Category Archives: The Temenos of John Michael Greer

Circles of Power

Circles of Power: A Guide to Ceremonial Magic by Hermetic Library fellow John Michael Greer, second edition from Salamander and Sons, available in 2013, supposedly available from Weiser Antiquarian but not appearing in their catalog, may be of interest.

John Michael Greer Circles of Power from Salamander and Sons

“‘When ritual and the relationships of meaning which underlie it are studied and used deliberately … a whole range of possibilities opens up. These possibilities include most of the methods of magic … symbolism and symbolic action — that is, ritual — form the most important elements of the magician’s toolkit. The mastery of ritual thus offers what is probably the single most important way to begin to make use of the immense hidden potentials of human consciousness, potentials which go far beyond the limits most people nowadays place on what it means to be human.’

One of the most prestigious esoteric groups of the Victorian era, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn has been described as ‘a system for perfecting the raw material that is humanity; a system for discovering the Divine Source within, and for seeing it in all things; a system for awakening the consciousness within and uniting with that of the universe itself.’

In Circles of Power: A Guide to Ceremonial Magic, John Michael Greer provides a practical guide to the eloquent and powerful system of Cabalistic ritual magic developed by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn — arguably the most complete and fully developed of the living traditions of Western magic.

Greer clearly articulates in plain English the nature of Golden Dawn ritual magic; the magical macrocosm and microcosm, and the tools and practice of ritual magic. In doing so, he concisely summarises the foundations of Golden Dawn ritual (such as Invoking and Banishing, the Middle Pillar exercises, and Opening and Closing), the applications of such ritual (including working tools, talismans, evocation, invisibility and transformation, and spiritual development) and the Formula of the Equinox.

Extensively illustrated throughout, Circles of Power features 38 rituals and ceremonies described in detail, plus guidance for the solitary magician and an appendix of cabalistic symbolism.”

The Key to Solomon’s Key

The Key to Solomon’s Key: Secrets of Magic and Masonry by Lon Milo DuQuette, with an introduction by James Wasserman, the 2006 first edition softcover, from the Consortium of Collective Consciousness, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Lon Milo DuQuette The Key to Solomon's Key

This work has been published in a 2010 second edition with a different subtitle as The Key to Solomon’s Key: Is This the Lost Symbol of Masonry? that includes a new afterword by Hermetic Library fellow Mark Stavish.

“Controversial Secrets of Magic and Masonry

King Solomon is the central figure of both the secret rituals of Freemasonry and the forbidden rites of sorcery, The sacred traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam come together in the person of the wise magician-king of ancient Israel, and his presence in Biblical history is a key element in how these three disparate religions view themselves and each other. The story of Solomon has his magnificent Temple in Jerusalem is the keystone of the Bible that supports and connects Old Testament and New.

But is it true? Or do myth and tradition hold keys that unlock mysteries of human consciousness infinitely more astounding than history?” — back cover

“This intriguing look at intersections between Freemasonry and the Western magical traditions will be sure to evoke outrage from many quarters, but it poses curcial question that deserve close attention from Masons, magicians, and anyone else concerned with the nature of religion and reality in a post-Christian age.” — John Michael Greer, back cover


The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Between the Worlds: An Interfaith Esoteric Conference

Between the Worlds: An Interfaith Esoteric Conference will be held in Wilmington, DE on Dec 13-16, 2012. A number of people you may know from the library are on the presenters list, including Hermetic Library fellows Sam Webster and John Michael Greer, anthology artist T Thorn Coyle, interviewee Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki and a number of others not directly connected to the library, but who may be both familiar and of interest, such as Ivo Domínguez, Jr., Anaar, Jason Miller, Christopher Penczak, and more.

“Between The Worlds is an interfaith esoteric conference. It occurs when the stars indicate that such a gathering is needed and favored. The previous BTW’s were held in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2007. This is the 5th in the series.

This conference is known for the quality of its workshops and rituals. This event is intended for those at an intermediate or advanced level in their spiritual and magickal studies.

Remember it is not a yearly event, so don’t miss this opportunity for amazing rituals, deep learning, and dialogue.” [via]

The Celtic Golden Dawn: An Original & Complete Curriculum of Druidical Study

The Celtic Golden Dawn: An Original & Complete Curriculum of Druidical Study by Hermetic Library fellow John Michael Greer is due Feb 2013, published by Llewellyn.



