The Golden Dawn is evolving and there there is no right or wrong as it changes into what ever direction its teachers take it.
When we look at the Golden Dawn system there appears to be a big pile of papers. Indeed so called “bible” of the group “the Golden Dawn” is huge book. However the pile of papers is just the tip of an iceburg of material which has been generated by Golden Dawn people since 1888. All these documents offer the work of people at the time who were working through the system and some took the system into some interesting directions. It is fairly clear that for all the amount of paper that exists on the Golden Dawn system, the system is never meant to be finished, or its various pieces fit into a neat and complete system. Even its structure is not perfect. While the SM fixed a few problems (such as the terrible portal ritual and the missing 6=5 and 7=4 ritual) it missed others (such opening the barred paths of the portal grades).
Some people relish this challenge. They go through the system and overlay symbols and systems over that which is existing, creating new detailed paradigms which are intellectually satisfying. Others find this a curse. The holes in the system create anxiety and while they know they are there they insist that some documents as being “correct” and others “wrong.” They set a period in Golden Dawn history which in their head must be perfect and call anything else a “mistake.” There is another group of people who take the documents as a starting point for whatever goal is in their head. They take those parts of the system that work within that paradigm (yes I really used that word) and leave aside those things which don’t fit for now. I once asked one of her biographers why Dion Fortune never taught Enochian. She obviously knew about it but it never featured in her work within Inner Light. He said “her contacts never told her to include it.”
Golden Dawn is big enough to change
The Golden Dawn system is big enough and ugly enough to handle a wide range of approaches. Although it needs a certain amount of experience to run a group, it is adaptable to new thoughts and new ideas. M.O.A.A. for example adds more Ancient “pagan,” Magical and Inner approaches without getting rid of a whole lot of other material. I have seen other GD groups shape themselves around the more Thelemite ideas of their leaders, still others move to emphasis the Christian or Rosicrucian side of the Golden Dawn.
Sometimes this means that a Golden Dawngroup appears different to others. I felt that it was easier for me to say that M.O.A.A. was not Golden Dawn because it was healthier to build an egregore away from the modern system. However its rituals are distinctly GD as are a big chunk of its lessons. Sure we are a little more hands on and our approach to the Godforms is deliberately more literal than some would like, but it does not make it “wrong.” We use Enochian, but at the moment it is not something we develop – not because there is something wrong with it, but because I do not see it as the all-powerful jewel in the Golden Dawn crown and there are more interesting avenues to go down. That might change. M.O.A.A. is designed to encourage students develop different parts of the GD system which interest them and provide tools and research for others who are interested. It might be that Enochian will become a big deal for someone and help M.O.A.A develop the system past what I have already sketched out.
Of more interest to me at the moment is the development of the Second Order rituals and teaching materials. Once that is done, then perhaps I might look at fleshing out other systems. But my point is that a living, breathing magical system like the Golden Dawn is not fixed, nor can it be the work of one or two people, it is in a continual state of evolution. It is at the whim of those who live the system and get carried along with its tide.