Comments on this site are welcome but generally I will delete those made anonymously or any posts if they are seen to attack anyone.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Should we bury secrets in the mists of Avalon

I had a shock today when I read how Marion Zimmer Bradley protected her pedophile husband who committed serial sexual abuse and how her daughter has been saying that the fantasy writer was violent and sexually abused her too.

Like the writer Jim Hines who wrote the blog with all the details, I was a big fan of Zimmer Bradley who opened up the Arthurian mysteries to me. The world she portrayed was full of strong feminist figures fighting against some really unpleasant male aggression.  Now that world and those characters and world is dead to me.  They are the creations of a writer who did not mean a word of it.  Her fantasy worlds were not an expression of what she believed.

What is also strange is how there is a movement among her fans to say that this does not matter, what matters is the worlds and characters she created. Equally there are those who say that Bradley and her husband should not be judged because the matter has been “dealt with.” Besides  Zimmer Bradley was a victim of her own mother so surely that gave her the right to repeat the pattern etc..

But a writer is, in some ways, a God, or a magician.  Everything that happens in a book is a creation of the writer.  To write a novel is to expose yourself to the reader. 

In the Zimmer Bradley case the writer is a hypocritical god… she is not her heroines, but the cruel abusers. She is not the struggling feminist icons but the oppressor. Needless to say this turns Zimmer Bradley’s books on their heads and makes them effectively unreadable.

In her books it is the heroines who hold the magic and not the oppressors and what Zimmer Bradley is effectively projecting is her own cruelty against her magical self.  She is unconsciously aware that the two things are mutually incompatible.  You cannot be a magician and be cruel to the innocent. 

Now you can be a magician and an arsehole.  Being a magician does not stop you being arrogant, violent, intolerant, rude, or anything that many in the new age world says you should not be. But there seems to be a line after all, one where you stop being a magician and become something else. That line appears to be one of cruelty to another person or form of life for your own aggrandisement.  If you contribute to wrecking another’s life, then like Marian Zimmer Bradley’s universe, your magical world collapses.  Suddenly you lose the right to speak because the world has seen your hypocracy.  The magic might continue, but really the spirit of it has gone.

Watchers of the Dawn ran a story about how one of the heads of the AO Order in Ireland had been sentenced by a court for collecting child porn. If true and it seems to be, not only did the head of the Order David Griffin know about the man’s convictions but also he expelled three members for daring to complain about it.

Like the Zimmer Bradley case we are being asked to look away by those who are “fans” of that system.
On Facebook, the writer Fr Barabbas, who always takes the role of Griffin’s apologist, said that it was not up to anyone to judge someone who had already been sentenced and punished in a court of law. (Of course you could use the same logic to say that you should not judge someone who has NOT been found guilty in a court of law) Another person suggested that the story was just part of the Golden Dawn Flame wars and people should really be getting on with each other.

But really, like the Zimmer Bradley case, the magic dies when you hear of such things.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

The Alchemy of Bollocks --Turning Pop Culture into something useful

Attached is an old article I wrote for the Horus Hathor Temple in Nottingham when I ran it.  I found it on my computer this morning so I thought I would put it here. 

In the UK there is a term which means something is completely untrue, or a waste of time.  It is called 'bollocks' and it is considered a rude word which you are not supposed to use in polite company.  It is the complete opposite of the phrase the 'dog's bollocks' which is said to mean something very good – particularly for the dog.

Popular culture is built on bollocks. It sucks you into a morass of TV chatshows, Jerry Springer and reality game shows. It is bollocks that television presenters can do up your home or that you will be better if you look like they say you should.  It is bollocks that you should take drugs to make you 'normal' or that is wrong to be depressed occasionally. It is bollocks that your flight is somehow safer because you took your belt off and let someone sniff your trainers. Soap operas are temples of bollocks that we sacrifice our brain, time and souls at its virtual altars. 

Popular culture demands not only that we build our lives on bollocks.  We are encouraged to look away from things that are sensible and well thought out in search of bollocks answers to everything. 

Occultists consider themselves outside the mainstream.  They are supposed to look at the unseen world and find a measure of reality that is unseen by other people.  But despite this, popular culture seeps into their reality too.  Despite our attempts to be outside the system we cannot escape it.

This has lead many modern magicians to say “if you can't beat them join them” Is it possible to turn the symbols of popular culture into something we can use.
The logic is that if modern popular symbols are archetypes it should be possible to use them to key into the same forces that were opened by older symbols. 
However this is not as easy as it appears.  Older symbols are often hard-wired into the consciousness of humanity.  They are based on beliefs held by our ancestors for thousands if not millions of years.  This gives the symbols a depth which more recent symbols cannot quite match.

For a long time I followed the view that a symbol was a symbol.  It did not matter which one you used so long as it meant something to you.   In the spirit of experiment to prove this I did two rituals. The objective was to remove negativity in a particular area.  In the first rite I used pop culture symbols of Star Trek New Generation.  It was a great laugh,  I got to play Picard.  The negativity was visualised as a Borg cube which was destroying the area.  The ritual was effective.  Energy from the phaser banks was seen belting out of the East of the temple by more than one of the temple psychics. In short it did what was expected and was a lot of fun. 

The control ritual was one using heavy cabbalistic symbolism, neo-platonic symbolism with a bit of alchemy thrown in.  It was less of a ritual and more of a pathworking, but it also was designed to send a burst of spiritual energy outwards to smash up a negative thought form.  It did this to the same technical standard as the other ritual. One could say well that was proof that pop culture symbols worked just as well as the traditional ones.  But it didn't.

When the ritual officers asked which they thought was the most effective they all felt it was the classical ritual.  The felt that the symbols gave them more to grab hold of.  While the Star Trek rite amused them and intellectually they could understand the logic of the symbols it failed to move them emotionally  like the cabbalistic version.  So my experiment failed, it seemed that it was not entirely possible to root a magical system in popular culture symbols.  They were simply not deep enough to carry it off.

Does this write off then the use of popular culture symbols within magic?  Not at all.  But it is not simply a matter of replacing your rituals with popular symbols you have to alchemically wire it into the collective unconscious yourself.  In short, you have to turn bollocks into gold.

