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ARIES

ARIES  () – www.brill.nl/arie

Dragon Rouge:
Left-Hand Path Magic with a Neopagan Flavour

Kennet Granholm
Stockholm University

Abstract
Dragon Rouge ist einer der einzigartigsten und interessantesten magischen Orden, die im
Laufe der letzten zwanzig Jahren erschienen ist. Er ist auch die erste esoterische Bewegung,
die erfolgreich aus Schweden exportiert wurde, sowie jemals der größte Orden des sogenan-
nten Pfad zur linken Hand (Left-Hand Path).
In der ersten Hälfte des Artikels werde ich die Geschichte des Ordens ausführlich
beschreiben, seine philosophischen Lehren und Praxis besprechen, und Auskunft über seine
Demographie sowie die Organisations- und Einweihungstrukturen. In der zweiten Hälfte
des Artikels werde ich die Hauptdiskurse besprechen, die der Philosophie, der Praxis und
den Strukturen von Dragon Rouge unterliegen: der Vorrang der Natur, die Anziehungskraft
der weiblichen Göttlichen und die Diskurse des Individualismus, der Selbstvergötterung,
und des Antinomismus die den Pfad zur Linken Hand kennzeichnen.

Keywords
Left-Hand Path, neopaganism, heathenism, magic, discourse, Satanism, post-Satanism

Introduction
Dragon Rouge is one of the more unique and interesting magic orders to
have come into existence in the last twenty years. It is also the first esoteric
movement which has successfully been exported out of Sweden, as well as the
largest so-called Left-Hand Path1 order currently in existence.

1)
The Left-Hand Path is a current of contemporary esotericism characterized by its extreme
individualism and adherence to “dark” symbolism in the form of inversed pentagrams and
crosses, and the use of terms such as Satan, the Prince of Darkness, and Black Magic. A
discursive interpretation of this current will be provided further on in the article.
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden,  DOI: 10.1163/147783512X614858
 Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () –

In the first half of the article I will detail the history of the order, discuss its
philosophical tenets and practice, and provide information on demography as
well as the organizational and initiatory structures. In the second half of the
article I will discuss some key discursive elements informing the philosophy,
practice, and structures of Dragon Rouge—namely those of the primacy of
nature, the appeal of the feminine divine, and the Left-Hand Path discourses of
the ideology of individualism, the goal of self-deification, and antinomianism.
As is the case with Left-Hand Path groups in general, members of Dragon
Rouge are first and foremost engaged in self-transforming magical practice.
Furthermore, magic is interpreted in an encompassing way where all and
everything in an individual member’s life, both within and outside the order,
is interpreted as having a connection to magic.

History and Important Developments2


The prehistory of Dragon Rouge starts with its founder, Thomas Karlsson (b.
). A native to Stockholm, Sweden, Karlsson recounts having had extra-
corporeal experiences from age three onwards, and he began to experiment
with the occult at around age twelve. A loose group soon formed around
Karlsson, and by the time he had reached age seventeen this loose gathering
had expanded into what would become Dragon Rouge. Besides working with
his own group, Karlsson was deeply immersed in the esoteric milieu of the late
s Stockholm, being in contact with a wide array of esoteric practitioners
and working at the Vattumannen and Jolanda den tredje esoteric shops.3
Two factors in particular are of significance for the formation of Dragon
Rouge: Karlsson’s alleged contacts with senior magicians in Sweden, and his
trip to Marrakech, Morocco, in the late s. Karlsson reports having received
important texts and artefacts and learnt many of the terms and concepts later
used in Dragon Rouge from a “Yezidi-Typhonian”4 group based in Gothen-

2)
The ethnographic accounts are derived from the fieldwork I conducted with the order
from – (see Granholm ), as well as subsequent contact, observation, and
interviews up to .
3)
Interview, IF mgt  / ; Questionnaire, IF  / :. Both shops have been impor-
tant nodal points of Swedish alternative spirituality, with Vattumannen (opened in )
being the most prominent centre in the milieu.
4)
The branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis founded by Kenneth Grant (–) was
until recently called the Typhonian O.T.O., and it is possible that the group mentioned by
Karlsson worked with Grant-inspired magic. There are similarities between Grant’s magic
Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () – 

burg, Sweden. This group gave him the direct impetus to start a proper magic
order, and also suggested using the red dragon as the main symbol.5 On his visit
to Marrakech Karlsson claims to have encountered a Dervish and received the
prophetic declaration: ‘The old shall be destroyed and a temple shall be build
for the Red Dragon’.6 The above narratives demonstrate the appeal to legit-
imacy through lineage and prophetic calling. Both are standard legitimizing
discourses in the world of the esoteric,7 and together with Karlsson’s accounts
of childhood mystical experiences they construct a life-narrative distinguished
by the red thread of magic.
Beside his magical activities Karlsson has a background in academia, earning
a master’s degrees in the History of Ideas and History of Religions in the early
s, and finally a PhD in the History of Religions in March ,8 all at
Stockholm University. This academic connection is of significance, as it has
fostered what can be considered an academic atmosphere in Dragon Rouge.
Dragon Rouge was opened for general membership on New Year’s Eve
.9 The early order was very much characterized by an atmosphere of youth-
ful exuberance and a somewhat disorganized approach, with meetings being
held in the homes of various members and spontaneous magic workings being
conducted in the confines of nature.10 The order experienced a drastic increase
in membership applications in the mid s when a baptismal ceremony for

and Dragon Rouge, and the two can be described as belonging to the same esoteric current,
namely the Left-Hand Path. As for more specific similarities, both Grant and Dragon
Rouge have an explicit focus on Kliphotic Kabbalah and so-called Left-Hand Path Tantra
(vamachara).
5)
According to the Dragon Rouge website the was founded ‘following the advice from a
circle of old Yezidi-Tyfonian magicians who left their great work of awakening the dragon
force to their younger inheritors’, Dragon Rouge, ‘General Information’.
6)
Questionnaire, IF  / :. My translation.
7)
The intricate founding legend created at the formation of The Hermetic Order of the
Golden Dawn () is a good example of the creating legitimacy through lineage. Here,
founder William Wynn Westcott concocted a story of how the Golden Dawn was not a
new group, but a local group which had been sanctioned by a (imaginary) pre-existing
German magical order (see Bogdan : –). Aleister Crowley and his Book of the
Law () as a channelled text can be seen as an appeal to prophetic vision, as can Temple
of Set-founder Michael Aquino’s The Book of Coming Forth by Night ().
8)
For the thesis, see Karlsson, Götisk kabbala.
9)
Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :; Frisk, Nyreligiositet i Sverige, ; Questionnaire, IF
 / :; Dragon Rouge, ‘Webpage of Lodge Odin’; Dragon Rouge, ‘General Informa-
tion’.
10)
Interview, IF mgt  / –.
 Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () –

the child of two order-members was arranged.11 Representatives of the Swedish


tabloid paper Aftonbladet had been invited to participate, and they wrote a
sensationalist and critical report labelling Dragon Rouge a dangerous satanic
cult.12 This, in turn, provoked more media coverage,13 and it all resulted in
a great upsurge in membership applications to the order. The rapid growth
of the membership to an excess of ,14 when the organizational structure
could effectively accommodate only about a tenth of that, necessitated large-
scale structural changes, involving a rationalization of the administrational and
initiatory structures of the order.15
The twenty-first century marks the true internationalization of Dragon
Rouge. The first steps in this direction were taken in the late s with the
introduction of the English-language members’ publication Cauda Draconis,16
and the development of a webpage. While the first non-Swedish members
joined the order already in the late s, the number of foreign membership
applications increased in the early s, with continuous growth towards
the end of the decade. Today, more than two-thirds of the Dragon Rouge
membership consists of non-Swedish members, and the order can be said
to have become truly transnational. This is apparent in the online presence
of the order, with the webpages of Dragon Rouge now being viewable in
nine different languages: English, Swedish, German, French, Spanish, Italian,
Greek, Russian, and Czech.17
A likely reason to the impressive growth of Dragon Rouge can be sought
in increasing book publishing by members of the order. Long-time member
Christofer Johnsson published the book Mörkrets stig (The Path of Darkness)
already in ,18 but it was a privately published small print of only a 

11)
Ibid.
12)
Frisk, Nyreligiositet, . For the news reports, see Nilsson, ‘Religionens nynazister’;
Nilsson, ‘Min son skall tro på djävulen’.
13)
see e.g. Göteborgsposten, ‘Mördare driver Dragon Rouge’; Stugart, ‘Satanister snart på
svart lista’; Stugart, ‘Magiska ritualer åter i ropet’; SVT , Taxi; Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå,
‘Satanism’.
14)
Interview, IF mgt  / .
15)
Questionnaire, IF  / :.
16)
Ibid. All the different language-versions of the members’ publication have since 
been named Dracontias.
17)
Catering to a larger number of language-groups, instead of simply operating in the
contemporary Lingua Franca of English, is an example of translocalizing tendencies within
the order. See Granholm, ‘ “The Prince of Darkness on the Move” ’.
18)
Johnsson, Mörkrets stig.
Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () – 

copies. Tommie Eriksson’s book Mörk magi19 (Dark Magic) was published
by Ouroboros produktion in , subjected to widespread distribution, and
became a bestseller at Vattumannen. It is, however, Thomas Karlsson’s books,20
issued in several editions, which have had the most significant impact on the
internationalization of the order. Johnsson and Karlsson’s involvement in the
popular symphonic metal band Therion can certainly be added as a factor
contributing to the general awareness of the order. However, it would be a
mistake to conceive of the band as a vehicle to promote the order, or vice versa
for that part.21
The maturation of Dragon Rouge has continued in the twenty-first century
with the opening of a permanent temple on the Island of Gotland, southeast of
Stockholm, Sweden. This temple is located in an old barn on the family lands
of Karlsson and all annual meetings of Dragon Rouge have been held on this
location since , along with week-long magical retreats each summer—
with attendants from around the world.

Philosophy and Practice

Magic is the name given to the methods by which a human can approach and control
the unknown. The unknown is dark from our perspective. To call magic dark indicates
that it is about researching and awakening things that lie outside the structure we are
situated in.22

Dragon Rouge is a magic order, and as anyone involved in the study of phe-
nomena included under the label will attest, defining and describing magic
is in no way simple and straight-forward. A major problem is that the term,
originally native to Europe, was transposed to the practices of non-Western,
non-literary people, and that transposition in turn has affected the under-
standing of magic in Western contexts.23 Due to the influence of early evolu-
tionary anthropology, magic is still often understood as “primitive, misguided
science”. “Magic” is every bit as complex a term as “religion”, and providing

19)
Eriksson, Mörk magi.
20)
Karlsson, Uthark; Karlsson, Kabbala, kliffot och den goetiska magin; Karlsson, Astrala
resor; Karlsson, Adulrunan.
21)
Granholm, Metal and Magic.
22)
Eriksson, Mörk magi, . My translation.
23)
Lehrich, The Language of Demons and Angels, –. See also Pasi, ‘Magic’.
 Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () –

an all-round, cross-cultural, definition is impossible. In the present context I


deal with “magic” as a term of self-identity among members of Dragon Rouge,
rather than as an analytical category, and look at emic interpretations.
Members of Dragon Rouge often build upon Aleister Crowley’s ‘[m]agick
is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will’24
when explaining what magic is.25 Overall, the notion of Will is central, with
Thomas Karlsson and others describing magic as the art or philosophy of
Will.26 The term is commonly preceded by the qualifier “dark”, signifying the
“exploration of the unknown”.27 Another common term used is “Draconian”,28
pointing to the main symbol of the order, the red dragon. The “Draconian
force” utilized by Dragon Rouge magicians consists of the “inner dragon”—
the innate life-force in man, the Kundalini—and the “outer dragon”—the
universal life-force or energy immanent in every aspect of nature, linking
everything together. The dragon represents chaos, the potential of existence not
yet manifested, and by connecting with the Draconian force the magician can
both awaken power and energy latent in him-/herself and utilize the potential
of chaos to manifest what he/she wants to make reality.
Dragon Rouge is highly syncretistic and borrows from most magical and
religious traditions, rather than focusing on only one. This means that the
courses and meetings of the order mainly function as introductions to a wide
array of subjects and themes, and it is then up to the individual members to
more deeply explore practices they feel inspired by. Still, an official foundation
consists of “goetic kabbalah”, “odinic runosophy”, “vamachara tantra”,29 and
“typhonian alchemy”—jointly termed “G.O.T.A.”.30 In essence, this entails
practices focused on rune magic and Old Norse mythology (odinic runos-
ophy), kundalini-meditation and chakra-stimulation (tantra), and an over-
all goal of deep-level spiritual evolution (alchemy). The primary foundation,
however, is goetic kabbalah, more often termed kliphotic kabbalah within

