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Benefits Of The Gd?


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#1 Tb777

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:29 PM

Hey all! So I'm curious what the benefits of joining the G.D. are over remaining a solitary practitioner? I ask because I've had a lot of success through self study but a friend of mine has been pitching the idea of joining the G.D. chapter he is a part of and its enticing because he seems to love it and it seems he is gaining from it. I was just curious if anyone could tell me from experience if it's really worth it or are the "secrets" just a sales pitch?

Thank you!

#2 Imperial Arts

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 11:06 PM

I like to use a simple mnemonic to evaluate bad occult teachings/groups: F.A.K.E.

F is for Fees. People who charge money need to be given an extreme level of scrutiny, given the widespread abuse of people willing to pay.

A is for Authorization. Being told that you can't do something or learn something because another guy has total control over who does what is not a way to advance.

K is for Kisses. Closed door groups are prone to sexual shenanigans. Remember those people who died of suffocation in the AZ sweat lodge just so the leader could fondle the other participants in the dark? Don't be those people.

E is for Excuses. If the group plans to open a portal to Hell in the middle of Nevada, and no such portal opens, start getting suspicious when the leader claims it happened and you missed it.

I think the GD hits all those marks. Beware anyone professing to sell secrets.


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#3 Tb777

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 11:11 PM

I love that!

#4 starfox

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 11:13 PM

View PostImperial Arts, on 15 November 2017 - 11:06 PM, said:

K is for Kisses. Closed door groups are prone to sexual shenanigans. Remember those people who died of suffocation in the AZ sweat lodge just so the leader could fondle the other participants in the dark? Don't be those people.

lol i love your posts. theyre humorous and relatable yet informative.
i asked the shop owner of the local occult store about any groups in the area and i mentioned one in particular (not GD per se), he warned me: "a young guy looking like you. theyre mostly old men, id think twice about them". i had never considered sexy stuff like that being prevalent in occult groups till then and reading what K stands for reminds me of this lol

Edited by starfox, 15 November 2017 - 11:24 PM.


#5 Curious Cat

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 02:32 AM

It is my understanding that all of the formerly secrets of the GD have been published.

I really like IA's acronym. It is a wise view of groups in my opinion.

It might be worth it to join if you are interested in working with a group. It depends on how much it costs and also on whether or not ex-members have had terrible experiences with the group.

Personally, unless you are able to learn and do what you like, I would steer clear. Especially since you say you have had good results on your own.

#6 violetstar

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 11:35 AM

View PostCurious Cat, on 16 November 2017 - 02:32 AM, said:

It is my understanding that all of the formerly secrets of the GD have been published.
That is incorrect.The sole holder of all the original Golden Dawn material is R.A.Gilbert in Bristol England.The collection contains unpublished information that will likely never see the light of day.

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#7 Spida

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 12:06 PM

View PostCurious Cat, on 16 November 2017 - 02:32 AM, said:

It is my understanding that all of the formerly secrets of the GD have been published.

The difference is between saying 'all' or 'some', the use of 'incorrect' is a bit harsh. Crowley was a Member and is said to have revealed secrets. Perhaps the correspondences found in Liber 777 would be an example of this, although he probably changed/added content to suit himself.

I know Fortune, who was also a member after Crowley. Hinted around quite a bit in TMQ that she was in fact also revealing secrets of TGD, and appeared wary of this fact.

No need to spilt hairs over precise statements. To agree or not to agree? I'm with CC :-)

#8 wren

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 01:32 PM

It was Israel Regardie's The Golden Dawn that was the big tell-all.

He explicitly released everything he knew because of the decline in popularity of G.D. groups following the rise of the O.T.O. and internal schisms.

#9 violetstar

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 02:48 PM

View PostSpida, on 16 November 2017 - 12:06 PM, said:

The difference is between saying 'all' or 'some', the use of 'incorrect' is a bit harsh. Crowley was a Member and is said to have revealed secrets. Perhaps the correspondences found in Liber 777 would be an example of this, although he probably changed/added content to suit himself.

I know Fortune, who was also a member after Crowley. Hinted around quite a bit in TMQ that she was in fact also revealing secrets of TGD, and appeared wary of this fact.

