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

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.


måndag 7 maj 2012

A general boycott of blog trolls

Many of you who are following the Golden Dawns Flying Circus show are well aware that there is an all-out witch hunt raging against the brethren and sisters of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega®, which has especially been intensified when we reacted strongly and passionately against Nick Farrells latest published attack on the Alpha et Omega (past and present) disguised as a scholarly work on history. During the past month we have seen reconstructionist bloggers attacking the integrity of our Order and our right to defend its honour. During this internet witch hunt we have in the first round seen the reconstructionist mob using fear mongering tactics and we have also seen them attacking our history how we precieve it, as well as our Secret Chiefs and initiatory system. During all of this time we have seen not only well known reconstructionist representatives acting as inquisitors, such as Deanna Bonds, Olen Rush, Morgan Drake Eckstein, and Joseph Max taking lead of the witch hunting posse, but also a host of anonmyous blog trolls of various kinds spreading unfounded lies against the Alpha et Omega®.

Now recently, the witch hunt has changed their public arena over to yahoo and its foremost reconstructionist forum, attacking our Orders (and my personal) view on God-Forms and that small part of the Alpha et Omega 6°=5° ritual which recently was profaned by the reconstructionist authors. The latest witch finder general being Pat Zalewski. In tandem with this new host of attacks on that recon-forum they have re-mobilized their old tactics of using anonymous and libelous blogs, mocking our Order and its Chiefs and spreading vileful lies about us. One such anonymous blog was created just a few days ago with the clear intent of mocking our Order and its Chief, and our Manifesto (which also has its Spanish version), as well as interpolating libelous lies. Even a equally mocking Facebook account was simultaneously created by the blog creator using the same mis-impersonation identity, with the expressed objective to promote his defamatory blog.

I find it then interesting to see that the professed recon-disciple of Mr. Zalewski, Morgan Drake Eckstein, who used to be a balanced and sober element in the reconstructionist community but recently has become one of the most rabid characters in this witch hunt posse, was the first individual on Facebook who linked to that anonymous defamation blog and also the very first one to accept the anonymous authors friendship on Facebook, on the very same day that these Google and Facebook accounts were created. Is it then surprising to see Mr. Eckstein being the first individual to post a comment over at that defamation blog and hailing him and his wits? Quite telling I must say.

Now, if you have been following this blog for the last years or so, you know my personal position on anonymous defamation blogs. If you remember all the way back to 2009 I had an encounter with an anonymous blog troll calling himself “Tommy” who had set up a libelous defamation blog against the Alpha et Omega®. If you still remember this encounter somewhat, I also tried to engage with him in a fraternal and scholarly manner, to no avail. He wasnt at all interested in any reasoned debate; he simply wanted me to further his propaganda and talking points. So I made everyone aware of my mistake and soon that blog was removed. My conclusion from that learning experience was: Dont feed the blog trolls!

That is also my recommendation to all serious initiates of the Golden Dawn community, reconstructionist and traditionalist alike. Dont give them any air to breath their venom unto the communty. It affects us all equally bad, regardless if we have a reconstructionist or traditionalist perspective on our beloved Golden Dawn tradition. It is the lowiest possible weapon to use in a political war; there is no excuse to resort to this kind of behaviour. To be honest, although Im not that overly surprised that a well known and professed recon-authority in the communty, Mr. Ecktstein who obviously loaths the Alpha et Omega® so much, has given this new blog troll recognition, it also makes me equally dissapointed. I though him to be better than that. What is the level that these individuals are able to stoop down to in the name of order politics?

Or is it perhaps so that Mr. Eckstein somehow is involved in that blogs creation? I am personally convinced that someone from the tiny group of recon-individuals that we have seen lately taking an active role in the witch hunt on the Alpha et Omega® is the actual creator of that blog, or at least has sanctioned its making. It would be a good thing if Mr. Eckstein officially distanced himself from the blog and its contents, and instead appologized to his brothers and sisters of the Alpha et Omega®. That is the only proper and decent way to do. As it stands today, he is directly linked to that defamation blog and the identity of its creator.

