For those not already in the know, an urgent appeal was made for healing just a couple days ago. Donald Michael Kraig, a well renowned and respected author in the esoteric community was recently diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Don is best known for his book Modern Magick, first published in 1988. Since then, it has gone through a couple evolutions, including a second edition having been published in 2001 and a twelfth lesson later added to the book in 2010. His very approachable writing style made this a best seller and the premier "Magick 101" book of the time. Many readers first cut their magical teeth on this book, including yours truly. We are all affectionately referred to as "Don's Kids".
Nick Farrell has written a ritual and set up an event in Facebook to coordinate healing efforts for Don. For those who do not have quite as much time, a simple Rose Cross Ritual can be used to send healing light as well.
Please join in this endeavor. Don has changed many lives for the better. Let's return the favor.
UPDATE: The effort to "Heal Don Kraig" has now become a Facebook group.
UPDATE 2: Tabatha Cicero has posted a Rite of Healing on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn blog.
UPDATE 3: Don is home from the hospital!
About six months ago, the Golden Dawn community had come together like never before and published a significant treatise on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls. One of the major contributors and collaborators on that project was well-renowned author Aaron Leitch.
I've known Aaron for nearly ten years now, and we've gotten into some really fascinating discussions about Golden Dawn magic, particularly of the Enochian persuasion. When I saw him last, about a month ago, he was wearing a patch on his glasses, but the patch was covering his good eye. A cataract was growing over its field of vision and would soon completely cover it. Since he was already legally blind in his other eye, this meant he was slowly, but inevitably, going functionally blind. Saving his eyesight would require surgery.
Understand that Aaron, like almost all those who write on matters esoteric, does not make a living as an author. We writers of the arcane are motivated by our love of the subject matter and the hope that we can shine the Lamp of Knowledge for a wayward soul. That said, the harsh reality is, the profit margin and the sales volume are simply not there. So Aaron, only able to afford high deductible health care through his employer, would have to pay $5,000 that he simply did not have.
Losing Aaron as an author would be a significant blow to the greater esoteric community. His writings on grimoiric, Solomonic and Enochian/Angelical Magic have shined a great light in these lesser known and understood areas. His online correspondences have also provided much guidance for esoteric cyber-seekers around the world. Also, for me, the idea that he would never see his lady or his daughter again with his own two eyes was practically unbearable.
My first thought was to look to my Freemasonic brethren and call upon the Knights Templar Eye Foundation. Masonry has been known for ages to help those in need, and the Foundation's original mission was "to provide assistance to those who face loss of sight due to the need for surgical treatment without regard to race, color, creed, age, sex or national origin provided they are unable to pay or receive adequate assistance from current government agencies or similar sources and to provide funds for research in curing diseases of the eye." However, it seems as if their mission has changed:
"On December 31, 2010, the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc., by direction of the board, ceased participating in direct patient care...The new mission statement of the Foundation is "to improve vision through research, education, and supporting access to care."
Oh, Freemasonry. I heart you so hard, but at nearly every turn, you find new and ingenious ways to disappoint me.
So the New Year came and went, and then this happened. A YouCaring fundraiser was set up with the goal of raising $5,500 to cover Aaron's medical costs and other small associated miscellany. The esoteric community responded in a manner simply not imagined. The monetary goal was reached within 48 hours. In fact, the fundraiser was deactivated because they had reached a total of $7,400 donated by 200 contributors. Aaron has already posted his reaction to his blog.
For those wondering, the extra money raised will be donated to the Himalayan Cataract Project. As the fundraiser is now deactivated, those who would still like to make a donation may do so at the Project's donation page in Aaron's honor.
I find it amazing how quickly and powerfully the esoteric community came together to help one of its own. Sadly, the richest nation on the planet seems to think it's acceptable to allow a productive member of its society to lose his eyesight simply for being guilty of the crime of not having enough money. This fundraiser was a great light, but the simple fact that it had to be done indicates a darkness in the heart of the nation. Medical bills are the #1 cause of bankruptcies in America, and such a thing should be anathema in the eyes of a Rosicrucian, who professes nothing but to cure the sick, and that gratis.
If you feel the need to further contribute to an organization who supports a similar philosophy, then the Physicians for a National Health Program may appeal to you. Although single-payer health care his its share of problems, it's a step in a better direction and indubitably more moral than letting human beings fall through the cracks.
Now that the financial obstacle has been removed, thanks to the kindness and generosity of so many, I wish Aaron a very safe and effective surgery, and also a very speedy recovery. I'll be checking up on him, so he'd better have his new eyes peeled!