Archive for the ‘chic cicero’ Tag
Greetings Faithful Readers!
Nick Farrell recently posted a blog about the upcoming Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls anthology. He called the post Flying Rolls Book Reveals Golden Dawn Community Secret. The big secret he believes has been revealed can be summed up in this quote from the post:
Wading through [the list of contributors to the anthology] and the wide range of Golden Dawn groups that these people belong you start to realise that the level of cooperation that exists between these different orders must be considerably higher than many would have you believe.
If you’ve been around the various communities of the Western Mystery Tradition for the last 20 years, then you likely know what Nick is talking about. I am sad to say that all too many people outside of the Golden Dawn have the impression that our Tradition is overflowing with arrogant jerks who would rather call each other names and accuse one another of outlandish crimes than concentrate on the Great Work.
I’ve personally run into any number of dedicated occultists who proclaim they wouldn’t give a Golden Dawner the time of day. Or even that there must be some something flawed in the G.D. system because it “keeps producing spiritually damaged people.” Perhaps you even feel this way youself.
And that is a very sad thing – becaue the reality of the Golden Dawn is so much different than what you might have seen on the internet. (Is that really a surprise?) I’ve been involved in the greater Golden Dawn Community now for the better part of 20 years – and I have yet to see any of the hateful in-fighting that has been proclaimed so loudly on the ‘net.
Oh sure, there have been disagreements. There have been expulsions. There have been groups that split up due to irreconcilable differences. I’ve even known individuals that flat out decide not to work with one another ever again. All of this is expected from any movement of this size and scope. But, what is the overall reality of the movement itself? Is there really something “wrong” with the Golden Dawn? Does it really produce an endless parade of overblown egos?
Not that I’ve seen in real life. While the hate gets spewed around by a few trolls on the internet (most of them from outside the Tradition), I’ve seen the various Golden Dawn Orders and independant Temples quietly getting along, and largely ignoring what is going on in the cyber-world. As Donald Michael Kraig recently posted on Facebook:
I’ve had the honor of knowing some of the people who have written for this [Golden Dawn Commentaries] book. It’s true. There really are no “Golden Dawn wars” today. There will always be those who try to invent them in order to develop an us-vs-them mentality—a common method used to create cults. There will also be disagreements—that’s why there are different GD groups. I take that as a sign of the vitality of the tradition and the passion of those who participate. But most real GD people I’ve met look at those trying to spark controversy and wars that don’t exist and think of what Puck said in Midsummer’s Night Dream: “What fools these mortals be.”
So Don feels the same way Nick and I feel – and we aren’t alone either. Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that the true fraternity of the Golden Dawn community has been slowly seeping onto the internet.
Take, for example, the 30th Anniversary of the Consecration of the HOGD Vault of the Adepti that took place last year. A document was drawn up to offer congrats and thanks to Chic and Tabatha Cicero for their work and dedication to the Golden Dawn Tradition – and it was signed by dozens of folks from a host of different Orders, Temples and some unaffiliated individuals.
Later, a Facebook event was created for the same Anniversary – and what started out as dozens of well-wishers turned into hundreds as people from all walks of life added their names and thoughts to the list. (Click on the link, and you can add yours as well!)
Most recently, the Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls anthology was announced – a book created by members and leaders of several different Golden Dawn groups, all working together to create something worthwhile for students everywhere.
And it isn’t going to stop there, either! Even now there are projects in the works that transcend all Order affiliations and philosophical differences and illustrate that the Golden Dawn Community is working together in harmony toward the Great Work, with all of you in mind. :)
So the next time you run into a Golden Dawner, before you jump to any conclusions about what kind of person he or she might be, consider the old addage: “By their fruits shall ye know them.”
Greetings Fratres et Sorores!
