Tag Archives: Nick Farrell
So there has been an article in the blogosphere on this subject by Nick Farrell already, but in my opinion, its description of what the GD owes to Freemasonry not go far enough. Here then is my own take on what concepts from Freemasonry have found their way into the Golden Dawn.
Each of the three degrees of Craft Masonry has its own “Lecture” which contains the traditional teaching of the degree. These are written as a Catechism i.e. question and answer format: the original intention being that they could be performed in Lodge as a ritual, if there was not any other degree work to be worked at any given meeting. Furthermore, before being advanced to a higher degree, each candidate was expected to learn the Degree Lecture, and undergo an examination in its contents before proceeding. Unlike the Golden Dawn, the examination was done in oral form in Lodge, in front of the other brethren.
The lectures of the degrees of Masonry can be found here.
Unfortunately, what has happened in modern Freemasonry is that the Degree Lectures are seldom printed with the ritual books, nor are they automatically given to each candidate after he has taken his degree. Furthermore, there is no volition on the part of the United Grand Lodge of England to oblige Lodges to do so. What is left of this traditional practice is that candidates are given a small set of questions to memorise, which in each case amounts to a mere fraction of the original Degree Lecture – without necessarily being made acquainted with the traditional teachings from which they are derived.
Thus, the inclusion of Knowledge Lectures in the Golden Dawn, far from being an Hermetic innovation, is actually an attempt by its founders to get back to the original essence of Freemasonry!
Spiritualisation of the Lodge Room Prior To The Ceremony
One Golden Dawn order used to require members to que[ue] up to enter the temple and give the handshake and whisper the password to the sentinel to get in – all forced, masonic and all un-necessary.
This is disingenuous on Farrell’s part to say the least, because he does not mention why the members were made to leave the Temple and wait outside in the first place.
I, myself, am aware of an order that did this – it was because the Hierophant was busy conducting an Inner Order Ritual to activate the god-forms of the Temple, in advance of the ceremony.
The details of this Inner Order Ritual are a confidential matter for that order, suffice to say that being an inner order ritual, it would have been inappropriate to perform it in front of members of the outer order. Now, think about this: you have a load of outer order members waiting to enter the sacred space of the temple. Do you make them enter in an appropriate manner, which forces them to think about this sacredness, and re-affirm their connection to the energies invoked at the most recent Equinox ceremony? Or do you just say “Right, in you come, you lot.” ?
But I digress.
The idea of spiritualising the ritual space in advance of the meeting is in fact an old Masonic tradition, and is still practiced in some Lodges in Scotland. The form this takes, however, does not consist of elaborate hermetic rituals, but more simply that the officer appointed to prepare the Lodge (the Tyler) offers prayer whilst doing so – specifically in the lighting of the lodge candles. The Tyler’s actions therefore are a form of Candle Magick to invoke Wisdom, Strength and Beauty into the Lodge room! One can therefore appreciate why the Golden Dawn might want to do this, but after a more Qabalistic fashion. I believe that some Lodges in England follow the Scottish practice or do something similar, or at least they did within living memory. Unfortunately, however, as with the Degree Lectures mentioned above, UGLE does not require individual lodges to do this, with the result that although it is traditional, it is not a common feature of modern Freemasonry.
In the context of discussing the grip, Nick says
Unlike the grade signs [the grip] has no inner use either because you don’t tend to shake hands with strange beings to test them…
I’m glad to learn that Grade Signs are a way to communicate with discarnate entities – as let’s face it, grade signs did not exist in the Grimoire Tradition. This means that the introduction of grade signs is a welcome innovation which the Golden Dawn made. Hmm, I wonder where the GD got that idea from…
People Who Only Turn Up For Their Degrees, Then Bugger off.
The sad fact is both Freemasonry and the Golden Dawn have had their portals darkened by people with entitlement issues. I’m talking about people who are willing to jump up the degree or grade ladder themselves, but lose interest when the focus of any given ceremony is not about them, but someone else. This is really contrary to the spirit of joining a magical order in the first place: the point of not being a Billy No-Mates self-initiate is that there is value in helping each other on the path of spiritual evolution, whether that be in the form of taking a formal office, or just by providing moral support to a fellow initiate.
