Tag Archives: Pat Zalewski

Rosicrucian Orders: the Real Deal

OK I’ve been hearing lately that AMORC have shut down Pat Zalewski’s website on the grounds that the latter claimed to be a Rosicrucian Order – and AMORC claimed dibs on the term. Now get this:

About a hundred years ago, Reuben Swinburne Clymer sued Harvey Spencer Lewis, and the court established then it is impossible to copyright the term “Rosicrucian.” I guess AMORC must have forgotten about this or were relying on people like me not to remind people of this.

So come on, stop wallowing in self-righteous pity! Get a lawyer and tell AMORC where they can stick their cease and desist order!


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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.


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Music In Theory and Practice – Part 2

S L Macgregor Mathers

Mathers’ corollary to “The Chromatic Method”

Following on from yesterday’s post, I would like to review a similar method which Macgregor Mathers gave to the Alpha et Omega – it is set out in full detail in Pat Zalewski’s book Inner Order Teachings of the Golden Dawn.

Like Case and Bennett, Mathers made an association with colours and musical notes – however he differs in several important aspects. Firstly, Mathers starts with the assumption that Red = F, not C as in the Case / Bennett system. Secondly: there are no sharps or flats in Mathers’ system. Thirdly, the Seven planets follow a scale starting with the F above middle C, and ascending in the same order as the walls of the Vault of the Adepti. Hence:

Hebrew Letter Colour Note
Heh Pe Shin Red F
Vau Red-Orange F or G
Zayin Resh Orange G
Cheth Amber G or A
Teth Beth Aleph Yellow A
Yod Yellow-Green A or B
Lamed Daleth Green B
Nun Green-Blue B or C
Samekh Gimel Mem Blue C
Aayin Tau Indigo D
Tzaddi Kaph Violet E
Qoph Vermilion E or F

This system has its advantages – and disadvantages. From a musicological (read: “snobbish”) point of view, some of the reasons that Mathers gives for adopting the particular peculiarities of this system are suspect and inconsistent, and smack of “dumbing down.” The only reason I can see for starting with Red = F and treating the planets as he does is to make use of the spaces and lines of the Treble Clef. Perhaps if he was confident with leger lines we might have had a whole different secret teaching! It could, of course have been to allow Adepti to play the piano one-handed, the left-hand being left free to hold a ritual implement or something.

However, Mathers’ aversion to sharps and flats is something else. The reason Mathers gives for avoiding it touches upon a problem that musicians have had to deal with for thousands of years, namely Temperament. It is impossible to tune the twelve-note chromatic scale so that all intervals are “perfect” – therefore, historically, several different methods have been proposed including the Pythagorean, “Just Intonation” (like Pythagorean but with easier arithmetic), “Well Tempered” (made famous by Bach’s Das Wohltempierte Klavier), and “Equal Temperament,” amongst others. The upshot of this is that depending on which system of Temperament you are using, the actual tuning of some chromatic intervals might vary by as much as 10Hz – enough to create an out-of-tune “beating” sound, assuming two different instruments had been tempered differently.

How did the Secret Chiefs, from whom Mathers claimed to derive this teaching, resolve the problem of Temperament? Um, well, the unfortunate fact is that although they were willing to lay down minutiae on a whole host of other topics, they conveniently passed on this one: the simplest way for Mathers to resolve the situation was to avoid using sharps and flats.

Of course, on the other hand, Mathers might have interpreted “Quit the night and seek the day,” as meaning “avoid the black keys and play only the white keys.”

What we thus have from Mathers is therefore a reduction of the chromatic scale to the F-Lydian mode – ironic, as Mathers complained about using modes as well.

HOWEVER: the very fact that Mathers’ system is completely unsophisticated compared to the Case/Bennett system is in fact its greatest advantage – because it allows Hebrew words to be chanted in simple melodies. This in turn makes it highly conducive to teaching a temple full of initiates whose musical talent may well range from hardened rock-musicians reared on Frank Zappa and Led Zeppelin to, well, drummers. By way of example, I shall now attempt to re-score the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram according to the note-values suggested by Mathers.

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, composed by Alex Sumner © 2011.

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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.


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Re: Equinox Ceremony (Golden Dawn Group)

Lurking on Pat Zalewski’s Yahoo Forum, I have come to the conclusion: there are no innovations or new developments in the Golden Dawn!

I say this because the same subjects keep getting debated month after month: only the titles of the threads change. Heck, with only so many shopping days to go til Christmas, we will be probably going on about solstices soon enough!

Anyway: here is a prime example – a debate whether in the Golden Dawn it is a good idea to open the temple in the 0=0, then raise it to a higher grade, then lower it back down again afterwards. It was gone over last month, but in the context of opening and closing by sceptre.

— In golden-dawn-group@yahoogroups.com, “Martin Thibeault” <reaux.croix@…> wrote:

Aside from schedule conflicts, I am interested to hear how you would deal with the 0=0 Godforms invoked on the floor for the Opening and then invoking the ones for the Elemental Ceremony to follow. Would you invoke the 0=0 ones, leave them there then have Officers briefly leave Temple while the Hierophant invokes the Elemental ones? Would you `release’ the 0=0 ones prior to invoking the Elemental ones? If so would you re-invoke them for the closing at the end?

Given that Macgregor Mathers thought that the god-forms of the 0=0 were basically the same as those of the Outer Order generally but with  a few variations, this would be entirely reasonable: what’s more there would be no re-invocation because they are already there.

Of course – if on the other hand you subscribe to the rather sophisticated method of attributions set out in Rituals & Commentaries this would not be feasible.

It all boils down to what you consider authentic GD practice: the kind outlined in Mathers’ paper on the 1=10 ceremony, or what was done at Whare Ra.

See what I did there? I included a plug for two different Pat Zalewski books, so he’s in a win-win situation whatever the outcome of the debate! 🙂

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