In Modern Magick I described why I thought the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was important. Imagine a simple hourglass:388px-Hourglass_(PSF)

The sand in the top half represents the  forms of occultism known in the West during the middle to late 19th century, ranging from ceremonial magick to Paganism. They were filled with differences and yet some occultists conceived that there was a hidden, underlying, unitary basis. At the central point, all of those systems merged into a complex but coherent system. That system spread out, as represented by the sand in the bottom half of the hourglass, influencing directly and indirectly virtually all forms of occultism and spirituality in the West as they exist today. That central point, that uniting and combining factor, was the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Whether or not you are a dues-paying member, whether or not you are involved with silly name calling concerning other groups, there is still one thing all people, members or not, should be aware of: the concepts believed in and practiced by the Golden Dawn mean something and stand for something. The question is, what? To often, even members don’t seem to ask themselves this question: What do you stand for? But first…

Don the Magic Man

Lots of young boys (curiously, though, few girls) become interested in sleight-of-hand magic. I was not immune to the magic bug myself and still consider myself a performer of magic as well as a performer of magick (that “k” comes in handy). For many years I was a professional member of Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle.

One of the things that intrigues young boys interested in magic are the stories about Harry Houdini. Over time, these stories have been mythologized and fantasies have replaced fact. In the movie, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, newspaper reporters are given the advice, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” This is because nobody will believe the actual fact. Still, I’m going to give some legend vs. fact information about Harry.

The legend is that after his mother died he tried to contact her through seances and spiritualist mediums. Unfortunately, due to his knowledge of magic, he quickly saw through their fraud. Although he was eagerly looking for a real way to contact his late mother, he went around exposing fraudulent mediums.

The facts, however, are a bit different. There’s no evidence that Houdini scoured the country looking to contact his mother. Houdini had been the highest paid performer in Vaudeville, the major entertainment form of the early 20th century. He had written books, starred in movies (including a movie serial), and was the first person to fly an airplane in Australia. The truth is that while Houdini was a good performer, there were many magicians who were better than Harry. However none were better at publicizing themselves. Houdini was a true master of advertising and publicity.

But he was beginning to suffer the same fate of many entertainers: he was aging, and people even then liked their heroes to be eternally young. Houdini’s career was declining, and he needed something to spice it up and bring him to the forefront of the public’s imagination. This was the purpose and cause of his debunking of spiritualists. In 1950, Joseph Rinn—a magician, friend of Houdini, and active debunker of mediums—published a book entitled Sixty Years of Psychic Research: Houdini and I among the Spiritualists where he plainly reveals this. He also points out that Houdini left really challenging cases of debunking to others such as himself (Rinn), and that Houdini’s most famous exposé, that of Margery the Medium, was, uh, enhanced by planting false evidence in the seance room (she was later exposed in another way).

However, young boys then (and now) who were interested in magic idolized Houdini and would often study anything they could find about him. Expanding upon this would be the study of anything debunking fake mediums.

One really fake medium was a woman born in 1849. In the 1870s she claimed to be Editha Gilbert Montez, the daughter of famed adventuress Lola Montez. Using this front, she defrauded people of money and spent six months in jail. In 1898 she married Frank Dutton Jackson and they went into the fake medium business. Within a year they were both in jail and there were rumors of some sort of sex cult. With problems like this, and looking to make money without putting their efforts into legal work, they traveled to Europe.

I’ve Heard of Them!

By the time I was in high school and college, I was drinking in as much occult information as possible. And one of the stories about the Golden Dawn concerned Theodore and Laura Horos. Something in my brain kept saying, “I’ve heard of them!” I realized that was the name used by the Jacksons.

Somehow, Theo and Laura were able to show Macgregor Mathers, one of the leaders of the Golden Dawn, that they were U.S. members. At the Golden Dawn temple in Paris, he introduced “Madame Horos” as Anna Sprengle. This indicates that Mathers believed she was the woman who had given three Britons, including Mathers, the right to found the modern Golden Dawn. Mathers gave them copies of the Order’s rituals. Back in London, the deceitful duo set up a school of supposed spiritual studies. They also had an inner secret occult group that used Golden Dawn rituals. Their purpose, however was a fraudulent way of getting money. Allegedly young women were raped by Theo during the rituals. The result spilled into a court case that filled the newspapers of the time like the trials of O.J. Simpson did in the 1990s. Convicted, Theo was sentenced to fifteen years in prison; Laura was sentenced to seven years.

As a result of the increasing rancor between Mathers in Paris and the Order in England, as well as the embarrassing impact of the the Horos trial, the Order split and changed its name. It was called the Hermetic Society of the Morgen Rothe in England and the Alpha et Omega in France.

Why didn’t they keep their original name? ONe of the main reasons was because of the furor over the Horus trial. They didn’t want any further association with the trial or with two people who were sex abusers and frauds.

And that brings us up to today.

The Embarrassment that is the Golden Dawn

No, not any of the versions of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Rather, in Greece, there is a political party called the Golden Dawn. Unfortunately, calling them a political party is like calling Hitler’s Nazi Party a political party. Yes, I’m aware of Godwin’s Law, but the Nazi party began as a political party. The same is true of Greece’s Golden Dawn. I invite you to read up on them through this LINK to Wikipedia’s entry about them. They appear to be using the same tactics as the Nazis and have many of the same beliefs. They even have a small amount of political representation in the Greek government. I would say they are accurately called neo-Nazis, although they claim this is not true.

As I say in my workshops: Don’t take my word for it. Check them out yourself. This is not merely a case of liberals and conservatives. This appears to be an extremist organization. It’s founder has been arrested several times for politically motivated offences, including beatings and illegal possession of explosives.

Greece’s Golden Dawn does not represent the ideals of any group claiming to be associated with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. And that’s why I’m making this call to the leaders of the various Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn groups who have gone public:

Stand up and let people know whether you support the goals and ideals of Greece’s Golden Dawn.
If you do, members and outsiders deserve to know this.

If you do not support the goals and ideals of Greece’s Golden Dawn, stand up and let people know this.
Members and outsiders deserve to know.

If you are unwilling to stand up either way, at least have the decency to change your name as was done by the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn so you will not be confused with the Greek political group.

Even if you disagree with other Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn groups, I would propose that you consider standing in solidarity with them on this one, single issue.

Members and admirers of the Order deserve the defense of their name.

 * * *

THIS Sunday, September 29, 2013
Worldwide Webinar
12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Eastern——9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Pacific
Topic: How to Make and Use Talismans and Amulets

Summer is rapidly drawing to an end. Just as many people have started or are beginning to go to school, it’s time for you to add to what you know. That’s why I’m so happy to have a relationship with Thelesis Aura and their Online Academy. They’ve already held some live webinars for me (and for others teachers) and the attendance has been wonderful, including people from North and South America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

My next webinar will cover talismans and amulets. Throughout history, humans have used objects to bring health, safety, good luck, and to fulfill desires. Today, these objects are known as talismans and amulets. In this live, worldwide webinar, you’ll learn how to create them, how to turn them into powerful magickal tools, and how to use them effectively and safely. Topics include the three necessities of magick, differences between talismans and amulets, timing, designing effective magickal goals, types of talismans, how to prepare a talisman, what to do after you create a talisman, and more. When completed, you will have the information you need to create powerful talismans that will help you achieve your goals.

This webinar is not some recording. It is a live, online training event. You will hear me live, just as I am talking. You’ll see my presentation slides, live, right on your computer. You’ll be able to download handouts. You’ll be able to ask questions during the webinar. You’ll see everything and hear me giving the webinar live. It’s as if you were in a room with me, only you can participate from your location anywhere in the world.

In this online workshop-webinar, I’ll be sharing practical techniques you will be able to use to make positive changes in your life. You’ll be able to create and use talismans for any purpose, including healing and improving your luck. This is invaluable information with techniques that can be used by individuals and groups.

Please note that this is not a recording. It is a live event you can attend. You will be able to interact with me, live, from anywhere in the world. Therefore, please make sure to check the time. It’s 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Eastern U.S.; 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Pacific U.S. time.

Registration is now open. Here is the LINK. Due to software limitations, attendance is limited to only 200 people, so I would urge you to register as soon as possible.

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Written by Donald Michael Kraig
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy. He has also studied public speaking and music (traditional and experimental) on the university level. After a decade of personal study and practice, he began ten years of teaching courses in the Southern California area on such ...