Ok, so it must be the right time of year for new anthologies containing brand new essays from yours truly. ;) Kerubim Press has just announced an upcoming book entitled Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls by the Golden Dawn Community:
Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls – Front Cover
This new collection contains all of the original Golden Dawn “Flying Rolls” – which are extracurricular lectures and essays on a variety of occult topics that circulated among adepts of the original Order. These Flying Rolls were written by adepts like Wynn Westcott, Samuel Mathers, Moina Mathers, Edmund Berridge, Florence Farr, Annie Horniman, J.W. Brodie-Inns and Percy Bullock.
But Waite! There’s more! ;) Each and every Flying Roll is followed by a brand new commentary intended to elaborate upon the topic of the Roll itself. Some of them serve to clarify what is in the Roll, while others add to it with updated modern views. And the authors included here are no less impressive than the Flying Rolls’ original authors. You’ll find plenty of recognizable names like Chic and Tabatha Cicero, Peregrin Wildoak, Sam Webster, Joseph Max, Nick and Paola Ferrell, Samuel Scarborough, Eric V. Sisco, VH Fra IOV, Frater Yechidah, Ian Cowburn and Morgan Drake Eckstein. And many up-and-coming authors such as Deanna Bonds, Lauren Gardner, Jayne Gibson, Christopher Bradford, Liza Llewellyn and Rachael Walker. Plus, of course, me. :)
And that merely scratches the surface of the good folks who contributed their time and work to this anthology. This book is the end result of one of the most massive inter-Order cooperative projects in the history of the Western Mystery Tradition. Almost every major Golden Dawn Order – and a few smaller groups and private Temples – came together in a spirit of community and fraternity to make this book a reality.
Click here for the full announcement from Kerubim Press.
I have made two contributions to this project. The first goes along with Flying Roll XX: The Elementary View of Man. However, what I have written is not a mere commentary upon the Flying Roll, but is in fact an updated re-write of the original Golden Dawn lecture Ritual U: Man – Microcosm (which is necessary to read and understand in order to grasp the concepts of Flying Roll XX). Man – Microcosm is an often-overlooked lecture that was part of the original adept curriculum, and contains some of the Order’s most important teachings on the human soul, qabalistic psychology and the Great Work itself. My hope is to revive interest in this particular lecture, and re-establish it as a foundational study for all students of the Golden Dawn.
My second contribution is a commentary upon Flying Roll XXXV: On the General and Particular Exordium of the Z Documents. The General and Particular Exordium is an introduction of sorts to the Z Documents – the secret wisdom and symbolism of the Golden Dawn’s Magick of Light revealed to Mathers by his spiritual contacts known as the Secret Chiefs. They are possibly some of the most profound and useful pieces of received knowledge in the entire Western Mystery Tradition. However, few Golden Dawn students understand what the Exordium is supposed to mean. It is essentially a Gnostic poem intended to “set the stage” for all the mysteries revealed in the Z Documents. Therefore, I break down the Exordium and explain what it means in Gnostic terms, and how it reflects on the mysteries of the Golden Dawn.
Fratres et Sorores, you do NOT want to miss out on this one! :) :) :)
Greetings to my students!
After I gave my Ceremonial Magick classes in North Carolina (six classes of material packed into two sessions!), one of my students asked me to take her to the store’s bookshelves and show her my best recommendations for further reading. Now, back home in Florida, we are reaching the last few classes of the course – where we finally begin to take all the basic rituals, correspondences and theory and put them together in rituals of practical magick. Once we are done, I suspct my current students are also going to want resources for further reading and study.
Even outside of my classes, I know many of you reading this blog are solitary practitioners. And I’m sure you would also like to know which books I recommend to futher your understanding of the Western Mystery Tradition and the practice of Hermetic Ceremonial Magick.
So, I’ve made this blog entry for both groups of students and practitioners. Much like the post I made concerning books about Babylonian and Semitic myth and magick, I will here gather the titles that I have found most useful in my own Ceremonial Magick studies – both when I was a solitary seeker and even still today.
