Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Minutiae of the Seven Pillars of Recognition

Otherwise referred to as the "Seven Pillars" of Golden Dawn

Erected at Thuban Temple, #1 on the Registry of British Columbia, Canada.

These are the modes of recognition used by the Cancellarius of Thuban Temple in his correspondence duties when endeavoring to establish fraternal relations with any other Fraternal Bodies, Study Groups or Golden Dawn Outer Orders, and to promote reciprocal visitation between them.

These seven pillars are not overly detailed, most groups will immediately recognise themselves within these standards! However, basic though they may be, all seven of these pillars form a part of the mandatory requirements that Thuban Temple uses to establish fraternal relations with other Golden Dawn Orders. All seven must be present and compliant in the other Order before that body is even considered for fraternal recognition.

1. Use of and adherence to the Cipher Manuscript as a source derivation for the established ritual material.

Any variance from the Cipher Manuscript will not be recognised. However, unique enactments of the rituals, and changes which are within these sensible boundaries will be most especially tolerated, recognised and wholeheartedly promoted to the benefit of the entire Golden Dawn community of Orders.
No cognisance is taken of the origins of any Golden Dawn Order, whether their work is based solely on published material or secret internal documents. No consideration of lineage or origins will be undertaken by Thuban Temple in recognising magicians in our fraternity. Whether another Orders origins are modern and recently formed, older as in the latter half of the twentieth century, or supposedly ancient or even said to be somehow stemming in an initiatory manner from the Golden Dawn organisation of the late eighteen-hundreds, we are not interested or concerned with how your group came to be doing the work, we are only concerned that it is being done.

2. Complete memorization of the Outer Order Knowledge Lectures at each grade by the membership.

The content of which is set forth at a bare minimum by the published Outer Order documents of the Stella Matutina, as found in The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie, and currently published by Llewellyn. Also some working knowledge of exoteric astrology is expected by those with the grade of Portal, as it is well known the Stella Matutina lectures lack this astrological content in its published form. Most GD orders will easily meet this requirement, which is to be kept at this minimum. As there is no way of confirming the quality of work another order does, (other than through the initial correspondence with other Temple Chiefs, where some discussion of material and educational standards is near inevitable) nor would we ever wish to, therefore no effort will be made to micromanage another temple's affairs, or to test another member of another Golden Dawn Outer Order, as it is completely out of Thuban Temple's jurisdiction and desire to do so.

3. The Outer Order consisting of five grades, that are elemental in nature, namely Neophyte, Zelator, Theoricus, Practicus and Philosophus.

Which are in chronological order as follows: the 0 = 0 Grade of Neophyte Reception or Admission; the 1 = 10 Grade of Zelator or Initiaton; the 2 = 9 Grade of Theoricus; the 3 = 8 Grade of Practicus; and the 4 = 7 Grade of Philosophus.

4. The Inner Order consisting of four grades, which are frequently though not necessarily attributed to the three alchemical principles, namely Portal, Adeptus Minor, Adeptus Major, and Adeptus Exemptus.

Which are in chronological order as follows: The Grade of Portal, or Portal to Adeptus Minor; the 5 = 6 Grade of Adeptus Minor; the 6 = 5 Grade of Adeptus Major; and the 7 = 4 Grade of Adeptus Exemptus. Sub-Grades are not considered, as it is Inner Order material. If your temple or society is only working the Outer Order, it may also be recognised, without deference to this pillar as an impediment of any kind.

5. The Third Order Grades and the Secret Chiefs of the Order being referenced in the Order, however these Grades and Personages are considered. The third Order Grades are namely: Babe of the Abyss, Magister Templi, Magus, and Ipsissimus.

This reference is all that is required to be recognised by Thuban Temple, regardless of whether these Grades be physically constituted, conceived of, or left wholly unformed if they are not worked ceremonially, or if the Secret Chiefs who are said to dwell within the Supernal Triad or elsewhere, or if they are perceived as physical beings, symbols or esoteric ideals.

The Third Order Grades are in chronological order as follows: Babe of the Abyss, the 8 = 3 Grade of Magister Templi, the 9 = 2 Grade of Magus, and the 10 = 1 Grade of Ipsissimus. The nature of the Secret Chiefs have long been a point of difficulty and contention as well as a source of healthy, friendly and academic debate, and are therefore not under the jurisdiction of this document of these Seven Pillars.

