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Thread: Golden Dawn Order Oath Implications

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    Well... there are other disciplines too and although they are related the bonds are different such as enochian at least it is the only one I can think of that doesn't involve hebrew letters. Can you think of anything else that doesn't involve hebrew letters? But maybe I'm just getting way ahead of myself as enochian doesn't get taught until after the portal grade at least so I heard.
    The Enochian studies can begin with the Zelator grade or begin with the Portal (it depends on the GD branch, though it's not a big difference... in the long run, the same things will be taught).
    Enochian and Qabalah are very related anyway. Take it for granted that the structure of Enochian is a loan from different structures that Qabalah uses.
    (whilst other things things certainly come from the correspondences of the letters... i.e, the AMTh - Sh order of the Elements that Enochian uses... or Air, Water, Earth, Fire... Which comes from the Sigillum Dei Aemeth and the obvious correspondence of Aleph, Mem, Tau and Shin).

    There isn't something in the GD that does not eventually get linked to Qabalah (thus it's not the best place to study if you don't like Qabalah).

  2. #32
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    I don't really mind studying the Qabalah at all. I am just worried about the time it'll take me to go from grade to grade as my focus will be split between disciplines. Alchemy is a huge discipline for me and I'll never surrender it. Along with it there'll be ritual work and kaballistic teachings to learn. God knows what else. It's just the time it takes to learn and master everything.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    I don't really mind studying the Qabalah at all. I am just worried about the time it'll take me to go from grade to grade as my focus will be split between disciplines. Alchemy is a huge discipline for me and I'll never surrender it. Along with it there'll be ritual work and kaballistic teachings to learn. God knows what else. It's just the time it takes to learn and master everything.
    LOL... when you study at a University, there is a Diploma when you finish.
    The GD won't give you a diploma, nor there is a gnome with a reward waiting at the end, nor something special happens.
    You simply end up with what you have studied in your hands and absolutely nothing else. So it's not really studying as to get something, what you get is what you study and that's it.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    I don't really mind studying the Qabalah at all. I am just worried about the time it'll take me to go from grade to grade as my focus will be split between disciplines. Alchemy is a huge discipline for me and I'll never surrender it. Along with it there'll be ritual work and kaballistic teachings to learn. God knows what else. It's just the time it takes to learn and master everything.
    Most likely it means that you won't find what you seek in the Golden Dawn.

    Actually, its most well guarded secrets will greatly disappoint you if you try to follow this Order's teachings. I don't think it will be good to publish these secrets, and I don't want to interfere too much, I'd rather want everyone playing whatever role-playing games in Magic they want without bringing their games to what is actually serious and occult.

    But seeing your great focus on Alchemy, I think it will be fair to say: don't waste your time with the Golden Dawn. You won't find the real thing there simply because they don't have it. They merely pretend to have knowledge.

  5. #35
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    Already Israel Regardie could not find any practical alchemical instruction in the original GD. Even his otherwise so knowledgeable mentor Aleister Cowley was of no assistance in this regard, even though he knew alchemical symbolism well. That's why Regardie ended up following Frater Albertus who was pursuing a practical alchemical quest.

    On another note, occult knowledge is of little value if it is does not go hand in hand with inner experience. That kind of process indeed takes time. But depth of knowledge matters more than width here.

    What's the goal of this way? Nothing but yourself... Your inner self, higher self, holy guardian angel - call it whatever you wish, it doesn't matter. What matters, however, is that only this can ultimately lead you to itself (yourself) - along your own, unique path.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
    Already Israel Regardie could not find any practical alchemical instruction in the original GD. Even his otherwise so knowledgeable mentor Aleister Cowley was of no assistance in this regard, even though he knew alchemical symbolism well. That's why Regardie ended up following Frater Albertus who was pursuing a practical alchemical quest.

    On another note, occult knowledge is of little value if it is does not go hand in hand with inner experience. That kind of process indeed takes time. But depth of knowledge matters more than width here.

    What's the goal of this way? Nothing but yourself... Your inner self, higher self, holy guardian angel - call it whatever you wish, it doesn't matter. What matters, however, is that only this can ultimately lead you to itself (yourself) - along your own, unique path.
    It's true that there isn't any alchemical instruction in the GD, probably the closest is this: http://www.hermetics.org/secretfire1.html
    Which is OK, though certainly far from being an alchemical lesson.
    The S.R.I.A. was and wasn't the place in which the GD was born and the S.R.I.A. certainly had alchemical instructions. So it's fair to assume that if the GD does not have them, it is probably because the founders wanted it that way.

    The GD does not really rely on secrets, it is simply a systematic and somehow encyclopedic study of the occult with a deep emphasis on Qabalah.
    I guess it is what it is. Probably there was an enthusiasm there to systematize everything, but the good thing is that after some years of such study, anyone can pick a book by Agrippa or John Dee or a Solomonic grimoire and choose a random page and there won't be surprises there (i.e, the book becomes redundant and you can perfectly explain any chapter to another person).

