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The Importance of Oral Transmission in the Golden Dawn


We hold regular classes for our students within our Order; they're a great opportunity for students to have access to senior Fraters and Sorors and receive answers to any questions they may have about the curriculum. During a recent class, our GH Fra LES made an unscheduled appearance. He taught for a good 15-20 minutes about particular aspects of ritual magic, elaborating on the purpose of the work within the outer Order and sharing some alchemical understanding as well.

What struck me about all of this is that I've been studying our system for years, and never made the connections he made for us during that talk. The system is so labyrinthine in it's complexity, especially when you think on Alchemy and it's connections; there are endless tunnels and the like to go down. Finding a clear path to understanding is difficult without this sort of guidance. It's not the knowing what to do-that's fairly straightforward. It's knowing what is happening while you do it, why you are doing it, and what signposts to look for to measure your own development against that is so difficult.

The interesting part for me is the seeming randomness of it-that one day, I waltz into class and hear exactly what I need to hear to clear away some of the mist, to bring things that were floating about my consciousness separately into connection. I thought I was there to be supportive of the Fra teaching it, and it turns out I had a great lesson to learn myself. The hidden mass of Oral Transmissions seem just as important as all of the ritual and meditation we learn; they shine light on the teachings in that certain way that results in "AHA!" moments. From what I understand the oral teachings are under the Rose, so I won't share them here. I will say that-if you are a member of our Order, or any Order-you'd better get yourself to class. Who knows what you'll be missing?

The Oral Transmission is the key advantage one has as a member of an Order- as opposed to a being solitary mage. Instead of stumbling about in the dark, there's a trail of crumbs laid out by Fraters and Sorors who have gone before, deep insight and understanding from folk you can trust have done the work.




  1. The unfortunate life of the solitary magus… Tell me about it…

    Ave Fra AIT

    In my case, staying solitary makes sense for the time being for a few reasons. Amongst them one very obvious one: I am not that close to any GD temple to join. Another reason is that I am not sure which order or group would suit me best. Now, combining that with the distance… I am sure that most of the orders have their value. I am just kind of distracted by all that politics. But I do in no way mistake that with the orders’ members and the value of their work or the value of any orders work as such. That is why I am – at least for the time being – working with the GD system, self initiating but without taking me overly important when it comes to “where do I stand” compared to regular members of one of the orders. I know what I know and also what I do not know (well most likely I do not know what I don’t know haha) and I also know that I will lack some links, understanding and knowledge which is only part of the oral transmission or revealed in Temple work. And, speaking of which, I will indeed miss Temple work, something I would love to experience. Having said that; I hope to be able to work within a group or order one day because I do feel that I am drawn towards that path. – Apart from that, I had similar experiences when having studied some topic for a long time, still having some links missing and suddenly someone comes up with these missing links just by stopping by for a few minutes. And what a feeling when the understanding really settles and you are all “Ahhhhhh”…

    In LVX

  2. Ave Fra Arcad,

    I know how you feel-I was a solitary mage for years before joining my order. The politics are stupid, I agree...although things are considerably calmed down from where they were even a year ago. Still, we musn't throw the baby out with the bathwater! I am by no means casting aspersions on the solitary path-it is a valid and honorable way to work; I just have to emphasize how much precious time is saved when you have someone else's shoulders to stand upon as you build.

    In LVX,



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