Last year I made a video, titled The Golden Dawn. I was inspired to create this video after i had studied the golden dawn for a few months. Since then, several people had asked me what the relation between the Golden Dawn, and Satanism is. An example of this is from a letter that was sent to me from Youtube the other day.
“being a satanist, why would you study golden dawn material ? are the two philosophies similar in some aspect that would allow the their different approaches to magic to work in harmony? please enlighten me on that. – dirk”
I did not seek to learn about the Golden Dawn [hereafter, refered to as the GD] with the intention to see how it related to the practices of satanism. What I did find is that there are some elements which are similar, such as the Hermetic elements and cardinal directions that are used in Satanic Ritual. I found that the rituals and methods of the GD were a middle-path practice, compared to Satanism which is a left-hand path practice.
Some of the rituals were method of assuming god-forms so that a transformation can occur. It is a type of magic that is focused on theurgy, which is a method of invoking gods for the use of magic. The same thing could be done in satanism, invoking a god or a demon in order to produce magic results. One way that the GD influenced occultism is through the grade system, a heirarchy that has rituatls for steps along the way. Some satanic orders have adopted heirarchal systems like this.
One aspect of the GD that might interest some Satanists is the study of the Qliphoth which is covered within some of the GD materials, and through Crowley’s Liber 231. And if that weren’t enough the GD had created a system of magic associations that are used by many magicians in their work. Crowley also expanded on this idea with Liber 777, another reference that is used by different kinds of magicians.
The study of the GD was important to me because it enabled me to have an expanded view into the history of magic and i learned about the inflence of Hermetics on occultism.I also wanted to study methods of ritual magic and the GD methods are, for the most part, ritualistic. I think that Satanists shouldnt be afraid to explore other stystems of magic from an academic point of view to that a greater understanding of occultism can be acheived.