Golden Dawn Blogs and Tradition

Whenever I have time I read a lot of magical blogs and online journal entries. I am very impressed by some and amazed by the number of (mostly) men who are happy to share publicly their intimate magical work and spiritual experiences. Sometimes I think I am stranger out of time, as contemplating such a project myself fills me with horror and trembling. I also get very concerned and sad when reading a lot of these blogs. Many of these young men are sharing how our tradition has failed them. Their diary and blog entries show how they have not been taught correctly, or held by our traditions. Or don’t want to be. Some of these bloggers are part of Orders they consider traditional, others are openly against tradition.

I do not wish to point out any particular blog, only the issues involved. So as an example I will refer to a published account of magical workings by Geoff Hughes and Alan Richardson, Ancient Magicks for a New Age. This work gives diary entries of Mr Hughes as he explores the Merlin Current following his removal from the egregore of the Fraternity of the Inner Light. Most of the work was inward and visionary and from a traditional viewpoint lacking the safety and discrimination required for effective spiritual unfoldment. However, his brief diary entries are informative for many reasons. I remember when I first read them I was aghast at how he did not start all his work with the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram or some equivalent technique. Often he seemed to invoke elemental powers somewhere at some point in the working, but without structure or safeguards. As I read each new entry I was almost willing him on, to be sensible and follow tradition. On September 22, 1985 after a year and a half workings Mr Hughes had an experience that caused him to comment:

No matter what Work is carried out on behalf of the Inner planes, one must always acknowledge the Elemental Kingdoms and gain their acceptance.

In the margins of the book I wrote, “LRP”. At the time of reading, I was fairly gormed out that an initiate of the FIL (SIL) was not following the tradition laid down by Dion herself and before her the Golden Dawn and other esoteric schools. The next working recorded was on November 7, 1985 when Mr Hughes describes his opening as first giving salutations and then ‘Opening, using the Lesser Pentagram Ritual’. This time in the margin I inscribed a smiley face and ‘At last!’ This lack of tradition, structure and sense is typical of what I am finding on many GD and Magical blogs.

There are several areas of concern, all of which if students are guided by a teacher, compassion, tradition and honest introspection can be avoided.

Meet my Angel

Many GD and magical bloggers post how they have ‘talked’ to their Holy Guardian Angels. They often describe the HGA and the interaction they have with him, almost like talking to another human being. They repeat the words said, how they felt about the words, how the HGA may be holding something back etc. Often they report extended astral visions and journeys as part of their conversations. In addition some bloggers will report chats with other ‘beings’, daimons , guides and wot all. They will ponder if they are aspects of the HGA, which are useful and which may be part of themselves etc. To be blunt, all of these experiences are taking place in the astral sphere, a sphere ‘below’ that of the Holy Guardian Angel. This is not to say no contact has been made with the HGA, only that the communication has been corrupted. Tradition is clear on this: the Knowledge and Conversation of the HGA refers to an ongoing state of meta-consciouness. There are no visions and chats in meta-consciousness, just pure pristine Knowledge. A Rosicrucian magician knows her connection with the HGA, there is no doubt, no questioning, no possibility of the HGA tricking or holding things back.

Tradition is also clear that like ourselves, like God, the HGA does not actually exist as a separate being. They are an interconnection, a co-arisen dependant being. We cannot really talk of them as a being at all, expect in poetic terms. For once I am with Mr Crowley who apparently chose to us the term Holy Guardian Angel as a poetic device because he felt no one could possibly take this description literally. But sadly, they do, they do. Blogs describe how the HGA ‘checked people out’, removed obstacles to find a parking space etc. Whenever I read these accounts I have a slight tinge of contact embarrassment, like that I describe in a past post discussing Christians (and others) who seem to know ‘how god feels’.

The Power and the Passion

There is still a tendency by many, and sadly probably most, magicians to judge a ritual or a practice’s effectiveness by the amount of ‘power’ it raises. Time and time again I am seeing comments on these blogs saying how wonderful or pathetic something is based on perceived powers and sensations. It is true that some rituals and practices that transform us leave us feeling overwhelmed and in awe. However, some of the deeper processes of transformation are silent and still and can involve rituals that do not require trance and astral visions. Look at Christian Communion for example or Islamic salat, prayer repeated five times a day. Often the feelings of power and strength come about through the ‘flooding’ of the astral self with intense powers and energies also from the astral realm. The astral self or body is temporarily expanded beyond usual and this results in feelings of power, being ungrounded, lots of visions and energy. However, no transformation of any depth will come about since astral powers cannot transform the astral self; only higher, pure and non-self mental level blessings can do that. Which is why a properly constituted Host at a Eucharist is more transformational than any number of spacey and powerful middle pillar ceremonies. This is the traditional view, from antiquity onwards and is included in the authentic western esoteric traditions, including the RR et AC. Right from the Desert Fathers such as Evagrius onwards mystics and esotericists have been clear that depth spirituality is, more often than not, distorted by visions, powers and passions.

Making it all better

The self-help industry and paradigm is so pervasive, especially in America where most of these blogs originate, that it has even infected the Golden Dawn. It will not take much Internet searching to know what I mean. Now there is nothing wrong with ‘improving our self’ or ‘healing’. However, the appropriation of spiritual language, frameworks and techniques for personal and psychological adjustment does not mean the two spheres – personal growth and spiritual unfoldment – are one. While related, the two are not the same and the esoteric traditions clearly distinguish between them. In esoteric Qabalah the centralising state of consciousness, Tiphareth looks ‘down’ towards the personal and ‘up’ towards the transpersonal. This shows the interrelation of the two, while recognising that the correct ‘upward’ view – the motivation of the individual – is required to embrace what is beyond us. Many of the magical blogs out there do not appear to understand this and conflate healing and magic.

True spirituality is concerned with fostering another other state of being to the ordinary, a state which most esoteric traditions recognise as both immanent (within each of us) and transcendent (beyond all of us). Spiritual practices and frameworks will certainly give succour to our personal pain and it is appropriate to seek the One to overcome pain. However, if our motivation for spiritual practice remains within this realm – the realm of the self-seeking somatic, mental or emotional healing – this is where we will remain. We will never go beyond ourselves to the ‘other state of being’; we will never develop the right view and enter the eternal. The homogenisation of healing and spirituality only adds to this tendency and encourages us to remain forever in the personal while seeing it as spiritual.

Young men in a rush, suffering from premature union

This is an age-old problem and definitely not confined to these bloggers. People seem to expect each and every meditation, ritual or practice to produce ‘results’. Look at the suggestions out there for constructing a magical diary and you will see what I mean. Real spiritual unfoldment, like real maturation, however takes a lifetime. Daily meditations, practices, acts of love and compassion all produce a cumulative effect over years and ‘results’ are achieved slowly, steadily as we unfold. There is no rush for premature union, which more often than not is only astrally based dissolution. All the great traditions and great teachers are clear on this; we change slowly or not at all. This is not to say there are not moments of grace and change, of course there are. But they are not result driven and really not focused upon at all. Sogyal Rinpoche describes how after several years of practice, the state of Rigpa, a non-dual awareness was awakening in his mind. Excited and amazed he ran to his teacher, exclaiming loudly. His wise teacher remained calm and told him to settle down, that in the end his experience was ‘neither good nor bad’. The focus is always directed back to the simple practices, the daily love and service rather than any results we may receive.

Ho Hum, another psychic...

There is a very good book by Bishop John Shelby Spong, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism. I have often played with the notion of writing Rescuing magic from psychism. There are countless bloggers and readers out there who seem to think psychic experience and psychism is somehow spiritual. It is sad that during the development of modern magic psychism became linked to it – at least in some quarters. However, the two are not at all intrinsically linked. Any parapsychologist who has conducted extensive testing will tell you psychic ability is not linked to spiritual or moral development. Some of the most ‘talented’ psychics are not to sort to take home to mother and some of the deepest, most unfolded spiritual people have no psychic ability. Or if they do, they ignore it as a distraction. The number of blogs out there talking about astral travelling, creation of energy forms, reading people’s minds etc is staggering. None of this is spiritual. Some western magic traditions use techniques similar to those used in psychic schools in order to develop the inner modes of perception. This is help us participate consciously on the inner to unfold and serve further. However, these are simply tools, not ends in themselves and to focus on the psychic is to move away from the transpersonal which then obviates any spiritual unfoldment.

I want therefore I am

And still that old chestnut…practical magic. Magic designed to affect the material, mundane world. These days more and more magicians use the term thaumaturgy but it is still practical or low magic, with our without an ancient word. I have blogged on this before and will simply repeat a bit here.

Rather than degenerate into a discussion that ‘high’ magic (that which is not for the self) is better than ‘low’ magic (that which is for the self) I want to point out something that is seldom mentioned: most readers of blogs such as this actually do not need any help from magic.  In a world where twenty thousand people will die from poverty and starvation each day, any westerner who can afford time and money to wander around the Internet must be counted as rich beyond measure.  To use our magical blessings, which stem ultimately from the One, to increase our station in life rather than to balance out the stakes a little for those who are literally starving to death says something for our personal magical motivation.  And in this vein, the profusion of spell-craft manuals and coffee table books bristling with all forms of sorcery says a lot for the general motivation of the esoteric and New Age communities today.

The only way out is the only way in

One of the biggest issues I see time and time again is Outer Order members practicing Inner Order, RR et AC rituals and practices. I know that the line between the two is not so hard and fast these days and one Order has moved all published RR et AC material to the Outer Order (click here for their rationale). However, at least that Order appears to have a graded structure of practice and mentoring which many of these bloggers do not. The conflation between Inner and Outer is, from a traditional viewpoint, very dangerous. I believe practicing magic before the Adeptus Minor initiation or equivalent is one of the most dangerous things we can do. I know I am almost a lone voice in the wilderness here – mainly because most traditional RR et AC folk are silent about it all – but I believe examination of even the published material will prove me correct. In terms of structural, spiritual, psychological and initiatory integrity practicing Rosicrucian based magic without being admitted to the Rosicrucian Order damages both the particular Order and the individual.