24)
Crowley, Magick, .
25)
See Questionnaire, IF  / :; Questionnaire, IF  / :; Questionnaire, IF  /
:.
26)
Interview, :; Interview, IF mgt :. See also Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :.
27)
See Eriksson, Mörk magi, .
28)
“The Draconian Current” is presented by Kenneth Grant as a “primordial tradition”, see
Grant, Cults of the Shadow; Grant, Nightside of Eden.
29)
For a discussion of the Dragon Rouge use of Tantra, see Granholm, ‘The Serpent Rises
in the West’.
30)
Dragon Rouge, ‘General Information’.
Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () – 

the order. This entails the invocation of demonic entities and astral exploration
of the “shadow side” of the kabbalistic “Tree of Life” and forms the basis of the
Dragon Rouge initiatory system.
As the kliphotic spheres are eleven in number, the Dragon Rouge initiatory
system also has eleven degrees.31 The first three degrees are managed through
correspondence courses in magic in which introductory theory and example
practices can be found. Upon finishing a course the member requests to receive
initiation into the corresponding degree. In doing so, he/she writes a report—
of increasing complexity and detail for each higher degree—in which expe-
riences and interpretations are noted. After initiation into the third degree—
entailing entry into the “Dragon Order”, discussed in more detail further on—
the initiate is expected to direct his/her magical development in a more indi-
vidual fashion. In general, the initiatory levels of individual members are not
openly discussed in the order. The main reason given for this is that it is an
attempt to discourage members from using the initiatory system for compet-
ing with each other.32
Dragon Rouge meetings are commonly fashioned as courses in which dif-
ferent themes are explored and practices tried out. As such, they are divided
into two parts. First, a senior member does a presentation—a sort of theo-
retical lecture—discussing the theme of the day. Not surprisingly, as many of
the leading members of the order have a university background, the lectures
are based on university models and often include references to scholarly works
from comparative religion, anthropology, or some other related field. The sec-
ond part of the meeting is where the themes discussed are put into practice.
Some music suited for the occasion, usually dark ambient or other music with
meditative qualities, is played, the lights turned off and candles and incense

31)
The Dragon Rouge degrees, and the names of the kliphotic spheres, are: .—Lilith;
.—Gamaliel; .—Samael; .—A"arab Zaraq; .—Thagirion; .—Golachab; .—
Gha’agsheblah; .—Satariel; .—Ghagiel; . & .—Thaumiel. The system is similar
to that of the Golden Dawn, which functions as a model for most modern and contemporary
magic orders, see Bogdan, Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation, –. The Golden
Dawn incorporated the kabbalistic Tree of Life as a model for its initiatory structure and
Dragon Rouge has incorporated the kliphot, the “shadow-side” of the kabbalistic Tree of
Life, into its structure. Instead of the ten worlds of the sephiroth, Dragon Rouge operates
with eleven kliphotic worlds, a number that both Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Grant
identify as the number of magic, see Grant, Cults, –. Grant also incorporates the kliphot
in his system, as a necessary element for attaining high levels of magical initiation, see Grant,
Cults, –.
32)
Interview, .
 Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () –

lit. The practice is commonly started and ended with some sort of guided
Kundalini meditation, i.e. meditation where the focus lies on awakening the
practitioner’s inherent power reserves (identified as the tantric “fiery serpent”
which when rising along the spine of the practitioner activates energy nodes
called chakras). The primary practice takes place in between these meditations.
Finally, experiences of the practice are discussed, and it is here that members
can draw on each other’s experience and construct a coherent narrative of the
practice.
Dragon Rouge rituals and ceremonies are very loosely structured, usually
being constructed impromptu for the occasion and even involving improvised
elements. Very few standardized elements exist. In this, there is a stark contrast
to much Western esoteric ritual work.33 Another distinguishing trait is the
playfulness adopted when discussing magic. While members remain serious
when performing practice, the mood is quite relaxed before and after, often
including joking about the practice of magic itself. This, particularly with the
loosely structured composition of Dragon Rouge practice, helps mark out the
ritual time and space.34
In order to illustrate what Dragon Rouge practice can be like, I will provide
a brief, abridged account from my field work with the order. The example is
from a course on ceremonial magic, arranged on the weekend of August –,
. The first day of the course centred on theoretical discussion, and in lieu
of the limited space, I will only recount the second day of the course when the
magical practice was performed.

We were ten Dragon Rouge members all in all, six male and four female,
that headed out on this uncharacteristically cold, but luckily clear, Sunday
afternoon. Entering the forest by a woodland path we were careful not to
disturb any plants, and walked for fifteen minutes or so before arriving at
a moss-covered stony mound where we stopped to do a short preparatory
meditation. When finished, Thomas Karlsson gave a short theoretical talk on
the presence of the Dragon, or chaos, in nature, mentioning popular scholars
such as Mircea Eliade. He then asked us to search the forest and for each to
choose an object which appealed35 to us. The space chosen for our ceremony,

33)
See Bogdan, Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation.
34)
cf. Lindquist, Shamanic Performances, –, –.
35)
The Swedish word “Tilltala”, which can be used both in the meaning “to please” (as in
“this object pleases me”) and in the meaning “speak to” (as in “this object speaks to me”).
In the above sentence “appeals to” should be understood in both of these ways.
Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () – 

one where a Dragon Rouge ceremony had been held the previous spring, would
have been undistinguishable from the rest of the forest for the uninitiated. It
was up to the individual magician and his feeling for the woods to envision
the natural temple. We entered the area in line formation, through a “portal”
formed by two pine trees standing next to each other, using the objects we had
chosen to symbolically open the portal to let us in. A rock, standing in line
with the portal through which we had entered the area, about twelve metres
away from it, was to function as our altar. It was adorned with objects we had
brought with us; four small tea-lights, two larger grave candles, the ceremonial
dagger and bell from the temple, and some powdered incense in a fireproof
container. Three twigs were placed in an erect position at the centre of the
altar, two of them forming a triangular shape with the third one in the middle
facing the sky. The carcass of a small bird we had found earlier was placed on
top of the altar stone. Behind and slightly to the right of the altar stood a tree
which Thomas explained functioned as an Axis Mundi.
Before beginning, we sat down on the ground to discuss the symbolism
and progression of the ceremony, as well as the roles each of us would play
in it—all chosen from Old Norse mythology. The women would represent
time, taking the roles of the three Norns,36 Urd (past), Verdandi (present),
and Skuld (future), and Hel—as “that which is hidden”. The men were to
represent the extended cardinal points and the elements, in the form of the
mythological beings Fenris (north and water), Loki (east and air), Surt (south
and fire), Jörmungandr (west and earth), Nidhög (“that which is below”), and
Hraesvelgr (“that which is above”). The ceremony in its totality was to symbolize
the creation of the universe and, more specifically, the creation of a dark magical
universe—and in it the magician. We took some time to get into character,
and then moved to our mutually agreed positions; the men at their respective
cardinal points, with “Nidhög” and “Hraesvelgr” at centre of the area next to
a circular formation of small stones, and the Norns in “chronological order”
from the portal to behind the altar. “Hel” had a special role and stood on the
left of the altar. The final act before beginning was the lighting of the incense
at the altar.
The ceremony began with “Hel” uttering ‘I am Hel, that which is hidden’
and ringing the ceremonial bell. She then moved to positions behind the rest of
us, who similarly and in turn—from the Norns in “chronological order” to the

