0=0 Neophyte Grade Initiation of Soror R.A.

GoldenDawnlogoDate: Sunday, September 2, 2018
Planetary Day: Day of the Sun
Planetary Hours: Hour of the Sun ending in the Hour of Venus
Lunar Phase: Waning Gibbous, 68%
Sun Phase: Set

Time: Ritual Bath (8:30) Establishing the Godforms and preparing the Temple while the Candidate meditated blindfolded (8:40), Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram (9:05), Neophyte Grade Ceremony 9:18 to 10:58
Mood: Initially excited, by the end, calm, cleansed, balanced, harmonized, reverential

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“The Voice of my undying and secret Soul said unto me—“Let me enter the path of Darkness and, peradventure, there shall I find the Light.  I am the only being in an abyss of Darkness; from an abyss of Darkness came I forth ere my birth from the silence of a primal sleep.”

And the Voice of the Ages answered unto my Soul—“I am he who formulates in Darkness—the Light that shineth in Darkness, yet the Darkness comprehendeth it not.”
~ Neophyte 0=0 Grade Ceremony of the Golden Dawn

Although I have been sharing a great deal of my Solomonic work recently, I have not ceased to continue my Golden Dawn work with our Order in parallel to it and last night, we had the great pleasure of initiation a rare new Neophyte into our Order, Soror R.A. In this ritual, I served as Hierophant and the experience was powerful indeed.

I love the Neophyte Grade Ritual. It is beautiful, moving, and powerful. Enshrined within it, are all of the core magical formulae of the Order either overtly manifest or in veiled form as described in the Z-Documents.

Soror R.A.’s was the first Neophyte Initiation to be performed in our new Temple, all previous ones having been performed in our previous Temple, Osiris Temple. The new Temple is far more spacious and with the multiple Altars we now have at our disposal, far more impressive to new Initiates.

It has been 8 years since my own Neophyte Initiation, but the Ritual is no less impressive to me now, even while being worked as a Hierophant and understanding all of its ins and outs both experientially and theoretically.  I felt such a deep connection with the stream of energy embodied by the Osiris Godform and so moved by all of the currents of Force working upon the Sphere of Sensation of the Candidate during the Ceremony.

After her ritual bath, in which she used hyssop, an addition inspired by my Solomonic work, Soror R.A. meditated blindfolded for 40 minutes, instructed to focus on her Higher Aspirations for the Ceremony and building a strong intention to be open and surrender to the process.

Unknown to the Candidate, we opted to use Solomonically-consecrated Sage incense for its purifying powers in the Ceremony. This worked tremendously well and we will likely be continuing this tradition in the future. We also continued the tradition of having full-colour images of each of the Godforms positioned in their respective Stations to strengthen the sympathetic resonance of the Powers whose images they are. This was a procedure that we begun 8 years ago with the Initiation of Frater F.S.S.F. and have continued ever since. It also adds a great deal to the visual symbolism for the Candidate and we will be continuing in this regard as well.with this practice.

During this Ceremony, I felt that a number of new things clicked for me as a Hierophant, I became more skilled in adapting to unforeseen changes (e.g. having incense go out and having to ask the Dadouchos to change it, or the Candidate overheating and requiring a sip of water unexpectedly in the middle of the ceremony! — a new one for us!) while maintaining the flow of the ritual and the energies. I also could very definitively notice when the Candidate was accepted into the Golden Dawn current as an Initiated Neophyte. Her Aura visibly grew brighter, the Cross and Triangle above her head as well, and she seemed to sympathetically harmonize with the Symbols and Godforms in the Temple such that she no longer felt like an ‘Outsider looking in,” either to us or to herself, as she later expressed.

In my conversations with Hierophants from other Temples, I have learned that induction into the Golden Dawn current can be a very idiosyncratic affair. In the ideal scenario, the Candidate and the Officers feel this induction into the current happen immediately during the Ceremony; this is what happened with Soror R.A. In other cases, the Candidate may feel nearly nothing at all during the ceremony and gradually feel that they are accepted into the current and come to harmonize with the G.D. Symbols and energies over time. Most people seem to fall somewhere in the middle; they feel some shift during the Ceremony itself, and it deepens over time.

With Soror R.A., I was stricken by how immediate and complete her own induction into the current was; I partly chalk that up to her depth of surrender and openness and her own advanced clairvoyant abilities, but also to her being accepted by the Guardians of the Current. Some Hierophants have shared with me that sometimes the Guardians do not accept the Candidate and they get rejected during the Neophyte Ceremony itself! How sad it must be to end one’s career right at its beginning. Some other Candidates make it through the Neophyte but end up leaving before the Zelator Grade, as if weeded out by the current in a different way. Neither has happened with any of our Initiates thankfully, although it remains a possibility.

