Tag Archives: Golden Dawn

History Repeating Itself in Europe

(photo from Washington Post website)

While scanning the news on my iPhone this morning, a story caught my attention regarding the rise of a group calling themselves the Golden Dawn (click here to read the article on the Washington Post website). I know about the unrest in Greece, but had not heard anything about this group. What I found the most disturbing is that, once again, an ultranationalist group is using the occult as part of their identity. This was done by the Nazi party in Germany and it now appears that history is repeating itself.

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was an occult group that was very influential in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries (click here to read more about the Golden Dawn). Some of the more well-known members included Maud Gonne, W. B. Yeats, and Aleister Crowely. The group was influenced by a variety of mystical concepts, including kabbalah, Hermiticism, alchemy, and Freemasonry.

Throughout history, political groups have used symbols to justify their power, and mystical symbols have proven to be some of the more powerful and successful. I do not know if Greece’s Golden Dawn actually uses any of the iconography associated with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, but regardless, just using the name evokes images of power.

Our world is changing at an unbelievably rapid pace, and people who fear this change or are unable to keep up are eager to find scapegoats. In Nazi Germany, it was the Jews; in Greece, it is immigrants; in the United States, _________ (you can probably fill in the blank, depending upon which end of the political spectrum you are). The fact is, when we blame a group for our problems and start using religion or symbolism to rally the masses against that group, we are treading on dangerous grounds. History has a tendency to repeat itself. Let’s hope that we don’t repeat some of the darker chapters.

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Filed under Non-fiction

“The Household Gods” by Aleister Crowley

I downloaded and read this play, basically because it was short and I was in the mood for reading something different. Personally, I found it a complete waste of my time. It is rare that I read something which provides me with absolutely no insight and is so poorly written. The last time I read anything this bad was when I read “Chamber Music,” a truly terrible bit of poetry by James Joyce.

First off, I am familiar enough with Crowley’s work that I got the symbolism in the play, as well as the references to the importance of the will. So in that respect, there was nothing new or enlightening in the play, and that’s fine. If it were just a new way of presenting his views on magick, I’d have been OK with that, but it was the writing that ruined it for me. Crowley may have had a deep knowledge of the occult, but he was no poet and no playwright.

As I thought about the play afterwards, I came to this conclusion. This must have been an attempt by Crowley to compete with W. B. Yeats, another member of the Golden Dawn. Now, in my opinion, Yeats was one of the greatest poets to ever command the English language. Not only could he craft superb verse, but he successfully wove in occult symbolism so that his works were not only thought-provoking, but were enjoyable to read. If I had to venture a guess, Yeats’ success probably kicked up a little envy in Crowley who thought he could do what Yeats did. Well, sorry Aleister, but you are no W. B. Yeats.

Unless you are deeply interested in the occult, don’t waste your time with this play. For those of you who are fascinated with the occult, I suggest you approach this as what it is, a novelty.

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Filed under Literature, Spiritual