36)
The Norns are entities from Old Norse mythology which are the masters of the destinies
of both gods and human beings. The three Norns which are most commonly mentioned
are the ones that rule over the past, present, and future, respectively.
 Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () –

extended cardinal points—presented themselves and their “cosmic function”.


After each presentation “Hel” rang the bell. Next, each of us approached the
altar, again in the same order, to present our chosen ceremonial objects and
call out the red dragon from our respective realms. Each sacrifice was ended
with the standard Dragon Rouge uttering ‘Ho Drakon ho Megas’,37 to which
the other participant responded in chorus. “Hel” was the last to present her
sacrifice, and she repeated the ceremonial uttering thrice, again with the rest
of us responding. After a silent meditation for about two minutes Thomas
declared the ceremony ended.
We collected the items we had brought with us and removed the dead bird
from the altar, but left our sacrifices by it. We left our nature-temple the same
way we had entered, this time opening and closing the portal with our hands.
All in all, the ceremony lasted for about thirteen minutes, not counting the
meditations and preparations we had carried out in advance.
All aspects of the ceremony, as well as the preparations for it, held magical
significance. The preparatory meditation was devised as a means to separate
oneself from everyday reality, and together with the collection of “sacred items”
to forge a connection with the surrounding nature. The sacred items also
functioned as “totems”, imbuing the magicians present with the power of
nature. By “opening the portal to the temple” a sacred space was crafted, further
separating magical and everyday reality. The first half of the actual ceremony,
with each participant declaring their mythological identity and function, had
the function of demarcating the borders of the magical universe that was to
be crafted, and the ringing of the ceremonial bell focused the Will of each
participant in order to make the borders reality. In the second part of the
ceremony each participant placed their magic item at the altar, which can be
seen as an act where the magician sacrificed his/her Will—represented by the
item placed on the altar—and thus symbolically endowing the newly created
magical universe, and the inhabitants of it—the participants in the ceremony,
with power. The magician sacrificed his/her Will, to him-/herself, in order to
attain power. By closing the portal to the temple at the end of the ceremony,
a return to everyday reality was signalled and psychologically effected. At its
very core, the ceremony dealt with the creation of separated sacred space, in
which the magician can assume control over his/her destiny and gain power
for self-deification.

37)
The uttering is said to be derived in Old Greek, and means “the great Dragon”. According
to Dragon Rouge material the uttering provides power, and is used to end a ritual or as a
greeting among members. Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :.
Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () – 

Organization
The membership numbers of Dragon Rouge have fluctuated greatly through-
out the years, something which is in accordance to Eileen Barker’s observations
on the high level of turnover in new religious movements.38 From numbering
ten or so in ,39 the membership grew rapidly to half a thousand in the
mid s.40 In the early to mid s the membership numbers fluctuated
between  and  members, showing a slow increase towards the end of
the decade. Interestingly, the growth in the twenty-first century has been pre-
dominantly among non-Swedish members, with the order since the mid s
having less than one third of its members in Sweden. With close to  mem-
bers Dragon Rouge is also the largest existing Left-Hand Path organization.
The membership is fairly young, with most active members being in their thir-
ties. Over time the core membership has grown older, having in during the
early days consisted of a majority of early -year-olds. Since some years the
order has had a policy of not accepting under -year olds as members, but
according to a former member, the order used to have members as young as
 in the mid s.41
Throughout most of its existence the order has had a predominance of male
members, almost exclusively so in the early s and by about two thirds since
the s. The exception was during the media frenzy of the mid s, when
the order had more female than male members. Most of the order’s material
is also written by male members, but there has been a consistent increase in
active participation by female members throughout the s.
Dragon Rouge is organized in three layers: the open order available to
those members who pay the annual dues but are not taking initiations; those
participating in the initiatory structure; and the inner order of initiates of

38)
Barker, ‘New Religious Movements’, –.
39)
Johnsson, Mörkrets stig; Questionnaire, IF  / :.
40)
In , the assessment of between  and  members are provided by Nilsson,
‘Religionens nynazister’; Nilsson, ‘Min son skall tro på djävulen’; In  the assessment of
 members is provided by Stugart, ‘Magiska ritualer’;  members are reported in 
by Frisk, Nyreligiositet i Sverige, ; and  members in the same year by Arlebrand et
al., Ny tid ny tro?, , . An official inquiry made in  by the social department
of the Swedish government—with information taken from the Catalogue of Churches,
Denominations and Movements in Sweden  (Katalog over kyrkor, samfund och rörelser
i Sverige ) and said to be accurate as of August , —counts the dues-paying
members of Dragon Rouge at , see SOU, I god tro, .
41)
Questionnaire, IF  / :.
 Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () –

degree . or higher—the Dragon Order.42 This third organizational structure


involves the initiate swearing the Dragon Oath, ceremonially declaring him-
/herself willing to be more deeply involved in magic and the order’s inner
workings. The division is similar to the structure of the Hermetic Order of
the Golden Dawn, where members were initiated into the Second Order after
receiving the fifth degree. The difference is that the First Order activities of
Golden Dawn where strictly theoretical,43 while the Dragon Rouge initiate
focuses on practice from the very start.
The order is governed by an Inner Circle which is responsible for admin-
istrative, ideological, economic, and other practical issues. Rather than being
an elected, constant board of directors—as the Council of Nine in the Tem-
ple of Set—the composition of the Circle varies in accordance with the issues
discussed.
Local Dragon Rouge groups are divided into ritual groups, temple groups,
and lodges. The Stockholm-based group is called the mother-lodge, and it is
there that the central administration of the order is located and where all major
decisions are made. Prior to , when the concept of the ritual group was
introduced, all local groups were termed lodges. The temple group, as a more
structured gathering in between the ritual group and the lodge, was introduced
in the late s.
Like the membership in general, there has been considerable fluctuation
in local groups as well—with a general increase in complexity, structures, and
governance.44 In late  there existed two lodges (in addition to the mother-
order) in Sweden, one in Germany, and one in Italy.45 A Polish lodge, started in
, was discontinued in mid . Of the Swedish lodges, Sinistra is located
in Malmö in southern Sweden and was founded in .46 The other Swedish
lodge, Atlantis, is located in Uppsala, about  kilometres north-northwest of
Stockholm, and was founded in the fall of . The German lodge Heldrasil
attained lodge-status in  and is located in Thüringen, and the Italian
lodge Sothis attained lodge-status in late  and is located in Naples. Several

