Friday, November 30, 2012

Inner Order Teachings of the Golden Dawn (Pat Zalewski)

Pat Zalewski's Latest Book Reveals Previously Unpublished Teachings of the Golden Dawn

One of the difficulties in studying the Golden Dawn tradition is that many of its Inner Order teachings have been lost, unpublished, or sometimes never even fully completed, forcing the modern day esoteric Orders that have been built from the Outer Order information (compiled and published by Israel Regardie) and the Adepts connected with these groups, to create their own Inner Order teachings, a major problem for some; Pat Zalewski in his book "Inner Order Teachings of the Golden Dawn" addresses this problem.

The book, not to be confused with Zalewski's earlier book, "Secret Inner Order Rituals of the Golden Dawn" (1988), mainly consists of THAM (Theoricus Adept Minor) lectures written by one of the three co-founders of Isis-Urania, the original Golden Dawn lodge (Temple), Macgregor (Samuel Liddell) Mathers, along with papers written by Pat Zalewski that supplement the Mathers' material. There is also information about the diagrams studied in the PRAM (Practicus Adept Minor) subgrade, alchemy and the Tarot, the Lunar Diagram on the Tree of Life, and the Chief Adept's (Caduceus) Wand, all of which were written by Pat Zalewski.

The importance of the material contained in this book lies both in how the original Grade structure of Golden Dawn's Inner Order, the R.R. et A.C. (Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis, "Order of the Rose of Ruby and Cross of Gold", also known as Second Order), was conceived and the depth of the teachings revealed.

As originally conceived by Mathers, the creator of the Adept Minor (5=6) Grade ritual, the instructional material of the Inner Order Grades would examine the earlier Grades' rituals and their symbolism. The Adept Minor Grade was divided into six subgrades; the primary teachings for each subgrade would be based on one of the Outer Order Grade rituals. The ZAM (Zelator Adept Minor) subgrade would start the study and analysis of the Neophyte (0=0) Grade ritual, and the THAM subgrade would focus on the Zelator (1=10) Grade ritual, etc. (The Neophyte Adept Minor subgrade was primarily concerned with the creation and consecration of the Adept's magical tools [weapons].)
Pat Zalewski extended this theme to the rest of the Grades of the system. Hence the Adept Major (6=5) will study the Portal ritual while the Adept Extempt (7=4) will study the Adept Minor ritual, and the Magister Templi (8=3) will study the Adept Major ritual.

This system of determining the primary curriculum is not agreed upon by everyone in the Golden Dawn community. There are those who believe in the myth of the Third Order, and seek it out, saying that it is only by contacting Third Order as they claim Mathers did (it may just have been simply an advertising and member retention tool used by Mathers), that Golden Dawn can receive any new rituals and lectures. This curriculum scheme flies in the face of that assumption; with a clear outline of the curriculum and where it was headed, new teachings can be created by the current active members of the tradition.

The fact that this curriculum scheme implies that any active member of the tradition could work hard, research the symbols of the rituals, and develop new teachings, due to the higher teachings being based on material that is already published and available to all students of the tradition, upsets anyone who seeks to control the Golden Dawn system. This scheme democratizes the system, putting the power to grow the tradition into the hands of the many, rather than the privileged few who had access to the unpublished material contained in this book.

And that is the real importance of this book, not the publication of teachings that only a few had access to previously, but the fact that it reveals the depth that future leaders and students can strive for using material already in their possession. For example, the lecture on the Universe card of the Major Arcana shows us how deep a Golden Dawn based analysis of any of the Tarot cards can go.
This book is a twelve inch rule, a standard of measurement that we can judge our own work and the efforts of others by. It shows us a plan, and examples, for fleshing out the rest of the Golden Dawn system of esoteric philosophy and magic.

Pat Zalewski. "Inner Order Teachings of the Golden Dawn." Thoth Publications (2006).

[This review first appeared on Associated Content (Yahoo Voices) on 7/1/2008. The copy used was brought and paid for by myself.]

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