doubt that senior Adepts such as Westcott was priviliged to any higher knowledge of what was actually going on in the 5°=6° Ritual, beyond the obvious and its symbology; that knowledge was reserved for the Third Order initiates such as MacGregor Mathers who understood it in the light of the rituals of the 6°=5° and 7°=4°, which are part of an entire and interlinked initiatic cycle. Beyond this information, I cannot venture any deeper into this subject matter without breaching initiatic secrets; I have given you enough hints to understand that it is impossible to “analyse” the 5°=6° Ritual in the same manner as you will find it in Mr. Zalewski’s Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries. Thus I do agree with Mr. Zalewski that not that much was followed through on. Then Mr. Zalewski continues:
The GD tarot for the AO was never completed and they used the S[tella] M[atutina] cards -from what I was told. Enochian chess was never finished nor the governors of the tablets nor the seal. There was a great deal left undone.
As I said, I tend to agree with Mr. Zalewski on this one, that a great deal was left undone. However, his suggestion that the AO initiates were using Felkin’s version from the Stella Matutina is quite ludicrous. If anything, the initiates of the AO, as was the case with that of the original GD, were using the current published decks, such as Papus’ The Tarot of the Bohemians which my earlier short essay on the confusion of Strength vs. Justice attributions suggests. I am also quite content in believing that the GD and later the AO used Tarot Keys drawn up for the various Rituals used in the Temple and Vault. However, I do agree with Mr. Zalewski that it was not very likely that these Keys were copied to any greater extent by the initiates themselves. However, this doesn’t at all suggest that an entire esoteric Tarot Deck was not existent in the AO. Mr. Zalewski then continues:
I tend to side with Nick Farrell on the higher levels of the AO under Mathers. If Berridge only reached 6=5 then it very in the AO few made it to 7=4, only chiefs. Tony Fullers Idea (which he delivered a paper on some years ago at the first GD conference) of the Sun order being a defacto Third order of the GD has much merit. As far as those GD members were concerned, in all probability what was lacking in the GD and AO could be found in the material in the Sun order. So there was no real need to go to the higher GD levels to obtain this information when the Sun order provided it.
If Tony Fuller once held this highly speculative idea, it seems he doesn’t any more. I don’t blame him for changing his mind as this idea about the Sun Order (also known as he Cromlech Temple) being the Third Order of the GD is even more ludicrous than then previous one. The Sun Order was originally an entirely different Order, which saw dual membership between the AO and the Sun Order as beneficent. Some of its teachings of the Aura seems to interact quite well with the teachings in the GD regarding the Sphere of Sensation. However, this doesn’t at all mean that the Sun Order was an acting Third Order for the AO. At the very most, the Sun Order and its Cromlech Temple served to be a species of “side degrees”, which is a quite common concept in Freemasonry. That is, degrees which is not required but is regarded to bee looked in favour to further the understanding of the formal degrees.

Thus, to a certain degree, the Adepti of the A
O could have regarded the Sun Order to act as a side order, adding some to the core teachings of the R.R. et A.C. This is also a analysis which I seem to share with the late Francis King, the author of Ritual Magic in England which was the first literary work discussing and publishing Sun Order material. Besides, nothing suggests that anything produced in the Cromlech Temple relevant to the AO reached any higher Grade than that of the 7°=4°, which negates it being any “Third Order” which obviously operates Grades beyond that of the Adeptus Exemptus. I already addressed this topic four years ago in my essay on the sexual teachings of the Alpha et Omega and its supposed relation to the Cromlech Temple and already then concluded that the Sun Order is a dead end in understanding the Third Order of the GD and AO.

According to the same Mr. Fuller which Mr. Zalewski cites as a source for his own pet theories, MacGregor Marthers had set up an “Adept Collage” which consisted of the R.R.et A.C. and the Sun Order as the “two Sister Rosicrucian Orders in Britannia”; thus the Sun Order wasn’t regarded to be superior to but equal to the R.R et A.C. (Second Order) of the A
O, which negates it being put upon any pedestal (i.e. a Third Order). Even Mr. Fuller himself was much hesitant in 2008 to assert that this was a general attitude within the AO, although some Adepts of the SM might have believed this to be true. I went over all of this in 2008 and my short essay entitled The Amity of the Alpha et Omega and the Stella Matutina, and in 2009 in my follow-up on the higher teachings of the Alpha et Omega and the Solar Order. Finally, Mr. Zalewski choses to write thus:
I's [sic.] like to add one very important point here about Astral masters in the SM and Sun Order. Felkin’s chiefs of the Sun Order (some call the Sun masters) were also spitting information on the GD as well. The Sun masters were interchangeable with the GD guides.
This is a pure speculation on behalf of Mr. Zalewski. I doubt that Felkin had anything to do with the Cromlech Temple at the time of his “Sun Masters” phase. This confusion between the Sun Order and the “Sun Masters” has also been suggested by Nick Farrell in his book King over the water, which I have addressed in a review. It’s pure coincidence; the reference to the Sun being of such a universal significance that this kind of confusion is easily made. Mr. Fuller suggests that even Felkin himself later made this confusion. This entire subject of astral masters has nothing whatsoever to do with the real Secret Chiefs of the true Third Order, which is the custodian of the ancient teachings of Internal Alchemy. Nothing contained in the teachings of neither the Sun Order nor the “Sun Masters” suggest any connection to these ancient alchemical teachings. Thus, Mr. Zalewski’s suggestions, faithfully “corroborating” that of Mr. Farrell’s, is simply a red herring. Nothing more.


lördag 2 juni 2012

Is morality important to succeed in your occult practice? Says who?

