TRUTH: Golden Dawn Lineage & You!
Looking around the Internet, there are a bewildering number of Golden Dawn orders that all appear more or less the same. In reality, there are vast differences between one Golden Dawn order and the other. The mission of our order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega, is to make Magicians. We are a traditional Golden Dawn order and teach traditional Golden Dawn Magick.
Sadly, this is not the case with many other Golden Dawn groups, many of whom have watered down traditional Golden Dawn teachings with New Age or even Mystical practices.
There is certainly nothing wrong with Mystical practices nor even Mystical Golden Dawn groups, if they would only be honest about it! But instead, Mystical Golden Dawn groups conceal what they actually teach. Sadly, such groups often try to trick you by pretending Mystical practices from foreign traditions are traditional Golden Dawn Magick. They are not. The traditional Golden Dawn is a Magickal spiritual path, not a Mystical one.
Mysticism it is a completely different spiritual path than Magick, one that actually uses a diametrically opposed methodology. The primary difference between Magick and Mysticism lies codified in the actual methods of practice, together with the Mystical or Magical inclinations of the practitioner.
The Mystical path refers to the capacity and will of the practitioner to place oneself in a passive position in relationship to eternal Being and the forces of nature, which the Practitioner begins to invoke and pray to, so they may manifest and enlighten one, thus spiritually uplifting and exalting the practitioner.
The Magical practitioner, on the other hand, does not place him or herself in a passive state towards natural and Divine forces, but rather in a positive state. Recognizing the Divine Spark inside oneself, the practitioner actively collaborates with Eternal Being rather than waiting for its manifestations.
In Mysticism, the practitioner expects Divinity to manifest itself, and to ascend the staircase that leads from below to on high aided by the Divine hand that takes us and leads us ever upwards.
Magic does not expect this, instead conquering the Inner Planes through one's own effort rather than through Divine aid. Thus, whereas the Mystical approach is one of submission, the Magician instead is a conquerer.
A perfect example of the Magical path may be found in the Mithraic Ritual deposited in Paris, which shows one such practice of divine Ascension of the Magical initiate. While rising towards Divinity to be received like a prodigal Son or Daughter, the practitioner greets the Gods as equals that gradually appear, not fearing them or subjugating oneself before them, but admonishing them and blandishing them with Magical words that open the gates of heaven.
Whereas Magick is based on knowledge, Mysticism is based on on ignorance in the literal sense of "ignoring" or "unknowing." In fact, one of the most important mystical texts in all of Christianity, The Cloud of Unknowing, speaks of making oneself obscure, humble and ignorant before the unmanifest - to remain there, in silence, gradually emptying oneself, while waiting for something or someone (God) to come and fill the void thus created.
Thus two completely different modalities become evident. Whereas the Mystic reflects the Divine light that is poured out upon him, the Magician generates this light, becoming an emitter himself.
The foremost exponent of the Mystical path in the Golden Dawn was Arthur Edward Waite, who completely suppressed Magick in favor of Christian Mysticism in his Fellowship of the Rosy Cross and its Inner Order, the Rosa Rossa et Aureae Crucis (Rectified Rite). Waite's Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, reconstructed in recent years and open only to Christians, today remains the most Mystical order in the Golden Dawn community.
S.L. Macgregor Mathers
The foremost exponent of traditional Golden Dawn Magick was our order's founder, the great Mage, S.L. MacGregor Mathers. Mathers understood that the Golden Dawn primarily as a Magical rather than a Mystical tradition. Over time the Magical spiritual path has become more and more pronounced in our order, Mathers' Alpha Omega. It is unsurprising therefore that the A.O. today remains the most Magical order in the Golden Dawn community. We are, for example, the only Golden Dawn order that teaches Magick from day one. All other G.D. orders make you wait several years for they will give you any real Magickal training.
It should therefore go without saying that, unlike many other Golden Dawn orders - in the Alpha Omega - we do NOT make Mystics.
We make Magicians!
There is also nothing wrong with New Age teachings nor even New Age Golden Dawn orders, if they would only be honest about it as well. But instead, they often try to trick you with deceptive marketing slogans, like calling themselves things like "Guardians of the True Golden Dawn Mysteries"...
...while in the same breath throwing fundamental, traditional Golden Dawn teachings and practices right out the window! - Even things as important as real, traditional Golden Dawn initiation physically present in real Golden Dawn temples.
In place of such traditional Golden Dawn practices, New Age G.D. promoters try to sell you dubious, New Age subsitutes like “Astral" (long distance) or “Self” initiation.
And of course - those masters of illusion try to bamboozle you with claims that are these are actually traditional Golden Dawn practices!
For example, one New Age Golden Dawn promoter claims that Golden Dawn founder, S.L. MacGregor Mathers invented both "Astral Initiation" and the "Law of Attraction." There is, of course, no evidence whatsoever to back up such absurd claims. If any real evidence existed at all, New Age Golden Dawn advocates would have published it long ago.
