Recently Nick Farrell made the announcement that the Order he leads, the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea (MOAA) was no longer a traditional Golden Dawn order and should not be described that way. Some folk appeared a little miffed at this, not that it should be any surprise for attentive readers of Nick’s works. He started off his magical career elsewhere, is always ready to broaden and experiment and always calls a spade a spade. I guess the limitations and problems of the GD system finally got to him. After all, the GD has always attracted more than its fair share of numpties and people any sensible person would cross the street to avoid.
MOTO of course has always been aware of the problems with the GD – as much as I love it and adore it and am daily sustained by it. Indeed, one of my very first posts addressed the issue: the Golden Dawn as Institutionalized Esotericism. And if that was not enough, later I went on to point out Nine Dangers of the Golden Dawn. Buyer beware, I guess – except the evidence shows that many younger GD students do not even read the classical material well (or at all) much less warning blogs from hobbits down under. Such is life 🙂
Nick’s announcement roughly coincided with a little bit of information from one of my contacts, where it was spelt out that the Golden Dawn was never meant to be an enduring, unchanging tradition. ‘It’s all there in the name’, ‘he’ said: the dawn is an in-between moment of time, announcing the morning, but not the morning itself.
Now I found this very interesting, especially since we decided to call the first (now long dead and egregore decomposed) group I set up way back when, the Order of the Golden Day. Not that IT lasted longer than the original GD, but it did inspire something very cool 🙂 This got me thinking about other GD groups (and offshoots) and their names. This is pretty playful, but hey I might be onto something as we magicians all know the power of names, right? Right.
Golden Dawn (& Morgan Rothe). Were these groups destined not to last in their original forms, being named after the fleeting dawn? Mmm.
Stella Matutina. R.W. Felkin obviously thought so, and caught wind of the problems naming an Order after a transient dawn – he decided to make a grab for the morning instead (Star of the Morning) 🙂
Alpha and Omega – And Mathers was clearly taking no chances after the rebels chucked him out and scuppered the short-lived GD. He didn’t try to outdo Felkin by grabbing a whole DAY for his Order (like I did). No, he thought REALLY BIG in the naming of his next Order – you can’t get bigger and more extensive that the FIRST and the LAST. The association with Christ would have been a nice bonus for him 🙂
Holy Order of the Golden Dawn. In the meantime, A.E. Waite thought he could get things on track by simply booting out the irksome ‘esoteric’ and ‘hermetic’ components and replacing them with ‘Holy’. Nice. Shame it didn’t work, and the dawn never lasted there either. But he quickly bounced back with:
The Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. No nonsense, no time stamps there – and indeed the FRC has trundled along in one form or another until today. 🙂
Jumping on this bandwagon of naming Orders for things apart from times of day, when Felkin abandoned ship on the SM (all the way to New Zealand) he named his Order there Smaragdum Thallasses (Emerald something or other) commonly called after its temple, Whare Ra (House of the Sun) – and lo and behold this was a very long lived Order indeed 🙂
Paul Foster Case and Dion Fortune took no chances, and named their groups simply and directly with no time references at all: Builders of the Adytum (and we all know how long THAT will take) and the Fraternity of the Inner Light. Both, unlike the Dawn or Morning groups are still going strong today.
Makes you think, eh? 🙂 Thanks.