True Initiation vs. Dangerous Astral and Self Initiation Scams

Our order is a direct lineal descendent of the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, founded in Britain in 1888, and operates an extensive network of fully chartered and licenced Golden Dawn temples throughout North America and Europe. We offer True Golden Dawn Initiation with highly trained Hierophants and candidates each physically present in traditional Golden Dawn temples. We warn the public about dangerous Astral and Self Initiation scams recently invented by start-up Golden Dawn groups attempting to exploit people's desire for short cuts, falsely portrayed as legitimate alternatives to True Golden Dawn Initiation.

Since Aleister Crowley and Israel Regardie published the Golden Dawn's initiation rituals and parts of the Golden Dawn magical system, Golden Dawn teachings have had a huge impact on the entire esoteric community. This has been a mixed blessing, however. Many Golden Dawn temples closed because of it, but it has also aroused a great deal of public interest in Golden Dawn teachings and created a flood of newly started "Golden Dawn" groups based on this published material.

Thousands of people today already practice Golden Dawn magic on their own using Israel Regardie's books before joining the Golden Dawn looking for additional guidance, supervision, and training. People join the Golden Dawn looking for training in magic and expecting True Golden Dawn Initiation physically present in a traditional Golden Dawn temple.

Golden Dawn start-up groups could be of great service by making True Initiation available to more beginners than would otherwise be possible. Although these start-up groups don't have any Golden Dawn lineage or other real connection to the original Golden Dawn, they could nonetheless be helpful at least in properly initiating and training beginners, despite that Regardie's publications leave off at the relatively low, Adeptus Minor level.

Since individuals that have never been initiated nor properly trained themselves frequently lead start-up groups, however, it is important that they be taught and encouraged to maintain high, traditional standards. Our order therefore attempts to have a good relationship with Golden Dawn start-up groups, teaches them True Golden Dawn Initiation, and encourages them to provide new members immediate guidance, supervision, and training in classical Golden Dawn magic. As an incentive, we occasionally offer these start-up groups formal Golden Dawn affiliation with our order, and even the possibility of advanced training beyond published material.

A serious problem has arisen, however, because many local areas still remain without legitimate Golden Dawn temples, so a fair number of people seeking True Initiation have to travel to get to a legitimate Golden Dawn temple. Unfortunately, some start-up groups have tried to exploit people's desire for short cuts by inventing dangerous Astral and Self Initiation scams, falsely claiming that these are legitimate alternatives to True Golden Dawn Initiation but without the need to travel. This is a terrible deception, not only because it cheats people out of the full benefits of True Initiation, but also because it dangerously exposes them to destructive Astral forces and possession by low Astral entities. In fact, Astral Initiation has gotten such a bad reputation that some start-up groups have started calling this scam Long Distance Initiation instead.

Let there be no doubt about it. There are no short cuts and even True Initiation should not be undertaken lightly, as True Golden Dawn Initiation involves the ritual separation and reintegration of a candidate's physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects to give birth to a higher and more balanced spiritual form and awareness. Granted, there is always an Astral element in any genuine Golden Dawn initiation in the limited sense that the energetic or Astral body of the candidate is always ultimately impacted by the initiation. Initiation works on many levels and affects not merely the physical body of the candidate but also the Astral body. This does not mean, however, that the physical presence of the candidate with an initiating Hierophant is not necessary. On the contrary, there is an actual transmission of energies from the initiating Hierophant awakening magical forces in the Astral body of the candidate. Contrary to deception spread by certain start-up groups, this can only safely occur in the physical presence of the initiating Hierophant, and certainly not with a candidate sitting on the other end of the world!

Moreover, the Astral plane is not without its dangers. Golden Dawn and occult literature are filled with warnings of the dangers of the Astral plane for the unaware and for those who are not properly prepared. These dangers include not only self-deception, but also exposure to destructive Astral forces and possession by low Astral entities. Thus Astral Initiation is not only ineffective, but downright dangerous. The same may be said of Self Initiation, wherein the same danger of exposure to destructive Astral forces and of possession by low Astral entities exists, yet the dangers of self-deception and ego-inflation are even more pronounced.

The Golden Dawn's 0=0 Neophyte initiation, for example, is based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead wherein the heart of the aspirant is weighed against the weight of a feather and judged. During the Golden Dawn Neophyte initiation the constituent parts of the candidate's physical body, psyche, and soul are spiritually separated during the ritual and manifest located at certain visible and invisible stations of the Golden Dawn Temple. If all goes well and the initiation is successful, these parts are later reconstituted in a more balanced and higher spiritual form within the candidate.

True Initiation is fraught with danger even under the best of circumstances. At the most delicate point of the Golden Dawn's Neophyte Initiation, for example, when the candidate is most vulnerable, extremely destructive forces arise from the foot of the altar. These destructive forces in the Egyptian Book of the Dead are called Ammit, the devourer, and the candidate is in very real danger danger of being spiritually devoured! In the Golden Dawn, this conglomerate of destructive forces is called the Evil Triad, Ommoo-Szathan-Aphophis, the slayer of Osiris, the tempter, accuser and punisher of the brethren, that in Egypt is represented with the head of a Water-Dragon, the body of a Lion or Leopard, and the hind-parts of a Water-horse.

The Hierophant, at this crucial point in the ritual, intervenes on behalf of the candidate, subdues the destructive Astral forces and recoagulates the constituent parts of the candidate. When True Golden Dawn Initiation is successful, it reorganizes the constituent parts of the initiate into a more spiritually evolved and balanced form, liberated from the domination of the lower Astral forces, and gives birth to greater spiritual awareness for the initiate. Thus we see that both the physical presence and the skill of the Hierophant are essential to the success and safety of True Initiation.

With candidates physically present and protected within the safety of a legitimate Golden Dawn temple, highly trained and skilled Hierophants can safely overcome the dangers of True Initiation by subduing the destructive Astral forces symbolized by the Evil Triad, Ommoo-Szathan-Aphophis and successfuly complete the initiation. To deceive oneself that the same result can be achieved alone or with a candidate sitting in another city or on the other end of the world, however, is madness not only bound to fail, but actually inviting spiritual disaster. On the other hand, travelling to a legitimate Golden Dawn temple for the full benefits of True Initiation has since 1888 safely resulted in quantum leaps in spiritual growth for thousands of people!

This is why our order practices only True Initiation with highly trained and skilled Hierophants and candidates each physically present in fully chartered and licenced Golden Dawn temples. This is also why our order takes such an active role in alerting the public to the dangers of Astral and Self Initiation scams and works so hard to encourage start-up Golden Dawn groups to get the training they need for their Hierophants to safely and effectively initiate candidates using True Initiation.

Our order, the European headquartered, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, is a direct lineal descendent of the original Golden Dawn founded in Britain in 1888. We are the sole and exclusive owners of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn® trademark in the European Union (reg. 000063925) and additionally own the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn International® trademark in Canada (CIPO Reg. TMA510387). In the United States, we operate by legal agreement adopted by the United States District Court as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega.® We additionally own the R.R. et A.C. trademark of our Second Order, Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis® (CIPO Reg. TMA506051) and the Alpha et Omega trademark of our three order superstructure founded by S.L. Macgregor Mathers in 1906, Ordo Rosae Crucis, Alpha et Omega® (CIPO Reg. TMA508937).