SCROLL OF THE NEOPHYTE
(Recommendations for the Grade of Probationer)
By Brian Goldstein
(Frater Achad AL)
Copyright © 2005 e.v.
of the Golden Dawn.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
“Let me enter the Path of Darkness and, peradventure, there shall I find the Light.” Remember these words? Consider them.
Your Great Work as a Neophyte is to discover your True Will. You have taken a Magickal Oath to do so. It will happen. The issue will be consciously recognizing it.
Your understanding of the Great Work will, in part, develop through your intellectual study and ritual work. The work, when done sincerely, will yield certain experiences. Try to understand those experiences. Piece them together. See how they relate to one another. Research them. Record them in your magickal diary. Study everything you can. The process itself goes to the heart of the matter.
One of your goals during your tenure as a Neophyte is to further purify and illuminate your Sphere, to make it more usable. This will take time. Your Sphere was prepared for your initiation, in part, by your work with the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and the Middle Pillar Exercise. During the initiation, it was given further structure, and charged in a very fundamental and important way. You are now in a magickal gestation period, about to be born as a Magician in about nine months or so from now. If you are so inspired, now would be a good time to formulate your Will as to the work to be accomplished during this period. It will assist in your attainment process.
Your first step should be to review the material on the Order’s website relating to the work of the Neophyte. Download or print all relevant materials. This, really, is all you need. There is a wealth of information on the website, presented in a highly condensed format. Study it all (omitting none of the papers related to the Grade), and use these gifts well. Also, read any other papers on the website which interest you. It is all important. Whatever you don’t read now, you will likely read later.
Because of the amount of work to be done as a Zelator, your time would be well spent as a Neophyte preparing for the work of the Zelator. In the process, may you accomplish the work of the Neophyte. So mote it be!!!
The following approach to the work of the Neophyte is recommended:
Continue to perform the traditional Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (the “LBRP”). Continue to use only Banishing Earth Pentagrams. (Be assured, you will begin using the other pentagrams in all due course, as a Zelator.) Pay particular attention to the elemental correspondences in the quarters, and visualizing the pentagrams around you, and the hexagrams above and below you. They will become clearer over time.
After three months or so following your initiation as a Neophyte, learn the Thelemic Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. Continue to use Banishing Earth Pentagrams only. Pay particular attention to the elemental correspondences, which differ from the traditional pentagram formula (sometimes also referred to as the “four winds” formula). Further, consider the differences in the Sephirothic attributions between the Thelemic versus the traditional rite. Ideally, after you have familiarized yourself with the Thelemic pentagram formula, try using one formula one day and the other formula the next day, on a rotating basis. By doing this with some regularity, you will experience differences in the current raised by the rites.
Continue your work with the Middle Pillar Exercise. Gradually, expand the rite (on occasion, not all the time) to include all ten Sephiroth. This will help you learn the Divine Names of all ten Sephiroth, as well as help you embody the entire Tree. If you have been visualizing the Sephiroth as white light spheres, try bringing color to the visualizations (which may naturally happen over time). Also, after three months or so following your initiation as a Neophyte, learn the Thelemic Middle Pillar Exercise. This will assist you in gaining experience with the 93 Current.
Develop an asana, i.e., a comfortable position to meditate in, and learn basic pranayama (breathing) techniques. Begin practicing these, within and without your rites. Ideally, by the end of your tenure as a Neophyte, you should be able to sit comfortable in meditation (though without completely quieting your mind) for 45 minutes to an hour. Consult Magick, Liber ABA, Book 4, Part I by Crowley regarding technique, and possibly Crowley’s small book Eight Lectures on Yoga to assist your understanding of why this work is important to your attainment process.
Obtain a natal chart on yourself, i.e., an astrological chart showing planetary positions at the time of your birth. Study astrology in the context of your natal chart. Learn everything about your chart. Learn first about the Planets. Then about the aspects (angles). Then about the Planets and their aspects. Then, about Zodiacal signs. Then about the Planets in the Zodiacal signs. Then about the Houses of Heaven. This is a significant undertaking that will greatly assist you in understanding your own magickal composure, as well as the energies we have to work with in our rites. In this regard, you might want to obtain the following books – Magickal Astrology by Skye Alexander, and General Principles of Astrology by Crowley and Adams. These two books will serve you well. Combined with 777 and the Book of Thoth, you will have a treasure chest of important information.
Draw or paint a Tree of Life with all Sephiroth and Paths, and write on it such names and correspondences as you deem appropriate. You might want to have this near you in your Temple or the place where you work. It will serve as a quick reference for names. Further, it lends something to your workings. Draw or paint several Trees, with different correspondences, if you are so inspired.
Obtain a Stele of Revealing, and place it in the East when you work (ritual or meditation). This may become much more to you than a piece of wood with some “groovy cool” pictures on it.
There is no need to obtain other magickal weapons at this time. Recommendations will be made when the time is appropriate. However, do as you Will. You may find that the tools you initially acquire may be replaced over time. So, consider making your first tools. (A Wand of Double Power is always handy.) There is no need for special consecration rites. Any tools you have will be consecrated to the Great Work by your regular use of them. Alternatively, consecrate them to the Great Work according to your own ingenium. More detailed consecration rites for Elemental Weapons will likely be performed during the Grade of Zelator. Be patient. All in good time.
