FRATERNAL MAGICAL ORDERS +quot;Our humanity were a poor thing were it not for the divinity

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FRATERNAL MAGICAL ORDERS "Our humanity were a poor thing were it not for the divinity which stirs within us". Francis Bacon *** The function of Magical Orders is to serve Mankind by helping the Aspirants which seek its instruction to evolve, thereby helping the whole of humanity in the evolutionary process. This should be the sole purpose for these Orders. There are several Orders from which I have greatly benefited from. During the occult explosion of the late 1800's they offered instruction which was not otherwise available. The problem with modern Magical Orders is that very few have kept up with the evolutionary process that their candidates have been able to access. Most of the information which is given in the Golden Dawn offshoots has been published by several authors for over 50 years. Most of those who aspire to those Orders have already been exposed to the material. It is absurd to require an aspirant to quit all training simply because they joined with a group, that for the sake of formality; refuses to update their curriculum. It is an insult. The aspirant is forced to take horrible oaths to keep published material secret. This will be the pitfall and eventual demise of Magical Orders. It would appear that most Magical Orders have fallen into a rut called "Tradition". This inflexibility and unwillingness to evolve runs contrary to the grain of The Great Work. From their actions, one would think that some of these Orders serve the higher ups who run them instead of the Aspirants who need them. We will see what fruits these Orders yield in the future. Only time will tell. The type of Orders which are the most interested in the development of the individual are the ones that encourage individuality. Although they are ever vigilant to ensure the safety of the traveler while on the path they will never stifle creativity, and they are flexible enough to accommodate any Seeker. The only problem with this kind of Order is that they usually lack academic structure. The New Aeon Magician has four Orders worth mentioning at this time; An Inner Order known as the A.A., and three Outer Orders which are in service to the inner known as the Ordo Templi Orientis, The Temple of Thelema, The Fraternitas LUX Occulta. The last two groups claim lineage to the original Golden Dawn and have upgraded their curriculum to better express the current of the New Aeon. The phenomena behind such a merge is quite intriguing considering that the predecessors of The Golden Dawn would not have had much to do with Crowley OR his system of Magick. Necessity is the forerunner of evolution. This consolidation indicates three very significant factors in today's occult community. The first is that unlike their predecessors, the "new" Golden Dawn groups have tried Crowley's methods and have found them to be viable, sound, and practical. The second is that most G.D. fraternities have acknowledged the coming of the "new age" which Crowley delivered as Thelema. The third is that more and more, Thelemic Magicians are discovering the virtues of working with other Magicians; which instills upon them tolerance, discipline and dedication to The Work. It would be ideal if these groups succeeded in their quest to blend individuality AND academic structure. Their proof will be their success...or failure. THE A.'.A.'. This is the Order of all Orders, the One of which other Orders are but a shimmer of its light. Membership is very selective and strictly secret. In most cases, the student is only allowed to have knowledge of two people in the Order: his instructor and (when he has reached sufficient Wisdom) the pupil he is preparing, and can only move to his next grade when he has prepared his apprentice to take his place. This provides a strong unbroken chain linking the Lower with the Higher. Usually, it is required that the aspirant be armed with at least basic knowledge of Pranayama, The Pentagram and Hexagram rituals. Advancement in this Order is not easy; it is not randomly given for the sake of convenience or favoritism. One must EARN their next grade, and the tasks are so difficult and demanding that most aspirants never reach beyond the grade of Neophyte. You do not find the A.'.A.'., it finds you. The teachers of this Ancient Order of Magicians frequent the many magical groups vigilantly seeking individuals of the right metal for the demanding, fulfilling course. All of those who have truly devoted their lives to The Work are attracted to this Order the same way that a moth is drawn to the light. If you feel this passion it is wise to show caution if one is to avoid the charlatans who have not yet transcended the ego. Here is some guidelines which will ensure that you end up with a rightful teacher: 1) The Adepts of this Order do not advertise, boast, or even allude to membership unless they are speaking in secrecy to the individual they are interested in. 2) Anyone claiming membership in this Order should have at their disposal a clean, unbroken lineage beginning with Aleister Crowley: If they are legit they will not oppose your questioning; skepticism is an indispensable mental function required by Magick. 