The idea of clubbing together in a fraternal order to help one another is something the GD inherited from Freemasonry, but so too is the fact that there will be people who are unclubbable, who think “what’s in it for me?” Taken to the extreme, they depart as soon as they realise that the only real progression left open to them comes through service to others – again, a legacy from Freemasonry.
This by itself is unfortunate: but what becomes really irritating is that these same people then go on to think that they are now uniquely qualified to pass judgement on the order – whether it be Freemasonry or the Golden Dawn – when in fact they have the least experience of that which they profess to know.
A magician without a religion is … just an evil paedophile who wears a dress to cover their crimes.
As anyone who has spent too much time in a pub on a Friday night will know, there is nothing more divisive a topic of conversation as Religion – except perhaps Politics. This must be the main reason why discussions on topics of Religion and Politics are banned in all Masonic lodges – because the lodge is meant to be a place of tolerance for people of all faiths and leanings.
Nevertheless, the topic of Religion has raised its ugly head in the Golden Dawn blogosphere this week – just in time for Ishtar, I might add – so I thought I would shove in my two pennyworth.
I am not going to criticise directly what other bloggers have written about the subject. Instead I shall just point out something that no-one has yet considered. The writers of the original GD rituals were Rosicrucians – more specifically, they were members of the SRIA. In one of the rituals of the SRIA, there is the following quote:
[Alchemists] used the language of their physical work to communicate spiritual teaching which at that time had to be kept secret to avoid persecution by the official Church. And many medieval Alchemists whose writings are still extant appear to have been mainly, if not entirely, concerned with this spiritual aspect of the work.
This higher Alchemy can thus be regarded as almost identical with Religion as distinct from Theology. The function of Religion, like the great work of the Alchemist, is the “separation of the subtle from the gross,” the redemption of the spirit, while still dwelling in matter, from the taint inevitable on the lowest planes of manifestation.
Hence: when the Golden Dawn talks about “religion,” it is reasonable to suppose that what is meant is what Westcott, Mathers and Woodman – and their contemporaries -would have understood by the term, i.e. the pure concept of Religion liberated from dogmatic theology, or the true Internal Alchemy.
Just to be clear about this: the proper role of an Imperator in the Golden Dawn is to supervise the Ritual that takes place in the temple. The Z documents issued to Adepti describe the Imperator as akin to a “Director of Ceremonies,” although in practice the role is nothing like that of the DC in e.g. Masonic orders, where the DC is jumping up and about all round the temple. Instead, the Imperator just sits there looking stern (except for the adorations to the Lord of the Universe), and only gets a speaking role during the ceremony of the Equinox.
Some GD orders give the Imperator a more substantial astral-role to play: however the precise details of this are confidential, as it is one of the few unpublished teachings.
Nevertheless: when asked to act as Imperator in a temple recently, I decided to try and take the “Director of Ceremonies” side of the role seriously by doing things like arranging rehearsals, and finding solutions to common difficulties which arise in rituals, one of which I describe below:
What do you do when the room in which you conduct your rituals does not face true East? If one goes by Regardie’s Black Book and nothing else, one invariably ends up fudging the issue if one does not want engage in all sorts of callisthenics when trying to perform ritual in an oddly-shaped temple. HOWEVER: the original GD thought up a solution to this way back in 1888! It’s just that this one of a large number of original teachings which did not make it into Regardie’s opus.
Quite simply: the Temple is set up according to the natural layout of the room. Then, immediately before the formal opening of the ritual, the Hierophant goes round to Compass-East, stretches forth his sceptre, and prays:
Creator of the Universe, Lord of the Visible World, who hast by Thy Supreme Power set limits to its magnitude and conferred special attributes on its boundaries, we invoke Thee to grant that whatever Hidden and Mystic Virtue doth reside in the radiant East – the Dayspring of Light – the origin of Life – may in answer to this our prayer be this day conferred upon the Throne of the Hierophant of this Temple, who is the emblem of the Dawning of that Golden Light which shall illuminate the Path of the Unknown and shall guide us at length to the attainment of the Quintessence, the Stone of the Wise, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness.
and returns to his throne, which from this point on is taken as the Magical East for the rest of the ceremony.
