I have written before about the book, and am both glad and sad I left it languishing for years way beyond contract date with my previous publishers. Skylight is a great press and to have my name listed among the greats, Knight, Fortune, Gray, Richardson etc, is surreal. They have been a joy to work with and are getting the book out at about half the cost of what the first publishers projected, meaning more of YOU can buy it 🙂
Seriously, I do (natch) think it’s a much needed book.
Tony DeLuce, author, magician and publisher describes it as:
The finest introduction to the Golden Dawn system yet penned and includes many never before seen highlights from the author’s years of oral instruction and training. A ‘must have’ for every student of the Golden Dawn, beginning and advanced.”
Need I say more?
There is a synopsis further down the page. More soon – : )
Pre-orders can be taken at:
Update, November 2011
As I’ve recently mentioned the long overdue and long awaited, “By Names and Images: bringing the Golden Dawn to life” is due for release next March. 🙂 (See here for info already on MOTO)
After seven years of waiting the book feels a bit like an imaginary friend – I keep talking about it, but no one actually sees it 🙂 Still, a some folk have at least seen the manuscript (pdf document really) and have been very kind about it. In fact, after nudging away my old publisher (years beyond contract date) I suddenly received a few unsolicited requests from other publishers wanting to look at the beast and I am very, very pleased to announce that Skylight Press have taken it on. Skylight is the latest publishing venture of the wise and venerable Gareth Knight together with his daughter Rebecca and her creative partner, Daniel.
A while back, when it looked like Thoth publications would actually publish the work alongside the likes of Gareth Knight and Dion Fortune, I wrote I was ‘all giddy inside’. To be published by Skylight takes that giddiness up several notches.
After seven years I am very surprised that even now when people read it, a common comment is there is ‘nothing else like it’. Now of course, every author likes to promote their wares, but I do think BNAI will be a welcome and valuable addition to the Golden Dawn corpus. You can judge for yourself next March, thanks to Skylight! More information (and shameless promotion) to come… 🙂
Today I received the closest possible confirmation date for the publication of my long delayed book on the Golden Dawn, By Names and Images: bringing the Golden Dawn to life. My excellent publisher, Thoth Publications (a veritable David amongst the Goliaths) has given the time frame of, I quote “November”. I have been waiting so long for this to occur, it hardly seems possible and I guess I will believe it when the book is in my hands.
But it is exciting news. Despite the years of delay, for the first time the Inner Workings of every major Golden Dawn ritual will be available in print. The vast majority of this material has been kept secret for years or existed only in the Oral tradition. It will remain to be seen how the magical and esoteric community reacts to the book – if at all 🙂 As long as there is not any lurid, “Golden Dawn Secrets Revealed” hype, I will be happy. The book has been written solely to allow people already practicing the Golden Dawn ritual to do so more effectively, and thereby be blessed by the amazing spiritual blessings the rituals offer.
I will be updating this page regularly (I hope) on updates to process of publication – including (when appropriate) how to buy the book – naturally 🙂 In the meantime, feel free to email Thoth Publications and encourage the speedy publication. Really, after the delays I could have gone elsewhere, but Thoth is simply one of the most respected publishers, and Tom works very hard. The book will be there in Thoth’s catalogue amongst my sources of inspiration like Dion Fortune and Gareth Knight. I am all giddy inside.
For those interested, below is a synopsis of the book:
By Names and Images – Bringing the Golden Dawn to Life
Scope: By Names and Images is a very practical, hands-on book that equips the reader with the knowledge and skills required for a deep and full magical spirituality.
The Golden Dawn (GD) system of magic is the main source of the esoteric and magical wisdom and techniques practiced in the West today. While the rituals and bare teachings of the tradition have been published for sixty years, the inner workings and esoteric keys that empower those rituals have largely remained unpublished or unexplored in contemporary works. ‘By Names and Images’ remedies this lack by providing detailed and clear instructions for the visualisations, spiritual connections and energetic practices required for every major GD practice and ritual, as well as several unpublished techniques. The GD rituals and practices outlined in this book are heavily used within the larger magical and Pagan communities, ensuring the book’s broad appeal.