42)
Dragon Rouge, ‘General Information’; Questionnaire, IF  / :.
43)
See Bogdan, Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation, .
44)
Interview, IF mgt  / –; Questionnaire, IF  / :. Rules governing the open-
ing of lodges were first established in . Until that point the opening of lodges was based
on more intuitive and subjective assessments. Lodge abide under stricter rules than Temple
groups, which in turn abide by stricter rules than ritual groups.
45)
Dragon Rouge, ‘Aktiviteter’.
46)
Questionnaire, IF  / :.
Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () – 

earlier lodges have existed, most of them Swedish such as Black Earth Lodge
in Gävle—active in the early s;47 lodge Odin in Karlshamn—in existence
between  and ;48 and lodge Helheim in Gothenburg—active from the
late s to the fall of .49 The earliest lodge outside the Nordic countries,
lodge Thagirion, operated in Hagen, Germany, between  and . All
lodges have a lodge-degree between  and  reflecting its official status in the
order, based on the level of activity of the lodge.50 Currently, lodge Sothis has
degree ., lodges Sinistra and Heldrasil degree ., and the new lodge Atlantis
degree ..51
Temple groups exist in Turku, Finland, and Gothenburg, Sweden. Only one
ritual group currently exists, in Athens, Greece.52 Previous ritual groups have
existed in Mexico; Växjö, Sweden; Prague, the Czech Republic; Buenos Aires,
Argentina; and at an unspecified location in Germany.53

Discursive Formation
As noted, I identify Dragon Rouge as a Left-Hand Path magic order.54 This
is based on the self-designation of the order, but in contrast to emic dis-
cussions I do not regard “the Left-Hand Path” and “the Right-Hand Path”
as two principal approaches to magic in Western esoteric contexts. Rather, I
employ the former as a designate for a particular and distinct stream or current
of modern esotericism. Anyone familiar with the study of Western esoteri-
cism will be familiar with the term current, used by Antoine Faivre to denote
‘movements, schools, or traditions’.55 In my use a “current” can be regarded
as a distinct “discursive complex”56 situated within the general realm of eso-
teric discourse57 itself. Discourse analysis is a based on social constructionist

47)
Håkansson, ‘Den röda draken’.
48)
Questionnaire, IF  / :.
49)
Information received during the  annual meeting of Dragon Rouge.
50)
Dragon Rouge, ‘Regler för bildande’.
51)
Dragon Rouge, ‘Lodges’.
52)
Dragon Rouge, ‘Aktiviteter’.
53)
Interview, IF mgt  / –; Questionnaire, IF  / :.
54)
For discussion of other Left-Hand Path groups, the Rune-Gild and the Temple of Set,
see Granholm, ‘The Rune-Gild’; Granholm, ‘The Left-Hand Path and Post-Satanism’.
55)
Faivre, ‘Questions of Terminology’, .
56)
For further discussion on currents as discursive complexes see Granholm, ‘Esoteric
Currents as Discursive Complexes’.
57)
See von Stuckrad, ‘Western Esotericism’; von Stuckrad, Locations of Knowledge, –.
 Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () –

epistemology, where language and other forms of communication are con-


strued as directing, forming, and indeed constructing the social realities of
those engaging in the communication. A discourse, then, is, to quote Viven
Burr, ‘a set of meanings, metaphors, representations, images, stories, statements
and so on that in some way together produce a particular version of events’,58
or more simply ‘a fixed way of talking about and understanding the world (or
a section of it)’.59
In my discursive approach, esoteric currents are collections of specific and
distinct discourses, which together produce particular worldviews, practices,
organizational and social structures, and tropes of communication. This ap-
proach has the benefit of providing structures to systematize material while at
the same time allowing for the fluidity and malleability which the analyzed
material is characterized by. Discourses are never finitely set, but remain ever-
changing. This approach also allows for a greater flexibility in examining eso-
tericism, as a particular expression of an esoteric current will rarely, if ever, exist
in a “pure” form, but rather be informed by other currents and freestanding
discourses which guide and form this expression in unique ways. Discursive
approaches are also compatible with historical ones. It is fully conceivable to
trace discourses and discursive complexes in history and examine how they
have been affected and transformed by historical and societal processes. As a
discursive approach is an empirical approach it does not suggest itself to an
ahistorical, universalist, cross-cultural understanding of esotericism or specific
esoteric currents.
The Left-Hand Path-current, the principal guiding current for Dragon
Rouge, is distinguished by three central discourses: the ideology of individ-
ualism, the goal of self-deification, and an antinomian stance. None of these
discourses is by itself unique to the Left-Hand Path and can be found in other
esoteric manifestations as well, but in their specific combination and reliance
on each other they form a distinct discursive complex—a current. Each of
these discourses is dependent on the other two, and cannot be truly separated.
Thus, the ideology of individualism—where the individual is consciously and
deliberately (rhetorically) posited at the absolute centre of his/her existential
universe—exists in a symbiotic relationship with the goal of self-deification—
where the individual, by truly becoming an individual by and through the
means antinomian transgression of rules, conventions, and taboos, can gain
full control over his/her existential universe.