This has been done before, and will probably be done again in the future, with the myth of Atlantis. Popular culture has muttered that Atlantis was a real place for centuries, but in the 19th century the literal idea of this place really took off, with the works of the Theosophical Society.  One of the people heavily influenced by this teaching was Dion Fortune who became convinced that she was an Atlantian adept in a past life. She worked with the symbol of Atlantis and made it into a system.

This lead to a funny incident in the 1980s there was a very famous collective of magicians that used to meet around a residential centre called Hawkwood.
They had heard a legend that when Atlantis had sunk, the Solar Logos, which in Dion Fortune's system ruled the solar system, had decided that it did not want some of the Atlantian adepts to re-incarnate because they were too evil.  It stuck their souls on a comet with an incredibly wide orbit around the solar system, to gnash their teeth  until the solar system was ready for them.

It is not clear where the legend started from.  It has all the hallmarks of a channelling session, but it could have come from Dion Fortune's own Inner Light.  However the story got several of these famous magicians thinking.  It seemed to them after a few thousand years the Atlantians should have sorted themselves out and should be ready for an incarnation or two.   They meditated, and prayed, about the idea and got a good feeling about it.  Those who channelled the Secret Adepts of Power also got the nod from their contacts for the project.

So they met at Hawkwood with a plan to do a huge ritual to save the Atlantian evil adepts.  The ritual was set up, everyone was robed, but all was not well with the bloke in charge of the ritual.  He was starting to have a few doubts.  What if the Solar Logos was not happy with the idea of pulling these people back into incarnation?  What if he was releasing a plague of terrible evil on the world?  The rite opened and in the West the priestess made her contacts and poured power into the thought forms that were supposed to draw the errant Atlantians back onto the planet.  There was a pressure building.  The Mighty Magus of Power had broken out into a sweat.  Suddenly he knew he wanted to do this ritual about as much as he wanted someone to jab red hot needles in his eyes.   He decided that the Inner did not want the ritual to happen and used an emergency ritual shut down technique that delivered his fellow magicians to earth with a bump.

The Priestess, speaking words of her contact, said: “Priest you have failed” and stormed out of the temple room only to faint when she got into an outside corridor.  Many of the other officers felt physically sick and the ritual when down in legend as one of the ones which went bang.

But no one seemed to have paused before the ritual took place and thought; evil Atlantian magicians on comets that is complete bollocks that is! Nor did they consider what would have happened if the ritual had been completed. 

The idea of the souls of these adepts being stuck on a comet by the God of this solar system did not seem funny or odd to them.  Even if accept this bollocks they even had to accept other things that they did not believe.  They would have to believe that the soul could be attached to a physical reality. Further that the Solar Logos, or Sun, might consider some humans too evil to allow them to re-incarnate.  This would mean that the Solor Logos woke up one morning and decided to abandon the law of karma for these evil sods.  Adherents of this flavour of occultism are great fans of karma.

Yet they disabled all of these 'common sense' structures to accept a pop-culture myth and then allowed it to effect them so deeply that one of them passed out when it 'failed'.  Why?  Well it was all about faith. It was  serious magic to them.  What normally would have been popular culture symbols had been rooted into their belief structure so deeply that they were wired to the archetypes.  They were able to take the symbols and use them in a way that I was not able to hit with my Star Trek ritual.

This 'faith' built out ideas in other areas. I know of four people who claim to be the priestess who guided the ships from the sinking Atlantis to the shores of Britain.  The first was Dion Fortune who invented that version of the myth.  Others have been those who often are not aware that Dion claimed that role for herself and think they must have done it because they are such shit hot psychics.  However the Atlantis myth also developed into a system of magic based around geometric shapes.  Each shape was held to have a magical virtue and officers in a rite were told to hold lines in this pattern.  The idea was to make the shape light up on the astral.  Now this idea is really superior because it shows that the bollocks has been refined into pure intellectual magical gold.  It is producing something incredibly useful that could be adapted outside of that particular system.  The probably owed a lot to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, but that is not so important to the people who are using this system.

Popular culture can also motivate esoteric people to do workings that they normally would not consider.  As the world readied for the First Gulf War there were a number of magical groups that responded by doing rites for victory.  Some responded by digging up copies of Dion Fortune's Magic Battle of Britain book which described the setting up of wards around Britain during World War Two.  What was interesting about these groups was that they had apparently ignored the fact that the Dion Fortune defence rituals were designed to protect Britain from invasion from the Nazis.  There was no way that the Iraqi army was ever going to fight its way through Europe to besiege Britain. But what they were doing was responding to a stirring in the popular culture that felt that Britain was being attacked.  This was, of course, bollocks but it added power to the working that perhaps logic alone would not have provided.

So how is it possible to redeem a popular culture symbol so that it can be used to the same magical level.  The Atlantian working was based on faith.  The people practising were certain that it must be true and therefore made it happen.  The Gulf War working was based faith based on war propaganda and mass hysteria.  These are things that are very difficult to mimic in the regular working of a magician.

Using neo-platonic thought,  the reason for this is a symbol is not a single object but a gateway to many other objects that link to single divine idea. Look at it this way. One day a creator God, let us call him Jeff, decides to create beer.  He does not visualise a pint of something wet, hoppy, refreshing, lager or dark beer.  He thinks about everything that beer is and conceives it as a symbol.  A primal symbol of all beerness.  This image flows towards manifestation and gives birth to other symbols that make for different types of beer and flavour until there are legions of different types for creation to use.

Popular culture symbols are a bottom up creation.  They make links based on other symbols.  Picard is is not wired into the Universal archetype for leadership, he is  a symbol of other captains who show these qualities.  The Borg are not the archetype of a mechanistic collective, they are based on human societies where these ideas have gone wrong.  

But a divine idea which attracts more ideas to it over time. 
Popular culture symbols might track a way to becoming archetypes over time, but the very nature of popular culture is that it is ephemeral and will pass into history.
But the magician will not let that stop them.  Equipped with a knowledge of how these things work, it is possible to connect popular culture symbols to more primal ones.  It will take some doing and will probably only be personal to you, but it will make symbols from popular culture carry the same weight as those older and more traditional ones.