The book opens with a discussion on the GD tradition itself and the need for honesty and surrender to the divine in order to practice magic. The problems and dangers of magic are discussed with practical solutions offered. Problems inherent within the Golden Dawn as it is currently practiced are reviewed and alternatives suggested. Advice on using the book, for a newcomer to magic, a more experienced magician or someone from another spiritual path is also given.
Chapter one discusses the two keys to magical spirituality: the invocation of divine forces via sacred names (and the meaning behind them) and the use of visualisation as a way of connecting with those forces. The GD system is analysed and broken down into eight forms of magic in order to help comprehension of this vast tradition. Each of these eight forms of magic are examined throughout the rest of the book. The use of ritual within the Golden Dawn is discussed as is the Qabalah, as an underlying framework with reference to the Tree of Life and the Four Worlds of Manifestation. These are explained simply and clearly without technical language or any prior knowledge assumed. Reference is made to everyday activities and events to enable clear comprehension of the terminology and concepts used. The theory of the aura and subtle, non-physical bodies is introduced and clearly explained. Links are drawn between the subtle bodies and the Qabalah and an overarching model of the inner realms and the esoteric side of humanity (used throughout the book) is explained. The chapter finishes with practical visualisation exercises, including a method of testing the reader’s skill at visualising, and a discussion on props and magical tools.
Chapter Two discusses the first form of magic, that of purification. Once more practical and real life examples are used to ensure full understanding within the reader. The four elements and their connection to everyday life are introduced and a simple but powerful introspective exercise presented. This allows the reader to explore their own self in relation to the elements. Next the first piece of GD magic, the purification ritual, the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram (LRP) is explained with very clear, point by point instructions and an in depth analysis of the inner work required. The method of intoning or vibrating the sacred names is given and analysed and their root meaning given, devoid of sexist and patriarchal connotations. This has not been done in prior GD works. Following on from the LRP, the second piece of purification is presented, the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram (LRH). The inner work and analysis of the LRH is also given, something absent from other books.
Chapter three examines meditation and divination within a Golden Dawn and magical context. There is an extended discussion on the use of the will, required for both of these spiritual practices. Practical and clearly explained exercises are given to develop the will and a personal empowerment ritual presented to enable readers to empower their lives. The use of meditation within magic is examined and a series of down to earth tips for successful meditation given. A relaxation technique is also presented. Suggestions for Golden Dawn meditations are also outlined. The discussion on divination opens with an analysis of what areas of consciousness are utilised during divination. This discussion (like all within the book) refers back to the magical model presented in chapter one. Three inner activities are clearly defined and explained; psychic awareness, intuition and inspired intuition. Golden Dawn divination is then explained as being a mode of awakening the inspired intuition, the higher levels of consciousness. The Tarot is then explored as the primary form of Golden Dawn divination. The Great Angel of the Tarot and the Secret Wisdom, HRU, is explained together with an unpublished explanation of his name and a concrete technique of working with him during divination.
Chapter four examines the aura and its control. Clear explanations are given to show that with thought and will the reader can control their auric sphere. The primary exercise to develop the aura within the Golden Dawn, the Middle Pillar exercise, is then analysed and examined. The five different levels which the Middle Pillar works upon are detailed and a separate form of the exercise given to awaken each level fully. The full exercise and inner workings are then presented. An unpublished exercise, Invocation of Force Within the Aura, designed to awaken a single spiritual force, then follows. This is given along with the inner work required and a list of the symbols, colours and divine names required for the full range of Qabalistic forces. The chapter closes discussing the technique of assuming a Godform. The reasons for this are explained along with the differences between Godform assumption, channelling and God possession. Detailed instructions, absent from other books, are then given for this practice.
Chapter five concerns invocation, one of the main forms of Golden Dawn magic. The chapter opens with a discussion and a table showing the exact effects of each Golden Dawn ritual within the various inner planes. This has previously been unpublished in this form. The advanced technique of vibrating divine names, the Vibratory Formula of the Middle Pillar is described in full, with point by point instructions. This formula is then used as part of all the invocation techniques to follow. The first to be explored is the Rose-Cross ritual, including its symbolism and required inner work, much of which is currently unpublished. The Analysis of the Keyword ritual follows, which is given an extended commentary and detailed explanation of the inner work, again largely unpublished. The Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram (SRP) used to invoke the elemental forces is next together with the inner workings outlined point by point. Another largely elemental ritual, the Watchtower Ceremony comes next. The analysis and inner work for this ceremony takes in many elements previously unpublished and contains a section looking at other published variants and the differences between the Watchtower and the SIRP rituals. The Lesser and Supreme Hexagrams, designed to invoke the blessings of the planets, are next. These have only been cursorily examined in previous books. They are detailed here with complete inner workings and the required sequence of events outlined clearly.
