Saturday, July 27, 2013

Alpha Omega: Our Mission and Vision for a Bright Future!

Alpha Omega

Our mission is clear ...

We Make Magicians!

Our vision for the future is bright ...

To Become More than Human!

But, what does this really mean? 

It means we transform ordinary human beings into persons who have realized the awakening of their own sleeping powers for the benefit of nature and the collective; the full awakening of spiritual consciousness to bring the Divine spark within to shine like a Golden Dawn.

In short ...

Our mission is to improve the human soul, reveal to human beings their dormant powers, and reveal the full power of love that completely transforms the mind and transcends blind egoism.

But why?

Because every woman and every man at all times has the internal resources that can be used through Magick to confront every type of problem that afflicts humanity.

We Make Magicians ...

... NOT Mystics!

The mystic thinks of self-liberation and to unite with God. Magicians, on the other hand, are active in the world and are interested in serving others. Magicians do not retreat from the world. They improve it.

Magicians possess four elemental weapons that represent the four forces of nature. Thus a true Magician has the capacity both within and whiout his or her Temple to utilize these implements to manipulate the corresponding elemental forces of fire, water, air, and earth. In this way, it is truly possible, using Magick, to save the Earth while working constructively and without egoism.

And then what?

A reawakening of the sleeping powers inside mankind, in full contact with the Magical forces of nature, will return the natural human being that existed prior to religious deformation who, being natural, will be incapable of harming the Earth.

And then …

... With a critical mass of trained Magicians at work, with the elevation of true spiritual consciousness, the future world will be equilibrated and nature decontaminated; a natural heaven on Earth.

What is the VISION of the AO?

To make Magicians - in order to restore, equilibrate, and decontaminate this world ...

To establish heaven on earth now and in the future.

(EU OHIM reg 000063925)
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn®
Making Magicians - Since 1888

Click HERE to explore our Outer Order, undergraduate level Magical training program.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Help for Self-Initiates and Solitary Practitioners of Golden Dawn Magick

In the Alpha Omega, we are concerned about the need for face-to-face training and personal support in Ritual Magic. With our 1,000 Points of Light initiative, the A.O. inaugurated a host of new world-wide resources for Independent Practitioners and local groups of aspiring Magicians. These include:
Personal Temples: The Alpha Omega continues to encourage Self-Initiates and Solitary Practiioners to create Personal Altars and Temples. We continue to put them on the map for you here on the Golden Dawn blog, and to publish photos of independent Altars and Temples from around the world for you.
Self-Initiation: The A.O. continues to teach how the goal of Golden Dawn Initiation and Magic is to strengthen the energetic body and to awaken the Elemental, Planetary, Zodiacal, and Sephirothic Magical Forces in the "Sphere of Sensation" of aspiring Magicians. We continue to provide the techniques necessary to accomplish this on your own. 
Magical Tools: The A.O. continues to teach how traditional Golden Dawn Magical Tools are created by publishing photographs of tools of Golden Dawn Adepts, including never before seen photos of Israel Regardie's magical implements from the A.O.'s "Golden Dawn Museum." 
Ritual Magic 101 Coaching Webinars: The A.O. continues to bring solid Ritual Magic teaching and coaching to self-taught Magicians all around the world, in a continuing series of live streaming video and audio, international Webinars.
2012-2013 Golden Dawn World Tour: The Alpha Omega continues to make Ritual Magic instruction and coaching - as well as traditional Golden Dawn initiation - available in more and more countries across the globe.
Ritual Magic 101 Workshops: The Alpha Omega continues to bring magical coaching up close and personal in regular Ritual Magic 101 Workshops.
International Golden Dawn Festivals: The Alpha Omega led the way again in providing training in supplemental Magic newly released by the Secret Chiefs at the 2012 and 2013 International Golden Dawn festivals. These festivals were nonsectarian and open to members of any Golden Dawn order or temple. In this small manner, the AO continues to lead the way in transcending sectarian strife in the Golden Dawn community.
Of course, we continue to provide initiation and training for Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn initiates and members at our traditional Golden Dawn Temples. 2012 is also the 10th Anniversary of the Alpha Omega providing on-line Magic education for students at a distance in our multi-language members' websites as well.