We are very fortunate today, in that we have dozens of great resources that seekers in previous generations have had to do without. I hope you will find this list useful in your studies. :)
The Essential Golden Dawn : An Introduction to High Magic – Chic and Tabatha Cicero
A great general introduction to the Western Mystery Tradition as a whole. It traces the historical development of the WMT and introduces the student to many of the basic theories and philosophies behind our magick. Some of the basic rituals are also included.
Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts – Donald Michael Kraig
This is where it all started for me! When I was handed my first copy of this book, I was already practicing my own intuitive forms of magick (much akin to Hoodoo, really). But after just one look inside this book, I knew I had found something vastly important and powerful. I made up my mind then and there to put myself through the (at the time) Eleven Lessons – and the rest is history. This is not specifically a “Golden Dawn” text, but it does focus on Golden Dawn rituals and techniques, and I highly recommend it as an introduction to the practical side of the Hermetic Arts.
Self-Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition: A Complete Curriculum of Study for Both the Solitary Magician and the Working Magical Group – Chic and Tabatha Cicero
The Ciceros created this resource with the solitary practitioner in mind. They gathered a very large amount of the Grade curriculum of the Outer Order of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, then expanded it with extra-curricular study material. Then they created a ritual process of Self Initiation by which the solitary seeker can progress through the Grade material. The Self Initiation rituals will certainly not make you a member of an Order, but they will introduce you to the forces invoked in each Grade of the Outer Order. There are even quizzes at the end of each Grade, so you’ll know when you’ve incorperated enough knowledge to move on to the lessons of the next Grade. This textbook is so useful, it is even used as a study guide by students of the H.O.G.D. itself.
Secrets of a Golden Dawn Temple – Chic and Tabatha Cicero
There have been several different editions of this text under different names. You can also find the material split between Creating Magical Tools and Ritual Use of Magical Tools. The above-linked version is the one I found and used many many years ago – in fact I think it was the first Cicero book I ever owned. It outlines in exhaustive detail how to build all the tools, furniture, robes, talismans and other ritual paraphernalia associated with Golden Dawn magick. Though you certainly won’t have to build everything you find in this book to practice at home, it contains enough to set up a fully functioning Traditional G.D. Temple. Plus, it gives you the magickal theory behind each tool along with the rituals to conscrate and use them.
The Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot – Tabatha Cicero and Chic Cicero
This is a Tarot Deck, but it does come with a book. If you’re going to get into Golden Dawn magick, you’re going to be using the Tarot. And this deck is specially made for use in Golden Dawn ceremonies. (I still prefer the Smith-Waite deck for divinations, but this deck can’t be beat for G.D. work!)
The Golden Dawn: The Original Account of the Teachings, Rites & Ceremonies of the Hermetic Order – edited by Israel Regardie
This is where it all started – at least for those of us practicing the Golden Dawn today. After 1900, the original Order of the Golden Dawn split into several different groups. One of them became the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, which still exists today. Another became the Alpha et Omega, which closed its doors sometime in the 1940s. And another became the Stella Matutina – which was the branch joined by Israel Regardie. The Stella Matutina closed most of its doors in the middle of the 2oth century. (Only one Temple remained, but it had changed its name to the Order of Smaragdum Thallasses – better known as the Whare Ra Temple – and operated secretly in New Zealand until 1978.) Before the bulk of the Stella Matutina Temples died away, Israel Regardie decided to save the Tradition by publishing the Order’s papers. This decision was controversial, but most today agree that it saved the Golden Dawn. This book is that publication – so you can see for yourself where it all began. This was the book used by Chic Cicero to found his own Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – which is by far the world’s largest and most successful Golden Dawn Order today. This book also serves as the “advanced manual” that takes you to the next step beyond the Ciceros’ Self Initiation… book.
The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic – edited by Israel Regardie
A good companion volume to The Golden Dawn above. This book contains a lot of early Golden Dawn material that didn’t make it into the first book.
