Thursday, January 1, 2009

State of the Golden Dawn 2009

As we open up the New Year, I find myself thinking about the state of the Golden Dawn community.

Over the past year, we have seen several political motivated flare-ups (bearing in mind that these flare-ups also have to do with trying to corner the Golden Dawn market). We have also seen several forums mediators/owners setting up their forums, so that they can weed out all the political and bile-inspired postings.

This has resulted in a decrease in serious Golden Dawn postings on the public forums. The only postings that are still numerous are ones that really have nothing to do with Golden Dawn. Ads for non-Golden Dawn groups and classes (the Golden Dawn related ads are actually being blocked) and rants by people who for the most part seem mentally unstable have became the norm of the day.

Not that serious discussions are no longer around, it is just that most of it is happening on private members-only forums. Or in lodge.

This is not necessarily good for the Golden Dawn community as a whole. At the moment, based on the postings, an outsider would judge us all to be loons.

On the other hand, it is not necessary bad either. One of the big threats in Golden Dawn has always been that the leaders of the worst Golden Dawn groups will do everything in their power to destroy any up-and-coming members of the system. It is a lot harder to destroy someone when you don't actually know that they exist.

And we are going to need a fresh crop of talent in a few years. Several of the heads of the major Golden Dawn groups are getting long in the tooth. We are going to need a revival of the system, preferably by people who had no part to do with the politics and legal issues of the current version of the system.

Not only are we going to need these people to revive the lodge system of Golden Dawn, but we also going to need them to come up with a new goal and administrative structure for the system. Much of the currect state of Golden Dawn is based on the absolute sacredness of the original documents and structure; unfortunately, this results in a system that outlook is rooted in the 1890's. New seekers want the system to be more current and useful to their religous and spiritual beliefs. They also want a system that they can turn their back safely on their fellow members and leaders without getting stabbed.

(I still that a form of limited democracy is the way to go. I am a minority of one.)

As it is right now, there is little to make of value to a Wiccan or non-Christian member, and Christianity may be a dying religion. Outside of magic, that is.

During the last year, the lawsuit that threaten the entire system seems to ground to a stop. It is still too soon to pronounce it dead. As it stands right now, any hope that Golden Dawn would ever unify again into a single Order is gone. Which might actually be a good thing, or maybe not, time will tell on that front.

The trend towards Golden Dawn writers being forced to publish though small publishing houses continues. The bigger publishing houses have decided that there are just not enourgh Golden Dawn students buying books to make it worthwhile; they rather cater to the new age crowd. Even the more serious Wiccan authors are being forced into the arms of small publishers.

It is still not profitable to write Golden Dawn material.

And all this behavior is rooted in a common problem. Most people are treating the Golden Dawn and its membership as a zero-sum game.

For those of my readers who have not taken economics, a zero-sum game is a game where if one person gains, another person must lose. It is based on the assumption that there is only many resources to go around and that no more can be created.

There are only so many lessons that are in the Golden Dawn system, so we must have absolute secrecy to prevent these materials falling into the hands of outsiders. There are only so many potential members to go around, so we must crush competiting Golden Dawn Orders, lodges and leaders and take their members and potential applicants for our own. There is only one way to continue to develop the system, so we need to convince people that it is our way and no other.

The zero-sum game as applied to Golden Dawn is poppycock.

With the lessons, Orders need to generate new material, write new lessons, and develop the system. Yes, this will talent and skill and lots of energy; it will keep people busy. With the membership, actual and potential, the system as a whole needs to start growing interest in the system (if businesses can figure out how to create new customers, why can't Golden Dawn; after all, people are hunger for the spiritual). With the development of the system, all the potential ways need to be looked at.

But lets be honest, this could have been entitled the State of the Golden Dawn 1965, 1984, 1992, 2008 or 2010; it is another year and the state of Golden Dawn is the same as always. Nothing is going to change in the next year, decade or century. I am a happy little cynic, ain't I?

1 comment:

Devin Moore said...

What do you mean when you say "the Golden Dawn related ads are actually being blocked".

In all, I really feel you here. Being a lonely, solitary practitioner in an area with no Golden Dawn activity (it would seem), it is rather depressing to see the scandal going back and forth between groups and thinking you have ideas that might resolve some of these differences, yet having no voice. It's like shouting at the wind.

Anyway, I think that some of the things that may help regenerate the tradition are (1) ethical reform, (2) transparency, and (3) possibly an ecclesiastical arm. The way the OTO have their EGC, Golden Dawn should have something similar.

One of the most frustrating questions that I get from people who ask me about my spiritual aims is, "What does your religion believe?" First I have to explain that GD is not a religion but an order, one that technically I myself do not belong to. "So what's the point?" is the response I get.

GD ought to solidify its religious side in order to cater to those who's beliefs are in harmony with the GD teachings, but have left organized religion behind in light of what they have learned from the system.

If I remember correctly, Mathers did attempt to do this in a "Cult of Isis". Is that right?