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Excerpt 2

 

"And who, pray is sanctifying the Golden Dawn, an insipidly patriarchal order if there ever was one."

Yes they were extremely structured and geared toward a Judeo-Christian initial approach, but you have to consider the time period in which they formed. Most of the members of that group came from Christian homes. Of course the founders of an occult order like that would cater to those beliefs for their members, but there was also quite a bit of reference to the female aspects of existence as well. The Qabalah is a huge part of everything they did, and much of the traditional Qabalah is rather patriarchal in its descriptions of Divinity, although the core elements of its teachings are more universal and concerned with the balance of opposites. If those same people were to have gotten together in our present time, they probably would have just written a book on self-initiation and spiritual development according to their own personal viewpoints and released it complete with a website available to all. Remember that that group did not intend to make themselves known to the public during that time either, and such rigid structures also helped to keep certain people's noses out of the core teachings in their group (a defensive tactic to avoid public persecution).

"Granted they advanced occult science a wee bit, "

Understatement of the year! lol Where do you think Crowley got his foundation?

"…but no where near as much as Gerald Gardner or Alex Sanders, not to mention the women behind the men, Doreen Valiente and Maxine Sanders, and those drunk old masons in the Heirarchy of the Golden Dram had NOTHING on Starhawk, the true Genius of Magick."

Ok, we can't compare apples with oranges here. The Golden Dawn was NOT a religion in any way, nor was it a 'boys club' as you put it. How many idle clubs do you know of where public knowledge of membership could be punishable by prosecution or loss of career, family, social status, or even life?

The Golden Dawn was an occult group that made use of virtually every aspect of magick and religious symbolism known to them at the time for the purpose of spiritual development of anyone involved in their system. It was a created system, and was a synthesis of everything that those founders were aware of including medieval magick (very Judeo-Christian influenced of course), Judaism (making use of Hebrew scripture for symbolism), Christianity (making sure to show the similarities of myth between Jesus and Osiris), Egyptian beliefs, HEAVY Qabalah influence, and miscellaneous other references to Hindu and other philosophies. Mostly though, just an effective synthesis of several related magickal traditions, and they were not discriminative of any member's particular religion. To really get an appreciation of what they did, you have to examine the ESSENCE of their methods NOT the particular details regarding the structure and male dominance which was only a reflection of the society in which they lived. The main thing that impressed me with them, was their actual working synthesis of several mystical traditions to create a particular change in the psyche of the individual who went through their ceremonies. Rituals and ceremonies like that function in much the same way as dreams by providing a symbolic experience for the consciousness of the individual participating in the ceremony (almost like waking dreams really). By studying the symbolism used beforehand, it planted the seeds of enlightenment toward a particular set of energies or ideas. Later when that person saw those same things he/she had previously studied enacted in front of him, and had his mind opened up to higher energies of the (often Enochian) currents, it would cause those seeds to burst forth into life in the psyche of that person. (Thus permanently changing him/her.) That was the whole point of it all, NOT a religion.

I'm not going to comment on the Wiccan traditions, since I'm not of that and it really isn't related much (other than through the use of the Will and psychic abilities) to the traditional medieval/renaissance magickal traditions. Wicca is a religion with magick in it. Magick by itself today does not entail any formal organized religion in my opinion. Most of the medieval mystics had to cover up their activities with religious symbolism anyway, so we're all in the same boat of persecution when it comes right down to it.

Jealousy between Golden Dawn members and Crowley? Not really…most of them were reported to have been afraid of his mental instability, seeing him as potentially dangerous to himself and others. That's why most of them didn't want him initiated into the order regardless of how intelligent and gifted he was.