Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pat Zalewski

I'm going to guess Pat Zalewski is another spiritual guru person.

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that I'm not.

And it turns out....

I'm right.

Lord Wiki says she's an occultist.

Baby Pat was born in Brisbane in 1948. That's the same year my mom was born. But my mom wasn't born in Brisbane. She was born in Skokie Illinois.

Oh. Pat is not a she. Pat is a he. Oops. This is reminding me of that Saturday Night Live thing.

When MR. Zalewski was eighteen, he left Australia to do some traveling. He went to Papa New Guinea, and learned to dive.

He learned karate and other types of martial arts.

He lived in Thailand for a short time. There he did some Thai boxing.

He went to India and learned some Tantric Yoga.

He also went to Nepal.

Zalewski returned to Australia in 1969. He'd be about twenty-one then. So he was out of Australia for about three years. I guess maybe this traveling was his alternative to college. It sounds good to me.

He didn't spend much time in Australia...I guess just a year. In that time, he did more karate.

Then Zalewski left for New Zealand.

It seems this is more about martial arts than the occult. And that's fine. Maybe Tim will like this entry. He's good with the martial arts stuff.

In New Zealand, Zalewski did more karate stuff. He started the New Zealand Seikukan Karate Association.

All right. Now we get to the occult stuff.

In the 1970's, Zalewski got himself interested in something called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Lord Wiki has a whole entry on these people. I shall read it.

The Hermetic Order is a British thing. It came about in the late 19th century. Lord Wiki says it has been a huge influence on modern occultism. So, it's kind of like this thing is the Grandpa of Wicca.

The order had a hierarchy. There's levels. It kind of reminds me of Scientology. Doesn't that have levels?

I'm not finding it all that interesting, so I'm not going to read the whole entry.

But here's something fairly exciting. Lord Wiki says Dracula's Bram Stroker was part of the order at some point.

Here's the Order's own website. I'm looking it over. It sounds like a sales pitch to me. They say, Today the internet is flooded with groups wanting a free ride on our reputation by calling themselves 'Golden Dawn.' We believe the real deal is important because your time and money is too important to waste.

This group (MAYBE the real deal) guarantees accessibility, authenticity, and attainment. Wow. Sign me up.

They say,
We believe in our system so much that we guarantee that if you put it to practice you will develop your energy body safely and gently, impregnate your Soul with Light and give birth to a solar body that transcends the material dimension in every day of your life.

Oh goodness.

How much do I have to pay to get this solar body thing?

It's ninety-nine dollars a year. I guess that's not too high of a price for This once in a lifetime experience in your journey for mastery and growth.

I'm sorry. But this website sounds like total crap. It sounds no different from the multitude of email spam I get each morning. Maybe after I reach the top level of the Golden Dawn, I'll lose thirty pounds without dieting, learn a language in ten days, enlarge my penis, and grab my money from that bank in Nigeria.

It's so funny because this website claims NOT to be a sales gimmick. They say,
you didn’t come here to be bought with a long list of benefits, grandiose claims, promises highlighted in yellow, green, and red, or a 2-for-1 couple deal if you act now. You were not searching for the most commercial of all Golden Dawn orders. You came here to find authentic, safe guidance, and a proper esoteric education beyond what you can get from a $30 self-initiation book.

That's exactly how this website sounds! Although they haven't yet promised me a two-for-one deal.

All right. Let's just say that so far....I'm totally turned off by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

But I guess Zalewski liked it. He was a solo practitioner for awhile. That was probably more challenging back then, since there was no Internet. I guess he used books.

In 1979, Zalewski started getting a group together. One member of the group was his wife. I guess somewhere along the line he fell in love and got married.

His wife was named Chris. Chris and Pat. That's pretty confusing.

Anyway, Chris, Pat, and a few others went to New Zealand and started something Golden Dawnish there. This was the Toth Hermes Temple. It was in Wellington.

Zalewski started a penpal friendship with a major occult guy named Israel Regardie. Regardie eventually came to New Zealand to meet Zalewski. Regardie came from a family of Russian Jews. That's my heritage as well. I think Jews have a tendency to drift to the occult. We tend to want to seek other pastures. But I'm not sure if we do this more so than people born into other religions.

After meeting Regardie, Zalewski started doing writing for the Golden Dawn. He also traveled to The United States to do Golden Dawn seminars.

In 1999, Zalewski returned to Australia and started a temple in Cairns.

I think I'm done with Lord Wiki.

I know I've been harsh about this Golden Dawn thing. I am not anti-religion. I'm definitely not anti-occult. I'm also not against paying money for religious stuff. I paid for a lifetime membership at Lotus Tarot. I had enjoyed the free stuff they offered on their site, and then they had some fabulous cheap deal for a lifetime membership. I decided to take advantage of it. I see it as being no different than laying down money for Ofoto and Flickr accounts. We also have an account with Brainpop. Plus, in the past we've been paid members of Zagats,,, and Playhouse Disney.

Is there a difference between these groups, and the Golden Dawn? I don't know. I want to say that the groups we joined have less aggressive and obnoxious sales pitches. I think that MIGHT be true, but maybe it's not. Maybe if you're already interested in something, you don't mind the aggressiveness. Maybe their sales pitch sounds less aggressive to you.

Here's an interview with Zalewski. It's from the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition.Zalewski is something called 7=4. That's the level he's on. Lord Wiki says that's in the second order. There's three orders all together, and each order has subdivisions.