RR et AC Rose Cross

The currents, links and entry into the Rosicrucian egregore given at the Adeptus Minor initiation is what makes RR et AC magic work. Not to even mention the required level of maturity and balance, compassion and love to practice magic safely. Let us be clear: RR et AC magic is not a solitary pursuit. At this level there are, in essence, no solo magicians. The Adeptus Minor is an initiated member of the Body of Christ and all her work, even her hours of solo work, is informed by and informs the Order and tradition. This is clearly shown in the Corpus Christi ceremony. So it makes no sense for people not of the RR et AC to be practicing RR et AC magic; it simply will not be as effective, and unless they are already unfolded to a certain extent, it will cause problems. Look around you at the people in the magical communities you know. See what I mean?

Love is the answer

Finally, and most painfully, very, very few magical bloggers ever mention love, compassion and service. Yet this is the test of all spirituality. I have harped on enough about this on MOTO so will not say much here. Of pressing concern however, is the tendency for some bloggers to describe how they use RR et AC magic or are helped by their ‘Holy Guardian Angel’ to engage in psychic battles and warfare.  People use RR et AC magic as a means to attack when that tradition is ultimately a Christian Order, based on the Presence and Love of Christ who directs us to love our enemies. It does my head in, it does 🙂

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54 comments

  1. Kate · November 23, 2009

    Very insightful!!

    After reading through this, the part that concerns me, is that I myself had many of these same intuitive-sentiments and awareness’ of that which Is transcendent BEFORE meeting many of the people involved in magical or spiritual orders. Since, I thought, “they must know more than me, perhaps I need to focus more on what they are. I must be missing something.” It does not make any sense anymore and was not the way.

    Perhaps, boiling this down a little, what really seems to be the problem is the focus on visual manifestations of HGA or anything else, whether on the astral or not. The point being, It’s a different Way of Seeing, not a different thing to see. It has always been [and I of course can only speak for myself] my experience that we already see everything, we are just not aware of it all, yet.

    Anyway. Just some thoughts.

  2. Suecae · November 23, 2009

    Your posts always come forward as a breath of fresh air. This time, even more so.

    Thank you for sharing this important perspective. Feel free to continue to harp on about love and compassion.

    In light,

  3. padmarosa · November 23, 2009

    Disclaimer: I am not a Golden Dawn member, nor do I play one on the Internet. *g* I am, however, a (fledgling) adept of the New Hermetics (newhermetics.com), and I, too, am distressed by how openly people talk about their magical practices, in assorted traditions, in online contexts. Whatever happened to that Fourth Power of the Magician?

    I think it’s a great gift if an adept wants to publish his or her magical diaries after their death. On the other hand, I have a friend online who writes fiction and almost never says anything explicit about her work. Last week she announced that she has sold her first novel, which she began writing in 2003. She’s a testament for me to magical silence and containment, as Julia Cameron calls it in her Artist’s Way books.

  4. Peregrin · November 24, 2009

    Hi, thanks for the reference to the Artists’ Way. There is a lot in that work that could be applied to western esotericism. There are still ‘silent’ teachers out there. My own teacher was outwardly nothing more than an upper class respectable English gentlemen who attended the local Anglican church. Inwardly he was far more and was a classic study in the Rosicrucian ideal of wearing the clothes of the country we live in. It sounds like your friend also has taken this virtue to heart 🙂

  5. Peregrin · November 24, 2009

    Hi Suecae, thank you for your words of encourgement. Yes, I think it is important to keep on about love and compassion. In any single day we ingest many thousand memes and themes of materialism, individualism and self-focus through our daily interactions, advertising, media etc. I think we need to keep repeating the eternal verities as an antidote to this. Thanks 🙂

  6. Peregrin · November 24, 2009

    Hello Kate,

    thanks for your comments, which are very interesting. I am of course reminded of Blake: “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is – infinite.” I agree we are already engaging and ‘seeing’ the Eternal. The One is before and within us and around us always. We need to wake up, be aware as you say, of this blessing 🙂

  7. Frater A.I.T. · November 25, 2009

    Fra.Peregrin,

    Well-I have to say….although I disagree with the Vast majority of what you’ve written here-especially your ideas about thaumaturgy-your call for compassion is refreshing!

    I do feel that-in order to be effective-one should communicate one’s own experience before ridiculing that of others. While mine may not be one of the blogs you reference, I have begun a strange journey for the KandC, and have shared my experiences along the way. Perhaps you would be so kind as to share your own? What I have experienced is my only reference, and my own analysis and divination have determined for me that they are valid.

    Perception of something on the Astral doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist on other planes-the gnosis of Union which you are speaking of occurs on and can be perceived on all of the planes in the way appropriate for each plane, and an elevated state of awareness is only one manifestation of this event. I think it is important to note that the planes aren’t separate and distinct. The Astral is the best plane for certain kinds of communication-those involving the mind’s Senses-and often time they are necessary for a multi-layered understanding. Direct information from one’s HGA may not necessarily be best communicated by that elevated sense of awareness-sometimes something more direct is called for, and that’s what the Astral is good for. The ‘Conversation” part of the Knowledge and Conversation. This is of course all in my own understanding-I certainly haven’t written the book on it.

    I do take issue with your idea that most people do not need ‘help’ from Magic-there are always those that suffer more. That doesn’t mean you sit and stew in your own suffering , no matter how minor. Using Magic to effect that change is exactly what a Magician should be doing. Magic is most effective at personal change; group ritual may be the best thing for affecting massive abstractions like “world hunger”; while I may not have the skill and mastery to end famine for the hungry in a region, I have been able to use my skill to end hunger in my own house. We need to effect change in ourselves first, and work outward from there.

    Nothing about the word ‘Magic’ defines it as being selfless, or compassionate, or loving. Depending on context, magic is either a method for application of the Will, a means to create change, or a force to be wielded. All this talk about love and compassion is well and good, but developing these is a result of mystical development and understanding, and frankly has little to do with actual Magic. It is , rather, a result of certain kinds of Magic. Magic is a method, a tool, useful for many things. As for practical magic being difficult-I think it has a learning curve like anything else. One is as prone to bend results positive in Theurgy as in Thaumaturgy; good results in either is a matter of work and introspection, of practice and divination. Pointing out this flaw in thaumaturgy alone is, in my opinion, incorrect.

    Those ideals you wish developed in each Adept are important, but don’t exist in a vacuum.

    I can’t say that I’ve practiced any RR et AC magic-in my order the RR et AC magic is all under the Rose. (I’m a member of the Order you referenced regarding that.) However, I do feel that a tradition needs to evolve with the humans that live it. I can’t imagine there are very many potential initiates these days who haven’t done any Magic on their own, and I think it is better to do it within the arms of the tradition where one may have some guidance. Saying this is harmful to the person and egregore seems off to me; I’ve never had a magical mishap that wasn’t a valuable lesson as well. A magician becomes a magician by doing magic. Mistakes are part of that. The only thing I’ve seen that I would consider harmful to the Egregore is all the foolish internet flaming that’s gone down, and that’s been done by the heads of Orders…members of the RR et AC, and not primarily the Golden Dawn. There are any number of misguided persons practicing Golden Dawn magic….if that’s all it takes to screw up the egregore, we may as well hang up our wands.

    Now, that all being said-I am as prone to making mistakes as the next man, and perhaps your insights are the correct of the two. I disagree with you, but I certainly respect your perspective and opinion, Frater.

    I hope the day finds you well,

    AIT

  8. Peregrin · November 25, 2009

    Care Fr AIT,

    Thank you for your well thought out and respectful comments. If more people in the magical community disagreed with each other as well as you disagree with me, we would all be better off. (If you have not read Fr AIT’s blog, you really should: http://heavenswithinearth.blogspot.com and I really should update my Blogroll.)

    I think we will have to agree to disagree on many of the matters you raise. However, a few points.

    I am sorry if anyone felt ridiculed by my post. I thought I made it clear that any ‘fault’ for the problems I see lie with the broader GD community, not any individual magician. I also thought I was clear when I said astral visions did not mean the HGA had not been contacted, only that the contact was, by definition, not deficiency of the magician, distorted, of which more below.

    Thanks for the invite to share my own experiences. I occasionally give personal references and experiences on MOTO but decline to share intimate spiritual experiences. This, as you know Frater, is because essentially they cannot be shared. When I describe my own visionary work it appears so flat it seems almost blasphemous compared to the actual experience. Perhaps if I was a great poet I could do it, but I cannot.

    I maintain that the ‘HGA’ is beyond all temporal limits and boundaries. Yes, I agree connection with the HGA occurs on many planes. However, visionary activity, by its nature is limited and bounded. It serves a function; as I type now my material vision shows me each key on the keyboard as distinct and separate from another. Similarly astral vision does the same, representing distinctions and divisions. However the sphere of the HGA is beyond these boundaries. So when an experience ‘with the HGA’ is translated into visionary experience there are, by definition limitations and distortions.

    It is even a distortion to say ‘with the HGA’ as this implies the HGA is a separate, discreet being as much as a parking inspector or a work colleague, when the reality is far different. Similarly with emotion; the sphere of emotions and feelings is ‘below’ that of the HGA and translation of the HGA experience into emotional terms renders it incomplete at best and corrupted at worse. There are numerous mystical and spiritual precedents for the views I express here, in pretty much all traditions.

