The Golden Dawn Community – a personal comment

One of the great things about being a blogger is connecting with people. Being somewhat isolated in Perth, Australia (often called the most remote city on earth) and a member of a small, non-aligned Order, MOTO has been a joy. Without any real conscious effort I have been befriended and helped along the way by many people. Documents have been shared, ideas batted back and forth, communal projects worked upon.

This is the upside of our electronic age. Within the greater GD community I know electronically, this is a reality, a true state of affairs. It is a very open and kind community, barring a few die hard loonies and empire builders. Paradoxically, even though the GD becomes more diverse as the years pass, there is probably more fraternal and collegiate spirit now than there ever was in the classical Golden Dawn era. Naturally this makes me very happy.

What does not make me happy is that that this reality is often masked by a seedier, grubby veneer. You only have to do a Google search to find out what I mean. Tales of woe, lies, ego focused adepts with long titles (obviously compensating) and accusations of flame war at the drop of a hat. The latest piece of high drama has taken the cake with David Griffin warning us that a ‘Dark Secret has infiltrated the very heart of the Golden Dawn’ causing all sorts of mischief. Have no fear though; his next part of the saga will see “The Pupeteer (sic) Unmasked.”

Sounds like smashing fun! I’m going to brush up on my Boy’s Own to get me in the mood and stock up on lashings and lashings of ginger beer. 🙂

Seriously though, such dramatics and paranoia damage our community. Recently a very wise and learned Pagan academic friend of mine got caught up in the rants of one of the GD folk who should know better. After agreeing that his motivation seemed a little, shall we say, lower than his grade implies, they asked, “How is it that he even is ‘involved’ in the GD?” And therein lays the rub.

My first experience of anyone being SOMEONE 🙂 Check out the titles! I knew this 'Baron' in the 80's.

Anyone can be involved in the Golden Dawn. Anyone can set themselves up as a temple leader. Anyone can assume a high grade. And, with a bit of effort and cunning, pretty much anyone can get a piece of paper lineage from one of the many lineage mills and sellers out there which, with a little creative effort, can be massaged into a link to a putative Order behind the GD. Failing this of course, anyone but anyone can forge a link with invisible and unknown Secret Chiefs or Masters (physical, astral or imagined) to give them ‘authority’ to do all sorts of things. Because no one except the senior leader(s) meets or communicates with these Chiefs, it’s a cinch. Con men dream of such a setup.

Therefore I think it is extremely important that people, temples and Orders be very vigilant – and I am not talking about making sure someone has ‘lineage’. I am talking about things like subscribing to the Initiate’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. I am talking about countering falsehood when we see it, stupidity and paranoia even. I am talking about teaching people to discern based on actions, compassion, motivation, intelligence and openness rather than allegations of grade, status, lineage or connection.

I think there is a very real, very vital and wonderful Golden Dawn community being formed out there at the moment. There are lots of exciting things happening, and I think finally, 120 years later, the GD is starting to come of age. This new GD spirit is not as visible as the almost daily exhortations of ‘we’re being flamed’, ‘we’ve got a longer lineage than anyone’ etc, and the inevitable and needed responses, but it is there. I am very proud to be in a small way connected with it. There is no doubt in my mind that if we simply focus on the service of magic, share politely and argue nicely when needed, the GD will become far greater than anyone has envisioned. Thanks guys 🙂

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8 comments

  1. Donald Michael Kraig · March 11, 2012

    Peregrin, I do agree with you. The way I like to put it is that there is a difference between the GD and GD orders. An initiation on the physical allows you to enter a particular order. While it is hoped that, simultaneously, you would achieve initiation into the true GD with links to the Secret Chiefs, that initiation may have occurred before, during, or long after a physical initiation…or not at all. As a result, degrees and stuff like that are meaningless in an of themselves (excluding the value seen in them by degree gatherers). What matters is what a person does with them. As it is written in Matthew 7:16 “By their fruit you will recognize them.” Do the actions of people claiming high degrees indicate that they possess those degrees in fact rather than only in name?

