Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Kicking around secrecy

I have been thinking a lot about secrecy lately. More than I normally do.

I tend to think about secrecy a couple of times a week. It is hard to be a member of a "society with secrets" and not occasionally think of secrecy. Especially if you hold one of the offices that deals with secrecy (the big three and their variations, and Archive Officer).

There is also the little fact that I am a writer, who occasionally hacks out an article that involves the stuff that Golden Dawn studies.

Now, I am not surprised that I have been thinking about secrecy lately. After all. I am getting ready to start researching and creating the material for the June 5th Open Full Moon Ritual that I am leading (the work begins the day after the last of this semester's finals). The theme and work of that ritual is partially inspired by some of the work I have done in THAM (hence me kicking around what should be secret and why).

But what is surprising is that the denizens of the Golden Dawn internet community have brought up the issue of secrecy again just while I am kicking the subject around for the hundredth time. It is the timing that surprises me; that and the fact that no one seriously took the bait set out (then again, it is an argument where there are no winners---ever).

The debate over secrecy erupts periodically on the internet. This latest flow is tied to the recent videos, Vault pictures, and podcasts that have made their way to the internet.

How much secrecy is necessary in Golden Dawn? Is the level of secrecy required for Golden Dawn different than the level needed for Second Order? What should be kept secret? Does secrecy actually protect the egregore of the tradition? How about the sub-egregores? And how much information should we share between the various Orders?

Honestly, I don't know. And just maybe, I don't care either. Besides from where I sit, it just doesn't matter.

The ultimate society with secrets, Freemasonry, has survived despite the fact that their secrets having been let out of the bag since before the formation of their first Grand Lodge. One of their auxillary Orders, the Eastern Star, only forbids the passwords and degree gestures from being published.

And Golden Dawn has survived with its secrets published. Crowley and Regardie didn't destory the system by publishing (I would like to point out that only one of them was actually out to destory the system; the other one was trying to preserve it). We will survive the internet and the latest in Golden Dawn offerings, including the upcoming book about Mathers.

Besides, as an Archive Officer, my oath is to "preserve the tradition" by whatever means necessary. The choice was made for me back in '94. Occasionally, that means publishing stuff or exchanging information with others. And with the lastest offerings, it was the creators of the material that published and revealed it (their natural right).

And this makes me glad---for as long as the system is healthy (or at least not in danger of going extinct), and the lore is in no danger of dying out---as long as the other members of the tradition are doing their best to preserve the system themselves, I don't have to fulfill the ultimate clause in my oath as an Officer. It is better that others decide for themselves the limits of secrecy because my oath doesn't actually give me a choice if we reach the triggering event.

1 comment:

Nick Farrell's Blog said...

I don't think the secrets of the Golden Dawn were ever published. I am not really sure if Mathers or Westcott really got them either. This is because you can take the material as a primal symbol and 'grow it' from your own understanding of it. I am currently working on the four (five) elements. All basic stuff but few seem to have looked at what they really mean. Yet an understanding of them is supposed to be the key to the outer order.
The secrets of the Golden Dawn are those things that cannot really be published. For a start you would never find a publisher and it would take a writer of talent to explain them in a way that other people could use them.
Take for example the so called inner ritual of the hexagram. The secret is not that you draw it, or even how you draw it, it is what it means. Its true power is occult and secret and most people could not understand it. I started looking at the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram a couple of years ago and had to stop because I found that it was so absorbing and contained so much material that I was not doing anything more. Some of it I wrote up and you can see what I mean.
Great Blog btw.... I just found it. Will comment when I can. Feel free to wade into mine some day :-)