The Manifesto of the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn

Issued 23 September 2002 CE

“Abrogate are all rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs. Ra-Hoor-Khuit hath taken his seat in the East at the Equinox of the Gods.”

As Western Civilization enters a new Aeon, so must its esoteric traditions. Our solution is not to destroy the old traditions, but to make them new again.

Our Order is a manifestation and heir of the Golden Dawn current — that is, an autonomous entity, but one that draws upon the knowledge, experience, practices and spirit of the system of magical training and attainment developed by the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. That Order was in turn an heir to the Hermeticists, Alchemists and Magi of the Renaissance and of the Classical world.

The practices of the Golden Dawn lodges were built upon the foundation of Hermetic and Qabalistic philosophy, though the outward form of their rituals and symbolism were sociologically derived and culturally biased. The first Chief of the Order, S.L. Macgregor-Mathers (Fr. D.D.C.F.), admitted this in his final statement to the Order before his death. As reported by his wife and lifelong collaborator, Moina Bergsen Mathers (Sr. V.N.R.), he said:

“He asks that you should keep intact the official Instruction of the Order, knowing that he received it in a direct line from the most pure Rosicrucian sources, even though these Mysteries are found somewhat modified in their exterior form, for reasons of Tribe and Culture.”

So we conclude that the form of the Golden Dawn system is modifiable “for reasons of Tribe and Culture,” and in fact requires of us to do so given the vast cultural differences between 1888 England and ourselves today.

Since the essence of the Golden Dawn constitutes “mysteries,” and insofar as they are valid they transcend culture, every time the culture shifts, the Mysteries must be “rediscovered” — which is to say they must be re-cast into a form that has the desired effect of Initiation and Exaltation on practitioners belonging to the new culture.

Therefore Het-Nuit Lodge, our working body, is undertaking to redact the existing forms of the Golden Dawn System to work more efficiently and correctly within a culture that is radically different from the Anglican Christian/Victorian Era from which the originals came. Entering on a new millennium is as good a time as any for a new start, so it is fitting that Het-Nuit Lodge grew out of a ritual workshop held in February of 2001ev.

So far, this redaction has taken on certain distinct aspects:

Open Source Magick:
The revelation of the once-secret Hermetic symbols and philosophies that are the foundation of the Golden Dawn’s system has long since occurred, yet we still see Lodges swearing their Aspirants to absolute secrecy with mighty oaths of death and destruction, if they dare to reveal to the uninitiated the “secret knowledge” which the uninitiated could buy cheaply at a used book store. We see no reason to follow this defunct and even harmful approach.

Instead, following the demonstrably advantageous practice of the Open Source Software movement, we build our Order on the sources of knowledge that are accessible to anyone. Our sources are already open; we simply affirm this obvious fact. We have no “secrets” to conceal, in particular those that have already been revealed. And in any case, the era of artificial secrecy is at an end. Ours is the Information Age, and we embrace it fully. Therefore we ordain and establish our order as the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn.

New Aeon:
Het-Nuit bases its authority to redact the GD system on the concept of Aeonic Evolution. The early years of the 20th century mark the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius,” which was the ending of the Modern Era that began with the European Enlightenment and concluded with the Second World War. It was the period that saw the original GD Order explode into schisms, and also saw Aleister Crowley’s writing of Liber AL, the Book of the Law. These things are not at all a “co-incidence,” but rather a line drawn in the sands of time. The old must be put to rest and the new be born.

Freedom of Information:
We agree with Robert Anton Wilson, who said, “Accuracy of signal and free flow of information define sanity in my epistemology.” Our ritual works, commentaries, instructional documents, diagrams and formulae are all available to the general public, for free without restriction. Our primary means of distribution is the World Wide Web, chosen for it’s economy and ease of universal access.

Therefore, as we produce works they will be tested in our own lives, modified if need be according to insights gained through our own experience and that of others with whom we share them (like the ‘beta testing’ of computer software) to assure ourselves of their efficacy, and then, upon our satisfaction, released to the general public by posting them to our website in open ‘pdf’ or similar format. Anyone will be allowed and is encouraged to download and use the rites, etc. The files will be open and editable, allowing the user to easily make changes at will. This approach preserves the integrity of our original work while giving users the freedom to apply their own intelligence and insight in light of their own necessity.

Het-Nuit Lodge is not an attempt to rebuild the Golden Dawn on the basis of ‘purely Thelemic’ principles, but Thelema informs and transforms the understanding and purpose of our Work.

