Tag Archives: golden dawn

Interview with John L Crow

By Psyche | September 6, 2010 | 2 comments

Podcast set, photo by Patrick Breitenbach

John L Crow hosted the popular podcast Thelema Coast to Coast, and is currently pursuing a PhD. in American Religious History at Florida State University.

This interview was conducted on Saturday, September 4th, 2010.

Psyche: Thelema Coast to Coast was an excellent podcast running from 2005 to 2007, one of the first of its kind and I believe the first to be solely dedicated to Thelema. It’s been almost three years since your last episode. Do you miss it?

John L. Crow: Yes and no. The podcast was certainly a product of its time and filled a particular need within the Thelemic community. I miss the interaction with the larger community, the feedback and so forth. But I honestly don’t miss producing the podcast itself. It was a lot of work and now that I am in graduate school, I simply do not have the time.

I have been asked if I will ever resurrect the show. Continue reading

The Art and Practice of Geomancy, by John Michael Greer

By Gesigewigu's | April 13, 2009 | Leave a comment

Art and Practice of Geomancy, The: Divination, Magic, and Earth Wisdom of the Renaissance , by John Michael Greer
Weiser Books, 9781578634316, 243 pp. (incl. appendix), 2009

Geomancy is a form of divination that reached the height of popularity and practice in the middle ages and renaissance. Ignored for centuries, it became part of the Golden Dawn’s teaching, but it never really caught on, and there is a chance this book will help change that.

Greer first places the reader Continue reading

The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley, by Richard Kaczynski

By Psyche | March 28, 2009 | 1 comment

The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley, by Richard Kaczynski, edited and introduced by James Wasserman

Weiser Books, 978157634569, 126 pp. (incl. appendices), 2009

Richard Kaczynski is the author of the acclaimed biography, Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley (sadly out of print), and it’s not surprising that he is able to sketch the outlines of Crowley’s life so.  Naturally, the book begins with a biography of Crowley, briefly describing his early life, his time at Cambridge, poetry, the Golden Dawn, the reception of Leiber AL vel Legis, the OTO and the A.’. A.’., the Abbey of Thelema and his end.  The section concludes with an annotated list of twelve books of Crowley’s work as recommended reading.

Part I deals with “Mystical and Magical Societies”, specifically Continue reading

Tarot and Accuracy

By Psyche | December 8, 2008 | Leave a comment

A woman who reads playing cards recently acquired her first tarot deck, and made inquiries on a forum I participate in as to the difference in accuracy between the two, and the “difficulty”.

Frankly, such questions are frustrating as they are not terribly meaningful in and of themselves, but as someone who reads cards professionally myself (I’ve read tarot cards for more than ten years, and I read for various clients, at corporate events, private parties and fundraisers, as well as lecture on the subject), I can attest that they are common. It might help if we first separate fortune-telling from divination. Continue reading

Review: What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn, by Francis Israel Regardie

By Psyche | October 6, 2006 | 1 comment

What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn, by Francis Israel Regardie, forward by Christopher S. Hyatt
New Falcon Publications, 1561840645, 233 pp. (incl. appendix), 1936, 2006

Seventy years later, Francis Israel Regardie’s works remain today a principal source of information regarding the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He believed that the Golden Dawn was “the sole depository of magical knowledge” and “the only Occult Order of any real worth”. While this may seem slightly exaggerated, it certainly was at the forefront of the scene at the time.

While he may have believed in the order’s practical and mystical methods, he no longer believed the Golden Dawn was the ideal medium to transmit this knowledge. As others (primarily Crowley) had already disclosed some of it, he thought it prudent to reveal all its teachings to the public to ensure its preservation.

However much he believed in the order, he also offered some harsh criticisms against its Chiefs, leaders, and members primarily in regards to grade-lust. Regardie touched on the order’s various complications and its complex history, believing that “[t]he root of the trouble, quite apart from the grade misconceptions as well as the curse of vanity, was of course that the work was only cursorily performed. No one really cared a fig for Magic and spiritual development. No one really strived for mastery of any technique. Grades, and grades alone, were the goal”. This may remain familiar to many currently practicing in various orders or groups. Unfortunately, no obvious solutions are forthcoming, at least not for ‘saving’ or ‘curing’ the order itself.

Regardie presents a more or less balanced view of his experience with the order, pointing out its faults, while continuing to revere its teachings. He received flack for the publication of this, and other Golden Dawn material, however he believed he was acting in accordance with the Work itself. Indeed, he rather boldly states: “If I am guilty of treachery and have mistakenly worked against the intent and purpose of the true occult forces behind the Golden Dawn…then willingly I open myself to the avenging punitive current…if my present act be contrary to the true intent of whatever divine powers may be, willingly let my “Rose be blasted and my power in Magic cease”. Evidently the powers that be did not take offence.

He gives an overview of the order’s grades and basic theory, as well as an outline of its syllabus. Further commentaries from other authors are tacked on to the end, as well as additional documents supporting Regardie’s claims.

It seems almost gossipy at times, however reservedly presented. The use of magickal mottos or their initials in lieu of mundane names may be a term of respect or to preserve member’s privacy, but it may seem difficult for those not already acquainted with the subjects to keep track of who’s who, and the fluctuation between mundane and motto may further flummox the reader.

This presents an interesting perspective and personal history of the Golden Dawn, and should prove a fascinating read for anyone considering joining or learning more about their teachings.

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