No need to spilt hairs over precise statements. To agree or not to agree? I'm with CC :-)
It was the understanding of CC that was incorrect.It was nothing to do with 'splitting hairs' and I am sure CC will appreciate the updated information so please stop attempting to antagonise and inflame.
Fortune and Crowley plagiarised the GD material.Fact. Here is Rob Gilbert :

THE G.D. OPEN LETTER FROM R.A. GILBERT

[indent]To Whom It May Concern:

It has been brought to my attention that there is currently much controversy over the Golden Dawn being posted on the Internet. From what I have seen of it there is fiction and vitriol in approximately equal amounts, but precious little fact. Does no-one using the Internet possess any real knowledge of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn?

I ought first to post my own credentials. I work with the Kabbalah, but within the Rosicrucian mystical tradition as opposed to the strictly magical tradition, and I am not a practicing magician within the Golden Dawn or any other magical system. That said, I bow to no-one over matters concerning the history of the Order, about which more nonsense has been written by would-be practitioners of the Golden Dawn system than about almost anything else in the hermetic field. It is my privilege to be the librarian for two esoteric societies whose early members were closely linked with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and thus to be the custodian of many of the earliest documents of the Order from the time of its foundation in 1888 by William Wynn Westcott, with W.R. Woodman and S.L. Mathers as his Co-Chiefs.

In addition I have unrestricted access to the 'Private Collection' utilized by the late Ellic Howe in his researches on the Order, and thus to the original Cipher Manuscripts and to the 'Anna Sprengel' letters. I may say that when I comment on any of these documents I speak with an authority that is denied to ANYONE ELSE WHOMSOEVER. But I do not take a proprietary attitude; as a custodian of these archives it is my duty to ensure that they are made available to all true followers of the Western Mystery Tradition. Thus, for the sake of preserving and propagating this tradition, in both its theoretical and its practical and ritual expression, I am happy to provide copies of ANY of the historical and administrative documents relating to the origins and early years of the Golden Dawn to any genuine inquirer.

That these documents are made available is the more necessary given the current farrago of nonsense arising from the absurd claims of Mr. David Griffin, as printed in his 'Manifesto' that appeared in GNOSIS (Fall 1995 issue). If this 'Manifesto' is to be believed Mr. Griffin looks upon himself as the true heir of the Rosicrucians of the 17th century, and sees the titles 'Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn' and 'Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis' as in some sense being trademarks of his own organization. This is utter nonsense.

The original Order ceased to exist in 1903, when it split into several factions, and the only persons even remotely entitled to claim exclusive use of the First and Second Order names would be the legal heirs and assigns of the Chiefs at the time of the split. Not one of the current crop of would-be Chiefs is in that position and their only justification for using the name of the Golden Dawn at all is that they practice a system of initiatory and magical rituals similar to, or derived from, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn as it worked between 1888 and 1903. They cannot claim any kind of 'apostolic succession', for if they derive from Regardie then they should bear in mind that he had been a member of the Hermes Temple of the Stella Matutina, but was never a Chief of that Order, while any descent from Felkin's Whare Ra Temple in New Zealand is scarcely less tenuous given the extensive revision of the rituals used.

Mr. Griffin's 'succession' is supposedly from Regardie, which vitiates his claim to possess 'the unpublished Initiation Rituals for each grade of the Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis', for Regardie had no rituals beyond those of the Adeptus Minor Grade until he received from me the Adeptus Major ritual of the Independent and Rectified Rite of the Golden Dawn (NOT, as he mistakenly states, of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross) and published it in The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic.

Whatever authority Regardie had to work the rituals of grades above that of Adeptus Minor, and to advance initiates to such grades, he must necessarily have arrogated to himself for there was no-one then living who was duly qualified to give him such authority. All other would-be Chiefs of putative Temples of latter-day versions of the Golden Dawn are in similar position: they have no other authority save their own.

This, of course, is of little consequence, for the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was merely a human invention, manufactured and ruled by men: men possessed of an unrivaled talent for expressing the essence of the Western Mystery Tradition in symbolic and ritual form, but nonetheless MEN. They were not super-human Secret Chiefs, nor even German lady adepts, for Anna Sprengel (Soror Sapiens Dominabitur Astris) was no more than a figment of Westcott's imagination.

I have labored these points in order to emphasize that any claim to exclusive rights over the name and working of the Hermetic Order of the Golden dawn, or of the Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis, is a nonsense. It would be impossible to copyright any of the names and titles associated with the Golden Dawn in the United Kingdom as they have all been in the public domain for many years, and if any such action is undertaken in the United States of America, then it ought to be done solely in order to keep them out of partisan hands by granting
their general public use.

