GD Death – My thoughts on the previous posts

My last couple of posts have, naturally prompted some comments and concerns – some here, some on my Facebook page and some in private. Of these several I cannot answer, as I am not the originator of the comments. However, here are some of my current thoughts on these matters.

ctIs the Golden Dawn Dead?

The history recounted shows how various members of several Golden Dawn orders consciously either closed their orders or allowed them to ‘run down’. If this is the case, it would seem to indicate that the GD did in fact ‘die’ – unless there were and are genuine GD lineages from the original Order somehow operating today. I remain very sceptical that there are such orders today. Even those closest to the longest surviving GD tradition, centred on Whare Ra, such as Pat Zalewski, Nick Farrell and Tony Fuller do not claim a chartered succession from the Order.

Even if there are Orders around today stemming from adepts who had some claim to GD lineage from the original order, these adepts would clearly have been operating contra to situation described in the last two posts, where the Order was meant to die out. Therefore, there would be no currents in these modern Orders.

Most if not all of the current GD groups are:

  • Started by adepts from previous Orders (but who lack a charter);
  • Inspired by inner ‘contacts’; or
  • Self-created traditions without recourse to chartering or ‘contacts’ at all.

All of these draw heavily on the published Golden Dawn corpus. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Can these groups be said to be the original Golden Dawn? I doubt it, and doubt there would be many folk willing to argue this.

Can they be said to be the ‘Golden Dawn tradition’? In the broader sense of tradition, this is obviously the case, IMO.

Can they be seen to be the ‘Coagula’ following the ‘Solve’ of the death of the GD reported previously? That depends on our individual point of view.

Personally, I think the most crucial aspect of the last two posts is this comment:

The common theme is that those to whom the Tradition was entrusted allowed it to be “perverted” and corrupted from being a process for the positive transmutation and transformation of the “ego” to being a process that allowed or even encouraged the over-inflation and negative distortion of the “ego”. The Tradition was allowed to become the antithesis of what it was intended to be.

Since the original GD was designed to transmute the ego and its later forms were seen to do just the opposite (something I would have to agree on), any ‘Coagula’, under whatever name or auspices would have to focus on this transmutation. This was the focus in my ‘dangers’ post and while no one can evaluate if this focus occurs within any specific order from the outside, the public statements of many groups on the valorization of magician’s will over the divine aid is very worrying and, IMHO, places them outside the GD tradition.

A shaky analogy with the Christian traditions

One of the common views I have heard on this topic is the idea that the actions of the elders of the GD to stop ‘charging’ the Order would have no or little effect on those individuals and groups working the system with a good heart and positive motivation.

Here we enter, for want of a better term, ‘magical theology’. Some points are relevant here.

Firstly, the situation for several temples at least, seems to be they were instructed to let the GD battery run down by their inner contacts. Now, most magicians do not question the commands of their inner contacts. It is just not done. After all, if these communications are invested with a quasi-divine status or seen to be stemming from ‘Masters’ (however they are viewed), it makes no sense to happily go along with all other directives, and then when something one does not like comes along to say, ‘ere, hang on a minnit’. A Master can direct you away from themselves and their work, and the student should follow. The eastern and Middle Eastern traditions are full of this exact theme.

So any GD adept refusing this particular call from the Inner would be placing themselves outside of the current and tradition by their own actions.

Secondly, the assumption that working the system with a correct heart will place one within ‘the tradition’ and attract the ‘currents’ is working with a particularly Protestant view of the inner world. It is only since Martin Luther, who DID say, ‘ere hang on a minnit’ and hammered away at church door in Wittenberg one Halloween morn in the early 1500s, that these ideas have been abroad in western religious consciousness.

The Roman Catholic (and I pretty sure the Orthodox) view on these things is different. There is the Church, founded by the Apostles after Christ’s death and the apostolic succession is what makes a church, and the sacraments within that church, valid. Without it, the sacraments are not valid, in fact are not there at all. It is this belief that led Pope Benedict to annoy a lot of folk by declaring those churches outside the succession as ‘fellowships’ not churches.

So in a magical context, those groups without the Golden Dawn currents and lineage – and since it was shut off, this means all groups – could work the rituals as much as they wished, but there would be no actual current. We can accept this view or not. Before we reject it however, we should think again with a Christian analogy:

If I were to wander into a Catholic supply shop and buy all the priestly vestments and wot all, learn the current Catholic liturgies etc, and started Baptising folk, would that make them Catholics? Certainly not in the eyes of the RC church and I am guessing not in the eyes of most MOTO readers. It MAY make them Baptised Christians (depending on your view).

Similarly, the argument can run that Golden Dawn initiations without Golden Dawn currents may make someone an initiated magician, but it will not make them a Golden Dawn magician. Most GD folk today however subscribe to a ‘Protestant’ magical theology and belief, that when it comes down to it, states that where two or three 5=6 Adepts are gathered in the name of the Order, the currents will be there. Again, a different view. Personally, I think it matters not a jot either way; the main thing is our surrender of the self and placing it in the service of the One.