Without going into deep discussion of Thelemic philosophy, we take inspiration from the idea the “Ra-Hoor-Khuit hath taken his seat in the East at the Equinox of the Gods” (AL I.49) and alter our rituals accordingly. We operate from the paradigm that the Aeon has changed and Horus (Ra-Hoor-Khuit) is its avatar, as Osiris (Ausar-Un-Nefer) was the avatar of the previous Age of Pisces.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that every man and every woman is a Star, and has a ‘True’ Will in life, one that can be discovered by the invocation of the Higher Genius found in us all. Once having discovered one’s ‘True’ Will, then one has no right but to do that Will. That Love is the Law, and Love under ‘True’ Will is Perfect Love.

The Order will not require or promote any form of moral dogma, religious canon, apocalyptic doctrine or political philosophy. In keeping with the well-established and eminently wise tradition of the original Order, the civil, moral and religious beliefs and practices of the individual members are none of the Order’s business, however much the teachings and practices of the Order may deepen awareness of one’s commitments.

The Order exists for one reason and one reason only: the elevation of individual human beings from ignorance of their true nature to Magical Adepthood. The Order asks nothing of its Initiates but a sincere commitment to penetrate the Occult Mysteries and apply the knowledge gained to their own lives in a productive and compassionate manner. The only duty to our Order of the Golden Dawn is the Aspirant’s duty to his or her Higher Self, to their own True Will and spiritual destiny, and to the comity of the community.

It is our greatest desire and fondest hope that others will take what we have done and build on it for the future, adapting it without breaking it, to work as well for themselves.

The original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was steeped in the Protestant Christian mythology and symbolism that typified the era and the religious background of the original members. The Het-Nuit Lodge, on the other hand, was established by 21st century Pagans, who do not subscribe to the Pauline Christian philosophy of a “fallen” humanity in need of redemption from our sinful nature. Instead, our true nature is that of the gods, and the source of our suffering is our ignorance that masks our true nature from ourselves. As Pagans, we also hold that a multifarious expression of the Divine is more representative of its actual Nature than a monotheistic one. This is not to exclude all forms of magical practice and ritual based on Judeo-Christian mythology, but rather to include the rest of the rich mythological history of the World’s cultures on an equal basis. As has been said, “There is none but contains a Ray from the Ineffable Light you are seeking.”

The basic symbolism of our Temple and Rituals reflect these principles in their form and function, but are built upon the same foundation of a graded system of spiritual development based on the Hermetic and Qabalistic principles that transcend all outward forms.

We have, as much as possible, diminished the Yahwistic and Christian influences that marked the old Aeon manifestation of the Order. Yahweh no longer has primacy as in the Hebraic Qabala, as we acknowledge the Caananite and broader context of which the Hebrew Qabala is product and a remnant. We exalt the Egyptian and Hellenic Pagan archetypes as applied to interpreting the Qabalistic Tree of Life, which figures so prominently in the Golden Dawn system. Our use of the Qabalah and the Hebrew alphabet is as a system of symbolic glyphs and magickal names particularly well suited to the learning process.

Form and Function:
The formula of the Dying and Resurrected God (Osiris) is replaced in our Temple by the formula of the Crowned and Conquering Child (Horus). We find the focus on death and sacrifice a distraction from the sufficiently daunting task of creating a sustainable magickal life in this post-modern era. Birth, and the challenges that ensue, inspire us to Adeptship.

In much of our temple work, we use the Egyptian, Enochian or Thelemic godforms instead of those of the Semitic Archangels. We have done some re-assignment of symbolic positions of the Temple Officers. Horus is the Heirophant of the Temple in the East, replacing his father Osiris, and his former place in the West is taken by Set. Not only is this redaction consistent with the new Aeon, it also reflects current scholarship in Egyptology that was unknown 100 years ago.

Like any Golden Dawn form, we are an Initiatory teaching order. What we teach is a progressively tiered system of spiritual development designed to invoke the Higher or Divine Genius latent in every human being. By this invocation can a person discover and follow his or her True Will, and have both the power and the wisdom to effectively use the tools of Hermetic magick.

In short, our goal is to normalize Adeptship.

From our hearts and minds, into the hands of all humanity, we issue this Manifesto, with the unanimous assent of the Membership, on the 23rd day of September, Two-thousand and Two of the Common Era.

So mote it be,

The Members of the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn

For the Order:

Frater IO—Chief Adept
Frater A.H.H.—Praemonstrator
Soror H.e.H.—Cancellarius
Frater A.o.C.—Imperator and Scribe

“May the benefit of this act, and all acts, be dedicated unto the Complete Liberation and the Supreme Enlightenment of all beings, everywhere, pervading space and time, so mote it be. May the benefits of practice, ours and others, come to fruition, ultimately and immediately, and we remain in a state of presence.”

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