    I agree no one should stew in their own suffering. I would hardly suggest this. However, as all the great traditions teach – and let us not forget western magic is birthed from two of these traditions – we need to focus on other’s suffering as well, if not more so. Magic does enact change and I am glad you can use it to end hunger in your own house.

    World hunger however, is not, an abstraction. It is real for the people involved and, through the development of compassion, it becomes real for us. Compassion means literally to feel with and therefore WE feel the hunger, pain and starvation. Compassion is the centre of all traditions and there are many RR et AC processes to develop it within us.

    You write, “Nothing about the word ‘Magic’ defines it as being selfless, or compassionate, or loving.” I disagree. I was clear to talk mostly about RR et AC magic, that from the Rosicrucian tradition. Our Father in Christ, CRC exemplifies love and compassion. Rosicrucians profess nothing other than to heal the sick and for free. This is love. This is compassion.

    The ancient conceptions of magic also define it as intrinsically linked to spiritual unfoldment and connection with the divine. Such a connection has as its hallmark the growth of love and compassion for all. Again, all the great traditions say this.

    The highlighting of ‘the will’, ‘change’ and ‘force’ in a discussion of magic reflects a very recent innovation and one which has largely been promoted through a misunderstanding of Crowley’s definition.

    Your conscious rejection of love and compassion as having ‘little to do with actual magic’ is exactly the opinion I was critiquing in my post. So I am glad you have stated it so clearly. 🙂 It is impossible in this context to give the time and space required for a full debate on this issue. I invite you and the readers here to look into the history of magic and its connection with religion and the ancient mysteries and decide for themselves. I suggest also looking at the fruits of the tree of the numerous magical orders that hold the opinion you express so well. I have not been to your home town, Frater, so maybe it is different there. I hope so.

    You write, ‘I can’t say that I’ve practiced any RR et AC magic.’ Well by traditional definition you have 🙂 Pretty much all of the reports you give on your blog use original RR et AC practices. Still it may be a matter of definition, since your Order now classes them as Outer Order. I agree fully though: it is better to practice magic within the arms of a tradition and order, even an Outer Order, than alone without guidance. I also agree the flaming and posturing by many leaders of our traditions harm us all deeply.

    Overall, Frater, I think we may be talking about two different types of ‘magic’. I maintain traditional views of magic are more aligned to the views I share on MOTO. You seem to suggest magic is something else. As you say a tradition is never static and it may be that, regardless of any historical veracity on either ‘side’ of the fence, modern magicians will define contemporary magic by their attitudes and worldview. To be frank, I hope to convince as many of them as possible that love and compassion need to be at the heart of all magic. I am not sure I will be able to, but I have to try.

    Thank you again for your comments and wishes.

    Light and Life; Love and Law.

  9. Emily · November 25, 2009

    Hi Peregrin,
    Thanks for this post; I have to say I agree with most of what you have to say, I have a few thoughts on some of your points.

    To begin with although we as a community may share some things in common, the tradition that each individual order practices may differ to such a point that two orders may have next to nothing in common. Then of course you have large number people working alone and that is hardly traditional and to be honest it really isn’t fair to sit there and suggest that a good teacher, tradition etc will help them, since most people in this situation would give their right hand for those things.

    Give these conditions what are people to do? The published material gives little indication of how these things are supposed to work, there is over much written about practical magic, contacting your HGA- complete with all the lights and sparkles included, summoning various beasties and having them do your bidding and other assorted “spooky magic stuff”.

    In contrast the things that you are talking about are seldom mentioned, in fact you have made much noise about applying compassion to magical work, about trying to use magic to help heal some of things that are wrong in the world- which includes our own little Golden Dawn world- yet have done nothing to expand on this by providing practical examples of it in action. Adding to this, a very quick scan of the various blogs and message boards will show that, more or less, you are the only one talking like this- not that there is anything wrong with that.

    What I am trying to say (and probably not very clearly) is that there is or was a lack and that lack has been filled with most of the problems you have mentioned. Perhaps it would be more constructive to provide some practical alternatives rather than a never ending list of criticisms.

    Pax et Lux
    Emily

  10. Peregrin · November 25, 2009

    Hi Emily,

    Nice to hear from you again and thanks for the comments. It is great to see another well thought out response to this post.

    You make a valid point concerning most people ‘giving their right’ hand for tradition and a teacher. It is a major defect that these core elements are not readily available. It is also a major defect that, as you say there is far more available on ‘spooky magic stuff’ than practical compassionate magic.

    A few things immediately occur to me. As I mentioned, compassion and honest introspection are essential tools at the start of our spiritual and magical unfoldment. These qualities are not confined to the magical and are taught by many non-magical teachers, courses and books. Exoteric religion is a great place to develop these essential skills and is the reason why, traditionally, religion preceded magic and why the original Golden Dawn insisted upon religious belief and why other esoteric Orders only accept practicing Christians or third degree Masons/Co-Masons.

    The rejection of the religious by modern magic is an attitude, as is the choice to develop compassion and dethrone our egos. Once we have made a start on this we are much more likely to be guided in our magic, on the inner if not the outer, as by doing so we access the transpersonal not personal realms where the guidance – since it is concerned with all – may be found.

    Also, really there is a fair bit already out there, if not within the narrow confines of the Golden Dawn, certainly within the western magical. Of the top of my head I am thinking of, for example, works by Gareth Knight. His Experience of the Inner Worlds teaches practical and solidly compassionate magic and was published in 1975. Other works stemming from the impetus of the Fraternity of the Inner Light by various teachers are also often useful. Then there are numerous Masonic works based on compassion and service that with a little conscious application can inform our GD work.

    I agree I have only provided limited examples of compassionate magical action. But not nothing 🙂 I have provided practical examples of prefacing statements on the website and a ritual to develop compassion on MOTO. This blog is not primarily a teaching blog and I am, to be frank, wanting more to influence motivations and principles behind our magic than provide set rituals. I assume people can develop their own rituals and practices from their own creativity. And anyone, at any stage of magical training can pray. I do however take your point and will provide more practical examples. Thank you for picking me up on this.

  11. Sr S.E.C. · November 26, 2009

    Hello,
    With respect a few choice words. There is nowt wrong with criticism when it is called for. We come down where we come down. If I step in dog poo I will tell you it stinks. This is what is being done here. I see plenty of ideas for cleaning up the poo but not the exact instructions for the mopping and sweeping. That is your job, Emily and Frater A.I.T. – no one can do this for us.

    I think what you are saying, Peregrin and not too clearly (up late again, dear?) is that the gap Emily talks about should be filled with correct compassion based practices from other than our Golden Dawn and eso trads. Not the self enhancing magick that it has been.

    And, “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”

    This blog is only one part of what is being done. There are many practical teachings in other venues and I glad for it and i know peregrin is quiet about a lot of this, but glad for him too. Else we would be stuck with the psych Regardie-ites, the evil Crowleyans or the rest of the selfish bunch when the Golden Dawn is the dawn of Light and Love.

    Sr S.E.C.

  12. Emily · November 26, 2009

    Hi Peregrin,

    To begin with I am more or less agreeing with you Peregrin, there *should* more talk about compassionate magic within the Golden Dawn as a community, in a perfect world it would be the motivation for following a path of spiritual development. I also fully acknowledge that it is up to me to do my own work; I certainly was not suggesting that anyone “do” it for me.

    What I am suggesting is that these ideas are almost completely alien when compared to what others speak of when talking about the Golden Dawn. Many would not even recognise them as being a valid part of the system, and in the examples given I would bet that the people you are speaking about believe they are practising the tradition correctly. Given all this how are they supposed to change the way they work magic if they are not at least given some constructive ideas, examples and practical applications?

    I hope that makes sense?
    Emily

  13. Peregrin · November 26, 2009

    Hi Emily,

    thanks for the clarification. You are making perfect sense and a few other people privately have emailed saying almost identical things. How are people supposed to change how they work magic? I think motivation is the key here and I still say there needs to be some “apprenticeship”, for want of a better word, before entry into magical training – like solid religious adherence, Masonry, membership of a service organisation. Something to move us away from our own egos.

    That said, I will now remove my head from the sand. Watch the Compassion page. I will be placing relevant practical examples up there over the next few weeks. THANK YOU for the kick up the bum 🙂

  14. Sincerus Renatus · November 26, 2009

    Carete,

    My view on this is quite simple. Rosicrucian Magic should always be under the auspices of Theurgy, even when one does works with “Thaumaturgy”.

    We should always se magic as a working tool wich helps us to accomplish:

    1. Union between the Microcosm and Macrocosm
    2. Union between Heaven and Earth
    3. Union between Man and God

    I.e. what commonly is referred to as the Alchemical Marriage.

    This is done through:

    1. Energetic manipulation of the body (physical and subtle)
    2. Transmutaton of the body and soul
    3. Healing sickness (both in our selves and in others)
    4. Self knowledge
    5. Study of nature and her works

    As I belong to the same Order to which Fra. A.I.T. is a member I would like to make some comments regarding traditional R.R. et A.C. magical formulae. It’s true that lots of what traditionally has been considered properly belonging to R.R. et A.C. in the past is now part of the Outer Order since we reformed our Order in 1999.

    However, this doesn’t mean that everything now is now Outer. Lately Fra. A.I.T. has been engaging in Enochian workings with Kings and Seniors which still properly belongs to the Inner Order workings. Working with sub-forces comes under the heading of Inner Order work. In the Outer we mainly deal with the general forces, such as Elements, Planets, etc. as a whole. But besides this recent escapades of Fra. A.I.T. I believe his blog is still quite representative of the level of work which is done in our Order today. Hope this clarifies any misunderstandings.

    Fraternally in L.V.X.,
    S.R.

