Thursday, June 30, 2011

Golden Dawn or Not

One of the things about being a writer is that (in theory) one becomes aware of the fact that labels are important; people think of names and terms in little bits, not in tangled string balls. Occasionally, a writer will switch labels on some subject just because they are sick and tired of confusing people.

One of the labels I sometimes wonder about is "Golden Dawn." Or to be more exact, I wonder where the limits are of the term "Golden Dawn" lay. I also wonder about the terms "RR et AC" and "RC."

The root of this confusion lies in the fact that a reformation happened, but the reformers continued using the name despite the fact that non-reformers were still using the name. It has made the terms as useful as "Christianity," "wicca," and "magic," especially if you are concerned with being accurate with the way you are using them.

I generally tend to *sigh* before trying to figure out a way to point out the weirdness of the way I think of the terms. And yesterday, events made it just that much harder to be able to make sure people know what I mean when I say "Golden Dawn."

Unfortunately, I have yet to find a better term for the system that I am working. By goddess, I am looking forward to that day, just so that I can be free of the nonsense of having to spend an hour saying "We do this like side A, but this like side B, and this like side C, etc. etc." when I use the term "Golden Dawn."

Bottom-line, one should not need a score-card to figure out what someone is talking about unless you are talking sports or test scores.


Peregrin said...

Ah Morgan,

from morning practice to this interesting post. Thanks. Yes, I too have wondered about this for years, even started a paper on it and gave up...

I agree with all you say here. The only thing I can add is to paraphrase the late Justice Potter Stewart:

I may not be able to define 'Golden Dawn' "but I know it when I see it"

:) thanks

M.C. said...

Good post Morgan; I just began following your blog yesterday following the episode over at RO's and on FB, and I am now quite glad that I did. Before I devoted myself to Grimoiric and Ancient Magick I studied (studied, never joined) Golden Dawn style with an old adept who'd taken me under his wing, and I continued even after finding my own path. What eventually soured me on the whole was when I came in contact with "brethren" from so many widely divergent offshoots, each of which claimed their version to be the "True" Inheritor of the GD tradition and looking down upon all others. I wanted to practice Magick, without all the pomp and ceremony, without all the secrecy and elitist "My GD is better than your GD".

I love your post here Frater, I'll be following with great interest

Imperator David Griffin said...

You raise a good point here, but a certain level of confusion is the price of diversity in our community.

Our Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn does its part by distinguishing itself as the outer order of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega.

We have also struggled long and hard not to be confused with Golden Dawn orders whose practices have already been rated "F" by the Better Business Bureau and that we consider will likely to continue to drag the name of the entire Golden Dawn tradition through the mud if we are ALL not very careful.


J.C. said...

You know, I've actually been considering the same recently. Primarily I've been contemplating if some of the work I've been developing and will develop over the course of my magical career would be "Golden Dawn" were I to remove myself from the equation.

I think so. I have a foundation of about 15 years in the Golden Dawn. It flows through us. Everything I put my hands to, and I have to assume the same for you, stems from that foundation that has been layed out before us by the Golden Dawn culture.

It is a rich culture, and I think there is always room for growth. In my opinion, while the roots are layed in a rich tradition of hermeticism, alchemy, qabalah, etc, I don't believe the Golden Dawn is limited to what it was or currently is. Golden Dawn is all things practical. If it works, I believe in time it will find its way into Golden Dawn orders, as we tend to be concerned not just with historical analysis of what was taught before us, but how the system can be improved and built upon.

Just some thoughts...