ORDO ASTRUM SOPHIÆ & THE OGDOADIC TRADITION
Embark on an insightful exploration of the Ogdoadic Tradition, a Hermetic path tracing back to the arcane wisdom of Hermes Trismegistus, enriched by a tapestry of ancient mystical traditions.
So what is the Ogdoadic Tradition? It is Hermetic, embracing the archetype of and literature attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. The Hermetica is the root source of inspiration and magic in the Ogdoadic Tradition. It is distinct from its Rosicrucian and Thelemic counterparts because of its unique symbolism, its initiatory structure, the emphasis on the number eight, and the principal of Regeneration. To understand the Ogdoadic Tradition it is important to understand the various elements that contributed to its makeup, for it draws upon many traditions and historical influences including Egyptian magic, Greek philosophy, the Mystery religions, Gnosticism, Neo-Platonism, Alchemy, the Qabalah, and Hermetic literature. The principal, archetypal symbols of the Ogdoadic Tradition, appear in cultures throughout the world. One of the Tradition’s key symbols is the House of Sacrifice. You need to look no further than the Holy of Holies at Edfu (perhaps the oldest intact remnant of the House of Sacrifice) or the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome to see the ancient and unmistakable design of this House. You can also see the design in certain Mithraic artifacts: these clearly show three steps leading up to the House, wherein dwells a Mithraic youth holding the orb of sovereignty, the Sun. The triangular superstructure above contains symbols of power and initiation, evidencing divine presence within the holy dwelling. The Star of Regeneration, also a central symbol of our Tradition, has held a prime place in art as disparate as Islam, the Greek Mediterranean, and Christian iconography. Likewise, the Tessera, used in both the Astrum Sophiæ and the Aurum Solis as a symbol of the Great Work, graces many sites of antiquity, including the Orpheus pavement at Gloucestershire, England.
The Ogdoadic Tradition is a modern term referring to a system of ritual magick which draws its influences from several sources: Neo-platonic theurgy, Alexandrian Hermeticism, transcendent Gnosticism, medieval alchemy, Hermetic Qabalah, and the great mythic schemata of pagan regeneration are woven together into a consistent and coherent system of magical and mystical practice which is not tied to any one belief-system. Even in its use of Qabalah, the Ogdoadic Tradition is not confined to the trappings of Rabbinic Judaism or Abrahamic deities; rather this Qabalah has been stripped to its essential framework and integrated by modern adepts using Ancient Greek as its “sacred” language.
The Ogdoadic Tradition is the Path of the Sacred Sovereign. Its keywords are Knowledge and Regeneration. Knowledge of the Self as represented by the Fivefold House of Sacrifice, culminating in true Gnosis: Divine Knowledge through the knowledge of the Divine in humanity. Those who strive to this Gnosis and who peradventure attain it are Regenerated: reborn. Their “House” becomes irradiated with the Light of the Eightfold Star – the endless interlace showing forth the eternal bond of Matter and Spirit – and they are born as Adepts. So, too, do we find this Path of the Alchemy of the Soul preserved in the myths of Osiris, Tammuz, Dionysus, and countless others. Nor could these solar deities have been reborn without the aid of the Great Mothers – of Isis and Ishtar, Rhea, and Mara – and so the Sacred Feminine is also accorded its rightful dignity and importance within the Ogdoadic Tradition.
This specific system of magick first crystallized in a magical order known as the Aurum Solis (“Gold of the Sun”) in London in 1897 by George Stanton and Charles Kingold. Surviving a schism in the 1950s, that order published a series of books outlining its teachings and practices called The Magical Philosophy in the 1970s. Its authors, known by their pen-names Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips, would also become the leaders of that order. They became heavily involved in the very early days of Llewellyn Publications and the “Gnostica” movement, relocating from the U.K. to Minnesota and writing many other books on magical techniques. After Melita Denning’s death in 1997, the Aurum Solis underwent another schism with supporters in favor of a more philosophical focus on Neoplatonism, retaining the name of Aurum Solis.
The remaining US members formed the Ordo Astrum Sophiæ (“Order of the Star of Wisdom”) in 2002 under the leadership of William Stoltz, the previous Grand Master of the Order who was initiated by Denning and Phillips in 1984.
The governing body of the Astrum Sophiæ is the Collegium Cathedrarum, or College of Thrones. This triad is composed of the Grand Master, the Prior and the Administrator-General. These officers are servants of the Order and work for and on behalf of the spiritual ideals of the Order and its Companions. They operate as members of the Grand Commandery.
