The Order of the GBG Its Origin and Beginning [1 eBook PDF]

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Name:The Order of the GBG Its Origin and Beginning [1 eBook PDF]

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The Order Of The GBG

The Order Of The GBG ( The Order Of The Great Brotherhood Of God,) also known as The Choronzon Club, was a magickal organization that flourished between the years 1931 to 1937 under the guidance of C. F. Russell. Francis King remarked in his work "Modern Ritual Magic", that the order of The GBG "was an independant magical order led by Russell and teaching an odd variation of the systems used in the Golden Dawn and Crowley's OTO (pg 160)." C. F. Russell was at one point a student of Aleister Crowley, until, according to Jane Wolf, Crowley granted Russell permission, and his blessing to start his own order, and the Order Of The GBG was the result.. C. F. Russel was known by the magickal name Frater Genesthai.

In relation to other magickal organizations, I would consider the Order of The GBG to have been atleast a moderate success. The membership varied by localities, and the published membership numbers given in the book "The Order Of The GBG" ranged from 25 active members in San Diego, to 125 members in Denver, other known localities fell between these 2 figures.

The main focus of The Order Of The GBG was to achieve the knowledge and conversation with their Holy Guardian Angel. This goal was considered to be "no less than the ultimate aim in Magick" . As a psychological application, the knowledge and conversations with the holy guardian angel could be considered contact with our highest self, or observing self, or daimon. Aleister Crowley believed that he had been successful in contacting his Holy Guardian Angel, and the earliest result was the transmission of The Book Of The Law. The Order of the GBG was not the first magickal organization to focus themselves on this directive, and I am sure that they will not be the last.

The structure of the Order of the GBG was heirarchial in nature. Those who introduce others to the organization were directly responsible for assuring that the same level of criteria was passed on as was initially received. Every member was responsible for those they introduced into the order.

Much like other magickal organizations, the Order Of the GBG required an above average discipline to succeed. It was required of each initiate to daily dedicate a portion of their time to achieving their esoteric goals. If one was not willing to dedicate themselves daily, for even 30 minutes, they would quickly start to fall behind, the failure is their fault, not the fault of the organization.

The Preliminary Practices

The initial practical elements of the Order Of The GBG required the neophyte to keep a daily dream diary, and to keep a book focused on the magickal identity.

The Dream Diary acted as a tool to assist the neophyte in remembering their dreams, and made it possible to evaluate the messages of the unconscious mind. When active in rituals, some of the effects of the rituals will manifest themselves first in the dream state, and it is necessary to have these records to truly evaluate the experiences at hand. This record seems to be an ongoing practice throughout the entire membership period.

Realizing ones magickal identity is an important step in growth of the neophyte. The magickal diary focused on the magickal identity was a 2 week exercise. The neophyte was required take atleast 10 minutes every day to define the magician they were aspiring to become, Focusing on their personal growth, not their potential actions. This book is evaluated by the mentor on the 7th and 14th day of the exercise, and if the purpose has been missed, the mentor would clarify as needed. The purpose of this exercise was to assist the neophyte in self-understanding. This exercise requires focus to be achieved properly, and that is the second reason for this exercise. In The Order of the GBG PDF, in the Recapitulative Reminders of Chapter 2, the following statement is given; " The Magickal Identity’ record is the first step in coming to the knowledge of one’s True Identity and is a drill in self honesty. Veil not your vices in virtuous words.’’

The Directives

After the preliminary exercises have been performed to a satisfactory level, the neophyte receives two directives. These directives were typically given within 2 months of active membership. In the Order Of The GBG PDF, The directives are given as follows ;

(I) I swear to tell myself the truth.

(II) I swear to regard every event (or condition) as a particular dealing between myself and the HGA.

There is an interpretation of these directives given in the Order Of The GBG PDF, but in my opinion, the directives are open to much interpretation. The first declaration requires the neophyte to determine what is meant by truth.

One comment regarding truth, that i feel deserves mention is by Michael Paracelsus. In The Esoteric Arts: A Primer, he commented that "A statement is true if it can be shown to correspond to reality." Considering this comment, we must ask ourselves, what is the reality that the Order of the GBG is based around. This pondery could be asked about any magickal or spiritual organization, but at this time, our focus is the Order Of The GBG.

One aspect of the reality that The Order of the GBG perscribed to was the existence of the Holy Guardian Angel, as mentioned above, and reinforced in the second directive. This concept is not exclusive to this magickal organization, as anyone familiar with The Order Of The Golden Dawn and The Ordo Templi Orientis can testify. C. F. Russell most likely got introduced to the concept of the HGA through his magickal involvement with Aleister Crowley. Contact, knowledge, and potentially even union with the Holy Guardian Angel were the primary focuses of the Order Of The GBG, and if one was not willing to allow this concept into their reality, none of the goals could be achieved.

