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There's a big'ole world of Magicians outside of our Current...

...who not only know what they are doing, but could probably teach us a thing or two. Who knew?

I say that with tongue in cheek, but there's a lot of truth to it. Of course there is! I worry that sometimes we don't do enough to encourage actual practical magic within the Golden Dawn. Frankly, the vast majority of my understanding of the practical work I earned through hard work and study of my own of the classics-Agrippa, Bardon, Levi, Crowley (yes, Crowley as well! Book 4 is what it is-a classic.)

Don't get me wrong-our ritual system is Powerful-Strong, as they say down South. I don't think it get's much better than the Z2 ritual outline, when it comes to practical applied magic. It's just incredibly time consuming and complicated. This worked well for me, as I made the transition from scholar/part time magician into Actual magician-the complication and cerebrality (I just made that word up...but you know what it means) involved in our system was necessary for me, because it kept my over-rational and Airy mind busy and out of the way. It drowned my thinking mind in symbols, so that I could at last put the demon of Materialistic Thinking aside and become Enflamed. As I've grown in the work, I need this complication less-I need less symbol surrounding me to get results.

The Eucharist ritual, for example, is beautifully worded.....and mind-numbingly, distractingly lengthy and boring. I find it almost offensive because it is so distracting and time-consuming. It gets the job done, but goodness-it reads like it was written by Waite (in all his wordy and pretentious glory). I've written and performed my own Eucharistic ritual that is heartfelt and takes at best a couple of minutes to do, and I make no apologies for using it.

I wonder how many aspiring magicians take a look at our rituals-with the endless layers of depth and meaning-and get lost in it. Do you remember the first time you saw Regardie's big book? God forbid that is your first exposure to magic-it looks ridiculously complicated and impossible to master in the dry black-and-white.

Is it any wonder the Golden Dawn has such a massive wash-out rate? What percentage make it through the Outer Grades into the ranks of the Adepti? If it's anywhere near as low as I suspect, it's shameful.

Why can't we begin, in our lower grades, teaching the basics of practical magic? Instead of ritual batteries, why not the study of telesmata and simple ways to charge them? Why not a period studying practical Geomantic Magic, and not just divination? I personally think that Geomantic Magic should make up the Neophyte grade of the Golden Dawn, period. Geomantic magic could teach the student about making telesmata, astrological timing, divination-all in one package that meshes together simply. Throw in the Rose Cross ritual for protecting the young aspiring Adept, and we're good. Just my opinion.

We talk all of the time about building a solid foundation-and we do exactly that, using the Rituals Pentagram and Hexagram to develop the sphere of the Aspiring Adept. That's all well and good, but being a Magician is about more than simply having a balanced energy body. An aspirant has to learn to live and think as a Magician, minding the tides, sensitive to the movement of the spheres,communicating with the Spirits. Especially communicating with the Spirits. That only comes from Thaumaturgy.

Speaking of wise magicians outside of the GD-check out . Fra. Rufus Opus' blog. Chock full of useful practical info, witty insight-he's been blogging for years, it seems, and I've been missing out. Reading through the backlogs and enjoying them.

I think we would do well to incorporate more of the classical magic techniques in our training of neophyte magicians-our standard structure is part of our heritage, and a wonderful heritage, but not it's entirety. there is nothing wrong with simple, useful magic. Why not teach the easy stuff first, and give the new folk something conceptually straight forward to sink their teeth into? We all have limited time-I think folk are more likely to stick around and work through the system if the transition from practicing magic to being magician happens earlier and more reliably. Teaching useful thaumaturgy early on would meet that goal.




  1. I have decided for various reasons to join the HOGD/AO. Not that I am unfamiliar with practical magick, but where would you direct a Neophyte to studies of Geomantic magick and other practical, useful Thaumaturgy as extracurricular work?

    I would like to be exploring and using more practical magick while I continue to dredge through pentagrtam and hexagram rituals (Which I've already been doing solidly for a while now...)

  2. Well then, Frater-welcome to the Order! I'm honored you've chosen us, and glad to hear you're already pounding through the curriculum.

    When it comes to Geomantic Studies, there are only two books you need-John Michael Greer's "The Art and Practice of Geomancy", and Henry Cornelius Agrippa's "Three Occult Books of Philosophy." The former is absolutely indispensable to every magician who aspires to become a Geomancer. JMG's book presents Geomancy as a full system of magic, capable of standing on it's own. I wanted to kiss him on the mouth after I read and worked through it-before, Geomancy was more like a relic than a magical art (to me, anyway). After, I found that Geomancy could serve most of my mundane magical needs-it's that good. Get that Book!
    You should own Agrippa anyway-his "Three Occult Books of Philosophy", along with the Egyptian Papyri, is the sourcebook for most of Western Magic. In it you'll find instructions on Geomancy, The Kamea, Astrological timing, telesmata....etc.

  3. Thanks for the welcome! You're quite a spirited person with a good attitude and I look up to you already.

    Cool -- already have the Three Books (per RO's instruction earlier.. NOT that I've read it in full!!), and have used various aspects of it in my magick -- and I have heard of the other and will definitely acquire it. Thanks much for your help, Fr. A.I.T. -- looking forward to our continued correspondence.

    -Fr. Resurgere

  4. As am I, Fra Resurgere, and you are very welcome. Let me know what you think of Greer's book after you've spent some time with it.


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