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The Cornerstone of the Traditional
Golden Dawn

Valid primarily for the Outer/First Order of the GOLDEN DAWN;
With some exceptions regarding but not defining the
Inner Order of the R.R. et A.C.

Man has evolved a great deal throughout the centuries; religion, commerce and government have all changed as mankind has grown and steadily improved his knowledge and humanity. Although man seems very different today than in times past, the soul or essence of man remains the same. As a species we seem to have roughly the same appearance, the same hopes and dreams; a part of us will never change. We are reflected by what we create; what we create evolves according our hopes and aspirations, but to create intelligently and consistently, the core of our creation must remain unchangeable even as our essence remains unchangeable throughout our evolution.

An organization behaves as a living thing, it will grow and change even as those individuals whom breathe life into it grow and change. The life and current, which flows through an organization, must attach itself to a core skeleton so to speak; this is why many governments today have a constitution, so that as the nation grows and changes, the essence remains unchanged and the people could rally behind the core belief system, on which the nation is based. This seems to work for any group of people, including the Golden Dawn tradition, if there are no core beliefs the individuals within the group will grow apart and form smaller factions. We have seen this within the Golden Dawn community over the past one hundred years: the Golden Dawn is capable of invoking great, healing Light into our sick and dying world; we can, as a group make a wonderful difference in the world with beautiful Hermetic, Rosicrucian tradition, but not if we are in discord. The current of the classical Golden Dawn, as well as other Golden Dawn groups, must grow and evolve around some basic core practices and beliefs or else we grow apart and become weak and bickering factions that cause little change in a world already brimming with weakness and bickering.

We as the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn must strive to maintain and uphold the principles of our predecessors; in particular, those principles established by S.L. MacGregor-Mathers. These provide the core beliefs and practices that will place all Golden Dawn practitioners within the same framework and will enable us to harmonize our energy and current. This does not imply that we should restrict our individuality, but it does mean that we must work within a framework that will give us the strength in numbers needed to maximize our human potential within an initiation school environment. If we cannot rally behind these basic tenets then we risk becoming small ineffective, isolated factions, and we risk the fate of mediocrity and placing the Golden Dawn as insignificant in the pages of history.

The following principles are guidelines that pertain to the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn; there are countless other Golden Dawn Groups who use modified or different symbolism, divine names, initiations and some have even placed Second Order teachings within the Outer Order. We simply are not, in any way suggesting that different Golden Dawn groups should not exist, nor are we suggesting that they are not part of the Great Work in whichever way seems beneficial to their members. What we are saying is that these principles will harmonize our collective current within the framework of the traditional Golden Dawn. While the inception of the original Order of the Golden Dawn is somewhat controversial and there are some in today’s occult community whom do not believe that there was any involvement of the Rosicrucian Fraternity in its creation, we hold the idea of a true, underlying Rosicrucian Current within the traditional Golden Dawn in the highest esteem. Thus, we will always defend as fact, that the inner core, the second or Inner Order, which governs the Golden Dawn in the Outer, was, is and must be Rosicrucian.

"The Imperatrix of the German Order, one Anna Sprengel, authorized the Englishmen to set up a British Chapter to be known as the Golden Dawn." - David Conway, Ritual Magic

We are certain that the Cipher MSS and the Z-Documents are the most important papers, which constitute the rites and membership in the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn. Furthermore, we believe the true seeker of Light values spiritual lineage far more than mere paper lineage, and we do not believe that paper lineage is a requisite toward upholding Golden Dawn principles.

The Cipher Manuscripts are to be considered as the raw basics of the Group’s rites or ritualistic framework. The following specific, outlined instructions are to be followed verbatim. For example:

- The symbolism of the Scepter of the Hegemon. Quote from Folio 3 of the Cipher MSS:

“24. mitre headed scepter = religion & a guide”

The teachings of S.L. MacGregor-Mathers (G.H. Frater D.D.C.F.) the primary teacher and Chief Adept of the Original Golden Dawn remain unsullied within our Order. That is to say:

- We will not under any circumstances regard as part of the traditional Golden Dawn system, the doctrine of dissidents such as Aleister Crowley and others like him. Although we realize that there are Golden Dawn practitioners whom may value and even implement such teaching, and we do not wish for our position to be construed as ridicule toward these; we do however hold firm that not all, which would represent itself as Golden Dawn is compatible with the traditional Golden Dawn system. We would defend the rights of others to present the Golden Dawn material as their worldview compels them to express it. We are simply clarifying what the traditional Golden Dawn cornerstone is for those seeking to practice it.
- All mystical and religious doctrine taught by the original Golden Dawn Order will be implemented without exception by those who would retain the original GD current. Omission of any topic taught by S.L. MacGregor-Mathers, Chief Adept of the original Order would be inconsistent with classical GD.
- We will under no circumstances abrogate the concept of “good and evil” or the two contending forces.
- “There are two contending forces and one, which unites them eternally, and two basal angles of the triangle and one which forms the apex. Such is the origin of creation; it is the Triad of Life” (The Hierophant, 0=0 initiation)
- In regards the Second Order: the inscription on the back of the Rose Cross lamen must read exactly as Mathers and the Rosicrucian tradition describes. (See lesson on the Rose Cross Lamen)

We are compelled uphold and follow the Z- Documents verbatim.
The Z documents complete the Cipher MSS. The original Chief Adept, MacGregor Mathers, perfected his outlines of the rites and rituals of the Golden Dawn system in these documents. A quote from Ithell Colquhouns Book Sword of Wisdom (page 75) illustrates this:

“He (Westcott) commissioned Mathers to write-up the rituals into workable shape and himself began a correspondance with the adept.”

For example, 2 premises of the Z-Documents:

- The Hierophant represents the ancient Egyptian God Osiris and thus invokes this God form prior to any initiation. Quote from Z1 “Enterer of the Threshold”:

“The G.D.'s Hall of the Neophyte is ruled over by Ousiri, through the office of the Hierophant. The G.D. Ousiri is the Expounder of the Sacred Mysteries”

- The Hiereus represents the ancient Egyptian God Horus and thus invokes this God form prior to any initiation. Quote from Z1 “Enterer of the Threshold”:

“Far across the hall from the throne of Ousiri in the East, in the place symbolic of the greatest darkness, is enthroned Hoor, empowering the office of Hiereus. Hoor, the Coptic name of Horus (the younger) or Heru represents the guardian force, protecting the Hall.”

Politics have no place in the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn. To clarify:

- Members of the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn regard each other as brothers and sisters and will not be divided by political issues. However, healthy discussions on any number of topics including politics are certainly encouraged.
- Political issues cannot be allowed to be made a general Order statement or to interfere with the integrity of the Order.
- Political agendas that pit one person against another, particularly on the basis of race or gender, must remain outside the Order’s doors.

Acceptance and respect of men and women on an equal basis.

- Every member of the Order is to be treated as if they were a true brother/sister, as if all shared the same father/mother.
- Sexual harassment of any kind cannot be allowed to exist among brothers and sisters of the Light.
- Sex-magic of any kind is not practiced in the traditional Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn. Confer Ithell Colquhoun, Sword of Wisdom, page 285:

“The magical system taught in the GD is to be classed as Theurgy, the Magic of Light, as distinct from all types of sex-magic and even exclusive of them.”

Respect towards all legitimate world religions and other Golden Dawn Groups. For example:

- While the Golden Dawn is not a religion in and of itself, it is governed by a strict creed of respect toward the Lord of the Universe.
- It will not be presumed that a particular religion is right or wrong over another.
- A religion must teach a deep respect toward the Lord of the Universe and a profound respect toward all people, other religions and all life in general. See folio 8 of the Cipher MSS:

“16. Never condemn other religions”

- A particular Golden Dawn group, whether it is reformed, traditional or thelemic will not be presumed as right or wrong over another.

Practice and teaching of healing techniques and rites for free. This means:

- The Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn seeks to elevate mankind in general. That is to say, we seek to help everyone reach his/her full potential.
- Healing is a way of embracing the full potential within and extending it towards the outer world.
- Healing circulates the Light, which we invoke. True expression of Light can only be through its circulation.

Practice of regular astral and/or physical 0=0 initiations in a full Temple setup.

- Initiation is a form of sowing seeds of Light into the world.
- Astral initiation, as practiced by the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn, is to be considered as equally effective as physical initiation. To quote MacGregor-Mathers:

“Believe thyself there and thou art there.”
“That which is above is also that which is below, and that which is below is also that which is above.” (The Emerald Tablet)

- We must constantly invoke Light and one very important method toward achieving this is full temple initiation.
- The continuous influx of Light stimulates alchemical growth in individuals and for the group as a whole.