Firstly you have to do some internal wiring and this requires some meditation.  Take the symbol that you wish to redeem and stare at it for some time.  Allow it to create some 'ideas' in your mind.  So if we use Buffy, we allow the idea of being a chosen one roll around in our mind.  We think of a few of the adventures she has had etc.  Then try to think what she is a symbol of.  Compare  and reject those other heroes who do not fit the  qualities you find interesting about her.  So Alexander the Great for example was a 'Chosen One' but he led armies fighting humans and while Buffy only had a small gang fighting evil.  It does not quite work.  If you think that it is vital for the archetypal 'Buffy' to be a female hero then you will have to find a heroine who fits.  Remember, you do not have to use humans, myths and legends, gods and goddesses will all work.
Once you have selected a 'hero' then you start to look at the qualities that hero has which makes them represent what you want to use. 

Say we decided that Buffy, with her super powers and tendency to rush into dark places to fight evil, has enough links to be similar to the symbol of Hercules.  What is it that Hercules has that connects us to the ideas of heroism? We might generate a list – bravery, leadership, not fleeing in the face of monsters, or being eaten by them and, above all, a strong sense of humanity.

Now, in our mediation, it gets a bit tricky.  We have to take these qualities and ascend upwards with them.  The process makes them more abstract.  Generally I see the symbols as becoming geometric shapes but they radiate feeling.  Allow the shape to move upwards and follow it in your mind's eye toward a single point of light.  That light has symbolically to be damn big.  It represents the singularity of the creator... in my case Jeff.  In that light you should see the shape changing before settling on a single shape.  You might want to note that shape, before allowing it to come back.  Watch it change, moving from primal shape, to new forms, separating out into different beings, heroes, linking to Hercules and finally, like the bottom of a family tree, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

What you have done is link Buffy magically to something more primal and when you use her you will find that she is 'connected' to all the symbols that you meditated on.
It might be interesting to see if some of these symbols start to evolve in the direction that you meditated on.  You might pick up a Buffy comic and see a story line which reflects your meditation.  In magical terms it would be a good 'check on earth' that the links have been properly made as others who work with the Buffy image will have started to pick up on the same connections.  Again that would be a matter for experiment, but from your perspective when you tap into that image you will be free from a lot of the bollocks that surrounds popular culture icons and rooted into a divine reality.  Because you have seen those links between Buffy and 'Jeff' you can believe in them and because you have felt the depth of the links between her and him you benefit from the depth of the symbol.

This technique can be applied to any popular culture symbol, from Star Trek to and Andy Warhol tin of soup. But as an experiment I suggest you do a ritual using the pop culture symbols and then try and linking an iconic set before trying something else. Take the whole cast of Buffy, or the Bridge of the Enterprise, the Jerry Springer show, a range of cars, anything. Then use them as magical symbols to see if you can improve them by linking them to the Divine.  It does make watching the shows, or car spotting a completely out of this world experience.

Nick Farrell

Sunday 15 June 2014

Mathers' Last Word on the Golden Dawn name

Picture was by Paola Farrell and the quote comes from my book Mathers' Last Secret (revised edition) which can be found here

Sunday 8 June 2014


The European Golden Dawn and no that is not a Zelator Salute 
The occult community is doomed to be hijacked by right-wing nut-jobs and other idiots because it has become paralysed by its own desire to be “spiritual.”

Yesterday I was involved in a spat with a Golden Dawn troll in the Nova Roma group on Facebook.  Not the occult Golden Dawn, I mean the Nazi group which has effectively taken over the use of the name in the EU.  The troll was flooding he site with bogus historical claims about how the Jews wrecked Greece and how homosexuality in Ancient Greece was a dreadful rumour put about by the Jews where intimated by Greek masculinity. Ignoring him did not help.  He kept reposting because he believed he was right.

As I thought the Golden Dawn was anti-Turk (and this was a Roman group) so I made a few gags about how the Romans were Troyian refugees and therefore Turkish.  I was wasting my time, the troll had about as much of a sense of humour as his alt.magick counterparts in the 1990s.

The point was that the Nova Roma group seemed unable to do anything about him.  If a troll like that appeared in one of my Facebook groups he would have been banned. Scarlet Magdalene reports that similar trolls are the bane of her existence in Greek religious re-enactment groups but no one is taking them down either.

In all cases the neo-pagan movement is ignoring one of the primary lessons that the Jews learnt in the 1940s. The only way to deal with these thugs is to chase them off the streets.  In Germany the population was in fear of the brown shirts and the result was that they ended up being accepted.  In the UK though Mosley’s Black shirts were literally chased from the streets by gangs of pissed off Jews. The grass roots of the Nazi movement failed.  Then, as in now, the Far Right claimed their views are being censored and that you are trespassing on their rights to free speech.  

So fucking what!

Rights of free speech are intimately coupled with a right not-to-listen.  You have a right to call me name, but in law you cannot control my reaction.  So if you insult my ancestors it is not interfering with your free speech if I curse you never to have any off-spring or you get a terminal illness.  If you post hate-speech on a Facebook group that is your right, it is equally my right to take you down.

Yet in the occult community there is a fear that people are somehow doing the wrong thing. That they are not appearing spiritual enough in their dealing with these people.  If we are all One Thing then surely these people are just as much God as the rest of us.  That might be true but a sun and a black hole are part of the same universe, but you would not want them in the same solar system – one is very bad for the other.

My reaction to the Nova Roma troll was to leave the group, because I don’t want to read that shit and I did not want to appear bad taking him on. Occult leaders in particular have this problem.  There is a mistaken belief that being spiritual is being tolerant when in fact a closer connection to the flow of the universe makes you less tolerant of those who are closer to the trees and not familiar with their opposable thumbs. 

But then I thought fuck it… why should neo-nazis close down occult groups and chase working occultists out of them.  Alt.magick in the 1990s was a case in point.  When it started it was full of really cool people – Pat Zalewski, Poke Runyon, Adam McLean, Aaron Lietch, different groups, OTO, GD, etc.  Then it went to shit because a couple of bullies tried to assert control over it and defamed everyone who did not do their bidding.  Since it was impossible for you to kick someone out of alt.magick everyone just left and that level of egalitarianism has not returned in one place again.

Instead of trying to work with these morons, and “being tolerant” it is really time that occultists showed that this sort of behaviour should not be allowed.  It is time that real occultists started taking back groups from these backward types in whatever form they manifest.  Rather than defending the criminals and their rights to be arseholes, we should be defending ourselves from the contamination that this particular thinking breeds.   Rather than providing platforms for Neo-nazi thought, we should be closing it down at its first opportunely before it contaminates Adam Kadmon any further.