  15. David Griffin · November 27, 2009

    Care Frater Peregrin,

    Although there are numerous points you and I disagree on – and that we have each already previously delineated on our blogs – it is still good to see you back blogging once again after such a long hiatus!

    Welcome back.

    It is also nice to see that there are things we agree on occasionally as well.

    Kudos for your comments on “Rescuing the Golden Dawn from psychism.” I am somewhat concerned that such points even need to be made, considering provisions of the Neophyte oath proscribing “putting oneself in a passive or mediumistic state.”

    It appears that psychism in general, and New Age style “channelling” in particular, has exerted a far more insidious influence on the perennial wisdom – as represented by legitimate initiatic traditions – than any of us would care to realize or admit.

    In this specific sense, I must ask whether the entire New Age phenomenon has been more of a boon or a bane to mankind!?!?

    Fraternally,
    David Griffin

  16. Frater A.I.T. · November 27, 2009

    Ave VH Fra S.R.,

    Thanks for the clarification there. My Enochian work is obviously extra-curricular to me, but perhaps not so to others.

    I hope you are well.

    In LVX.

    AIT

  17. Sincerus Renatus · November 27, 2009

    Carete,

    Just a final comment and important point that I would like to make. The curriculum in our Order is not set in stone, as in non-variable. As I have written in one of my recent blogs, the tutor-student relationship is paramount in our teaching system. Whatever a student does when it comes to actual work is someting between these two persons. It is the tutor who finally decides if someone is eligible for advancement. And no student is alike. Therefore there of course is head room for changes and alterations of curriculum if it is juged that the student would benefit from it. The curriculum as presented on my blog and elsewere is a general guidline which has proven to be opitimal for most students. It is also a minimal requirenment what a student must master in our Order in a normal case scenario. But the tutor has the final word when it comes to the exact requirements.

    Fraternally in L.V.X.,
    S.R.

  18. Kate · November 27, 2009

    Peregrin,

    Yes, I too like Blake:

    “A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees. ”

    🙂

  19. Mike Barker · November 27, 2009

    Thanks Peregrin for your blog and for your perspectives.I always enjoy your insights and you are “the blog with a conscious” in regards to the western mysteries.
    I am all for tradition and don’t wish it to change in our orders but ultimately think that it’s the work that counts. I think that their should be some lee way in the work that ceremonial magicians can do on their own.Never before in the history of mankind has so much magical information from so many different magical sources become available in print and on the internet for magicians to sift through.So their is some experimenting going on.Information out side of Golden Dawn sources is fit into a Golden Dawn ritual frame work or similar paradigm and worked with.And their are a number of bloggers from all over the spectrum that are publicly recording their results.I am sure if all the orders heads had any idea how prevalent this was they would react negatively and claim tradition was being thrown to the way side.Why? Because ultimately they would view it as a threat to their own authority.Paul Case was expelled because his order heads were jealous of his work.Isreal Regardie wrote about his experience in “What you should know about the Golden Dawn” and talks about how order heads suppressed information and were threatened by initiates who actually did the work.The dynamics then were that you had adepti in the inner order that didn’t know anything about the magical workings of their tradition.That’s not the case in today orders but the grandiose titles and power plays are.Regardie also explains that the tradition to keep ones magical journals private in large part came about because candidates were being advanced in the order even though they had little understanding of the grade material.So if journals were made public people would get embarrassed.Here’s a quote from his chapter titled Darkness explaining how this tradition about keeping ones personal records private has had a negative effect on the Golden Dawn tradition.”If however no organized body of knowledge is kept, no organized science that based upon traditional theory and teaching, then manifestly their can be no constructive policy for the teaching itself.This perhaps explains why the order system after 50 years of practice has never become an established and recognized cultural factor.This crippling point of view was once formally and officially stated in these words..”It is against the traditions of this order to keep much of the personal records lest they become dogma that students accept rather then make the effort to do their own experimenting”. It seems that the tradition to keep ones personal records private was motivated by the order for the wrong reasons.I don’t think publicly displaying ones magical records goes against tradition and in doing so fulfills part of the “recognized cultural factor”
    of the western mystery tradition.I find it very useful in my own work to be able to read about somebody’s else experience and compare it to my own.I also recall all the hysteria and dark foreboding comments about what was going to happen when AIT’s order moved a lot of inner order material to the outer.Predictions of neophytes heads exploding and brains fried from Enochian magic as well as turning tradition on it’s head were common musings.I haven’t heard any horror stories and I suspect that nothing negative happened.AIT is a great example of an initiate who does THE WORK and it shows in his blog. Tradition within Golden Dawn history has not been a stable factor from the beginning and various orders have manipulated tradition to fit their needs.So those bloggers who have a negative view of order membership are skeptical with good reason.
    How quickly an initiate moves through grade material is based upon how well the material is assimilated into the person as well as that persons maturity.It’s about doing THE WORK.And that’s true for the solo practitioner as well.Evoking archangels and planetary spirits is an initiating process regardless of whether you are in an order or not.Volumes have been written about conjuring your HGA by people speculating about how they would going about doing it.Others have acquired the HGA by doing THE WORK and by having a personal relationship with God.It’s not that complicated.It may not be obvious from the blogs but most are Christians.
    Charismatic,Catholic,Eastern Orthodox,Gnostic and others.Most hold to a world view much like Agrippa and Dee with a hierarchy of Angels and Spirits the Creator has provided to help us do the Great Work.Regardie and Crowley were both affected by the “Age of Reason”.Regardie tried to make Magic acceptable by describing it solely in psychological terms.Crowley thought that Goetian spirits were found in parts of our brain.They are the “it’s all in your head crowd”.Others believe that magic is just science and physics and that we will someday have an explanation for the phenomena.By taking the Spirit out of magic you rob it of having a mystical ecstatic experience.I believe that in trying to make magic rational you add lot of baggage and then you wonder why you didn’t get good results.If you make a talisman whose sigil represents some psychological archetype that your going to send out into the universe where is the power in that?If your Astrological talisman represents some astro physic responder that captures planetary rays for you then you have just limited its power.But if your talisman is a living Spirit ensouled in matter then you have something that is powerful and miraculous.The power of magic is found in a living theology and if we do the work then gnosis will follow.If enough people align their will with the Creators will then we can make a difference in the world.

  20. Peregrin · November 27, 2009

    Dear Mike,

    Thanks for the comments which are very thoughtful.

    Just a couple of points about recording and sharing of magical work. I agree there is a need for this, and I am not against it. I am certainly, as I said amazed at the people who share via the internet. I could never be so brave.

    Your quoting Regardie is very interesting. We need to always remember Regardie belonged to a temple of the Stella Matutina which was at a very low ebb. His membership of the RR et AC was very short indeed. Other Colleges of the RR et AC have regular peer sessions, where members share their magical records and work. Indeed, this is one of the principles of the Rosicrucian tradition. Over the decades the shared egregore and wisdom of these colleges is staggering. Of course the same happens in Masonic research lodges and the S.I.R.A.

    I think Regardie’s complaint that the Golden Dawn did not become “an established and recognized cultural factor” has less to do with the failure to keep and share magical records and more to do with the ideology, motivations and practices of the various Orders. The power-plays, lies and dysfunction of many within our community are the main causes of this. While we all abhor these things, we as a broader community have been unable to prevent them recurring in each subsequent generation of magicians. Why is that?

    Perhaps the internet is now functioning as a means of sharing and conscious peer review. I would like to think so. Certainly we saw this occur on this blog with the interchange between Fr AIT and VH Fr SR. In my ideal world I would have liked to see the superiors in Fr AIT’s Order use this blog as forum to respond to Fr AIT’s declaration that love and compassion have “little to do with actual Magic” and correct this attitude. Their silence (and that of other GD leaders) on the issue is telling and supports Emily’s view that there are very few of us out there who feel the way I, my teachers and Orders feel. Thanks.

  21. Pingback: A few quotations to make me feel better « Magic of the Ordinary
  22. Sincerus Renatus · November 27, 2009

    Care Frater Peregrin,

    I once talked with a good Frater of mine, who has gone on with his own projects since several years, who I loved and shared my initiatory process with, who shocked me when he said:

    “Magic has nothing to do with spiritual unfoldment”!

    I didn’t accept this premise, and I still cannot accept it, and I never will. I ask myself the question, what is magic and alchemy at all about if there is not any higher purpose with it?

    Love and Compassion is a true sign of spiritual unfoldment.

    But in my opinion as a initiate we must focus upon the different processes that we are taught:

    1. The process of initiation
    2. The processes of magical invocation
    3. The processes of alchemy
    4. The processes of meditation

    This will ultimately make a reaction within ourselves, in both our body and soul. There will occur a transmutaion of both body and soul, of our corporeal self and the subtle bodies which we designate as “soul”.

    True compassion cannot be learned from outside, from any spritual teacher or from any Good Book, or from our parents even. That is not compassion; that’s adapation for fear of punishment and shame. True compassion has to come from within, it must be awakened in our heart, the center within which we call our “Sun”.

    When we make ourselves as pure and unrestricted vessels for the L.V.X., Love and Compassion will naturally follow. The L.V.X. force will purify us, relieve us from our blockages within our soul and body, burn away the dregs of our being, and root out our base and petty impulses from our subconsious. It will make conscious our supressed shadow (the Dweller on the Threshold) and relieve us from its dominion. Thus Love and Compassion will naturally show forth.

    You cannot expect to much Love and Compassion coming from an Outer Order member. They have to focus on these processes which I mentioned. When they become crucified and become consious of the radiant sun-force within them, they will become true Adepts and walk the path of Love and Compassion. Through this innate driving light force they will heal the sick and that for gratis.