Peregrin Wildoak, our own Internet police officer, today took his higher moral ground yet again and from his ivory tower communicated a telegram criticizing the emphasis on advanced practices, a message which was written as a general survey but actually is targeted at the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega®, using his usual holier than thou attitude. What betrays him is the following line:
Magic – even the most intense and ‘powerful’ advanced, secret-third-order-sex-magic – is not enough.
Mr. Wildoak is referring to the idea that practices by themselves are not enough but that the right attitude and motives renders them effective, which amongst else entails:
…morality, compassion, altruism, …and community service...
As Mr. Wildoak is using writings on the Internet as a measuring stick for the level of spiritual development, I wonder if he considers epithets such as “anti-Christian nutters”, “clowns having a bad acid trip”, “a few olives short of a pizza”, to name but a few, thrown by him at people who disagrees with his worldview being a true sign of compassion?

Contrary to him, I damn well know that you cannot judge a character from his writings, especially not on the Internet. Commonly, people writing acid on the Internet are the direct opposite in their everyday interaction with their neighbour. It seems that Internet has a tendency to bring out the worst of us all, even in Peregrin Wildoak that Great Compassionate One, which is quite obvious, especially when reading his often sarcastic and ironic comments on other peoples blogs. So he has the benefit of the doubt on this one; I will bite my tongue and take this line of though no further.

But one thing is for sure: He has developed something like an allergy against anything penned by a member of the Alpha Omega®. Now he tries his very best to undermine the value of the fact that the Alpha Omega® in fact has something very solid to present for its Adepts, especially the senior ones, such as a fully working initiatory system and curriculum for all the Grades of our Second and Third Orders. So to legitimise his own reconstructed franchise, he has to assassinate our and other traditionalist fraternities who make it their task to actually present something solid and traditional.

The latest thing is that the lack of the right attitude – which of course has been defined by Mr. Wildoak himself – nullifies any advanced practices. Let me tell you what the greatest error is in his reasoning: As any reconstructionist, he doesn’t belive that magical and alchemical practices has any tangible (as in physical) effects but only affects us mentally and “spiritually”; the belief that spiritual developement is a mental thing and primarily show its signs in “right” thinking and behaviour. Magic is reduced to a species of occult psychology. So, with this line of reasoning, it must be the right or wrong mental attitude which decides a certain outcome of the technique, not the techique itself. That is, any mental attitude as defined by Mr. Wildoak and his spiritual idols.

Well, I might surprise some of you with what I am about to say, but pardon me if I feel the urge to simplify matters somewhat just to create a balance in the discussion. Though things that I will bring up here might apparently go contrary and seem contradictory to what I have said regarding attitude and magic before on this blog, this is actually not the case if you care to look closer and read beyond sheer semantics and refrain from splitting hairs; although I today believe that magic and alchemy is more closely linked as well in nature, i.e. together constitute objective sciences. Thus, any practice will be effective regardless of your attitude. The only qualities that actually are required, besides the knowledge of the formula itself, is determination, discipline, concentration, courage and will, and last and not least silence. Tranquillity and equilibrium of mind and emotion is of course good to gain success. But ethical and moral qualities are not required to gain success in magic and alchemy, especially not in alchemy.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that ethics and a morality aren’t important in occultism. It is of course important as this constitutes a signpost of spiritual unfoldment. What I am saying is that you don’t have to be moral or ethical prior to experiencing effects from spiritual exercises. That was also my punch line in my previous essay on this matter, that attitude must be allowed to developed over time and with our own internal understanding or gnosis of the technique we are performing, not from any external sources.

Much of what we consider to be ethical or moral behaviour or attitude is not the same thing as true ethics or true morals. Almost all of our opinions regarding this subject matter have been ingrained into our minds, and especially onto the subconscious levels of the mind, since even before we could crawl. Our superego has been developed out of fear of reprisals and social excommunication. But “fear is failure” to use the words of the Hiereus. True ethics and true morals cannot be based on fear of experiencing shame. Morality must come from within, regardless of any expected external responses good or bad; true morals and ethics often goes against the common opinions of what constitutes moral and ethical behaviour.

To use the psychology of Sigmund Freud, the superego – which hosts our morality and code of ethics and conduct – is actually built up from the energies belonging to the death drive. That’s why the superego tries its very best to suppress or repress our personality. The superego is the despotic tyrant which has usurped the throne of our True and Higher Self; it cloaks our vision of the Self beyond the Abyss. In the worst case scenario a person might take his own life when the power and pressure of the superego becomes to heavy a burden to carry; the usual cause of suicide is motivated by the urges of the superego. That ultimate act of desperation of course goes contrary to anything originating in the True Self.

Compassion is paramount as a sign of spiritual unfoldment. But it cannot be based upon fear – such as having a pharisaical Mr. Wildoak pointing his finger at me and saying what a naughty boy I am, writing this – to be properly defined as a true compassion or a real sign of spiritual development. It has to come from within, from that source of power many of us call “God”. Or as Socrates, according to Plato, would have put it: “What is dear to the gods is pious” – not what is dear to men. Plato further believed that the knowledge of moral truths springs from intelligence, and by “intelligence” Plato wasn’t referring to the ordinary rational faculties of mortal men but the eternal intellect of God. It is with this intelligence, Platon informs us, that we may perceive the ideal forms. These ideal forms also entails morals and ethics.

So compassion, or any morality, cannot be based upon conditioning, submission or adaptation to the requirements of any contemporary societys paradigm. I doubt that any person who hasn’t experienced the divine presence of compassion, which traditionally is attributed to Chesed and the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus, is able to comprehend and even less express true Compassion. It must come from an experience from within or be born out of an internal understanding. Compassion in reality has its origin in the experience (not some lofty philosophical concept) that we all are part of the All; that we all are as One.