 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.


lördag 5 maj 2012

Proof that the profaned A∴O∴ 6°=5° ritual was only the 4th part of a larger initition ceremony

A COUPLE OF DAYS ago there were a discussion on a reconstructionist yahoo-forum, attacking the position of the Rosicrucian Order of  Alpha et Omega® that the A∴O∴ 6°=5° ritual recently profaned in a book on the so-called “Westcott Tablets” (although it had absolutely no relevance to the subject matter of the book) is only the 4th part of a larger ritual. The evidence that the Alpha et Omega® put forward is that on the frontispiece of that manuscript there was a large number “4” besides the words “G.D. 6=5”.  (See image at the heather taken from a copy regularily received from the original source and owner of that document.)

Pat Zalewski and Sam Scarborough refutes this position saying that the published version in the said book was the complete one. The proof is that G.H. Fra. F.F.J. (Dr. Carnegie Dickson) wrote a “lengthy” introduction to the document, which is seen as unorthodox thing to do if it is supposed to be the 4th part of a larger ritual. They also assert that it is even more unorthodox to let the candidate go through the “rituals” of the 22nd and 23rd paths in a 4th and last segment of the ritual together with the “ritual” of the 6°=5°. They also point out that the number “4” actually is a reference to the document being the 4th copy, and that it was common practice to apply this enumeration system to a set of several loan copies used for circulation and personal copying in the G∴D∴ and S∴M∴. The published part of the 6°=5° ritual has also been compared to the original G∴D∴ and A∴O∴ Portal Ceremony and that they seem to be very similar in function. Thus it has been suggested that they possibly had the same author and were written during the same time period (i.e. prior to the 1900-schism).

Together with Nick Farrell they assert that everything that has been published during the last year or so is the sum total of the GD and AO (together with all of the previously published material) and that it proves that the position of the Alpha et Omega® in this matter is utterly false. Is it? I beg to differ. What has happended during these recent events is rather that these reconstructionist leaders of the Order of the Golden Dawn (Pat Zalewski), Ordo Stella Matutina (Sam Scarborough) and the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea (Nick Farrell) are simply being aggravated that the Alpha et Omega® has called their bluff about the "secret" and "lost" A∴O∴ 6°=5° ritual to actually be the 4th and final part of it.

Let us take their arguments apart one by one, and (with the exception of my last point) refrain from using anything else but the published material as evidence (which is the only one that the reconstructionists acknowlege):

1. That F.F.J. (Carnegie Dickson) has written an introduction to the 4th Part is not at all solid evidence that it is the full ritual. The possibility cannot, in all academic and scientific fairness, be excluded that F.F.J. actually wrote an introduction to each of the 4 parts of the 6°=5° ritual. We do know from other AO documents, bearing his official approval, that he had that quirk of appending lots of comments to the original texts. Besides, it is obvious, in reading his published introduction that it only addresses the contents of the 4th part and its task of conferring signs belonging to the two paths leading to Geburah and the sephirah Geburah itself. It doesn’t present itself to be an analysis of the entire 6°=5° initiation ceremony.

2. That the big number “4” on the cover denotes “Copy No. 4” is a long stretch in my opinion. It’s true that the loan copies in the orignal G∴D∴ had numbers relating to each of the copies, but standard protocol was also to write the words “loan copy” or “official loan copy No. x” etc. So, would that part of the 6°=5° ritual actually had been the entire ritual the attached number “4” would most probably have been preceded by these very same words and thus been spelled in full as the “Loan copy No. 4”.

A close-up of a original GD circulation loan copy

3. If the number “4” actually had been a reference to the 4th loan copy it must have meant that it was at least 4 copies that were circulated amongst the membership. What in particular speaks against the number “4” as being a reference to a “loan copy”, regularly being handed out to the newly admitted Adepti Majori, is that on the title page it actually says with heavy underlining: “(Not to be copied)”. To be initiated into the 6°=5° was a true privilege then as it is now. While the 5°=6° was used regularly each year to initiate members into adepthood an masse, the actual number to receive the 6°=5° were very rare indeed and few in between, perhaps performed once with one candidate every decade or so. Would it then had required at least a total of 4 loan copies or more to be circulated, if there were so few candidates for advancement to the 6°=5° or almost none? No, of course not. My theory is that it only existed one copy and that it was presented to be studied by the initiate under strict supervision and with severe prohibition to copy anything from it, as it is done in Freemasonry (at least in my local lodge).