    So I would say that Magic and Theurgy has everything to do with Love and Compassion, as it has to ultimately lead to this ultimate goal. Theurgy is like mysticism a “love story” between the practitioner and God. Alchemy is likewise a “love story” between the achemist and God manifest as mother nature. Alchemy is by its innate nature fueled by Love, especially in its more advanced and internal paths. The secret fire of the alchemist is basically Love.

    I have personally withesses how a person trough magic and theurgy, within the framework of the Golden Dawn tradition as the hermetic vessel, can evolve from being a schizoid and paranoid misantroph into being a passionate and compassionate melancholic, who simply feels himself being in love with the world, with God, with himself, with his fellow men, with his wife and children, with the tradition, etc. He of course still experiences relapses into primitive states, daily. Sometimes in periods when going through trials, mournings and griefs. But in most cases he hasn’t have to fight and persuade himself into feeling Love. When he is with myself and centered, and relaxed, Love and Compassion follows naturally, it flows from within.

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe
    S.R.

  23. Michael Gorsuch · November 27, 2009

    Hi Peregrin!

    I’m just writing to toss in my support for the need – no, the requirement – of compassion for any true advancement.

    Magic may be able to exist on its own without a properly trained heart. That I do not know, as I am a novice. But, would it really be as effective when divorced from Wisdom?

    In the mundane world, one can acquire great skill in a field, but will she really be reaching her potential if her heart and mind are muddied and not properly trained? For example, I may study computer networking for years and become quite accomplished. However, if my mind is a mess, do I have the ability to handle the stressful situations that I may encounter while on the job? Will I be able to navigate through them in an efficient manner? If my heart is cold, will I be able to negotiate the difficult personal situations that may arise amongst my team and clients? Probably not.

    From my point of view, this requirement is common sense. Please write more.

  24. Frater A.I.T. · November 28, 2009

    Fra.Peregrin,

    I have to say, this has been a delightful discussion! Great to have one of these in a mutually respectful fashion. It is a good thing to have a member of our RR et AC active within this web of Magicians the various blogs have developed-and his comments I think are correct and insightful. Vh Fra SR has served as a guide for me and others of us who are working publicly within the Order, and as a member of the Inner he has insight into the Rosicrucian perspective that those of us on the Outer may not.

    As far as “correcting” my attitude goes-I of course think that is unnecessary, because I find this understanding to be factual.=) I have to re-iterate that your ideas about love and compassion being what magic is rooted in have little to do with the reality-past and present-of how magic is used, Rosicrucian or otherwise. I’m not saying that this is necessarily a good or bad thing; it is simply the truth. From what I understand, even the Inner Order work is primarily devoted to development of the Adept, with the Goal of the work being Union-love and compassion may develop as a side effect of the Work, but the primary goal it is not. When you say that Rosicrucians profess only to Heal the sick, I think it sounds wonderful. How many Rosicrucians do you think are actually doing this? How may sick and needy persons are positively affected by our Rosicrucian Orders? I imagine the local church in your area has done more for the poor in the past 10 years then the Golden Dawn/RR et AC has done-combined-over the entirety of it’s existence. Love and compassion do not require Magic, and the vast majority of persons embodying and practicing these ideals haven’t done a whiff of Magic in their entire lives. I think perhaps a difference in our perspectives here-besides your being an Inner Order member, and perhaps privy to information and understanding that I may not yet have-is that you are talking about what you Hope will be, and I am talking about what Is.

    I also feel-and again, my understanding may be flawed, but experience tells me that it is not-that focusing on these two qualities alone as the hallmarks of correct development is incorrect. I understand that the Adept walks between the two Pillars, and not only on that side that is Mercy. I don’t think that Rosicrucian statement about healing the sick was a reference to physical illness and sickness, nor do I think that it should be read only literally.

    This understanding of the developed person being a wholly Compassionate and Loving creature sounds more New Age than Rosicrucian to me, in that development within the Rosicrucian system has always focused on a balanced approach. The Adept-just as Yeshua was-may be alternately Wrathful or Merciful-he is just wise in the application of these qualities. The work of our system seems to be focused on an increase in Wisdom and Understanding-this results invariably in an increase in compassion, a wonderful side-effect. How could it not, as even the most selfish comes to realize that all are one, and the one who suffers before you is also yourself? This is a side-effect of development much like the siddhis you mentioned earlier. However, it isn’t the goal, the goal is Union. Magic done to move toward Union is certainly not regularly compassionate, as it is focused on developing the self. It is incorrect to mistake “Theurgical” for compassionate and loving. They are not synonymous. It is also a mistake to focus too much on any of the qualities, regardless of how nice they may be. God is not just the things that we find pleasant, nor is it by nature always loving and compassionate.

    A wise fellow I know once quoted on his blog-and I paraphrase- ” God is not a kind and loving Uncle, He is an Earthquake.” 😉

    He is completely correct. And Rosicrucian magic is focused on Union with God, and not assumption of some few of it’s myriad qualities.

    I think your ideas about the internet becoming a solid forum for peer review are important. This needs to be the case-we learn a lot through interaction with our peers, and having a body of Golden Dawn experiences on the Internet-that aren’t flamed all to hell is good for our tradition. You mentioned the shared wisdom of the Inner Orders….this wisdom may indeed be staggering, but it is under the Rose, and unavailable to the vast majority of persons practicing Magic. The blogs are not, and this is positive. The published experiences on the net allow us to look at ourselves, and have enlightening and challenging conversations like the one we are having now. Good stuff.

    I know that reading your blog had enriched my own practice-and given me a few at things from a different angle.

    I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    AIT

  25. Frater A.I.T. · November 28, 2009

    Fra Mike,

    Excellent comment about telesmata and Magic in general! I also find the psychological model to be limiting, and a cop out. A way to incorporate Magic into the materialist view of the Universe. I suppose it may serve as a useful bridge for folks unlearning materialism and coming to a more classical understanding of existence…but that’s as far as it goes.

  26. Sincerus Renatus · November 28, 2009

    Care Fra. A.I.T.,

    You have contributed with some very interesting points. True, in the Golden Dawn tradition we are taught to balance Mercy with Severity.

    In the particular development of Lurianic Qabalah called Sabbatian Qabalah

  27. Sincerus Renatus · November 28, 2009

    Care Fra. A.I.T.,

    You have contributed with some very interesting points. True, in the Golden Dawn tradition we are taught to balance Mercy with Severity.

    In the particular development of Lurianic Qabalah called Sabbatian Qabalah the great Qabalist and the prophet of Sabbathai Zevi, Nathan of Gaza, proposed the idea of “ambivalence” in God. He said that the expression of God were dual already at the level of Ain Soph Aur (Limitless Light), which divided into a “thoughtful” and “thoughtless” Light. The former wanted and had an urge for creation; the latter resisted it and tried to uphold the original and blissful unified state prior to creation.

    But when creation did occur both the Thoughtful and Thoughtless Lights were involved in it, the latter actively combating it. This dual potency created the binary system of the Tree of Life that is known to us as the Pillars of Severity and Mercy, i.e. the Black and White Pillars as represented in the Neophyte Hall.

    Because of these two competing forces unbalanced occurred while the creation was under way and out of the forces of Severity the Tree was shattered and hence the Shells or Qlippoth were created. This is referred to as “the breaking of the vessels”. These shells were mixed with the seven lower Sephiroth and created what in Sabbatian Qabalah is called the “Abyss”. Hence only the Supernals were untainted from the Fall while the Seven lowermost became the “Pit of Serpents”.

    All this is amply showed forth in the Practicus (3=8) and Philosophus (4=7) Diagrams on the Garden of Eden. As you can see, Sabbatian Qabalah was infused with the tradition of the Golden Dawn in an early preparatory phase, already in the late 18th Century and the fraternity called Asiatic Brethren, which later created a “Golden Dawn” Lodge in Frankfurt-am-Main in 1807, referred to as the “Nascent Dawn”.

    So, yes there is imbedded in the Qabalistic philosophy of the Golden Dawn, which continues the antinomian way of the “heretical” Sabbateists, the concept of the evil and good faces of God. But all of this has, in my opinion, been somewhat mitigated by the early Christian Qabalistic teachings stemming from such important personages as Pico della Mirandola, Athanasius Kircher, and Christian Knorr von Rosenroth, which also found its way into the Golden Dawn. Hence we also lay great emphasis upon the union of opposites through the healing powers of the Great Name of the Pentagrammaton or Yeheshuah (YHShVH).

    This means that we shouldn’t overemphasise the division between the Pillars but instead work for the reconciliation of them. And reconciliation or union of opposites per definition involves the Great Universal Principle of Love. That’s why our tradition teaches us that the only of the Planetary glyphs which fits upon the entire Tree of Life and involves all Sephiroth is the symbol of Venus, i.e. that of Love.

    This is why we also are told in the Neophyte Ceremony that there are: “Two contending Forces and one which unites them eternally. Two basal angles of the triangle and one which forms the apex. Such is the origin of Creation, it is the Triad of Life.”

    That’s why we are taught to invoke the Middle Pillar before we can invoke the entire Tree.

    In this instance I believe that Psychoanalysis may shed some valuable life. Sigmund Freud, undeniably being either unconsciously or consciously influenced by the mystical philosophy of his Jews ancestry, later in life postulated that human life and behaviours basically were conditioned according to the two great and contending forces or “drives” to which he referred as Eros and Thanathos, or the “life instinct” and the “death drive” respectively.

    According the Freudians both of these forces had to be reckoned with and therapy were henceforth given the task of reconciling these two. Thus the real danger, according to psychoanalysis, lies in the division or splitting between the Eros and Thanathos, which may lead to destructive tendencies and ultimately to death. The goal is instead of the fusion of these two drives that are likened to a intertwining of sorts.