The difference lies between extreme morality and radical morality, two contrary concepts. The former is that kind which has been ingrained into us through society’s program of conditioning, that kind which comes from the outside of the individual and represses him; the latter is that morality which comes from within or from the divine source – a gnosis which liberates. “Extreme” means “outermost” and has its etymological origin in the Latin word exter (“external”); exoteric. “Radical” means “coming from the source” and has its etymological origin in the Latin radix (“root”); esoteric. (I am indebted to the Swedish sufi Mohamed Omar for this etymological significance and interpretation.)

This is why the esoterical path, at least of the kind which is the most radical, often is regarded to be antinomian in nature, as we as students of the Hermetic path must shed the coatings that has been pasted onto us through the process of upbringing and fostering – the family is the primary institution of societys mental conditoning. How many true esotericists hasn’t been stoned, burned or crucified to death because of their radical and antinomian behaviour and message? Martyrdom goes hand in hand with being a radical esotericist. To really transcend the Abyss into the realm of the Supernals you have to make sacrifies of all of your pet opinions and the very paradigm in which you are living; you have to kill your darlings so to speak, even (and especially) the most precious ones. 

That is why I find Mr. Wildoak’s proposition, that we should make community service for our initiates mandatory, to be ridiculous and based on a fallacy. Why should his students be forced to do that? Because he tells them to? Is that a good way to gauge a moral behaviour, to force someone to behave in a certain ethically accepted way out of fear of reprisals (i.e. being barred from advancement in Grade)? Is that to develop morality and ethics? I would rather say that it is unethical to require any such behaviour from your students based upon contemporary attitudes on morality and ethics. Perhaps Mr. Wildoak want to train a flock of meek sheep; I personally want to train future shepherds. I want my students to be radical in the truest sense of the word.

But let us not digress to far, as this short piece actually wasnt intended to address morality per se but magical practice and to answer if morality is a prerequisite for its performance; this little digression just came to me as a true inspiration while writing. So, is a moral attitude and conduct a prerequisite for a successful practice? No, it’s the other way around actually. Moral attitude and conduct (which often goes contrary to what we expect to be moral in our contemporary society mind you!) is the outcome of proper practice; one of the major signposts that you are doing it right.

Magic and alchemy isn’t primary a mental thing, i.e. a mental manipulation of your thought patters or a reprogramming of a sorts – NLP and all that behaviouristic crap based upon manipulation techniques and chock doctrines. There is some of that as part of occult study; there is a certain orthodoxy and dogma also in occultism that has to be digested and integrated. But it has nothing to do with practice, although theory is a good start in understanding what you are doing practically. But it is not essential for any successful outcome; and understanding will develop over time anyway.

What is the purpose of magic and alchemy then? To transform your vehicle, that is your body (physical, energetic and astral) into a pure cup or calice so that it at length might receive that Solar spirit and illuminate your soul. How is this vehicle transformed? Through energetic manipulation. A magical exercise must have a direct energetic effect on your vehicle to have any value in the work. This also involves meditation, as that attracts energies as well and creates direct bodily changes. Only thus may we become aware of the true morals and ethics which comes from within, and develop a true moral and ethical orthopraxy.

So how are we then to address the compelling metaphor used by Mr. Wildoak:
Though a robe be washed a thousand times, how can it be clean if it is washed in dirty water?
This metaphor is compelling because it does convey a certain truth. But is the “water” actually the “context, the motivation and environment in which we practice”? That of course depends on what you define as context and environment. But Mr. Wildoak addresses the right and proper mental attitude here, not the actual place of working. This metaphor is workable if we by “robe” mean “vehicle” and by “water” refer to “energy”. We must always invoke the highest names of God and choose our forces invoked with due care, as well as be tranquil and equilibrated, and stay focused, while we conduct the operation. Thus may we wash the robe with clean water.

But if we by “robe” mean “morality” (or rather that vehicle which holds it) and by “water” refer to “context”, I would say that “dirty water” is the equivalent of conditioned social expectation and superficial knowledge while “clean water” is a reference to gnosis coming from the spring of God. So what we have to do as serious students of the occult arts and sciences, is to throw out that dirty water from our basin (the vehicle) and make us receptive for the pure and fresh water of life to be poured into it. This may be the esoteric or radical significande of the symbology which is expressed by the baptism of the Christian and Gnostic sacrament, and the purification by water and consecration by fire in the Golden Dawn. According to the gospels the baptism by John marked the descent of the Holy Ghost upon Jesus of Nazareth, which the Gnostics declared was his awakening unto the Christ force. For me, the Christ force is a Christian interpretation of what occidental alchemists refer to as Solar consciousness. And with that level of spiritual unfoldment comes naturally a true Compassion carried with the rays of the Sun.

Addendum (2014-05-04)

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.


måndag 21 maj 2012

Were there no Egyptian mysteries?

Peregrin Wildoak, in a response to my blogpost on the Primordial vs. Temporal Traditions, wrote a couple of days ago:
The way ancient and pre-modern folk understood the world is very different to the way we understand it.
We cannot easily escape our culture and the paradigm with live in, no matter how much we try.
To down play on the Traditionalist concept of original Egyptian Mysteries, referring to it as a “overlaying the mythic Egypt atop the historical Egypt”, he cited his own buddy Caroline Tully, what he refers to as the “Pagan scholar”, and her book Ten Years of Triumph of the Moon, in which she critizies the authencity of McGregor Mathers’ Rites of Isis in Paris, which she refers to as a “reconstruction of the Egyptian Mysteries”. She writes:
Undoubtedly inspired by Herodotus’ application of the Greek term ‘mysteries’ to Egyptian religion (Histories. 2.171), Diodorus’ erroneous claim of an Egyptian origin for the Greek Mysteries of Eleusis when in fact it was the other way around (Lib. 1.29.2,4; Martin 1987: 78), Apuleius’ Metamorphoses (11.21–6), and Plutarch’s mention of Isis and Osiris initiations and mystic rites (De Iside. 2, 25, 28), the main problem with the Mathers’ attempt at creating this initiatory system was that there were no Egyptian Mysteries to begin with.

