So there I was the other day reading Fire and Ice by Stephen Flowers, about the rituals of the Fraternitas Saturni. Needless to say, all that sex and drugs was of interest to me purely for the purposes of research for a future novel *cough*. But one thing I did note was to do with the role of the head of the order. The Gradus Ordinis Templi Orientis Saturni, he was known, had a specific magical role – to bring through the Saturnian Demiurge around which the order was centered.
This got me thinking about the role of the Chief Adept in the Golden Dawn (RR & AC), specifically in the 5=6 ceremony – where he or she effectively plays the part of “Christian Rosenkreutz.” So despite the magic of the GD and FS being wildly different, the bloke in charge in each case is fulfilling a similar role – they are channelling the egregore of the order, as if it were a god-form.
Extrapolating from this, we can formulate a general rule about “How To Be Chief Adept Of Your Own Magical Order,” to wit: the Chief has to live the egregore. However I would go further than saying this means in a ritual context only – they really have to live the egregore in their everyday life. Perhaps this is the real teaching of the Adeptus Exemptus grade! (I wouldn’t know, I’m not privy to that information). So for example – the Golden Dawn, which is the one I am most familiar with. The Chief really ought to be the living personification of Christian Rosenkreutz, particularly with regard to spiritual and moral values. Moreover, the Chief must of necessity uphold every standard expected of the Order’s members. This is not just magical egregore work it is common sense: after all, if the Chief cannot live up to (e.g.) the Neophyte obligation, why should one expect the Neophytes to?
There is however a downside to this being a Chief / living the egregore type thang, and that is that if the putative Chief does not make a conscious effort to embody the spiritual & moral values of (e.g.) Christian Rosenkreutz, then the Order will nevertheless take on the egregore of the values that the Chief does embody – for good or ill. This is an awesome responsibility, and those that are not equal to the task really ought to be humble and not put themselves for Chiefship.