This interview provides insight into Andre’s new course “Ceremonial Magic and the Bardon Tradition” which bridges ceremonial ritual work with Franz Bardon’s core teachings. Andre, experienced in both the Golden Dawn and Bardon’s Initiation into Hermetics, designed this course to synthesize these practices. The interview explores Andre’s motivations and methods behind decoding hidden meanings in Golden Dawn rituals and integrating ceremonial rituals to accelerate spiritual development. Andre provides a fascinating look at this fusion of esoteric systems and how ceremonial work can unveil deeper dimensions of the self in alignment with Bardon’s goals of self-mastery and divine embodiment.
PAA: What gaps or needs did you identify that led to your motivation to create this ceremonial
course? What inspired you to synthesize these new rituals?
Andre: As I was training IIH I was also training the Golden Dawn system. While these two rituals helped me keep inspired not only in the teachings of the Golden Dawn but throughout IIH’s efforts, when I finished my first round at IIH I looked back at what I had learned in the Golden Dawn and considered it all but a warm up.
This is not because the Golden Dawn is unaware. Even these rituals that are given in the beginning contain teachings that can take whole lives to master. The way the rituals have been taught is meant for ritualists, not for real magicians if I may be forgiven for saying so.
I can today get more power from a single breath or gesture of my fingers than from the whole Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram in the way it has been made accessible so far. This way is passive, for ritualists that are not yet magicians. The magician works actively and consciously, and every gesture he performs comes as a mere reflection of previous initiations into the mysteries.
The key, then, is in teaching these mysteries or the platforms in which they may occur through the labor of the candidate. I liked these rituals before and I found out I would like to do them again without wasting my time in simple masonic folklore. I conceived the highest version I could find and made it available to all.
PAA: You mention that the LBRP ritual evokes God in a “quadripolar face” – can you explain
more about the significance of the number four and the quadrants in this context?
Andre: The four elements and the four divine ecstasies is what is meant: The omnipotence, omniscience, eternity and omnipresence that permeates the world when the magician becomes G-d or G-d the magician at the center.
PAA: How does the progression from purification to evocation to invocation align with the
magician’s inner journey? What is the relationship between the inner and outer work?
Andre: To answer this question aptly is to say that all outer work becomes inner work. The outer then reproduces the inner.
PAA: You describe these rituals as decoding original Golden Dawn practices – what do you feel
was obscured or hidden in the original teachings and why?
Andre: For instance, you draw the banishing pentagram. They tell you it means X and so you draw it in order to accomplish X. And yet, you must truly be something in order to create its image. We can say, and rightly so, that by drawing the Pentagram often enough you might become more and more that X something. This is the passive way of working but when you do become X, you still do not know yourself, you do not know X, because you have no idea how you got there, how it grew in you, because you surely did not grow into it.
The Golden Dawn decided for this because anything else would have been too much for the movement to grow as a society. The west needed its magical folklore back.
PAA: How do these practices balance universal principles and individual
experience/expression? Is there a risk of formulas overriding authentic inner work?
Andre: The risk is high if one goes for the rituals as they were first made available. It is null if one follows the course, because every single gesture comes as a reflection of mystical attainment and not the other way around. Both rituals are perfectly balanced, in the previous versions or in this version, and have balance as their end. In the previous versions, however, they lacked individual experience of the principles implied.
PAA: Can these rituals be adapted for different cultural/spiritual contexts beyond Hermeticism
and Kabbalah? What are the essential universal elements?
Andre: If Hermeticism or Kabbalah is seen as a cultural aspect, it is already failing the practitioner. Hermeticism and Kabbalah must be practiced in their universality in order to fulfill their mission.
PAA: Bardon emphasizes balancing the elements and developing willpower. How do these rituals aid that process?
Andre: These rituals do not aid the process, they depict it. When practiced, they are the process.
PAA: Bardon advises mastering the elements before ritual work. How can these rituals be adapted for students still developing elemental equilibrium?
Andre: Is that right? When one prays over the food and blesses it, when one spins the Mala in autosuggestion, when one washes with water to load or unload the body, when one schedules specific times of the day for meditation, that all is ritual. And ritual is the tool Bardon gives for one to apply the ennoblement of the soul and balance the elements in the soul mirror.
PAA: What role does altered or mystical states of consciousness play in completing and mastering these rituals?
Andre: The main role. The mystical aspect is emphasized so the magical aspect can work.
PAA: How do these rituals align with the concept of assuming “Godforms”? What is the
process and purpose of divine embodiment?
Andre: Level 3 is about the Godforms and it is no longer under the influence of the LBRP or The Middle Pillar Exercise. It was created from scratch as the crown of the previous work.
While when the magician is at the center of the Circle he or she must already be embodying divinity, for that is what being at the center of the circle means, the abstract notion of it leaves many aspects of the self behind. These aspects will then regroup to destroy the work. The Godforms, on the other hand, will capture all these aspects and realign them with the center. They are the Self as something that is solved.
PAA: You mention equilibrium as a goal – what is the role of balance between opposing forces or dualities in these teachings?