Incidentally, this prayer is useful not just for a full temple meeting, but also for practising rituals at home.
After the break-up of the original GD, the Stella Matutina continued the use of this same prayer in their own rituals. Mathers, however, wrote a new version for use in the Alpha Et Omega (which Nick Farrell has now published in his book Mathers’ Last Secret):
Hidden forces of the Universe acting through Matter unto whom have been assigned according to your nature the Cardinal Divisions of Space. Invoke ye by the All Powerful Name of your Creation to seal in just orientation the Inner Limits of this Temple. Let the Throne of the Hierophant mark the radiant East, though its direction accord not therewith, and let the South, West and North send their secret currents towards the points established in their correspondence by our Rites.
“The Hermetic Tablet: Journal of Western Ritual Magic, Autumnal Equinox 2014” is a new journal just published, featuring contributions from the great and the good of the Western Mystery Tradition. It even includes a pair of articles by me in it!
My own contribution is entitled “Non Divinatory Uses of the Tarot” and is the transcript of a public talk I gave in Salford in March earlier this year. It also features a ritual I composed entitled “Meditation On The Sun” which I also demonstrated on the same occasion.
It is currently available in paperback or limited edition hardback from lulu.com. For more information, and to order your copy, click on the link below:
Back at the beginning of the year I posted my predictions for the Golden Dawn based on transits made with a rectified birth chart I had made for it.
Jupiter meanwhile, being square to the GD’s natal Uranus (exact on 25th December 2013 and 13th May 2014), indicates people feeling irritable and wanting to break free of past restrictions, and even causing rebellion.
Now in retrospect we have the following scandals occurring on or around 13th May 2014:
- GRIFFIN PURGES DEAD “BEST FRIEND” FROM WEB (13th May 2014)
- NICK FARRELL THROWS TOYS OUT OF PRAM AFTER SOMA SURRENDERS TO GRIFFIN SOCK (14th May 2014)
- GERMAN TEMPLE REVOLTS FROM DAVID GRIFFIN’S RULE (15th May 2014)
- DAVID GRIFFIN’S DUBLIN TEMPLE PROTECTS CHILD PORNOGRAPHY COLLECTOR (20th May 2014)
Just remember kids! I also predicted fun and games for June 2014 (Jupiter square natal Mars); August 2014 (Jupiter square Midheaven); and November 2014 (Saturn opposite natal Neptune). You have been warned!
First written some eighteen months ago when the Chrysi Augi ((literally: “Golden Dawn” in Greek) were first elected to the Greek Parliament. Now it seems that others in the GD community (e.g. here and here are waking up to the potential for damage that the Greek extreme right-wing party hold over the (magical) Golden Dawn community.
Stop all your verbal attacks against Chic, Tabby, Nick Farrell, Pat Zalewski, the SRIA and all the rest, and use your supposed EU trademarks to stop the neo-nazis in Greece from bringing the “Golden Dawn” name into disrepute.
If you want to be remembered for doing something good for the Golden Dawn community, that is.
Nick Farrell has managed to surprise everyone – probably not least himself – by actually meeting a Secret Chief. I believe that Nick is completely genuine in his account as, without wanting to brag too much, according to my contacts in the Illuminati his description pretty much ties in with what I have long suspected. 😉
Nick, however, says:
He [i.e. the purported Secret Chief] was extremely interesting having been connected with lots of magical orders and alchemical groups that I had never heard of.
Well, I am pleased to announce that I can now fill in the missing bits of the jigsaw puzzle, and reveal such information as can be revealed about this mysterious group of continental adepts.
The magical system employed by this Corsican gentlemen was originated by one Giuliano Kremmerz, who lived from 1861 to 1930. Kremmerz founded two magical orders: one, the Confraternita Terapeutica e Magica di Myriam (The Magical and Therapeutic Brotherhood of Myriam), and the Ordine Osirideo Egiziano (Order of Osiris the Egyptian) – which, I am informed, is the “inner order” of the first.
