Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Alpha Omega: Our Struggle to Survive

by Anthropologist and AΩ High Priestess
Leslie McQuade

As High Priestess of the Alpha Omega's new Egyptian section, the Egyptian College of Isis, my duties are primarily of a spiritual nature. I constantly tend the fires in our Isis Mother temple, performing the Alpha Omega's Egyptian Pagan rites on a daily basis.

Thus I try my best to stay out of the mundane affairs of our order. If I write on the Internet, it is on my little blog, Whispers from Shadow Mountain, that you can find here, where I am today originally publishing this article that will also be reblogged on The Golden Dawn Blog here.

Our Lady Isis is a loving and gentle Mother, yet when her child is threatened Isis reminds us that she is also Lady of Magick and keeper of the words of power which command even great Ra by his secret name.

This morning I was saddenned when, on the blog of a man who leads a Golden Dawn order and claims to be a spiritual leader, I read vile personal attacks not only calling our AΩ Imperator a "tin-foil hat wearing loon" and a "muggle nutter," but calling the Alpha Omega itself "spiritually bankrupt" and our thousands of AΩ members across the globe just a "few lunatic followers."

By attacking each of you hard working, magick practicing, book buying members of our beloved Alpha Omega, those who have tried to destroy the AΩ for two decades now this time gone have too far!

I know that many of you, dear readers, are not particularly interested in the ongoing struggle for AΩ survival, freedom, and our independence from SRIA tyranny.

When I first became a member of the Alpha Omega, I too, was not particularly interested in this, as I was so busy learning, practicing and internalizing all the new material to which I had just gained access. 

It wasn’t until the recent Independence Day celebrations that it came home to me exactly WHY the aggressive defense of our Order is so important.

Just like the founding fathers, who fought for the independence of all Americans, whether they were interested in independence or not, and despite the huge army SRIA fielded to destroy the Alpha Omega and its leaders' reputation on the Internet, our Imperator has led us to survive against all odds through two full decades of attacks.

When they attacked AΩ in court, we defeated them, and preserved our right to call ourselves Golden Dawn, despite SRIA's huge financial war chest (which they continue to rebuild today!). Wherever and whenever they attacked AΩ on the Internet, we drove them back. Time and time again, we faced down an army of SRIA "researchers" falsifying our history.

Alpha Omega: Our Struggle to Survive!

Like many others, at first I did not believe the SRIA was actively and aggressively working towards monopolizing the Golden Dawn, and limiting access to certain materials based not on grade and ability as is traditional, but on other factors like religious affiliation. I most emphatically do not want to be forced into a mystical Christian mold, but if the SRIA had its way, that is exactly how things would be.

Our struggle is simple. AΩ must survive! We have sought peace over and over, extending an olive branch time and time again, only to have it roughly slapped away. We remain ever vigilant, faced with a ruthless and unrelenting enemy that will not rest until they destroy or seize control of the AΩ.

I love the freedom I have in the AΩ to study magick. I think it is absolutely beautiful that even Neophytes have immediate access to magick. I mean, really! Isn’t that a big part of why we all decided to become Ceremonial MAGICIANS in the first place? To practice Magick? I am quite a patient person, as any archaeologist must be, but I don’t think I could stomach waiting until 5=6 to practice magick, and I certainly wouldn’t continue with an Order that insisted I change my fundamental belief paradigm from Pagan to Trinitarian Christian to do it.

I guess what I really want to explain to those of you who are not interested, is that while it is your own business to be interested or not, know that you would not be able to study the materials you study, to practice the magick that you do, or to be the Ceremonial Magicians you aspire to be, were not for the tireless efforts of our Imperator. Let us recall that British tyrants also once called General Washington a "tin-foil hat wearing loon" leading a "few lunatic followers."

There are countless others who, like me, today stand beside our Imperator in defense of the AΩ.  I do it because I value my own freedom and the freedom of the Fraters and Sorores in our Order. I love you all very much, and like the soldiers who fought the Revolutionary war to free our great nation from the yoke of British tyranny, I fight for your freedom from another group of British Tyrants.

How could I do otherwise? How could I stand idly by and watch as these thugs destroy our Rose? The Initiatic Secrets our Order has carefully preserved for the spiritual development of its members is so sacred, so fragile and beautiful … To think of that a "men's only club" of SRIA Christian segregationist leaders are deliberately trying to break down our fences to stomp it into oblivion just breaks my heart. How can they be so obviously malicious? They are vandals in the worst sense of the word!

May we always remember that, first and foremost, we are MAGICIANS!