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After the Ceremony, I debriefed with Soror R.A. about her experience therein. She had felt anxious and worried until after the Oath, as well as overwhelmed by the powerful energies and the astral work being done on her Sphere of Sensation to the point that she nearly fainted! We had to give her a glass of water during the ceremony, pausing briefly to do so, to help her get through it. She also struggled to get through the Oath, having to hold herself up while kneeling before the Altar to complete it. She seemed to be visibly overheating and we had to break with protocol and crack open a window and open the Temple door to the Sentinel’s surprise to compensate for it! These were also firsts for us.

In any case, we were impressed by her perseverance, determination, and commitment to get through the Ceremony and the Guardians of the G.D. current seem to have been as well. It is perhaps partly for this reason that she was so rapidly and completely accepted into the current and felt the immediate and total shift in her Aura as a result. After her acceptance into the Current, her demeanor shifted; she became visibly calmer, and seemed grounded, centered, and astrally radiant. The requisite Symbols were visibly imprinted in her Aura and the Ceremony was a complete success from my perspective as the Hierophant.

After the Ceremony was complete, our newly-admitted Soror Neophyte and I debriefed on her experience in the Ceremony. She said that had visibly felt the shift after the Oath when she was inducted into the G.D. current. Of all of the Godforms, she had sensed the Hierophant Godform of Osiris most strongly and could clairvoyantly see him standing over my human Officer form during the Ceremony. She felt as if the words I spoke were not coming from me, but from him, through me.  This is every Officer’s aim, I explained, not to ‘perform’ for our own glory, but to be conduits for the Divine forces in the Ritual to speak through us.  “I felt so emotionally moved when I first faced the East, seeing him in his Station, like I was going to cry without knowing why…”

Interestingly, Soror R.A. also said that she had seen purple flashes in the beginning of the Ceremony, which is interesting, since I had invoked St. Cyprian for help and empowerment in the Ceremony whilst visualizing his preferred colour of Purple and had not informed her of this detail.

She additionally noted that she had been scared when reading the scarier parts of the Oath in which she vowed to subject herself to a ‘punitive stream’ of current by the Guardians of the Order should she break her Oath. I smiled hearing this and explained that nearly all of us go through such a fear and hesitation in that phase of the Ritual, but that there is nothing to fear. If it were really as serious as the Ritual makes it sound, Crowley would have been stricken dead the moment he published the G.D. materials without the Adepti’s permission in the Equinox!

Besides, I explained to her, in the moment when the Hiereus has his sword over the candidate’s neck, the Candidate feels like she is being threatened, but in his own inner work at that moment, the Hiereus is transmitting light, blessings, and good will to her! How often in life, I pointed out, do we receive blessings while taking them to be threats out of our fear and anxiety, only to look on them later and see what blessings they were. This moment in the Ceremony is an image of that larger universal principle.

Soror R.A. also felt like she was being spiritually ‘pulled’ through the Ceremony by the Godform of Ma’at through the Hegemon. She astrally felt the presence of large Egyptian Godform statues around the Temple, as if she had been transported to an Egyptian Temple for the Ceremony. How appropriate, given the symbolic setting of the Hall of the Neophytes in the Temple of Judgment of Osiris.

I was also intrigued by how she experienced the ‘current’ of the G.D. itself; “to me, it felt like being electrically plugged into an always-moving stream of Golden Light.” How appropriate! She also experienced an electric-blue kind of circulating force after the Circumambulations, which was interesting to me.

After I felt the Cross and Triangle form over my head,” she said, “I felt strengthened by these symbols in my Aura, like I was “branded” or inheriting a badge of power.” I noted to her that what I had felt when I shifted into the current and was welcomed into that stream of Power, was that the formerly alien-seeming Symbols, like the Banners of the East and West, now felt intimately dear to me, like Images of Home itself. “Yes, I definitely get that,” she replied. “Like I tapped into a current now, part of the G.D. Family.”

How beautiful that is, that we Sorors and Fratres of the Golden Dawn are one cosmic family, wherever we are initiated, wherever we are on this mysterious place called Earth in the mystic sphere of Malkut.

“Inheritor of a dying world, we call thee to the Living Beauty.
Wanderer in the wild Darkness, we call thee to the Gentle Light:
~ 0=0 Neophyte Grade of the Golden Dawn

Khabs Am Phekt. Konx Om Pax. Light in Extension!

 

 

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