While there certainly were Graeco-Roman mysteries of the Hellenised Isis, the idea that there were ancient Egyptian ‘mysteries’ originated with Greeks like Herodotus misunderstanding the Egyptian cult of Osiris at Abydos and interpreting it as ‘mysteric’ because it was carried out by specially consecrated priesthood, unlike the part-time priests of Greece (Burkert 1987: 39–40; Lefkowitz 1997: 93). While access to the inner recesses of the Egyptian temple was limited to the priesthood, festivals were open to the public, not restricted to groups of initiates (Morenz 1973: 89–90).
Mr. Wildoak’s punch line is that the Golden Dawn, for the same reasons as Golden Dawn founder and Chief MacGregor Mathers Rites of Isis is a reconstruction, actually don’t use any Egyptian Gods. He says: 
Really there are only modern interpretations and adaptations of Graceo-Coptic Gods. And some of those adaptations were based on Mathers’ personal assumptions and mindset of what Egypt was.
First of all, it is true that we are all prisoners of the cultural paradigm in which we are living. This also equally applies to academics, scientists and scholars. Somehow there is this myth floating around that a scientist and scholar, in virtue of his academic education and merits, is exempt from this paradigm. This is of course utterly false.

Today we live in a post-modernist paradigm in which all “truths” are thrown out with the bath water and everything is relativized. We also live in the paradigm in which we, as members of post-modernist humanity and society, believe us to know more than humanity ever has, especially compared to the “superstitious” ancients, in virtue of our modern scientific methods.

Golden Dawn God-Form
I don’t know about you, but I personally trust the paradigm of the ancient Greeks, such as the pioneering historians Herodotus, Diodorus and Plutarch, long before the likes of Tully, Hutton, et al. The old Greek scholars surely lived much closer to the ancient Egyptians and their traditions that we post-modernist occidentals do. The possibility of them having intimate (i.e. first hand) knowledge of the subjects they were researching, or even being initiates themselves, is severely higher compared to our post-modern scholars

It is also very obvious for all serious students of the Golden Dawn Tradition that the God-Forms, as they are deptictied in the so-called Z document and attached papers, are a modern magical adaptation. But that doesn’t imply that there still aren’t any traces left from original ancient concepts. As I said in my original blog post, in the God-Forms of the Golden Dawn we see a temporal tradition. But behind this cultural coating there is an essence which breaths the Primordial Tradition into the outer temporal shells. The Z document surely enough is based upon the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The fact is that this document, and its teachings on the Egyptian God-Forms, originated from the Third Order; it wasn’t MacGregors’ own invention. And this same Third Order happens to be a true custodian and lineal descendent of these original Egyptian Mysteries. 

The Rites of Isis
Secondly. I bet that Caroline Tully hasn’t seen any copies of the Rites of Isis, as written by MacGregor Mathers. In fact very few have been so fortunate who are still living today, even though it is still possible although only to a select group of initiates. So how can Caroline Tully even say anything of its varacity? Non in my opinion. She simply assumes that it all was a reconstruction in MacGregor Mathers’ mind, as she regards anything pagan today. A pet theory of hers and that of Hutton, et al.

Being children of the post-modernist era, occultists and scholars alike of today don’t believe in a authenic and living tradtion. They are driven by a relentless scepticism and have a natural tendency of being hostile against any notions contrary to what academically may be proven. Most of them believe that there are no other initiatic traditions or organisations other than those that have already been made public. I.e. Golden Dawn post-modernist students believe that the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and its initiatic system up to and including the Adeptus Minor Grade was the final contribution and crowning of the system, and that it was reconstructed by W.W. Westcott and S.L. MacGregor Mathers. Any notions of an authentic source more advanced that the Second Order of the R.R. et A.C. are considered to be baroque. 

This also counts for MacGregor Mathers’ revival of the Rites of Isis which are regarded to be a reconstrution. But only because Aleister Crowley did an actual reconstruction of the Eleusinian Mysteries in his Rites of Eleusis, which was nothing of the kind but rather a series of Planetary invocations using classical Ceremonial Magic as a framework, although I bet that Crowley were inspired by MacGregor Mathers and his Rites of Isis, the post-modernist students and scholars assume MacGregor Mathers to have done something along the same lines as Crowley.

Mind you, the actual Isiac mysteries are alive and well in Europe, limited to a small group of initiates. Considering the level of MacGregor Mathers’ initiations, including that continental and ancient fraternity referred to by MacGregor Mathers as the Third Order, I doubt that he didn’t have any access to these as well.

Regarding the Greek vs. the Egyptian Mysteries, there is some merit to what Caroline Tully is describing. The problem is that it is only a half truth; or a half lie depending how you see it. It is not a sensation for historians that Hellenistic culture represents a mix of both Greek and Egyptian civilization, as shown in its philosophy and theology, and also concerning its mysteries. The most foremost examples of this being Serapis, being composed of the Egyptian Osiris and Apis bull, and the Greek Hades (or Roman Pluto); as well as Hermanubis, being a blend of the Egyptian Anubis and Greek Hermes (or Roman Mercury). This syncretistic approach was very common during and after the Ptolemic dynasty in Egypt.

So I consider it to be but a deliberate red herring used by Mr. Wildoak when he claims the Egyptology of the Golden Dawn, and its associated traditions, to have a Greek origin. In fact they are at least Hellenic, which is a blend of Greek and Egyptian traditions and concepts. I must stress this; Hellenism isnt solely a Greek phenomenon it is a Graeco-Egyptian one. We are actually talking about the era of the Ptolemic dynasty of Egypt, while being the result of a Macedonian take-over still integrated fully with the original Egyptian civilization and culture, taking care not to oppose the highly conservative Egyptian population.