    I here immediately see the image of the Caduceus, the symbol of healing. The two serpents (of which one is black and the other white) are reconciled round the central staff (the Middle Pillar). Hence Freud speaks of use of the death drive in the service of the life instinct.

    Instead of expressing destructive aggression, life may use the death drive to give the necessary incentive for individuation and of personal integrity, and self-preservation. This sometimes must involve defence against destructive elements from both outside and inside of the subject. Hence Freud tells us that the defence mechanisms of the self use force coming from the death drive.

    This may be compared to the practise and formulae of evocation of the averse or demonic forces. The Magician uses the severity of God to subdue the Qlippoth so that the integration of these hieretho destructive forces may be integrated and used for the greater good, i.e. in the service of the life instinct. So basically the death drive is used when the repressed parts of the death drive is to be reconciled and integrated.

    Hence the Theurgical system of the Golden Dawn and of psychoanalysis have the same ultimate goal, that of making conscious that what is unconscious and to reintegrate that which has been cast down from the self.

    This process is also the equivalent of what in the Lurianic and Sabbatian traditions are referred to as the Tikkun ha-Olam, the “restoration” of the Adam or Tree of Life.

    Hence, according to the Lurian and Sabbatian Qabalah (and also of the Theurgical system of the Golden Dawn), the Magician has been given the task of reuniting God with himself, i.e. to restore the fallen world to its original state before the breaking of the vessels.

    In my opinion this restoration process not only involves the reintegration of the Qlippoth or “freeing of the divine sparks” to create a harmonious and balanced Tree of Life, but also the reconciliation of the “two contending forces”, i.e. the Black and White Pillars, Severity and Mercy, or the Thoughtful and Thoughtless Lights.

    This task has been given to humanity, to us. This is our great responsibility and also, according to the Qabalah, the purpose of our existence as humans. This is our great Cross to carry. We must crucify ourselves upon the Cross, i.e. the Tree of Life, and become a King which will govern our world with the Rod of Iron. We must make ourselves into the New Adam, into the Christos.

    Thus, we must build the Tree of Life into the glyph of Venus. The primary force which we must wield in this process is the L.V.X. force, which is also the Life Force (life instinct), which is the Universal Principle of Love. Hence the principle of Love and Compassion must prevail over and mitigate that of Severity. Eros must conquer Thanathos and make it to a servant of life. Thus as magicians we must become Servants of the Light.

    Remember also the old Rosicrucian axiom of:

    “Licht, Leben und Liebe”

    S.R.

  28. Mike · November 29, 2009

    Peregrin Asks, “The power-plays, lies and dysfunction of many within our community are the main causes of this. While we all abhor these things, we as a broader community have been unable to prevent them recurring in each subsequent generation of magicians. Why is that?”
    I don’t know for sure but I’ll take a stab at it.I think the body within the current Golden Dawn community as a whole is quite healthy and vibrant.This is in stark contrast to what Regardie experienced in the Stella Matutina.Yes their are a few members in various orders that seem to love to sow discord but they are the exception not the rule.Their are also ex members with a chip on their shoulder.Occult orders can attract mentally unbalanced people.I think because we live in the age of the internet where comments can be posted immediately in the passion of the moment thats get people in trouble to.We’ve all sent off nasty e-mails to people in the mundane world only to regret it later.So I think the internet in a way magnifies the “drama” that happens some times and in that sense acts as an exaggeration and doesn’t reflect the Golden Dawn body as a whole.What we can do is choose NOT to participate when “Flaming” pops up on the forums.I ignore it because I know it doesn’t reflect the views of my fellow fraters and soros in what ever orders they happen to belong too….

  29. Mike · November 29, 2009

    Our discussions here have been quite good with all involved having excellent insights.It has got me thinking about a number of things as well as challenging me to put love and compassion in the for front of my life.The discussion about the Rosicrucian system and its essence reminds me of Neo-platonic philosophy with a deeply Christian root.The three main tenets of Neo-platonic philosophy are as I understand them these:
    (1) that the whole of Nature is rooted in one Supreme Essence;
    (2) that the soul of man, being a radiation of the Universal Soul, is immortal; and
    (3) that man, by self-purification, can become like “god” in human form
    Another aspect of this philosophy is that we are all part of a “Divine Race” and the Work we do in fact awakens this aspect of ourselves.The reality that we are all made in the image of God means that the “Divine Race” transcends all of mankind.
    Now this got me thinking about the Rosicrucian’s and the Victorian world view which culturally was racist.I saw this discussion on the Kabbalahconcepts forum and have pasted it below for referral.A number of prominent figures within the Western Mystery tradition were racist and homophobic.So my uncomfortable question is how could you be a “true adept” and hold to a racist world view.If the sign of an adept is love and compassion I don’t see how it could be reconciled.If a person was truly changed on the inside would not racist views be eliminated from that persons being? Now I’m not suggesting that all Rosicrucian’s were racist but based on the cultural norms of the times it wouldn’t surprise me if some were.I know that my argument is weak in the sense that it’s “guilt by association” and I have nothing in writing to back it up.That said I don’t know of any earlier writings within the Tradition that even mention racism and homophobia except in a negative way.At least in today’s orders these things are dead and in a sense makes the modern Golden Dawn far superior then our predecessors.
    What follows next is an account of a highly influential occultist who comes to terms with his racism.It’s a good read.

    Sadly William Gray, like so many of his occult peers, were born and bred in a climate of racism. I don’t mean that ALL British occultists of his day, and earlier, were racists. That would certainly be far from the truth, but several of the famous ones were indeed racist, some perhaps more rabidly than others. Take Dion Fortune as a case in point. As far as I am aware, Hermetic Kabbalists hold her in very high esteem, and most would recommend her “Mystical Qabalah” as one of the most definitive works of its genre. I wonder if any of these admirers would consider disposing of whatever writings of her they might have in their possession, if they should discover that she was actually one of those very “rabid racists” I was referring to. Writing under the pseudonym V.M. Steele, she penned some of the most awful and virulent racist spy novels. Commenting on one of these, Alan Richardson it to be “an embarrasing tale that is filled with every sad and insulting racial stereotype.”
    As noted, William Gray’s racist remarks did not end up in his writings. At least I can vouch that the suggestion that he was anti-semitic is not factual. As Alan Richardson noted in his biography of William Gray, he “worked harmoniously with Jewish magical systems, and…..chose a Jew…..as his magical son.” I am indeed a Jew and the friendship between William Gray and myself was of such an intimate nature, that he considered me the son he never had, and I thought of him as my “true father.” Personally speaking, I think William Gray’s early students, the ones who worked with him prior to 1980, must have suffered the worst of his “racism.” During the 1980’s I brought William Gray to South Africa, where he encountered many Africans in person. I introduced him to Credo Mutwa, the famed Zulu medicine man, and they did not only get on splendidly, but he began to understand what is still a most serious dilemma in Africa: the invasion of the African ethos by missionaries who tell them their gods are nothing but devils, and that, unless they were worshipping as they are told by the Christian priests, they would end up in an eternal fire where they would burn forever, etc., etc., etc. Over successive visits to South Africa, William Gray became more and more vocal about this situation, and it nearly ended up in a very nasty scrap between himself and a local dame of Scottish descent whose missionary zeal was out of bounds and had gotten his goat.
    In Britain William Gray might have been scared of Black people, and perhaps fantasized them perpetrating the most awful nightmares under his very bed, but I believe he was unprepared for the culture shock of coming to a country where he was confronted by a sea of African faces. I strolled with him through the streets of Johannesburg, stood in cues with him in shops in the city centre, where the two of us were amongst relatively few white faces. I deliberately introduced him to Africans, with whom he conversed on a peer to peer level. He exchanged books with Credo Mutwa, who shared with him the comparative study he made of corresponding words between Zulu and Celtic languages, words which are not only similar in sound but have exactly the same meaning. Mutwa introduced him to “Igama,” the Zulu equivalent of “Ogam” writing, and told him “man will not amount to anything until he knows who he is,” words which “haunted” William Gray for many years and which he reiterated in letters which passed between us.
    I believe that due to his visits to South Africa, William Gray discovered how easy it was to mix with African people, and, as said, he very vocally supported the battles they were having in getting their cultural and spiritual traditions acknowledged on equal levels with those of the “white man.” I also believe that during the time that I was working with him locally, I managed to bash down some of the racial stereotypes, amongst others, which William Gray held in his mind. He fell in love with South Africa, and genuinely missed the two months he spent annually in this country when he could no longer travel. In this regard he never stopped reminding me that I “robbed” him of his “last visit.”
    Regarding his stance towards Africans locally, one of my most cherished memories pertains to a somewhat unostentatious and gentle incident which occurred during one of his early visits to South Africa. Since I related it to Alan Richardson when he wrote up his biography on William Gray, I will quote directly. I will try to keep to essentials, but I do believe it will give you an insight into the “inner nature” of William Gray.
    “I am not sure if it was during Bill’s second or third visit to South Africa that I came up with something very special for him. Since I grew up amongst the Basuto tribes in the foothills of the Maluti mountains on the border between the Orange Free State and Lesotho, I am very familiar with the Sotho culture and naturally know the area very well. Nearly two centuries ago the Augustinian Fathers set up a mission station at a place called ‘Modderpoort, ‘ and their original church was a small cave.
    The property they occupied is very sacred to the Basuto, and the cave church itself was originally the house of a great medicine woman, who was one of the advisors to the 19th century King Moshweshwe I. The king waged quite a ware against the Afrikaner farmers and the British troops. I seem to recall that one of the reasons why the cave was converted into a church was to ‘sanctify’ this pagan abode for Christianity, which would have put the missionaries in close contact with the native populace. The local custom amongst the Basuto was, and still is, to raise altars of stones in front of sacred sanctuaries, and several could be seen in the open field adjacent to the cave church. The usual custom is to place a few coins on the stones while making a wish with your abeyances.
    I thought it would be wonderful to arrange with the Augustinian fathers for Bill to hold a ‘Rite of Light’ (Sangreal Sacrament) inside the sacred cave, and duly wrote since they knw me when I was a child and remembered me very well. I introduced Bill to the fathers when we visited the area, and they told Bill how only recently some of the locals were using the cave church and, before the fathers could do anything about it, the populace had sacrificed a sheep in front of the cave. Bill’s belly shook as he giggled, and I thought how good it was that the cave returned to its pagan ancestors.
    The following morning, as the sun was rising over the Maluti mountains (part of the Drakensburg mountain range), Bill, myself, my wife and a friend held a Rite of Light in the cave church. As there was no place to robe up, and we did not have to worry about prying eyes, we were all in our robes as we arrived at the cave. As we approached the property and opened the small gate leading to the cave, I thought Bill was particularly silent and deeply withdrawn into himself…..
    …..We silently went to the cave, the entrace of which is exactly east, with the sandstone altar directly opposite in the west. Bill paused in the door, turned around and looked at the rising sun. Then he went into the small sanctuary. I busied myself placing candles and the eucharistic symbols on the altar, plus water and salt, matches, also preparing the thurible I brought along for use later on in the rite, and so forth.
    Bill appeared to be in a state resembling a trance, and we were standing around waiting for him to commence the Rite. We waited a while, and when he did not respond, I lightly touched his arm to signify that I finished the preparations. He nodded and commenced the rite…..
    When the rite finished, I started to clear up and collect our ritual equipment, while the rest of our company left the church. My wife came back into the cave and silently but urgently asked me to come outside. I stepped out of the church, and Bill was walking towards one of the stone altars in the area where an elderly black man had just placed a couple of coins and was standing looking at the altar.
    He noticed the white man in the red robe walking towards him, and he must have thought Bill was one of the Augustinian fathers, because he started making all sorts of greetings and abeyances in Bill’s direction. Bill smiled, put his hands together, and made a small bow in his direction, then turned to stand next to him facing the stone altar. Bill pulled up his robe on one side, and fished out a few coins from his pants pockets, and placed these on the stone altar.
    I thought the black guy would drop dead in shock. I know that he had NEVER before seen a white man honoring the spirits of his ancestors… ..”

