Enterer of the Threshold: Probationer

Essential Book for the Student and Probationer: The Enterer of the Threshold presents the Oaths and Tasks of our Golden Dawn in the Outer, along with the symbolic temple floor-plans from Probationer to Dominus Liminis. The book provides the keys by which a Probationer may prepare for initiation to the grade of Neophyte.

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.

Ordo Astri Books: Probationer: The Enterer of the ThresholdAt the very beginning there is the intellectual matter of books, study and thought, which is the work of the Student. This work continues through all grades. Next, the circle of the place must be constructed by taking the Great Work from theory into practice.

Before any invocation can take place, before any Gods may appear, the circle of the place must be drawn. The circumambulations about the circle begin with seated asana and pranayama, the circulation of the breath. All ceremonial circumambulation is an outward projection of the circulation of the breath in yoga, and is the arising of light in darkness. The Probationer must practice and understand the following tenfold formula over the course of one year, for it is the means to the initiation of the Enterer of the Threshold.

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 Probationer to Neophyte

The Probationer must enter the pyramid of Malkuth from ‘outside’ to truly become a Neophyte. The Probationer must define the circle of the place. Squaring the circle implies bringing to form or manifestation all that we are and can ever be.

The pyramid of Malkuth must first be constructed through the effort of the Probationer, then realised through contact made with the inner plane counterpart of the Order. The Probationer degree concerns the circle of all possibilities—for it has no number or sephira. There is, further, a mystery of the Ain Soph Aur, the veils of negativity that precede Kether. The thread of the Ain Soph is the means of translation between the planes; it is the means of the verb, the word that goes forth. This is not something that only concerns the Probationer that is awaiting full admission to the Order, for the squaring of the circle applies to every grade and every sephira of the Tree of Life.

The link between the Probationer and Neophyte is the Vision of Adonai or the Holy Guardian Angel, which is the magical power of Malkuth. This is affirmed, whether symbolically or actually, by the ritual of Initiation performed and realised not once but many times until perfect mastery is obtained. Only then is the Neophyte prepared to ascend the paths of the Serpent of Wisdom from Malkuth.


Notes

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

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Magical Theurgy Rituals of the Tarot

Ritual Magick or Theurgy: For any kind of magick to be truly effective it must be worked from within—from the inside out.

Ritual: Magical Theurgy—Rituals of the Tarot (hardbound)The beginner becomes accomplished at magick when the inner working proceeds automatically from the outer or physical working. With the adept this situation is reversed so that the outer proceeds from the inner. Magick and meditation, therefore, go hand in hand. The time spent in meditation and study is the ‘sacrifice’ that is required in the search for the immortal stone of the wise. It is a sacrifice of time and effort. The most effective forms of ritual magick combine meditation, the inner work, with action—which is the use of the body as a hieroglyph so the body reflects what is being willed, desired and imagined. There are, broadly speaking, three kinds of magical ritual in the Hermetic tradition:

1. Dramatic Ritual is where a Mystery Play is enacted. A Dramatic Ritual is the exoteric or outer level of ritual, accessible to all through its powerful emotional impact. Unlike other forms of ritual that require silent concentration, Dramatic Ritual may utilise music and dance. There is a technical side to theatre in the way of costumes, sets and lighting. The success of Dramatic Ritual frequently depends on the skill of the actors involved and the level of their knowledge. The difficulty is that it requires good actors who are also trained occultists.

2. Ceremonial Magick involves the use of furniture such as an altar, a painted circle and triangle, and magical weapons such as the wand, cup, sword and disk. The best-known type of Ceremonial Magick is evocation, where a spirit is called before the magician and a dialogue takes place—traditionally, at the point of the sword. Ceremonial Magick may also refer to group rituals where the practitioners assume the roles of various gods or deities at different stages of the ritual.

3. Ritual Magick is sometimes no different than Ceremonial Magick, but it must be worked from within, with or without robes, altars, lamps, wands and swords, whether real or imaginary. No kind of ritual magick is effective unless it is worked on the inner planes. There are some kinds of magical operation where it is particularly desirable to work the physical and astral planes simultaneously, so the one reflects the other.


© Oliver St. John 2016

View Magical Theurgy—Rituals of the Tarot (hardbound) here.

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