We must face reality though. The A.O.'s beginners' level First Order, the H.O.G.D., is not only the world's most thorough school of Ritual Magic, but it is also the most demanding.

Before H.O.G.D. initiates may graduate and apply for admission to our Second Order, the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis, they must first have completely mastered everything other G.D. orders offer their most advanced Adepts.

In the R.R. et A.C., our Adepts practice post-graduate level Magic revealed by the Secret Chiefs at the International Conclave of Golden Dawn Adepti last March. The Magic of the A.O.'s Third Order, our Ph.D. level curriculum, includes, for example, Alchemical Magic and Hermetic Internal Alchemy.

Alpha Omega ...
... the Oxford of Golden Dawn Magic.

We don't hand out grades ...
We make Magicians!

But how can the Alpha Omega meet the needs of aspiring Magicians who are not yet ready for such a serious magical commitment as the H.O.G.D. involves?

Alpha Omega's "1,000 Points of Light Initiative" is an innovative program, providing support and magical training for Independent Practitioners and groups around the world.

We began by encouraging you to create a personal temple, even if it is only an altar in the beginning. We next encouraged you to share photographs of your personal altars and temples, so you may further inspire one another. We then created a map of personal temples around the world, so that Independent Practitioners can see that they are not alone.

There are, however, several important needs remaining to be fulfilled:

What about coaching and support for Independent Practitioners?

To meet this need, the A.O. has been offering Ritual Magic coaching in Webinar format. Our pilot program offered free coaching sessions in 8 languages. The first session, in English, was on Saturday, Oct. 27 2012. With this, the AO brought a valuable new resource to the entire community and paved the way for teachers from other orders to follow our lead on their own venues.

It is wonderful to witness Magic teachers from around the world, even Donald Michael Kraig, jumping on Alpha Omega's Ritual Magick Webinar bandwagon over at Llewellyn. The need for more coaching options for Self-Initiates and Solitary Practitioners of Ritual Magick is great - greater than even the Alpha Omega can meet  on its own. It is wonderful to see other teachers pick up our slack and step up to the plate as well!

What about training and coaching in person?

When it comes to Ritual Magic, there are limitations about what can be effectively taught at a distance. This is why, unlike other Golden Dawn orders, H.O.G.D. members are required prior to graduation to complete all Golden Dawn initiations, physically present with a trained Hierophant in a fully chartered, traditional Golden Dawn temple.

This still does not address the need, however, for local support and in-person training for Independent Practitioners and local groups of aspiring magicians around the world. An interesting discussion arose about this recently on the H.O.G.D. Yahoo Forum, where I was asked what the minimum requirements are to create a Golden Dawn Sanctuary. As part of my answer, I offered to come and assist local groups develop into full fledged Golden Dawn Sanctuaries.

This led to one of our readers, "Hilda," asking me:

"Wow! Is that offer for anyone who gets a group started?"

This led to brainstorming in the A.O.'s College of the Adepti about how we can better meet the need for local support and in-person training - not only for people wanting to form a local Golden Dawn Sanctuary - but also for Independent Practitioners and other aspiring Magicians around the world, still working outside of a traditional Golden Dawn order.

This led to the Alpha Omega creating yet another innovative resource as part of our 1,000 Points of Light Initiative. I am proud today to make the following announcement as part of the Alpha Omega's ongoing commitment to make Magicians:

"I am willing to visit, provide coaching, support, and face to face training in local areas all around the world - and not just for local groups - but for Self-Initiates, Independent Practitioners, and other aspiring Magicians as well ...

I am in the fortunate position that my career leaves me free to dedicate myself full time to the Golden Dawn half a year. Plans for extensive travel to teach in coming months are being fine tuned now.

