Service Celebrating the Feast of
the Initiation of the Prophet
Composed by T Polyphilus Ep. Gn. 2006 e.v.
First enacted at Scarlet Woman Lodge 2007 e.v.
Revised for celebration at Aum Ha Oasis 2008 e.v.
The following ceremony is intended for the purpose of commemorating the Initiation of the Prophet into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn at the Mark Mason Hall in London on November 18, 1898 e.v. It should be held on the anniversary of that date, ideally during the magical hour of BERON (ca. 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.). The ritual is not a cardinal sacrament of the Church, and thus no clergy status is required in order to preside at it. Its officers are designated as the INITIAND, PRESIDENT and MINISTER–representing the candidate, a composite of the principal Golden Dawn officers, and the recording angel set over the operation. The officers may wear simple white robes. The INITIAND is blindfolded with a black cord wrapped three times around him. The PRESIDENT wears on his breast the emblem of a cross of six squares upon a black disc. The MINISTER wears on his breast the Hexagram of Nature: red ascending triangle intertwined with blue descending triangle, or he may wear the robe of a Probationer of A∴A∴. Either or both the PRESIDENT and/or MINISTER may wear a nemyss.
The space for this ceremony differs from a Gnostic Mass temple as follows: the pillars are moved out of the shrine to the point where they would flank the altar of incense. That altar should itself be moved to the position usually occupied by the font. The font may be shifted to the north beyond the northern pillar, and a small table for incense may be set up in the south beyond the southern pillar. Atop the double-cube altar are the symbols of a white triangle and a red cross, with the cross on the east side, and the triangle pointing to it. Also, there are a rose, a burning candle, a cup of wine and a plate of bread and salt. The shrine should be open throughout, with a throne upon the dais, and the high altar and super-altar bare except for the Stele of Revealing with a single candle on either side of it.
The PRESIDENT sits in the throne upon the dais in the east. The INITIAND is in a preparation room (or tomb) in the west.
The MINISTER admits the congregation to the temple and stands to the east of the altar, facing west.
MINISTER: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. I proclaim the law of light, life, love and liberty in the name of PERDURABO.
ALL: Love is the law, love under will.
The MINISTER moves to the west.
PRESIDENT (this passage–Liber LXI, 7-10–may be read from a book): Some years ago a number of cipher manuscripts were discovered and deciphered by certain students. They attracted much attention, as they purported to derive from the Rosicrucians. You will readily understand that the genuineness of the claim matters no whit, such literature being judged by itself, not by its reputed sources.
Among the manuscripts was one which gave the address of a certain person in Germany, who is known to us as S.D.A. Those who discovered the ciphers wrote to S.D.A., and in accordance with the instructions received, an Order was founded which worked in a semi-secret manner.
After some time S.D.A. died: further requests for help were met with a prompt refusal from the colleagues of S.D.A. It was written by one of them that S.D.A.’s scheme had always been regarded with disapproval. But since the absolute rule of the adepts is never to interfere with the judgment of any other person whomsoever, how much more, then, one of themselves, and that one most highly revered! they had refrained from active opposition. The adept who wrote this added that the Order had already quite enough knowledge to enable it or its members to formulate a magical link with the adepts.
Shortly after this, one called S.R.M.D. announced that he had formulated such a link, and that himself and two others were to govern the Order. New and revised rituals were issued, and fresh knowledge poured out in streams.
The MINISTER advances to the altar, welcomes the attendees, and provides an exposition on the importance of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the life of the Prophet and the origins of Thelema.
All rise and give the step and sign of a Man and a Brother, the MINISTER leading.
ALL: I believe in one secret and ineffable LORD; and in one Star in the Company of Stars of whose fire we are created, and to which we shall return; and in one Father of Life, Mystery of Mystery, in His name CHAOS the sole viceregent of the Sun upon the Earth; and in one Air the nourisher of all that breathes.