Nor is there any historical basis for claims of exclusivity, and the only justification for using the name of either Order is that the person or persons concerned should have founded or perpetuated an Order that remains true to the ethos and working of the original Golden Dawn. In this sense both Mr. Zalewski and Mr. Cicero are genuine practitioners of the Golden Dawn system - as can be seen from their published work and from the evidence of their colleagues.

I have stated that I am willing to make historical and administrative documents available to genuine inquirers, but I should add that copies of ritual and expository texts must necessarily be restricted to those who can demonstrate that they have both a moral and spiritual right to access. With which frustrating statement I take my leave.

Sub umbra alarum tuarum, Yeheshua
Robert A. Gilbert,
Fra. I.D.V.A.[/indent]

Edited by violetstar, 16 November 2017 - 03:10 PM.

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#10 violetstar

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 03:20 PM

For those with a genuine interest in the Golden Dawn history:

https://archive.org/...OfAMagicalOrder

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#11 Spida

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 03:53 PM

View Postvioletstar, on 16 November 2017 - 02:48 PM, said:

It was the understanding of CC that was incorrect.It was nothing to do with 'splitting hairs' and I am sure CC will appreciate the updated information so please stop attempting to antagonise and inflame.

The final thing that I will add here is that stating that someone is 'incorrect', and furthermore, that their 'understanding' is incorrect could also be considered inflammatory and antagonizing. I can empathize with this.

What an individual actually understands and what they convey as their 'understanding' are not the same thing, as you cannot intimately know the thought processes of another. Written works may contain instances of miscommunication that are not indicative of the Writer's 'understanding'.

Anyway, the more polite approach would be to simply provide an elaboration where an implicit correction is given, in lieu of a more direct insensitive approach. In my opinion. :-)

#12 violetstar

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 04:05 PM

Your own understanding of discussions is entirely non-academic.You mistake correcting mis-information for some kind of impoliteness.

"What an individual actually understands and what they convey as their 'understanding' are not the same thing" sounds gibberish

Fact remains I have corrected and elaborated upon the subject matter presented.

Edited by violetstar, 16 November 2017 - 05:16 PM.

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#13 violetstar

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 04:23 PM

View Postwren, on 16 November 2017 - 01:32 PM, said:

It was Israel Regardie's The Golden Dawn that was the big tell-all.

He explicitly released everything he knew because of the decline in popularity of G.D. groups following the rise of the O.T.O. and internal schisms.
I hope Rob Gilberts letter above helps clarify the situation regarding Regardie and the GD.I had in fact already known much of this as I had met his son who ran an Occult Bookshop owned by his father and from whom I gained further knowledge of the Occult scene of the 60s and 70s.

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#14 Imperial Arts

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 04:39 PM

"The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic" is vastly superior to "The Golden Dawn" for several reasons, if you want to know which Regardie brick to purchase.

What I get from the RA Gilbert letter:

The Golden Dawn only lasted five years, plus a few more for the spinoffs. It was always just a skeletal set of documents plus the refined copies issued to members. As such, anything that wasn't distributed as curriculum can be called a "secret." I think this is an incorrect term.

A secret is something that is incorporated into the work that isn't discussed in public. If it's so secret that nobody knows, it's not really a secret in the same sense. People want the operational secrets when they look for that kind of thing, not necessarily things that were never fleshed out well enough to make it into the Flying Rolls.

As far as I know, the true inner secret of the Golden Dawn was that Mathers was conspiring against Britain in favor of the Spanish, with the intent to destroy the governments of Europe and replace them with a new ideology of his design. He got some famous people on his team, but they were decidedly against the plan, and they dismantled the order just as it was beginning. Yeats and Florence Farr had as much to do with the end of the GD as Crowley. But that is all gossip really and has no impact on magical teachings of the order.

I can assure you that the magicians of the Golden Dawn or ANY other magic group are no better off in terms of their magical capabilities than anyone else. Groups offer certain resources, bit secret doctrines that somehow make the magic work better than usual are not among them. How can I be so sure? Because I know people. Lots of people, and they talk. Other people here who know a wide selection of occultists can attest to the same... we all know people who joined those groups, and some of us know the grand poobahs, but we know those folks aren't getting anything unavailable to the rest of us in terms of magical education.