Affiliated bodies within the Astrum Sophiæ include Commanderies and Citadels. A Commandery has the autonomy to administer its own affairs, select its own members, elect officers, establish Citadels and set its own curriculum, although it must operate within the principles of the Astrum Sophiæ and the Ogdoadic Tradition. It is empowered to transmit the first two grades of the Order; initiation to the Third Hall requires permission from the College of Thrones. The College of Thrones must have a current list of all members and their grades and will, as much as possible, maintain communication with all members.
The Master of a Commandery must have attained to the Third Hall, that is, must be a member of the Inner Order, the Stella Gloriosa. As well as a Master, every Commandery should have (whenever possible) a Preceptor and an Administrator, thus being governed by a triad corresponding to the College of Thrones. A Commandery requires its own Temenos in order to perform initiations.
A Citadel is a working group established by a Commandery, operating under the authority of that Commandery and its Master. Members of a Citadel are also members of the sponsoring Commandery. A Citadel must have at least one First Hall initiate. It is not authorized to perform initiations or to have a consecrated Temenos. It is, however, encouraged and supported in the process of attracting new members, meeting as a group, and working towards becoming a Commandery. A Citadel must have permission of the College of Thrones before becoming a Commandery.
The term “House” refers to the initiatory structure and function of an Astrum Sophiæ group. Every Commandery is also a House, because it has authorization to consecrate a Temenos and perform initiations. On occasion, the College of Thrones will give a Citadel the status of a House, although it remains under the direction of the Grand Commandery.
Ordo Astrum Sophiæ also has a consultative governing body, called the Star Council. All Masters of Commanderies and Third Hall initiates are members of the Star Council.
Before becoming a member and receiving the Rite of Induction, every applicant shall pass through a probationary period: admission to this probationary period, as well as its duration and occupation, shall be at the discretion of the Master of the Commandery. The Order has three operative foundation grades:
The Rite of Induction admits the candidate to the First Hall of the Order and is freely bestowed as a spiritual gift which does not bind the candidate to involvement in the corporate life of the Order. If the initiate continues their studies and practices, they may receive the Rite of Integration and enter the Second Hall, becoming more deeply involved in their studies and the activities of the Order. The third initiation is known as the Rite of Elevation, properly called Palingenesis, and represents the entry into the Third Hall and the beginning of the role of Adeptus Minor. Beyond this is a further stage, Adeptus Plenus, which does not so much comprise another level as represent the completion and perfection of the Third Hall mysteries; as such, it is said to be “non-transmissible” and can only be attained by individual effort and realization. Additionally, Astrum Sophiæ retains two Mystical degrees beyond that of Adeptus Plenus.
The Astrum Sophiæ today is a small and private, though international fully contacted, non-commercial initiatory Order dedicated to continuing and fostering the Ogdoadic Tradition of the Western Mysteries. The Order’s mission is to provide a stable vehicle for the advancement of its members in an ambience of living Alchemy and an unwavering devotion to raise its initiates to true Adepthood within the regenerative mysteries of the Ogdoadic Tradition. The Order is also dedicated to the ideal of fraternal cooperation, both within its own body of initiates and in its relations with other Orders within the Western Mystery Tradition.
Your Journey Begins Here
What if it was all true?
Burdened and blessed, you are the shore between land and sea, the horizon between night and day. Others may wander blindly through their lives, adrift on the seas of fate. But part of you has always known your path, always believed there is reason and purpose and a secret order infusing your existence.
You are right.
This is the culmination of years of work and dedication, and here it is: the beginning of everything that is to come. You are moments from knowing what you have begged to know.
What if magic was real, and there was a time when you could have joined your hidden colleagues and learned to practice arcane arts with other believers?
What if you still could?
That longing you have for something else – your belief that there is something more, something bigger than just this world – there’s a reason for it.
You’ve been called.
Answer the Call
If you’re ready, the Las Vegas Citadel of the Golden Sun is your gateway to a grand unfolding story that can’t be told without you. We’ve provided everything you need to prepare for your journey, to connect with others who have already begun, and to take your place in the lineage of the Ogdoadic Tradition. All you have to do is answer the call.
Reach out to the Las Vegas Citadel to explore membership opportunities and immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the Ogdoadic Tradition.
For further information, and to contact the Order, please visit:
And for information on the Las Vegas local body, please visit the Citadel of the Golden Sun at: https://oas-goldensun.org
The Astrum Sophiæ is a haven for those seeking to delve deeper into the Ogdoadic Tradition. The Las Vegas Citadel of the Golden Sun opens its doors to inquisitive minds.