|Truth in advertising strikes the Hogwarts House system.|
We could label the main Golden Dawn groups as "The Amway Golden Dawn," "The False Humility Golden Dawn," "The 'We can't be bothered to have a correspondence course' Golden Dawn," "The Freemason Golden Dawn," and "Those freaks of nature Golden Dawn."
Oh, and then there is the group I belong to--"The 'Who are you again?!' Golden Dawn."
Here in Denver Colorado, we have three Golden Dawn lodges...and rumors that a fourth one is going to be organized. And honestly, I bet that you can not tell the difference between them. The fact that there was overlapping membership for awhile...and this may still be true for two of the lodges...does not help any (all the shinies got shared).
So the question of "What makes your group that you belong to different from all the other Golden Dawn groups?" is a difficult one to answer. Even my answer that "We are the pagan/Wiccan friendly lodge with the smallest membership" does not really create a distinction. Nor does the statement, "We are the least likely to be married to the exact ritual script that the other Golden Dawn lodges use."
Yet, both of those statements are actually the statements that you want to pay attention to. For they are the statements that hint that something is going on behind the scenes...something that makes Bast Temple more BIORC than strict Golden Dawn.
Earlier this year, a cascade change was introduced into the Neophyte ritual of the BIORC.
For those of you who are relatively new to the Golden Dawn system, a "cascade change" is a small change that leads to more and more changes in the rituals and lessons of an esoteric system. Golden Dawn is actually a series of interconnected and interlocked rituals and magical techniques. The smallest changes and corrections occasionally end up changing the system so drastically that a group that starts changing things often finds themselves ceasing to be Golden Dawn. For the most part, groups do not like this possibility, so they cling to the strict version of the published rituals and teachings.
Awhile back, the cornerstone members of the BIORC ceased to care if the group remained Golden Dawn. Therefore, some small changes have started to be introduced...including what promises to be a cascade change.
The change that threatens to remove BIORC from the Golden Dawn system?
Simple, the Neophyte prayer to the Lord of the Universe got changed to a prayer to "The Lord and Lady of the Universe."
Yes, something as simple as that could end up being a cascade change. For one, it upsets anyone who believes that only a male one-god religion is correct. For another, it opens up the door to having to change all the Elemental Prayers. It also opens up the door to the esoteric mysteries being explained not in Christian and Jewish symbols, but rather in symbols from British Traditional Wicca and other modern pagan religions.
The change in the ritual was made because the membership of Bast Temple (which is the Mother Temple of the BIORC) is once again composed of just pagans and Wiccans. The ritual acknowledgement that the divine has been god and goddess aspects is long overdue as far as the membership of Bast Temple is concerned. But it is the type of change that may result in BIORC ceasing to be a "true" Golden Dawn Order.
Personally, it is exactly the type of thing that makes me remain a member of the BIORC, rather than joining another Golden Dawn Order. For it is the one group that I do not have to mentally apologize to the Goodess to every time when the Lord of the Universe prayer is said.