6. Equality in admission and advancement of all worthy and qualified Fratres and Sorores regardless of race, gender or creed.

A complete lack of attention by Thuban Temple is given towards what another Order might consider a worthy individual, as may be outlined by each individual Order's traditions, tests of knowledge, bylaws or constitution. No Order which discriminates against the following will be recognised: race, genetic or perceived; gender as in male, female or otherwise; creed or belief in any capacity.

However, recognition will also not be given to any Order which receives for admission and initiates underage individuals (as determined by whatever the age of majority is in the laws of the country of that Order's domicile, or the age of 19, whatever is younger), nor will groups which follow a countries' laws which would tend to restrict or run contrary to the most absolute and literal understanding of the above Pillar. Such organisations will be considered to be erring and clandestine, and are not be recognised fraternally.

All Orders in fraternal harmony with Thuban Temple are expected to fulfill the spirit of a healthy society and liberty intended by the injunction of this Pillar first and foremost. This important pillar is not subject to the subjective and unique interpretation as are most of the others, and unlike them is not relegated to the sovereign jurisdiction of each respective Order. Once it has been deemed that this pillar has been broken, it will result in the temporary or permanent termination of any fraternal relation between Thuban Temple and the other Golden Dawn Outer Order, with no exceptions.

7. The adherence to and the respect of the traditional oaths of secrecy, however these may be interpreted and practiced.

This has always been a difficult oath to maintain, and today it continues to be an ongoing concern. The Oath of Secrecy is variously interpreted: as total silence regarding all involvement with the Order, literally invoking Levi`s fourth power of the Sphinx; it can be interpreted that the comments and discussion in uninitiated conversation be limited merely to only that which is already in print; or finally taken as merely discretion which reduces attention to themselves in our society which is by nature not all that accepting of the differences in others, especially the oft misunderstood philosophy of Occultists.

While this topic is recognised and encouraged for discussion between Orders, and while the author of these Seven Pillars contests that in the information age of Aquarius the backbone of secrecy is slowly fossilising into the limestone of respect for the mysteries, no attention is to be given by Thuban Temple to the jurisdiction or functioning of any other temple, and this Pillar, while a salient one, is left for those individual temples and Orders to govern themselves accordingly.

Silence is golden, and it is primarily left for the individual Magician to recognise the moments where the cup as the weapon of silence is the correct tool to be chosen over the flaming sword of the word.

In harmony, friendship and love, to the accomplishment of the great work.

VH Frater YShY,
Imperator of Thuban Temple


  1. Very though provoking points you have made Frater. I concur with them all. Personally I would add the following which is important im my Swedish Temple:

    Physical and traditional initiation. This makes any other form of "initiation", which doesn't require the candidate being present at a Temple and undergoing a ritual with a initiating team, irregular or clandestine.

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe

  2. I understand what you are getting at. We thought about taking an opinion on astral initiation, but have decided against it. It is a real bone on contention between the other Orders, and we don't see the issue being solved in promoting a for-or-against-it point of view. A live-and let-live attitude is our starting point.

    Having said that, all initiations that occur at Thuban Temple are physical, we do not offer astral. We are too busy to do any extra rituals for people who are not there, anyhow!

    As far as visiting goes, we don't foresee any astrally-initiated person come knocking on our door anytime soon. It makes sense that some Orders offer astral initiation because of travel problems. No one actually thinks it is the same as a temple initiation, I tend to look at it as "mail-order with a little kick". Some people just cannot travel 10 hours by plane or a week or two by car to go to a temple every month. The Europeans I have met really have no idea how big this continent is, it isn't that easy for some of us to cross the country. It would be like you going to Japan or Bejing for the Equinox and grade ceremonies every month!

    The doors of communication are open to any magician of whatever Order, or who is engaged in solitary pursuits, to contact us. We all need a little brotherly connection once in a while. We just figure that if an astral initiate can't travel to a temple for their own 0 = 0 I doubt they would seek us out, so I don't think there will be any conflicts. They still have to apply for a visit from their own Chief, and it really isn't any of our business how the other Orders solve their side of the equation as far as permission to visit goes anyhow. We do, however, encourage any such a person to take the next step if they can, and travel to a temple of their own Order, as a candidate, a member or as an officer, as only more good can come of it.


    (this is the original post, there was a confusing grammar mistake which I have fixed)