Enterer of the Threshold: Apprentice

Book for the Student and Apprentice (Probationer): The Enterer of the Threshold. This book has been substantially revised since 2024. This book serves as an introduction to the Hermetic Order of the Star and Snake. It is in every way a concise theoretical and practical guide.

Ordo Astri Books: Apprentice (Probationer): The Enterer of the ThresholdWhile it was not written exclusively for those who seek membership of such an organisation, the foremost aim was to serve the interests of the latter. So far as a wider readership goes, it was always hoped that it might help in some small way to bring clarity to an area that has suffered utmost obfuscation, and not least of all from the many persons who are considered to be experts. Indeed, confusion abounds today on all matters that really belong to the esoteric domain. And for that very reason, this book, and all other books we have written, were never intended for those who are merely curious or that have a passing interest in a subject they are in no way prepared to study with serious intent. Even this modest volume, a sort of handbook or manual, was not written to be a quick digest, so minimising any effort put in by the student; it requires deep thought and contemplation. The subject concerns preparations needful to the person that earnestly pursues the path of initiation, comprising a vast array of topics inclusive of traditional sciences such as magick, astrology, and the science of numbers as well as essential methods for acquiring real knowledge, including ritual and yoga meditation. Of all these, it is concentration of the mind that is foremost, and ‘concentration’ is meant here in the technical sense (dharana), by which real yoga and discriminative knowledge is alone made possible.

Apprentice degree is the most important one in the Order because it lays the foundation for the development of initiatic possibilities. At the very beginning there is the intellectual matter of books, study and thought, which is the work of the Student. This intellectual work continues through all the grades. The ritual circle is next constructed by taking the Great Work from theory into practice.

In ceremonial, the drawing of a circle is the key to all. It must be a true magical vortex—raising about the sphere of the mind an absolute barrier to all extraneous impressions—thus enabling perfect spontaneity.[1]

The Apprentice must define or mark out the circle of the place. ‘Squaring the circle’ implies bringing to form or manifestation all that we are and can ever be. Towards this aim, the Apprentice must practice and understand an elevenfold formula:

0. Intellectual Thought and Study.
1. The Fraternal Name.
2. The Oath and Task.
3. The Holy Obligation.
4. The Powers of the Sphinx.
5. The Keeping of the Record!
6. The Mudra of Horus the Enterer and Silence.
7. Vibration of Words of Power.
8. The Ritual of the Gates of Babalon.
9. Asana and Pranayama.
10. The Sword and Serpent.

From Apprentice to Neophyte

Since we must get away as far as possible from reductionism and psychologisation of the mysteries, we use the traditional term Sacred Science to describe the subject of our interest. The Sacred Science is obviously not the same thing at all as conventional or profane science, and will never be understood by the methods of the latter. With profane science, theories rest on the belief that they can be ‘proved’ by repeated experiments with control conditions. Material science is quantitative while ours is qualitative.

Alchemy involves repeated operations, as demonstrated in a host of anonymously written treatises, but the ‘proving’ is not the same, and these were never meant to be material operations or effects. All experimentation is irrelevant from the metaphysical point of view. The immortal stone of the wise cannot be weighed, measured or otherwise calculated. According to profane sciences, the human soul does not exist for likewise it cannot be weighed or measured. The soul is the basis of our work.

The proving of what might be termed as ‘spiritual alchemy’ is not that of rational persuasion, but is akin to the proving of bread when the action of yeast causes it to rise. Bread thus became a widely used metaphor for the ‘substance’ of the soul, and wine a metaphor for the spirit. Soul and spirit are unknown to material science, for that which is not material in its basis cannot be proven by material experiments or actions; so it shall always be—never the twain shall meet. The Christian Hermeticist Meister Ekhart expressed this in lucid terms when commenting on the book of Matthew, 6: 24, ‘no man can serve two masters’.[2]

The two eyes of the soul of man cannot both perform their work at once: but if the soul shall see with the right eye into eternity, then the left eye must close itself and refrain from working, and be as though it were dead. For if the left eye be fulfilling its office toward outward things, that is holding converse with time and the creatures; then must the right eye be hindered in its working; that is, in its contemplation. Therefore, whosoever will have the one must let the other go; for ‘no man can serve two masters.’


Notes

1. Paraphrased from Golden Dawn Flying Roll lecture XXVII.
2. From Theologia Germanica, Meister Ekhart.

The Enterer of the Threshold: View book on author’s website at Lulu.

See also: Hermetic Astrology (2024 Revised Edition) on this website. Also:
Hermetic Qabalah Foundation—Complete Course

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