    So it is good being what it is... and it is not a lot of other things: i.e, it's not a school of alchemy, there isn't even an encouragement there to study alchemy (nor the opposite)... and probably the best thing is that it is very neutral (neutral: I mean that it does not have a strong idiosyncrasy or weird neologisms and a jargon that does not make any sense beyond the context of the GD, so it gives a solid base to understand the western occult tradition -certainly excludying alchemy).

    Maybe the mistake is believing that something will be given as a compensation for having studied a lot... which is not the case, the only thing that is given is a context in which such study can be more organized and systematic.

    (Regardie is probably more relevant as someone who got enthusiast with the GD and published a lot of material, but there isn't really much coming directly out of him. Abit like Carl Sagan and Astronomy, maybe he made a lot of people get interested in Astronomy, but he's not specially very interesting when it comes to the history of astronomy as a science).

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoas23 View Post
    It's true that there isn't any alchemical instruction in the GD, probably the closest is this: http://www.hermetics.org/secretfire1.html
    Which is OK, though certainly far from being an alchemical lesson.
    The S.R.I.A. was and wasn't the place in which the GD was born and the S.R.I.A. certainly had alchemical instructions. So it's fair to assume that if the GD does not have them, it is probably because the founders wanted it that way.
    Okay, seems like its time for some history...

    As you most likely know, the S.R.I.A. (alright, that's the Societas Rosicrucia in Anglia - for the sake of the uninitiated third-party reader out there ) would never have been created in the first place without the influence of Kenneth H. R. Mackenzie, a veritable eclectic who had studied from occultists as diverse as French magus Eliphas Levi and the American Rosicrucian 'supreme master' Paschal Beverly Randolph. Mackenzie was a bit of a living mystery, showing himself as a talented translator of lofty literature on some occasions with no other known sources of income - and at the same time a lover of certain alcoholic beverages under whose influence he turned from an exceptionally kind individual into an exceptionally nasty one. On top of that, he claimed to have been initiated into the German Rosicrucian fraternity while living in Vienna.

    Now when Robert Wentworth Little came across some old Rosicrucian rituals (written in German) in the storerooms of Londonís Freemasonís Hall, he quite naturally turned to Mackenzie to help him found a new esoteric order based on them. Its principal leaders were, besides Little himself, William Wynn Westcott, William Robert Woodman, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. All three later also became "the founding Chiefs" of the Golden Dawn!

    After Mackenzie's untimely (but presumably not very surprising) death, his widow sold the so-called Cipher Manuscripts which had been in his possession to Woodman. Even though the text was written in a font suspiciously resembling Mackenzie's own handwriting, it was considered to be of German Rosicrucian origin. The whole system of what was to become the Golden Dawn was already outlined in it.

    http://hermetic.com/gdlibrary/cipher/

    Based on this text, Mathers authored the Book T as a curriculum for the order. Notably, it also became the foundation for various Tarot decks, which arguably provide the best approach to the GD's elaborate system of occult correspondances to this day (Florius hinted at it above).

    The GD does not really rely on secrets, it is simply a systematic and somehow encyclopedic study of the occult with a deep emphasis on Qabalah.
    I guess it is what it is. Probably there was an enthusiasm there to systematize everything, but the good thing is that after some years of such study, anyone can pick a book by Agrippa or John Dee or a Solomonic grimoire and choose a random page and there won't be surprises there (i.e, the book becomes redundant and you can perfectly explain any chapter to another person).

    So it is good being what it is... and it is not a lot of other things: i.e, it's not a school of alchemy, there isn't even an encouragement there to study alchemy (nor the opposite)... and probably the best thing is that it is very neutral (neutral: I mean that it does not have a strong idiosyncrasy or weird neologisms and a jargon that does not make any sense beyond the context of the GD, so it gives a solid base to understand the western occult tradition -certainly excludying alchemy).
    That may well be the case. Both Waite and Crowley (the creators of the two probably most popular Tarot decks today) evidently had encyclopedic occult knowledge. This was due to their private studies, to be sure, but the GD that they were so deeply involved with may have provided them with a framework allowing them to organize their extensive knowledge into a coherent whole. In keeping with the remainder of your post...

    However, that knowledge did include a good deal of alchemical lore - Waite was a publisher of alchemical books (as Westcott used to be), and uncle Al's Tarot deck is replete with alchemical symbolism! But (for all we know), none of these men studied alchemy in the laboratory, they were all just theorists.

    Maybe the mistake is believing that something will be given as a compensation for having studied a lot... which is not the case, the only thing that is given is a context in which such study can be more organized and systematic.
    I would add that even though that system does provide a useful context, it is not the only possible one. It is looking at metaphysical things from a certain perspective. There are other perspectives, that generally come with their own set of limitations. Only above the Abyss do all the apparent contradictions fall into place...

