One of the features of modern magic is its diversity. Take the Golden Dawn for instance. These days there are as many varieties of the Golden Dawn tradition as “cheap, really cheap” mobile phone plans. And like mobile phone plans, many are not quite what they appear and can cause no end of problems.
I have blogged before on the difference between the Golden Dawn as a continuing Order and the tradition that has grown in its wake. Both are valid, both are useful and both have their problems and drawbacks which I don’t really want to go into here.
The Golden Dawn tradition has largely grown up within a modern milieu that valorises the individual and without guidance and structure from a parental body. It has had to – most of the contemporary GD groups are not daughters of the Mother Order (often not any Mother Order) and most adepts have relied on public or semi-public sources of information. Not that’s there anything wrong with that. In many cases the lack of traditional structure, support and information has inspired new heights of creativity and genuine spiritual unfoldment.
Other modern magicians have a converse opinion and valorise the original Order(s) and members to a dizzying heights almost bordering on cultish worship. There is a problem when students of the tradition look backward to the historical Order and view the core documents almost as if they were Gospel. If something is not explicitly spelt out in an historical document or practice by default it is viewed as invalid.
Now I am a big one for tradition, probably far more than most, but I think this attitude misses an important point. Magic, or at least RR et AC magic is more akin to exegesis than a reading of the Gospel. The RR et AC is very clear; it provides basic formulae and the adept herself creates the rituals and processes from those to match the specific time, conditions and spiritual requirements of the group or adept. Magic is supposed to be creative. It is supposed to take us beyond the structures, rituals and procedures used by someone else. It is supposed engage our Genius. To quote no less an authority than myself (cos I can’t be bothered re-wording) 🙂
…the only way we can authentically practice Golden Dawn spirituality is by engaging in the same daring paradigm shifts that the original GD did, not by simply following a ‘tradition’. Indeed I would argue that the ‘true’ Golden Dawn tradition is more concerned with recreation and reinvention of the esoteric than any set path. This ‘perennial’ Golden Dawn is constantly re-birthing, remaking itself, directed not by the needs of individuals or individual Orders, but from the Inner Plane contacts and Masters that hold the unformed Order itself . (MOTO)
Now this is not to say tradition goes out the window or there are no ‘rules’ to follow. As an example I receive much practical teaching from Inner Plane sources. Like any good boy I always check these out. Many years ago I received some information which was claimed to be traditional RR et AC, as in from a paper that existed in shared space-time back in the 1900s. I naturally wanted to check this out before accepting it (though it was very good and made sense).
This was at the dawn of the Internet age and I was on one of the first GD forum-things. I cautiously posted a question to illicit any responses. What I received was a number of people giving me their ideas on the matter in question. Just what they, in direct response to my post, felt or thought about. This was not at all salubrious and quite a shock as several people decided they would do the processes they had just thought about – which they would not have, had I not posted. I have kept quiet on such matters ever since.
This example shows clearly the type of magical creativity to avoid; something stemming from the personal. Also, we need to remember a very important point: magic is an Inner Order activity. It was never and in all sensible and authentic Orders, is never practiced in the Outer Order. We need a high degree of personal development, compassion, service and removal of imbalance in order to practice magic. This is why it is an Adept’s art and why the Tipharethic consciousness, however nascent, is required to practice magic.
So RR et AC magicians are not actually practicing for themselves. Being connected through years of preparation and the most astonishing initiation imaginable, their spiritual endeavours are not theirs alone. Thus their magical processes are never created or influenced by a personal ‘feeling’ or ‘idea’. They endeavour to create only through the inspiration of the Genius. The difference is marked and wonderful.
Another crucial point is found in the comparison of magic with exegesis: the number one rule for exegesis in Judaism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism is that it, the exegesis should be compassionate and inspire greater depths of compassion in the exegetes and those who in read it. In magical terms: our personal magical processes and rituals need to be founded on love and compassion; they should grow our heart and love and that of any other participants. They should serve the world. If our magic does not do this, we have failed.
So, Rosicrucian magic is a creative, living art which inspires and creates love. We do not follow any set ritual or process but only the broader, deeper principles and formulae that I have previously called Metaorthopraxy (but I now think really should be Orthometapraxy). I know there is modern school of thought, exemplified by folk like Joseph Lisiewski who focus on the correct performance and practice (Orthopraxy) of Grimoire based rituals. But this is not Rosicrucian magic and is not held by our Master in Christ, CRC. Indeed, I have not seen much talk of love, service and compassion in this school of magic, which is a hallmark of Rosicrucian spirituality. Thanks for reading 🙂