And I believe in one Earth, the Mother of us all, and in one Womb wherein all men are begotten, and wherein they shall rest, Mystery of Mystery, in Her name BABALON.
And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET.
And I believe in one Gnostic and Catholic Church of Light, Life, Love and Liberty, the Word of whose Law is THELEMA.
And I believe in the communion of Saints.
And, forasmuch as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the Miracle of the Mass.
And I confess one Baptism of Wisdom whereby we accomplish the Miracle of Incarnation.
And I confess my life one, individual, and eternal that was, and is, and is to come.
AUMGN. AUMGN. AUMGN.
All face the Stele in the east.
MINISTER: Holy art Thou, Lord of the Universe! (makes Enterer sign)
Holy art Thou, Whom Nature hath not formed! (repeats sign)
Holy art Thou, the vast and mighty One! (repeats sign)
Lord of the light and of the darkness! (repeats sign)
Let us celebrate the commencement of All-Things under the simulacrum of No-Thing.
The PRESIDENT turns to the west, with the Sign of Silence.
PRESIDENT: Silence: I utter the Creative Breath,
The Word against the Son of Night,
The Truth of Life against the Lie of Death,
The Modes of measured Might,
The Wisdom of the twofold phrase,
The Root of Throbbing Energy-Delight
The Shaking of the Viewless Void of Space,
The Making manifest of Mother-Mass,
The Piercing of the Coils of Apophrasz,
The Breaking-forth of Light.
MINISTER admits INITIAND from the tomb in the west.
INITIAND: To-night I tread the unsubstantial way
That looms before me, as the thundering night
Falls on the ocean: I must stop, and pray
One little prayer, and then—what bitter fight
Flames at the end beyond the darkling goal?
These are my passions that my feet must tread;
This is my sword, the fervour of my soul;
This is my Will, the crown upon my head.
PRESIDENT: Child of Earth! Arise, and enter into the Path of Darkness!
INITIAND: For see! the darkness beckons: I have gone,
Before this terrible hour, towards the gloom,
Braved the wild dragon, called the tiger on
With whirling cries of pride, sought out the tomb
Where lurking vampires battened, and my steel
Has wrought its splendour through the gates of death
My courage did not falter: now I feel
My heart beat wave-wise, and my throat catch breath
As if I choked; some horror creeps between
The spirit of my will and its desire,
Some just reluctance to the Great Unseen
That coils its nameless terrors, and its dire
Fear around my heart. A devil cold as ice
Breathes somewhere, for I feel his shudder take
My veins: some deadlier asp or cockatrice
Slimes in my senses: I am half awake,
Half automatic, as I move along
Wrapped in a cloud of blackness deep as hell,
Hearing afar some half-forgotten song
As of disruption; yet strange glories dwell
Above my head, as if a sword of light,
Rayed of the very Dawn, would strike within
The limitations of this deadly night
That folds me for the sign of death and sin—-
PRESIDENT: Child of Earth! unpurified and unconsecrated! Thou canst not enter our Sacred Hall!
MINISTER sprinkles the INITIAND with water and censes him, as the PRESIDENT continues.
“Except a man be born of water and of the spirit: in no wise shall he enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
INITIAND (as the MINISTER conducts him slowly to the altar):
O Light! descend! My feet move vaguely on
In this amazing darkness, in the gloom
That I can touch with trembling sense. There shone
Once, in my misty memory, in the womb
Of some unformulated thought, the flame
And smoke of mighty pillars; yet my mind
Is clouded with the horror of this same
Path of the wise men: for my soul is blind
Yet: and the foemen I have never feared
I could not see (if such should cross the way)
And therefore I am strange: my soul is seared
With desolation of the blinding day
I have come out from: yes, that fearful light
Was not the Sun: my life has been the death,
This death may be the life: my spirit sight
Knows that at last, at least. My doubtful breath
Is breathing in a nobler air; I know,
I know it in my soul, despite of this,
The clinging darkness of the Long Ago,
Cruel as death, and closer than a kiss,
This horror of great darkness.