Having worked as an international tour director for three full decades, I am used to an intensive travel schedule - and my wife and fellow Adept, V.H. Soror D.I.A., also has wheels for feet - so she doesn't get upset about being on the road with me for months on end.

The A.O. is exploring ways to finance necessary travel expenses to provide badly needed local support, without putting undue burden on already overextended A.O. resources. I would gladly finance travel to provide local support myself, but contrary to rumor, I am not independently wealthy.

One good way to cover travel expenses involved in providing local support for aspiring Magicians - would be to give a public lecture on Friday night, followed by a training and coaching session on Saturday. Reasonable fees for these services ought to be able to offset costs. Any local assistance or organizational support to help defer costs would, of course, be much appreciated. 

"As a matter of fact, as long as I am there, I am even willing to provide Golden Dawn initiation to qualified aspirants ...

I remain utterly committed to the Alpha Omega's mission to make Magicians ...

So committed, in fact, I am willing to travel for months on end - from city to city - and country to country - to provide the support necessary to make Magicians.

What if I am a member of a different Order ...
... but would love to discover the unique differences of the A.O.?

Real Magic transcends sectarianism!

I remain open to visit, teach, and do magic with any existing working groups that want to feel for themselves if there is a difference between doing real Magic and acting like a Magician. I will, of course, keep your confidentiality.

In Magical practice, what you do is not nearly as vital as how it’s done. If people have participated in Ritual Magic or initiation in the past but never really felt a change, they will be in for a surprise – Magic Works! It is not just great costumes and funny words.

This is an opportunity to meet me and and to discover for yourself who I really am - beyond how I am portrayed by other Orders or their representatives.

In the Alpha Omega, we make Magicians who arrive at their own conclusions based on personal experience and evaluation of results.


Alpha Omega Imperator - David Griffin

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Alpha Omega: Our Struggle to Survive - by HPS Leslie McQuade

Reblogged from Whispers from Shadow Mountain Blog HERE.
by Anthropologist and AΩ High Priestess
Leslie McQuade

As High Priestess of the Alpha Omega's new Egyptian section, the Egyptian College of Isis, my duties are primarily of a spiritual nature. I constantly tend the fires in our Isis Mother temple, performing the Alpha Omega's Egyptian Pagan rites on a daily basis.

Thus I try my best to stay out of the mundane affairs of our order. If I write on the Internet, it is on my little blog, Whispers from Shadow Mountain, that you can find here, where I am today originally publishing this article that will also be reblogged on The Golden Dawn Blog here.

Our Lady Isis is a loving and gentle Mother, yet when her child is threatened Isis reminds us that she is also Lady of Magick and keeper of the words of power which command even great Ra by his secret name.

This morning I was saddenned when, on the blog of a man who leads a Golden Dawn order and claims to be a spiritual leader, I read vile personal attacks not only calling our AΩ Imperator a "tin-foil hat wearing loon" and a "muggle nutter," but calling the Alpha Omega itself "spiritually bankrupt" "a two bit cult" and our thousands of AΩ members across the globe just a "few lunatic followers."

By attacking each of you hard working, magick practicing, book buying members of our beloved Alpha Omega, those who have tried to destroy the AΩ for two decades now this time gone have too far!

I know that many of you, dear readers, are not particularly interested in the ongoing struggle for AΩ survival, freedom, and our independence from SRIA tyranny.

When I first became a member of the Alpha Omega, I too, was not particularly interested in this, as I was so busy learning, practicing and internalizing all the new material to which I had just gained access. 

It wasn’t until the recent Independence Day celebrations that it came home to me exactly WHY the aggressive defense of our Order is so important.

Just like the founding fathers, who fought for the independence of all Americans, whether they were interested in independence or not, and despite the huge army SRIA fielded to destroy the Alpha Omega and its leaders' reputation on the Internet, our Imperator has led us to survive against all odds through two full decades of attacks.

