Some notes on Probationers and Neophytes

Look at the letter Yod now, which occupies only one Sephira. Look at the second He, which also refers to one Sephira only. Look at their reflection in the first He. And now, finally, we are arriving at the most important part of our work. It is the sphere of Ruach, which occupies the widest field on the Tree of Life. It covers both the domain of Golden Dawn and the domain of Rosy Cross. Why is this Heh set aside, when the Ruach already gained the spatial dominance? Where and why the pursuit and desire for a new letter?

zena odoraWhat is the correct philosophical explanation of detachment and bounds between Malkuth and Ruach above? On the other hand, what is the practical explanation of it? Why are this realm and this plane so distant from the higher spheres, so much that we even doubt that they exist? Patient work in Argentum Astrum will practically elucidate this matter. Spheres of Probationer or Novice, as well as the rank of Neophyte, are reserved for this last letter. Actually, Neophyte is not part of the Order. He prepared for the journey, but the journey has not started yet. He must decide, either to go through the City of Pyramids or be lost in the Abyss forever. Therefore it is very difficult for Neophyte and perhaps dangerous to say that he may work with energies, since he is still tied to the Earth too much, but he is also aware of the higher spheres. It is this curse of Neophyte, that he is neither here nor there. His work, in particular way, can be the hardest one, and its consequences an Aspirant can feel long after he has achieved his full rank. It’s like if you want to take a rocket off the ground. The hardest is to overcome the gravitational pull in the beginning, most of power and energy is needed for a start. Further on, it is easier. Much easier. Much different. Marvellously different. I’ll just mention what Crowley said on this topic:

I believed then, and believe now, that the Probationer of A∴A∴ is nearly always offered the opportunity to betray the Order, just as the Neophyte is nearly always tempted by a woman”.

What a brilliant temptation of Binah.

Question: What is the difference between Probationer and Neophyte?

It is a very good and important question. What I can definitely tell about their difference is in awareness of their Oath. Probationer gives an Oath. He wants much more than he just wishes. Neophyte wishes more than he just wants. While working as a Neophyte, you mainly get across the things you do not need. Things which you will later, during your operation as Zelator, Practicus and Philosophus, either miss or repent. In fact, the life of Neophyte is the life of Adeptus Minor in miniature. You all know that marketing trick when a good movie is converted and transformed into a short series. It is the relationship between Neophyte and Adeptus Minor. It often happens, although it is unusual, that a Neophyte can have short Conversations or Knowledge with his Holy Guardian Angel. He may have the bliss of Tiphareth, very shortly. Briefly. Just a little. He may have figured out the Way, even the Goal, but he has neither the strength nor the energy nor certainty for that. That remains to glance while Zelator, or Practicus and Philosophus. Absolutely everything you need you got as a Neophyte. Now I will return to the last topic that was of interest for you. It is a topic about your diary. You never know where is mislaid your Knowledge and Conversation. Therefore it is important to write everything like a traffic policeman does. In only one of the randomly stopped vehicles could be found the smuggled goods that you are looking for. I ask from future Neophytes, present Neophytes, not to exaggerate as a Probationer and not to spend too much time as the Novitiate. Because you could remain stuck there forever. It’s like when you meet a nice looking girl at a party. Some days after you’re not remembering her appearance clearly, after a week you’re not sure which colour her hair was.

That was some thoughts about the last Sephira and the last letter of Tetragrammaton. It was not uncommon for many Neophytes, my good friends once, to break all the ties with the current and lineage, moved by testimonies and visions they encountered as Neophytes. It is not uncommon for Neophytes to think they are Adepti Minores. In fact, it is astounding to say that they actually are. However, the process in their minds will make a mess in their work and life. You will also notice the changes at the physical level and terms of their lives. Because you can easily overdrive on this issue and energy which Neophyte once gathered for his flight, it can begin to pressure him and store until physical destruction occurs. I personally suffered in my work quite a lot of seductions by neglecting the physical body. Probationers do not have this danger. Because they do not have much time for destroying the body – so much as a Neophyte has.

So in fact, the most important for Probationer is to endure time, while for Neophyte is essential to endure the pressure. Crowley’s motto Perdurabo (“I will endure to the end”) means exactly that, in its full and broadest sense. What is now important to note, if any Neophyte took the motto “I will endure to the end”, the end is not in Kether as the Crown. That end is laid in Tiphereth. The Neophyte is affected by large bodies laden before him: first of all, there is Binah as Saturn and of course Jupiter as the heavens of Chesed. Imagine what would happen to our world without Jupiter? Life on it probably would not exist. Our life on Earth is conditioned by the existence of Jupiter. He is responsible for deflecting asteroid stones that could hit our world. And as a development of our biological life is caused by Jupiter, so the development of our spiritual nature is inconceivable without Saturn. The phenomenon of Abyss is a requirement and necessity for both directions.

