On the Ciceros’ Neophyte Grade Ritual

January 12, 2011

GoldenDawnlogoA Frater recently shared some concerns about the length of the Neophyte ritual and its ‘unwieldiness’ within a small physical space for a solitary practitioner.  He asked if he might shorten the ritual or condense it.  My position on the issue was perhaps not what he wanted to hear, namely, that he should make all of the requisite implements and perform the ritual in its entirety.  However, I have strong reasons for holding the viewpoint that I do.  Here was my response:

First of all, I’d like to say that I can sympathize with your concerns.  Space was an issue in my personal temple as well.  However, I have performed the Neophyte ritual as written by the Ciceros in its entirety several times, both for myself and as a group ritual for other Neophytes, and can attest to its power.  Its performance does not really require much space at all.  If you can fit a small altar in the center of your room and have some small stations for the elemental candles in the quarters, etc. you can perform it without difficulty.  If you have enough space to perform the LBRP, you have enough space to perform the Neophyte ritual.

I would also like to emphasize the value and importance of making the required ceremonial implements for the ritual.  These include the officer lamens, Hierophant’s wand, Hegemon’s wand, Keryx’s wand, pillars (at least spray-painted all white and all black if you do not wish to paint on all of the hieroglyphics), a sword or knife for the Hiereus, a cross and triangle for the altar, and a lantern for the Keryx.  These visual symbols make all of the difference and really enhance the power of the ritual on the psychological level, as well as, arguably, on the astral level.  These items do not take up all of that space.  My room is quite tiny and I can fit all of them, including the pillars and wands, within less than a square foot of space.

Now onto the ritual and the issue of trimming it down.  The ritual follows the original G.’.D.’. Neophyte initiation quite closely, only differing in the addition of personal astral work (via the godform visualizations) and in collapsing all of the information that was previously revealed in a fast-paced interrogation of one officer by another into shorter speeches.  Once you get more deeply into the Z documents and the commentaries on the Neophyte ritual by  G.’.D.’. adepts such as Regardie, Zalewski, and others, you’ll see that every little detail in the ritual has significance on multiple levels from the microcosmic to the macrocosmic; Qabalistically and astrally, every movement and every word has a specific function within the larger scheme of the ritual.

If you opt to chop up the ritual, you not only deviate from the initiatory formulae of the Golden Dawn, but lose a great deal in the overall impact of the ceremony and in the subtler effects thereof.  Moreover, one might argue that one who has not properly undergone the Neophyte Initiation in its original or adapted Ciceronian form cannot justifiably claim the Grade of Neophyte within the G.’.D.’. system precisely because they have not gone through the requisite Initiatory experience as defined by the G.’.D.’. system.  I have performed the ceremony with another Initiate in a truly tiny space and we had no difficulty performing the ritual in its entirety.  I would highly recommend that you do so.

The Neophyte Grade Ritual is a majestic, beautiful, and if performed correctly, very powerful ritual.  It is deeply moving and along with the Adeptus Minor Initiation considered to be one of the most powerful and important rituals in the whole Golden Dawn system.  All of the formulae of the entire G.’.D.’. system are prefigured within the Neophyte ceremony and it is the ceremony that connects one to the currents of archetypal force embodied by the Godforms of which the officer forms of the outer Order are representatives.

As for holding off initiation, I say, as soon as you feel your visualization abilities are sufficiently adequate to allow you to manage the complex godform visualizations, as soon as you have some experience with bringing down the Light and directing energy, and as soon as you have constructed all of the necessary implements (we have a thread in the CM forum about ceremonial implements that features pictures of all of the required tools as I interpreted them–feel free to ask me if you would like any tips for making any of them), then feel free to perform the ceremony.  It is not the size of the space that matters, but the readiness of the magician to receive Initiation.  I’ll say it again: if you have enough space to do the LBRP, you have enough space to perform the Neophyte ritual.

In closing, it is a beautiful ritual of purification, consecration, being brought into the Light, and the wisdom of balance.  Beautiful poetic verses are contained within it as well as profound philosophical and mystic truths.  It is also also a true test, for it requires extraordinary, sustained focus and energy over a period of nearly 3 hours to perform properly.  It is a test as every initiation should be, an opening onto a new way of living, a true investiture of the 0=0 grade, and a beautiful ritual of dramatized transformation. Far from not being ‘worthwhile on any level,’ as some have dubbed it, for the student of the Golden Dawn system of magic, I’ve found it to be is worthwhile on every level.

