Thursday, June 28, 2012

What is an open post?

Occasionally, you will see a post on this blog labeled an "open post." What this means is that it is a post that is subject to revision for one reason or another. Typically, these posts will be lists of sources that are being used for a large ongoing project. They can also be posts that need to be revised as new information is presented and/or discovered and/or disclosed. An open post is "open" because of the nature of the subject matter is not set in stone upon the first draft. All open posts will include a note about their last revision date unless they are the original draft.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thanks for 30 years of service to the Golden Dawn

The Golden Dawn community thanks the Ciceros for 30 years of service to the Golden Dawn tradition.
June 24th marks the 30th anniversary of the 1982 consecration by Israel Regardie of a Vault of the Adepti in Columbus, Georgia. Regardie also presided over the initation of two Adept Minors during that same week. This Vault was built by Chic and Tabitha Cicero. This event marks both the rebirth of Golden Dawn in the United States and the start of Inner Order service by the Ciceros to the greater Golden Dawn community.

(Overseas, during the same year, Pat and Chris Zalewski re-establish a branch of the Golden Dawn in New Zealand. For this reason, many of us consider 1982 to be the birth year of the current Golden Dawn community--Golden Dawn having fallen into disuse in the decades previous to this.)

For the curious, a Vault of the Adepti is necessary for initiations into the Adept Grades of the Golden Dawn (RR et AC) Second (Inner) Order. Without it, the system can only be performed up to the Grade of Portal. It is basically a seven sided chamber with multicolored walls, which can best be described as a "magical nuclear reactor."

The Ba Iset Order of the Rosy Cross (Golden Dawn in the Outer) would like to extend thanks to the Ciceros, and to the memory of Israel Regardie, on this 30th anniversary. May LVX continue to shine on our noble tradition.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gateways to the Sephiroth

The Grades of the Golden Dawn system as arranged on the natural array of the Tree of Life.
[Warning: The following is an extension of the kabbalah found in the Golden Dawn and AA systems; it is not part of traditional orthodox kabbalah. In fact, it is not even traditional kabbalah as far as the Golden Dawn or AA is concerned. The ideas in this post are being presented as food for thought and not as gospel. Ye have been warned.]

One of the changes that Golden Dawn, and later offshoots such as the AA, makes to the traditional kabbalah is to associate each of the sephiroth to a Grade of the esoteric system. While there is some difference in the names and tasks of the Grades, the Golden Dawn and the AA can (in base form) be considered to use the same Grade system.

In addition to the ten Grades that fit neatly (in terms of diagramming) in the ten sephiroth, the Golden Dawn system has several Grades that are not properly associated with a sephirah. Instead, these Grades are associated with "gateways" to the proper sephiroth.

The first of these Grades that do not fit neatly in a sephirah is the very first Grade that a member of the Golden Dawn system experiences, the Grade of Neophyte (0=0). This Grade is associated with the edge of the sephirah Malkuth, or Petach Sha'ar "Gateway of the Gate."

The second of the Grades to fall outside of a sephirah proper is Portal which is said to be the gateway to the Grade of Adept Minor (5=6). The Grade of Portal is associated with Kenisa Sadna "Entrance to the Workshop" which is like the porchway to the sephirah Tiphareth.

The third and final Grade that is not assigned to a true sephirah is the Grade of Babe of the Abyss. This Grade is used more in Thelemic circles than in Golden Dawn, but there are some Golden Dawn Orders that do contain a ritual and course work for this Grade. Babe of the Abyss is associated with Da'ath, a pseudo-sephirah that is a combination of the symbolism and energies of the Supernals.

These three Grades, as well as their gateways, have several things in common. Each of the three Grades are probationary Grades for their respective Orders (Neophyte--Outer Order of the Golden Dawn; Portal--Inner Order of the RR et AC; Babe of the Abyss--The Third Order of the AA). Each of these Grades lay on the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life. And each of the Grades, as well as their gateway, have symbolism related to, but not completely matching the symbolism of the Grade and sephirah that it leads into.

From the viewpoint of traditional orthodox kabbalah, only Da'ath is considered even remotely to be a real place; yet the Golden Dawn and AA use of these symbols make them real places and rest stops for students undergoing the initations of the Western Mystery Tradition.