Concerning the Egyptian origins of the Eleusinian Mysteries, it seems that there is no such consensus amongst scholars as Mr. Wildoak would like you to believe. I.e. in his rhetoric we see yet another example of the use of red herrings. Let me quote from one source:
In the early part of this century, [Paul François] Foucart theorized, on the basis of statements by classical authors (e.g., Herodotus Bk. 2) as well as the discovery at some Mycenaean sites of Egyptian figurines and small artifacts, that the cult of Demeter in Greece originally derived, in whole or in part, from Egypt. Further support for this hypothesis comes from certain remarkable parallels between the myth of Isis (especially in the version presented by Plutarch in his Isis and Osiris, chs. 15 and 16) and that of Demeter (as recounted in the “Hymn to Demeter,”). Among the details of these parallels are episodes in both stories involving infant princes who almost gain immortality—but not quite—at the hands of the respective goddesses.
On the basis of these correspondences, Foucart and his followers concluded that the Mysteries at Eleusis originally must have come from Egypt (Foucart 2-23; Magnien 44-46). Yet the fact that the sanctuary ruins in Eleusis evidently go back centuries earlier than the Hymn itself, and that excavations have unearthed no Egyptian artifacts there from that period, militates against this hypothesis (Mylonas 15, 276). On the other hand, since we know that Greek colonists and mercenaries had settled in Lower Egypt by the seventh century BCE (Leclant 245), it is reasonable to surmise that these Greek and Egyptian fertility goddesses had already begun to penetrate each other’s cults and mingle in the minds of worshippers, perhaps by way of Cretan influences. There is still no consensus about this and it remains a topic of lively debate.
My personal opinion regarding this cross-cultural mixing, based upon the traditional history that I have been taught, is the following: The mysteries of Egypt were overly patriarchal and centered around the cult of Osiris. Isis was an important character in this story, but only in a supporting role as the faithful wife and restorer of Osiris’ life so that he might be resurrected to fulfil his destiny.

The hellenicised Isis
On the other hand, the mysteries of Greece were overly matriarchial and based on the earlier shamanic mother goddess cults. Both mysteries were agricultural, based on the Solar cycles of death and resurrection, the former centred on the Solar force itself, the latter on the terrestrial and Lunar (as receivers of the Solar currents), althought there is evidence to assume Osiris also to be a earth ferility god. During the Hellenistic period these two mysteries met and cross-pollonized. By now the Eleusinian Mysteries may have taken up influences from the Egyptian Isis, if not earlier. On the other hand perhaps the Isiac mysteries grew in prominence in Hellenistic Egypt and Greece because of the influences of the Eleusinian Mysteries. They surely were related.

Thus, it is fruitless to look upon this as a one way transmission; it is more fruitful to see it as a reciprocal influence, typical of the Ptolemaic dynasty. The proper academic stance on this subject is that we may never know the truth regarding who made who, simply based on archaeology and study of classical literature. The best position is to suspend judgement and be open-minded to either possibility.

Granted, the mystery plays of the pre-hellenistic Egypt were public, while the Eleusinian Mysteries in Greece were secret. Still the Egpytian plays did conveyed a mystery to the spectators. Remember that Egypt was a theocracy and involved the entire population in its state sanctioned cults; magic was a common and everyday event. Still not all of that was open do the public. Not even the public festivals were that public, as can be seen in this quote from another source:
At these times, ordinary people might witness the procession of a deity, although it would most frequently be from a distance and usually the actual image of the god would not be visible to them.
The daily cult ritual was a secluded and secret affair, reserved to the priests who held the images of the gods locked up in special shrines, called naos. Thus like with the religious cult of Israel (which clearly drew its inspiration from the Egyptian cults, not only in this respect), the Holy of Holies or Sanctuaries were prohibited territory for the common Egyptian. Thus secret practices were reserved for the priests and priestesses, as is shown in this source which I quote:
The involvement of the general public in the temple ceremonies was small. Ordinary people had no access to the inner regions of the temples which could only be entered after elaborate purification rituals. Offerings to the gods, food, flowers, or votive stelae, could be made in the outer temple courts.
Also concepts of the Egyptian theology amongst the priests and priestesses were different compared to the popular views held by the common Egyptians. There surely was a secret lore that was only reserved to the priestly caste and the royalty. In the New Kingdom priesthood was, like royalty, hereditary. Many priests and priestesses were members of the royal family even. Magic was closely associated with the priesthood, although there existed a popular or common form of magic as well. Thus, as the daily cult ritual – which used a magical formula – was a secret affair, there truly was an esoteric tradition in Egypt.

The Naos of the Edfu Temple which housed the image of Horus

However, the esoteric tradition extended beyond that of the daily cult rituals. There also existed an alchemical tradition, mainly reserved for the royalty in its inception (in a similar way as there also existed an Daoist internal alchemy reserved for the Chinese Emperor), although it later became part of the innermost initiatic secrets of the priestly caste.

Egypt was very exotic and commonly regarded as mysterious, and magical, amongst the surrounding ancient peoples, not only to the Greeks and Romans. The Babylonian Talmud, as an example, says the following:
Ten measures of sorcery descended to the world; Egypt took nine and the rest of the world took one.
Many of the greatest Greek philosophers travelled to Egypt and brought with them a new wisdom, such as Thales, Pythagoras and Plato, at least if we are to believe their own accounts and that of their disciples. Greek philosophy as we know it wouldn’t had been the same without the Egyptian influence. Even the New Testament states that:
...Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. (Act 7:22)
So there is absolutely no empirical basis for the post-modernist concept that there were no esoteric and secret initiatory mysteries surrounding the priests and priestesses of Egypt prior to the Hellenistic era; the empirical information rather supports the opposite view. And now, when this fallacy has been disproven what more will we see coming from the post-modern reconstructionist “scholars”? That there were no magical nor any alchemical tradition in Egypt as well? Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised…


fredag 18 maj 2012

Was the Christian or Hermetic Qabalah a tool to convert Jews to the Christian faith?