58)
Burr, An Introduction to Social Constructionism, .
59)
Jørgensen & Phillips, Diskursanalys som teori och metod, . My translation.
Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () – 

The Left-Hand Path Discursive Complex in Dragon Rouge: The Ideology of


Individualism
The Dragon Rouge discourse on individualism is multifaceted. First off, a dif-
ference is made between ordinary human individuation—in essence the sep-
aration of the child from the mother and his/her realization of him-/herself
as a separate being—and what could be termed the “existential” individua-
tion of the dark magician.60 In the latter, the magician aims at becoming an
individual in relation to the whole of existence, going through processes of lib-
eration where he/she separates him-/herself from external dependencies. This
is demonstrated in the ‘ritual of the seven power-points’,61 in which the magi-
cian is to meditate on things he/she draws power and enjoyment from—e.g. a
particularly meaningful relationship—and come to the realization that his/her
apparent dependency on these things is in actuality an illusion. The ritual
is not devised as a means to separate the magician from social relationships,
but instead help him/her engage in them in a more conscious and voluntary
fashion. Dragon Rouge individualism is also strictly posited against “shallow
modernist individualism” and “Satanic hyper-individualism”, both of which
are considered to build on similar premises. According to Dragon Rouge,
‘[m]aterialism … leads to a superficial and desperate form of individualism’
which is characterised by ‘[e]go trips and superficial satisfaction’ and ‘becomes
destructive both for the individuals and their surrounding world’.62 In essence,
modern individualism is regarded as viewed as destructive, selfish, and not as
true individualism at all. The view is that in modernity the notion of ‘free will
is used as an argument for its opposite’,63 and people are actually increasingly
bound by external forces. Satanic “egoistic individualism”, primarily exempli-
fied by reference to the Church of Satan, is similarly rejected, as social relations,
and a certain level of altruism that goes into them, are considered to be impor-
tant. In fact, many members, particularly those deeply engaged with the order,
consider Dragon Rouge as a sort of tribal gathering of equal individuals.64
Furthermore, the Dragon Rouge discourse on individualism has a strong
bearing on practice. Each Dragon Rouge member is free to, and indeed ex-
pected to, make his/her own choices regarding the practice of magic, progress

60)
Dragon Rouge, ‘Philosophy’.
61)
The ritual is described in Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :. My translation.
62)
Dragon Rouge, ‘Contra  M’.
63)
Karlsson, ‘Ledare’ (). My translation.
64)
See Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :.
 Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () –

in his/her magical journey, level of commitment to both the organization


and magic itself. As stated by Karlsson, ‘Draconian initiation follows certain
patters, but at the same time each initiation is unique’.65 As such, it is difficult
to discern stable structures in the order’s practice and teachings, other than
that of the foundational discourses examined here. As with practices and
teachings, each member has the right and responsibility to define his/her
own experiences.66 Still, even though there are no standardized interpretations,
members do construct meaning of their experiences together. An individual’s
freedom to define Dragon Rouge as an organization, however, is linked to
his/her level of activity in the organization.

Self-Deification
The discourse of self-deification, or apotheosis, revolves around the notion
of the personal growth of the practitioner of magic. The focus is on control
and power, though on a personal and not a social or societal level. That is to
say, Dragon Rouge discourses are devoid of the idea of the magician need-
ing to demonstrate his prowess in magic by being economically “successful”
that can be found in e.g. the Church of Satan. The order’s approach to per-
sonal growth differs from many standard, “secular”, ones, in that the goal of
the dark magician is not simply to “be all one can be” in a human capacity.
He/she is to assume full control of one’s own existential universe, to become a
creator instead of being created,67 and to ‘develop an elevated consciousness’.68
Consequently, magical practice in the order is primarily focused on methods of
fostering the personal evolution of the practitioner.69 This explains the absence
of spells and rituals designed to advance more immediate and mundane goals,
such as achieving prosperity. In order to achieve deification the magician needs
to identify his/her True Self, existing underneath layers of false and illusory self-

65)
Karlsson, ‘Ledare’ (). My translation.
66)
The English word “experience” can be translated into Swedish as “erfarenhet” or “upple-
velse.” “Erfarenhet” (Erfahrung in German) conveys the meaning of experiential knowledge
and skill—as in the sentence “I have much experience of childcare.” “Upplevelse” (Erlebnis
in German) refers more to the emotional interpretation of an event, such as in the sentence
“That car-crash last night was a terrible experience.” In the context of magical experience
the simultaneous usage of both meanings could be argued.
67)
Dragon Rouge, ‘Tendenser ’.
68)
Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :. My translation.
69)
A long-time member regards Dragon Rouge in essence as a ‘dark alchemical path of
evolution’, Interview, IF mgt  / . My translation.
Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () – 

hood, and strengthen this core-self gradually. In effect, the magician strength-
ens his/her core to the degree where it can withstand anything, even death,
and where it becomes akin to a universe of its own.70 In this, the discourse of
self-deification is intimately linked to the discourse of individualism. Both deal
with the ultimate goal of the dark magician—attaining and maintaining sus-
tained, individual, and conscious control over one’s own existential universe.
Before attaining this liberation the individual’s destiny is predetermined.71
The discourse of self-deification is also closely linked to themes of moral-
ity. In short, in assuming full, divine control over his/her existence, the magi-
cian also needs to assume full responsibility of his/her actions and their conse-
quences.72 In this context, the seemingly benevolent intentions of “white magi-
cians” and “New Age practitioners” are criticized for causing more harm than
good.73 The common sentiment is that one needs to achieve a profound level of
maturity, power, and morality before setting out to help others. While the dark
magician is expected to be moral, his/her morality is individual, personal, and
potentially flexible, rather than abiding to a set of rigid prescribed rules: ‘Col-
lective and unconscious morality is substituted by an individual and conscious
[morality]’.74
An example of a practice informed by this discourse is the “soul-mirror”-
exercise described in the first correspondence course in magic. This exercise
involves the novice magician meditating over his perceived positive and nega-
tive character traits, in order to come to the realization that many “negative”
traits have “positive” functions, and vice versa.75 Having understood the true
nature of these character traits the magician can direct his/her personal devel-
opment in an active and conscious manner.
The discourses on individualism and self-deification foster an atmosphere
where the dark magician is presented as courageous, strong, and unique—in
effect an elite human being. The distinction from non-magicians is evident in
sentences such as ‘[m]ost people sleep. They live their lives in a lethargy and lack
any coherent will’,76 ‘[m]agic is for the strong, or for those who sincerely aim

70)
Ibid.
71)
Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :.
72)
Karlsson, ‘Förord’, x.
73)
Interview, IF mgt  / –.
74)
Karlsson, ‘Förord’, xi. My translation.
75)
Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :.
76)
Ibid, . My translation.
 Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () –

at becoming strong’,77 and ‘[t]o take the step and join an occult organization
is a unique choice. It is made by avant-garde people who have understood
that the world is run by mechanisms and forces which cannot be seen or
explained by the great masses, but nevertheless affect your life’.78 However,
in assessing statements such as these it needs to be remembered that Dragon
Rouge is a minority “religion”. The statements function as a shield to protect
the practitioner from the lack of understanding and even ridicule from the
outside society, and also create a sense of community in creating a “they” that
“us” can be posited against. Furthermore, it is not the individual magician per
se who is regarded as better than other people; it is the choice of engaging in
magical evolution which is regarded as an elite choice. Still, the statements do
exhibit an influence from the antinomian discourse, discussed below.