Chapter six draws on the ideas and skills of chapter five and outlines the Golden Dawn practice and formulas for dramatic or spoken invocation. The formula and framework is explained with down to earth metaphors and reference to the inner plane model used throughout the book. This framework and explanation is not present in other Golden Dawn books and enables the reader to understand clearly how invocation is far more that reciting poetry with emotion. Keys for a successful invocation are outlined next. This is followed by a section on how to put it all together for a successful invocation. A discussion on how to create ritual in the Golden Dawn manner then follows, pointing out the GD use of esoteric formulas. Finally, a point by point explanation of an effective invocation is detailed, showing how everything works in practice. During this discussion many tips and keys for group and solo invocations are presented.
Chapter seven explores one of the most fascinating but problematic areas of Western magic – the exploration of the inner realms. It opens with a discussion on the nature of the inner realms and gives down to earth practical advice for remaining balanced when exploring the realms. Ways of connecting with the inner realms are discussed and the Golden Dawn (Western Magical) approach highlighted. The reasons and benefits for connection with the inner realms are also given. A large section instructing the reader how to test their inner realm experience for themselves is then given. This section on testing is the most comprehensive and complete within any Golden Dawn book. Next, the two GD processes, Skrying and Travelling in the Spirit Vision are explained. This is the first book to fully explain the technique of Skrying in the spirit vision and its benefits. Both processes are explained clearly and simply in point by point format. The chapter finishes with a discussion on Pathworking and how it works together with a complete list of the various inner realms, together with their symbol keys and colours.
Chapter eight defines and carefully explains evocation. Three ways of viewing spirits and non-physical entities are discussed: the modern secular/psychological worldview, the traditional/pre-modern magical worldview, and the modern magical worldview. Various classes of non-physical beings are discussed and their nature analysed. While the full Golden Dawn formula for evocation is not explained, due to length and possible magical complications, how evocation works within the GD and magical paths is fully detailed. To understand the process of evocation the reader is given a complete evocatory technique based on the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. If followed this technique will assist the reader to transform and remove their annoying habits and behavioural patterns. Previous published versions of this technique have been scant and lacking in the detailed inner work required to make it effective.
Chapter nine examines the misunderstood topic of initiation. The purpose of esoteric initiation is explained and the types of methods used to achieve effective initiation outlined. The complete Golden Dawn initiation schema is outlined and links made to the three-fold initiatory framework within nearly all Western magical systems. Each grade of initiation is then carefully explained in terms of its purpose, scope, effects and change of consciousness. Self initiation is discussed and the need for the reader, if working solo, to embrace all of the powers within the initiation ceremonies emphasised. These powers are then listed ready for solo work by the reader. The psychological and personal effects of initiation are then examined, along with the cumulative effects of initiation into the Golden Dawn tradition. A complete Golden Dawn practice and study curriculum is then outlined for the reader detailing the work and practices required for several years worth of spiritual practice and magic.
Chapter ten follows on from the discussion on initiation in chapter nine and focuses upon methods to link with the spiritual blessings of the Golden Dawn, or in other words its ‘magical currents’. A Golden Dawn connection ceremony is described in detail, listing the props and inner work required. This ceremony is simple and direct and can be performed by the reader after only a minimal time working through the curriculum described in chapter nine. The connection ceremony allows the reader a link with the magical currents and blessings of the Golden Dawn and encourages them to take an active part in maintaining this link. A solo method of daily or regular connection using a ‘password’ is then presented, this process is unavailable elsewhere. The Equinox Ceremony’s purpose, scope and inner work is examined and presented for the reader to use in a solo fashion in order to ensure seasonal connection with the Golden Dawn. Complete inner work is also provided along with an unpublished ritual to help the reader link to the four-fold cycle of nature.
The book closes with an after-word inviting the reader to share any spiritual blessings they receive from the Golden Dawn tradition with all people and all beings. Examples of statements and actions to help this sharing are also given.