Such claims can be amusing such as claiming that the Emerald Tablet of Hermes was invented in Atlantis, but in the case of Astral Initiation, it is designed to target your wallet. When a group is willing to fabricate false teachings to get your money, it begs the question the integrity of their "oral traditions.
Traditional, physical Golden Dawn initiation is one of the most powerful tools for spiritual development of the entire Golden Dawn system. The bad news is that - unfortunately for people living in remote areas, there simply is no short cut nor satisfactory substitute for travelling to a real temple.
But - if you really want to believe those guys can make you a "full Golden Dawn initiate" - from the comfort of your own living room - while you lay on your couch on the other end of the world...
...New Age Golden Dawn promoters will be more than happy to take your money!
One function of lineage is to protect you - to give you a means of assurance that what you will find in a Golden Dawn order is actually what you would expect from the Golden Dawn tradition. In today’s confusing and misleading internet environment filled with New Age and Mystical Golden Dawn orders, Hermetic, Rosicrucian, and Golden Dawn lineages serve to guarantee you quality and traditional Magickal training.
But this is not the most important aspect of lineage.
MORE TRUTH REVEALED: Here is what New Age and Mystical Golden Dawn order leaders are terrified you will learn:
True spiritual lineages convey with them a set of teachings, techniques, and spiritual energies that are not generally available to the public. Hermetic, Rosicrucian, and Golden Dawn spiritual lineages guarantee you access to unpublished aspects of these traditions that have been reserved exclusively for initiates for Millennia. This is certainly the case with our order - where traditional Golden Dawn, Hermetic and Rosicrucian initiatic lineages convey advanced Magickal and Alchemical practices for spiritual development New Age and Mystical orders can only dream of!
The reason why New Age Golden Dawn orders want you to believe that notions like "The Secret" and "Astral Initiation" are traditional Golden Dawn, is because - despite their hype - they have nothing to offer you other than well known, published material. This is frequently the same reason why Mystical Golden Dawn orders try to pass off Mystical practices as Magick and traditional Golden Dawn practices, which they are not. One order actually calls itself the "Magical Order of ..." yet they teach the Mysticism of St. John of the Cross!
Our order, the Alpha Omega, is a direct lineal descendent of the original H.O.G.D. (founded in Britain in 1888) and the lineages of our order are Hermetic and Rosicrucian in origin. Our Hermetic lineage arose in Egypt, was carried to Europe with the Greek and Roman empires, and has been passed down from Hermetic master to disciple for Millennia in an unbroken chain of initiates. These substantial Hermetic and Rosicrucian lineages were transmitted to our order by a secret Continental European order of Hermetic alchemists, referred to by Golden Dawn founder, S.L. MacGregor Mathers as the "Secret Chiefs" (Geheime Oberen), This is the true "source of origin" of all of the initiation rituals, teachings, and spiritual practices of all of the grades comprising all three orders set forth in the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
The Hermetic and Rosicrucian lineages of our First Order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) were received by famous Freemason, Kenneth MacKenzie, in 1850. The lineages of our Second Order, the Rosae Rubeae et Aurea Crucis (R.R. et A.C.), were received by S.L. MacGregor Mathers in 1891. The lineages of our Third Order, which complete the entire system, were received in Paris by David Griffin in 2002.
We additionally hold multiple lines of auxiliary lineage drom Golden Dawn derviative orders, which include but are not limited to R.W. Felkin's Stella Matutina, S.L. MacGregor Mather's Alpha et Omega, A.E. Waite's Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, G.W. MacGregor Reid's Ancient Druid Order, Madeline Montalban's Order of the Morning Star (Ordo Stella Matutina), and Countess Tamara Bourkoun's Order of the Pyramid and the Sphinx as transmitted by the great British Adept, Desmond Bourke, Countess Tamara Bourkoun, and Marquis Nicholas Tereschenko.
We also hold a vast array of supplemental Rosicrucian lineages and/or esoteric transmissions which include the Gold und Rosenkreutz Order (Fraternitas Aureae et Rosae Crucis), the Order of the Asiatic Brethren (Fratres Lucis), the Societas Rosicruciana of Backstrom, Les Frères Ainées de la Rose+Croix (F.A.R.+C., The Elder Brothers of the Rose+Cross), the Rose Croix d'Orient (Rose Cross of Egypt) and the Reaux Croix (Elus Cohen).
EVEN MORE TRUTH REVEALED: Contrary to false information recently published by New Age and Mystical Golden Dawn promoters, our order has never claimed any sort of Golden Dawn lineage through Israel Regardie. On the contrary, we have for nearly a decade warned the public about a hoax regarding "Regardie Initiatory Lineage." We have also published published theattached letter in whichIsrael Regardie clearly states that he has no real Golden Dawn lineage to begin with.
For more detailed, accurate information about the actual, spiritual lineages held by our order, their lines of transmission, and their true spiritual function and importance, please also read our in-depth article on the true importance of lineage in spiritual traditions.
Our order is the sole and exclusive owner of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn® trademark in the European Union (reg. 000063925). We 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.®