Ritual Work for December 10, 2010 – Dreamwork, Divination, and Venus Talisman Consecration

Date: Friday, December 10, 2010
Time: Dream: 9:30-10:30 A.M. (Day of the Venus– Hours of Saturn and Jupiter), 5:40 – 6:00 P.M. (Day of Venus – Hour of the Sun), 6:40-8:00 p.m. (Day of Venus, Hours of Venus and Mercury)
Sun Phase: Rising
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent, 7% Full
Mood: Morning: Calm and in control, Tarot Divination: Relaxed, but mildly excited, Before Talisman Consecration Ritual: Relaxed, After Ritual: Excited, Aroused with Intense Energy
1. Record of Dream (morning: (9:30-10:30), Rite of Purification by Water
2. Tarot Divination (Split Hexagram Spread) (5:40-6:oo p.m.)
3. From 6:40-8:00 p.m.: Rite of Purification by Water, Fourfold Breath, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Opening Prayer of Intent, Qabalistic Cross, Middle Pillar Ritual, Ritual of the Hexagram Invoking Venus, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Invocation of Anael/Haniel, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Invocation of Hagiel, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Invocation of Haggith, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Invocation of the Three Venusian Forces, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Prayer of thanks, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Closing Prayer, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Ending Prayer, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, Analysis of the Keyword, Qabalistic Cross, License to Depart, Consecration by the Mystic Serum

9:30-10:30 A.M.: Dream interpretation – This morning, I had a dream that included archetypal symbolism from the Tarot cards. I was assigned to a special position within the administrative hierarchy of a college of university (it seemed to be Champlain college, where I obtained my Liberal Arts degree). This position was “Emperor” of the Institution.

The role of the ‘Emperor’ was to arbitrate and make final decisions based on points of disagreement among faculty, teachers, students, unions, and other school-based groups. I sat upon a throne in my arbitration room. Two groups of people ran into my room, greeted me, and argued over which code of school policies and laws to accept. One was a very thick and old volume that contained extensive older laws. The other was a sleeker an substantially shorter new volume with much fewer laws that encompassed several points, which were dealt with individually in the old code. They argued over which should be accepted.

After considering the case, I gave my formal ruling, which was that a position of moderation be taken; a new code should be redacted that integrated the most relevant, important, and beneficial laws and policies from the two codes.

To the Emperor card is attributed the Hebrew letter of Heh and the Sign of Aries, which is ruled by Mars. It is the Emperor card that channels the energies of Venus (the Emperess and Daleth) through Understanding (Binah) and Wisdom (Chochmah) to balance them with the energies of Mars on the way to Tiphareth (the point of Balance on the Tree of Life). I am an Aries and last night, had been preparing a ceremonial ritual for the creation and consecration of a Venus talisman; Aries drawing down and balancing the Powers of Venus. This is precisely what the archetype of the Emperor does on the Tree of Life. The ruling I gave as the Emperor was one of Balance (characteristic of Tiphareth) and Wisdom (Chochmah) between two extremes based on Understanding (Binah). Therefore, the dream was particularly apt in its archetypal Tarot and Qabalistic meanings.

5:40 –  6:00 – Hour of the Sun – Tarot Divination : Question: “What will be the outcome if I create and consecrate a Venus talisman today?”

The Split Hexagram Spread was the Following:

1.  The Magician                                         2.   The Emperor

3. The Sun

7. The Hermit

6. The Hanged Man

4. The Empress                                                 5. The Devil
My Interpretation is as Follows:
1. and 2. Unknown Spiritual Influences: The Magician and The Emperor:
The Magician suggests that the talisman would bring greater concentration, activity, confidence, conscious awareness, will power, and general Power.
The Emperor, the same archetype that appeared in my dream also suggests an outcome of power, reason, and authority.  The Firey Nature of the Path suggests the power of the desire that could follow as well as male sexual desire (Ares is attributed, which rules Mars).  Together, the cards suggest a boosting of sexual power and confidence, which should, the Emperor suggests, be directed through reason.

3. Spiritual Advice for the Matter: The Sun
The Sun suggests that the ceremony and talisman could lead to happiness and contentment as well as greater vitality and assurance, a positive outcome.

4. Unconscious desires in the Matter: The Empress
The presence of the Empress in the unconscious desires position suggests that I subconsciously want fruitfulness, action, creativity, and sensual abundance.  This sounds about right to me; the card is apt in this position, since it is attributed to Venus.  This suggests that I really do seek sexual, creative, and sensual fulfilment.
5. Conscious Desires in the Matter: The Devil
The Devil in this position suggests to me that I consciously only seem to want something materialistic (e.g. Intimate relations, sexual gratification) and that I want something to happen that, in the long run, will be for the good.