In the Alpha Omega, we struggle magically for a future world that will be equilibrated and where nature is decontaminated. We work magically to reawaken the sleeping powers inside man and womankind into full contact with the magical forces of nature, returning to the authentic, natural human being that existed prior to religious deformation and who is therefore incapable of harming the Earth. 

This will automatically result in the elevation of consciousness to its fullest spiritual potential.

In the AΩ, our Mission is to improve the human Soul, reveal to women and men their dormant powers, and to reveal the full power of love that completely transforms the mind and destroys egoism.

Our desire is to see free women and men living in harmony with the natural world, being active in society, and using magick to serve the entire Earth.

Our desire is to reveal to everyone the source of their hidden powers; to give them the true and complete key to the power of the human spirit.

Others build physical technologies. In the AΩ we specialize in spiritual technologies.

We desire that every woman and every man may always have the internal resources that can be used through magick to affront every type of problem that afflicts humanity.

So let the vulgar ruffians call us names and flame us on the Internet!

OUR magick creates smiles and joy, not fear and hatred.

Let the SRIA tyrants and their GD spies spread lies that the Alpha Omega is "spiritually bankrupt" and we are but a "few lunatic followers."

In truth we are legion, and struggle for the spiritual liberation of every woman and every man!

The British tyrants are desperately trying to draw attention away from their own inadequacies.

This is why they are spitting venom and bile, and calling every AΩ member names.

But, despite all this, I for one will NOT stoop to the level of the tyrants.

I for one will NOT flame them back and I urge each and every one of you to show the same restraint.

The SRIA tyrants and their GD spies will not succeed to start a flame war. They merely expose THEMSELVES as vulgar bullies.

This does not mean, however, that I will also allow ANYONE to defile that which I hold sacred. I may not have been interested in the beginning, but by Goddess I am now!

Our attackers have awakened in me a determination, a side of myself that I have never before given permission to act. I feel as any mother must when their child is threatened by anyone or anything.

And this maternal instinct will not be silenced for expediency. It will not be silenced simply because there are others who find it “distasteful." How can anyone who truly loves the AΩ, the Order that teaches the magicks to give you everlasting life, not be enraged by the SRIA tyrants' and their spies' unrelenting attempts to kill it?

I will not allow that to happen. Neither will my sisters and brothers of the AΩ! 

The Golden Dawn may be a path of initiation, but the Alpha Omega is also a path of spiritual liberation!


When I am in need of strength, I turn to great women of the past for inspiration. Here are some of the women who inspire me most in our fight for survival as the free and independent AΩ we all know and love:

Mercy Otis Warren
Mercy Otis Warren: Mercy wrote the first history of the Revolutionary War, and she had first person experience! Mercy got her start before the War officially began by spreading revolutionary ideas to the people. John Adams was impressed with Mercy's writing. Many of her stories/plays made fun of the British. One of her plays was titled "The Blockheads". With her husband gone off to fight, Mercy decided to write the history of the American Revolution using her notes from meetings and conversations. Her notes were published in 1805 under the title History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution

Abigail Smith
Abigail Smith: Abigail, John's wife, was a very well educated woman who often wrote letters to her friends, speaking of revolution and liberty. As John served in the First Continental Congress, she stayed home and tended to the farm, occasionally sending messages to her husband. Much of what she had to say made its way into our founding documents. When John and others were considering a declaration of independence, Abigail reminded him to take care of the women, who would not hold themselves bound by laws in which they had no voice. She was often called Mrs. President for her contribution to shaping our country.

Catherine Moore Barry
Catherine Moore Barry: A battle that occurred in Cowpens, South Carolina, was Catherine's chance to use her extensive knowledge of the area to help the Patriots. The British, under command of General Cornwallis was out to crush a group of Patriots commanded by General Morgan. Realizing how out-manned he was, Morgan turned to Catherine for help. Catherine single-handedly rounded up an impressive amount of local Patriots to join Morgan's cause. With Catherine's help, General Morgan laid a trap for General Corwallis and his men. After the trap proved as a success, Cornwallis retreated right into the hands of George Washington in Yorktown, Virginia.  With his surrender there, the colonies won their independence from Britain.

Margaret Corbin
Margaret Corbin: When Fort Washington was attacked, instead of running home, Margaret Corbin stayed and fought beside her husband. She took over her husband's job as matross, (the person who loaded the cannon) when the gunner was killed. Her husband was also lost in the battle. She was hit and left to die, but a passing doctor tended to her wounds. Margaret's wounds left her permanently disabled, thus making her the first woman to receive a lifetime pension for her service in a battle. 