In studying the history of the Christian Qabalah, or Hermetic Qabalah as it is also known to us, I have often seen the argument that Christians mainly took upon them to study the Jewish Qabalah because they saw many parrallells with Christian doctrine and thus devised a plan to convert Jews to Christianity. In this respect even Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and the Platonic Academy of Florens has been accused of taking part of this Christian scheme of conversions of Jews, lately by the Trinitarian Christian and Golden Dawn student Mr. Wildoak. He repeated that old “truth” regarding Pico, who he refers to as “Mirandola”, to underline his thesis that we cannot look upon the ancient mysteries without resorting to our Christian goggles:
Look at the origins of the Hermetic Qabalah, with Mirandola and others wanting to use it to prove the existence of the Trinity and supremacy of Christianity. Naughty boys.
I personally cannot accept that the reason why Pico della Mirandola embraced the Qabalah was to convert and prozelyze jews. I just don’t buy it. Where is the evidence to substantiate such a claim? In absence of this evidence I will instead present facts that rather speaks against such a prejudicial position.

Raymond Lull
While there certainly were Christians, like Raymond Lull, who tried to use the Hebrew Qabalah to use it as a vehicle for conversion of Jews, it is an extreme form of generalization to suppose all Christian Qabalists only seeing the Qabalah as a manipulative prozelysing tool. It has been argued that Lull lacked any profound knowledge of the Qabalah and that he even wasn’t a Qabalist, which is to expect from someone being a fundamentalist Trinitarian Christian trying to save the souls of Jews and Muslims using their own doctrines against them. We know that he devised the Ars Magna to convert people from Islam to Christianity. We know however that Pico, on the other hand, was of a entirely different calibre. Contrarly to Lully and his ilk, Pico was a serious student of the Hebrew wisdom and in it saw traces of what we today would define as the Primordial Tradition.

I hold that Pico della Mirandola was a Esoteric Christian. And with Esoteric Christianity I mean a doctrine which has a perennial outlook on the mysteries. A Esoteric Christian is someone who does comparative studies of many different mystery systems and religions to find the one common denominator, the primal or core doctrine which underlays all temporal traditions. The very raison d’être of the Platonic Academy of Florence was to make this kind of comparative studies between Neo-Platonism, Hermeticism and the Qabalah, and to try to integrate it also with the religion of their times, Christianity. In this respect people as Marsilio Ficino and Pico Della Mirandola were true pioneers and Traditionalist heroes. These Italian reinassance philosophers and estoricists referred to a prisca theologia, the ancient theology, which they believed to be the actual source of all religion and philosophy. Today we refer to it as the Primordial Tradition; two different names for the same thing but developed or redefined in their respective cultural contexts as seen by the perennialists.

Marsilio Ficino
This means that they were anything but religious fundamentalists trying to transform or reconstruct the ancient traditions. They rather compared these traditions with each other and saw the many similarities or common threds between them. As an example, in the hypostases of the Christian Trinitarian doctrine, which was originated by Valentinus the Gnostic and originally debunked by early Church Fathers for being heretical and pagan, they saw some parallels with the Qabalistic concept of the Partzufim. However, this doesn’t mean that Pico and his friends of the Academy in the Qabalah saw a confirmation of the truth of the Christian Trinitarian doctrine as represented by the Church. I rather hold that they saw a common theme and that this all confirmed each tradition as  authentic and representing a universal doctrine. In this spirit Pico claimed that Christianity was founded largely on Qabalistic doctrines, stating that “no science can better convince us of the divinity of Jesus Christ than magic and the Kabbalah”.

We also know that both Marsilio Ficino and Pico Della Mirandola was charged of heresy by the Inquisition, despite the latter’s assurance that Neo-Platonism and Hermeticism were fully consistent with Christian doctrine as exemplified in the previous quote. In 1486 Mirandola wrote Conclusiones philosophicae, cabalasticae et theologicae in which he presented 900 theses, representing a blend of Platonism, Neo-Platonism, Aristotelism, Hermeticism and the Qabalah. The Inquisition found 13 of these to be heretical to the Christian Trinitarian faith. Pico wrote an apology entitled Mirandolani, Concordiae comitis which he later was forced to renounce. He soon fled Italy for the fear of his life. Would Pico has been a insidious manipulator, saving souls to the Christian Church, as Mr. Wildoak suggests, he surely wouldn’t have been a victim of the Inquisition. He would have been a part of it.

There is also another perspective to consider here. What if Pico simply tried to make the “jewish” Qabalalah recognized by the Church and thus veiled its old mysteries in a Christian setting, in much the similar way as the Hermetic School veiled its alchemical tradition using Christian symbols and analogies? This is in line with how the Tradition adapts and reforms its message to the current times and the cultural mindset of the people it is supposed to influence. This is often how a Tradition is saved from extinction; this is how it is kept alive and workable through the generations.

All mystery systems, all kind of esotericisms, uses mythology as a frame work. Images and analogies, and metaphors, are used to convey a secret doctrine, using the “language of the birds”. The ancient Hermeticists used Greek and Egyptian pantheons to convey their message. The medieval Qabalists used the myths of the Old Testament in the same manner. Renaissance Neo-Platonists and Hermeticists used the New Testament as well to veil their mysteries. The Sufis of the middle-east use the stories of the Quran in the same manner. This is only natural.

