Thelemic Schools

Thelemic Schools Cover Thelemites are divided into two main spiritual schools or orders, the A...A... (Astrum Argentium, or Silver Star), and the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis, or Order of the Temple of the Orient) (there are at least two more Thelemic organizations authorized by Crowley, viz., the L.I.L. and the G.B.G., and a few that appeared posthumously, but the former are the main ones).

The A...A... is a temporal manifestation of the Great White Brotherhood, and not necessarily the only one, one of the three fundamental spiritual schools of humanity, the others being the Black School, associated mainly with Buddhism and Gnosticism, and the Yellow School, associated mainly with Taoism. In addition to the White, Black, and Yellow Schools, there is a fourth group called the Black Brotherhood, not to be confused with the Black School, whose adherents consist of high ranking adepts who, through fear and selfishness, failed to transcend the limitations of the human personality and hence 'fall back into" or 'remain in" the abyss, where they morally disintegrate. The Black Brothers are at odds with all true spiritual schools, and seek to dominate the human race, subjecting them for their own purposes. They are closely associated with the exoteric systems based on priest craft and rules, which almost completely reject the pursuit of personal spiritual experience in favour of a rule-based ethic of obedience, conformity, and vicarious salvation. The Black Brothers interfere with human history in pursuit of their own agenda, precipitating wars, chaos, and social strife, promoting authoritarianism, materialism, rationalism, industrialism, urbanism, scientism, and collectivism, and repressing all authentic spirituality in the pursuit of global domination and the subjection of the human race. The White School is also involved in human history, much more so than either the Black or Yellow Schools, which avoid worldly involvements. Many of the greatest historical spiritual teachers, as well as many artistic and scientific geniuses, have actually been Secret Chiefs of the Great White Brotherhood, who have entered into incarnation in order to help guide humanity towards the realization of the ultimate goal, the attainment of universal enlightenment. aleister crowley himself claimed to be a Secret Chief of the White School, and not a Black Brother, although in a moment of pique he described himself as a "black magician."

The A...A... is divided into ten grades, plus four intermediate grades (shown below in square brackets), divided into three orders, which altogether comprise a complete system of spiritual attainment, as follows (from highest to lowest):

The Order of the Silver Star (The S.S.)

Ipsissimus 10A° = 1?
Magus 9A° = 2?
Magister Templi 8A° = 3?
[The Link-Babe of the Abyss]
The Order of the Rose-Cross (The R.C.)

Adeptus Exemptus 7A° = 4?
Adeptus Major 6A° = 5?
Adeptus Minor (aewithout" and aewithin") 5A° = 6?
[The Link-Dominus Liminis]
The Order of the Golden Dawn (The G.D.)

Philosophus 4A° = 7?
Practicus 3A° = 8?
Zelator 2A° = 9?
Neophyte 1A° = 10?
[The Link-Probationer 0A° = 0?]

The ten main grades correspond to the Cabalistic Tree of Life, a diagram that represents the correspondence between macrocosm and microcosm, reality and consciousness.

As in the A...A..., the O.T.O. is divided into three sets of three grades, the three main grades being (from lowest to highest) the Man of Earth, Lover, and Hermit, based on the grades described in the Book of the Law. However, unlike the A...A..., these grades are ritually conferred in the style of Freemasonry and correspond to increasing degrees of intelligence not tied to actual magical or mystical tasks or attainments.

Books You Might Enjoy:

Thomas Moore - Candle Magick For Love
Simon - The Necronomicon Spellbook
John Yarker - Arcane Schools

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