Penelope Barker
Penelope Barker: Penelope led the Edenton Tea Party. Unlike the better known Boston Tea Party, Penelope and the other 50 or so women in her group wrote a declaration to the British. The British, of course, laughed at the attempt, seeing that the group was made up entirely of females. The women then joined the boycott of British goods and the British no longer made fun of their attempts, now that their actions were actually effecting the British.

Nancy Hart
Nancy Hart: When British soldiers came to question her about helping out a Patriot soldier, she brazenly admitted to it. Forced to cook the British a meal, she killed two of them. Not by poisoning the food, but rather by shooting them with their own muskets! On another date, when Patriots needed to steal British plans, she disguised herself as a man and went to a British camp to collect information. Nancy is honored in Georgia with a county named after her, called War Woman Creek.

Molly McCauley
Molly McCauley: "Molly, bring me a pitcher." Shortened, this became "Molly, pitcher".  Molly was the "water boy" of her time for the Patriots. One day while on duty near Monmouth, New Jersey, she saw her husband shot in the arm. After rushing to his side and tending to his wound, she manned the cannon, firing several rounds at the British forces. Her bravery and good aim earned the respect of other soldiers. They fought on and eventually the British retreated. Her action impressed General Washington, who later commissioned her as "Sergeant Molly Pitcher". 

Grace and Rachel Martin
Grace and Rachel Martin: These women took action because they could no longer tolerate the way British soldiers treated women and children. Disguised as men, the two sisters ambushed British officers carrying important documents one night. Returning home, they were surprised to see the same British officers enjoying a meal at their dinner table. Luckily, the British did not recognize them outside of their disguises. The documents were turned in to the Patriots, and Grace and Rachel's actions helped in the colonist victory.

Esther Reed
Esther Reed: Esther Reed was used to a comfortable life in Britain, but after the war's fifth year, she decided to take a stand. Along with other women in Philadelphia, Esther and the others left their warm, cozy lives to go out and raise money for the Patriots. General Washington was opposed to this plan and so they instead agreed to have the Association make warm shirts for the troops. Each woman stitched their names on the clothing's collars to help raise each individual soldier's spirit.

Nancy Ward
Nancy Ward: Nancy Ward, or Nanye'hi, saw her husband die in a battle with Creek Indians. She used her husband's bow to lead her tribe to victory. Nancy was named "Beloved Woman" of her tribe and became a member of the Women's Council and the Council of Chiefs. She was an important voice in the treaty between her Cherokee tribe and the Patriots.

Phillis Wheatly
Phillis Wheatly: Phillis Wheatley was America's first published black author. She was a patriot and symbol for abolitionists. At the age of 7, Phillis was bought as a slave. The children in the family that purchased her took it upon themselves to teach Phillis how to read and write. She become a local celebrity, reading her poems aloud to crowds. She wrote many poems about patriotism and freedom. She even wrote a poem about George Washington that she got to read to him in person. 

Hannah Arnett
Hannah Arnett: Hannah Arnett butted into a meeting to which she was not invited, and changed the minds of all the men in attendance. The men had gathered to speak of the Patriots persistent failures. They were thinking about giving up and returning to the British side by signing a Proclamation of loyalty to Britain. Hannah called them cowards, insisting that they should not give up. The meeting ended with the men deciding to continue the fight. Hannah helped to continue the move towards independence. 

Martha Bratton
Martha Bratton: Martha and her husband sold and kept something that was vital in their times - gun powder. With her husband away, Martha was left in charge. Hearing that the British were planning to steal the gun powder, Martha set a trap, blowing up the building as the British soldiers arrived. She even admitted to her actions when captured. She was let go, and when she was later question about her husband's location, a British officer spared her. She repaid the debt when the same officer was captured by Patriots and scheduled for hanging. Realizing the cruelty of war, Martha set up a hospital open to both British and American soldiers.

Lydia Darragh
Lydia Darragh: Lydia was a Quaker. The British, seeing that she probably wouldn't be one to fight or turn on them, used her house for meetings. At one such meeting, Lydia overheard the British planning an attack on General George Washington and his men nearby. She personally delivered the information to Washington's troops, turning a British victory into disappointment. 

Sybil Ludington
Sybil Ludington: Often called the female Paul Revere, Sybil made a trip twice as long as Paul's when British forces captured Danbury, Connecticut. Danbury was a Patriot supply center. Colonel Ludington was in charge of commanding local Patriots, but needed more soldiers. Sybil took the job, riding into nearby towns and gathering up Patriots. The battle was a Patriot victory, and the British retreated back to Long Island Sound. 