It is not the same as the mysteries are interpreted through the lens of the Christian religion, as Mr. Wildoak asserts. It is the other way around; it is the Primordial Tradition – the Prisca Theologia – that uses the current religious imagery and mythology to expound its mysteries. The most obvious evidence of this is that an Esoteric or Gnostic Christian doesn’t interpret the Bible in the same way as does an Evangelist and Exoteric Christian. I personally feel myself more akin to a Turkish or Egyptian Sufi than I do with a Swedish Evangelist and Trinitarian Christian.

I hold that the “religion” and “faith” of an Esotericist is totally different from someone following an Exoteric Religion, of whatever kind. I am talking about the true “religion” of the Primordial Tradition or Prisca Theologia. I place the words “religion” between citation marks as this is not actually a religion as we normally define that word, i.e. as an institutionalised form of spirituality. It is better to simply speak of a living Tradition with has its true foundation and lineage in the ancient Primordial Tradition, presenting it faithfully enough.

The greatest adversaries of such an Esoteric “faith” lies within the follower’s own religious sphere in which he is working (i.e. the symbol system that he has chosen or been born into). We all know about the Inquisition and what it did not only to actual pagans but also to so-called “heretics” such as Pico della Mirandola. Today we see the same tragedy happening before our own eyes in Saudi-Arabia and the Wahabi fundamentalism against the Sufi. Fundamentalists just cannot stand a syncretic or perennial view on their own religion. Christians abhors theories that prove the pagan origin of both the Jewish and especially Christian doctrines.

 Addendum (2014-03-13)

I have removed the last paragraph as it represents views and opininons regarding the S.R.I.A. that I no longer endorse, being part of a wrathful paradigm that have no basis in reality. This is part of a general effort to sanitize the Gyllene Gryningen blog from alien and untraditional doctrines. Nowadays, the sentence For a Free and Independent Golden Dawn means free from counter-tradition.

onsdag 16 maj 2012

Temporal vs. the Primordial Tradition

PEREGRIN WILDOAK wrote a quite interesting statement today:
Though I am likely to invoke the wrath of a few anti-Christian nutters out there, it is quite clear that the sources for modern western magic developed within the Christian milieu. The background and backbone of many modern traditions, Rosicrucianism was started by heterodox Christians and is replete with Christian imagery and mysteries. This is a different thing to saying modern western magic is Christian.
I wonder, does Mr. Wildoak believe that it was Christians who invented Magic (Theurgy) and Alchemy? And that it later developed into a non-Christian or pagan tradition? At least that is how I read that sentence. And even if he actually doesn’t mean that, chances are high that others might read his words just as I did. So I have to set the record straight in this matter for the benefit of the gentle reader.

Actually the reverse is true to what Mr. Wildoak is stating; the Christian tradition emerged from the pagan. Only a Trinitarian Christian, such as Mr. Wildoak, can believe otherwise or that it fell from the sky, in a literal sense. True initiates know that both alchemy and magic stems from the Chaldean and Egyptian pagan traditions, later distilled through the Greek and subsequently Hellenistic pagan traditions into the Hermetic, Neo-Platonic and Gnostic schools of late antiquity and early medieval era.

A Wahabi saving the soul
of a Sufi heretic
In time the monotheistic religions absorbed parts of these streams, which later emerged as the Hebrew Qabalah, Esoteric or Gnostic Christianity, and the Islamic Sufi traditions. Thus the esoteric undercurrents of these three monotheistic religions developed more “pagan” traits compared to their exoteric cousins. Some orthodox Jews considers the Qabalah to be a pagan heresy. Wahabi fundamentalists decapitates Sufis whom they regard to be pagan heretics, etc.

Christianity originally emerged as a mainly Gnostic and Esoteric tradition, or mystery religion, being under a heavy influence of the Alexandrian schools of thought that was current during the first Century AD, thus having many similarities with the contemporary Neo-Platonic, as well as proto-Qabalistic groups of the Middle East. With time more exoteric forms of devotion and theology emerged in the Christian community, and after the Church council of Nicaea in AD 325 the original Esoteric Christian current finally was suppressed and forced to go underground where it has stayed since then.

Compared to the Jewish faith, the Christian sects originally nurtured many ideas that were leaning towards paganism, such as the use of iconography, the concept of hypostases (three distinct divine personages, plus the “mother of God”), the belief in a redeeming man-god, etc. Thus in the Christian tradition you will find many pagan concepts. This is why it was so easily appropriated by the Hermetic Adepts, who used its imagery to veil their basically pagan magical and alchemical traditions.

Giordano Bruno

It is true that Rosicrucianism was founded by Christians. And yes, they were church-goers (which for all practical concerns were mandatory). And although some of them were pious and devout as seen by the Church, most were only acting as nominally exoteric Christians. In their small esoteric circles they professed a faith that had nothing in common with the one taught by the Church. That they were “heterodox” as Mr. Wildoak asserts is an understatement. I dare to suggest that they were much more than this; I see them as inherently antinomian who would have been considered to be heretical by the Church if their conversations were overheard by the clerics. Some of them were burned at the stake for their beliefs when being to outspoken, such as Giordano Bruno. Many others were imprisoned, such as Tommaso Campanella. Even our own hero John Dee was incarcerated because of his occult practices.

The Rosicrucian faith were certainly not “Trinitarian Christian” as that term is normally defined, even if they did believe in the hypostases (remember that the concept of Father, Son and the Holy Ghost originally was a Gnostic concept, however not as we know it today). But their theology or theosophy cannot be compared to the officially approved teachings of the Church. The Rosicrucians rather belonged to the undercurrent of the Esoteric Christian tradition, and Gnostic even, that had survived since AD 325 and now was gaining new momentum.