When they attacked AΩ in court, we defeated them, and preserved our right to call ourselves Golden Dawn, despite SRIA's huge financial war chest (which they continue to rebuild today!). Wherever and whenever they attacked AΩ on the Internet, we drove them back. Time and time again, we faced down an army of SRIA "researchers" falsifying our history.

Alpha Omega: Our Struggle to Survive!

Like many others, at first I did not believe the SRIA was actively and aggressively working towards monopolizing the Golden Dawn, and limiting access to certain materials based not on grade and ability as is traditional, but on other factors like religious affiliation. I most emphatically do not want to be forced into a mystical Christian mold, but if the SRIA had its way, that is exactly how things would be.

Our struggle is simple. AΩ must survive! We have sought peace over and over, extending an olive branch time and time again, only to have it roughly slapped away. We remain ever vigilant, faced with a ruthless and unrelenting enemy that will not rest until they destroy or seize control of the AΩ.

I love the freedom I have in the AΩ to study magick. I think it is absolutely beautiful that even Neophytes have immediate access to magick. I mean, really! Isn’t that a big part of why we all decided to become Ceremonial MAGICIANS in the first place? To practice Magick? I am quite a patient person, as any archaeologist must be, but I don’t think I could stomach waiting until 5=6 to practice magick, and I certainly wouldn’t continue with an Order that insisted I change my fundamental belief paradigm from Pagan to Trinitarian Christian to do it.

I guess what I really want to explain to those of you who are not interested, is that while it is your own business to be interested or not, know that you would not be able to study the materials you study, to practice the magick that you do, or to be the Ceremonial Magicians you aspire to be, were it not for the tireless efforts of our Imperator. Let us recall that British tyrants also once called General Washington a "tin-foil hat wearing loon" leading a "few lunatic followers."

There are countless others who, like me, today stand beside our Imperator in defense of the AΩ.  I do it because I value my own freedom and the freedom of the Fraters and Sorores in our Order. I love you all very much, and like the soldiers who fought the Revolutionary war to free our great nation from the yoke of British tyranny, I fight for your freedom from another group of British Tyrants.

How could I do otherwise? How could I stand idly by and watch as these thugs destroy our Rose? The Initiatic Secrets our Order has carefully preserved for the spiritual development of its members is so sacred, so fragile and beautiful … To think of that a "men's only club" of SRIA Christian segregationist leaders are deliberately trying to break down our fences to stomp it into oblivion just breaks my heart. How can they be so obviously malicious? They are vandals in the worst sense of the word!

May we always remember that, first and foremost, we are MAGICIANS!

In the Alpha Omega, we struggle magically for a future world that will be equilibrated and where nature is decontaminated. We work magically to reawaken the sleeping powers inside man and womankind into full contact with the magical forces of nature, returning to the authentic, natural human being that existed prior to religious deformation and who is therefore incapable of harming the Earth. 

This will automatically result in the elevation of consciousness to its fullest spiritual potential.

In the AΩ, our Mission is to improve the human Soul, reveal to women and men their dormant powers, and to reveal the full power of love that completely transforms the mind and destroys egoism.

Our desire is to see free women and men living in harmony with the natural world, being active in society, and using magick to serve the entire Earth.

Our desire is to reveal to everyone the source of their hidden powers; to give them the true and complete key to the power of the human spirit.

Others build physical technologies. In the AΩ we specialize in spiritual technologies.

We desire that every woman and every man may always have the internal resources that can be used through magick to affront every type of problem that afflicts humanity.

So let the vulgar ruffians call us names and flame us on the Internet!

OUR magick creates smiles and joy, not fear and hatred.

Let the SRIA tyrants and their GD spies spread lies that the Alpha Omega is "spiritually bankrupt" and we are but a "few lunatic followers."

In truth we are legion, and struggle for the spiritual liberation of every woman and every man!

The British tyrants are desperately trying to draw attention away from their own inadequacies.

This is why they are spitting venom and bile, and calling every AΩ member names.

But, despite all this, I for one will NOT stoop to the level of the tyrants.