    Years ago, a person asked me what I thought of lineage. I responded that lineage and $2.00 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks (I guess today that would be $4.00). He thought I meant that lineage had no value and cranked up his lineage-free group into a money-making (for him) machine. What I actually meant was that lineage is meaningless unless you do something with it.

    Lineage can be very valuable, IMO, if you use it to make the group into which you have lineage better. The value of lineage, again, IMO, is what you add to it, not what it supposedly adds to you.

    Lineage is not about what the past of an Order can do for you, it’s about what you can add to that lineage, what you bring to it. If members of an Order bring positive work (more on what that work should be below) to the lineage, it certainly gives value to that group’s lineage. If they bring nothing to it or embarrass the group with actions unworthy of that group, they are harming the lineage. For example, lineage does not support you in flame wars. Rather, participating in flame wars harms your supposed lineage.

    I would add that it takes two parties to have a war. Even if one party says, “We didn’t want it, but we’ll finish it,” they’re still part of the war and not part of the solution. If any group’s order and lineage is so fantastic and wonderful and great, why should they care over what others are doing? “But they’re ruining the name of our Order!” If you’re doing so little to improve the name of your Order that some piss ant individual or group can ruin the name of your Order, perhaps it deserves to be ruined. Perhaps it’s a wake up call for you and your particular group to do more. Perhaps its instructions from the Secret Chiefs that you aren’t doing enough to improve the value of your lineage.

    The GD is supposed to be a Rosicrucian Order. If so, according to the Fama Fraternitatis, there are six things you are supposed to do:

    1) Profess nothing other than being able to heal the sick, and that for free.
    If you are a member of the GD are you healing others?

    2) Wear clothes according to the custom of the country where you live.
    If you are a member of the GD are you plastering photos of yourself in robes on the internet?

    3) Meet with others on Corpus Christi or inform your Order as to why you can’t make it.

    4) Find someone worthy to succeed you.
    If you are a member of the GD have you chosen (and by implication, are you mentoring) someone to replace you? Or are you using claims of high degrees in your Order in order to gain money, power, fame, etc.?

    5) The word CR (now generally assumed to mean “Rosicrucian”) should be your “seal, mark, and character.” Fighting over the name “Golden Dawn” seems to be in contradiction to this.

    6) The Order should remain secret for 100 years. Well, the Fama was published in 1614, so that’s not important today.

  2. Rebsie · March 11, 2012

    I’ve come to the view over the years that ego (with its companion-piece, glamour) is the most dangerous thing you can bring to the Mysteries. The mirror-like nature of the Mysteries, reflecting back at you everything you project at them, creates a Narcissus effect whereby you’ll be the last person to realise when you’re behaving like a plonker.

  3. Samuel Scarborough · March 11, 2012

    There is very little that I can add to the above comments, but I would like to touch on the GD Community issue some.

    As you so rightly point out, the public perception is that there is a great deal of fighting, back-biting, and just plain nastiness in the GD. This is merely because of a few bad apples that claim the name Golden Dawn, but in my experience are not part of the Golden Dawn community, contrary to claims otherwise.

    Like you Peregrin, I have seen the quiet, helpful, insightful, and informative communications that take place behind the public scene. This is not just within a single Order, but rather between several members, Order Chiefs, Temple Chiefs, and sundry others. This is the true spirit of the GD Community. Here adepti worthy of the name debate, discuss, share ideas, and in the long run even make friends with others within the Golden Dawn Tradition. This is what Fraternity is really about in my opinion.

    Most of those doing the behind the scenes discussions have long initiatory lineages that stretch back eventually to Isis-Urania in some way, but you do not see these people in public (or private for that matter) thumping their chests and saying what grade, title, or lineage they have. Why?

    Because these people understand that it is what you do with your lineage that really counts. They also realize that they must contribute to the Corpus of the GD Tradition to further it. This they also do quietly through their Work, in many cases both within their respective Orders and groups and in the GD Community at large.

    There simply is no room for long self-aggrandizing titles or grades within the Community as a whole. Just because a person is an Adeptus Exemptus within Golden Dawn Order X does mean that others accept him as such, save by his words and actions. It is how we treat each other, what we say, and how we say it that an adept can be seen.

