Our Golden Dawn Curriculum
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.
Our order, the European headquartered, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, founded in Britain in 1888, is vastly different from the host of Regardie-based "Golden Dawn" start-up groups crowding the Internet today. Most importantly, whereas, most Regardie-based start-up groups "dead end" with well known, published material, our order teaches and initiates in the entire "three order" system envisioned for the Golden Dawn since its inception in 1888, from humble Neophyte all the way through exalted Magus and beyond! Our order offers supervised training in ritual magic and Hermetic alchemy at a distance to students around the globe through our on-line school as well as True Golden Dawn Initiation with highly trained and skilled Hierophants and candidates each physically present in fully chartered and licenced Golden Dawn temples.
Our First or Outer Order is the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. (H.O.G.D.). Our Second Order is the Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis® (R.R. et A.C.). The name of our Third Order is a carefully guarded secret. In 1906, S.L. MacGregor Mathers gave our order a name for its entire three order system, by which it remains known until today: the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega® (commonly referred to as the Alpha et Omega or A.O.).
In order to distinguish ourselves from the start-up groups engendered by Regardie's and Crowley's publications that dead end where the published material leaves off, our order decided in 1999 to completely reform our Second Order, the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (R.R. et A.C.), and move all material that had been profaned by publication to our outer order, the (H.O.G.D.). As a result, where the Regardie-based Golden Dawn groups leave off, our Second Order, the R.R. et A.C., just begins with traditional but more advanced magical and alchemical practice and studies. The so-called "Second Orders" of the Regardie-based start-up groups, on the other hand, are mostly empty shells containing little or nothing beyond well-known, published material.
Another important distinction is that our beginning students immediately begin to study and practice ritual magic upon entering our order. The Regardie-based groups, on the other hand, make students wait for years just to practice ritual magic, merely to disguise that they have nothing to offer their students beyond well-known, published material available in any esoteric bookstore.
The distinction between our order and the start-up groups does not end at the Second Order level. The Golden Dawn was originally conceived in 1888 as merely the beginning of a complete three order system, comprising grades form Neophyte (0=0) through Ipsissisimus (10=1) with the R.R. et A.C. as the Golden Dawn's Second Order. Golden Dawn co-founder, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, received the material to create the R.R. et A.C. from the "Secret Chiefs," that is from the secret Continental European mystery school that created the Golden Dawn and with whom he reestablished contact in Paris in 1891.
From these same "Secret Chiefs" Mathers also received certain advanced teachings, notably certain techniques of "Hermetic Inner Alchemy" and "Alchemical Magic," which were intended for eventual inclusion in the Golden Dawn's projected Third Order. Unfortunately, Mathers passed away before he mastered these techniques well enough to manifest the Golden Dawn's planned Third Order. Mathers nonetheless did communicate some of the more advanced teachings to certain students, like J.W. Brodie Innes.
The techniques of Hermetic "Inner" Alchemy comprise the highest wisdom and represent the capstone on the pyramid of the Western esoteric tradition. This alchemical practice uses the subtle fires of the body, including love and sexuality, to transmute the "lead" of the physical body (or "Prima Materia") into the "gold" of a solar body, into which the Adept projects his or her consciousness at the moment of death, thus becoming consciously immortal.
In 2002, leaders of our order were invited to meet with representatives of S.L. MacGregor Mathers' "Secret Chiefs" in Paris once again. At this meeting, we were given everything for the Third Order that had been envisioned for the Golden Dawn since its inception in 1888. These materials include the initiation rituals for the Golden Dawn system's three highest grades (called "Magisteria"); Magister Templi (8-3), Magus (9=2) and Ipsissimus (10=1). Unlike the higher grades of R.W. Felkin's "Stella Matutina" or of A.E. Waite's "Fellowship of the Rosy Cross" these grades are not merely nominal or titular, but come with substantial, extremely advanced teachings. The order was given, for the curriculum of these higher grades, a vast esoteric corpus including not only the elementary sexual practices from Hermetic Inner Alchemy and Alchemical Magic given to Mathers by the "Secret Chiefs" for the first Magisterium of Magister Templi, but the continuation and culmination of these teachings for the second and third Magisteria of Magus and Ipsissimus as well.
Unlike the newly created American groups calling themselves "Golden Dawn," yet having no legitimate connection with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn founded in Great Britain in 1888, our order is a direct lineal descendent of the original H.O.G.D. and the sole and exclusive owner of the Hermetic Order of the Golden DawnÂ® 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 United States District Court as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega.Â® We hold primary Golden Dawn lineage deriving directly from the secret Continental European order of Hermetic alchemists, commonly referred to as the "Secret Chiefs" (Geheime Oberen), who are the "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. These lineages were transmitted through Kenneth MacKenzie in 1850 (for the H.O.G.D., our First Order), S.L. MacGregor Mathers in 1891 (for the R.R. et A.C., our Second Order), and through Jean-Pascal Ruggiu and David Griffin in 2002 (for our Third Order). We hold auxiliary lineages that include R.W. Felkin's Stella Matutina, S.L. MacGregor Mathers' 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 Desmond Bourke, Countess Tamara Bourkoun, and Marquis Nicholas Tereschenko. We additionally hold a vast array of supplementary Rosicrucian lineages and/or esoteric transmissions that 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 the Orient) and the Reaux Croix (Elus Cohen)