People tend to observe the Sun’s movement through the Zodiacal signs. However, also begin observing the Lunar Cycles, and the Moon’s movement. This will naturally be a part of your astrological studies. However, you might want to begin focusing on this right away. The Sun stays in a Zodiacal Sign for approximately 30 days or so. However, the Moon moves through a Zodiacal Sign every 2 ¼ days or so. She moves quickly, and her influence upon the Earth is great. These are matters often over-looked by those who have not had prior Earth Magick training. Read about the Lunar Cycles, and the natural rhythms or tides. Begin using them in your daily workings. It will help.
Learn about the planetary attributions to each day and then to each hour. See how they relate to the Tree of Life. Burn incense appropriate to each day, which will assist you in acclimating yourself to the vibrations of the day.
In connection with your rites, begin preparing your water and incense (used for the purification and consecration of your Circle), by charging, blessing or otherwise consecrating them prior to your workings. The water and incense will then also serve as magickal “boosters” in your rites. Further, this practice will assist you in formulating your Will with respect to a working. Develop your own rituals for your water and incense, perhaps by reviewing how other Magicians (or Witches) do so.
Learn about, and begin working with, Candle Magick, if you do not already do so. This does not need to be a part of your daily magickal practice, but it works! The practice of preparing a candle will assist you in learning how to project energy and charge things. Remember, all Magick must be placed in the context of the Great Work, or it is black magic!!! So, any Magick you do, whether Candle Magick, ritual work or any other type, must be dedicated to the Great Work. Consider, in this regard, the Law of Thelema.
Begin using the I Ching as an oracle. We recommend that you acquire and use the Wilhelm/Baynes version. The coin method (versus the yarrow stick method) for divining the hexagrams is just fine. Consult the I Ching oracles regularly, especially about matters concerning the Great Work. This is best done in a circle formed by the LBRP, and after purifying and consecrating your circle with water and fire, respectively. When consulting the oracles, formulate your question, and then try to hold only your question in your mind when “jingling” the coins in your hand, waiting for the inspiration as to when to toss the coins. The I Ching oracles are highly developed, and reliable. Respect and use them well.
Read Chapter I of the Book of the Law every April 8th (Nuit Day). Read Chapter II of the Book of the Law every April 9th (Hadit Day). Read Chapter III of the Book of the Law every April 10th (Ra Hoor Khuit Day). May you find inspiration in doing this, and come to a better understanding of the Book of the Law and the New Aeon of Horus.
Begin viewing the 22 Atu or Trumps of the Tarot. We recommend that you use the Thoth Tarot deck, and obtain the Book of Thoth (as alluded to above). Try to read and understand, as much as possible, the Book of Thoth. (This may not be easy at first.) When reading about a card, take it out, view it and otherwise have it before you while you read. The 22 Atu are a complete book of Magickal instruction. You will begin to more formally work with the cards (so to say) after you become a Zelator.
Before ending a working, always give a License to Depart, which should go something like this – “All spirits heretofore called, depart to your pleasant realms and abodes, may there be peace between me and thee, may the blessings of the Most High be upon thee, my blessings are with thee, and do ye come again when ye are so invoked and called. Blessed be, 93. Go in peace!”
End all of your workings in the Sign of Silence, as you were taught in your Neophyte initiation, intoning, if you Will, the name Hoor-Pa-Kraat (Harpocrates). This should be the very last thing you do in any rite. This draws your Sphere into your Tree, nourishes it with Light, cleanses it and, upon exhaling, sends a rush of energy out into the Universe (which hopefully will be a good thing), and returns your Sphere to “normal size” for mundane matters. It also is a form of protection, and an invocation of your Angel.
Add Liber Resh vel Helios to your repertoire of workings. This can be done, if possible, even towards the end of your tenure as a Neophyte. Perform as many of the adorations each day as possible, but don’t get uptight if you miss any of them. Just do your best. This rite, which seems innocuous, is very powerful. In so many words, it is the Solar equivalent of the Lunar “Drawing Down the Moon”. Learn all about the rite. It may become important to you over time.
This should get you started, and keep you busy for some time, perhaps long past your tenure as a Neophyte. Do what you can. You may already have some background or working knowledge in one or more areas. If this is the case, focus on other areas that interest you. However, try to keep “active” and sharp in all areas. You never know in Magick when you will need to recall something. Do your best!
So, you have nine months before you are eligible to advance to the Grade of Zelator in our system of Magick. If you diligently apply yourself to the tasks recommended above, and persevere in doing the work with Love under Will, the time will likely “fly by”.
May you be inspired to apply yourself, in freedom, to the Great Work, and may you be empowered, blessed and protected in the Work. So mote it be!!!
We are here for you to answer any questions you may have about the Great Work.
Love is the law, love under will.
Yours in the Great Work,
Frater Achad AL.
Anno IVxiii: Sol in Libra,
Luna in Aquarius.