Sunday, July 25, 2010


I have several topics to cover today. I will break them up over a few posts.

Nick Farrell posted on secrecy as it applies to the Golden Dawn oaths. Phoenix Angel posted  on Belly Dancing, Qabalah and the Golden Mean. At first blush, these topics may not appear to be related.

I don't think Phoenix Angel would be upset with me mentioning that we've had a lot of conversations on magickal topics. Given that I am not a GD adept, I do not put myself in teacher roles. However, I am willing to be an elder class man type and do what I can to be of use. Like most Leo's, Phoenix is very persistent, asks a lot of questions and is very focused. This doesn't bother me at all. More importantly, she is working very hard at learning. That earns a measure of respect. Too many folks want knowledge without having to work on all levels to earn it.

The problem with any sort of mentoring in the GD system is what to say and what not to say. Teaching is at an individual level and about what the individual needs. Yes there is a core material but some students may need some key explained so they can go on while another needs to struggle over the exact same item in order to have their own revelation. Yes, this seems very unfair from certain perspectives. Yes, it is very subjective. Yes, errors can be made. Yes, it isn't perfect. Yes, people can use that attitude to hide stuff they don't know as Nick pointed out in his post.

With Phoenix, I often drop into vague mode. I answer facts. I duck most subjective questions. I duck things that I think she'll figure out on her own. There is a purpose to this. Yes, I could impress her with what I may think I know but that doesn't serve her. This frustrates her as it did me when my mentor did it.

However, by keeping silent she gets the victory of her revelations. The memory of these victories can help one stay on the path during the tougher tomes. Her thoughts on proportions and balance are great. Yes, I could fine tune them. Yes, I could say a lot of things. I will not. They are great on their own. On this one idea, she is far ahead of I at the same stage.

Alchemy is not a fast process.

So what does this have to with Nick's post? Nick outlined all sorts of factual reasons about keeping or discarding this or that interpretation of secrecy oaths on a case by case basis. I do not feel this is a productive discussion on secrecy. The point isn't what you're keeping secret. The point is forming the internal discipline. That discipline comes in handy when you're in a mentor position. Anyone with a heart wants to hand folks some answers when you see the struggling. Doing that does not serve the student maintaining your discipline does.

Regardless of the very good intellectual arguments Nick made, that is the reason for the secrecy.


Sincerus Renatus... said...

Care Frater,

I fully agree with your assessment. As a teacher, although I often fail, I cannot divulge to much to my students. My greatest task is to promote a close rapport between the student and his or her intuition (inner tutor).

In Licht, Leben und Liebe

Nick Farrell said...

I dunno... I still think it is important to have something to be secret about. Otherwise you could be holding a copy of a bus time table and refuse to reveal it to your students because it is a "good discipline" not too. I am not saying publish everything, far from it. I am saying that a secret is not a secret if it is known or is pointless holding. There are many many good disciplines in magic. Hanging on to information which can be found in a public library is not one of them. Again I don't think this says anything about magic... more about how you were trained.

Robert said...

I agree that the secret has to be pertinent but there are so many. For instance, I may have an idiosyncratic version of the LBRP I do. There is no point in sharing that with a neophyte learning the basics.

Though, I've yet to come across a secret magickally that would harm the general GD system or a lodge or anything else where I to publish it here.

Maybe I am dense but I don't see the danger in revealing what most call secret. Maybe there are secrets that are all that great that others possess. However, if they hold their secrets, I will never know.

Robert said...

Adding an exception, The names of members and meeting times being secret is a safety issue.

Anonymous said...

The point of secrets, or rather silence, is to prevent preconceptions from getting in the way of students developing intuition. With a very few exceptions, all of the "big names" miss this point, and are approaching the Mysteries from an intellectual point of view. They promote that higher grades involve yet more papers for their students to "learn".

It does not take a genius to see that these people are far from humble Adepts. Like little jack Horner, they want to tell everyone "what a clever boy am I". Silence would have prevented this.

By the time one gets to the higher grades (ie 6=5 or 7=4 in the GD system), there should be no need for yet more papers. After all, what is the point of all this - to continue evolving the intellect through reading, or something much more...The intellect will not lead Man to God, otherwise Man would have reached Eden thousands of years ago.

It really is a truism that he who talks does not know.

Robert said...

@anon, I will not comment on the big names in the GD world. I only know one of them.

However, I agree with your first sentence. Doing the work and wondering why shapes occur in your vision only to find them to be the next grade's badges certainly does keep one going.

As far as the intellectual point of view, I agree. That was my problem with Nick's post. They were all good intellectual reasons. However, I believe there are esoteric reasons as well.

Anonymous said...


Although I know more than one, you are right to chide me with regards to my generalisation on "big names". I am also far from Eden, as my comment shows.