Our perceptions of the Golden Dawn system have come a long way over the past 120 years or so. And I lay emphasis on the word “perceptions” because while these have changed and been for better or for worse in terms of vision, the egregore of the Golden Dawn has been what it ever was – the framework for a very powerful spiritual impulse capable of being expressed at many levels of understanding and practice.
It is my belief that Peregrin Wildoak’s new book – By Names and Images – marks an important milestone upon the way. In fact I would go so far as to say that he presents us with an Owner’s Manual for a very complicated set of parts that have been bequeathed to us –and the analogy holds good for various ways in which we may look at it.
We are talking about a magical system, which is not an easy concept to get one’s head round. However it is not a million miles away from the predicament of a buying a flat pack from a DIY furniture store with non-existent instructions on how to put it together – or at best – or possibly worst – a mess of garbled notes in words we do not understand hacked together by other amateurs who have been in much the same predicament as ourselves.
To add an additional piquancy to this analogy we might consider the dilemma of an aspiring amateur mechanic in receipt of a complex set of parts in order to make up his own motor car. Without perhaps being entirely sure of what kind of car it is meant to be. I have been guilty myself in the past of likening the Golden Dawn to a veteran car – of romantic interest but perhaps not the best way to get from A to B. However, I also recall – from real life – an American friend who sported what purported to be a Model T Ford but which had a three and a half litre Chevrolet engine concealed under the bonnet. There is not a world of difference between such a hair raising monster and a powerful but ancient magical system. Look out for spills!
Again, whilst in the confessional mood, I have been guilty of likening the Golden Dawn to a wedding cake – all silver gilt and decoration but without a lot inside to live up to the promise of a gourmet’s delight. And it is perhaps true that some may confuse the gilt and decoration for the cake inside and content themselves as best they may by chewing on cardboard, however I draw back whatever I might have said about the quality of the cake within. Although this might in turn depend on how best you might have baked it.
Anyhow, whether it comes to furniture making, motor mechanics or culinary preparations for a mystic wedding, Peregrin has much to recommend him as an instructor. I say that as a regular reader of his blog “the magic of the ordinary” which reveals a balanced individual exceptionally well grounded with a breadth and depth (both are important) of knowledge and experience in matters mystical and magical.
When I was a fresh faced young initiate the four volumes of Israel Regardie’s “Golden Dawn” in the Inner Library (mark the word “inner” – not a work to be allowed out for any of the hoi polloi to read) represented a chest of hidden treasures. You can look but you can’t touch! One might sneak a look at it but that was about as far as it went in my chosen esoteric boot camp of the time. We have since seen a generation come up who, with the help of a resurgent Israel Regardie, have done much to get the show on the road again. So thank you Chic and Tabatha Cicero, Nick Farrell, and others unknown – a roll call to which the name Peregrin Wildoak can be added, it seems to me, with every confidence. His book, subtitled Bringing the Golden Dawn to life, should help bring the system to life for anyone. As for itself, it has never died, but has waited for someone to put the fragmented parts of the body of Osiris together again. Go to it ye sons and daughters of Isis!
By Names and Images - Bringing the Golden Dawn to Life by Peregrin Wildoak is published by Skylight Press - Go to their web site for more details: http://www.skylightpress.co.uk/