Edited by Imperial Arts, 16 November 2017 - 04:41 PM.

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#15 violetstar

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 04:54 PM

As Rob says Whatever authority Regardie had to work the rituals of grades above that of Adeptus Minor, and to advance initiates to such grades, he must necessarily have arrogated to himself for there was no-one then living who was duly qualified to give him such authority..

Rob has un-published material that may shed light on a number of issues within the early GD.What these documents reveal is anybody's guess but without access to the collection all thoughts will be conjectural.

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#16 wren

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 05:31 PM

View Postvioletstar, on 16 November 2017 - 04:23 PM, said:


I hope Rob Gilberts letter above helps clarify the situation regarding Regardie and the GD.I had in fact already known much of this as I had met his son who ran an Occult Bookshop owned by his father and from whom I gained further knowledge of the Occult scene of the 60s and 70s.

I was using "tell-all" to refer to gossip rag "exposeƩ" journalism. It was hyperbole. I do think Regardie probably got enough to construct an Outer Order, and that that was enough. From what I have heard, the inner order Enochian stuff is super klodgey and would probably be best revised entirely.

That's not really my concern though, since G.D. groups tend to implode, making me question their usefulness.

I just wanted to point Spida at Regardie instead of Crowley and Fortune.

#17 violetstar

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 05:45 PM

Yes I was just pointing out similar.Crowley distorted GD teachings through a Thelemic lens.There was a GD Temple in Gilberts home town but I doubt he was part of that especially as they apparently used mutilated Stella Matutina (Order of Morning Star)rituals,

More so when Regardie released the documents of the Golden Dawn to the general public for the first time, it was not the teachings of the original order, but those of the Stella Matutina that he revealed.

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#18 Imperial Arts

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 06:41 PM

Probably off topic for this thread, but I would like to remark on some of the main differences between the Regardie version of the Outer Court (GD) and the Crowley version.

The Golden Dawn tried to incorporate symbolism from essentially dead cultures: Egypt, Assyria, Enochian, medieval Talmudism, etc. I don't think they did a very thorough job of it. None of the foreign elements have much depth, beyond what late 19th Century England could produce on its own. Give me Coleridge keep the Hegemon lecture, the Golden Dawn failed to extract anything grand for all the pseduarchaeology that goes into their rituals and diagrams.

Crowlwy had a fair bit of Egyptomania but his system of training was much stronger and more comprehensive for one simple fact: he incorporated Eastern thought into his system. He took the time to actually go to Sri Lanka and Mongolia and learn what those people think and began to use it as the mortar for Western systems that had fallen into disrepair. Much of what is admirable and useful in Crowley's system can be found in basic books of Hindu catechism.

A few of the Knowledge Lectures detail mental exercises. None come anywhere close to the systematic and disciplined approach of Crowley's AA, which as an organization is just as ficticious as the Golden Dawn of the same time. Six or seven trippy socialites hanging on the Beast's every word is a cult, not an Order, but it still managed to promote ideas that make the Golden Dawn look like a kiddie pool.


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#19 violetstar

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:47 PM

Another very influential figure in the GD was Anna Kingsford.Like Fortune she was a Christian mystic but one who attempted to murder people by magic and it was her interpretation of the mechanics of magic that possibly shaped ideas within the Order.
Her main targets were scientists of the day-including Louis Pasteur..But thats veering off topic.

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#20 Spida

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 06:59 PM

View Postwren, on 16 November 2017 - 05:31 PM, said:

I was using "tell-all" to refer to gossip rag "exposeƩ" journalism. It was hyperbole. I do think Regardie probably got enough to construct an Outer Order, and that that was enough. From what I have heard, the inner order Enochian stuff is super klodgey and would probably be best revised entirely.

That's not really my concern though, since G.D. groups tend to implode, making me question their usefulness.

I just wanted to point Spida at Regardie instead of Crowley and Fortune.

Thanks Wren,

I do recognize Regardie as a major influence. I just haven't got to him yet. I am a little slow on the reading, it tends to take a back seat to everything else, and I am in the habit of looking up specific information as needed, lately.

Right now it's Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine. I print out interesting/relevant parts now and then to keep around the house for reading. Given the size of the work, and my pace it could be a while though, but it's very good.





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