Thus, contrary to what Mr. Wildoak wants you to believe, the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega® is not “anti-Christian” at all. On the contrary, it encourages an Esoteric Christian magical pursuit for its Christian oriented members. To be an Esoteric Christian implies studying the Christian symbolism also in the context of its pagan and Hermetic roots. An Esoteric Christian doesn’t believe Christianity to be the only and true religion, nor does he consider himself to be chosen by God in virtue of his Christian faith. On the contrary, he believes the Christian religion, its symbolism and mythology, to be the latest version of the mysteries of the dying god. An Esoteric Christian can invoke the god-form of Osiris as easily as he invokes the name of Jesus.

Thus true Rosicrucianism has nothing to do with concepts as expressed on the web page of the (once schismatic and now in full amity with the S.R.I.A.) Order of the Rose and Cross back in 2007:
We believe that the Anglo-Saxon and associated Indo-European cultures are the spiritual and literal descendants of these “lost ten tribes of Israel,” representing God’s chosen people as mentioned in the Old Testament.

We believe in the inevitability of the end of the world and in the Second Coming of Christ. We believe that the coming “end times events” are part of a cleansing process that is needed before Christ’s kingdom can be firmly established on earth. During this time, Satan and his allies will attempt to destroy God’s chosen people using any means available. The result will be a violent and bloody millennial struggle, in which Christians shall battle Satan and the forces of evil. Many will perish, and some will be forced to wear the Mark of the Beast merely to participate in business and commerce. After the final battle is ended, however, Christ’s kingdom shall be established on earth, and Christians be recognized as the one and true Israel.
A true Rosicrucian would never interpret the teachings of the New Testament in this literal and exoteric fashion. As his Gnostic ancestors the Rosicrucian interprets the Book of Revelation as an analogy, as a metaphor for spiritual and primarily internal processes.

Contrary to what Mr. Wildoak believes, Rosicrucianism isn’t primarily a Christian denomination; it definitely isn’t a Trinitarian Christian tradition. It is a Hermetic tradition steeped in Christian symbolism. It presents the alchemical tradition using Christian mythology, as well as Greek. In short it uses the current cultural context to explain its ancient teachings. So what we see here is a ancient or Primordial Tradition being clothed or cloaked in a modern tradition.

The Rosicrucians 

Using the definition of the word “tradition” by René Guénon and Frithjof Schuon of the Traditionalist School – i.e. the concept of the Primordial Tradition – we may understand this difference in a clearer light. What Mr. Wildoak is addressing here is the cultural or temporal tradition (in this case the Rosicrucian), which is in contradistinction with the Primordial Tradition (that is the Chaldean-Hermetic). While we may argue what Guénon and Schuon actually meant with “Primordial” I easily may see that the idea of a tradition practiced by the ancients fits this concept nicely. Take away all the temporal and cultural coats from any tradition (the peeling of an onion) and you will see the true and underlying (i.e. primordial) tradition emerging at the core.

A temporal or culturally coloured tradition, such as the Rosicrucian, cannot be considered to be a “source” or “backbone” for the modern magical tradition as we see it today. The word “source” for me implies the primordial tradition. And for me “primordial” doesn’t refer to a numinous or spiritual plane as is commonly understood in the modern traditionalist school. I rather see it as a pre-ancient historical era when the proto-tradition emerged transforming itself from the purely animistic state of Shamanism into the more sophisticated pagan Alchemical and Magical Tradition of the Chaldeans, and which later became exported westward to Egypt where it developed into the Hermetic Tradition and also eastward to the Orient where it developed into the Tantric and Daoist Traditions.

For each development and cultural adaptation the Tradition gradually lost its primordial qualities and introduced temporal and local varieties which diluted its original form. This continued further with the emergence of the Alexandrian schools, which later in blending with the Hebrew merkabah tradition developed into medieval Qabalah. During the renaissance the Qabalah was further blended with Hermeticism within the context of the Christian cultural sphere, diluting the Primordial Tradition further, which eventually produced the Rosicrucian Tradition.

Today we see the Golden Dawn system as a modern magical tradition, being a direct lineal descendent of the Primordial magical and alchemical Tradition of the Chaldeans. Although it is a temporal tradition, steeped in our Occidental and modernist paradigm – including its art forms and sciences – it still has traces left from the Primordial Tradition. But it is a maze or labyrinth to find one’s way to that True Source. You have to have the keys to unlock the Golden Dawn System of Magic and to unleash its powers according to the original intents of the Primordial Tradition. To be able to receive these keys you have to have access to the key-holders and gate-keepers of the Primordial Tradition, which we know by the “decknamen” the Third Order.

The Third Order is not Christian, though it did create the Christian-oriented Rosicrucian Tradition to use Christian symbols to veil the Traditional magical and alchemical teachings; its initiates were the ones who introduced Christian symbolism and metaphors into the alchemical tradition in the first place. Verily, the Third Order is truly pagan as it has for its mission to preserve the original and Primordial Tradition. It does that by veiling its teachings in the current cultural and religious paradigms. Thus the source of the modern western magical and alchemical system is not Christian – it core is Pagan.

Contrary to what Mr. Wildoak and his reconstructionist friends asserts and tries to convince you, my gentle reader, to believe this Pagan and Primordial Tradition has never ceased to exist. It is still here amongst us, working behind the scenes to guide all of the temporal traditions that it has created so that these may retain their relative state of authenticity and thus not deviate to far from Tradition. This is the reason why the Third Order stepped in once more to save the Golden Dawn tradition from reconstrutionist tampering and even more so from the clutches of Trinitarian Christian domination, such as in the example quoted above which has a smack of Religious Fundamentalism.

 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.