Ritual Magick—Initiation of the Star and Snake

Ritual Magick: The reasoning philosophical basis of our predecessors was “skew-wise”, to use the terms of the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, II: 32. Kether is the uniting principle. There is no unitary intelligence as such. While ‘one’ or ‘unity’ (which is better) may be used as an analogous term for the infinite and primordial, the Monad may easily be the false crown of the Abyss—the crown worn by man as the tyrannical usurper of truth, beauty and natural law. The confusion of the metaphysical ‘one’, as with so much else in modern times, has produced the nightmare of self-isolation.

Ritual Magick—Initiation of the Star and Snake Cover-ArtProfane commentators imagine ‘initiation’ to merely imply induction into a particular group with its corresponding egregore—if we take that word in the conventional sense of a ‘group mind’. The original meaning of ‘egregore’ was of ‘Watchers’, which was applied to the progeny of the Beni Elohim and women of earth. They are the type of the avatar, ‘one who descends’ (so as to teach humanity). Initiation only comes about in the real and lasting sense from initiatic transmission, which has its origin wholly outside of and beyond the human sphere. It is experienced within the individual sphere as a continuous unfolding through interior work. It concerns spiritual realisation, which has nothing to do with group bonding of any kind.

On the other hand, there will inevitably be some who will imagine they can work through a book of rituals like this alone and achieve self-initiation. The term ‘self-initiation’ is an oxymoron, for the reason explained above. Furthermore, the Law of Thelema is a law of love and is therefore a law of relationship. There is no secret word or ‘formula’ that will convey initiation. Our methods include study, practice, prolonged effort and single-minded determination.

Ritual Magick: Initiation of the Star and Snake

Here is the ritual and ceremonial basis underlying the threefold structure of the Order comprising the Golden Dawn, Rosy Cross and Silver Star. Lucid explanatory texts plus hundreds of graphic illustrations and diagrams accompany the rituals and methods.

The grade system is worked from Malkuth to Kether, following the paths of the Serpent of Wisdom. The Order of the Golden Dawn comprises the first four degrees. The Golden Dawn thesis concerns the equilibration of the four elements of the natural soul. The Order of the Rosy Cross comprises the fifth, sixth and seventh degrees. The work of the Rose and Cross is to unite the equilibrated soul to her opposite, the antithesis or Holy Guardian Angel. The Order of the Silver Star comprises the 8th, 9th and 10th degrees, summed up as the spiritual fruit or synthesis of the soul’s union with her Holy Guardian Angel.

Subjects include the Circle of the Place, Mudras or ‘signs of the grades’, Ritual of the Gates of Babalon, the Golden Mean, formulation of the Magical Name, Opening and Closing the Temple, Star and Snake Tantra-yoga, the (revised) Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram, Rising on the Planes, Skrying and Clairvoyance, Consecration of Talismans, the Thelemic Mass of Hormaku, Ritual for Psychic Self-defence, the Holy Guardian Angel, Ritual of the Rosy Cross, Consecration of the Magical Sword, Goetic Evocation, the Ceremony of the Watchtowers and Enochian Magick.


Notes

Ritual Magick—Initiation of the Star and Snake (view and order here).
Format: Trade paperback; perfect binding (6” x 9”); 304 pages in total.

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Obeah and Wanga: Service to the Great Work

Service given to the Great Work is a vital spiritual obligation. It is vital because giving and receiving are one and the same act. Therefore service has practical import to initiation. It is not merely a ‘moral’ requirement.

Service to the Great Work: Pilgrim's Progress, H. Melville, W. Floyd (engraver)

According to the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, Liber AL, I: 37,

Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and the wanga; the work of the wand and the work of the sword; these he shall learn and teach.

The seeking out of esoteric knowledge should firstly involve the question, ‘How can I serve?’ The first service is to the truth. One must be prepared to give all that one is and all that one has to the Great Work.

If we take undigested portions from various disciplines and then stick together the bits that we like, leaving out the bits we disapprove of or that cause discomfort, then what we end up with is not a spiritual path but a patchwork puppet that will dance to our tune. A spiritual vocation is ‘a calling’, not a personal choice to make.[1]

Tyros nonetheless regard an initiatic Order as a brand product like any other. The quest or inner searching that supposedly precedes application to a mystery school is reduced to trivial nonsense: ‘Does it match my personal preferences, my self-image? Will it enhance my profile? What can they do for me?’ They vainly consider whether the Order is suitable for them, not the other way round as it should be and is, in reality. Perhaps a sales manager can help with such a difficult choice?

Madam, perhaps you would care to look at our range of colours in this style? We have a delicious shade of violet that would perfectly match your highlights. Dislike Qabalah? I am sure we could find another game that will take your fancy. We have a range of mystic methods from diverse global sources. Let us see what we have on our shelves, we will surely find something to please you…

The majority of shoppers plan to give nothing in return apart from their complaints when the immortal stone of the wise has not dropped into their lap within the first month—we can rest assured that no work will have been done.

Service to the Great Work

Eckhartshousen’s Cloud on the Sanctuary is the Rosicrucian source work that is central to any initiatic organisation in the Western Tradition. Few now have even heard of it, yet should they happen to read it, they would probably think it has nothing to do with them. Likewise, there are those who think that John Bunyon’s classic of English literature, Pilgrim’s Progress, is only relevant for pious Sunday School pupils, whereas it does in fact apply to any spiritual path in any tradition.

Members and Probationers of the O∴ A∴ are expected to manage their own contributions to the Order. Usually they make regular or occasional donations, as according to their means. Ideally, each practitioner also adds to the store of knowledge. A Neophyte is literally a ‘new flower’ (neo photon). The honeybee is the cognate symbol, for that miraculous creature gathers the raw material from flowers, cross-pollinating along the way. The hive, with its hexagonal cells, is the emblem of the primal Matrix. Flowers open to the sun, for which the relevant Qabalistic path is the 30th, called The Gathering Intelligence. The six-fold opened cube of the universe, Tiphereth, is naturally the flower of the Golden Dawn of any functional initiatic Order. As knowledge is freely given out, so individual aspirants give freely to the Order that sustains them spiritually.


Books Required for Probationer Study*

The Enterer of the Threshold
Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs
The Flaming Sword Sepher Sephiroth
The Phoenix and other Stellar Rites of Initiation

* The first two books on the list are required reading for our Students. The second two books are required for a Probationership.


Notes

© Oliver St. John 2017, 2021

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