When considering the declarations on a magickal level, there is a comment made in The Order Of The GBG pdf that I would like to qoute; "Let us consider the magickal effect upon members of the G.’.B.’.G.’ when practiced sincerely and continuously. Without being told, members could see the extended implications of the Oath, and practice it. They came to see clearly that their various actions were also ‘events’. The almost automatic result was that they made Magical Rituals out of various things they were doing- When planting seeds in the garden, it would be done as a Magickal Ritual of “planting the seeds” of what was desired to be grown and developed within the Self, or developed in their Great Work. " The Neophyte starts to become the magician according to the the paramaters that they laid out in their Magickal Identity diary, in the preliminary exercises. The first step can be taken, but there is still much to realize beyond this point. The Holy Guardian Angel, at this point, is still a concept, it must become a firm aspect of the reality.

The Retirement Ritual

The retirement ritual is another practice that demonstrates the influence that Crowley had on Russell. There are mentions of Crowley participating in his share of magickal retirement, as Crowley tended to refer to this prctice as. I will provide the directions given for the Retirement ritual, as given in The Order Of The GBG PDF;
You must first learn this Ritual by memory so that you can - speak the words

and perform the gestures freely and without hesitation of memory.

The retirement is for three days and three nights, in a location where there

are no distractions. You can drink water but eat no food. If deemed necessary

for your well being, you may take nourishment in liquid form only.

The Ritual and your written record (in your blank book marked Book M.N.)

to be peformed eight times daily, at one or one and one-half hour intervals.

You may arrange this schedule in two parts so that you may have a siesta

period. Do not neglect to write your record of impressions after each ritual.

This regiment of ritual seems to be a bit excessive at first, but it is not difficult to dedicate oneself to such a regiment. To be a magician takes dedication, and this ritual, being a bit more excessive than some rituals, will expose the level of dedication of the neophyte.

At this point, the neophyte is required to choose a magickal name. The Order of The GBG pdf states " The Magickal Name is a condensation into one word of your conception of your unique magickal identily in the Great Work

hope that this acts as a notable start into this magickal organization of the early 20th century, and as time permits, I will contribute more to this write-up. As of yet, this is still a work in process.


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Alchemy: Manfred M. Junius - Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy. Frater Albertus - Alchemist's Handbook. Jean Dubuis - Spagyrics

Astrology: Rosicrucian Fellowship - Astrology Course, Donna Cuningham - Selected Topics in Chart Interpretation, Judith Bennett, Evangeline Adams - Astrology Your Place among the Stars

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Chaos Magic: Peter Carrol - Cthonos Rite, Phil Hine - Prime Chaos, David Michael Cunningham - Creating Magickal Entities: A Complete Guide to Entity Creation

Entheogens: Timothy Leary - The Delicious Grace Of Moving One's Hand, Mia Touw - The Religious and Medicinal Uses of Cannabis in China, India and Tibet, Terence McKenna - Alien Dreamtime, Philip H. Farber - Magick and Entheogens

Fourth Way: G.I. Gurdjieff - Beelzebubs Tales to His Grandson, P. D. Ouspensky - Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution, Keith Jarrett - Sacred Hymns of G.I. Gurdjieff

Grimoires: Abraham von Worms - The Book Of Abramelin, Andrew Chumbley - One - The Grimoire of the Golden Toad, Various Authors - A Picatrix Miscellany

Golden Dawn: Pat & Chris Zalewski - The Magical Tarot of The Golden Dawn, Pat Zalewski - Golden Dawn Rituals and Commentaries, Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero - Self-Initiation into the Golden Dawn Tradition, Israel Regardie - The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic

Hinduism: Swami Vivekananda - Complete Works, John Dowson - A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology, T.S Ranganathan - See, Learn & Perform Sandhyavandanam

Qabalah: Kabballah Denning & Phillips - Entrance to the Magical Qabalah, Lon Milo Duquette- Qabalah for the Rest of Us, William Gray - Ladder of Lights

Lucid Dreams / Astral Projection: Tony Crisp - Lucid Dreaming, S. Laberge - A Course in Lucid Dreaming, Robert Monroe - Techniques for Astral Projection, Robert Bruce - Astral Dynamics

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Thelema: Theodor Reuss & Aleister Crowley - OTO Rituals & Magick, James Eschelman - The Mystical & Magical System of the A.'.A.'., The Equinox

Wicca: Rose Ariadne - Mastering The Magick Of Witchcraft, Cassadnra Eason - A Practical Guide to Witchcraft and Magick Spells, Scott Cunningham - Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

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