I for one will NOT flame them back and I urge each and every one of you to show the same restraint.

The SRIA tyrants and their GD spies will not succeed to start a flame war. They merely expose THEMSELVES as vulgar bullies.

This does not mean, however, that I will also allow ANYONE to defile that which I hold sacred. I may not have been interested in the beginning, but by Goddess I am now!

Our attackers have awakened in me a determination, a side of myself that I have never before given permission to act. I feel as any mother must when their child is threatened by anyone or anything.

And this maternal instinct will not be silenced for expediency. It will not be silenced simply because there are others who find it “distasteful." How can anyone who truly loves the AΩ, the Order that teaches the magicks to give you everlasting life, not be enraged by the SRIA tyrants' and their spies' unrelenting attempts to kill it?

I will not allow that to happen. Neither will my sisters and brothers of the AΩ! 

The Golden Dawn may be a path of initiation, but the Alpha Omega is also a path of spiritual liberation!


When I am in need of strength, I turn to great women of the past for inspiration. Here are some of the women who inspire me most in our fight for survival as the free and independent AΩ we all know and love:

Mercy Otis Warren
Mercy Otis Warren: Mercy wrote the first history of the Revolutionary War, and she had first person experience! Mercy got her start before the War officially began by spreading revolutionary ideas to the people. John Adams was impressed with Mercy's writing. Many of her stories/plays made fun of the British. One of her plays was titled "The Blockheads". With her husband gone off to fight, Mercy decided to write the history of the American Revolution using her notes from meetings and conversations. Her notes were published in 1805 under the title History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution

Abigail Smith
Abigail Smith: Abigail, John's wife, was a very well educated woman who often wrote letters to her friends, speaking of revolution and liberty. As John served in the First Continental Congress, she stayed home and tended to the farm, occasionally sending messages to her husband. Much of what she had to say made its way into our founding documents. When John and others were considering a declaration of independence, Abigail reminded him to take care of the women, who would not hold themselves bound by laws in which they had no voice. She was often called Mrs. President for her contribution to shaping our country.

Catherine Moore Barry
Catherine Moore Barry: A battle that occurred in Cowpens, South Carolina, was Catherine's chance to use her extensive knowledge of the area to help the Patriots. The British, under command of General Cornwallis was out to crush a group of Patriots commanded by General Morgan. Realizing how out-manned he was, Morgan turned to Catherine for help. Catherine single-handedly rounded up an impressive amount of local Patriots to join Morgan's cause. With Catherine's help, General Morgan laid a trap for General Corwallis and his men. After the trap proved as a success, Cornwallis retreated right into the hands of George Washington in Yorktown, Virginia.  With his surrender there, the colonies won their independence from Britain.

Margaret Corbin
Margaret Corbin: When Fort Washington was attacked, instead of running home, Margaret Corbin stayed and fought beside her husband. She took over her husband's job as matross, (the person who loaded the cannon) when the gunner was killed. Her husband was also lost in the battle. She was hit and left to die, but a passing doctor tended to her wounds. Margaret's wounds left her permanently disabled, thus making her the first woman to receive a lifetime pension for her service in a battle. 

Penelope Barker
Penelope Barker: Penelope led the Edenton Tea Party. Unlike the better known Boston Tea Party, Penelope and the other 50 or so women in her group wrote a declaration to the British. The British, of course, laughed at the attempt, seeing that the group was made up entirely of females. The women then joined the boycott of British goods and the British no longer made fun of their attempts, now that their actions were actually effecting the British.

Nancy Hart
Nancy Hart: When British soldiers came to question her about helping out a Patriot soldier, she brazenly admitted to it. Forced to cook the British a meal, she killed two of them. Not by poisoning the food, but rather by shooting them with their own muskets! On another date, when Patriots needed to steal British plans, she disguised herself as a man and went to a British camp to collect information. Nancy is honored in Georgia with a county named after her, called War Woman Creek.