In short, you get the sort of community you deserve. If you do not stand up to bullies they will continue to steal your lunch money.    


The administrator at Nova Roma has banned two Nazi's from the group including the one who inspired this blog. Well done guys.....
THe admin has also posted that will be the fate of any one who tries to post fascist propaganda in the group. This sort of zero tolerance is exactly the sort of approach we need.

Saturday 31 May 2014


I have a new book out:

From the blurb 
In the late 18th century two prominent German esoteric masons wrote a fantasy about an Ancient Egyptian Magical Order called the Crata Ropea.  The tiny book was based on classical sources and was taken literally, particularly in France. 

It was influential in the development of many masonic and esoteric groups through-out the 18th and 19th centuries and its influence can be indirectly seen on modern groups such as the Order of the Golden Dawn, the Ordo Templi Orientis and even modern Wicca. As the knowledge of Egyptian history developed, Crata has become disregarded by those who had taken it literally and it has been largely ignored.

What Nick Farrell sets out in this book is that Crata Ropea was an example of an esoteric allegory written by two adepts to explain the path of initiation and goal posts to other esoteric experts. It sets out what happens on the path within the Western Mystery Tradition and what should happen to each individual as a result.  Once you have broken the symbolic code behind the book you can see advice, guidance and direction for various points of your esoteric life.

It will be one of my limited 100 copies things and available from Lulu here 

Sunday 18 May 2014


I am setting up a new magazine which aims to be a bi-annual Journal of Ritual Magic.  
EMERALD TABLET aims to bring together people from different traditions to talk about all aspects of Ritual. It will have a few "names" and some new writers.  It will be published in paperback book format and be distributed through Amazon and Lulu. An ebook version will be released a month after the paperback.

The Emerald Tablet is a bi-annual magazine printed in paperback book format which is designed for writers to present their ideas, research and discoveries in the field of ritual magic and occultism. 

It is not limited to one tradition, such as the Golden Dawn, but will focus on ritual magic. It is modelled on the Occult review (only it will be bigger and come out less often). 

Authors will be asked to submit articles of between 2-10,000 words in each issue. They will retain the copyright of these articles and can place them where they like afterwards. There is also no restriction on whether these articles have been used before, if the person has copyright on them, of course. We will take invocations and rituals, but not poetry or articles which have long quotes lifted from other sources. I would like to keep the subject matter as wide as possible with as many people from different traditions and groups as possible. 

While we would like to get “names” from the occult world in the magazine, this is also an opportunity for new writers to get in print. Proceeds from the sale of the book/magazine will go to the Golden Dawn Legal fund, once that fund has been filled we will be looking to support other worthy occult related charities (if and when that happens it will be agreed by the writers). The authors will get a free copy. 


The magazine will come out at each Equinox -- 20 March and 22 September. The deadline for copy will be 1 February and August 4 each year. This will give us time to edit and get back to the author for corrections and lay the magazine out. If you would like to write for the Emerald Tablet, please get in touch with me at edfu777 at

Sunday 11 May 2014

Why Watchers of the Dawn is important to the esoteric community

People wonder why I am so keen on the Watchers of the Dawn site – particularly when I have nothing to do with it.

Sure it are run by people who want to be tabloid hacks and are not (it is harder to write than way than you think). They sometimes go off half-cocked, or “sensationalize things” or fall into the realm of satire,  but they are doing something that the occult community has needed for at least a century – they are reporting news about the occult scene.  Their best items have been actually delivered straight and have been extremely hard hitting.

There is a saying in newspapers that news is something that someone does not want you to read, and Watchers of the Dawn certainly reports news that some people do not want you to know. In doing so they become an unofficial police force for the occult world.
One of the problems of esoteric societies is that they keep their dirty linen locked away with secrecy and a bogus morality which requires you to keep silent even after a group or its leader has committed some form of atrocity.

In the 1980s, I was a member of an Order which had a serious sex scandal which saw a large chunk of senior members leave in horror. What followed were allegations of magical attacks and other silliness in which their verbal and magical assaults at each other continued and off for decades. No one knows about it because no one ever talked about it publically. The protagonists were never named and shamed and the Order continued largely unreformed by the scandal.

If the same event happened today, someone would leak it to Watchers of the Dawn and the whole thing would have been public. The leaders would have had to have done something and it would have been resolved.

Some group leaders have committed extreme atrocities and people continue to join their groups unaware what they are being sucked into. The Modus operandi of a failed and insecure leader is to make a legal threat. One group leader used to warn a student that they had consulted their solicitor about something they had said in a bid to silence them and another one said that they had even consulted the police about how to handle one offish student.  All this is straight lies, but because people have a fear of facing a lengthy and expensive court case, or worse, being arrested and going to jail, the bullied student will back down.

The world would never find out what was going on but the group, and the reputation of the leader was maintained.With Watchers on board, at least there is an avenue for people to go to so that others might be warned. Watchers also stops other groups from spinning their actions quiet so effectively or trying to peddle snake oil to the gullible.

It is not without its faults. These guys are not real journalists and rely a little too much on what people actually post on the Internet, rather than digging out the real story. However, they have had some results. Recently David Griffin hid the death of his Praemonstator Jorge Hevia III for months until Watcher of the Dawn reported it. 
Jorge had been the legal muscle behind the Trademark wars and it was clear from the posts which followed Watcher’s Obit, Griffin felt vulnerable without his free lawyer.

Mysteriously the day after Watcher reported the news, David claimed he had a new lawyer and lots of cash from an unnamed donor from Malta so he could finally felt “legally protected” comfortable about writing the obit that Jorge deserved. If Watchers had not written, the story it is likely that Jorge’s death would have gone un-noted by the order which was shaped by his legal protection.

For all the claims that Watchers news is divisive, it did force David to do the right thing and announce the death of his number two. Whatever fears he might have had about confirming the news, it was the decent thing to do, otherwise it gives the impression that your service to an order is not at all noticed if you fail to be useful to a group, you are forgotten.

I am aware of a case of a sexual abuse case in one order which is being handled properly mostly because of a fear that the case will be leaked to the Watchers and it could blow the credibly of one chief.
That is EXACTLY the sort of unofficial police force which did not exist in the 1980s or earlier which, if it had been around, reporting a blow by blow account, it would have been impossible for some of the atrocities what were committed in the 1990s to have been glossed over in the way they were.