3) Check these names out by writing to the Ordo Templi Orientis. Let them know that you were approached by some one claiming to be a member of the A.'.A.'., and you would like to make sure they have valid charter. You may need to send them a Xerox of their lineage. Someone there should be able to verify. It may seem like a lot of work, but believe me: It is much better to spend a life time looking and not finding, than to waste one hour working with selfish individuals who use one's pure intentions to gratify their self-regard. Magick is a VERY REAL thing. Anyone who can read can teach the fundamentals of Knowledge and Wisdom, but only a True Adept can bestow upon you the power of the Ages. ORDO TEMPLI ORIENTIS (O.T.O.) This organization was created by Theodore Reuss in the early 20th century. While publishing his magnum opus "Magick in Theory and Practice", Aleister Crowley inadvertently published some of the highest secrets of the Order on a treatise dealing with Sex Magick. Reuss immediately flew in from Germany and held him to an oath of secrecy; at the same time he was made head of the Order of the English speaking countries. This came as quite a surprise to Crowley. The O.T.O. became the observation arena where teachers of the A.'.A.'. could seek prospective students. The Ordo Templi Orientis is the FIRST spiritual organization accepting The Book of The Law as their holy book. Crowley went to work on changing the rituals of Initiation to better convey the message of the New Aeon, the concept of Thelema: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law". The Order now exists world wide and is recognized as a religious organization by the state. Membership in the Order is confidential; no one will inform another of your involvement with the Order. If you want to tell someone you are a member it is your business. All men and women of full age and in good report are entitled to the first three Degrees; after which one may progress only by invitation. The Ordo Templi Orientis has many bodies world wide which teach and practice Ritual Magick. It provides its members with a free atmosphere where one can be who they truly are. The main goal of the Order is to secure the absolute Freedom of its members by assisting the individual in whatever way possible in discovering their True identity. Since one man cannot know the True Will of another, this process must be accomplished only by the individual; thus the Order cannot interfere with this metamorphose. The O.T.O. is a home for many Magicians of different walks of life who have accepted the Law of the New Aeon and wish to exchange ideas with those of like mind. Most of its members are influenced by Aleister Crowley, The Golden Dawn, and Wicca. It provides camaraderie, and fellowship; and in places that practice the Gnostic Mass: Spiritual sustenance. TEMPLE OF THELEMA (T.O.T.) The Temple of Thelema is an outer Order consecrated to the service of the A.'.A.'. It was created by the staff of the College of Thelema for the purpose of providing students with a solid Foundation on which to build their magical careers. It has a strong unbroken lineage to Mather's Golden Dawn. The necessary modifications have been made to allow for the New Aeon influence not inherent in the Golden Dawn groups. It offers a strict curriculum designed to familiarize the student with the principles of hard work; thereby increasing the student's chances of coping with the strict regimen offered by the A.'.A.'. Traditionally, the Temple of Thelema and its Initiates work together in the Temple as a group. Like the A.'.A.'., members are advanced through the degrees according to their accomplishments; the degrees are earned. If one works hard they are advanced, if one chooses to remain idle they should not be surprised to find themselves far behind their peers. Members of this Order must be willing to dedicate a considerable amount of time to their studies. THE FRATERNITY OF THE HIDDEN LIGHT This group is more traditional in their approach to Ceremonial Magick, as it draws most of its Wisdom from its unbroken lineage to Mather's Golden Dawn and fundamental Rosicrucianism. It has Temples in the U.S. and Canada and, while membership is secret, it frequently performs several rituals during equinoxes or solstices which are open to the public. It offers the best courses in Magical Wisdom I have ever seen or read. The serious student who has decided to work solitary without the benefit of fraternal assistance should seriously consider these courses, as they reveal much previously unpublished material. Of course, there are many other Orders. I have only commented on the ones which I personally have had contact with. I strongly caution the Seeker to exercise caution when seeking a group to work with. Recently, it has become fashionable to conduct groups, and many have been started without proper lineage or authority of any kind. This is particularly true with Golden Dawn types. This is not to say that everyone who claims proper charter is a charlatan, but documentation should be requested before committing one's self to ANY group.

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