Saturday, January 16, 2010

Honourifics and Titles in the Modes of Address

The following is an excerpt from a Thuban document on titles in written communication between Order members.


Carete Fratres and Sorores of Thuban Temple,

Upon the continued growth of our Order and the flurry of correspondence such expansion regularly entails, it was thought that some definitive paper about the common modes of address used would be helpful for the newer members to be come accustomed to our curious honourifics and titles. There was a set of notes on this subject that was circulated in the late 1800's, but it was thought that something more definitive would be more useful.

In writing letters, emails and interacting in the temple, there are various special, traditional modes of address in the Outer Order, and they are as follows:

Female members are called Soror in the singular form, and sorores in the plural. Male members are called Frater in the singular, and though it is commonly fraters for plural, it is more correctly fratres. The abbreviations are Fra and Sor in the oldest of Golden Dawn documents, but Fr and Sr were also used. These may also read: Fra.'. or Fra. and Sor.'. or Sor. The significance of these abbreviations are of course to be sought in their Gematria.

The three dots are the mathematical symbol for the term 'therefore' which is used in masonry and the fringe masonry of the Golden Dawn to suggest an obvious abbreviation that the reader should already know the word being referred to, such as in a title of a ritual, a script or a secret word that is known to all initiates. For example, G.'.D.'. clearly means Golden Dawn.

When abbreviating mottoes, periods may replace the symbol of therefore if it would be cumbersome, they may be left out entirely, or just the first initial may be used. For example, VH Frater Yechidah Shemesh Yetzirah could be a series of different abbreviations: VH Frater Yod Shin Yod; VH Frater Y.'.Sh.'.Y.'. is correct, but would often prove to be too long; VH Frater Y.Sh.Y.; VH Frater YShY; VH Frater Y; or in a less formal setting, Frater Y or even just 'Y'.

In another example, it is sometimes easier to just use the first name of a motto, so Frater Verbum Caro Factum Est could be Frater V or Frater Verbum, but more commonly in person he has just been referred to as Verbum.

The Order is commonly known as a co-ed fraternity. It would not be incorrect to call it co-ed sorority. Neither are strictly correct, and co-ed society is the term originally used by the Order.

In writing a letter or email, the header should be one of the following:

Care Frater, for singular or Care Fratres, for plural.
Cara Soror, for singular or Cara Sorores, for plural.
Cari Fratres and Sorores or Cari Sorores and Fratres, either order is correct, and both are plural. However, Carete is the most common plural form.

In personal letters between members, a quote in the footer before the signature is encouraged to be selected as something unique to the magical understanding and experiences of the individual. In letters of an official nature that are directed to Golden Dawn members of any of the other Orders at large, the Mystic Address in the footer may be something like “Khabs Am Pekht, Konx Om Pax, Light In Extension” simply “Khabs Am Pekht” or even “Light In Extension.”

This or something like it from the Neophyte ritual is a very suitable address. Another example would be “Peradventure thus, shall I obtain the light.” or “The sun hath arisen, and...the light shineth in the darkness.”


No Second Order symbolism should ever be used in any Outer Order letter or correspondence, no matter what the fancy, insight, or grade of the magicians in question. These unmentionable addresses are used only in the official correspondence with those those magicians whom one is intimately certain are initiates of the Inner Order. Usage of Second Order symbolism shall be completely shunned by our Regularly Received and Initiated membership, and politely ignored it ever be utilised by another magician of whom one is certain has not received such an Initiation. Order symbolism that is popularly used in such a fashion is often of such a nature that it is correctly a mode of recognition of the grades both physically and astrally. As such, it is not entered into here.

Neophytes, Zelatori, Theorici, and Practici are all simply frater or soror as above. Philosophi are styled Honoured Frater or Soror. This is more commonly H Frater, H Soror, H Fr, H Sr or in the oldest documents of our Order still extant H Fra. and H Sor.

Members who are of the grade of Adeptus Minor and above, and any member who is installed or are acting as Hierophant are styled Very Honored Frater of Soror. Meanwhile, the crossed sashes of Portal is the highest grade revealed in the Outer Order, regardless of the true grade of the member. This is for reasons of humility, in an attempt to create equality between the Inner and Outer Order members by treating the two societies as the separate bodies that they truly are. Furthermore, the true work in the so-called higher grades is to perpetuate harmony and balance in the world, and are in service to the functioning of the Outer Order, especially in its government.

The final honorific that is useful in the Outer Order that is revealed in this introductory paper on the subject is that of the Greatly Honoured Chiefs of the Second Order, who are all of the Grade of Adeptus Exemptus. This honorific is not used in an official capacity by Outer Order members writing or exchanging letters, for the Chief Adept of the Second or Inner Order is not available in any official position to the Outer Order, which is ruled entirely by the Imperator. However, the GH Chiefs or the Chief Adept may elect to sign documents in this capacity, such as: issuing Warrants to operate temples; make important declarations; or publish useful internal instructional papers for the Outer Order of Golden Dawn, such as this one.

Khabs Am Pekht
Konx Om Pax
Light In Extension


  1. Ave VH Fra YShY

    Thanks for posting this-you would be amazed at how difficult it is to find information about the Honorifics on the internet. This will help those of us who are not part of an Order formally. Well done, and Thanks!

    In LVX,


  2. Thank you for your interest.

    I guess we all run into the same concerns as we work. Most of my papers start with me looking for the answer because I have a question, and then after years of research, I publish a paper on it.