    At any rate, assuming that the GD system was the ultimate answer seems somewhat naive and limiting to me, especially from a contemporary, more informed perspective.

    (Regardie is probably more relevant as someone who got enthusiast with the GD and published a lot of material, but there isn't really much coming directly out of him. Abit like Carl Sagan and Astronomy, maybe he made a lot of people get interested in Astronomy, but he's not specially very interesting when it comes to the history of astronomy as a science).
    That evaluation may be fair enough. At any rate, Regardie was instrumental in disseminating the order's vast body of esoteric information to the world. Its influence on contemporary Western esotericism can hardly be overestimated.

  8. #38
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    I spoke with the Imperator and he told me that the way it works is that by learning all the symbolism in depth it will program a language within my subconscious and that will allow my conscious self to communicate with the subconscious part much better than what it does now. He said that communication with the HGA and other entities leads to enlightenment and revelation of secrets. He said (and I know this to be true) that most philosophers don't disclose the secrets to the white eagle or the red lion because at that stage it is passed to them via their HGA in a revelation. So... I think there is some merit in this system when you look at it. I have seen a few disclosures as to how to make the red lion or white eagle floating around the net, but has anyone really tried it and had success with it? At least in our group? Our journey to find the elusive stone takes us through strange paths in this life. I was talking about this with my good friend Mr Steve Kalec (highly regarded alchemist and chief adept of AMORC) and he said that while he does not share the same POV he said that the GD has some very beneficial exercises that bring about what I am looking for. So only by trying it will I know if it's right or not.

  9. #39
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    Salve Viator!

    The Imperator has advised you well. That kind of symbolic system can indeed be used to communicate with your inner self, much like you might employ Tarot cards to the same end. Others might prefer a more personalised set of symbols. Whatever floats your boat is fine.

    There are numerous examples of people throughout history who received revelations from their inner guide, inner self, an animal spirit, an alien etc. Essentially, any framework that makes sense to you and that you have faith in can be used. Personally, I like to keep things simple, so I often communicate with my guide by word of mouth in my inner sanctuary. On other occasions, inner knowledge comes to me in the form of inspiration and intuition, without any discernable source, really.

    I agree that, every so often, only by trying something can you really know if it is for you.

    Good luck on your way!

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
    Okay, seems like its time for some history...
    I agree with your comments. I would add that it gets obvious to me that Mackenzie had either joined the Gold und Rosenkreuzer (GuR)... or something that was still working with a structure that was inherited from the GuR... or he had, at least, received some sort of GuR material. The SRIA and the GD ended up having a system of grades that is 100% identical to the one that the GuR had used... and some obsessions are identical (specially the strange interest in Gualdi in the SRIA, the weird interest in the Urim and Thummim in the GD). The influence of the GuR is obvious and it goes beyond the Ciphers.

    Other than that, I do not really see the Ciphers as a document that says something incredibly extraordinaire. I think they served a different purpose. The GuR and the SRIA had something in common: they worked under the umbrella of Freemasonry. The GD didn't... So I guess it was even harder to show a legitimacy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    I spoke with the Imperator and he told me that the way it works is that by learning all the symbolism in depth it will program a language within my subconscious and that will allow my conscious self to communicate with the subconscious part much better than what it does now. He said that communication with the HGA and other entities leads to enlightenment and revelation of secrets. He said (and I know this to be true) that most philosophers don't disclose the secrets to the white eagle or the red lion because at that stage it is passed to them via their HGA in a revelation. So... I think there is some merit in this system when you look at it. I have seen a few disclosures as to how to make the red lion or white eagle floating around the net, but has anyone really tried it and had success with it? At least in our group? Our journey to find the elusive stone takes us through strange paths in this life. I was talking about this with my good friend Mr Steve Kalec (highly regarded alchemist and chief adept of AMORC) and he said that while he does not share the same POV he said that the GD has some very beneficial exercises that bring about what I am looking for. So only by trying it will I know if it's right or not.
    One of the coolest things about the GD is that it's not a cult, nor a school in which there is a worship of anyone (i.e, the Theosophical Society, whilst Blavatsky was alive, was devoted to studying what a person, Blavatsky, said... and she was taken as the source of some sort of truth).

    But I still think that a honest "we don't really teach such thing and all I can say about your question is that I don't know the answer" would be better than getting the Guardian Angel involved.

    I like the GD and it's good... though don't expect it to offer what it does not offer.

    In the late 70's some people created a parody Occult Organization, the Church of the SubGenius... that mostly laughed at the oddities of Mysticism and the commercial ways of some organizations. They created some funny parody adverts like this one:



    And a lot of slogans that were meant to be a parody. One of the funniest ones was:
    You'll PAY to know what you really think.

    Of course, in the context of the Church of the SubGenius, it was meant to be taken as a joke. Though take what you have been told as a weird and pompous way of answering: "I have no idea... hopefully you'll end up having a revelation!".

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