Andre: You can not do a ritual or any magic at all without balance. It may appear that you can, but the Dao will flow and find its balance and thus many speak of karma. Luckily enough, the Golden Dawn cannot be said to not know its science, and all powers are properly conjoined beforehand.
PAA: What are some of the philosophical and experiential differences between evocation and invocation in your approach?
Andre: Evocation is analogous to projection. Invocation is analogous to introjection.
PAA: How does this approach build upon Bardon’s core principles and practices in the IIH, PME, and KTQ books? What new dimensions does it add?
Andre: For instance, the drawing of the Pentagram implies the yogas taught at IIH, the Middle Pillar the spheres of PME and the Divine Names are intoned Quabbalistically and joined by electromagnetic volts in different parts of the body.
On the other hand, Bardon lacks a science, properly speaking, of Ceremonial magic. This course might make up for it.
PAA: How could Bardon’s Invocation and Evocation teachings interweave with the rituals you’ve designed?
Andre: When the Archangels are evoked they are being evoked as in PME. When the godforms are being assumed they are being assumed as in IIH.
PAA: 15. What insights did you gain from Bardon’s books that informed the creation of these expanded rituals?
Andre: Franz Bardon taught me that progression must come as a whole. I was a Ceremonial magician from the start. The rituals worked and then sometimes it took me years and hard lessons to integrate the results, for they were quite ahead of me. I never felt that with Bardon.
But I do see many that jump through steps in IIH suffer the same. Or people that get to KTQ with a handicapped experience of IIH writing that the letters bring a lot of, again, “karma”. KTQ was like heaven to me.
PAA: How would regularly performing these rituals amplify or accelerate the student’s progress through Bardon’s system?
Andre: I believe Bardon’s system will become an acquired right, or already theirs by right.
PAA: Bardon stresses mental focus over props. How are your rituals designed to direct will and imagination?
Andre: There are no props at all in these rituals. But there is a lot of directed will and imagination.
PAA: What safeguards or warnings would you give to imbalanced Bardon students attempting these rituals?
Andre: If you are an imbalanced Bardon student, I warn you precisely to practice these rituals. But if you have a mental illness in which altered states of perception are considered a risk, do not practice these rituals and maybe think twice before studying Bardon.
PAA: How might these rituals help the student unveil and integrate their higher self in alignment with Bardon’s goals?
Andre: By practicing them, since the goal of these rituals is to integrate that very higher self.
PAA: For Bardon students feeling stuck, how could these expanded rituals get them unstuck and propel development?
Andre: The students will see not from their stucked egos but from the eyes of the divine.
PAA: What teaching methods will you employ alongside the rituals themselves to encourage integration and embodiment?
Andre: Whatever teachings are required according to individual context. I encourage all students to report to me after completing each step (not each lesson, but each step). Then wisdom will flow as nature requires it to flow, if I may have the honor.
About the Course
In 1996 in the book Middle Pillar by Israel Regardie (ceremonial magician and writer), Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero from the Metatron House wrote: “In the early decades of this century, little was known about the techniques of western ceremonial magic due to the veil of secrecy which had shrouded these practices. Unless a person happened to be a member of a magical organization, there was little chance of leaning the procedures and initiatory practices of high magic. This changed in 1937 when Israel Regardie published four volumes titled The Golden Dawn, a collection of ceremonies and teachings from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.”
While the Middle Pillar and the four books mentioned are certainly of great value, I cannot consider the statement to be true. The presentation of the rituals that are given us there are far from revealing their entire mode of operation, even in a book like the Middle Pillar where Regardie expands the depth and extension of the Exercise better than ever before.
The end result is a ritual that is still as good as making the sign of the cross, that is, it does not belong to hermetic science but to folklore, in this case to hermetic folklore. For this reason, I will present what I consider to be one of the most complete forms, one that I call “The Grand Ritual of Purification” and that will deliver for the first time the ritual’s proposition: that the ritualist assumes the Divine in all consciousness and ascends through the existential realms uniting all components of unity itself.
This ritual is the philosophical stone of magical equilibrium (the strong force of all forces) put in a practical formula. (Get all three levels as a bundle and save money over buying separately)
What we call The Grand Ritual of Evocation is based on the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. This Golden Dawn ritual, abbreviated as LBRP, is said to be one of the most important tools of the magician.
It has been said that doing the LBRP is like casting the circle, or that it is a ritual of protection. While this is true, it is far from describing the full nature of the ritual.
This ritual is a ritual of attaining Godhood or the Godhead through evocation, it evokes God in its quadripolar face, so that by seeing it we die to be reborn as His/Her Presence.
It is a ritual of protection only in the sense that nothing remains to attack us once we are no more and only God is. It is the casting of the circle in the sense that at the center of the circle there lies the eternal and everlasting light that casts it. (Get all three levels as a bundle and save money over buying separately)
The Grand Ritual of Invocation combines all that we have learned so far and culminates in the assimilation and assumption of the completion of Godforms. It is the most complete version of the Godhead that I have attained while remaining conscious of its components and details. The practitioner who does ir regularly will be an Adept of the highest caliber. (Get all three levels as a bundle and save money over buying separately)