    I disagree with you that this Community is just being formed now – it has been here for a long time, well at least the last 15 years or so to my knowledge. It has been quiet all this time. What I will say is that it seems that the Community is growing more now, which is certainly a great thing, and hopefully it will continue to grow in a healthy manner.

    As you so rightly point out, ANYONE can claim to be Golden Dawn these days. The Internet is full of such people, and unfortunately there were such people before the Internet. The thing is that people that have really been Initiated into the Golden Dawn can tell one for another, usually through the things that are said, the way things are discussed, and the material that is discussed. This does not mean that we always agree with each other on some point or another, but we can recognize each other nonetheless.

    There are certainly those that SCREAM the most that THEY alone are GD. That others are jealous of them. That everyone else ATTACKS them. That there is a FLAME War. And that they and their “Order” are being PERSECUTED.

    That is certainly their right to believe these things. The sad truth is that what they claim of others is really nothing more than a reflection of their own actions. Each of us have been ATTACKED by these persons, MALIGNED by these persons, DEFAMED by these selfsame persons, and clearly MISREPRESENTED by these persons. The evidence of this is readily available for anyone to see here on the Internet. But it is not alright to DEFEND yourself from these sorts of abuses as once this takes place we are fanning the fires of some imagined “Flame War” that only takes place in the imaginations of those doing the attacking.

    By Words and Actions shall Adepti be recognized. Personally, I prefer the company of those Adepti that quietly do the Work, share their experiences (whether publicly or privately), and whom are willing to help others within the Tradition regardless of whether those people are in the same Order as them or not. This, to me, shows that the Golden Dawn Tradition is HEALTHY and GROWING.

    I see that most people that have been around the GD Community for some time know who and which adepti are truly doing the Work based on their Words and Actions. It is the new people that often get confused because of the lies and half-truths that come from certain quarters. This is sad. What many adepti must do is help nurture the new people and guide them in the positive direction towards that Golden Dawn Community that is actually doing the Work of the Tradition rather than merely attacking and defaming others while not contributing anything other than bile upon the actual Golden Dawn Community.

    In LVX,
    Samuel

  4. Peregrin · March 12, 2012

    @Don – thanks for the comments.

    Your comments re lineage tie in with what I have previously posted. I find it very interesting and heartening that GD and magical folk are coming up with the same, sensible approaches independently. It shows a reality to the work and the community.

    Your RC reference is perfect and, as often mentioned here, I worry about self declared Rosicrucians with long titles parading around doing little outside there own spheres.

    Thanks again, and good luck with all your writing projects 🙂

  5. Peregrin · March 12, 2012

    Hi Rebsie,

    yes I think you are completely correct. This is why it is so important to have some filter system to ensure people with ego problems are kept from depth work until ready. Still working out how best to do this 🙂

  6. Peregrin · March 12, 2012

    Hi Samuel,

    thanks for your wise comments and observations.

    Yes, you are probably correct regarding the length of time the community has been forming. I am probably a bit behind the times here and made a short sighted comment. Some of this comes from when I was starting off in this tradition in the mid-late 80s. When contacting (via letter and aerograms!) GD folk and authors, I experienced a lot of paranoia and closed off attitudes, with the exception of a few people like Pat Zalewski.

    Anyway…I agree there are many groups and teachers with lineages who do the sensible, respectful thing and keep the knowledge close to home rather than parade them around. Those who claim various things would be VERY SURPRISED to find out that the Orders they deride as new age, modern or re-constructed, actually hold these lineages 🙂

  7. Cannie · March 12, 2012

    Well may I ask something? what magic is this? Like magician magic like rabbit coming out of a hat, or real magic, wizards and withes and faeries, The real stuff

  8. Samuel Scarborough · March 14, 2012

    @ Peregrin,

    You are spot on about how some groups and orders that are derided as “new age” really have lineage but say little about it publicly. To me this is the best policy especially when coupled with actually doing the Work.

    In LVX,
    Samuel

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