Rising Star – Introducing a New Form of Magickal Order
“Magick is the art and science of willfully unfolding the soul”
Note:This was discussed on Jason Mankey's Raise the Horns radio show.
Please note: This document, while intended for all, is best understood by those with experience in the Western Magickal Tradition and Golden Dawn style lodges. Other foundational documents, express these ideas differently for those without this experience. Questions are always welcomed.
Currently, the Western Magickal Tradition (WMT) has wonderful orders for seekers of all faiths or no faith. Various orders and lodges welcome Pagans, Christians, Jewish folks and the undecided. Some groups accept them all! This rich tradition opens the doors of the mysteries to all with the desire, drive and perseverance necessary to solve their personal spiritual mysteries and become workers of magick. Given the right group leadership and intelligent persistent students, these systems work.
One of the major problems with these systems is that they mirror a cultural problem of the societies in which they were born and operate. Most of them require a deconstruction process as they assume, like the Biblical fall of man myth, that the human is defective from the start or has obtained so much dross that the only way out is a soul-rending initiation of deconstruction. This creates problems.
First, the deconstruction process can be so painful that it turns people away from any form of spiritual effort. Secondly, it fosters low self-worth among the lower grades of the system. How can any person, feeling that they are defective and without hope of internal redemption, possibly feel good about themselves and their chances for spiritual growth, much less wielding the power of the universe as magicians? Thirdly, it sets up a situation in which those members that have done more of the purifying work as ‘better’ than those in the lower ranks. This usually unspoken dynamic can lead to both the abuse of authority, rampant egotism and the willful surrender of the students’ personal sovereignty.
Rising Star operates from a different perspective. The fall of man mythos is discarded. In its place we follow the creative process of the universe as taught by the Holy Qabala. Humankind is seen as living within and fully participating in the process of self-creation. This eliminates the deconstruction process and replaces it with one of construction. Those things that must fall away will do so of their own accord and more peacefully. This also places all of us on an even playing ground. We are all unfolding into our higher and best natures. We are all simply spiritual explorers using the map of the Qabala as our guide and the techniques of ceremonial magick as our tools.
We do not hold to the perspective that a person is not ready for what we offer. There are no tests of membership as there is no membership. The participant can stop the process at any time. Participation in the outer order is only regulated by the time the Teacher/Instructor (TI) has to offer to perform the initiations.
The Outer Order
The purpose of the outer order is to expose people to the creative processes of their immortal souls. There is no need to have an interest in the qabala to participate in the outer order. The only magickal experiences take place in the initiations and how the person assimilates the lessons.
The outer order is initiation by demand. There are four outer order initiations that follow the pattern of creation of the Qabalistic Four Worlds. The first initiation (bordering on Atziluth) gives people a glimpse into the Abyss and they come away with a greater understanding of what the immortal soul is trying to create in this incarnation. The second (Briah) introduces the participant to their magickal child, the embodiment of their creative innocence. The third (Yetzirah) reveals their creative strength and the last how the process is manifesting (Assiah).
The outer order only provides rudimentary outlines of what a student is exposed to in the initiations and how they may go about learning the lessons they may subjectively encounter.
Unlike some orders that have special robes with badges and symbols of rank. Rising Star has nothing analogous. In fact, in two of the outer order initiations the aspirant is skyclad (nude). In order to be exposed to the spirit of the first initiation, all that we think we are has to be left behind. As part of embodying that attitude, we leave behind not only our mental and emotional programming and our attitudes but our costumes as well.
In the second initiation, the participants choose costumes that they feel represents themselves and the creative spirit of their souls as learned in the first initiation.
The old philosophy still followed by most orders today is that new students cannot leave enough of themselves behind to gain insight from higher level initiation. This is demonstrably false. It is true that a new person is unlikely to fully experience the creative processes of their soul but it is false to assume no benefit can be obtained. Each student is fully capable in some way and will derive what they need from the rite.
The outer order process will take at least a year to complete. There is no requirement to move to the inner order. If aspirants continue through the fourth initiation, they can stop, repeat the cycle or request admission into the inner order.
There are several unique aspects of the system that apply to both the inner and outer orders:
There are no oaths taken. Instead, the student makes a statement of intent to learn the lessons of the particular initiation. The inner order adds an oathbound provision that students will not initiate others until they earn 5=6 (adept) admission.
The initiation ritual is performed by only one person. This eliminates the need for many ritual officers and the corresponding difficulty of scheduling initiation dates.
A person can do all the work of both inner and outer orders and never meet another member besides their TI. Certain group classes may be offered in the inner order but there is no requirement to attend. This eliminates the group dynamic where one person’s lessons conflict with another person’s within the context of the group.
The Inner Order
The purpose of the inner order is to provide an initiatory environment that teaches magickal work from a theurigical (spiritual development) perspective, trains magicians and creates new initiators. The latter allows for the process to continue for others. The grade material takes one step-by-step through the qabala needed to succeed, as well as magickal instruction.
Inner order admission is not by demand but by mutual acceptance. The aspirant and TI must be compatible as the work on the inner order is voluminous and at times personal. This is a teaching magickal order that places great emphasis on ritually rising through the planes as the primary spiritual and magickal technique. Here, the initiatory pattern works up the Tree of Life in the traditional fashion.
Within the order magickal experience is emphasized over intellectual knowledge. For instance, in the 1=10 grade over fifty acts of magick must be performed and documented before the student can request testing. There are many people capable of handling the intellectual work of other orders but many never have the nerve to actually do the magickal and theurgical work necessary for spiritual development. This system washes those folks out quickly.
An oath is taken within the inner order once one enters the 3=8 initiation hall. The oath binds both the aspirant and the TI to a timely completion of the work of the grade and the next three. In short, once someone moves off the middle pillar their initiatory path back to the middle pillar is guaranteed. This removes the possibility of an interpersonal conflict resulting in someone left off the middle pillar for long periods of time. That can turn into a type of spiritual torture and power play that should be impossible to impose within this system. The same type of oath is required should a student want to advance beyond the 5=6 and take the 6=5. A full cycle must take place to bring them back to the middle pillar.
The inner order has a unique feature to the WMT. After being initiated into the 5=6 it is the obligation of the student to reinitiate the TI into the four outer grades of the order. This ensures the TIs spend the time and make the necessary efforts to create competent magicians/initiators. It also reinforces the idea that the unfolding of the soul is continual; The cycle always repeats. Finally, it insures that an initiator has experience in doing so before they initiate a new comer.