“Never before have the inner pathways of this Journey been so finely mapped, nor the Way so clearly marked. To you, dear children of the Light, do we deliver freely what has been given to us. May the Way be opened for all who would walk it, proudly, joyously, serenely — with strength, wisdom, love, and the LIGHT which informs them with Beauty.” — from Chapter 11 of the Mystical & Magical System of the A.·.A.·.
By the name “A.·.A.·.” we designate that One and Eternal Order that Paul Foster Case and Kenneth Mackenzie called the “True and Invisible Order,” and Karl von Eckartshausen titled the “Interior Church” or “community of light.”
Existing throughout history, silently guiding humanity’s cultural and spiritual evolution, it is the Holy of Holies wherein that Sacred Ark rests inviolate. Every legitimate magical order, mystery school, fraternity, or religion disseminating some portion of Wisdom has been an Outer Vehicle of this Inner Fellowship of Light.
There is THAT within each of us, immortal and infinitely creative, which truly gives us birth. Something in us knows, instinctively, that we must (each in our own ripe time) seek this, embrace this, and surrender to this as we would to the most overpowering and fulfilling love. And then we must give it expression in our lives and our work, pouring forth the very essence of ourselves into that which we love most. It is this inner Truth-of-Self – this True Will, or central, guiding spiritual principle of our lives – that the mystical and magical system of the A.·.A.·. unveils and awakens from within each of us.
Aleister Crowley summarized the nature and purposes of the A.·.A.·. as follows:
In all systems of religion is to be found a system of Initiation, which may be defined as the process by which a [person] comes to learn that unknown Crown. Though none can communicate either the knowledge or the power to achieve this, which we may call the Great Work, it is yet possible for initiates to guide others.
This book describes the methods of the A.·.A.·., step-by-step, in each of its grades from Probationer (0=0) through Exempt Adept (7=4). Often called, by its readers, “a user’s guide to THE EQUINOX,” it provides comprehensive description of a course of study that allows you to employ effectively the methods of Scientific Illuminism. Never before have the pathways of the Inner Journey been so finely mapped, nor the Way so clearly marked!
About the Author
JAMES A. ESHELMAN has been a writer and teacher of occult and metaphysical subjects for over 35 years, originally in the field of astrology and then in magick, mysticism, Qabalah, tarot, occult psychology, and related Hermetic subjects as well. He was admitted to the A.·.A.·. as a Probationer in 1979, and to full initiation as a Neophyte in 1981. During thirteen years of membership in Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), he served in numerous capacities, including Deputy Grand Master General. He resigned from O.T.O. in 1992 to devote his full energies to other responsibilities. He accepted ordination in the Gnostic Catholic Church (Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica) in 1979, publicly celebrated the Mass for eleven years, and was consecrated a bishop in the Vilatte succession in 1985. Mr. Eshelman is presently Chancellor and a faculty member of the College of Thelema, from which he earned a Master of Arts degree in Skeptical Theurgy in 1992. He was also Editor of, and a regular contributor to, the college’s biannual journal, Black Pearl during it’s six year run 1997-2002.
He serves as a Grand Chief of the Temple of Thelema, which he co-founded in 1987 with Anna-Kria King and Phyllis Seckler. He is a former Grand Chief of Fraternitas L.V.X. Occulta (Fraternity of the Hidden Light). He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his cat, Ares.