Antinomianism
Whereas the discourses of individualism and self-deification are primarily con-
cerned with goals of the dark magician, the antinomian discourse focuses on
ways to achieve these goals. It deals with the necessity of the magician to trans-
verse conventional rules and taboos—of societal, religious, and, most of all,
personal nature—in order to achieve the liberation sought. Linguistic expres-
sions of the discourse contain terms such as “dark magic” and “dark forces”,79
and the use of controversial mythological figures such as Lucifer and Lilith.
Although Dragon Rouge material makes it clear that “dark” is not to be inter-
preted as referring to “evil” in any conventional way, but rather to the unex-
plained and therefore “un-illuminated”, it still functions as a vehicle for sepa-
ration and taboo-breaking. The same goes for the use of controversial mytho-
logical figures: although they are reinterpreted in a positive fashion, their very
use signals a desire to transverse boundaries.
The discourse is also one which is most clearly, though not exclusively, evi-
dent in non-linguistic systems of communication—particularly the use of con-
troversial symbols. The “inverse” pentagram—a common antinomian symbol
found in e.g. the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set80—is absent in the

77)
Ibid, . My translation.
78)
Dragon Rouge, Välkomstbrev till nya medlemmar. My translation.
79)
Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :. Reference is also made to C.G. Jung and his psycho-
logical notion of the “process of individuation”, see Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :.
80)
See Granholm, ‘The Sigil of Baphomet’; Granholm, ‘The Pentagram of Set, and the
Trapezoid as used in the Church of Satan and the Tempe of Set’.
Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () – 

Dragon Rouge context. This is a result of Dragon Rouge actively attempting to


avoid identification with Satanism and create a unique social sphere for itself,
as well as the relatively widespread use of the symbol, which in itself limits its
antinomian power. The order’s main symbol is instead the red dragon—also
easily associated with “the Devil”, though not as unambiguously so. Though
the red Dragon is described as a life-affirming symbol, representing both the
universal and personal life-forces, it is also likened to the serpent in the Garden
of Eden, Leviathan, the Chaos-entity Tiamat, the Greek Titan Typhon, and so
forth.81 Another central symbol is the Clavicula Nox, containing “the trident
of Shiva” (or the pitchfork of the Devil) thrust through a ring representing the
feminine divine in the forms of Kali, Lilith, etc. The Clavicula Nox is exclusive
to Dragon Rouge, and is used on e.g. medallions only available to initiated
members. It stands for the union of opposites, as well as pure sexual energies
not harnessed for procreation. Along with its connection to potentially “dark”
deities, the name the symbol itself—translatable as the Key of Dark/Night—
expresses the antinomian discourse.82

Additional Key Discourses


In addition to the discourses of the Left-Hand Path current the order is strongly
characterized by two discourses common to neopaganism;83 the primacy of
nature and the pursuit of the feminine divine. The former asserts the vital role
of nature as a realm of the divine, which can be accessed by the magician on
his path to deification. The latter, in conjunction with the Left-Hand Path
discursive complex, expresses the focus on feminized aspects of the divine as
those representing the most hidden, esoteric, and useful for the magician’s
personal evolution.
One of the key features of both discourses is the critique of traditional
monotheistic religion and its devaluation of both nature and the femi-
nine.84 Instead, a monistic worldview where ‘there are connections between

81)
See Granholm, ‘The Dragon Symbol of Dragon Rouge’.
82)
See Granholm, ‘Clavicula Nox—A Dragon Rouge Emblem’.
83)
See Harvey, Listening People, Speaking Earth, –; York, The Emerging Network,
. The neopagan foundational discourse of the “reawakening of pre-Christian religion” is,
while not totally absent, less prominent in Dragon Rouge. Although the order does entertain
notions of a “primordial draconian tradition”, this is more akin to Traditionalist notions of
a universal philosophia perennis.
84)
See e.g. Interview, IF mgt  / –; Dragon Rouge, ‘Contra  M’.
 Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () –

everything’ and ‘where the divine light is [still] present in man’ is preferred.85
The Dragon Rouge critique of modernity and materialism, dealing with the
promotion of “false individualism”, as discussed above, also focuses on negative
implications for the natural world. According to the order, both modern
materialism and monotheistic religion promote the notion that ‘nature and
the animals are made for man to use’ and result in the situation where ‘[m]an
can do what he likes with animals and nature’, and the human being itself
becomes a ‘soulless organism being compared to cars or computers’.86
Much of the magical practice in Dragon Rouge is focused on nature in one
form or another,87 with natural surroundings being regarded as among the best
places to come into contact with truly magical forces.88 Powerful magic items
can be found when ‘strolling in the forest’,89 and when using living parts of
nature, such as cutting a branch of a living tree, the magician should ‘ask the
living natural object for permission’.90 Nature represents primordial chaos and
the dark forces of dissolution and creation, powers which have the potential of
strengthening the creative and active agency in the human being. Conversely,
the structured existence and surroundings of the city, human civilization,
complicate and hinder the magician in his/her magical development.91
The discourse of the primacy of nature has had a great influence on even the
“non-magical” lives of many Dragon Rouge members. For example, most long-
time members of the order in the Stockholm region are vegetarians and accord
great importance to issues of ecology and animal rights.92 Official Dragon
Rouge material asserts that ‘[m]an can become god by entering outside the
humans limits and recognizing the importance of the beast’,93 and this feel-
ing of connection can support vegetarianism and ecological sentiments. These
issues are also discussed in terms of the “higher morality” supposedly devel-
oped in cultivating existential individualism and self-deification. With the shift
in focus away from “humanity”, the individualist discourse of Dragon Rouge
helps foster an atmosphere where the apparent uniqueness of the human race is
re-evaluated. Furthermore, for a Left-Hand Path practitioner the adoption of

