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Testing within the Golden Dawn

Ave Fraters et Sorors,

I've been given the nod to go ahead and test for Philosophus (4=7), which means I've been studying my ass off the last couple of days. It's interesting-I spend so much time in each grade (pretty close to a year for each one) that by the time I test, much of the general curriculum stuff related to papers and flying rolls is hard to recall.

The practical bits-godnames, correspondences, that sort of thing-are easy as pie, because you use them. Remembering references to what a certain Sphinx may or may not have said during an initiatory ritual is just not my forte. I have yet to pass a test on the first go....not a single-bleeding-one. Now, the practical knowledge and the understandings required for advancement I've had no issues with, which is nice. I still end up feeling a simpleton when I inevitably fail the written test the first time.

Every time I fail I get to thinking "What is the point of this foolishness, anyway? I can command the forces, scry the planes and exhibit the understandings and qualities neceesary to move on. I can show the results of the work in my life. Why am I waisting my time memorizing lessons like a schoolboy?"....After a moment, that passes, and I remember that there are hidden understandings in the Initiations, that I may actually use the tattwas someday (huge Maybe on that one).... that admissions badges are important and full of alchemical and occult understandings......basically I remember that I don't know everything, haha. And that perhaps being a Magician isn't just about what you can Do, but about what you know as well.   That there is a culture involved here, and knowing who said what on a particular Flying Roll is part of the education of a Golden Dawn Adept. There is meaning in being a part of that culture-in attending this Magical College, acquiring this particular magical education. It's about establishing a common, well-rounded denominator.

It's a bit like studying Art History in college. The classes I took in Art History could be perceived as useless and a complete waste of time (pretty much exactly how I feel about the tattwas, in all of their Non-Western glory), except that they've enriched my connection to our culture in the West. Just like the tattwas give us insight and understanding into our culture within the Golden Dawn during a certain period of time (when the learning of our Eastern brothers was venerated, and sexy), so did the Art History. Regardless of whether I find a need for either one, merely knowing them gives me another point of connection to the culture I live within.'d think this bit would be the easy part. When I first began, I'd dread all the boat-rocking that went into initiation into a new I look forward to that, and dread taking the bloody horrible tests.




  1. Greetings,

    Your family portrait is beautiful! I decided to go the GD route here recently myself... My personal practice thus far has been more 'organic' you could say and although for a long while I was progressing naturally some inertia seems to have developed:). I empathize with many points of your post- Why do I have to study the Neo 0=0 rite?????? As an educator by profession I find myself doing quite a bit of self-talk. After all, it was the structure, programming and sequence that closed the deal for me. I shall be practicing my preaching!


  2. Ave,

    Thank you kindly! I've been blessed.=) Welcome to the Golden Dawn, Frater-it's good to have you.

    In LVX,



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