“A century ago, groups decending from the famed Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn fused the occult lore of the Western magical tradition with the nature spirituality of the Druid Revival. They invoked Pagan Celtic powers instead of the Judeo-Christian names and symbols. Respected occult author and Grand Archdruid John Michael Greer has re-created a complete magical system based on the Celtic Golden Dawn traditions. This new book provides students with a complete curriculum of Druidical magic and occult wisdom, including training in ceremonial magic, meditation, pathworking, divination, geomancy, and herbal alchemy, allowing self-initiation into the three degrees of Ovate, Bard, and Druid. It features spectacular magical techniques for such things as invisibility, etheric shapeshifing, and conjuring spirits.” [via]


Although the book description doesn’t say so, I’ve seen some comments which state this work has to do with the Celtic Revival of William Butler Yeats, and will cover materials related to Yeats’ attempt to create rituals for his Castle of Heroes and a neo-romantic reconstruction of Celtic Mysteries which was his focus for a time. I was curious whether that was the case, so I asked John and he clarifies:

“Since only fragmentary material survives from the Druid/Golden Dawn hybrid orders of the early 20th century — orders such as the Cabbalistic Order of Druids and the Ancient Order of Druid Hermetists — the sole available option was for someone with a solid grasp of Golden Dawn and Druid traditions to reverse engineer a fusion between them. Since I have the qualifications, I decided to give it a shot. The completed system is an original creation of mine, based on my sense of what the study program of such an order would have been like.” — John Michael Greer [via email]


Open letter from John Michael Greer to the Golden Dawn community

Hermetic Library fellow John Michael Greer, and co-editor of the archived Caduceus: The Hermetic Quarterly, has sent out an open letter about a forthcoming new edition of Israel Regardie’s The Golden Dawn, as published by Llewellyn.

For those in the Golden Dawn Community:

Avete Fratres et Sorores!

I would like to pass on some important news to the members of the Golden Dawn community, and to ask for the assistance of my fratres and sorores in a project that may make a positive difference for the future of our common tradition. Llewellyn Publications, the copyright holders of Israel Regardie’s The Golden Dawn, has started the process of preparing a new, seventh edition of that deservedly famous book. As most of you are well aware, the currently available sixth edition has had more than its share of problems – an abundance of typos and other errors introduced during the process of scanning and editing the original text, some serious omissions of material, and more – and this came on top of a range of problems with the original text, some dating back to its writing and first publication, others introduced since then.

In order to fix these problems – and avoid adding any more! – the staff at Llewellyn decided to contract with a writer/editor who was already familiar with the tradition, rather than doing the editing in-house. When they offered me the contract, I accepted on the understanding that I would be consulting with other practitioners of the tradition to make the new seventh edition the definitive version of this classic work. While I have been a student of the Golden Dawn work since 1976, I am well aware that there are many others in the Golden Dawn community whose experience with the tradition goes far beyond mine. Furthermore, beyond all questions of copyright law, The Golden Dawn belongs in a very real sense to all those who have studied it, worked with it,and made the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn a central part of their lives; it seems to me that a project such as this would best be done, not by an individual, but by the whole community. I would therefore like to ask your help with this project.

This is what I have in mind.

First and foremost, all the typos and errors introduced into the text need to be located and fixed. There are a great many of them, and no one person’s eyes are likely to spot them all. I would therefore like to ask all those who are willing to do so, to list all the typos and errors they can find, noting their location by page and line number.

Please use the sixth edition (the currently available large black paperback), since the electronic files of this edition are the raw material I will be using as a starting point for the editorial work. The lists, and all other material,may be sent to the email address that follows.

Second, anything that was left out of the sixth edition needs to be identified and replaced. This will require carefully comparing the text, page by page, between the current edition and the older versions.

Third, all passages in Hebrew, Greek, Coptic, and Enochian need to be checked for spelling and accuracy by people familiar with those languages, and any necessary corrections made. All astrological, elemental, alchemical, and other symbols also have to be checked and, where necessary, corrected.