6.  Practical Advice: The Hanged Man
The Hanged Man gives me the practical advice that magic will not be enough to get me the results I seek; I must also be ready to show self-sacrifice and to let go.

7.  Final Outcome: The Hermit
The Hermit suggests that if I follow the advice given here (e.g. Letting go), then the final outcome will be one of spiritual advancement, introspection, and guidance.  The card also advises me to be cautious on the way, which is sound advice.

This is a fairly positive result, which suggests that I will receive happiness (whether spiritual, emotional, or material in terms of pleasure) and spiritual advancement should I create this talisman.  Therefore, I will proceed with the creation and consecration.

6:40-8:00 p.m.Creation and Consecration of a Venus Talisman

Before the Hour of Venus began, I prepared my ceremonial script and prepared the Altar with the Seal and Sigil of Venus, the letter Daleth, the Tarot card of the Empress, the Sigil of Anael, the Sigil of Hagiel, the Sigil of Haggith, a green cap of Thyme, the Cross and Triangle, and three green candles. I performed the Rite of Purification by Water and a brief relaxation ritual. I prepared the disc and the green marker. I got into my robe, sash, and nemyss, took up my wand, and lit the candles as the Hour of Venus began.

I then focused my intent on the talisman and the intent with which I was creating, consecrating, and charging it while constructing it. The front side bore an outer circle in which was drawn two Invoking Hexagrams of Venus, and in which was inscribed the words “Place me as a signet upon thine heart, as a signet upon thine arm, for love is strong as death” (Canticles viii 6), according to the instructions given for the Second Pentacle of Venus in the Greater Key of Solomon. Within the outer circle was an equal-armed cross. In the upper left quadrant was the Planetary Seal of Venus and the Sigil of the Olympic Spirit of Venus, Haggith. In the upper right quadrant was placed the Divine Name associated with Venus, YHVH TZABAOTH in Hebrew characters. In the bottom left quadrant was placed the Seal of Anael/Haniel from the Consecrated Little Book of Black Venus. Finally, in the bottom right quadrant was placed the Sigil of Hagiel, Intelligence of Venus.

On the reverse side of the Pentacle, in the Outer Circle, four Invoking Hexagrams of Venus were drawn. Between each, the name ARARITA was written in Hebrew characters. In the center circle, the Numerical Planetary Square of Venus was drawn, with 175 above it and 1225 below it. On the right of the Square, the Sigil of Venus was drawn. On the left, a Yoni and Phallus were drawn.

When it was finished, I placed the Talisman on the Triangle in the center of the Altar, took up the wand, and performed the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe. I then kneeled and made an opening prayer of intent, declaring the purpose of the talisman and its intended effects and asking for God’s help, blessing, and power in bringing it about.

I next performed the Qabalistic Cross and Middle Pillar Ritual to draw LVX into my Sphere of Sensation. Immediately thereafter, I performed the Ritual of the Hexagram Invoking Venus. The opening Analysis of the Keyword flooded me with energy, which nearly made me lose my balance. The entire ritual was quite powerful and visibly altered the atmosphere of the room as four Invoking Hexagrams with Sigils of Venus in their center began to draw Venusian energies into the Temple, where they would concentrate in the altar at the center, and the talisman upon it.

I then declared the intention to project the LVX and the Energies of Venus thus invoked into the talisman, and did so by giving the Sign of Projection in each of the Quarters while vibrating YHVH TZABAOTH.

I then invoked the great Archangel Haniel or Anael. I felt a peaceful, glowing warmth flood the Temple and asked for the Archangel’s help in projecting the powers of Venus into the talisman. With the Angel’s help, I projected the energies into the talisman from each of the Four Quarters, tracing an Invoking Hexagram of Venus over the talisman in the air, a Sigil of Venus in the center, and a circle around the Hexagram to seal the forces within the talisman. I gave the Sign of Projection towards the talisman, drawing Venus energies through each Quarter’s Portal (Invoking Venus Hexagram) and projecting them into the talisman while vibrating the Divine Name attributed to Venus and given in Francis Barrett’s The Magus, AHA.

I thanked Anael/Haniel for her help and proceeded to invoke Hagiel, the Intelligence of Venus. When I had the feeling of his presence—a shift in the energy of the room, a glowing presence—I asked for his help and projected Venus energy into the Talisman from each Quarter while vibrating the Name YHVH TZABAOTH. I thanked Hagiel for his help and bowed humbly. I took up the talisman and moved to each quarter, holding it up, so that it might be infused with the energies of Venus from each direction. I then replaced it in the White Triangle on the Altar.