The interviewer asks Zalewski about the lineage aspect of the order. Does Zalewski feel it's necessary?

Zalewski replies,
although I went through this myself I have never thought it necessary and that is why I started writing; to give those people access to their experiences I went through.

Well, I like that. But are these writings ones that people can get from their bookstore, or local library? Or do you have to spend mucho money and join a membership?

Most of that interview went WAY over my head.

A guy named Nick Farrell has a interview with Zalewski on his blog. It looks like Farrell himself is a member of the Order, and he's written several books.

The interview says that while in Asia, Zalewski was wounded and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. One of the things that helped him deal with it was the Tantric stuff. He loved it. But Zalewski had grown up as a Catholic. He wasn't ready to embrace Hindu beliefs and mythology. So eventually, he started studying Western occult stuff. He started that in New Zealand.

Farrell says the Order was crippled by secrecy. I guess people had knowledge that they didn't want to pass on.

I think there's two extremes in religions. On one end, you have the evangelical folks. They want to SPREAD the word. They want everyone to join in, and believe what they believe. Then you have the very secretive religions.

Then you have other stuff inbetween. Personally, I'd vote for the inbetween path. Evangelists annoy the hell out of me. The idea of secret ceremonies is thrilling, but what happens if everyone dies out?

Then again, maybe I like the Aboriginal way. They have some stuff that they share, and there's some stuff they keep to themselves. That works. It's a little inclusive, and a little exclusive. It IS nice to have some secrets. I like having my secrets. In some ways, being secretive makes something more sacred.

I find this interview hard to follow as well.

I think this is just not my thing. It's about as interesting to me as cricket.

Here's yet another Golden Dawn website.

Maybe I'll TRY to read through some of their information.

The website defends the secretiveness of the Order. They say, The answer is really quite simple. If one cannot be trusted with simple and relatively harmless information, then why should the Greatly Honored Chiefs of the Second Order trust that person with more advanced, detailed information and skill development techniques? 

 Further down they say, Contrary to what some authors want you to believe, there is a vast body of Second Order information that still remains safely behind the veil of secrecy where it can be used only by those who are trained to do so and have proven themselves. Thus, they have been entrusted with the secrets that unlock the Greater Mysteries.

But according to the other website, I can start unlocking these secrets for ninety-nine dollars a year.

This website though also says that the secretiveness and exclusiveness has faded a bit. They offer a chance to join in the fun.

If you join, there are many benefits.

You can learn The holy Qabalah.

You can learn ancient Greek and Egyptian mysteries.

You'll learn ceremonial magic.

You'll learn how to Astral Travel...and much more.

They say, Prepare to move your life from where you’re at to where you want to be.
How much does this cost?

Well, this one has a total first year initiation cost of $185.

What if I'm making fun of all this, and it turns out it's all true?

Well, shame on me then.

Plus, I'm looking at Robert Bruce's website. He charges $439 dollars for his online workshop.

But his website also provides a lot of free information and resources.

Maybe that's the difference there. Maybe I have more trust in websites that provide free information, entertainment, etc. but then offer something extra for a fee. I prefer those to websites whose main goal seems to be selling something. And it could be just a matter of presentation.

I'm probably being way too judgemental here.

I feel like I'm being hypocritical.

Maybe what it comes down to is I'm not a fan of organized religion. I don't like the idea of having to JOIN something expensive in order to gain spiritual enlightenment. I prefer getting a book from the library or a used bookstore and learning on my own. Most of all, I like closing my eyes at night and dreaming. That's where I find most of my spirituality. My dreams don't make me a high priestess, nor do they come with a guarantee. But they're free, entertaining, and highly personalized.


  1. such a cynic, my goodness!

    Good Morning :)

  2. This was interesting. I liked that he travelled. I love that being in Australia we often explore parts of the world close to us.

  3. Thanks for this post which highlights some of the problems with the Golden Dawn tradition well.

    Just to point out two things: Pat has nothing to do with the two versions of the GD you link to.

    And, in the authentic tradition of the GD no costs at all are involved for teaching or initiation. There are far more GD Orders and groups out there quietly getting on with spiritual unfoldment and service than the internet businesses.

    As to availability of information - most of the core GD texts are now on the net. GD books can and are purchased by libraries. As a librarian this is more common than 20 years ago. If people request GD books we will get them :)

    Finally, a little bit of research will show that the GD influenced and is the often uncredited ultimate source for virtually all of the modern magical and esoteric public material in the west today. Thanks. :)

  4. HappyOrganist: lol. Your comment cracked me up. Sometimes I think I'm the most cynical spiritual person out there.

    Amy Michelle: Really? Thank you. I was worried about this post...felt it was really lacking. You know what's funny. I think because Zalewski is Australian, I didn't understand the big emphasis on his traveling. Traveling like that just seems so typical Australian. If he was American, I think it would seem like a bigger deal to me. It's less typical for Americans to do that kind of travel.

    Peregrin: Hi! Do you have any books about the Order you could recommend...perhaps some of Pat's books? I felt lost in the Internet. What I ran into seemed more like late night infomercials than spirituality. I'd like to know more about the authentic stuff. If you could point me to something basic/beginner-oriented, I would appreciate it.

    I did read that the Order was the big father of the occult. I meant to write that in the post, but I may have forgotten. I feel bad about that.