Mike’s Prattle


A Survey of the Golden Dawn

Posted by Mike on October 14, 2012

A Survey of the Golden Dawn


The following survey was created to help source a book that seeks to relate how the Golden Dawn affects an initiate’s material/personal life. It is designed as a series of preliminary questions with a space for narrative, in order to ask an initiate to share significant stories or anecdotes related to their progress within the system. The results will be used to provide a reader with a guide to how working with hermetic magic actually transforms an initiate and the potential difficulties of significant changes in life circumstances.

While the intent of the project is to share as many different stories from Golden Dawn initiates as possible, excerpts from survey responses may or may not be used in writing the book at the author’s discretion. Survey results will be viewed by the author and those helping with the project. Respondents to this survey may use their real name, magical motto, pseudonym or contribute anonymously. Temple chiefs are also welcome to coordinate responses through a point of contact.

The intent of the survey is to gather examples of experiences related to personal transformation: the physical, instinctive, mental, emotional and transcendent changes that occur when one works the Golden Dawn system and their effects on one’s material life. Any recounting that includes unusual events (such as astral projection, seeing auras, visions of angels and deities, etc.) should be firmly tied to transformation and personal evolution. The more objective and detached the recounting, the more effective this work can be for the initiate. In particular, stories about one’s magical prowess and skill written in order to impress are discouraged. The goal of this book is to help alleviate the suffering of those who will inevitably find difficulty at some point in their journey, rather than a collection of magical success stories – the more human and empathetic the recounting, the more effectively this goal can be met.

A Guide to the Survey

The survey asks the respondent to give example(s) of how working with the Golden Dawn, at a particular point(s) in one’s progress, led to transformative change. If one has followed the traditional grade system of the Golden Dawn, the recounting should be grounded in the element/grade an initiate was working with at the time. For example if one was working with the earth element/Zelator grade, the recounting might cover a change in one’s attitude towards physical health or finances. Such a recounting might provide examples of the difficulties incurred while losing a job, difficulties accepting change, the road to acceptance and recovery, and synchronicities and numinous events that were tied into the process. However, experiences in the Golden Dawn may also be related to planets, the Sephirah and other parts of the tradition; any specifics should be included in the response.

The point of the recounting is to provide examples of the system’s real effect on one’s life and one’s success in surpassing difficulty and surrendering to the process. However, if one has followed a different path with the system, please indicate the work involved when your story happened, so that it can be grounded to a part of the system.

While it is likely that an initiate’s story will include supernatural or numinous events, it is essential that the recounting of these be as objective as possible and tied in in the same way to the work being done at the time. Events such as these always bring mystery to the proceedings so over interpretation is counter-productive. Likewise, details of one’s personal work should only be included if necessary to the narrative and anything kept behind oaths of secrecy should obviously be omitted. The focus should be on the changes in one’s real life and perspective in plain language, the results of the transformational process rather than the rituals, knowledge and meditations that got one there. Astrological information is optional, however, it is highly encouraged, as one of the topics the book aims to explore is how difficulties in a chart can relate to one’s personal experience at a particular grade point (often planets in detriment or poorly aspected). A chart may be submitted with the survey or partial information in the survey itself.

A respondent is invited to submit as many stories as they like and there are no word limits. However, the more direct a narrative is to explaining how magic affected one’s personal life, the better. It is likely most responses will not make the book for a number of reasons and most will be excerpted, however the data will be analyzed as a group in order to identify tendencies and commonalities.

Again, the purpose and focus of the survey and book are to provide assistance to those undergoing difficulties in the transformation process, not to be an apologetic for the tradition.

The Story Itself

The most important part of the survey is the space given to your story. The essence of each story should be how, at a particular point on your spiritual journey, working with the Golden Dawn led to real changes in your material life. There are no real limitations to the stories that could occur, but it is important for initiates to ground their story to a particular grade or element along the path. For example, stories about working with the Practicus grade would likely show transformation in one’s emotional life, for example the realization of unconscious emotional patterns with friends, family and lovers. Stories about working with the Zelator grade should show transformation in one’s attitude to body and health or to noticing poor financial habits such as spending too much on frivolities or hanging onto it stingily. It is likely many of these stories will show the path leading one to realizations of one’s particular inadequacy in the area being worked and should demonstrate how an initiates reaction of change and surrender to the work led to a more balanced disposition in the same area. It is not discouraged to share the numinous occurrences and synchronicities that occur in part with transformation. But it is the movie and not the special effects that is important, even when the climactic event can be flashy.


Survey responses, as well as any questions about the survey or project,can be directed to the author (Mike McLatchey) in the comments below, at sigil23@comcast.net or via his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/mike.mclatchey. Text can be sent via Word, text file or e-mail. Thanks to Peregrin Wildoak and Nick Farrell for guidance with the project and the creation of this survey.



Please repeat each series of questions for each anecdote/story. In referring to other people in your response, please always use pseudonyms.


  1. Name to be used if published/contacted: _____________________________________

___ Real

___ Magical Motto:

___ Pseudonym:

2. ___ Temple Initiate   ___ Self Initiate

3. Email contact:


1.  Other paths or philosophies that you practice or that led you to the Golden Dawn:

2.  Relevant background experience.

3.  Relevant astrological information:

___ Chart attached


4.  Current spiritual path (if not part of the Golden Dawn anymore):

5.  Current Age:


1.  Age experience occurred:

2.  Grade, element, planet or subject the story relates to:

3.  How long had you been practicing when this story occurred?


Please recount your experience below:


5 Responses to “A Survey of the Golden Dawn”

  1. Peregrin said

    Great stuff Mike! This is brilliant. THANKS 🙂

  2. […] over at ‘Mike’s Prattle’ has post concerning a book he is researching about “how the Golden Dawn affects an initiate’s […]

  3. Mike said

    Thanks for everything Peregrin 🙂

  4. […] started out as a call for content from Mikes Prattle. I started to write the last question and it turned into an essay and a half. I figure its worth […]

  5. […] Why the Golden Dawn?… on A Survey of the Golden Da… […]

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