  30. Frater A.I.T. · November 29, 2009

    Care VH Fra. S.R.,

    It appears your comment was cut off-but I’d love to read it. Perhaps you can repost?

    In LVX,

    Fra.AIT

  31. Frater A.I.T. · November 29, 2009

    Care Fra.Mike,

    Interesting to note the ongoing humanity of Adepts, even after attainment of certain understandings. This may highlight the importance of the work of the Adeptus Major, and the vast difference in understanding between the Adeptus Minor and Major. Until an Adept has descended into the depths of hell and Evoked his demons, he is Adept only in practice, and not in understanding. There are still demons that work hidden from the light of his awareness within his person, and they manifest in ways that seem incongruous to us on the outside, who may know the Adepts Outer rank, but perhaps not his Inner.

    It shouldn’t take Magic to rid a thinking person of foolishness like racism, but one has to see it first before it can be acted upon. Oftentimes ideas like racism are connected to the sin of Pride. In persons especially proud of their backgrounds-like fundamentalists in religion- admitting to a single flaw would be an assault on their entire worldview, i.e., “Great Britain is the Wisest and most Civilized of nations, and if these are the ideas held within the culture of Great Britain, they must be sound.” So, any fundamental flaws in the British world view would be especially occluded from a person who was an especially proud Briton; I think our researches have shown that to be the case at the turn of the previous century with many of the Adepti from Britain, and of course from elsewhere that held that same pride of place.

    This was painfully clear to me when I first began my research into the Western Tradition-there’s no shortage of ugly and untrue observations about the Black man (of which I am one) being made by “enlightened” Adepts of our tradition. As unpleasant as these statements where, they were not the whole of the Adept, and those Adepts can’t be judged by that alone.

    One can certainly be a true Adept and still have some occlusions-none of us is perfect. The Adept has attained a Measure of perfection, and for that is honored. There are still three Grades beyond those of Adept representing necessary development; the Adept is a blessed man, but a man nevertheless. Don’t let those occasional foolish remarks throw you off-instead think of them as reminders that we are all ever students.

    That being said, Helena Blavatsky can kiss my ass.

    In LVX,

    Fr.AIT

  32. Simon · November 29, 2009

    In my opinion its better to foster compassion towards others from the beginning of your magical training, rather than wait for your ability to have compassion be “bestowed” upon you when reaching some grand pooh-bah level of spiritual development.

  33. Sincerus Renatus · November 29, 2009

    Carete,

    Simon says: “In my opinion its better to foster compassion towards others from the beginning of your magical training, rather than wait for your ability to have compassion be “bestowed” upon you when reaching some grand pooh-bah level of spiritual development.”

    Fair enough. I usually recommend Freemasonry because of the “fostering” aspect. But in my opinion there still has to be a distinction made between compassion and Compassion.

    And in my opinion, Compassion doesn’t just come down to the initiate in a grand flash of enligthement on some exalted grade, but gradually; spiritual unfoldment is always a gradual process. This is even experienced to some point in the more early stages of initation, but cannot be compared to the full influx of L.V.X. in the later stages of Adeptship.

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe
    S.R.

  34. Mike Barker · November 30, 2009

    Hi Simon,
    Love and compassion should always be at the for front of ones life irregardless if you are a magician or not.The observation is this:For most people love and compassion do not come easily and we have to work at it to integrate it into our lives so that it comes naturally.The other topic being discussed is the self purification alchemical process the the magician goes through when doing “the work”.S.R. points out that true compassion “starts within the heart” and through doing “the work” we become “pure and unrestricted vessels for the L.V.X.” and a side benefit of this is that “Love and Compassion will naturally follow”.I followed up with the observation that their were plenty of “enlightened” Adepts within the roots of our tradition who held racist views so if the sign of a true Adept was indeed compassion how was this so? AIT’s response to my question shows both compassion and maturity.AIT points out that “they were not the whole of the Adept” that we all have “occlusions-none of us is perfect”and that an Adept “after attainment of certain understandings” still has “inner demons” to struggle with.S.R. in his piece alludes to this struggle as well.Within our orders we work our way through the grades to experience and learn the process of transformation with the intent that we may better serve humanity and therefor glorify God.If anything is “bestowed” upon us it is Grace but that is my personal theological view.”The work” is a life long process and something we continually strive for not something we attain when we reach a particular grade.William Gray for example was an Adept (not G.D.) who wrote some profound works in regards to the Kabbalah (ladder of lights) yet was raised with a racist world view and it wasn’t until the latter part of his life that he was able to work through it.Even though the root of it was ugly his transformation of it was a beautiful thing…..

  35. Peregrin · November 30, 2009

    Care Fr S.R.,

    thank you for these thoughts and beautiful words, most of which I applaud and agree with.

    Just a quick point. In many Orders compassion, or at least a compassionate attitude is one of the prerequistes to being admitted into an Inner Order or group. The student has to show certain moral motivations and service before receiving the higher mysteries. This is clear in many Rosicrucian based Orders, including the RR et AC. Look at some of the original documents. This has been the case in most traditions since they started. For example, in ancient India before a guru would teach a student even the most basic yogas the student had to master ahmisa, non-violence and compassion. The guru looked for these qualities as a sign the teaching could begin.

    So, yes I agree the higher consciousness hopefully initiated in ourselves via our initiaitons and practices will produce a deeper compassion, but we should start cultivating it from the very begining of our work. Thanks 🙂

  36. Peregrin · November 30, 2009

    Great examples, Michael. Thank you. You raise an excellent point – without a good heart all is less than it could be. And I would say, open more to corruption. Your words remind me of the final lines of a wonderful poem by Stephen Parr, Shaman.

    …heart, without you our world is as narrow and as lethal as a knifepoint.

  37. Peregrin · November 30, 2009

    Care Fr AIT,

    thank you for your thoughts and good wishes. I think I will simply say a a few things as we are coming from different perspectives.

    I agree, the sad state of magic, including incredibly most Rosicrucian magic is as you have described it. You are correct there. I hope it will be otherwise. This is because, I see the foundations of magic and the Rosicrucian tradition differently than you. I see the current state of magic as a distortion from it aims and purposes. There is a lot of evidence, I feel, the show this. I have been taking notes for a book on this for some time, and perhaps when I have it developed more you may be gracious enough to look at it and critique it from your perspective? It is always important to get contrary views on our work.

    In any case, I find it strange you seem to separate the RR et AC’w work for compassion and that of a local church. In my experience members of Rosicrucian Orders are nearly always members of a church and providing service there. Also, and I like most people have limited experiences, I think you may be surprised at the practical service some RR et AC colleges give. I think I have mentioned elsewhere how our Order would enage in social actions and service en bloc, without the organisers or people being served aware we were werido magicy folk 🙂

    I think we are using the word compassion differently to one another. Compassion is never wishy, washy or imbalanced and does take into account fierce love. As you say YHShVH brings the sword also. When I use the word compassion I am using it to refer to a state, which we constantly aspire to, that in the Qabalsitic terms you use is the higher synthesis of Geburah and Chesed. It is never one sided towards mercy. ‘Feeling with’ someone, which is the meaning of the word, can never be done well if we do not have the strength and boundaries of self Geburah provides.

    In Vajrayana Buddhism compassion is seen as ulimtately stemming from the understading of emptiness, aligning it in Qabalistic terms to the Empty Room of Daath, beyond the opposites and divisions of the lower worlds.

