And some people expect universal policies--it disturbs them when the leaders of two different Golden Dawn Orders disagree about a policy, for they expect a certain level of agreement within the tradition.
One of the policies that I am watching develop and evolve currently is the tradition's viewpoint on marijuana use.
It used to be more or less universal that admitting that you used marijuana would get you a demerit in Golden Dawn---after all, marijuana was an illegal drug, and no Order wants its members to engage in illegal activities---it was an offense that would end your membership in a proper GD Order.
(In fact, one of the nasty rumors spread though one of the flare-ups of the Golden Dawn flame wars---that wonderful time when certain Orders tried to drag the reputations of their competitors though the mud, in an attempt to create a monopoly for themselves---was that the leadership of a certain branch of the Order was engaged in the illegal trade of marijuana. Interestingly enough, no one ever went to the cops...so it might have just been one of the numerous lies told during the heydays of the GD flame wars.)
A few years ago, I openly came out as a supporter of legal medical marijuana, and later as a supporter of legal recreational marijuana. A lot of people in high positions of Golden Dawn leadership wanted to see me openly expelled from the system for my political beliefs about the subject. (Hey, I heard though the grapevine what people were saying about me.) To their dismay, they learned that the branch of the system that I belonged to was not inclined to expel me for my political beliefs, anymore than they were inclined to expel me for being a loud mouth blogger.
Today, you literally have to check with your superiors in the system to know which way to jump on the issue of marijuana. Some Orders will still expel your ass for using it; others are doing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy; and some Orders are going "if it is legal in your state, then we guess that we have to accept the fact that you are allowed to use it."
(I do find it highly amusing that one of the parties that used to trot out the "and their Chief is guilty of trading in marijuana" is now saying "ok, we guess it is ok if your state voted to make it legal"....which just proves my suspicion that the rumor was always about destroying the reputation of another group, and getting more customers for themselves.)
So where is the Golden Dawn tradition ultimately going to end up on this issue?
Given that the national view on pot is changing, with half of the United States being able to use medical marijuana, and citizens voting to let recreational use happen, plus the little fact that the Feds have started to ignore it on the state level (all the recent busts in marijuana legal states involve syndicate, money laundering, and transporting of pot into states where it is still illegal), I think it is only a matter to time before the Federal Government reclassifies marijuana as a drug more akin to alcohol than cocaine.
Once that happens, I think Golden Dawn as a whole in the United States is going to be forced to embrace the "do not operate under the influence" stance on marijuana, which is the same stance that the system has on the use of alcohol. In other words, do not show up to Order events under the influence, and do not perform magic under the influence.
(Well, more or less...I have heard rumors that some GD leaders do not allow the use of any mind-altering substances, including meds for depression and bi-polar---as in being on prescribed meds will get you expelled---a rumor that worries me to no end, considering that some people like myself actually need such drugs. [Note that I was NOT on meds when I was allowed into GD, so my mental state is acceptable to some without meds...still I am a better, nicer person when I am on my meds.] And the rumor always makes me wonder if said leaders drink coffee, liquor, and use sugar--all of which are mind-altering substances, not alone do magical ritual which also alters your mind.)
Now, at this point, someone always brings up Crowley and Thelema--the Thelemic stance on drugs is much more simpler thanks to the fact that the Book of the Law contains a line that can be read as being pro-drugs. One could argue that you cannot be true Thelemite without doing drugs.
But here is the thing, Golden Dawn is not Thelemic---Thelema is just another religion, and we have to respect all religions. (The reason that Thelemics get tossed out of GD circles is that they insist that everyone needs to follow the Book of the Law and act like Crowley; in other words, they openly disrespect other religions.) While we have to respect your religion, we are also allowed to say that you cannot attend lodge while under the influence---it is not a religious right to be a disrupting agent in lodge.
And shamanism, and voudoun, and what not, again Golden Dawn is not those things---therefore, the stance that those systems have on drug use does not apply to GD either. Golden Dawn techniques are meant to be used for people who are sober...well, soberish.
Now, I know that someone will say "Gee, Morgan, we presume that you are doing the happy drug, surely that means that you have to allow people under the influence into a meeting." No, in fact, given my experience with marijuana, I must insist that you should not be operating under the influence. Honestly, I have a hard time cooking dinner under the influence of some strains of marijuana, not alone calling the divine names in the correct order. If I can't do magic under the influence, I presume that no one can. And no, I am not going to watch as you try to prove that you are better at handling drugs.
(For the record, I am using marijuana because I get migraines that can last for days on end. My record is twenty-two days. Given that fact, I think that my open support of legal pot is understandable.)
To recap: Do not operate under the influence, and "don't ask, don't tell," and stay legal.
|Don't you hate it when dinner becomes a math problem?|