Sunday, March 08, 2009
Golden Dawn Egyptian Gnosis
Monthly lectures first or second saturday of every month, live on the
virtual chatroom SecondLife.
1. 3rd January 2009: Pagans & Paganism
[Paganism] is "just a collection of ethnic polytheism whatever was not Judaism or Christianity, but given a name by the lazy cunning of Christian apologists, who could then use their most salacious material to discredit all their opponents at one go." Fowden, review of Lane Fox 1986, JRS 78 (1988) : 176 quoted in Frankfurter : 75
You may have read that “Pagan” was pejorative,
an insult meaning “rustic” or “country dweller”.
The funny thing is that when the early Christians of for example
“Roman Egypt” used this term – they had in mind high profile activists living in some of the biggest and most sophisticated cities of the ancient world.
“Pagan” and “Paganism” was actually early Christian slang, meaning “civilian”.
/Pagani/ were civilians who had not enlisted through baptism as soldiers of Christ against the powers of Satan. By its word for non-believer, Christian slang bore witness to the heavenly battle which coloured Christian’s view of life.
(Robin Lane Fox /Pagans & Christians/. Penguin 1986)
Its only in from our sixteenth century has the origin of the early Christian’s usage has been disputed.
“Paganism” too, is a Christian coinage, a word like “Judaism”, which suggests a system of doctrine and orthodoxy. So even the Christians recognised that Paganism had a doctrine.
"Paganism" came into being principally in the writings of Iamblicus.
Iamblicus was trained in the Ideas of the “Corpus Hermeticum”.
The “Corpus Hermeticum” is an ancient summary of Pagan doctrine.
You can buy edition of this handy little books ranging from the cheap and cheerful (edited by Adrian Gilbert) to the expensive but Copenhaver.
“Paganism” is an eucumenical tradition based on the Chaldean oracles .
It valued all major theologies, especially Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek.
The early pagan "clans" called themselves –
They were persecuted by state and the mob for several centuries.
When the Athenian academy was forcibly closed, they took refuge in Alexandria, Aphroditopolis and finally the open city of Haran in Persia.
Here these ideas eventually flowed into the heterodox traditions of early Islam.
When the fanatical Christian emperor Justinian began to really turn the screw, he was stopped in his tracks by the Treaty of Haran, which stipulated that the local philosophical pagans (Chaldeans) be allowed to continue their studies.
In fury Justinian lashed out at the sanctuary of Isis at Philai, in Upper Egypt.
(see Polymnia Athanassiadi "Persecution and Response in Late Paganism - the evidence of Damascius", Journal of Hellenic Studies 113 1-29)
I feel a personal desire to remember the struggles, sacrifices and often martyrdom of those "intellectual pagans" of the late classical world. They, like the modern pagans, were ecumenical and eclectic, hence we should be proud to number ourselves amongst their number.
2. 7th Feb: The Astral Temple or ‘Theatre of Memory’
Every style of Magick has its own particular astral temple.
In Kabbalah it’s sometimes called the Malkuth temple,
and its description is based upon the mystical drawing called the Tree of Life.
In Chaos Magick it is the Chaos Sphere,
In Greek Magick is the Tetratis.
In esoteric Hinduism and Tantra the basic design for the temple is the famous Shri Yantra.
The Renaissance magus Giordano Bruno coined the term 'Theatre of Memory' for this concept.
This was a very important discovery.
GB could use this technique to memorize the relationship between very complex groups of symbols.
Even just thinking about an occult building can have an effect on your consciousness. You can be changed by them and can also discover new things.
You may already be familiar with some of these techniques –
Even so, I wonder if you have considered using a “real” temple as
basis for your psychic explorations?
You can also combine this with real time visits to sacred sites – which may not be suitable for on site voyaging but you can revisit later in the astral.
Dion Fortune recommends that one “sleeps” in your astral temple.
In my own work I was drawn to the Temple of Sethi I at Abydos.
Next time I’ll say a bit more about this important temple and its connection with the Cult of Osiris
(c) Mogg Morgan & Mogg Morgwain
3. 14th March 2009
More on Path working and its relationship to the Mysteries of Abydos