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"The Equinox & Solstice Ceremonies of the Golden Dawn", by Pat & Chris Zalewski

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"The Equinox & Solstice Ceremonies of the Golden Dawn", by Pat & Chris Zalewski Empty "The Equinox & Solstice Ceremonies of the Golden Dawn", by Pat & Chris Zalewski

Post  Khephra on Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:58 am

From A Review of The Equinox & Solstice Ceremonies of the Golden Dawn, by Dean F. Wilson:

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was well known for its Equinox Ceremony, and, indeed, for its lack of a Solstice equivalent, which has been a cause of query for many students, both inside and outside the Golden Dawn system. "The Equinox & Solstice Ceremonies of the Golden Dawn", by Pat and Chris Zalewski, offers an intriguing title, which may beguile many readers, in light of the above facts.

So, first thing's first: the title is somewhat deceptive. The Golden Dawn never had a Solstice ceremony, which Zalewski himself admits. So why the title then? He argues that the Consecration of the Vault ceremony is the Summer Solstice ritual. This is not quite true, however, as the Consecration is done on Corpus Christi day ("Day C" in Rosicrucian lore), which may coincide with the Solstice, but also might be a good month off. Thus, the Consecration would not really benefit from those solar energies. But that's beside the point, as the Consecration ceremony neither mentions the Solstice, nor involves anything remotely linked to it. It gets its power from the Rosicrucian mythos, which is linked to Corpus Christi day, which would be celebrated by Rosicrucians around the world, both in and outside the Golden Dawn (and thus would aid connecting to a larger Rosicrucian egregore). As for the Winter Solstice, Zalewski doesn't offer anything, although he does suggest that this was often a time new members were initiated into the Order. While this may be so, that's not quite the same as being a Solstice ceremony by any stretch of the imagination.

With that out of the way, let's deal with what the book actually includes. There's a very interesting and informative chapter on the astromagnetic theory, which explains a little about the effects of the Equinoxes and Solstices, and thus why we should celebrate them and try to tape into their energies.

Then there's a lengthy chapter on the mythology of the Sun, primarily Egyptian in focus. This is also highly informative, and is important information, given these pivotal points of the year revolve around the Sun (no pun intended).

Next the actual Equinox Ceremony is provided. It's not that much different than the one provided by Regardie, but it's nice to have it collected here in one book. The next document is what most people will have bought this for, which is Z-6, a Commentary on the Equinox Ceremony. While this is interesting material, it doesn't go to quite the same depth as the Z-documents that Mathers wrote. Likewise for Z-7, which is also provided in this book, and is a commentary on the Consecration of the Vault Ceremony (which is given in full before it, and includes additional sections omitted from Regardie's one, such as the installation of the Hierophant). Finally there are two more short chapters, one that gives Waite's altered form of the Equinox Ceremony for his Holy Order of the Golden Dawn, replete with a more mystical Christian styling, and a Solo Equinox Ceremony for those unable to attend a full Temple one.

Despite the deceptive title and the repeated material, I found much of value in this book, which I had to buy second-hand since it's currently out of print. The Z-documents should be added to every Golden Dawn student's collection, since there are so few commentaries out there, and the information contained in the early parts of this book will aid greatly in understanding the rituals given in the latter half. It's a slim book of roughly 160 pages, and contains a number of images and diagrams, but there are many hidden gems to be found within.

The Equinox & Solstice Ceremonies of the Golden Dawn, by Pat & Chris Zalewski: Llewellyn Publications (1992).

"Sacred Activism is the fusion of the mystic's passion for God with the activist's passion for justice, creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing." - Andrew Harvey

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