Patience Wright
Patience Wright: Patience was an American woman who later took a boat to England, but she didn't leave her strong love for the Patriots behind. She was talented in the art of making wax figures. When war broke out in America, she stayed in England, sending bits of information to the colonists that were hidden in her wax sculptures! When American prisoners were taken to England, Patience helped many escape.

Rebecca Motte
Rebecca Motte: Rebecca's home was ideal for a British fort, so they moved her out and took it over. Patriots planned to burn down the house. She may not have created the plan, but she provided the items necessary. She gave the Patriots fire arrows, the Patriots then used said arrows to burn down Rebecca's home. The British retreated and Rebecca even got her house back before too much of it had been damaged.

Betsy Ross
Betsy Ross: Sound familiar? She made the first American flag! Her real name was Elizabeth Griscom. Betsy left her Quaker society to marry John Ross. The couple set up a business. Her husband died in an explosion while guarding ammunition. Later that year, she met with George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris. This meeting led to the sewing of the first American flag.

Mary Murray     
Mary Murray: Mary used her brains instead of her brawn to help the Patriots. Mary was a conflicted woman, being a Patriot married to a man loyal to the British. Knowing that the British planned to attack Patriot soldiers passing through, she invited the Redcoats to a dinner party, stalling them long enough for the Patriots to pass through safely.

Leslie McQuade
AΩ High Priestess Leslie McQuade: "In moments of uncertainty or doubt, or when I need strength and hope, I draw inspiration from these women who helped forge our great nation. What inspires me is that these women were, like the women of the AΩ today, not only clever and resourceful, but also willing to make the necessary sacrifices for liberty, freedom, and independence.

It is for these values that I continue to hold my head high, shoulder to shoulder with my AΩ sisters and brothers to face down the tyrants time and time again, as we proclaim together with one united voice:

For the Rose!"

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Planting the Date Palm Grove at Isis Temple

I really enjoy building and beautifying the Temple.  A few days ago, this meant planting ten Khadrawi Date palms.  There are eight females and two males.  I planted them along the front property line. There is a clump of six females and a male (planted upwind), and then the last three are planted decoratively a little further west of the others.

Putting one of the females into the mud.

Because of the "poof-dirt" we have here in Pahrump, I needed to excavate rather large holes and refill them with a mixture of potting soil, pea gravel and compost, all turned into a slurry with water.  This created a mud bowl perfect for planting.  Date palm roots cannot tolerate any airspaces around the roots because our air here is nearly always below 25% humidity, even a few hours of exposure can mean certain death for young trees. Planting directly into the mud eliminates this problem.  And as the water is absorbed by the tree and surrounding soil, the soil packs in around the root ball, making a perfect seal.  I learned this technique first when replanting roses in Omaha.  

I purchased the trees from China Ranch Date Farm.  China Ranch is a family owned and operated small farm.  According to available sources, a Chinese man named either Quon Sing or Ah Foo came to this canyon after many years of work in the Death Valley borax mines. He developed the water, planted fruits and vegetables, and raised meat for the local mining camps. It became known as Chinaman's Ranch. 

Sometime in 1900, a man named Morrison appeared, and, as the story goes, he ran the Chinese farmer off at gun point and claimed the Ranch for his own. Morrison eventually sold out, but the name had stuck. Since then the canyon has had many owners and worn many different faces, including a fig farm, cattle ranch, hog farm, alfalfa farm, and others. In 1970, the property was purchased by Charles Brown Jr. and Bernice Sorrells, the son and daughter of area pioneer and long time State Senator Charles Brown of Shoshone. It remains in these families today.

The date grove was planted from seed in the early 1920's by Vonola Modine, youngest daughter of Death valley area pioneer RJ Fairbanks. Approximately half of the trees are male and produce only pollen. The females bear in the fall, yielding from 100 to 300 pounds of dates per tree in a season.

The Khadrawi variety that I bought are classified as a soft date, and is considered by many in the Middle East to be the best date for eating fresh.  Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East and the Indus Valley for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated around Iraq, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Messopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 4000 BCE. The Ancient Egyptians used the fruits to make date wine, and ate them fresh at harvest. The earliest archaeological evidence of date cultivation comes from western Pakistan, from about 9,000 years ago in a Neolithic civilization known as Mehrgarh.

We will probably have dates in just three years.  And the AΩ should get ready for a lot of new recipes including dates. With each tree producing up to 100 pounds of fruit per year, I'll have to be creative, or buy more freezers.