    In case, this is something we aspire towards from the very start of our unfoldment through practical action and service. As the Equinox of the Outer Order says, “Love expressed towards God, humanity and the Universe”. Ta 🙂

  38. Peregrin · November 30, 2009

    Thank you for sharing all this, Frater. Much appreciated 🙂

  39. Peregrin · November 30, 2009

    Thank you so much Mike for these excellent points!

    I agree with them and really hope you are right that most GD and magical order members are healthy, vibrant and functional and the outer presentation is at odds with what is really going on. A wonderful thought to hold on to! 🙂

  40. Peregrin · November 30, 2009

    Hello Mike,

    thank you for sharing this piece about W.G. Gray. It has added to my understanding of the man. As you say, historically occultists did perpetuate the social and political mores and views of their times. Racism and homophobia among them. However, I do think that a truly inspired occultist will be at the vanguard of changing towards a more compassionate world, at least in some areas of their lives. Dion Fortune, for example was socially progressive in matters of class and sex. She was however prone to reproduce the racism around her. The test, which I often try to apply to myself, is this. What views and ideologies do we hold now will be considered by people in a 100 years in the same light as we consider racism and homophobia now? And how to change them?

    THANK YOU MIke for this uncomfortable question 🙂

  41. Sincerus Renatus · November 30, 2009

    Carete,

    Peregrin wrote: “In many Orders compassion, or at least a compassionate attitude is one of the prerequistes to being admitted into an Inner Order or group. The student has to show certain moral motivations and service before receiving the higher mysteries. This is clear in many Rosicrucian based Orders, including the RR et AC.”

    Absolutely. I agree with you 100%. I recommend a good read of Sigismund Bacstroms obligation. You can read it in full here:

    http://www.levity.com/alchemy/bacsproc.html

    In my opinion, no one should be permitted to enter the R.R. et A.C. if they don’t subscribe to these clauses (albeit somewhat modernised). They express traditional Rosicrucian values.

    What can be gathered from this is that there should be expected a substantial spiritual transformation between a Neophyte and a Lord of the Portal of the Vault of the Adepti.

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe
    S.R.

  42. Frater A.I.T. · November 30, 2009

    Care Fra.Peregrin,

    I look forward to reading your book, and will be honored to do so!
    You’re right on about the Rosicrucian groups and churches, I’m sure. Just because I don’t know participants are Rosicrucian doesn’t mean they aren’t there-there just don’t appear to be many church going folk in the current Golden Dawn, and I extrapolated that into the Inner as well.

    I’m sure I’ll found out myself at some point, and I think your balanced view of compassion and description of the interplay between the Geburic/Chesedian forces excellent food for thought.

    In LVX,

    AIT

  43. Peregrin · November 30, 2009

    Great reference, Frater. Thank you. Haven’t looked at this for ages. Going back to the site now 🙂

  44. Mike · November 30, 2009

    This has been a GREAT discussion and I have learned from the dialog …. By discussing these things from different angles it opens up a deeper understanding of the topics … Thanks Mike

  45. Sincerus Renatus · November 30, 2009

    Carete,

    Oops! I noticed that I linked to the wrong site. Here is the correct link to Sigismund Bacstrom’s Rosicrucian obligation:

    http://www.levity.com/alchemy/bacstrm1.html

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe
    S.R.

  46. Suecae · December 1, 2009

    This entire discussion is one of the most enlightening discussions that I have read about how compassion relates to the western mystery tradition that GD is a part of.

    I too think that a higher compassion should be viewed as a true sign of a devotee of the higher mysteries.

    A synthesis of Chesed and Geburah and maybe most importantly: the middle sephiroth Tipareth and how this relates to Christ might be illuminating to meditate upon. I hold the view that without at least the ambition to be kind and compassionate esotericism as a whole is worthless.

  47. Sincerus Renatus · December 2, 2009

    Carete,

    I gave the wrong link to Bacstroms obligation. Here is the correct link:

    http://www.levity.com/alchemy/bacstrm1.html

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe
    S.R.

  48. Pingback: Colin Wilson, indigenous Pagans, William Burroughs, Golden Dawn, and Starfire | Plutonica.net
  49. Dion · January 17, 2010

    An excellent article. I have to admit, I don’t agree with everything that you wrote (especially regarding the central role of traditional orders) but almost everything else, yes.

    I am a member of a fairly well known RC order, but this is definitely secondary to my solo practise – I take Eremeticism as a framework these days, looking to become a monk of sorts, and have developed my magical practise mostly by myself. I do love my order as well, but like a Christian Eremetic might, find that their distance presence is all I need or want.

    That thing about the HGA is very important…I know some friendly and supportive astral entities, and they are definitely on that level – they’re human in all ways. One of the entities I ‘chat’ to is a remarkably wise person (and the one who suggested I join the RC, actually) but for all his knowledge, compassion and strength, still not the HGA. This is something that seems to be practised under a great deal of misunderstanding.

    The love and compassion thing is also deeply important. Being a young person looking outwards from their upbringing, you realise just how purely narcissistic that upbringing is. I had a very difficult childhood by my society’s standards, with very little in the way of material privilege…for a member of this society. Compared to someone in another place, I was probably a rich child. My biggest challenge as a practising magician has been to start overcoming this embedded ‘me-first’ attitude – through school and home, we are always told to think about OUR careers, OUR lives, what WE are going to become, with open love being contracted towards serving particular sets of norms…pleasing your parents, interacting with a social sphere, but still fundamentally about the self. ‘What we want’ and ‘how we look’ while doing it is paramount in the minds of nearly everyone I know. Its really unfortunate.

    The orders thing…I think that the group egregore has a lot going for it (I certainly love the one I am connected to), but at the same time, the imposition of orders in regards to magic and practise is a very ‘human thing’ – I think that a person can sense their own order and their connection to all things. My rawest moments of spiritual unfolding often occur while I am listening to music in a wild place…then taking that back to people through my astrology practise or simple interaction is the application of realisations made. I feel that the ‘danger’ of spiritual realisation and magical practise is overemphasised, as they are only as dangerous as the practitioner is. Therein lies the key to it, I guess.

    I have known a man who spent his entire magical career under the auspices of an order who is not terribly pleasant to be around or work with, and I have met a man who lived as a hobo, working a small camp forge making jewellery while wild birds came in and out of his tent and even up onto the table while he worked – a being of such centred peace and patience that he seemed almost inhuman, who has never worked with an order and who still *knows*. The meeting with the former taught me a lot, the latter is what set me onto my current course of nomadic monasticism 🙂

    As a Chaos Magician, I view practise in terms of fluid paradigms…as an astrologer, one can see the implicit order in things on a scale from the smallest question to the largest global issue. There’s a balance between personal expression, tradition and common sense, I think.

  50. Karma Dorje · January 30, 2010

    “In Vajrayana Buddhism compassion is seen as ulimtately stemming from the understading of emptiness, aligning it in Qabalistic terms to the Empty Room of Daath, beyond the opposites and divisions of the lower worlds.”

    One small point, emptiness in the sense intended by Vajrayana corresponds to Ain Soph and not to Daath. At its most sublime, this system would consider the entire manifest tree to be compassion. Compassion translates ‘thugs.rje’, which could be more directly glossed as noble-heartedness. Hence all of manifestation is an expression of the outpouring love of the divine.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your view of the centrality of compassion. One point that has not been addressed at length here with regards to the results of magical actions is how the negative will manifests. If one starts a magical action from a position of lack, one gives energy to the very fracture you would heal. If instead you are impelled by the broken-heartedness that real compassion produces, the same dynamic does not apply. Actions performed out of love on behalf of others are *always* more powerful than those performed to further egoic agendas. In fact, with real love there is little need of complicated ritual. This is doubtless why most of the truly effective magicians alive on the planet now are found in the Vajrayana tradition, which puts methodical cultivation of compassion at the beginning of the training.

    In fact, Vajrayana says that without compassion there is no qualification to practice the tantric teachings.

  51. Peregrin · January 30, 2010

    Dear Karma Dorje,

    thank you for this comment. I agree with you and elsewhere on MOTO assign the full understanding of emptiness to the Ain. It is assigned here to represent a limited understanding that takes place once we reconcile the opposite forces below the abyss. In fact there is some argument to say that a form of emptiness can be found in the transcendence between each “stage” of consciousness, or in microcosmic terms, the Sephrioth.

    Magical action: again, I am in agreement and say something very similar in my posts on practical magic on MOTO. If we do not practice from love and compassion we are lost from the outset. I may also add that certain Rosicrucian traditions also place cultivation of love and compassion through the emulation of our Father in Christ CRC and Christ himself at the beginning of their inner training.

    I have had a look at your blog and it seems to be new; I look forward to your writings. 🙂

  52. Mary Christianson · April 26, 2010

    I was searching for good info on golden dawn tradition,here i find a good stuff…they look like glowing bubbles!

  53. bbw · April 11, 2012

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really loved browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing for your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  54. osiris21 · January 26, 2016

    Hi Peregrin,

    I really like your article and your books. However, it is also a good enough article to draw some disagreement from me. That is a compliment, because if what one writes doesn’t cause critical thinking, then it is a lot like other things not worth reading out there. My disagreement is in the (paraphrased) “Rich beyond measure if you can surf the internet in western society part”. Wealth is relative to where you are. It is not a matter of being rich. There are plenty of people in western society, especially in the “richest country in the world” called the United States, that are two small paychecks away from being homeless and broke. Most people I know could not handle a $2000.00 emergency or even get by one day if they suddenly got in a bad car accident, got sick, or lost their job. One thing magic has taught me is that everything, including wealth, is relative to where you actually are as an individual in your life.

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