Saturday, February 5, 2011

Griffin is a pagan?! (Busy Golden Dawn News Weekend Pt 1)

It has been a busy couple of Golden Dawn news days. And quite honestly, no one in their right mind probably wants to start the ball rolling on commenting about the things that have been going on.

Well, no one ever said that I was in my right mind, did they?

The first one is that David Griffin announced that he is an initiated member of Stergheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento, a branch of Stregheria (Italian paganism) that claims to have intact the Inner Alchemy secret of the Great Rite (a form of sex magic).

I presume that this is the big announcement that he hinted about a few weeks ago.

And the only thing I have to say other than the obvious (I am a non-believer in unbroken traditions) is: David Griffin is a pagan?!

Ok, I did not see that one coming. In fact, when asked what religion Griffin was (such things do come up in conversation), I have always said that I presumed that he was Christian. Well, I called that one wrong, didn't I?

The announcement did make better sense of some of his recent actions. For instance, when he waded into the whole historical argument about whether Wicca was a recent invention or an actual survival from the past, the best explanation I could come up for his interest was that if Wicca was a survival, then his claims that his Order (Hermetic Golden Dawn/A&O) was blessed with information intact from ancient Egypt and Babylonia would be looked upon more favorably. Again, I called it wrong, didn't I? I will admit that Griffin kept his beliefs well in the broom closet.

I tend to be very loud about my religion: partially because most Golden Dawn groups are so Christian, and partially because I am not smart enourgh to keep my mouth shut. I also practice the "buffet style" of paganism---if it is a tasty bit of lore or ritual, I grab it. I am definitely not the same type of pagan as Griffin, and therefore I will definitely not benefit from his efforts to make paganism a cultural force. Well, at least I know my place in the world, don't I?


Peregrin said...

Hi Morgan,

Thanks for this post – I look forward to part 2 (and 3? Since it has been a busy GD time).

I am not in any way being superior, but David Griffin has never struck me as a Christian. As with many GD folk, his writings show his use and embracing of Christian symbolism but not of the Christian religion. There is big difference. I have seen nothing of his that places him within the traditional Christian esoteric mould, where Christ and the Incarnation are seen as something different than myths of other deities. If we are to be bound by the limited binary Christian based definitions, his non-acceptance of this fact perforce makes him a ‘pagan’.

Of course such definitions are all stuff and nonsense, as the term ‘pagan’ (like ‘Christian’) can apply to folk who agree on nothing else except they are ‘pagans’.

I will admit the Stergheria connection took me by surprise; I was expecting the revealing of an unbroken lineage from ancient Alexandria or something. Either way though Mr Griffin and co are spreading the news big time. Not being in the US, I cannot judge if the visit of Dianus and Diana del Bosco Sacro is really a big event or just media hype. Any comments?

The Great Rite site is a hoot in and by itself and I see shades of AMORC in the claiming of the dead as high initiates. A particularly neat touch is the inclusion of Gerald Gardner within this stream of really-really hidden wisdom, (pagan Tantra) but only as a limited second degree initiate. Won’t that attract the disaffected Gardnerians out there?

OK, too much cynicism for the weekend… thanks :)

Frater GOIGrI said...

"Well, no one ever said that I was in my right mind, did they?"

No, I've never heard anyone say that.

Alex Sumner said...

Of course it would be far to cynical to point out that the first thing he does when coming out as a Stregha is to sell something - so I won't. ;-)

Peregrin said...

In the interest of fair play, I have to point out when confronted with the claims of Gardner's initiation the material was removed from the Great Rite site. David Griffin went on to say:

“Neither Stregheria del Bosco Sacro nor the Great Rite makes any claim whatsoever regarding any initiation of Gerald Gardner. Any statement made by any initiate contrary to this was clearly made in error.”

Details, including the erogenous original statement can be found on VH Fr AIT's excellent 'Heavens within Earth' blog:

Thanks :)

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

Hmmm, that reminds of how many times errorous information has been removed from his other claims. Sometimes I think it would be easier if they quit making claims, rather than correcting the ones that they make in error.

Of course, you can't prove this...unless in the interest of fair paly, you compulsive save copies of every post and page that you read.

Peregrin said... EVERY page, but after a few tricksy things I have learnt to screen shot and save with certain individuals, so can back up what I say if needed :) lol