I then proceeded to trace the Sigil of the Olympic Spirit if Venus, Haggith, (according to the Arbatel of Magic Grimoire), and invoked the Spirit by vibrating the name repeatedly and giving the Sign of Projection towards the Sigil. When I had the feeling of Haggith’s presence—an ancient power, distinct from Hagiel—I asked for his help in charging the talisman. I then projected energy into the talisman from each of the Quarters while vibrating the Secret Name associated with Venus in the Sigil dei Aemeth, INNON. I thanked Haggith for his assistance and bowed humbly. I took up the talisman and moved to each quarter, holding it up, so that it might be infused with the energies of Venus from each direction. I then replaced it in the White Triangle on the Altar.

I then invited the Three Venusian Forces to assist me once more in projecting the Powers of Venus into the talisman, and did so from each Quarter, vibrating YHVH TZABAOTH. I thanked the Powers with a short poetic address, which I will reproduce here:

I thank thee, Great and Powerful Ones of the Sacred Realms, thou Great Spirits of the Undying, thou Powers of Venus who rule the Budding of Friendships, the Blossoming of Inspiration, the Attractions of Sensuality and the Lighting of Fires of Sexual love, for being present here with me and lending your help to me. I thank thee in the Name of Adonai as I again project and seal these Energies of Venus within this talisman.”

I then did so from each Quarter, again vibrating the Name Innon. With this duly performed, I thanked Adonai with a prayer and declared “Let the final empowerment and projection take place through the Power of the Divine and the Forces of the Celestial Ones of Venus.” This was followed by a projection of forces into the talisman in each Quarter with the Name YHVH TZABAOTH.

I then kneeled and gave a final ending prayer. I circumambulated with the talisman once more, and astrally saw the invoked Powers being drawn into it. I then placed it in the White Triangle at the center of the Altar and performed the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe to witness God’s power and offer thanks for His help.

I then took up the Sword of the Hiereus and performed the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, the Analysis of the Keyword, and the Qabalistic Cross. I gave the License to Depart and closed the temple.

Finally, I placed the talisman within the three Candles on a separate table and, strongly concentrating on my intent, drew forth the Mystic Serum, with which I finally annointed the talisman. I then wiped it clean and sprinkled it with Thyme from the Green cap. I gathered the things on the altar, placed the Empress card under the Triangle, the talisman on top of it, and all of the Sigils and Hebrew Letters form the altar on top of the talisman. It was finished.

I was very exhausted by this point, and yet I felt incredibly charged and energized. I had the feeling that the operation was a succcess. However, as always, it will remain to see in the following days what results will follow from it.

January 2018 Update:

The talisman proved incredibly powerful and reinforced loving feelings in many friendships and sexual relationships over the 8 years that followed. The effects lasted for years as I carried the talisman with me in wallet everywhere I went. To this day, it continues to be effective in enhancing my friendships, professional relationships with colleagues and classmates, and romantic relationship with my girlfriend.

Ritual Work for Friday, November 27, 2010

Date: Friday, November 27
Time: 11:20-12:52 (Day of Venus – Hour of the Jupiter)
Sun Phase: Set
Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous, 67% Full
Activities: Rite of Purification by Water, Relaxation Ritual and Fourfold Breath, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram with the Sword of Hiereus, Great Invocation of the Light (QC, R.B.D.L., Q.C., A.K.), Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Themis Meditation, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Maat Meditation, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, THME Meditation, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Assumption of the Godform of THME, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram with the Hegemon’s Wand, Request for Guidance from THME, Stepping out of Godform, Thanking of the Elements, Formal Temple Closing and License to Depart


Today, I prepared as usual for ritual with the Rite of Purification, put on my nemyss and robe, but left my sash in the East, in anticipation of the coming Neophyte Ritual that I will be performing once more for a new Frater in the Ordo Aurum Lucerna. Instead of placing the Altar in the center of the Temple, I left it in the East, which left me a great deal of room in the midst of the Temple. I lit all of the Elemental candles and incense, and placed fresh water in the Stolistes cup.

I lay on the ground in the center of the Temple and performed the Relaxation Ritual and Fourfold Breath. The orb of Golden Light was allowed to drift into each area of tension and dissipate it. This was quite relaxing; I took the time and did not rush it as I sometimes do. The results proved the old proverb once more; you get out what you put in, the output is a measure of the input.

I placed all of the lamens of the Outer Order officers in their respective places in the Temple and took up the Sword of the Hiereus. I proceeded to the center of the Temple of the East, and there began the Qabalistic Cross. I took time to perform it slowly and with great feeling, visualizing myself expanding more and more beyond the Temple, Greenfield Park, Montreal, the South Shore, Quebec, Canada, the World, the Solar System, and filling all of the Universe (this visualization may have been aided by it being the Hour of Jupiter at the time, with Jupiter governing and supporting all forms of growth and expansion). I then brought down the Light and equilibrated it in the Cross of Light throughout the body and the whole of the Universe. This was the most effective Qabalistic Cross I have experienced in a long time.

