Ordo Astri serves to reveal an Independent Thelemic School of the Mysteries to those so prepared. The grades of initiation in the O∴ A∴ are obtained by personal work done and the keeping of a diary Record. Our work is to practice and understand the wisdom of Aiwass.
Ordo Astri fulfils the role of Outer Court to the Order, which is based on the Rosicrucian system of magical grades or degrees equating to the Qabalistic Tree of Life. We have developed a comprehensive and internally consistent system of ritual and Tantra-yoga from the hermetic tradition and reconnected it to the esotericism of ancient Egypt.
The Egyptian name of the Order is Shemsu en Khabs. We are a Thelemic Order, created in the ultraviolet light of the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, known to the world as Liber AL vel Legis.
Ordo Astri and Thelema
Aleister Crowley and Rose Edith Kelly, Ouarda the Seer, were the recipients of a powerful initiatic transmission in Cairo, 1904. Some of the Book of the Law addresses the thoughts and questions of Crowley, some of it conveys knowledge of the Theban Setian cult of Mentu, reserved for Initiates. Much of the book has served to conceal the secret doctrine from Crowley and his followers. The teachings of Aiwass are nonetheless consistent. We reject Crowley’s methods, teaching and philosophy, such as it is. We do not regard Thelema as a religion but as spiritual and initiatic transmission. Esotericism and initiation have nothing whatsoever to do with religion.
Each grade has an Oath and a Task to accomplish. Our methods are necessarily elitist, for this requires a high level of intelligence, integrity and resolve. Few people are able to work in this fashion over a lengthy period of time, or are in any way suited to it.
- While Thelema is our basis, the O∴ A∴ does not serve as a vehicle for the rites, ceremonies or practices of Crowley or the O. T. O.
- In reality the first grade, though it is not named thus, is that of Student. The aspirant must demonstrate they have obtained an intellectual understanding of the work before entering into Probationership.
- Aspirants are expected to maintain a high standard in their conduct and their work.
Ordo Astri and Initiation
The grades or degrees of initiation correspond to the Qabalistic Tree of Life and are obtained through study, practice and the Keeping of the diary Record. Initiation requires a sustained effort over a prolonged period of time. Applicants must have more than a superficial interest in the mysteries. They must be willing to practice and understand the four powers of the Sphinx: to Know, to Dare, to Will and to keep Silence.
The Great Work in our tradition is not merely about obtaining personal insights, powers, or even spiritual enlightenment; it is a service that each and every one of us freely gives so as to assist cosmic and praeterhuman intelligences to bring about the spiritual and material restoration of the earth.
Applicants for the degrees must complete a Probationership term. If the work is approved, admission to the first degree is granted.
The task of the aspirant to an initiatic Order is to build and contribute to the symbol of that Order. Aspirants build the temple from their body, their mind, their heart and their will so that it becomes a perfected and balanced representation of the universe they inhabit.
Successful completion of a Probationership course under direct tuition is a condition for entry to the first initiated degree, Neophyte (see below).
Ordo Astri Literature (Required)
Required reading and study for Students and Probationers:
Those who wish to obtain a thorough grounding in Qabalah, which is the basis of ritual magick, may work through our one-year Hermetic Qabalah Foundation Course. The course may be worked as a one-year Probationer term, under supervision. Send your request along with your letter requesting Associate status.
Applicants to Probationership that do not require the Hermetic Qabalah Foundation should read the information on the nine-month VITRIOL praxis. We will assess your capability before accepting you onto the VITRIOL course, which requires a thorough grounding in our methods of magical and spiritual work in theory and in practice.
In addition to the books listed above, the general curriculum of the Order grades is set forth in Ritual Magick—Initiation of the Star and Snake. The special rites of initiation for the grades of the middle pillar, including that of Neophyte, the first degree, are set forth in The Phoenix and other Stellar Rites of Initiation.
Please note that Ordo Astri is the general name for the Outer Order and the publishing imprimatur. The collegium is called the O∴ A∴
A Word on the Means
Passage through the grades is marked by Oath and Deed. Although anyone may solemnly write their name to an Oath or Pledge, that does not, in itself, make it ‘real’. A piece of paper, after all, is just that. In the same way, a person may be admitted to membership of an Order but that does not imply initiation in the real sense. No ritual or ceremony will confer initiation of its own accord; no person on earth may confer real initiation on another. Initiatic transmission has its source wholly beyond the human sphere. The work begins, nonetheless, with the Oath of Dedication (or Probationer Oath).
1. See the page Initiation on this website for an account of what initiation truly is. For a detailed explanation of this, see René Guénon, Perspectives on Initiation [Sophia Perennis New York 2001]. For the confusion between religion and initiatic organisations, see in particular Chapter 11.
Enterer of the Threshold: Neophyte Initiation
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