Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What makes BIORC different?

Truth in advertising strikes the Hogwarts House system.
One of the difficulties about trying to decide what Golden Dawn Order to join is that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the Orders. Their advertising looks the same; as soon as one group makes a claim, everyone else also claims to provide the same service...with one exceptation (c'mon--I do not need to point out the one claim that no one else wants to make). In the end, often it boils down to who is leading the group, and if you know any other members of the group, and if they have a local lodge or correspondence course, which determines what Golden Dawn Order that you join. Their advertising footprint might also be a factor.

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.


Fr. A. said...

Interesting replacement of the Feminine of the original ...

Peregrin said...

Hi Morgan,

thanks for this very interesting post.

This is indeed a HUGE change. I, and many others, have always taken the reference to LOTU etc as an imperfect sexist language attempt to convey the mystery of the Holy One, the One Thing. The "Dryghten" in BTW terms.

So, I want to be clear here: is the idea of of changing the words designed to balance out the offensive 'Lord only' reference, but still keep the GD / RR et AC focus on the One beyond all things?

Or, are you introducing a duo-theism into the BIORC?

If the latter, then WOW - yes, EVERYTHING changes. It will be a brave new tradition and one I will be eager to watch :)

Thanks :)

PhoenixAngel said...

Thanks Frater Morgan for explaining this to me :)

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

It is not so much "introducing" duo-theism as it is admitting that it was already present in the system. The first intake of members, back in 2000, were all Wiccans or Wiccan-friendly--and most came from a duo-theism group that previously existed. For awhile, we do have mono-theists involved, but one of the things that I think drove them out was the duo-theism presence. And with the current group being all Wiccan or Hindi, well, it is best just to embrace this difference and see where it takes us.

Lance M. Foster said...

I still dunno why people have to ascribe gender to the Creator. Sex is a way for DNA to be exchanged, in order to keep diversity going in order to increase the species' chances of survival under changing conditions.

The Creator doesn't need that.

All the other "feminine" and "masculine" stuff other than reproduction is either secondary sex traits, or personality traits ascribed to one or the other, and tied to hormonal differences, all supported or shaped differently according to what culture one is in.

The Creator doesn't have a penis or a vagina, neither or both. Those are biological things and the Creator is not biological.

So basically if it makes you feel better to say when you pray Father or Mother or both or neither, I really don't think the Creator cares. Just do it. Just pray.

IM Research said...

Yes, duo-theism is already present in the system, but the Adoration is intended to reference Kether is it not? By specifying male and female, has attention not shifted one level down on the TOL?

I suppose it is easier for me to use the phrase LOTU, because my primary association is to the Life Power, rather than a concept of male or female.

It will be interesting to hear if this changes the energy and/or perception of energy in the Temple.

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

We have no clue what the Lord of the Universe prayer is supposed to be addressing. For one, we have no clue what the creator of the Cipher Manuscript intended the prayer to do. Second, if you go back to the original source, the Hermetica, there is no reference to Jewish Kabbalah. Third, if I was to attempt to link the prayer to Kabbalah, I would argue the Three Veils of Negative Existence--and just the Lord part alone drops us below Daath.

Fr. A. said...

Hi Morgan,

I sincerely doubt the HAT is derived from the Hermetica, although some folks read that into it. I would suggest that it should be correlated with the extremely high of the high places Adon Olahm... which is equivalent but superior to Ain Soph. As Adon Olahm is described as without beginning or end and Ain Soph is literally "without end". ADVN = 61 = AIN & OVLM = 146 = SVPh or cumulatively Adon Olahm = 207 = Ain Soph. This is a very significant term in Kabbalah. the GD associates the "Mighty One" with Shaddai El Chai, but the "Vast" is possibly in the HAT a reference to the Vast Countenance Arik Anpin who is both Male and Female. In Kabbalah only Adon Olahm (also male and female) can say "Ana Emloch" or "I shall rule"... this was stated inappropriately by the Edomite Kings thereby causing their death except for Hadar (Beauty) who was... "Male and Female"... the others had no wives and so they died... Also in Kabbalah the term for Lord as Adonai is entirely Feminine and Malkuth is called Atarah (diadem) because it can be elevated to Crown. It makes way too much sense Kabbalistically and is set-up in format very similar if not identically to various Kabbalistic prayers. It shows descent and ascent from above Ain Soph down to Malkuth while uniting the Feminine and Masculine the entire way. Lord and Lady is not a bad interpretation although Kabbalistically this is like saying Lady and Lady... but in English communicates the construct quite well IMHO.