A Garden of Pomegranates: Skrying on the Tree of Life – Israel Regardie, Chic and Tabatha Cicero
This is one of the books by Israel Regardie that the Ciceros greatly expanded and then republished for the modern student. It is an excellent exploration of the Tree of Life and the magickal and Hermetic concepts that it embodies. In my intro classes, I give you the basics of the Tree of Life – but this text will take you to the next level and beyond. It includes guided meditations to introduce you to the energies, correspondences, angels and other magickal beings associated with every Sephirah and Path of the Tree.
The Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind and Magic – Israel Regardie, Chic and Tabatha Cicero
The is another Israel Regardie original, expanded and republished by the Ciceros. Without a doubt, this is one of my favorites. It outlines the psychological aspects of Qabalistic and Hermetic practice – that is how the material interfaces with and changes your psyche. While I am no fan of the “psychological theory of magick” that does not mean there is no psychology at all involved in its theory and practice. I describe it this way: Magick is not “a form of psychology” any more than an engine is “a car.” Yet, without an engine a car is just a dead thing and doesn’t get you anywhere. How magick affects your mind, and how your mind affects your magick, it extremely important to understand.
Godwin’s Cabalistic Encyclopedia – David Godwin
This is a wonderfully useful resource for anyone studying the Western Hermetic Qabalah. Godwin has gathered every Hebrew name and term he could find, given them in English and Hebrew characters, their Gematira values and explained what they mean. As an appendix, he has also included a copy of “Sepher Sephiroth” – which gathers even more Hebrew words and phrases according to their Gematria values. (Kind of a 777 for the Golden Dawn crowd.)
Prometheus Rising – Robert Anton Wilson, Introduced by Israel Regardie.
And speaking of understanding psychology, this book is an absolute must-read. It is an easy-to-understand operator’s manual for your brain – complete with exercises. And the concepts it teaches are, as I said above, extremely important to your own spirutal development and your successful use of that thing called Magick. ( I drew upon the material in this book in my own Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires.)
Ishtar Rising: Or, Why the Goddess Went to Hell and What to Expect Now That She’s Returning – Robert Anton Wilson
See above. I consider this to be the second half of Prometheus Rising. And, as the title suggests, this book focuses upon the sacred feminine within all of us – and even explains why magick and witchcraft have returned to our culture in a big way. Highly recommended!
(NOTE: I will soon be adding a list of traditional Qabalistic texts to this list, such as the Zohar and Sepher Yetzirah. Stay tuned.)
The following books were not part of my own early studies into Ceremonial magick, but I believe they are potentially useful to today’s students:
Experiencing the Kabbalah: A Simple Guide to Spiritual Wholeness – Chic and Tabatha Cicero
“Kabbalah, a spiritual system grounded in symmetry and logic, is rarely addressed in a format that is suitable for beginners. Experiencing the Kabbalah goes against the trend, however, by presenting both historical and practical information on the Kabbalah that focuses on experiencing this ancient spiritual system rather than just reading about it. Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero accomplish this through a sort of ritual drama that they call “Walking the Tree of Life.” It characterizes each Sephiroth (different aspects of the divine) of the Kabbalah as a person, from the stable Malkuth to the enigmatic Kether, granting readers a fuller understanding of the Sephiroth and the paths between them. Experiencing the Kabbalah is an innovative guide for beginners as well as informative reading for adept practitioners.”
Making Talismans: Living Entities of Power – Nick Farrell
“Discover the secret keys and practical techniques to turn mundane objects into “living entities of power,” bringing real change in your life. By pooling magical practices from shamanism, paganism, the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn, and Dion Fortune, Making Talismans offers training and techniques for performing advanced magical talismanic operations.”
King Over the Water: Samuel Mathers and the Golden Dawn – Nick Farrell
If you are interested in the history of the Golden Dawn, this is a great place to start. This book explores the life and times one of the founders of the G.D. without the usual lens of myth and legend surrounding him. Spoiler alert! Mathers was a fallible human being like the rest of us. ;)
Mathers’ Last Secret REVISED – The Rituals and Teachings of the Alpha et Omega – Nick Farrell
The Alpha et Omega is the branch of the Order founded by Mathers after the original group split apart. This book is a good companion to King Over the Water, as well as Regardie’s The Golden Dawn. It contains the rituals used by Mathers’ A.O. before it closed its doors in the 1940s. Here, you can see how things were done in the A.O. as opposed to what the Stella Matutina was up to on their side of the fence.
