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Emptying the cup of the lower self

The lower self or the indwelling personally is a part of the higher genius which has become lost in the plot of living. It surrounds itself with thinking which is useful for its existence but is useless for getting itself out of messes. 1384

Have you really been initiated into the Golden Dawn?

It seems a silly question, but there are lots of GD organisations out there which are carrying out initiations which cannot have had more than a psychological effect on candidates. 1. Were you present for the initiation? For a long time there was a scam where a group made you a distance member by conducting “an astral initiation.” It meant that a team of officers initiated your name on a list. There is absolutely no tradition of this in the GD and those who have been “astrally initiated” show no signs that such a ritual has taken place. 2. Did the initiation take place roped together with a group of other candidates? While the AO did this, it is not possible to

Godforms of the Golden Dawn review

Pat Zalewski’s books on the Golden Dawn are always worth getting and reading.  Lately, he has not written that many, preferring to focus on this correspondence course, so his new one is a rarity.  I was going to write a review of it, and Pat asked me to “let him have it” so here goes. Godforms of the Golden Dawn tradition is very much a Pat Zalewski book with similarities to his classic Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries.  When I read Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries (in the 90s)  his descriptions of the use of Godforms provided me with a link between the inner work which I was doing and the Golden Dawn. This book looks at Zalewski’s approach to Godforms which

The new Golden Dawn fundamentalist trend goes no where

In the last few years, a clique of fundamentalist occultists has emerged who claim that they are following the Original Golden Dawn system. They cut off all developments after Mathers was expelled. For those who don’t know, the central focus for this change means that the god-awful portal ritual in which the student is subjected to a boring lecture on diagrams and the Masonic style of giving the passwords and a funny handshake is superior to the longer more magical ritual which most people know about.  The original ritual can be seen in my Mathers Last Secret Book because the AO could not be bothered changing it themselves. So is there anything in the original Golden Dawn teachings that is better

Beyond the Sun is out

The rewrite of the history of Dr Felkin and Whare Ra, along with the 7=4 and 6=5 rituals is now out through Skylight Press, who also did my Magical Imagination book. For those who saw the now improbably rare first edition, the book is much larger.  It goes much more into the Whare Ra history from its beginning to closure.  it looks at its involvement with Anne Davies and Paul Case and looks the the reason for its demise. It also looks at the rituals and recounts some of the experiences of those who went through it and provides some of the teachings that they receieved.   It also deals with some of my own experiences meeting and working with Whare Ra people. Felkin


Within the Golden Dawn corpus, there is a slightly odd ritual called the lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram. It is performed after a lesser ritual of the pentagram by adepts and various reasons have been provided for its existence mostly centred on an apparent need to neutralise any planetary energy before beginning a working. Based on the drawing of two different triangles in different positions in the quarters it is the most used of a collection hexagrams. However, the root of the lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram might provide us with some clues as to its use and why it is an important daily practice for the modern magician. One of the founders of the Golden Dawn took the triangle

The Whare Ra warrior legend – Andrew Hamilton Russell

One of the most interesting Whare Ra members was Andrew Hamilton Russell (23 February 1868 – 29 November 1960) who is one of New Zealand’s great military heroes. Having served with the British army in India in August 1892, he got bored and returned to farming in Hawkes Bay. He helped form the Farmer’s Union and became involved conservative politics in NZ. In 1899 he raised a militia for the Boer War (the Wellington (East Coast) Mounted Rifles Regiment), although he did not go with them to South Africa. He was a lot more hands on in 1913 when he was the leader of a Massey's Cossacks which was a cavalry unit formed from famers who aggressively put down striking workers. His troops

Why whitewashing Crowley is a bad idea

Crowlyite followers are celebrating some anniversary of Aleister Crowley at the moment and there seems to be an effort to whitewash some of the Great Beast’s darker aspects. It is well known that Crowley was anti-Semitic, misogynistic, bully who tortured and exploited his students. However, there is now an attempt to paint him as a “man of his time” who was nevertheless attempting to push back the boundaries. This is the pop-culture Sergeant Pepper’s view of Crowley which has nothing to do with the real person, who would look with much contempt at those who see him as a counter-culture icon. One of the more obvious things that people have been doing is scouring what Crowley has written for “proof” that he was none

The Whare Ra Etheric Link ritual

Whare Ra differed from the other Golden Dawn groups because of a little ritual called the Etheric Link. The ritual was given out after the 7=4 and was supposed to provide a direct connection to the Rosicrucian current. The Link ritual was obtained by Robert Felkin from Rudolf Steiner when the latter was still a Rosicrucian. There are several theories as to where Steiner obtained the ritual, which are historically interesting, but not the subject of this article. I am more interested in what the Link does and what it represented at Whare Ra. Please note that these are my ideas, and are not official and are up for debate. The Golden Dawn writer Pat Zalewski once said that the Etheric Link

A magical order is about gaining independence

How long should you be in an esoteric order before you are capable of actually doing something useful? In a recent debate about the merits of one group I was surprised how many people were proud of the numbers of years they had studied within an organisation. However, at the same time they did not show any signs that they could act independently of it. A group is not supposed to be the beginning and end of a magician’s work. It is supposed to be training them to work independently, carry out their research and magical work. Sure, a substantial chunk of the early work is personality development, and this balancing work can be long and arduous but at the end the