Since Magic of the Ordinary plonked up some unpublished Aura Papers and the like the size of our hits has increased dramatically. I was always very comfortable with our size, but recently it is like the site has taken some enlargement pill or other – and it worked 🙂 (This is also partly due to Dean at Mishkan ha-Echad kindly linking directly to these posts).
All this is very good, as I wanted the material to be of use and freely available for all, and the response has been positive. Apart from one guy – I assume a guy (he only used a Motto) as women do not usually display such territorialism. This gentleman declared himself to be ‘one of the sole custodians’ (err…) of the Cromlech Temple, the Golden Dawn and other groups whose initials I did not recognise. He directed me to stop publishing ‘false secrets’ and deliver all ‘rituals, ceremonials, tools and chap-books’ to him. * Sigh * I always seem to find them, even in Cyberspace:)
I was polite but firm in my negative response. Besides, since he never gave an address to forward all this stuff to, I suspect he wasn’t expecting to be taken seriously.
However, it did start me thinking. While it is important that a tradition be practiced correctly, and the inner workings and currents that are the core of it all be utilised, there is an undue focus on getting hold of secrets in the Golden Dawn and magical community. It is only partly a joke that a book entitled “Secret Inner Order Golden Dawn Enochian Sex Magic” would sell by title alone. I am bound, by certain commitments to keep far more secrets than I would like, and bend the bow as much as I am able.
Of course fraternities and groups have as much right to secrecy as they wish – indeed it is an essential part of the Lodge traditions and when used correctly is a powerful tool for spiritual growth and service. Unused incorrectly – and we are talking about humans here – it is nothing more than elitist wank and will hamper a person’s spiritual growth incredibly. John Michael Greer in his wonderful Inside a Magical Lodge, explains all this very well.
The amount of Golden Dawn material publicly available is already impressive. With (ahem) the publication of By Names and Images later this year (email Thoth now to ensure this happens) the inner workings of all major GD rituals will also be available. What remains secret then falls into three main categories:
- The Inner Workings of the Grade Initiations. Despite a lot of info being released by Pat Zalewski (for which we should all buy him a beer) there is still much actual esoteric work that was orally transmitted that is not yet public. An example of this is the Godforms for the three chief officers in the Zelator Ceremony. In his Z-5 book Pat describes many new Godforms, but leaves these out.
- Inner Order Material. The rituals and the inner workings for the 6=5 and 7=4 of the RR et AC of Mathers have yet to be released fully. And there are many other teachings and rituals created in the RR et AC that Regardie never knew existed.
- Order Specific Material. This includes the vast quantity of papers, instructions and teachings created by Orders after the classical Golden Dawn phase, which can be considered to have ended with the involvement of Mathers and Westcott.
The material created by specific Orders and groups is only of passing interest, as it all builds upon the foundations the traditional teachings provide and as they have, so too may we. In our own Orders and groups we should be creating new teachings, rituals and instructions. Also, it is right that much of this material remains secret as some Orders or their descendants are still functioning.
The Inner Order material is in some ways the crux of the tradition but also in some ways the least important to reveal to the public. This is because once we are an Adeptus Minor within a contacted Order or working a contacted spiritual practice, we will receive all the information we require from the Inner Planes. This may not come as the traditional astral communications, but it will come. The western magical tradition rests upon the Masters behind the tradition and they will provide to those people with the right intentions manifold blessings, guidance and teachings.
The key to effective spiritual growth is the combination of the right practice with the right intention and motivation. This is one of the mysteries referred to in the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz. At present the magical community has a surfeit of spiritual practices available and a deficit of pure intentions. For a good exploration of the dynamic between the two and the keys to creating an effective spiritual practice in the magical tradition we still cannot go past Gareth Knight’s Experience of the Inner Worlds written over 30 years ago.
The essence of all unpublished RR et AC material will be revealed to the Adept when she needs it. On more than a few occasions received material has been later confirmed when I have had the opportunity to inspect original texts or a new publication arrives. In some cases we have got identical passages. This is nothing special; it is to be expected and occurs daily across the world. It is the blessings of our tradition.
The inner workings of the initiations are another matter. These really should be utilised by every group or adapted when performing self-initiations. Pat, as mentioned above, has done us all a wonderful service releasing some of the multi-layered symbolism in these initiations. However, there is still stuff unreleased which can be ascertained by attentive readers and practitioners of these ceremonies. It will take a lot of work, many repetitions of the same ceremony, but it is well worth doing.
So overall, the Golden Dawn secrecy issue really should have had its day. Useful now only for those wishing to add trimmings to their spiritual practice and dedication to serve to world, or for those interested in the elder days of our tradition. The whole point of the GD is, after all, self-transformation to develop a better capacity for love, and we can do that without any secrets at all. This mystery and the pathway to it revealed every day at the Christian Eucharist, chanted every second by nuns and monks with the Mani Mantra and rehearsed continually by GD magicians in the Qabalsitic Cross.