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Thread: Doubts and Questions

  1. #1
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    Default Doubts and Questions

    Dear brothers and sisters on the Path,

    I'm writing to express some doubts and ask some questions in the hope that, with your rich experience in the Western ceremonial tradition, you might be able to assist me.

    I have felt a strong connection to the main Golden Dawn rituals and have been seriously studying the Ciceros' Self-Initiation book. However, I have many doubts and wonder how I should address them. I doubt the validity of astrology as anything but a pseudo-science. I also wonder if, when practicing the LBRP and other rituals, which rely so heavily on imagination and visualization, whether the Archangels are not mere figments of my imagination. How can I be sure that I am not deceiving myself into believing that they are in some sense "really there"? How do I know that the names and sigils do not only evoke mental images that are imagined into the real spaces in which I work as projections of consciousness?

    I have a few more questions:

    1. Is studying the horoscope and the traditional associations given to planets in our solar system necessary to progressing on the path of the G.'.D.'.? If so, can they be skeptically conceived in some way that does not force us to become superstitious or to believe on blind faith?

    2. How do you conceive of the entities "evoked" and "invoked" in Golden Dawn rituals (e.g. Archangels, angels, elementals, etc.); are they objective presences or aspects of your own mind, mythic archetypes, for instance?

    3. How do you know that the "astral realms" are not mere creations of your imagination, not outer spaces, but inner spaces?

    4. How do we know that we even have a soul? What if our awareness is always One with the Divine and it is only a matter of effecting a realization of this nonduality? If we must only become aware of the existing Oneness between the individual and the Divine, arguably the target outcome of the Great Work, why should we bother studying things like astrology or geomancy?

    Thank you very much for taking the time to read my questions and doubts and respond to them. It means a lot to me and I value what you have to share.

    Take care an in LVX,
    Adam

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    Default magick,occult

    if i miss spell for give me,as for your questions #1 the golden dawn planertary systems goes by kabalism wich is a philisophical systems itself and demands seprate attention to fully grasp the hole concept of the golden dawns magickal system.#2 the entities are ether considerd subjective or objective it is up to u to create your own subjective synthesis,that is to say your belief 1(is u believe that the spirits are parts of your deep collective unconscious and the goetic tools, sigils,god names,temple setup are tools to unlock deeper levels of your subconscious mind)2 u believe while dealing or summoning a demon has some subjective qaulities,but your axiom is that these entities are seperate beings "ENERGIES'' that exist whether we wont them to or not,and are not subject only to are minds but exist on the outside not merly in our imaginations the choice is yours.3 all though i could heavly debate on mans soul thats a mystery u have to embark on your self go read some books and meditate .some personal advice,u were saying u were going off the cicero initiation books i even have a few cicero books along with isreal regardie but not the initiation,i kno self initiation is a pain in the assss if u are actually trying the system they demand alot for a first timer.i could name tons and tons of books i have dude but i will only recommend a few u may already have them......(lon milo duquette,chicken qabalah) donald micheal kraig,modern magick) (charles ponce,kabbalah) (lyam christopher thomas,kabbalah magick) (isreal regardie,agarden of promagrantes) (isreal regardie,the tree of life) (aryeh kaplan,sefer yitzerah).......if u collect those books i ashore u it will compliment your studies in a coherent manner cya

  3. #3
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    Default

    Hi Adam, I'll see what I can do here.

    " I doubt the validity of astrology as anything but a pseudo-science."

    Well, I think many of us share this doubt and, in fact, at least some of our criticisms have ancient versions contemporaneous with the birth of our "modern" Hellenized astrology. Nevertheless, astrological symbolism is an integral part of the Western magical tradition. You do not, however, need to "believe" in predictive astrology in order to use its symbolism in ritual. The 2nd century esoteric text, the Chaldean Oracles, makes wide use of astrological symbolism for its theurgical admonitions (indeed, the word "theurgy" first appears in these rather terse hexameter verses), while at the same time likening astromancy to "mercenary fraud."


    "I also wonder if, when practicing the LBRP and other rituals, which rely so heavily on imagination and visualization, whether the Archangels are not mere figments of my imagination. How can I be sure that I am not deceiving myself into believing that they are in some sense "really there"?"

    Of course, from a novice's perspective, one could say quite accurately that they are figments of one's imagination, but you might want to leave off the "mere". Do you expect such beings to exist in the same way as, say, tables or armchairs? As you advance in your practices, you will come to understand that the categories you use to conceptualize the external, physical world, are for the most part inadequate in describing magical phenomena.


    "How do I know that the names and sigils do not only evoke mental images that are imagined into the real spaces in which I work as projections of consciousness?"

    Yes, all that you say certainly is happening. But I wonder about this "only", what exactly is it meant to exclude?


    "1. Is studying the horoscope and the traditional associations given to planets in our solar system necessary to progressing on the path of the G.'.D.'.? If so, can they be skeptically conceived in some way that does not force us to become superstitious or to believe on blind faith?"

    I would think so; I don't know how you would wind up with anything practicable if you stripped planetary symbolism from the Golden Dawn system. Skeptically conceived? You're not understanding the matter rightly. Most of the symbolism has been traditionally received; some of the correspodences are indeed arbitary--and for various reasons! But these symbol systems are languages intended for experiencing other planes of Psyche, not, intrinsically at least, "objective" models of anything--and yet, I would say that they do obey the quasi-objective "deep structure" of the astral plane.


    "2. How do you conceive of the entities "evoked" and "invoked" in Golden Dawn rituals (e.g. Archangels, angels, elementals, etc.); are they objective presences or aspects of your own mind, mythic archetypes, for instance?"

    If you continue in your practices you will come to understand that your mind isn't really your own.

    "3. How do you know that the "astral realms" are not mere creations of your imagination, not outer spaces, but inner spaces?"

    If you chop my body open you're not going to find any darn astral plane. Nor will you find the cheeseburger I'm dreaming of inside of my skull.

    "4. How do we know that we even have a soul? What if our awareness is always One with the Divine and it is only a matter of effecting a realization of this nonduality?"

    Well certainly if you are capable of experiencing this duality then YOUR awareness is not ALWAYS One with the Divine.

    "If we must only become aware of the existing Oneness between the individual and the Divine, arguably the target outcome of the Great Work, why should we bother studying things like astrology or geomancy?"

    Despite the insistences of some of my more prestigious colleagues, I contend that the path of theurgy and the path of contemplation (in the ancient sense) ought to be distinguished.

    I think it likely that I have raised more questions than I've resolved. Feel free to ask them.
    "If you, Hegias, are saying that theurgy is divine then I agree with you. But those destined to be gods must first become human; that is why Plato said that philosophy is the greatest gift ever to have come down from the Gods to humanity."

    --Isidore of Gaza, recorded by Damascius the Diadochus in his Philosophical History.

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