Tag Archives: Nick Farrell

The Opening of the Key Tarot Divination Re-evaluated

© Alex Sumner 2013

© Alex Sumner 2013

This post has come about due to a Facebook conversation about what Divination I tend to do before Magick. Actually I found this so inspiring that instead of just another FB reply I thought i would devote a whole blog post to the subject.

My favourite method remains the one I outlined in the blog-post How to Use Horary Astrology With Tarot, i.e. cast a Horary figure for the question and to use that to cross-check a Tarot divination for the same question. My Tarot spread of preference is a 15 card spread which I believe was created by Robert Wang in connection with the Golden Dawn Tarot. The advantage of this spread is that it is fairly short and easy with which to get to grips, and is thus suitable for answering simple questions.

Recently, however, I have been trying to get to grips with infamous Opening of the Key method, as outlined in the original Golden Dawn papers. I say infamous because it appears at first sight to be extremely long. Wang himself said it “could take hours for a complete reading,” which corresponds pretty much with my own early experiments with the method. Nick Farrell, in the FB conversation to which I referred above was even more vociferous, saying “it takes days” and “I still do not know what Westcott was smoking…”

Westcott might have been smoking anything he liked – I was always under the impression that Mathers wrote that particular manuscript!

Anyway, the actual authorship of the method is a side-issue. People with whom I have spoken privately consistently concur with the above sentiments, by complaining about its overlong nature. However, I think I have found a solution! The breakthrough, for me, was realising that it is only overlong if it is done by the book in the style of the book. 

Here instead is my suggestion. When you come to a card – or in the pairing off part which ends each section, a pair of cards – think up a single word which sums its meaning. At most, two or three words to make it fit into context, but preferably aiming for a single word wherever possible. Then connect them so they make a coherent narrative – that is the operation done.

Done this way, it reduces the duration of the Opening of the Key from a matter of hours – or, if you are Nick Farrell, days 😉 – to a far more reasonable half an hour at most. What is more,  this is a perfectly valid cartomantic practice: at least, that is the impression I get from the accounts of Tarot readers who have never been exposed to Golden Dawn methods.

Where Mathers / Westcott went wrong was that they took each card to be a complete sentence or couple of sentences – instead of words within a sentence. By changing ones point of view regarding the style of card-interpretation to something like I suggest, one can still use the actual Opening of the Key method but in a way which is ultimately more satisfying.


Filed under Supernatural

Public Challenge to David Griffin

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.


Filed under Comment, Supernatural

Alex Sumner Brings Peace to the Golden Dawn Flame Wars

This is an update to the post Secret Chief Sweep-stake! After several weeks  trying to increase traffic to his website *cough* I mean “keeping the Golden Dawn community on tenterhooks,” David Griffin has finally named the mysterious individual that he had been threatening to reveal to the world and it turns out to be none other than… Nick Farrell.

I can honestly say that I never saw that one coming! More to the point, neither did anyone who commented on my blog or contacted me privately did so either, so unfortunately the contest has to be declared null and void. However, this brings me to a serious point: the Golden Dawn Flame War has got to stop! And to this end, I make the following pledge:

In order to end the rivalry between the David Griffin’s and Nick Farrell’s respective orders I, Alex Sumner, undertake to give free, independent and unbiased advice to prospective new members over which order to join. Anyone seeking initiation should contact me privately for further details.

There! I confidently predict both antagonists will now cease attacking each other. By the way, if any leader of a GD order wants to convince me why I should push a candidate towards one order rather than the other, I am now accepting bribes by PayPal – please click on the Alex Sumner Appreciation Fund button which is somewhere in the navigation bar. 😉

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Filed under Supernatural

Secret Chief Sweep-stake!

Nick Farrell has unearthed a hastily suppressed post by David Griffin claiming that the latter is going to name the secret puppet-master behind the Golden Dawn, but tantalisingly not revealing the name until the next post. Ooh, the anticipation! I was almost seriously tempted to subscribe to Griffin’s blog to find out more …

… But then I had a much better idea! It is (drum-roll) THE SECRET CHIEF SWEEP-STAKE. We each come in by picking whom we predict DG is going to name as the Capo Di Tutti Capi. The prize for winning is that everyone else has to buy a copy of one their books.

Nothing personal against DG, but because he actually knows the answer he is excluded from the competition. 🙂

I go first: I bags Bob Gilbert.


Filed under Supernatural

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Re: Charging for a Correspondence Course

Getting into an argument on some Yahoo group about charging money for spirituality. I got so into it that I realised it would make a blog-post in its own right! So here is a rejoinder I was planning to write, from which I have trimmed the intemperate bits (i.e. the more intemperate bits).

Now let me present a completely different argument about why it is wrong to charge people money for spirituality. It has nothing to do any superstitious notion about money being tainted, and everything to do with Economics. It is this:

If Spiritual Teachers are seen to be getting away with charging money for their services, it will only encourage Spiritual-Teachers-Who-Aren’t-All-That-Good to charge money for their services.

Now I may be treading on sensitive ground here, but without naming any names I’m sure we can all think of a few organisations, maybe but not necessarily connected with some incarnation of the Golden Dawn, whom we all know are basically a bunch of crooks who are only in it for the money. Why are they doing it? Because they think they can! They have seen genuine teachers charge money, and they think “we can make an argument for saying we’re genuine – now let’s see those dollar bills!”

Hence, based on Economics, the way to get rid of the shysters is not to charge more money than them, but to undercut them.

Moreover, I can think of two ways to make sure that only high-quality candidates take a correspondence course on offer. The first is to set them at fairly difficult entrance exam right at the out-set.

The second is to cease advertising it. This only looks counter-intuitive to those who have an obsession with publicity, or with empire-building, but the fact is that there are a great number of organisations that thrive perfectly well with doing no publicity whatsoever. People who are genuinely interested in their work seek them out, of their own volition.


Filed under Rant