What is dangerous for Neophyte? When he leaves the Earth and therefore rest without another protector – its atmosphere, the Neophyte is neither here nor there. He becomes an alien for both worlds. So the formula of Tetragrammaton is a beautiful tale of our growth and climb upon the Tree of Life. It is a fairy tale for grown-up children. Tetragrammaton as Jehovah is referred to as a forgotten name. But how can it be forgotten if we call it Jehovah? How can we argue about the Last Supper, when we are not certain if it was breakfast? In Qabalistic cosmogony, the highest archangel of God that resides next to him is Archangel Metatron. It is still very difficult to state and explain clearly what indeed Metatron is. For us who work practically, Metatron is a carrier of God’s word – because no one can hear God and stay alive. Metatron works for us what Jupiter does to planet Earth. He gives us exactly the amount of experience we need. Neither more nor less. Actually, he is not the one who gives anything. It is he who transmits it to us. So when we put our personal imprint on Tetragrammaton, we get the formula of Yeheshuah, which has 5 elements. Do not misunderstand it. The fifth element is called the fifth, but it is not actually an element. Its nature is elemental, and like when you are acting, you just take the role of another, imitating him.

Now I want to mention the division of the spirit on active and passive one. The one is followed by two. From these two ensues four. So if letter Shin expresses itself through either the Son or the Father, the manifestation of Spirit becomes active. If you assign it to the Mother or Daughter, then you will get passive Spirit.

Now I want to refer to the theory of weapons, which is very important for the Golden Dawn. Four Sephiroth that occupy the Golden Dawn are related to the four elemental or primary weapons, which in their order are used by Neophyte, Zelator, Practicus and Philosophus. Or at least they should be. We will have the opportunity to discuss Dominus Liminis later – in that realm, we can find perhaps the most interesting level of Attainment, although it is not a Grade in itself. Duration of Dominus Liminis is either too short to discuss it while it lasts, or too long to remain objective. In fact, this is the Adeptus Minor who has awakened after a long sleep and he needs some time to adapt to a new dawn arising before him. Dominus Liminis is that time. Letter Shin is not elemental in the usual meaning of that term, just as the lamp of the Adept is not elemental either. In terms of weapons, you cannot attack nor defend anything with the lamp of an Adept. However, the Light of Truth is the most painful and destructive cause in human life.

Neophyte has a desire to remain in the world forever. It is the influence of Binah and withdrawal from the Path is the most usual during the Neophyte’s time. Therefore I ask all Neophytes not to take dramatic and drastic steps, regardless of how much they seem to be correct. Let them do only what they have in their program; there will be time for quitting. And for the end, abandon all hope. As you can recall, I said that Probationer has time to endure. Neophyte must endure the pressure and hope is not an appropriate weapon, I believe.

The weapon which is related to Neophyte is Pentacle. Like all weapons in our Great Brotherhood, we learn that we must make them all, until the moment when the Aspirant is certain how to use them in accordance with Nature. Pentacle, Sword, Cup and Wand are not only ceremonial and material objects. They are aspects of both the Body and Mind. It is the highest imperative for us to distinguish their aspects from their parts.

In our Order, there are some Lineages that do not attach much importance on ceremonial aspect of weapons. Personally, I built all the elemental weapons, but curiously I never used them in any important Attainment. On the other hand, I have developed and built others on the astral plane, that fit me more. I’ve always approached the Art of Magick with the eyes of Thelema. In that way, one of my eyes is always open and one is always closed. Therefore, my dreams always walk with my reality at the same time. So, regarding Pentacle, I understand it as my own body. When I made the Sword, I upgraded the model of my own opinion and thinking. When I finished the Cup, I brought it in line with my emotion – which was quite dramatic in my life. Finally, when I built the Wand, I became fully aware of my own sexuality. It was that flame inside of Prometheus Wand, stolen from the Gods and scattered throughout the world by fire. Think of this allegory. Also in this Grade, the Aspirant begins to work with sexual Magick. In sexual Magic, Aspirant channels and uses enormous energy; this might be even fatal for a Neophyte who was already burdened with Binah, or for Practicus who had his first deflection from the Middle Pillar. We talked earlier about the Neophyte blockades, and sexual energy here could bring about incalculable consequences. That is why working with this matter is left for Philosophus. Is it correct, I do not know. But I must hold some logic in what I said, only until we find a specific and different case. And we all are a little bit of this. We shall return to this issue during the next day.

With these four weapons, whether ceremonial objects or subtle ideas, an Aspirant moves to find his place under the sun. This place which is under the sun is in fact below Tiphareth – and that is the land of Golden Dawn. Only Dominus Liminis can use all weapons with full success. Maybe I can say that an Adept does not use weapons at all. As well as Babe of the Abyss does not possess Robe. He wrestles like Jacob with the Angel, as we see that from our perspective. Or he just might hug him, from the point of Angel’s perspective. Each grade is specialized for only one weapon. It’s like a doctor specialist. Dominus Liminis, on the other hand, is a general practitioner doctor.

Frater Aureus 273∴

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