The Myriam Order was (and perhaps still is) an order devoted to healing illness by prayer and ritual.
The Order of Osiris was described to me in the following colourful terms. In order to join, one has to be: (a) Italian, or fluent in Italian; (b) able to attend meetings in Italy; and (c) a multi-millionaire jet-setter. As to its rituals, they were described to me as: “Have you seen Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick?”
Given that I fail to meet criteria (a), (b) and (c), I must resign myself to the fact that I shall probably never become a member of this organisation. 😦
However, by delving into the paucity of information available in academia, I discovered: the secret teachings of the Order of Osiris have been published since at least the mid 1980s. However, because they were only revealed in a very limited print run publication, and it has not been translated into English, these teachings are virtually unknown in the Anglophone world.
I have been asked to point out that the said teachings were published illegally and without authorisation. Therefore translating them would also be illegal. Indeed, the publication of the teachings caused a major scandal in Italy, with fights breaking out in the street between orders and talk of people calling upon their connections if you know what I mean. (Actually, there are a whole load of teachings from funky continental orders available to people who can speak German, French and Italian, but because English speakers have not heard of them, they remain untranslated – but that is a different story altogether).
However one academic, Hans Thomas Haakl, was able to get hold of a copy of Kremmerz’ work and (taking his life in his hands, no doubt), made a prècis of it in the English language. * The sex magical / alchemical teachings may be summarised as follows:
- Male and female polarities may be used to “light a psychic fire” to enter transcendent states. This is not however achieved by intercourse but by asceticism based on mutual attraction and sexual abstinence.
- But that is not to say that sex magic is never practiced, oh no. Haakl relates, from the first volume of the teachings:
One of the basic principles of sex magic is described with reference to sexual union. “Whoever copulates thinks, imagines, projects the reality of his thought into the sperm. . . . The female blood nourishes and feeds this image projected into the sperm, because woman is subject to the male thought due to her desire and voluptuousness.” The text also states that a woman can be influenced only “when she is hot.” If this condition is fulfilled, a man is capable of changing her completely and may turn her into his servant as well as into an ascetic nun. If, however, “she is not burning with desire, do not try.” Violence is not recommended, because “in nature everything is achieved by degrees.” Preparation by means of long periods of fasting and absolute chastity, in body, mind and emotion, is necessary in order to become master of oneself and build up a superior force.
- Kremmerz goes on to describe methods of separating one’s soul from one’s body and directing it wherever one wishes: together with associated magical practices. This is essential for entering the magical state, and is a pre-requisite for some of the advanced (read: sensational) techniques of the Order.
- He then goes on to give instructions for attaining the so-called “Glorious Body” which is a vehicle for the separated soul. This “Glorious Body,” from its description, appears to be equivalent to the well-known Body of Light, of which Mark Stavish wrote extensively in his book Between the Gates. However, the method Kremmerz prescribes is nothing like anything in Stavish’ book. The method involves
- First: “long ritual fasting, total chastity, breathing exercises, and various other preparations.”
- Second: a series of Alchemy-type operations in which Sperm is identified as the Philosophical Mercury, or for women, their own sexual secretions serve as equivalent. These are “circulated” (i.e. produced, then re-imbibed) first by each Alchemist individually (auto-erotic), but in more advanced practices by the male and female acting together. The various types of sexual / alchemical operations are performed in strict cycles according to astrological considerations.
As Haakl says:
This is an operation of “internal alchemy” (the body being the laboratory, that contains all the substances and instruments needed for the Great Work), which requires a perfect knowledge of one’s own body and its various hidden planes.
The sexual / alchemical operations serve to at the same time gradually separate the “solar” or spiritual part of the practitioner from the merely physical part, and create a “glorious body” in which the solar part may live thenceforth. This Glorious Body is not subject to physical death, hence (theoretically), immortality ensues.