By Names and Images: Bringing the Golden Dawn to Life – Peregrin Wildoak
“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. Focusing on the meanings and use of sacred names and practical techniques of visualisation, the book thoroughly explores meditation and divination, purification ritual, invocation and evocation, grades of initiation, and direct experience of the inner realms. Also covered is an explanation of the Qabalah and its use as a magical framework. While the book is sufficiently practical and clearly explained to be of huge benefit to a newcomer to magic, its primary aim is to allow people already practicing the Golden Dawn system to do so more effectively, and to be touched by the amazing spiritual blessings the rituals offer.”
This list is certainly not exhaustive – I could have included many further books by authors like Pat Zalewski, John Michael Greer and others. And I could have included even more by authors like the Ciceros and Donald Michael Kraig. However, I think this list is certainly more than enough to give you a sound start and a well-rounded understanding of the Golden Dawn and its magickal tradition. It will also help you to avoid wasting your time and money on books that are of lesser quality, or just re-hashes of what has already been written by the fine authors listed above.
There is also a lot of good material still in the works, too – so I’ll likely be expanding this list in the future. Meanwhile, if this list isn’t enough to keep you occupied, check out this post listing the best Golden Dawn, Hermetic and Rosicrucian blogs out there – so you can keep your eyes on the ever-developing Western Mystery Tradition. :)
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Mystikal Scents Occult Shop is Proud to Welcome
Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero
Senior Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Authors of such books as Self Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition, Creating Magical Tools, The Essential Golden Dawn and Tarot Talismans
Come and Meet Them in Brandon, Florida on
October 7th, 2012
from 1 – 3:30pm (Eastern Time)
Only $15. This is a unique opportunity!
Call to reserve your spot while they last!
9545 E. Fowler Ave.
Thonotosassa, FL., 33592
The Ciceros’ have been asked to host Class 6 of Aaron Leitch’s and Carrie Mikell’s Ceremonial Magick Course – where they will speak on a subject of their choosing (and/or lead us in a ritual). However, you are NOT required to attend the previous classes to join us for this stand-alone event! After the class, the Ciceros will be happy to sign books. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn directly from the Golden Dawn’s leading experts!
Greetings Fratres et Sorores!
Don Kraig made a blog post worth reading today over at the Llewellyn website. The bulk of the piece is an overview of the Hermetic Virtues fifth anniversary issue, which I have linked to before. However, he also frames this with an excellent discussion of what makes a magickal Order (or, indeed, any spiritual tradition) a living and growing entity.
As Kraig points out, any tradition undergoes phases of growth and expansion, followed by stagnation and eventually decline and death. Perhaps that is a bit of an oversimplification (there are many subtle phases in between these stages), but it works as a general overview. A living and growing tradition is marked by new ideas and innovation, while a tradition on the decline tends to delve into fundamentalism and outright attacks against anyone who would challenge the established dogma. In other words, a dying tradition tenaciously clings to past glory rather than looking forward to an evolving future.
Having established this, Kraig goes on to discuss the Golden Dawn tradition as something of a curiosity. The G.D. is already more than a century old, and has served as the foundation for much of today’s Western occultism – from Thelema to Wicca and many other systems besides. As such, many have adopted the opinion that the G.D. is an example of a stagnant and dying tradition. Often, when one sees a book on the shelf with the words “Golden Dawn” in the title, it is assumed the book will be filled with “just more of the same old stuff” we’ve seen for the past hundred years.
However, when viewed from the standpoint of Kraig’s definition of the life-cycle of a spiritual tradition, does the G.D. really fit the bill of stagnation? He doesn’t think so – and neither do I!