Molly McCauley
Molly McCauley: "Molly, bring me a pitcher." Shortened, this became "Molly, pitcher".  Molly was the "water boy" of her time for the Patriots. One day while on duty near Monmouth, New Jersey, she saw her husband shot in the arm. After rushing to his side and tending to his wound, she manned the cannon, firing several rounds at the British forces. Her bravery and good aim earned the respect of other soldiers. They fought on and eventually the British retreated. Her action impressed General Washington, who later commissioned her as "Sergeant Molly Pitcher". 

Grace and Rachel Martin
Grace and Rachel Martin: These women took action because they could no longer tolerate the way British soldiers treated women and children. Disguised as men, the two sisters ambushed British officers carrying important documents one night. Returning home, they were surprised to see the same British officers enjoying a meal at their dinner table. Luckily, the British did not recognize them outside of their disguises. The documents were turned in to the Patriots, and Grace and Rachel's actions helped in the colonist victory.

Esther Reed
Esther Reed: Esther Reed was used to a comfortable life in Britain, but after the war's fifth year, she decided to take a stand. Along with other women in Philadelphia, Esther and the others left their warm, cozy lives to go out and raise money for the Patriots. General Washington was opposed to this plan and so they instead agreed to have the Association make warm shirts for the troops. Each woman stitched their names on the clothing's collars to help raise each individual soldier's spirit.

Nancy Ward
Nancy Ward: Nancy Ward, or Nanye'hi, saw her husband die in a battle with Creek Indians. She used her husband's bow to lead her tribe to victory. Nancy was named "Beloved Woman" of her tribe and became a member of the Women's Council and the Council of Chiefs. She was an important voice in the treaty between her Cherokee tribe and the Patriots.

Phillis Wheatly
Phillis Wheatly: Phillis Wheatley was America's first published black author. She was a patriot and symbol for abolitionists. At the age of 7, Phillis was bought as a slave. The children in the family that purchased her took it upon themselves to teach Phillis how to read and write. She become a local celebrity, reading her poems aloud to crowds. She wrote many poems about patriotism and freedom. She even wrote a poem about George Washington that she got to read to him in person. 

Hannah Arnett
Hannah Arnett: Hannah Arnett butted into a meeting to which she was not invited, and changed the minds of all the men in attendance. The men had gathered to speak of the Patriots persistent failures. They were thinking about giving up and returning to the British side by signing a Proclamation of loyalty to Britain. Hannah called them cowards, insisting that they should not give up. The meeting ended with the men deciding to continue the fight. Hannah helped to continue the move towards independence. 

Martha Bratton
Martha Bratton: Martha and her husband sold and kept something that was vital in their times - gun powder. With her husband away, Martha was left in charge. Hearing that the British were planning to steal the gun powder, Martha set a trap, blowing up the building as the British soldiers arrived. She even admitted to her actions when captured. She was let go, and when she was later question about her husband's location, a British officer spared her. She repaid the debt when the same officer was captured by Patriots and scheduled for hanging. Realizing the cruelty of war, Martha set up a hospital open to both British and American soldiers.

Lydia Darragh
Lydia Darragh: Lydia was a Quaker. The British, seeing that she probably wouldn't be one to fight or turn on them, used her house for meetings. At one such meeting, Lydia overheard the British planning an attack on General George Washington and his men nearby. She personally delivered the information to Washington's troops, turning a British victory into disappointment. 

Sybil Ludington
Sybil Ludington: Often called the female Paul Revere, Sybil made a trip twice as long as Paul's when British forces captured Danbury, Connecticut. Danbury was a Patriot supply center. Colonel Ludington was in charge of commanding local Patriots, but needed more soldiers. Sybil took the job, riding into nearby towns and gathering up Patriots. The battle was a Patriot victory, and the British retreated back to Long Island Sound. 

Patience Wright
Patience Wright: Patience was an American woman who later took a boat to England, but she didn't leave her strong love for the Patriots behind. She was talented in the art of making wax figures. When war broke out in America, she stayed in England, sending bits of information to the colonists that were hidden in her wax sculptures! When American prisoners were taken to England, Patience helped many escape.

