The Living Golden Dawn   6 comments

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

Gareth Knight

Morgan Drake Eckstein – Gleamings From the Golden Dawn

Mary Greer

Nick Farrell

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

Thuban Temple

Alex Sumner – Sol Ascendans

Aaron Leitch – Ananael

Eric Sisco – Apotheosis


Enjoy the journey!




Posted June 29, 2012 by kheph777 in blogs, golden dawn, hermetic

Tagged with ,

6 responses to “The Living Golden Dawn

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Great post, Aaron. Could not agree more. I would also point out that really all the wonderful activity you mention is exploring and uncovering the tradition. It is not adding alien stuff to keep it alive, pep it up or bring in new punters. The core elements of the tradition; rituals, concepts, names, papers, all have immense hidden depths. Innovation for the sake of innovation is not needed if we approach the tradition in this way. This is why we need more papers like yours on the Hall.

    I am so happy about the state of the GD at present it makes me sing!


    • Absolutely, Peregrin! Most of what I’m seeing is rooted firmly within the greater Golden Dawn Tradition – with no need whatsoever to bring in alien concepts. For example, at my Temple we recently experimented with a brand new ritual of invocation for the Outer Order that has *never* been seen before. It’s not a re-hash of anything previously published, yet it makes use of traditonal Golden Dawn Outer Order formulae. (I may publish it someday, but that remains to be seen. The Secret Chiefs may want it to remain an oathbound technique…)

      Consider, too, Chic’s recent publication of the relationship between the knocks of the Middle Pillar Officers in the 0=0 and the Khamea of Saturn. Truly astounding information that is purely Traditional, yet not found *anywhwere* in the published G.D. material.

      And, how about my own “Bornless Eucharist” published a few months ago in Hermetic Virtues? :):):)

      On the other hand, I have *also* seen some not-quite-alien material imported over the years. Tabatha Cicero did a great job of re-introducing the Babylonian Gods and mythos (a subject near and dear to me, in fact) to Golden Dawn practitioners with her Babylonian Tarot. I hope, in the not-too-distant future, we will create some Golden Dawn rituwls that work directly with them.

      Personally, I have done much to revive some of the Solomonic current that was more prevelant in the Inner Order of the original Golden Dawn. I make a regular habit of bringing food offerings to the entities we invoke in Temple – which often astounds those who witness it for the first time. Once, we also brought offerings to an angel whose star was in direct *oppositiion* to the angel we wanted to invoke – making the “pacification” offerings in the West of the Hall before we began the main ritual. The result was incredible.

      I could on and on about this kind of thing – but I’d better shut up before I step on my oaths. lol



  2. Thank you for mentioning my blog and for your contributions to HV.

    I would just like to add to your readers that I have recently added the responsibility of acquiring new books to my work with Llewellyn. If any of your readers have some GD-oriented material—not just a rehash, but a new approach, interpretation, or new concepts and rituals—or some other form of advance occult material, I’d be delighted to consider it. Write to me at


  3. I have to agree that there is a lot more to the ever expanding Golden Dawn Tradition than a lot of folks see just looking online and in a few books. The Tradition is a growing and expanding entity.

    Most of what is being brought up in lots of these newer works is not so much new and outside material to make the GD shiny, but rather new ways of looking at the existing material. A great deal has been learned in the last 120 years or so; our understanding of magical work is better, different from when the GD was founded.

    Westcott and Mathers never got around to completely fleshing out a lot of the material, especially in the Inner Order – this is also one of those things that are taking place to this day.

    The main reason that so many “new” things are coming up is that there are more people practicing GD magic in more temples than ever before – wherein more of these people are tied into the Current of the Golden Dawn Tradition. That is that they seem to have a good grasp of the material and allow the Current and Tradition to direct them, rather than try to force something on the Current and Tradition. This latter part is what is important – conforming to the Tradition rather than trying to force the Tradition to conform to an individual. This allows the flow of material and information from the Tradition and the Current of the Tradition to go where it needs to be. This is what is meant to be “plugged in” to the Current and the Tradition, and how these people and groups are able to grow and expand the Corpus of the Golden Dawn Tradition.

    IF a person or group is trying to force the Current to conform with their ego or group ego, then they effectively cut themselves off from the Tradition and eventually wither and fade away.

    Thanks for sharing this blog post…. really hits on some very salient points.

    In LVX,


    Samuel Scarborough
  4. Pingback: Ceremonial Magick Reading List « Ananael

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: