Did the Golden Dawn Even Care About Rosicrucian Reformation?
Dear friends and regular readers,
It’s Rosicrucian Review time, which means the completing of the final part of the Golden Dawn Review. For those new readers here, I suggest you go over earlier posts and read my series: ‘ ‘Reviews of the Rosicrucian Orders‘ to learn about this endeavour.
Briefly; the reviews examine how closely any Rosicrucian Order resembles the ideas set out in the original Rosicrucian manifestos (three) plus the Apollo document which is the first true manifesto as well as the three Pansophic manifestos which followed the original three.
Those seven make up the original tradition, and are the standard all R.C Orders should embody.
At the outset it is known that the Rosicrucian Reviews are given for students looking to join the Order that is right for them and help their selection. Yet we are further questing to highlight the real roots of the Rosicrucian Tradition; that tradition which binds us all, no mater which Order we belong to, and further I’ve felt that many such bodies have gravitated away from our roots.
So my reviews are not only for newbies, but also a kick in the bum for Rosicrucian leaders.
Over our last segments we looked at the Christosophia and the Trinosophia scores of the Golden Dawn (Christianity/Magic, Cabala, Alchemy). This time things get interesting because while its easy to rate the Golden Dawn as a magical system, and indeed it does have Christian symbols that align it to the manifesto tradition, it is quite difficult after all the measure its Pansophy score.
As a matter of fact the task put me off writing for some time. But why would that be?
As many of you know Pansophy was the social reformation quest of the Rosicrucians. That doesnt sound very Golden Dawn-like does it? So tackling this has been no easy task.
Furthermore Pansophy wasnt only about social reformation, it was further about the Reintegration legend as well as unifying these in a universal matrix, that applies the regeneration cycle to not only the individual, but also to the entire state of humanity, permeating our very social existence.
Today I’ll get into this a bit, because its so important. Plus I’m still seeing friends write me who state that Pansophy simply means ‘universal wisdom’ which it most certainly does not. The idea of universal wisdom has become something of a ‘all fits together’ chant of the New Age, and I’d like to use this segment to point out some distinctive principles of the Pansophic system.
Thus as with several other reviews I’m slipping in some important Rosicrucian teachings here, which is why even if you don’t want to know about my earlier posts I recommend you put aside the title of those post for a moment and take a deeper look because I’ve stashed Rosicrucian Pansophic occultism throughout the entire series. Missing any single post means missing certain keys.
Pansophy and the Golden Dawn
There are three main aspects of the Pansophic teaching we’re looking for in any Rosicrucian Order being reviewed. With the Golden Dawn we are about to hit a few hiccups. The three are the:
Social Reformation Quest
(Actually later, in my final book I’ll be changing these three to Universal Schemata, Utopian Reformation Quest, and Pansophic Regeneration Legend for Osiris/Arthur/CRC etc.)
These three standards are worth 10 points each for a total of 30 potential for the review.
Now, one of the other mistakes that keeps comming up is that Pansophy merely means social reformation, however clearly by looking at the Pansophic manifestos, like the Pandora, Mirror and Pegasus we see that Pansophy is also a form of inner alchemy as well as a form of occultism that puts forwards a female redeemer as our divine rebirther in the form of Venus or Sophia.
Pansophy Score for the Golden Dawn Review.
Now, I’ll get this out of the way.
The Utopian Vision for the Golden Dawn is 0 out of 10.
The Social Reformation Quest is 1 out of 10.
The Universal Schemata is 6/10.
The Golden Dawn completely fails as a Rosicrucian Order in terms of providing solid teachings relating to social reformation and utopian ideas. And let’s be clear, such ideas ARE totally Rosicrucian and required for any currrent calling itself Rosicrucian by name.
As I’ve said in earlier post, personal regeneration is only 50% of the equation. Most people forget that the Rosicrucians also went beyond this, and wished to bring about ‘Light in Extension.’
There is only one real quote from G.D documents relating to reformation. It is from Flying Roll XXI by Moina Mathers, titled ‘Know Thyself’ which mentions the word ‘reform’ just once.
“For only after having a complete knowledge of the constitution, character and inhabitants of his realm, will it be possible for a just Ruler to bring about such reforms as he may deem necessary.”
Her document describes the creation of an internal alignment between the divine consciousness in Kether, the human consciosness in Tiphareth, and then the automatic consciousness in Yesod, explaining how we must become a ruler of our own kingdom (sphere) before coming a ruler outwardly. She states that the micro and macro are inseperable, one follows the other.
Thus, in reading between the lines, she states that we must create an inner paradise or divine alignment between the lower will and divine will, in order to become reformers. This makes sense, as the outer city of the sun would very much be a reflection of the inner sun we have attained.
Aside from this, the G.D use of utopia and social reform is non existant. It’s all occultism in dark corners and it never brings an outward manifestation for all humanity, creating perhaps useless occultist who are unable to fully create that ‘Light in Extension’ after all.
This very much goes against the grain of Rosicrucian tradition. There are plenty of members of the G.D who studied or mentioned utopia, such as Florence Farr, Yeats, Atwood and Anna Kingsford.
But these ideas nor lectures never made it into Golden Dawn carricula.
With a little imagination and relation to the City of the Sun, Moina’s lecture could have nailed it. It’s got all the internal qualities that one could imagine the creation of an internal Rosicrucian utopia, which ought to be externalised later through social and architectural models as a true Pansophy.
Lucky for us, my own papers are the same G.D lectures injected with Pansophic elements.
Clearly there were some social approaches being done on a personal rather than Order level by G.D Adepts, especially seeing that Mathers with his wife developed a femenist agenda for the Order, and several members were involved in femenism as well as vegetarianism.
Some members got very political and worked inside the Irish Independence Movement.
Tony Fuller nicely pointed out several intereting facts like that Professor Millicent McKenzie (SM Chief 8=3) wrote a book on reforming education- based on Hegelian philosophy and often referred to the RC manifestos. This is probably at odds with Pansophy though which had its own education form. Tony also shared how in the the Stella Matutina many senior members, particularly the SM priests worked with the poor in thier community of London, and many of these also wrote papers/books about reform in education, health and psychology. Dean F.M. Bennett (of Chester Cathedral) was a senior SM member & Cromlech wrote several utopian books. Within Cromlech papers there is quite a lot of discussion on reform. In Whare Ra Mrs Felkin regularly wrote to members in her announcements on many aspects of social reform, and more often of helping others in need through service. Florence Farr worked with children in Ceylon as well.
While effort was made for healing practices by these members and several wrote utopian works, unfortunately these teachings and ideas did not make it into the grade material of the Order.
This is why the utopian and social reform score both flop for the G.D.
I’ve mentioned in earlier post that the tomb of C.R.C with its seven sides is in fact a reflection of the City of the Sun and Bruno’s teaching on cultural reformation, so the Vault of the Adepti for the Inner Order could be taken that way. It certainly is in my own Mystica Aeterna and if you reflect on how the gods gathered in Bruno’s myth to agree on reforming the world, and how the prophey of Hermes states the divine powers of egypt would be awakened again through a holy city then we see how the tomb of CRC functions as a talisman for cultural regeneration as well as for initiation.
But again the G.D did not take things this way and is silent on such matters. But it wouldn’t take much to embrace that heritage seeing that the Vault of the Adepti could use a few more papers.
Paul Foster Case must have ‘gone more Rosicrucian’ with his B.O.T.A which is a Golden Dawn offshoot which he claimed was in contact with the true Rosicrucian source. His introductory lesson in Tarot Fundamentals mentions ‘but these are personal ends. Every true occult Order, such as the B.O.T.A, has as its major objective the welfare of humanity.’ He then list seven points:
- Universal Peace.
- Universal Political Freedom.
- Universal Religious Freedom.
- Universal Education.
- Universal Health.
- Universal Prosperity.
- Universal Spiritual Unfoldment.
It doesnt get more Pansophic than that. Perhaps a B.O.T.A review is in order?
Now, why the 6/10 for the Universal Schemata score for the G.D?
Inside the Universal Schemata Theory of Pansophy
Within Pansophy circles there was a theory that the Reintegration legend PERMEATES all.
The legends are specifically those where the hero dies, and a maiden or goddess restores him, specificially through the gifting of a phallic symbol. The Lady of the Lake granted the sword, and Isis gifted Osiris with a new wood pecker, and to Boehme it was Sophia who gifted the New Will.
What is ultimately important to Pansophy is how this myth penetrates the teachings of the Order and more importantly how the Order itself is structured to mirror this legend. Things get complicated here because not only does the Order reflect the legend, but it also reflects the universe.
Boehme’s diagrams of three circles, for three worlds always show this. His mystic circles, one atop the other, always reveal the way to regeneration through Christ and Sophia. While he didnt have an Order per se, the entire teaching he transmitted is taught through those diagrams. They are not only a map of the universe, they are a map for the aspirant to acquire initiation.
This is where the Golden Dawn really shines. As not only are its grades centered upon the spheres of the Tree of Life, but several diagrams reveal regeneration through those grades. And what’s more the Tree of Life spheres are projected upon the floor of the temple, the pillars taking sphere positions and the Hierophant taking the place of Tiphareth, calling the initiate towards him.
The best part; Hathor, a godform for Venus is positioned above his solar station. This ties the internal matrix of the Golden Dawn entirely to the Pansophic system. Furthermore, the diagrams of Eden before and after the fall, as well as the CRC tomb diagrams were drawn directly from Boehme. I’ll get into that in a future post which blows the lid open on that gem, because as many know here the Pansophic Circle of Frankenburg were the ones to start that initiative.
Boehme’s diagrams are also a model for our internal expeirence and not only the universe. In this way the Reintegration legend is depicted and yet something that we internalise. The G.D also created diagrams called the Sphere of Sensation, bringing the Tree of Life into the aura, and even positioned the Enochian tablets at the four sides of the aura as well. Thus what the Golden Dawn does nicely is that what it presented externally is also projected internally through diagrams.
Where the G.D falls flat however is that it started to use a series of Reintegration diagrams taken from the Theosophers of Boehme, and yet did not finish the series. The first three diagrams are used and then after the Order broke up it appears they never got to using the rest of the series. But the Boehme diagrams have two more in the series, which equate with Daath and Kether. In this way, fully understanding the relationship the G.D has to Pansophy opens up its higher levels of study.
I’ll get to revealing that in my future post on the G.D’s use of the Boehme diagrams.
For now, this rounds up the total Pansophic Score of the Golden Dawn at 7/30.
Yes its quite poor but I feel its totally justified. Remember that where the Rosicrucians projected a future vision through solar city models or Christian utopias, like Chrianapolis by Andrea, the Martinist Order nicely directs the future humanity towards the New Jerusalem. Many M.O’s also have prayers or even Cohen theurgy to bring about world peace for all society.
The G.D in constrast just leaves us hanging, gives us some magical tools, but after we become Adepts at magic then what? Surely there is meant to be some worldly task in which to direct these magical skills and energies. Moina Mathers suggests that in her paper, but who’s paying attention?
I might add, the point of the G.D is not be Pansophic, but rather prepares an Adept in magical practices. Hopefully that person chooses wisely in how to take action with their powers.
Before closing off for the day; there’s one more point to cover. An associate pointed out that it appears I might be preparing to score all Rosicrucian Orders using my own system, to which only MY ORDER can succeed in. I’d like to make clear; such is not the case, there are Orders that excell in specific areas they cover which I as yet do not, such as Steiner’s education ideas as a form of Pansophy or the G.D’s scope of magic which goes beyond my humble circle of friends. No Order is perfect and should not claim to be perfect, but rather each tradition will cover various aspects of the Rosicrucian Tradition and students have these reviews to help their selection.
It is important to remember that the scoring system used throughout these reviews is derived from the manifesto writers and is not my own invention 🙂 All I’ve done is used source materials and authors and pointed out a few tid bits which I feel need further examination. In terms of what I have in an oral tradition covering Pansophy; well I’ll be passing that onto several Orders in future, so its not like the goodies are going to be horded inside one conceived ‘perfect Order.’
Rather I hope that we’ll all benefit from this transmission and hope YOU are keen for more.
Stay tuned for my next G.D Review where I posit the Wild Card Score, worth 20 points. Any Order can score a bonus here for uniquely representing Rosicrucian elements that are exceptional in terms of innovation or representing an aspect of the manifestos that other Orders do not have.
In that post you’ll also see the final total for the entire Rosicrucian Review of the G.D.
If you’d like to support this blog, please leave a comment below, as Google will rank this site higher based on the social activity 🙂
Thank you for reading, Samuel Robinson in L.V.X.
Return to the Rosicrucian Order Review site here..