Rebecca Motte
Rebecca Motte: Rebecca's home was ideal for a British fort, so they moved her out and took it over. Patriots planned to burn down the house. She may not have created the plan, but she provided the items necessary. She gave the Patriots fire arrows, the Patriots then used said arrows to burn down Rebecca's home. The British retreated and Rebecca even got her house back before too much of it had been damaged.

Betsy Ross
Betsy Ross: Sound familiar? She made the first American flag! Her real name was Elizabeth Griscom. Betsy left her Quaker society to marry John Ross. The couple set up a business. Her husband died in an explosion while guarding ammunition. Later that year, she met with George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris. This meeting led to the sewing of the first American flag.

Mary Murray     
Mary Murray: Mary used her brains instead of her brawn to help the Patriots. Mary was a conflicted woman, being a Patriot married to a man loyal to the British. Knowing that the British planned to attack Patriot soldiers passing through, she invited the Redcoats to a dinner party, stalling them long enough for the Patriots to pass through safely.

Leslie McQuade
AΩ High Priestess Leslie McQuade: "In moments of uncertainty or doubt, or when I need strength and hope, I draw inspiration from these women who helped forge our great nation. What inspires me is that these women were, like the women of the AΩ today, not only clever and resourceful, but also willing to make the necessary sacrifices for liberty, freedom, and independence.

It is for these values that I continue to hold my head high, shoulder to shoulder with my AΩ sisters and brothers to face down the tyrants time and time again, as we proclaim together with one united voice:

For the Rose!"

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Astral-Only Initiation: Broad Consensus across the Golden Dawn Community

by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin

The discussion regarding the benefits and limitations of Astral-only initiation has resurfaced again this week. This discussion has gone on in the Golden Dawn community for years. The fundamental question is whether or not anyone can be exclusively astrally initiated at a distance.

Proponents of Astral-only initiation claim that a group of people (or a Temple) can initiate a person by performing a ritual somewhere else for a person separated by geographical distance, allegedly initiating the candidate by reading off their name in Temple during the ritual.

I have pointed out numerous times in the past, for example here and here, that there is a vast amount of concurrence between the conclusions of various Golden Dawn members all across the entire panorama of the Golden Dawn community on the subject of Astral-only initiation.

Sadly there are still not enough Golden Dawn temples around and Astral-only initiation just does not cut it. This is why it is important that there are other good options around. For example, Peregrin Wildoak this week wrote:
We may not be able to receive [initiation] physically, but we can unfold as if we had by carefully practicing the broader tradition.

Peregrin is correct. There needs to be a effective means of Self-Initiation that somewhat accomplishes the same magical goals as physical initiation present in a real Golden Dawn temple. This closely mirrors the results of my own independent research. There are just not enough locations with Golden Dawn temples and better alternatives must be presented for aspirants in outlying areas.

I still believe that nothing can beat traditional Golden Dawn initiation. If you do not have access to a traditional temple though, my research indicates that the best thing to do is to awaken the magical forces inside of you using Ritual Magic.

This is also why I wrote the Ritual Magic Manual ...

The Ritual Magic Manual fills an essential need for would be Golden Dawn magicians by providing everything you need for the magical component of Self-Initiation on your own, in a complete - step by step - user-friendly format. In the Ritual Magic Manual, you will find all of the pentagrams, hexagrams, Egyptian God Forms, Enochian and Qabalistic names sigils and names of power, flashing colors, etc. - all in one place!

My primary objection to Astral-only initiation has been the less than honest manner that it has been portrayed. For example I wrote here, that my objection arises...:
"...when modern innovations like Astral Initiation get misrepresented to the public as traditional or classical Golden Dawn practices. It is the dishonesty that is most destructive."
In regard to confusion caused by proponents of Astral-only initiation, Donald Michael Kraig wrote here:
"The thing I don’t like is when people pay dues, read some papers, do no work, pay for various “astral initiations,” and then claim to be experts with high levels of initiation. They make real occultists and initiates look foolish and bad." 