85)
Dragon Rouge, ‘Contra  M’.
86)
Ibid.
87)
See e.g. Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :, :.
88)
Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :–.
89)
Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :. My translation.
90)
Ibid, :. My translation.
91)
Ibid, :.
92)
See Granholm, ‘Left-Hand Path Magic and Animal Rights’.
93)
Dragon Rouge, ‘Contra  M’.
Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () – 

animal rights sentiments and a vegetarian diet could be seen as antinomian, as


these practices and philosophies are not “mainstream”. Opinions that the con-
temporary meat industry is perverse, both morally and magically reproachable,
and irresponsible are commonplace among members of the order,94 as is the
idea that the notion of animal rights naturally emerges as a key notion when
working with foundational magical energies.95
While the Dragon Rouge approach to the feminine divine probably derives
from neopagan influences, it differs in many regards. In being informed by the
antinomian discourse the Dragon Rouge focus on the feminine divine is pre-
dominantly, almost exclusively, on her “dark” and dangerous aspects, and the
“sanitazion” of her in neopagan and “New Age”-circles is strongly criticized.
Female deities and demonesses, such as Kali, Hel, and Lilith, are accorded
particular significance in rituals and texts.96 Similarly, the most powerful mag-
ical currents are often discussed as having a connection to femininity.97 In the
second correspondence course in magic one can read that the feminine ‘repre-
sent[s] the gate to the dimensions of magic’, ‘[s]he is Mother Earth and through
her womb life is born and dies. […] She is the underworld and the mother of
all life’.98 The feminine is re-assessed, re-imagined, and re-presented in ways
which support the antinomian discourse.
The discourse also has relevance on the organizational level, as the mother-
organization in Stockholm does not operate specific theme-groups other than
a women’s ritual group which has been active in different forms for most of the
s. It is also common among members to describe the order as not bound
to traditional gender roles.

Conclusion
It may seem as if this article has been rather light on official Dragon Rouge
standpoints on philosophy and teaching, and provided few examples of actual
Dragon Rouge practices. The reason for this is the structural individualistic

94)
See Granholm, ‘Left-Hand Path and Animal Rights’.
95)
Interview, If mgt  / –.
96)
See e.g. Dragon Rouge, Magikurs ; Karlsson, ‘Häxkonst del ’; Author Anonymized,
‘Häxsalvan’; Karlsson, ‘Mörk initiatorisk häxkonst’; Author Anonymized, ‘Mörka makter i
Kalevala’; Author Anonymized, ‘Battle Bitch’, .
97)
See e.g. Author Anonymized, ‘Tantra och den vänstra handens väg (Del )’, ; Author
Anonymized, ‘Tantra och den vänstra handens väg. Del ’, .
98)
Dragon Rouge, Magikurs , :. My translation.
 Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () –

eclecticism of the order, which makes it extremely dynamic and complex. Thus,
in order to achieve an account of the order which has a more lasting relevance it
makes more sense to focus on just these structures. I have attempted to do this
by describing the discursive formation of the order. The standard Left-Hand
Path discourses of individualism, self-deification, and antinomianism, in con-
junction with additional central discourses such as the primacy of nature and
the pursuit of the feminine divine, constitute the foundation through which
the eclectic teachings and practices of the order are interpreted. Furthermore,
it is the very existence of these discourses, in their particular mix, which make
the extreme eclecticism of Dragon Rouge sustainable.
In addition to the above foundational discourses, however, Dragon Rouge
is strongly influenced by what could be termed post-secular99 discourses. For a
long time, perspectives on religion and spirituality in the post-Enlightenment
West were informed hegemonic secularist discourses, which in turn directed
both scholarly notions of secularization and the process itself.100 Post-secular
discourses, which involve attempts to “re-sacralize” or “re-enchant” the experi-
ential world, result from the, at least partial, societal breaking up of the hege-
mony of secularist ones, and are themselves heavily indebted to an awareness of
the earlier hegemonic status of the notion of secularization. Dragon Rouge has
come into existence and matured during a time when religion, enchantment,
and the mystical is given new and more positive roles in society, and this in
turn can partly explain its success.
All these discourses interplay in the crafting of magical reality in Dragon
Rouge. Set in a post-secular frameset, the core discourses in play within the
order can be regarded as literal acts of re-enchanting the experiential world,
creating a worldview which is centred on magical correspondences, a living

99)
The term post-secular, most commonly linked to the scholarship of Jürgen Habermas
and Charles Taylor, refers not to “de-secularization” per se, but to ‘a change in consciousness’
and the awareness of the continued relevance of religion in secular societies (Habermas,
‘Notes on Post-Secular Society’, ). As Taylor expresses it, “the post-secular age” is one ‘in
which the hegemony of the mainstream master narrative of secularization will be more and
more challenged’, Taylor, A Secular Age, . For a discourse theoretical use of the term, and
differs to some degree from the way it is used by Habermas and Taylor, see Granholm, ‘The
Secular, the Post-Secular, and the Esoteric in the Public Sphere’. For a use of the term in
an examination of late modern transformations of esotericism, see Granholm, ‘Post-Secular
Esotericism?’.
100)
For secularization as a potentially ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ see Casanova, ‘Immigration
and New Religious Pluralism’, .
Kennet Granholm / ARIES  () – 

nature, and experiences of transmutation. For the Dragon Rouge member


magic is the very lens through which everything is experienced and interpreted:
life is magic, and magic is life.

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Interviews
Interview by author with male and female Dragon Rouge member, Stockholm, Sweden,
--. Archived at the Folklore archive at Åbo Akademi University, IF mgt :
–.
Interview by author with male Dragon Rouge member, Stockholm, Sweden, --.
Archived at the Folklore archive at Åbo Akademi University, IF mgt : –.
Interview by author with male Dragon Rouge member, Stockholm, Sweden, --.
Archived at the Folklore archive at Åbo Akademi University, IF mgt  / –.
Interview by author with male Dragon Rouge member, Stockholm, Sweden, --.
Archived at the Folklore archive at Åbo Akademi University, IF mgt  / –.
Interview by author with female Dragon Rouge member, Stockholm, Sweden, --.
Archived at the Folklore archive at Åbo Akademi University, IF mgt  / –.
Interview by author with female Dragon Rouge member, Stockholm, Sweden, --.
Archived at the Folklore archive at Åbo Akademi University, IF mgt  / –.
Interview by author with male and female Dragon Rouge member, Stockholm, Sweden,
–.
Questionnaire answer by male Dragon Rouge member, . Archived at the Folklore
archive at Åbo Akademi University, IF  / :.
Questionnaire answer by male Dragon Rouge member, . Archived at the Folklore
archive at Åbo Akademi University, IF  / :.
Questionnaire answer by male Dragon Rouge member, . Archived at the Folklore
archive at Åbo Akademi University, IF  / :.
Questionnaire answer by male Dragon Rouge member, . Archived at the Folklore
archive at Åbo Akademi University, IF  / :.
Questionnaire answer by male Dragon Rouge member, . Archived at the Folklore
archive at Åbo Akademi University, IF  / :.
Questionnaire answer by female former Dragon Rouge member, . Archived at the
Folklore archive at Åbo Akademi University, IF  / :.