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Innovation and the Golden Dawn


I've been reading with interest the Golden Dawn forum of GH Fra Zalewski (don't know his motto, and Google isn't giving up the goods.) If one can stomach all the bickering and bullshit, there are some thought-provoking things going on in the community.

It seems that groups who don't have Third Order contacts are developing their own material...not even necessarily basing their material on older papers, but applying their own understanding of Magic and Alchemy to the structure and culture of the Order to create new methods and vehicles.

This is awesome. Variety=Growth, man.

There have been only two ways to move the GD toward completeness, and one is to have contacts with the Third Order, which is, I understand, a group of Adepts who've kept the fire of the Hermetic tradition lit in a continuous link since back in ye olden days. This is the best if you can get it; there are some things in Alchemy you just are not going to learn if you don't have an Alchemical master to instruct you. This isn't an elitist thing, it's just the truth. Not because many of the secrets cannot be communicated through written material, but because there are fundamental components that have been held close that aren't necessarily encoded in the Emblems or even the written works. Things that have only been communicated mouth-to-ear. There are some things that require a particular kind of initiation to understand. We aren't the only ones for whom this is true; the Tibetan, Indian, and Chinese masters all understand this. "Transmission" refers to more than simply paper, it refers to an actual Transmission.

This doesn't mean you can't get a solid Alchemical practice going without this. What is out there now will get you there, if you do the Work. Do enough of the Work, and you can get what you need to complete the Great Work through invocation and communication with entities like Tzadqiel, who teaches the Royal Art. There are a number of different alchemies, and any number of different valid practices, some of which are completely public. There are simple alchemical methods that are public understanding that will get the job done if worked at diligently over one's lifetime. They may not be the best methods available, but they'll get you there. You don't need an engineering degree from MIT to be an engineer...

 A physical analogy would be the martial arts; you can learn to defend yourself without having all the hidden bunkai your Art has to offer. You won't have Mastery of that particular Art, though, the Keys to that particular tradition. You'll be strong, and you'll get the job done...but. You won't have gnosis of that Art's tradition, and that is something worth having, in my opinion.

The other method for moving the Golden Dawn forward is to go ahead and add to the Tradition with understanding gained from years of practice. Application of understanding to the culture of the tradition to develop it further. If you don't have contact with the Third Order, you must do this if you're to be part of a living tradition; you have no real choice. Either sit around and re-hash old shit or innovate. I'm pleased to see both of these options being exercised by my Fraters and Sorors of the Golden Dawn.

This Order is living and breathing.

It is growing.

In my own Order, GH Fra LES has received transmission of new occult systems and the keys to traditional Hermetic Internal Alchemy...this is awesome. Some of this stuff is mind-blowing, and incredibly rich. Powerful in application, from what I understand. We have a fully developed Second Order, with un-profaned content that has great potential to enrich the practices of the Magicians who work it. Awesome.

In other Orders, reading this forum, we find that the Order heads are working to complete their Second Orders and to develop content for a Third. No one is sitting still. No one is saying that what's in the old books is all there is, that what's in the original Order's papers is the only knowledge of worth for the Golden Dawn. Even though I believe the transmissions our Order has received would enrich them further, I'm glad to see these other branches of the Golden Dawn growing the tradition in their own way regardless of whether they take David's offer to learn the new transmissions from our Third.  

The tradition is being filled with innovation and new understanding right now, and this makes me ecstatic. We've lasted longer with our bickering and bullshit then any other modern Western occult movement. Not the largest of the lot, but there's quality in there. Good times.



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