OK, thanks 🙂

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10 comments

  1. asariah · January 4, 2015

    Just a quick statement that the BOTA is still functioning and uses GD/AO Rituals with appropriate stage instructions and Inner techniques, and received the blessing of APS/DEL (Pullen-Burry) who had claimed by that time 7=4 (whether via Inner Planes contacts or via a branch of the Order is unknown but he was in the USA and in contact with Paul Case among others as a number of people have copies of the letters and much has been made available in that regard by Jim Eshelman of the TOT… and who also studied with one of the Whare Ra Adepti as well) and validated PF Case’s contacts. There are some slight variances between BOTA and the AO/GD but no more than variances of the ST with the GD, and in some ways less. Considering that none of the later groups stemming from the GD/AO had a single 7=4, and the changes to Regalia, etc in the ST… BOTA should be considered a “current” GD type organization in the same manner as Whare Ra is considered. I also note that I personally would not consider Initiation into the lowest degree of the Order of the Table Round and a paucity of mentoring by Adepti on a par with active and thorough mentoring process such as Pat Z. received (as well as having a WR member assist in his Temple), or equal to the Temple training in BOTA which was passed down from Mathers’ AO. There are also other aspects to this. I would consider the FLO, and even more so the ROGD every bit as close to the GD as derivatives from ST. That being said, I understand and fully appreciate cheering for the home team but there may be more to the picture than is often portrayed. I have not heard anyone of late claim to an unbroken “chartered” lineage but there are more folks around with connections to the Order than is commonly presumed, and I would not write off some of the American groups for that reason. I am not saying this to take anything away from the ST tradition but just a reminder that there are visible groups that have at least a co-equal claim to a “spiritual inheritance”… and there were also smaller groups that could also stake as good a claim.

  2. Adams-Myth · January 4, 2015

    I was hoping to see the summation you just posted…i rather loved this series of posts, over virtually all of your others…and strangely…I AGREE! 😉

  3. Pingback: WAS THE GD MEANT TO DIE? | Nick Farrell's Magical Blog
  4. Nick Farrell · January 4, 2015

    I had a go at a reply Peri http://www.nickfarrell.it/gd-meant-die/

  5. 7thphoenix · January 4, 2015

    Very good summization of what really is, Peregrin.
    Very good article!

  6. Craig Schumacher · January 5, 2015

    Perhaps the Inner Contacts forsaw the problems which must inevitably arise when a system based so thoroughly on Phase II ethical principles attempted to become a vehicle of spiritual enlightenment in a world which wad already moving to ever more explicit Phase III interpretations.

  7. jordanstratford · January 5, 2015

    My problem with this entire framework is that it assumes “nothing was happening” and then, because of some x factor “something was happening,”; and further, upon the withdrawl of that x factor, “nothing was happening” again. Which is to say, no GD, contact from “Secret Chiefs, loss of such contact, and no more GD.

    This ignores that what all the original UK members were doing was something larger and older than themselves. They stepped into the river, yes, but they did not put the river there, nor did they have the authority (or ability) to dam it up. What the GD was really *about* preceded it, and survived it. That river is still there to be stepped in, should one so choose.

    I’m afraid that the Catholic/Protestant analogy falls flat for me. Luther despised and dismantled all that had come before; he sought it’s eradication and utter replacement with a creature of his own. I don’t see modern GD groups insisting that the 1890s GD was wrong about absolutely everything.

  8. Peregrin · January 5, 2015

    Thanks, Asariah – great points. I know little of BOTA or ROGD personally (in Oz!), but have been impressed with FLO and the placing of service at its centre. 🙂

  9. Ananael Qaa · January 7, 2015

    “If I were to wander into a Catholic supply shop and buy all the priestly vestments and wot all, learn the current Catholic liturgies etc, and started Baptising folk, would that make them Catholics?”

    As a magical pragmatist I would spin this question in a slightly different way. If you’re not a Catholic priest, but you go through the whole process of learning and correctly performing the Rite of Exorcism, will it work? Should it? It seems to me that this is more central to the discussion. I’ve seen no evidence that anybody out there has anything like a “regular charter” obtained from the original Golden Dawn order, but such a connection only matters to me if the presence or lack of it has some measurable effect on the outcome of the rituals.

    For example, I’m an OTO initiate and have never worked with any of the modern groups calling themselves Golden Dawn. However, I get good magical results with forms like the pentagram and hexagram rituals devised by the original Golden Dawn founders. If I were an “official” Golden Dawn initiate, is there any reason to think that those rituals would work better for me? They work pretty well already.

  10. Peregrin · January 7, 2015

    Thanks, Ananael – good points. We cannot ever discern the inner state of another, nor their transformation. I can only give my experience and listen to yours. From what i have seen written, and reports given to me by GD initiates, it seems connection to a GD initiation, if not the actual GD, does allow GD rituals to be performed deeper. Again, this is based only on a dozen or so accounts … but there you go … But none of these folk were already OTO initiates of years experience … so we cannot really compare with your case 🙂

    Also, I think we are not talking just about effectiveness – your focus – but also admission and recognition from outer and inner groups/beings. 🙂 THANKS

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