I then performed the entirety of the LBRP with the Hiereus’ Sword. During the Invocation of the Archangels, I felt a light, comforting, but strong presence in the Quarters of the Angels, though I only saw them wearing the ‘clothes’ of the canons of imagery prescribed by the Golden Dawn with the assigned elemental robes and implements. Still, this was a comforting feeling that added a sense of protective balance to the ritual.

Upon completing the LBRP, I performed the Great Invocation of the Light, again slowly, and with great feeling. The vibratory formula was effective tonight; I felt the vibrations throughout my body and the presence of the Light as a glowing energetic warmth. After the completion of the Great Invocation of the Light, I performed the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe. I then returned the Hiereus’s Sword to the West and returned to the East. There, I began the process of carrying the Elemental Candles one by one and placing them on the floor in the center of the Temple. I was then able to sit in the midst of them, and there perform the THME Meditations.

I began with the Themis meditation, seeing the Goddess again balancing and strengthening me with the Scale of Justice and nourishing me with the Golden Cup of Divine nectar. This was successful, but not particularly powerful.

I then performed the A.L.U. once more and performed the Maat meditation. The visualization of Maat was a great deal stronger; I saw her standing with her black nemyss, dark eyes, and about her head, a red ribbon and the Shu feather. Her gown was green with red, blue and yellow flashing undertones. In one hand, she held the Lotus wand; in the other, she held a golden ankh. She wore a brightly-coloured colour and around her wrists, coloured wristbands. She attached a Shu feather to my head and, taking up her Lotus Wand, blasted a current of Light into my Kether, Daath, Tiphareth, Yesod, and Malkuth centers. She also projected Light into the other spheres of the microcosmic Tree of Life, completing it. I felt a great connection to her, which filled me with reverence.

I then performed the A.L.U. And the THME Meditation. I saw the goddess standing in a white and black striped nemyss; she wore a black gown with a black and white pectoral collar. About her wrists, she wore black and white wristbands. She carried only the Phoenix Wand. I saw the Godforms of Themis and Maat merge with her; under he nemyss, I seemed to see a lock of the hair of Themis, and her eyes were those of Maat. She spoke to me and as she did, her wand transformed into the Wand of the Hegemon. I felt a great connection to her as she embodied her Greek, Egyptian and Coptic forms. I ended with the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe.

Wishing to connect more deeply with the Godform and the Officer of the Hegemon, I assumed the Godform of THME, stepping into it and feeling its energy washing over me. I then took up the Wand of the Hegemon and performed the LBRP. The experience was energizing; the Qabalistic Cross seemed to be extra powerful. When the Pentagrams were traced, I saw the hand of THME doing it; I saw her arms and her legs as my own, her body as my body, her face as my face.

After the final Qabalistic Cross, I stood, still, in the center of the Temple and asked the Godform “What can I do to prepare for the coming Initiation next week?”

She answered “prepare the tools and perfect the rituals.” I asked “How can I better perform the Qabalistic Cross and the Bringing Down of the Light?” I received a message, the spirit of which was the following:

As you aspire to Kether, raise your awareness up from Malkuth through the realm of Yesod, Tiphareth, and passed the Abyss. Then unite your awareness with the White Brilliance of the macrocosmic Kether. Let Kether become your awareness and your awareness become Kether. When the two are one, draw your awareness down through the Tree until the pulsating Light meets your microcosmic Kether at the Crown of your head. Then complete the Cross of Light, extending the Light out into the farthest reaches of the Universe. In this way, shall you correctly draw down the Light. As you aspire, you shall receive what you require.

I thanked her for this guidance and technique, and stepped out of the Godform. I then gave THME the Sign of the Enterer, which she replied with the Sign of Silence. She then gave me the Sign of the Enterer, which I answered with the Sign of Silence.

I then proceeded to the East and said “I thank the Powers of Air,” before putting out the Elemental Candle of Air. I then proceeded to the South and did the same for the Powers of Fire. I followed suit for the West and North, gave a formal license to depart: “I now release any spirits who may have been imprisioned by this ceremony. Go in peace with the blessings of YEHESHUAH YEHOVASHAH.” I ended with a formal Temple Closing, ringing the singing bowl and ending with the formula of the Extension of Light in Egyptian, Greek, and English. Overall, it was a moving, reverent ceremony that brought me closer to the Powers associated with the Office of the Hegemon.