However, this is not the end. Kremmerz goes on to state further advanced teachings which are even more revolutionary than this. He states that it is possible to become a “magical avatar.” In the Yogic tradition, an avatar is someone who is incarnated as a perfected being, e.g. Krishna. Kremmerz states that it is possible to invite a “numen” or the soul of a genius, hero or deity to drive out one’s human soul and inhabit one’s body instead. Or, to use the modern parlance, to voluntarily cause oneself to become a “Deific Walk-In” – which I suppose could be one interpretation of the secret of the grade of Ipsissimus.
Ah but which deity? This Kremmerz does not specify. Apparently there have been different Kremmerzian groups – some of which believed they were inviting the actual Christian God to “walk-in” – hence they regarded themselves as Christian Magicians. Haakl implies however that not all Kremmerzian groups shared this objective.
However: there is a more sinister theory talked about, which sounds like the kind of plot I might want to borrow for one of my books, in that it is suggested that the less scrupulous magician might decide to pick someone younger and healthier – and drive out their soul, and go and live in their body, and hence prolong their existence that way.
But Is It All Golden Dawn?
The question arises though, is can this “Secret Chief,” whom Farrell met, and the tradition which he represents, authentically be said to be part of the Golden Dawn. IMHO, the answer is no, for two reasons (the utter dissimilarity between these practices and GD practices not being one of them).
Firstly, the Order of Osiris cannot have been created before 1898 – a good seven years after Mathers is alleged to have received the 5=6 ritual and the corpus of Inner Order material.
Secondly, the fact that Kremmerz’ secret teachings were revealed in the mid 1980s means that there is no way of knowing whether any given Secret Chief has provenance back to the original Order of Osiris, or is in fact a modern reconstruction group. In fact, Haakl himself states that several groups branched off from Kremmerz and interpreted his teachings in their own ways, long before his teachings were ever made public. So it would be difficult to tell if any group has such provenance even if it were not a reconstruction.
In conclusion, I would say this. I genuinely believe that the Order of Osiris and the teachings of Kremmerz are intriguing and worthy of further study by magicians in the English speaking world. However, I would further say we should be honest and say the Order of Osiris is a magical tradition in its own right, and not necessarily a bolt-on to the Golden Dawn.
* Haakl, H T, 2008, “The theory and practice of sexual magic, exemplified by four magical groups in the early twentieth century,” published in Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism (edited by W J Hanegraaf & J J Kripal), Brill, Leiden / Boston.
There is no innovation in Golden Dawn magick! If there were, the same three or four topics would not get endlessly recycled on GD blogs and fora across the internet, year after year after year…
Just this week, for example, Nick Farrell has resurrected another old chestnut, the question of the reality of the Secret Chiefs. I could shove in my ha’pennorth on the subject… but looking back through my own blog posts I realise I am guilty of joining in the eternal gyres myself. Here for example is a vlog which expresses my views on the subject, back when the topic was being discussed in 2011.
Recently though I have seen this post on Magic of the Ordinary, and I thought I just had to respond to the four hypotheses that Peregrine advances.
I disagree with all four of them – and instead advance a fifth hypothesis of my own.
I have met in my life three or four people who could possibly be “Secret Chiefs.” NONE of them had internet access, nor used emails, nor ever attempted to go online in anyway. They communicate in strange, esoteric ways, such as using snail-mail (or, as it is known in the Third Order, “mail”), talking to people face to face – or, in the case of one potential Secret Chief who is particularly computer illiterate, getting her daughter to handle email communications on her behalf. 😉
This is a strange concept for some people who are addicted to the internet to grasp, but the fact of the matter is that if the Secret Chiefs are for real, they probably would not publicly respond to Nick’s challenge for quite innocent reasons, such as not being on the internet they haven’t read of it. One can get so addicted to being online that one should remember that 93% of the world’s population is not on Facebook, and as far as I’m aware that includes the Secret Chiefs as well.
If however I am mistaken, then I would say that I know which one of Peregrine’s four hypotheses is most likely… unfortunately I am bound by zillions of oaths of secrecy from saying. 😉