There are many difficulties faced by the solitary practitioner, and one of the most pernicious is that there is no institution, no oversight ensuring that the teachings and practices are engaged in their proper order, for an appropriate duration, and understood/integrated to the degree necessary to allow the system to unfold as intended. Rather, the individual themselves needs to act as their own “overseer” – which can be hard to do when you know that the fundamentals are what you’re supposed to be practicing… but the more advanced material looks so much more interesting! It’s difficult to act as our own assessor – people tend to be either too hard on themselves, or too easy (oftentimes, both – depending on the day!).
So how do we address this problem? There are several things we can do – but ultimately, the responsibility remains with the individual practitioner to implement them. One aid is simply having everything laid out, step by step, so that the practitioner knows what needs to be done and in what order. Next, is to establish a set timeframe for certain practices or phases of practice. For example, establishing that before moving on to the 2nd formula of the CRP, one should practice the 1st formula, daily, for around three months. Of course, three months may be unnecessarily long for some people – just as it will not be long enough for others, but having a set time period for certain things, based upon the average of experience, helps to create a common baseline – as well as afford the individual practitioner a means of determining where they are, and how long they should remain there before moving on.
There are three important differences between doing this work as laid out by us, verses joining an initiatory Order such as the Aurum Solis. The first that you’ll notice is that, instead of receiving a particular Hall initiation and then embarking upon the Work of that Hall, we begin with the Work, and end with the Initiation. Why is that?
In an Initiatory Order, your Initiator is, ideally, using their more advanced state and power to directly affect your state and power, effectively empowering you for the work ahead. When working on your own and engaging in self-initiation, however, we are relying upon having done the work to build up and empower you to the point where you may effectively act upon your own state during the Initiation. Is it a perfect, fool-proof system? No, of course not – but neither is relying upon an outside initiator.
The second major difference is that of material. We are limited to working strictly with the already published Ogdoadic material. We may only assume that there are other private documents and materials available within the Aurum Solis proper to which we simply have no access. Fortunately for us, there is an incredible wealth of published material available – more than enough to support one on their path to Adepthood within the Ogdoadic Tradition.
Finally, the third major difference is that self-initiating into the Ogdoadic Tradition does NOT confer upon you ANY status or membership within the Aurum Solis, a specific organization also working within the Ogdoadic Tradition.
There are two primary categories of books for this process, Required and Helpful. Generally, those books in dealing specifically with Aurum Solis and its teachings and practices are required, while those which were released under the “Practical Guide” label are helpful, but not necessary. Moving forward it will be assumed that you have all the required texts – if you are having difficulty locating a particular publication reach out, as others may be able to assist.
- Foundations of High Magick, The Magical Philosophy volume 1 – Denning & Phillips, Llewellyn pub.
- The Sword and the Serpent, The Magical Philosophy volume 2 – Denning & Phillips, Llewellyn pub.
- Mysteria Magica, the Magical Philosophy volume 3 – Denning & Phillips, Llewellyn pub.
- Planetary Magick – Denning & Phillips, Llewellyn pub.
- Magical States of Consciousness – Denning & Phillips, Llewellyn pub.
- Entrance to the Magical Qabalah – Denning & Phillips, Thoth pub.
- Aurum Solis: Initiation Ceremonies and Inner Magical Techniques – Osborne Phillips, Thoth pub.
- Practical Guide to Psychic Self-Defense – Denning & Phillips, Llewellyn pub.
- Practical Guide to Creative Visualization – Denning & Phillips, Llewellyn pub.
- Practical Guide to Psychic Powers – Denning & Phillips, Llewellyn pub.
- Practical Guide to Astral Projection – Denning & Phillips, Llewellyn pub.
- The Magick of the Tarot – Denning & Phillips, Llewellyn pub.
- Stella Gloriosa: The Authentic Heritage of the Ogdoadic Tradition: Being the Initiations and Psycho-spiritual Techniques of the Societas Lucis Viventis – Osborne Phillips, Independently Published
- The Holy Qabalah: Thaumaturgy and Enlightenment – Osborne Phillips, Independently Published
- The Ogdoadic Journal (Vol1. No. 1 – 5) – Ordo Astrum Sophia
Throughout this program you will find other reading material suggested, and they are just that – suggested. Someone else familiar with the topic has recommended that book as extremely helpful, and so we’re listing it. Most assuredly you will come across such books as well, and when you do, we hope that you will share that information.
“It is undeniably true that no process of initiation can impart to a person any power or faculty which they do not, at least in potential, already possess.” – D&P
Initiation serves three main purposes – in order of importance:
Empowerment – in esoteric initiatory bodies, the initiation is often designed to act upon the subtle bodies and energies of the initiate in such a way that they are subsequently changed and empowered for the work ahead. “…[This purpose is thus] to assist the candidate to realize by experience, in stages which reflect the natural evolution of the functions and faculties of the psyche, those inner powers whose due awakening and correct ordering result in the attainment of magical power, with the dynamic integration of all aspects of the personality.” – D&P
Education – frequently, initiatory secrets and even history lectures are used to convey special knowledge and a context for the initiation and its work while the candidate is in a heightened state.
Admission – the most mundane function of an initiation is to serve as an admission into an organization, or specific level within an organization.
With this in mind, Self-Initiation can, with effort, capably provide two out of those three objectives, and the two more important objectives at that.
This isn’t to say that objectives A and B aren’t made more logistically difficult when self-initiating, there is a wide gulf between “harder” and “impossible.”
Specifically within the context of the Aurum Solis, we know from the published history that in 1897 members of an esoteric-themed antiquarian society (the SRF) made the decision to begin operative work with their theoretical material and formed a new Order (the A.S.) as the vehicle for this pursuit.
Unlike their counterparts in the HOGD, they chose not to invent some grand back-story wherein the mystical “chain of initiation” was past to them, making them the “lawful chiefs.” There were no “Hidden Chiefs” purportedly guiding them – no, they acknowledged that it simply began with them.
From this we may infer that they composed their initiatory rites, and we have no knowledge that they, themselves, ever underwent them. No – rather, through their own mystical and magical endeavors they achieved points A and B.
I think then that we are not only in “safe waters” as it were with self-initiating into the Ogdoadic Tradition, but also in very good historical company.
It should (but will not) go without saying that object C, that of Admission is viable via this route of self-initiation, though only in part.
What do we mean by this? One may, we assert, clearly and demonstrably gain admission into the Ogdoadic Tradition via these methods. One may not, however, claim membership within a specific Initiatory body thereby. After a long and diligent study and practice of the material as laid-out within this program, one may – quite confidently – assert a degree of “Adept-ness” within the Ogdoadic Tradition. This does not make one an “Adept of the Aurum Solis.” This should be very clear to the self-initiating Adept. This, of course, does not lesson the quality of one’s attainment or understanding – it is simply a matter of logistical difference.
It may seem like unnecessary hair-splitting to assert that one is a “student and practitioner of the Ogdoadic Tradition utilizing the original teachings and praxis of the Aurum Solis” – but it is correct, and precise – and in our magical pursuits precision is important.