It is also possible for some leaders, who have foul and backward attitudes to realise that if they want to be seen as walking a spiritual path, they should not using a rival’s terminal illness as an attempt raise cash for their own pet projects. Nor will they get away with giving bogus medical advice, or expelling people from groups for not doing what they are told.

Each teacher and order has to be able to have good reasons for their actions and be confident of presenting them in a public forum and it is sites like Watchers that will help to keep them clean.

My only worry about them is that they do not seem to try to get the “other side of the story” before writing. I know they have a lawyer working in their team, but the lack of balance does not sit well with me, even if the guys say “no comment” you have to at least ask them their side.

In the meantime, it is up too occultists to work with his new force… maybe it will make the lives of students better in the long run; in the same way that a free press was so good for democracy. When the Press became less free, politicians were able to get away with murder.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Golden Dawn Vault

Pat Zalewski has just done this video on the Golden Dawn Vault...

. it is the perfect companion to my book which you can find here

It is really good that this mysterious part of the Golden Dawn and its traditions are finally being talked about.

Friday 2 May 2014

Watcher of the Dawn has a new site

It seems that Watcher of the Dawn has gone up market... as much as an upmarket occult tabloid can get. It looks good... but guys you really need to shorten your sentences. Tabloids are more punchy. Check out the link here

Attached is a picture from Maxx which could show what it indicates for the wider occult community.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Magical Machine -- The Golden Dawn Vault in Colour limited edition book out now.

From the blurb

“The creation of a vault is a rite of passage for any Modern Golden Dawn Order. Creation of one a Herculean task and it requires a knowledge of as much of the Second Order material as possible. It is a moot point if you can ever be a real Golden Dawn Order unless you have made one.” 

The Order of the Golden Dawn had a magical machine which used colour to create a magical effect within its Adepts. The construction of a vault was the key to understanding the Golden Dawn system of magic. However, it remained a closely guarded secret and before the development of the computer creating one was a work of art which required a deep knowledge of the colour magic of the Golden Dawn.  Few vaults have been built in the modern era and, thanks to the secrecy surrounding the original magical order, many have been constructed on using colours or ideas which have not been right.

In Magic Machine, I have  provided full colour drawings of what a vault should look like and offers readers of what will be for many will be a first glimpse of the Golden Dawn’s magical machine.

I have also provided a method of how to use the vault walls and other material in a practical way without needing to construct a full sized model for yourself. He gives techniques for exploring the Inner heart of the Magical Golden Dawn.

This is not a book for beginners, but for those wanting to work deeply with the Golden Dawn system at the adept level.  It fills a gap in the Golden Dawn magical knowledge  in the 21st century written by someone who has actually built one himself.

Only 100 copies of this book have been made.

Apparently it might be a bit controversial because there are some who think that this information should not be made available.  It is 56 pages and in full colour you can order it by pressing the button, Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Sunday 6 April 2014


For years, I have wanted to create a magical book; something that you can use as a magical tool. The idea has been around since the middle ages. The Ars Notoria would provide you with a diagram, or a magical seal on the left hand side which you would meditate on while saying a prayer on the left hand side. Now a Canadian occultist Fra Alim has managed to create a Golden Dawn version of what I always wanted. It has taken him ten years hard work and meditation and getting a copy is a real honour.

It arrives in a purple bag with its own seal of protection.

It is a beautiful half leather with gold seals on the front

Front Cover 

Back cover 


Inside, Alim has taken several different aspects of the Golden Dawn tradition and built specific diagrams which unlock those particular ideas. On the right hand side are the parts of the ritual, or prayers which unlock the seal and are used as part of the diagram meditation. To a muggle these are simply beautiful diagrams, but to a magician the seals manage to take you places both intellectually and astrally. 

In combination with the prayers or meditations you are taken to places which depict different aspects of reality as seen through the lens of Tiphareth. This is only possible if the artist, in this case Fra Alim, has an experience of those particular states. If someone who had not experienced these states had created such a book, the doors would lead to lower astral or simply intellectual ideas. These seals take you to spiritual visions.

Particularly useful are his seals for the Spheres on the Tree of life. These would be very effective if used ritually by placing the book in the east and opening it on an appropriate page to bring in the sepherotic power for the ritual or to prepare the magician before they start a ritual. It would be useful for a Heirophant to meditate on the Malkuth seal and meditations before attempting to initiate someone into the 1=10.

The book itself appears to have a life of its own. Paola became very attached to it and it seems to like her a lot. It lets you discover something new about the Golden Dawn when you open a page at random. It is a strange and beautiful experience. I have favourite pages one includes a much better version of the Qesheth for the portal grade than the GD or the SM came up with.

Fra Alim’s work is still personal to him, so he is understandably reluctant to give it out, and certainly not to anyone below a certain grade within the tradition. However, if you are real spiritual seeker within the Golden Dawn and under the rose you can seek him out on Facebook for a chat. If you are lucky, he might let you buy one of these.

Inner and outer

I wrote this essay years ago for the Horus Hathor Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn  but I think it still stands - at least on a basic level.  People often forget that there is an inner aspect to ritual. 

Many people think if you do the GD ritual as if it were a perfectly performed play it is enough to archive spectacular magical effects.  Such people advocate turning the GD into a sort of Masonic order.  But with respect to those who do attempt to do Masonic rituals in an esoteric way, the GD is a MAGICAL order were the mere performance of a rite will simply produce a minor effect where there is an overt dependence on the superficial symbols of the rite.  If it were all about play acting we would be better off taking part in the Importance of Being Earnest with the local am-dram club.

You will have heard me talking about the ritual taking place in the Judgement Hall of Maat, none of this is mentioned in ‘the script’ it is  part of the astral or inner workings of the ritual.  Too many details about this I cant go into, but these involve the manipulation of different Egyptian godforms in a sort of twilight between the material and the spiritual realms.  The Hierophant builds up these godforms and causing them to vibrate at a particularly frequency by using calling their names in an ancient language.  This work I find makes it easier for me to see them clairvoyantly during the main working.  These godforms are ‘Golden Dawnised’ images of the Ancient Egyptian God in particular colours that are designed to enhance their power in the working.
Esoteric teaching says that there are three basic levels to the universe.  The first is the material, the next is the astral level which is at right angles to this one and is the realm of imagination and dreams.  Finally there is the divine level which is where the realm of the gods and goddesses or just God depending on your tradition.
Magical power comes from the divine level and therefore to call power into your rites you need to build an astral bridge between the group on the material and the divine.