Today, more than ever before, Golden Dawn authors are publishing new and innovative material. Sometimes this takes the form of fresh looks at traditional concepts (for example, Chic Cicero’s explanation of the G.D. magickal tools, or my own analysis of the godforms of the Outer Hall), and sometimes it takes the form of brand new rituals and techniques (such as Sam Scarborough’s Ritual of Chockmah or Darcy Kuntz’ Summer Solstice Ritual).
All of the above examples are to be found in the latest edition of Hermetic Virtues – and they hardly scratch the surface of the new Golden Dawn material that is coming to light these days. And even that does not cover the kind of innovation taking place within private Temples. As the community grows, there is a vast influx of new material and fresh perspectives into the tradition.
What you see in books like Regardie’s The Golden Dawn is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There is, in fact, a vast array of unpublished oral teachings, original rituals, new forms of invocation, private methods and techniques of magick, re-introduced ancient wisdom and more.
All of these things fit better into Kraig’s definition of a tradition in its phase of growth and expansion. The modern Golden Dawn is just now approaching its second generation, and I don’t think we’ve come even close to hitting the top of the bell-curve.
Kraig ended his post with a list of blogs and websites that I sent to him a while back. All of them concern Western Hermeticism – either directly or indirectly related to the Golden Dawn, or at least written by respected Golden Dawn practitioners. I believe these sites are a wonderful illustration of the kind of growth and innovative ideas we are seeing throughout the Golden Dawn Community today. All of these links can be found in the menu on the left-hand side of this blog, but I’ll post the list below for ease of reference:
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn Blog
Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn
Hermetic Virtues Magazine
Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
Deanna Bonds – Path to the Stars
Dean Wilson – Mishkan ha Echad
Frater YShY – The Golden Handshake
Frater YShY – The Ruby Rose and Golden Cross
Morgan Drake Eckstein – Gleamings From the Golden Dawn
Olen Rush – Light of a Golden Day
Peregrin Wildoak – Magic of the Ordinary
Rufus Opus – Head For the Red
Societas Rosicruciana in America
Sr FSO – Flight of Hermes
Alex Sumner – Sol Ascendans
Aaron Leitch – Ananael
Eric Sisco – Apotheosis
Enjoy the journey!
Just letting you know there has been an update to the Ritual Magick Classes info.
The store has asked that we set the per-class fee to $15. Hopefully that won’t break anyone’s bank! :)
The dates have been finalized to September 2nd through October 14th – a solid seven weeks instead of eight.
I have not yet gotten a solid date on a Chic and Tabatha Cicero appearance, so that is still TBA. Keep an eye out here for that info. :)
Greetings Avid Readers!
The latest edition of Hermetic Virtues is finally out! It was published on June 24th, in order to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the consecration of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn’s Vault of the Adepti. It even includes the very same signed announcement I published here (and which has appeared on blogs and forums across the ‘net). :) :) :)
And what’s more, it also includes an essay by yours truly called Two Thrones for the Golden Dawn. In the essay, I discuss the mythical structure of the Hall of the Neophytes and why we place the Coptic-Egyptian godforms in their traditional positions. Some groups have made changes to these godforms (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), but I explain exactly why we choose to keep them where they where in 1888 when the original Order was founded. (What can I say? The HOGD is a traditional Order.)
I am especially proud of this essay because Tabatha Cicero made reference to an earlier version of it in a piece she wrote for the latest edition of the Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic. In fact, her essay is what prompted me to get this one completed and published at last. :)
There are also essays and reviews by such big names as Chic Cicero (HOGD), John Michael Greer (DOGD), Nick Farrell (MOAA), Sam Scarborough (OSM), Jayne Gibson (HOGD), Eric Sisco (SRICF) and many more. If you want to see a great review of the entire magazine, check out Peregrin Wildoak’s blog. :)
If you get a chance, make sure to drop a note of congratulations to the Hermetic Virtues team and give them kudos for their own five year anniversary. We haven’t seen a magazine of this caliber since Gnosis – so let’s hope they stay around for decades!