Order Of The Golden Dawn's Biography(Books)
An esoteric Order founded in England in the 1880's, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was originally heavily influenced by Freemasonry. Its three founding members were prominent Masonic figures and early members of the first Masonic lodge of research, Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076. While the common variety of legitimate Freemasonry is not occult oriented at all, the Golden Dawn (at least in its Inner or Second Order, the R.R. et A.C.) was a full blown magical Order. Still, Masonic elements can be found in the rituals and other work of the Golden Dawn. From its beginning the Golden Dawn and most of its offshoots have admitted women on an equal basis with men.
The Order continues to exist today in various forms throughout the world. These range from ripoff artists and egomaniacal illuminati manipulators to sincere men and women preserving the traditions of the so called Order. There are those who want to "control" the Golden Dawn for their own purposes like illustrius Brother Robert Gilbert of the QC 2076 Lodge or the infamous Sandra “Tabatha” Cicero , and those who freely share what they have and encourage others in this field. If this sounds like religion, it is not a coincidence. The history of the Golden Dawn from its origins to the present, has been plagued by strange and bizarre people doing strange and bizarre things. In general, if the "Chiefs" of a Temple largely make a living from their involvement in the Order beware! If they claim to be the One, True and Only Authentic "Rosicrucian" Order (except for the few Others that acknowledge all of their self proclaimed "Authority") you are, frankly, better off looking elsewhere. However, you say, you want to join the Golden Dawn. You're smart, young, sensitive and have a penchant for Hermeticism of the Golden Dawn type.
The history, rituals and regalia really move your romantic spirit. You visualize yourself in flowing robes wielding your Magical Sword to banish evil and invoke the Holy Archangels in dramatic form. However, the more that you look into the Golden Dawn groups that publicize themselves, and the more you read the postings of alleged adepts on the alt.magick news group and elsewhere, the less confidence you have in the existing branches of the Order that you see out there. What's an Aspirant to do? Well, there is nothing to stop sincere persons from forming their own group. An enormous amount of material has been freely available online and elsewhere for many years. A diligent search will reap many rewards. Meditation and practical experience persisted in over a long period of time will overcome tremendous obstacles. A background in some sort of fraternal organization that works ritual might be helpful. Israel Regardie would always recommend any individual interested in following a Magical path to seek and stick with some form of psychological therapy. There are many mentally unbalanced people in this field. They are best avoided when identified as such. They will do nothing for your spiritual advancement. Expect only to be disappointed by them. Certainly a good sense of humor is necessary. An industrial strength bullshit detector is essential when getting involved with any religious or occult group. Think for yourself and don't be a zombie for this or any other Order. Good luck!