Friday, March 14, 2008

Oath of secrecy

(Readers may want to note that this is in response to a yahoo group posting about an unfavorable Enochian Chess book review I did a couple of months ago. Those who are interested in my reaction as a book reviewer can read the entry on my writing blog. Under normal conditions, I wouldn't care to give this more time, but there was a point about secrecy that I think needs addressing.)

Today, the notorous Steve Nichols posted a comment on a couple of Yahoo groups about a recent unfavorable book review of his first Enochian Chess book. I am fairly sure that it was written by me; if not, I still feel some guilt about the one that I wrote. Nevertheless, he made one comment that I want to address.

(Actually two comments, but the response to the one {about his attempt to divorce Enochian Chess from Golden Dawn} can be summed up as "Prove that Enochian Chess was not a Golden Dawn invention.")

(Anyways...) Nichols said that "Polytheists such as myself, or Wiccans, or even atheists, cannot in all seriousness take any GD vows and oaths that are required. Personally, I think Oaths to be a bad thing on the whole, as they restrict freedom of the ba, and may not be appropriate to you at a later time when conditions in your life (or beliefs) might have changed from the time you made the Oath. Also the internecine politics of belonging to one or other of the modern GD factions can often make practitioners lose sight of the Work."

Say what?

Outside of the atheists (who I can not imagine being in Golden Dawn considering that they believe in no higher power, souls, or magic), the others can take the oath. Wiccans and polytheists have taken the oath to the Order, or tradition; I know because I have administered it to several. In fact, I am a polytheist and a Wiccan and I have taken the oath of obligation (I was already one when I swore my oath in Hathoor Temple, and they had no problem with administering the Neophyte, Portal, and Adept Minor oaths to me).

Those who view the oath of obligation as too restricting are the same people who view Satan in Paradise Lost (John Milton) as a hero, rather than the nasty envious toad that he is. (Not that I believe in Satan, but after spending half a semester reading it in literature class, I am going to get at least one reference out of it.)

The oath does not restrict you to remain in Golden Dawn for the rest of your life; if you want to leave, just quit paying your dues and quit practicing.

(As for the internecine politics, I agree with Nichols that it is terribly distracting. But you can study and practice the system without getting involved in that nonsense, so it is not proof enourgh to abolish the entire system.)

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