Every member of our Group must have signed an Oath of Secrecy prior to his/her 0=0 initiation. This guarantees the following:

- The integrity of our Order will be preserved.
- The Great Work may remain concealed within the candidate. Thus breaking this oath would spoil the alchemical process within the initiate.
- The secrets within our Order are a cherished treasure within our heart and soul. They can only be shared with one who will commit toward ascribing the same value that we place upon it.
- Sharing the sacred knowledge of the Order with anyone who would place little or no value on it debases this knowledge and the one whom carelessly divulges it.

Membership without due initiation (physical and/or astral) is not possible.

- The Light can only be passed from one to another.
- Where this all began is anybody’s guess although all Light comes from the ultimate source: the Lord of the Universe.
- The above-mentioned alchemical process can only commence if the inner alembic is hermetically sealed, which is accomplished by the 0=0 initiation.

A fully established Second Order. The following principles are to be followed:

- The Inner Order is separate and distinct from the outer Golden Dawn Order.
- The Inner Order is Rosicrucian and is deeply rooted in Christian beliefs, symbolism and tradition.
- This is not subject to change; Rosicrucian tradition is inherently Christian and it cannot be diluted and yet remain part of the traditional egregore. To do so would be to nullify its very essence, which we see as the latent representation of I.A.O. (Birth-Death-Resurrection)

A strict hierarchy. This means:

- There is ONE Chief Adept for the Group as a whole. He/She may appoint up to two Co-Chiefs (most Second Orders have 2 Co-Chiefs).
- He/She is not necessarily identical with the Imperator of the Temple.
- To him/her are all Outer and Inner Order members loyal.

Any initiatory Temple of our Group must have at least two members of the Inner Order.

- The Z-Documents indicate that two Inner Order Members are necessary to form a working initiating vortex of Light.
- According to the Z-Documents, the Hierophant must be a member of the Inner Order.
- Equally, according to the Z-Documents, there must be a member of the dais (Imperator, Cancellarius or Premonstrator) present at any initiation. These are members of the Second Order. Quote from Folio 2 of the Cipher MSS:

“6. Adepts sit on a raised place
(Smaller temples may find this difficult and will have to adjust by having white chairs)
7. with the Hierophant
8. incense should be burning
9. in the temple at all ceremonies
10. three chiefs each 5=6 should
11. hold a template
12. one of whom must be present all ceremonies”

The veil between the Outer and Second Order must be strictly maintained. This is to say:

- That in spite of any publication in the past, present or future, the teachings of the original Inner Order must remain with very minor exceptions within the Rosicrucian Order and completely concealed from the Outer Order.
- Whether a member of the First or Outer Order has passed through the veil toward the Inner Order will be revealed through taking the office of the Hierophant or of one of the daises.
- Order secrecy is strongly emphasized in the 0=0 ceremony.

We regard the above tenets as valid and rooted in the Esoteric Golden Dawn tradition as delineated and practiced by S.L. McGregor-Mathers. This document is part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the classic Golden Dawn spirit, and to rally all Golden Dawn practitioners behind the core beliefs, practices and principles that give structure, strength and power to our magical work. The above tenets are in no way meant to stifle individuality, nor is it meant to cast differing groups in dubious light: it is meant to consolidate the staggering potential of the Esoteric Golden Dawn and to focus it into one powerful healing ray.

As a species, we are ever changing and growing and what we create reflects this, but some things must remain unchanged in order for growth to be structured and for it to accomplish our will and aspiration. It is our hope that all Golden Dawn groups with their various individual characteristics will join forces in bringing healing energy into the world. While we respect the differing and varied opinions held by other groups, we firmly believe that following the classic Golden Dawn Tradition as taught by S.L. McGregor-Mathers will harmonize our collective current and give us tremendous power and structure in bringing great and wonderful changes into this sick and dying world.

HEGEMON: "Inheritor of a dying world, we call thee to the living beauty."

HIEREUS: "Wanderer in the wild Darkness, we call thee to the gentle Light."

HIEROPHANT: "Long has thou dwelt in the darkness, quit the night and seek the day."


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