What the hierophant does along with anyone else who is sitting on the top table in the East is visualising a halfway house on the astral in their imagination.  This temple is populated with Egyptian gods and goddesses and these act as channels for divine power. This halfway house is then placed over the top of the physical temple.

Some of the Gods are placed over the officers, other are just left passive conduits of power.
In the GD this godform work was considered top secret and would only be know to the highest grades in the group. The layout of the Inner Temple and the various depictions of the Gods and Goddesses used were kept in a single coloured scroll or book in some temples and which only those who did the visualising saw.  

Usually when a temple closed this scroll or book was the first to be destroyed to prevent anyone getting access to the group’s egregore.  For this reason anyone can perform rites that have been published, no one can claim to link to the original group. They build new godforms but they will never have access to the original egregore because these will never be the same or visualised in the same way.

The godforms provide the halfway force between the Earth and the spiritual forces you wish to attract, but the godforms we have formed does not yet actually draw much force to it.   The Heirophant has built a circuit and are is yet to power it up.  To do so the Heirophant ascends spiritually to the highest level they can and draws down spiritual energy into the thought-forms created.

At the point in the ritual where the Heirophant says: “By names and images are all things awakened and reawakened” you will notice that he does the sign of the enterer but does not do the sign of silence until a few seconds afterwards.  It is during this point that he or she is powering up the circuit.

Monday 31 March 2014

Star Trek Ritual

The Golden Dawn cipher manuscripts were used to create the Golden Dawn rituals.  They provided the skeleton for all the rituals from 0=0 to 4=7.  However Mathers was looking at the ritual through a late Victorian Masons eyes, he could have easily have created a different ritual.  What would have happened if the Cipher manuscript had been found in the Star Trek universe?    Newly created from the cipher manuscripts is the Star Trek opening (and it really is created from the ciphers with a little tweaking). 

Officers of the Golden Dawn robed up for the ritual.

All assemble put on uniforms, communicators, etc.

Captain: Officers of the Bridge, assist me to accelerate this ship to warp speed.

Communications officer: Hailing all hostiles to leave the sector:

Captain: Security see that the ship is properly shielded and protected.

Security Officer: I have scanned the sector and have found no enemy vessels. The ship's shields are fully functional, captain.

Captain: Who are the bridge officers.

Head of Security: They are the Captain, the First Officer and the Head of Security.

Captain: What do they have in common?

Head of Security:  They all are members of Star Fleet and obtained top grades. They also have American accents and are men.

Captain: What are the other officers?

Head of Security: The Communications officer, the Science officer and the Medical officer.l  The Cheif Engineer is at his station off the bridge.

Medical Officer: I am in the South the point of over emotion and arm waving.  I carry the tricorder which makes a sound like wibbly woo and I scan the candidate to see he does not have klingons.

Science Officer: I am in the North the point of coldness and logic and I wear the pointy ears and the symbol of raised eyebrow.  I look into the little box and I scan the potential candidate with cold facts.

Communciations Officer: I am inside the door, and I talk to strange beings with my clunky earings. I announce that beings are ignoring our hails, and that the universal communicator is broken.

First Officer: I wander freely about the bridge and reconcile the science officer and the medical officer.  It is my task to lead the away teams, but also to rescue the captian when he insists on going on an away team.   I shoot first and ask questions later.

Security Officer:  My place is in the west and I wear the red teeshirt of office, which means that I am usually the first person to die.  I carry a phaser which is usually set to kill.

Captain:  My place is in the super comfy chair with the buttons and I rule the bridge. I am power, light, mercy and wisdom and I rule the ship in the name of Star Fleet.

Science officer purifies with cold Logic and Science.  Raises tricorder and says: 
"The needs of the many out way the needs of the few it is logical."

Medical Officer consecrates with emotions.  Raises tricorder and says:
"Damn it, man, I'm a doctor, not a physicist!"

Captain:  Warp speed
Everyone lines up in the North East and circumabulates three times.

Captain: We are at warp factor three let us give reference to our creator. Face screen and say:

Holy art thou Gene Roddenberry
Holy art thou who created the Star Trek Multiverse
Holy art thou who created the mighty  “The City on the Edge of Forever” episode
And also the terrible Wesley Crusher (shake head slowly)

|Captain: Communications officer I ask that you declare that the ship is at warp speed.
Communications officer: In the name of the Captain I declare that the ship is at warp speed and the Kingons flee away.

Captain  Phasors

Securty  On

First Officer Stun

Security Boldly

First officer GO

Captain: Where

Security: no one

Captain: Has gone

First Officer: Before

Make signs at captain's chair and make a vibrate a shhhhhhh noise.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

A Golden Dawn Lingo translation guide

A long time ago a friend of mine Clive Harper published a list of what people in the Servants of the Light really meant when they said certain phrases.  I thought I would update it for the Golden Dawn tradition. I might add to it

What Golden Dawn people mean when they say the following things:

This is a Golden Dawn oral tradition:  I made it up.

