THIS WEEK my book Mathers’ Last Secret hit the pre-order in Amazon and is likely to stir some controversy. For the first time, I reveal the real rituals of the Alpha et Omega along with the notes that a Hierophant followed. The rituals have not been seen before. They are from an extremely early AO period. They belong to the Berridge Temple and were written soon after the revolt.
Most of the AO material, that has come to us, is much later. It is often written by Mathers’ successors, and so this book gives the chance for those to see what the Great Man himself thought about the Golden Dawn system. The rituals were found in a cache which was preserved in a Witch Museum and belonged to VH Fr Nisi. Included in the cache were several diagrams, which had been drawn by Edward Berridge and included lettering, which had been missing from published works and other groups.
This is the second book in a trilogy of material I am writing on Mathers’ AO. The first “ King over the Water” looked at the history of the Early AO and the Nisi material. It was co-written with Melissa Seims and has been given to Thoth Publications. “Mathers Last Secret” looks at the rituals from a magical perspective and the third “Mathers’ Torch” will examine the work of Mathers’ successors. By a quirk of the publishing world, it looks like the sequel is out before the first one.
I have said that this book will upset people. This is partly because the rituals, like the rarely seen versions of the early Golden Dawn rites reveal something about Mathers and Westcott that many will not like. The founders of the Golden Dawn were not particularly good Golden Dawn magicans by later standards and that the system that we know and love comes to us from a system evolving into something better.
There has been a tendency to make Mathers, in particular, into a god of magic and the only sole source of a magical trend within the GD. In these rituals, we see that he allows short cuts, which disobey the Z documents and, in terms of magic, would make an initiation null and void. To any later user of the system, the only conclusion is that Mathers did not understand the technique that he had bought through.
Other people who will be offended by this book are those Chiefs who claim they are the reincarnation of Mathers and are performing the “only true and correct” AO rituals. These people will have some explaining to do to their members when Mathers’ Last Secrets reveal that they are actually using the cut down Regardie rituals and techniques.
Finally there will be a small number of people who claim to be the Guardians of the AO material. These are people who have collected photocopied documents and sat upon them distributing them piecemeal in return for status among fledgling GD groups. They will be disturbed that most of the material they are sitting on is post Mathers and does not reveal his will about the way that the GD should have proceeded.
The publication will probably revive the old argument against oath breaking and secrecy. Firstly, I should make it clear that I have never made an oath to any AO group. If I had, it would not have been the same oath that is contained in this book. Secondly, this material is publically available if you know where to look. Although NISI has never been seen, other AO materials are being distributed among the GD community. No doubt this distribution is carried out in return for favours, is being done by those who will claim I am breaking some oath in publishing this book. I have no doubt that it will be these that will have their followers write scathing reviews about the accuracy of the text (NISI had a large number of typos)
I would say that all this is a smokescreen for the real Elephantin the room. That is that the Golden Dawn under Mathers and Westcott was not the Magical Order that the Golden Dawn tradition has become and was not the Golden Age of magic. Those who have built their Orders on this premise will have problems explaining this to their memberships and will turn to attack the messenger.
It does not have to be this way. The AO rituals are just as valid as those of the Stella Matutina. While Mather’s guidelines would need to be junked, if you merge the rituals with the Z documents, perhaps add the realisations made by Whare Ra, or Pat Zalewski, you would have a very interesting magical system.
Mathers Last Secret allows AO groups to be formed along more accurate lines and flower into a better system. This protects students from the guesses of their teachers and frees them from the Secret Masters of photocopies.
Even if readers do not accept my magical interpretations of Mathers’ antics, they will at least have accurate copies of the rituals and notes to make their own conclusions. They will also have material and approaches that have not been published before.
The book has been printed and Amazon should be taking orders in a few days. You can apply to be notified when they have it.