My research into the subject has always left me wary that the methods used by proponents of Astral-only initiation have the potential of becoming dangerous. In the past, proponants of Astral-only Initiation have criticised me rather harshy for this online.

I was pleased to read this week that results of independent research conducted by Aaron Leitch has led to similar conclusions. Aaron Leitch writes:
Personally, I find this to be rather dangerous.  I’ve seen how taxing a Neophyte Ceremony (and its aftermath) can be on any candidate, even with access to a full Temple and all the guidance and support that comes with it.  Blasting someone with a massive bolt of LVX and then expecting them to sink or swim on their own is… well, not something I’d do to someone myself.
On other aspects, proponents of Astral-only initiation claim that the founders of the Golden Dawn were themselves  initiated using Astral-only initiation. In this regard, Peregrin Wildoak this week writes:
There are no records of Mathers, Westcott or Woodman travelling to receive physical initiation from the supposed German source of the Golden Dawn. This lack of evidence however, does not support the view they were astrally initiated by continental adepts while safely back home in England.
Proponents of Astral-only initiation claim that it accomplishes everything that traditional Golden Dawn initiation does. I have addressed this issue numerous times over the years. For example, I here I wrote:
"It has been argued that there is always an "astral" element in any genuine Golden Dawn initiation. This is true in the limited sense that the energetic or "astral" body of the candidate is always ultimately impacted by the initiation. In other words, the initiation ritual works on many levels and affects not merely the physical body of the candidate. This does not mean, however, that the actual physical presence of the candidate is not required."
... and here:
"There is an actual transmission of energies from the physical body of the initiating Hierophant to the physical body of the initiate. To fully transmit these energies and fully awaken the LVX current in the energetic body of the candidate is extremely difficult to fully accomplish even under the best of circumstances - with the candidate physically present in the temple."
Reaching similar concusions, Aaron Leitch this week writes:
I agree that *all* initiations involve an astral process. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be anything more than a passion-play walk-through done merely to say “welcome to our group...The astral is where the magick of the initiation happens. But this is not the same thing that is meant by groups who claim to offer “astral initiation.”
Alpha Omega Adept, Sincerus Renatus correctly points out that the ritual theater elements is also important, here:
"The ritual is a drama, a play, which also has as a function to impart a though form or cognitive structure into the candidate, a theme so to speak, which gives a tone or atmosphere for the Grade. This has to be experienced live and in person, not read through or imagined in the inner eye. Compare this to reading a novel and watching a stage play; two legitimate artistic expressions but quite different in nature and quality. Full and physical initiation is a stage play of old Greek dramatic proportions."
On the same subject, Samuel Scarborough this week writes:
There are certain criteria for an initiation to be considered effective and proper. You clearly outline those criteria of Physical, Astral, Etheric, Mental, Spiritual. I normally only use three levels (Physical, Astral, and Etheric). An initiation should have elements where there is some action on these levels at the same time for the Candidate.
Alpha Omega's, V.H. Frater P. commented here:
"What i miss in this debate is the simple fact that, apart from the energetic transmission from the Hierophant unto the candidate, it is impossible to impregnate the MIND of the candidate with the physical symbols that are displayed in these ceremonies. For doing this, the candidate has to be physically present, and able to use his eyes! Moreover, by blindfolding him/her and exposing him to a dramatic procedure, his mind is made extra sensitive and absorptive. This is an ancient technique."
Donald Michael Kraig this week added:
"When someone says that an Astral Initiation is the one that really counts, they are talking about type AI-1. But some people who are officers in groups or initiates of groups that primarily perform AI-2 initiations falsely want you to believe that saying an Astral Initiation is the one that counts refers to what they are doing. It does not."
I am pleased to see that, whereas for many years I stood nearly alone in pointing out the problems with Astral-only initiationcommunity have come to so closely resemble what I have been saying all along.

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