  • This is a Golden Dawn tradition:  Don’t blame me I didn’t make it up.
  • This is a Cabbalistic tradition:  Don’t blame me, god made it up.
  • The Golden Dawn used to do it this way:  My old temple used to do it this way.
  • They are an independent order: No one wants to go near them.
  • They are an independent temple:  We only count them as members when we want to look like a big order.
  • We have a Golden Dawn lineage: Our chief once met Israel Regardie in a bar.
  • We are the only ones with a Golden Dawn lineage: We have no lineage.
  • We do not care about Golden Dawn lineage: We have no lineage.
  • We have AO lineage: We do not think you are quick enough to research that we have no Golden Dawn lineage.
  • We follow Paul Foster-Case’s approach to the Golden Dawn: We hide in the cellar when any mentions anything about Enochian.
  • We follow Anne Davies approach to the Golden Dawn:  We claim that we are the successors to the Golden Dawn in the hope that people will join us.
  • We follow Chic Cicero’s approach to the Golden Dawn:  We have the biggest and prettiest wands.
  • We take an Alchemical Approach to the Golden Dawn: We don’t know what we are doing so we cover it up with impenetrable quasi-alchemical terms which sound good and mean nothing.
  • We prefer to follow a Wiccan approach: We do not do exams and our chief adept has been arrested for indecent exposure.
  • We follow the Sun approach:  We don’t care who rules us so long as she has big tits.
  • We follow a more pagan approach:  Our meetings start two hours late.
  • We teach sex magic in the higher grades:  If you are pretty, you will go from 0=0 to 7=4 in a year and be sexually assaulted by the Chief Adept or the second Adept in the post ritual Jacuzzi.
  • We are Open Source:  We never do anything unless it has been blessed by Richard Stallman.
  • We follow the masonic approach:  Our temple members are all over 60, we don’t do godforms or magic, we have a dinner afterwards and refer to women as “the ladies.”
  • They are influenced by Crowley:  They have wife-swapping parties after temple.
  • They are overly influenced by Crowley: They have wife-swapping parties after temple and never invited me.
  • It is in the black brick edition:    I am making it up and do not want you to check.
  • It is in the doorstop edition:  I am making it up and really do not want you to check.
  • It is in Zalewski’s book: I am making it up and I really, really do not want you to check.
  • (S)He performs black magic:  He performs actual magic and it scares the shit out of us.
  • (S)He is taking a sabbatical:  He was caught poking one of his students and is having to lay low for a while.
  • (S)He has been told to practice the Abramelin method and report back: We wanted to expel him/her but we thought it was better to tell them to do this and hope they never came back.
  • I am the re-incarnation of Mathers and you are the re-incarnation of Mina: I really hope you are impressed, do not know your history and want to sleep with me.
  • We agree with what Regardie said about psychotherapy before joining:  You are nuts and need a lot of therapy before we let you in.  
  • All our new teaching is in the 6=5 and 7=4:  We are using photocopies from the Regardie book, the only people who hold 6=5 and 7=4 are the Chief adept and his mate and it will take you 20 years before you find out and by then we will have shifted all the secret teaching to the 8=3.
  • The answer to your question is above your grade:  I don’t know.
  • This ritual was above your grade: Who the hell let you do the bornless one?
  • That was a hard ritual: God I need a drink.
  • That was a heavy pathworking:  I dozed off in the middle what happened?
  • It is unusual for us to get that effect:  The candidate’s head does not normally rotate and nor does ever get hit by projectile vomit.
  • That was an unusual method of consecration: We didn’t think anyone could get the stolisties cup up there.
  • We normally don’t allow the Heirus to do the sign of the enterer on the circumambulation: The sheshkababed hegemon and Kerux was difficult to explain to the nice policeman.
  • (S)He fails to understand Golden Dawn history:  (S)He does not do what I tell him.
  • (S)he does not respect the Order: (S)He fails to see how I ever got a 7=4.
  • He is autocratic: I am autocratic.

Wednesday 19 March 2014

When did Thelema become the Westboro Baptist Church?

For those who want the background of what I am commenting on have a look at the watchers of the dawn site.

Thanks Wikicommons
As I started to work with underworld deities I started to warm to some of Crowley’s material and was starting to care less about some of the doubts I had about Thelema.  But recently the antics of three “high profile” Thelemites have led me to question where that religion is going.

I know that the behaviour of three does not define a religion, but these three have managed to come up with something which is nothing short of an atrocity based on their no doubt deep conviction that is what Thelema says.

My main focus is really the point which was posted on the LVX/Nox blog that contains this quote:
“Liber AL clearly instructs Thelemites to display strength and not care for the weak. To try and add a humanistic tint to the second and third chapter of the book is folly, as they are as clear as day to the true meaning.”
In other words, the three people who attacked Don Kraig while on his death bed were doing so because their religion was instructing them not to care for the weak. Somehow caring for the weak means that strength is being shown.

However, such a creed is anti-evolutionary. It is the philosophy of the wolf-pack where the weak are left to die because they will slow the rest down. Humanity has moved past the point where strength is defined as the primary reason to rule. As a result, we have inventions and technology which have been created by people who would have been left for dead by societies that are more primitive. If this really is Thelema then it is clearly not a modern religion, in fact is on a par with those other Bronze Age religions that it claims to replace. It calls on people not to “waste money” on the Stephen Hawkings of this world when we should be giving it to more healthy football players.

The idea that “might is right” has been discounted as anti-evolutionary by most civilisations – its last paragons were the Germans, Russians and Italians in world war two and the colonial powers before that.  Just because someone is strong does not make them right, nor does it mean the weak should have been euthanized.

On that point, if these three Thelemites had a “right” to say what they did about Kraig because “he was weak and they were strong” surely they should have had said the same thing to the founder of their religion Alistair Crowley. While Crowley was fit at one stage of his life, his health declined rapidly in middle age. He was a drug addict and suffering from severe asthma. He was weak, and so, by the book of the Law as interpreted by these three he should have simply died.

This idea of being strong while others are weak, of forcing your ideas onto others at the expense of common decency is the hallmark of the fundamentalist Christian. Westboro Baptist Church considers itself presenting its truth even when common decency suggests they should shut up. What is the difference between picketing a funeral because dead soldiers “are faggots” and defaming someone while they are on their deathbed. Both acts are ennobled in the minds of their perpetrators based on their own interpretation of scripture.

In the case of Christianity there is a reason for its evolutionary backwardness – at its fundamental level it was drawn up 2000 years ago and re-interpreted several times to make it fit into the politics of the time.  Thelema lacks that excuse -- it is a new religion; free from politics, a pope, or anything external to itself which can cause anti-evolutionary behaviour. So why then has it generated followers whose attitude would be welcome in the ranks of Westboro Baptist Church? That something Thelemites need to worry about.

Humanity does not need another religion which calls for another people to dominate or be unpleasant to another.  We had those and they always lead to genocide and intolerance.  Therefore if that doctrine is not what Thelemites consider as being part of their faith, then they have to do their best to distance themselves from them.  Just like Westboro  is a problem for Christians, these three should be a problem for Thelema.

What was telling in the Kraig incident was that the Thelemites were surprisingly quiet – the antics of these three were upsetting only to people outside their religion. The three became convinced they were right and went on the attack. Posting more of their hatred publically and attacking those who disagreed with them.