PRESIDENT: Child of Earth! wherefore hast thou come to request admission to this Order?
INITIAND: I am come
Into this darkness to attain the light:
To gain my voice I make myself as dumb:
That I may see I close my outer sight:
So, I am here.
PRESIDENT: Child of Earth! are you willing to take a great and solemn obligation, in the presence of this assembly, to keep inviolate the secrets and mysteries of our Order?
INITIAND: I am.
(MINISTER assists INITIAND to kneel with right hand upon the symbol on the altar, and left hand in that of the MINISTER. PRESIDENT advances to stand between the pillars.)
My brows are bent in prayer:
I kneel already in the Gates of Dawn;
And I am come, albeit unaware,
To the deep sanctuary: my hope is drawn
From wells profounder than the very sea.
Yea, I am come, where least I guessed it so,
Into the very presence of the Three
That Are beyond all Gods.
PRESIDENT: Child of Earth, do you persevere? Do you take the Oath?
INITIAND: I do, so help me THE LORD OF THE UNIVERSE and my own Higher Soul.
MINISTER leads all in making the Sign of Silence.
PRESIDENT: Arise, Child of Earth. Long hast thou dwelt in darkness. Quit the night, and seek the day.
MINISTER assists INITIAND to his feet, and removes hoodwink.
PRESIDENT: KHABS AM PEKHT.
ALL repeat: KHABS AM PEKHT.
PRESIDENT retires to throne. MINISTER brings INITIAND to the east of the altar.
INITIAND: And now I know
What spiritual Light is drawing me
Up to its stooping splendour. In my soul
I feel the Spring, the all-devouring Dawn,
Rush with my Rising. There, beyond the goal,
The Veil is rent! Yea, let the veil be drawn.
MINISTER brings INITIAND between the pillars, and again sprinkes and censes him, removes the cord, and leaves him there, proceeding to the West.
MINISTER: In the name of the LORD OF THE UNIVERSE, hear ye all, I proclaim that Aleister Crowley, who became the Prophet of Thelema, underwent his first initiation at the hands of the Order of the Golden Dawn in the Outer.
PRESIDENT (rises and moves to the altar): He who is found perfect before the Gods hath said:
These are the elements of my body, perfected through suffering, glorified through trial.
For the secret of the Dying Rose is as the repressed sigh of my suffering. (sniffs rose)
And the flame-red fire as the energy of my undaunted will. (passes hand over flame)
And the cup of wine is the outpouring of the Blood of my heart sacrificed unto
regeneration and the Newer Life. (sips wine)
And the Bread and the Salt are as the Foundations of my Body. (tastes bread and salt)
Which I destroy in order that they may be renewed.
For I am Osiris Triumphant, even Osiris Onnophris the Justified.
I am he who is clothed with the Body of Flesh:
Yet in whom is the Spirit of the Mighty Gods.
I am the Lord of Life triumphant over Death.
He who partaketh with me shall rise with me.
PRESIDENT stands in the west. MINISTER marshalls the people to partake of the four elements in turn. Then the INITIAND partakes, and finally the MINISTER, who inverts the cup after draining it.
MINISTER: It is accomplished.
MINISTER, PRESIDENT and INITIAND: KHABS AM PEKHT.
INITIAND stands before the throne in the east, and the MINISTER moves to stand at his right hand.
INITIAND: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
ALL: Love is the law, love under will.
PRESIDENT: The Lord bless you.
The Lord enlighten your minds, comfort your hearts, and sustain your bodies.
The Lord bring you to the accomplishment of your True Will, the Great Work, the Summum Bonum, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness.
MINISTER: Go forth forth with mirth and thanksgiving.
INITIAND: There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.
- Liber LXI
- “Hymn to Tahuti”
- The Temple of Solomon the King
- The Temple of the Holy Ghost
- Liber XV
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