Fourth, the stage directions in the rituals need to be checked by those who have experience performing them. There have been repeated claims that officers are put in the wrong places, change position without explanation, and so on. All notes on staging the rituals therefore need to be reviewed and, where necessary, corrected.

Fifth, all the diagrams and images need to be gone over carefully, all errors identified and all corrections indicated. This includes checking and correcting the Hebrew and other non-English alphabets in the diagrams. Current plans are to have all the art from the book redone by a capable artist familiar with the tradition, so corrections here need to be suggested as soon as possible.

Sixth, I have been given a certain amount of ‘wiggle room’ to add new material to the book. I plan on doing so very sparingly – an improved and expanded index, and a briefly annotated bibliography of worthwhile books for students of the Golden Dawn tradition, are the two additions I have primarily in mind. Still, I would be willing to listen to proposals for the addition of short essays in the text where that would be helpful to students.

Seventh, and most controversially, I would like to check Regardie’s text against copies of the original Golden Dawn rituals and knowledge lectures. I understand that many of those who have such copies keep them tightly locked in their filing cabinets; still, to make this the definitive edition of The Golden Dawn, referring back to the original source material is an essential step. I would therefore like to ask members of the community who have any of these documents to consider scanning or photocopying the material they have, and allowing me to use the copies as references in the editorial process. Any materials so lent will remain unpublished, and I am entirely willing to abide by any restrictions on the use or distribution of such documents as the lender may find necessary. The point of this request is not to raid anybody’s files; it is simply to make sure that, as far as possible, the lectures and rituals in The Golden Dawn are an accurate copy of the material originally circulated in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

I am aware that not everyone in the Golden Dawn community will be interested in participating in the revision process, and that not everyone who is interested will have the time to do so. Furthermore, I can offer in return only my own heartfelt gratitude, and a published acknowledgment, in the seventh edition, to each frater or soror, each temple, and each order that contributes to this work. That being said, I hope that as many of you as possible will be willing to help make the new seventh edition a milestone in the history of the Golden Dawn tradition. I have set up an email address specifically for this project at [email protected] – please use this for all correspondence related to the seventh edition. In terms of the time frame forthis project, I plan on beginning the editing process in January of 2013, and the completed manuscript is due on the Spring Equinox of 2014.

Sub umbra alarum tuarum, YHVH —

Frater GME (John Michael Greer)


The Blood of the Earth: An essay on Magic and Peak Oil

The Blood of the Earth: An essay on Magic and Peak Oil” by John Michael Greer is available for pre-order from Scarlet Imprint, and is their first title for 2012.

“The Blood of the earth: an essay on magic and peak oil. Industrial culture is in collapse. There is no infinite growth on a finite planet and oil, our most critical resource, has passed peak.

We have entered a period of radical flux, and magic must respond to the world in which it operates, or it is nothing but empty escapism.

The Blood of the Earth is a challenging and radical book. It fuses hard physical science with an adept’s understanding of magic. It is a smart, articulate and devastating piece of writing. You could call it a polemic. You could call it a prophetic work.

We believe it is essential reading for the modern magician.

Magic, like peak oil, is the voice our civilisation has failed to heed. Greer argues passionately that the answers to our darkening age are to be found in the practice of magic, provided we understand what it can and cannot do. He gives a lucid explanation of how magic works and crucially, where it does not.

His vision of the future covers the dangers of political thaumaturgy and the threats of new dictatorships in an increasingly unstable world. Neither does he shy away from a critique of the mind control antics of the black magicians of the advertising industry. Cautionary examples of UFO cults, mysterious assassinations and fake science are all grist for his mill.

Whilst attacking the failures of scientific materialism and the empty technological utopias he does not spare the New Age. Instead he presents a tour de force of occult philosophy covering Neoplatonism, Theurgy, Ritual magic, and thinkers as diverse as Aristotle, Giordano Bruno, Joseph Peladan and Rudolph Steiner.

He presents the highly practical mental training methods of magic for countering the tyranny of dualistic thinking. Clearly written and accessible, The Blood of the Earth is part of the fusion of deep ecology and deep paganism we continue to champion, and is equally relevant to heathen, druid, magician and witch. By reading this book you will have a far clearer understanding of the unfolding future. More than that, it will give you clear and direct strategies to break free of the mind forg’d manacles.”