Where were the Thelemites who disagreed? If these three are wrong in their interpretation of the Book of the Law then why aren’t people pointing out their error?  Why is it left to outsiders to be horrified that a modern religion can go this way?  If they continue to permit this sort of anti-evolutionary thinking, they will end up in same position that Christianity is.  

When Westboro stands up with its hate placards it re-enforces what many people believe about Christianity anyway – that it is a bunch of right-wing conservative nutjobs who have nothing to say about real life.  Too many like Paul Joseph Rovelli, Leilah Publications and surgo at Lux Nox and your religion will die out as outsiders like me realise that they really do not believe in such horrible things in the 21st century.,

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Don Kraig has died

It is with great sadness that I announce that Donald Michael Kraig took his last breaths last night (3/17/2014) and died. He has crossed over to Summerland and is finally no longer suffering. The type of cancer he had was just too aggressive for us to do any more treatments and his body finally gave way. He did not suffer. He simply slipped away in his sleep.
In lieu of flowers or cards, please consider donating to the fund below to help offset medical expenses and, now, funeral expenses.At a later date to be named, there will be a memorial service celebrating his life and what he meant to all of us.Namaste,Holly Allender Kraig 

Last night Don Kraig lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. He went out fighting with a large number of his friends, students, and legions of readers alongside him. This is the way it should have been. Not only do occultists fight for every inch of life, what ever the odds, but Kraig’s books inspired many to start magical work and there are many of which owe their magical careers to him

There will be some who feel that the magic that they did to keep Don on this planet failed and they would be partly right. The magical reservoir which helped him through the last stage of his illness appeared to allow him to have a peaceful end unlike many who suffer from pancreatic cancer. It seemed that it really was his time and the fates had spoken and it was not a situation that magic had a right to change.

However, there was something more at play here. More than 1000 people that I know of were regularly doing regular healing workings in many different traditions, for a variety of different reasons.  All that energy sat on the astral helping him through what was a very painful illness.  It was there in such a supply that as he stepped into the Astral he would have known it and felt it.
 It was a magical send off for a modern occult hero. Over the weeks that Kraig’s friends fought for him, he knew that he was loved, wanted and appreciated.  You cannot want more from a life than that.

This is the sort of exit that few in the occult world have received. Many die unknown, unmourned and unappreciated; their books yellowing on second-hand book shops. The fact that so many gave their power to help him, is a sign that they wanted him to stay.  The fact he went out fighting with so many alongside him was a sign that this was a special person.   Someone who is more than human does not go “gently to that last good night” if they feel that they have work to be done. Don did not.

Kraig wrote a book which has been in every occult bookshop and most occultists bookshelves for more than 20 years. It will remain an occult classic he probably had more inside him which will be up to his students to bring through.

We do not learn about how important individual sparks are until they are gone. The collective grief already appearing on Facebook is mourning that vacuum inside ourselves that the departing spark leaves. We all did our best to try to change that, but it was time that Don left this story to go on to a new one. At least he knew that he was wanted.


If you are living across the pond you might what to look up the MagickAll (April 5 to 13, 2014) gathering hosted by David Griffin's HOGD/AO. You can read all about it here 
It will be held  on the outskirts of Las Vegas Nevada and will feature speakers on Wicca, the Golden Dawn and General Magic.

Monday 17 March 2014

Heal the Sick and that freely

There are moments when I find myself out of sync with the rest of humanity and the occult community.  I heard that Don Kraig was sick and I thought, lets rally occultists to do a regular healing ritual for him. Someone else thought raise some cash for him so he that he does not have to worry about medical costs.  A group started on Facebook and all seemed quite reasonable.  It seemed normal.  It struck me the world was better off with Don Kraig in it.

But apparently in this modern world this attitude is wrong.  The head  of the Gnostic Church of L.V.X  Paul Joseph Rovelli  said Don Kraig was a fraud.  Since Rovelli could afford expensive medical insurance, so Don Kraig should be able to.  Instead people should be giving money to his Gnostic church which was “giving money to the living.”

 A publisher of what appeared to be “right on” books Leiah Publications said that we should have been giving money and healing to Steve Hyatt who was dead a long time ago and never asked for any.

All of the above people were American and suffering is not part of the American dream. Suffering is a reminder that their system really does not work and only helps a handful of people who are lucky. At the other end of the scale you have people who think that everything is divided into race and whatever race you are not in is somehow privileged.

But what is lost here is someone is sick, help him out in whatever way you can. Magic or money it does not matter. It is what you do for a fellow human, even if they are not your friend. Now I do not know Don Kraig. In fact, I must be one of the few magicians on the planet who have not read his books. He knows a few friends of mine and has been decent when I have written to him and he asked for help generally. It seemed natural to help.

After all, you cannot claim that you do not know, because you have been told.
The Bible talks about a “sense of rightness” and that the Torah is really written on the tablets of your heart. In Ancient Egypt they talked about about the rule of Maat and “rightness.”

This is not saying “ I am right” and these “other guys are wrong.”  It is that there is a rightness in helping people when they need it. Sure, there are times when it is best not to help, and there can be some real moral dilemmas here, but when someone is physically sick and they can’t do to help themselves, which is when others HAVE to step in. 

Occultist are supposed to be developing themselves so that they can help the universe. By helping themselves they are supposed to improve live for everyone else.  They are aware of the illusion of separateness and realise that they are helping themselves by service to others.

This is not some “leftist wishy-washyness” this is obeying a law which is written on the tablet of your heart.  
It is possible that while emphasizing the individual we have lost side of the other. We have become narcissistic. In doing so we have lost the reason why we do all this. We are sparks of an infinite being and the sum is always greater than the whole.  In helping others when they are helpless we are assisting evolution. 
It was that which was the idea behind the Rosicrucian idea of "healing the sick and that for free."  

Or maybe that is just old fashioned, maybe we should be just giving cash to occult organisations or investing in our new shallow Apple inspired consumer culture religion. Maybe we should be only doing magic for ourselves while inspiring others to join our Orders to uphold our fragile egos upon blankets of grades, and lineages.  Or maybe it is time to say, fuck it, others are a manifestation of me I will help them in what ever way I can, when I can.

I should end with a pithy quote here, and all I can think of are the words Peter Gabriel ended his Sofia concert with:

"The rest is up to you."

That is the Magicians creed.... what do you want the story to be?  

More on Don Kraig's illness here