4. That paths (and adjacent tarot cards, etc) are mentioned in the last part of the ritual may seem odd at first, but if you understand what that ritual is supposed to deliver magically, you also understand that it would feel most logical and workable to put all “intellectual information” last, which also was the protocol of most G∴D∴ and freemasonic style rituals. That is, it is protocol to put the intellectual and instructional segment, and the conference of grade signs, etc., at the last part of the initiation ritual also in the Outer Order Grade rituals. As the 4th part of the 6°=5° ritual is structured, it is not concerned with an actual ritual of advancement through these paths but simply constitutes a transmission of secret instructions concerning them. The actual ritual initiations would have been done in the previous parts of the ritual.

Now, my gentle reader, let me present to you my own arguments why it is futile or baroque even to believe the 4th part to be the entire ritual of the 6°=5°:

1. The title is the most revealing. It has an overall or general title and a sub-title. The general title is: “Ritual of the 6°=5° Grade of Geburah”. The subtitle is: “The Book of the Conference of Signs in the Grade of Adeptus Major”. Notice especially that the sub-title says “Conference of Signs in the Grade of...” This to me is a clear reference that it is that part of the ritual which deals with the grade signs only. Thus the general title puts the document in its proper context as a part of the 6°=5° initiation ceremony, while the sub-title denotes the actual title of the 4th part.

2. The lack of an opening and closing is an even more strong case aginst it being the sum total of the 6°=5° ritual. In all the previous rituals, even in the origial G∴D∴ and A∴O∴ Portal ritual (which the reconstructionists seem to believe the 6°=5° ritual was modelled upon) has a formal opening and closing. This is the standard protocol in all freemasonic bodies, and also the G∴D∴. The Grade of 6°=5° simply cannot be conferred without it.

3. And this is the most important (and the least likely to be accepted by the reconstructionists). The Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega® knows for sure that MacGregor Mathers was in true communication with physical Secret Chiefs of the Third Order, who gave him the secret significance of the R.R. et R.C. initiation rituals. The magical task of the 6°=5° is substantial (that of alchemical separation between the Body and the Soul of the subject matter). The 4th part lacks all of that magical formula; it is simply the traditional masonic style instruction on the mysteries of the Paths and the Sephirah in question thrown into the end of the ritual, as with any of the Outer Order grade rituals. It is as we were trying to analyse the ritual of the 3°=8° without having access to the rituals of the 30th and 31st Paths; we would miss the majority of the magical content and ritual drama and therefore miss the entire purpose of it. Thus it is impossible that a 6°=5° ritual written by MacGregor Mathers, under the guidance of the Secret Chiefs, could had only amounted to this small rite, with no opening and closing and without any actual initiatory formula preceding these intructions.

Knowing what we in the Alpha et Omega® know about MacGregor Mathers initiations and the Secret Chiefs who initiated him, this is highly unthinkable and nigh impossible even what the reconstructionists propose. Being in communication today with that same source which provided MacGregor Mathers with the magical formulae of the 5°=6°, 6°=5° and 7°=4° Grades, we know that there were other parts to that ritual, parts that we today possess thank’s to the benign guidance of the Third Order.

But also without any references to the 3rd and last point of my argument, it stands clear, considering the factual evidence we all may study in that book which has profaned the 4th part of the 6°=5° ritual, that it is the least likely that in what has been published we see the entire ritual. Based upon that same source evidence that they themselves draw their own reconstructionist conclusions from, I have presented arguments which proves that it must have been simply the last part of a much longer and more magically substantial initiation ceremony. The only reason that the reconstructionists chooses to see it from their perspective, is twofold: (a) they lack any initiatic understanding of this exalted grade and the author behind the source text, and (b) because of that they have a political agenda of destroying the reputation of anyone, both in the past and in the present, who claims such a communication with the Third Order.

Furthermore, presenting the supposed AO 6°=5° ritual in only that narrow format it provides the reonstructionists with “evidence” that MacGregor Mathers took his AO into a “Masonic direction”, i.e. that it went in the opposite direction compared to the SM who developed the GD into a truly magical tradition. Thus it backs up the not so hidden political agenda of Nick Farrel’s Mathers’ Last Secret and King over the Water (the latter which I am soon about to review here on my blog). What we see here is yet another evidence of historical and scholarly considerations being sacrificed upon the altar of order politics.

 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.