Problems with Liber O Curriculum?

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Problems with Liber O Curriculum?

Postby jmiller » Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:25 am

The AA appears to have folk jump right into doing in the greater pentagram rituals and the lesser and greater hexagram rituals. Given that one seems to need to do all of these during the Probationary period, that gives a magician about a year of work to go from just starting the LBRP to working with the GRH. This seems awfully fast to me. However, I suppose most original Golden Dawn folk, including Crowley, would have done this at a similar rate, considering that many appear to have gone through one outer order initiation each month, which would quickly propel them into the Portal grade, where they would begin this work.

Personally, I can't imagine going through the grades that quickly. It seems like a wasted opportunity to really get into each of the grades. Then again, they didn't do any personal magic, besides the LBRP, back then, so I can easily imagine tha the outer order initiations had little lasting impact on them. So why not just skip through them?

Anyway... Not only does the AA curriculum seem to put people through the pentagram and hexagram rituals pretty quickly, but I hear others talk about them as something to jump right into. Recently, John Crow, in response to a listener's question, broadcast his recommendation to a few thousand listeners of hist Thelema Coast to Coast podcast to jump right into these rituals.

Crap, this message is getting long. Moving on...

I have treated these rituals this way in the past. Before even getting to the GRH, I got burned out. I felt like I suddenly had no more magical energy. I just shut down magically and stopped doing anything except an occasional LBRP or MP. A year or so after that, I heard someone else talk about the same thing happening. And I heard it again more recently. Has anyone else here had this experience?

So, getting to my point... This approach seems like a problem to me. Or maybe I went about it poorly. Perhaps one could do it more safely. Maybe, start with the LBRP and MP for a few months, then spend some time with GRP-Earth, then air, then water, then fire, awakening and strengthening each of the elements in turn. And then do the SRP. And I don't know what to do with the hexagram rituals.

After recovering from my burn out, I then started again, doing things very slowly. I still haven't worked with the GRP (except a simplified and less intense version) or any of the hexagram rituals, but I have experienced magical growth way beyond anything I experienced when trying to work with those more advanced rituals. And I still don't see using them for probably another 9 months, maybe even more.

Comments? Recommendations on how to work with these rituals? Your own experiences with them?
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Re: Problems with Liber O Curriculum?

Postby Heru » Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:39 pm

sasha wrote:I have treated these rituals this way in the past. Before even getting to the GRH, I got burned out. I felt like I suddenly had no more magical energy. I just shut down magically and stopped doing anything except an occasional LBRP or MP. A year or so after that, I heard someone else talk about the same thing happening. And I heard it again more recently. Has anyone else here had this experience?

I can totaly relate to what you are saying. I went through the same process of over loading myself too early with too many rituals. The end result was a complete shut down.

When I began ritual practices again I took it far more slowly. Just the LBRP, Middle Pillar, Resh. After several months of this I decided to expand my practice with the GRP. But I keep getting a feeling that I'm not ready for it just yet. My experiments with the GRP have left me feeling "odd". I know that's not a very clear description. :lol: I suppose the best way to describe it would be like the feeling you get after drinking way too much coffee in a short space of time. It's not a particularly unpleasent feeling, just a little "weird" for a while.

It would be helpful if someone with greater experince could provide a suggested rate of progression through the material in Liber O.
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Re: Problems with Liber O Curriculum?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:59 pm

sasha wrote:The AA appears to have folk jump right into doing in the greater pentagram rituals and the lesser and greater hexagram rituals. Given that one seems to need to do all of these during the Probationary period, that gives a magician about a year of work to go from just starting the LBRP to working with the GRH. This seems awfully fast to me. However, I suppose most original Golden Dawn folk, including Crowley, would have done this at a similar rate, considering that many appear to have gone through one outer order initiation each month, which would quickly propel them into the Portal grade, where they would begin this work.

Functionally, think of the establishment of the A.'.A.'. system in the following way. (I'm not necessarily endorsing the point of view, I'm respecting and articulating it.) --

The First Order of the old G.D. was unnecessary. The actual work began with the Zelator Adeptus Minor initiation. Therefore, drop the First Order entirely. However, the two initiations (Neophyte 0=0 and Zelator Adeptus Minor 5=6) are of great value, so keep them. Start the new form of the Order (at 1=10, Malkuth) at the same point in the work as the Zelator Adeptus Minor (Malkuth part of 5=6), and start it with the first initiation, i.e., let the Neophyte formula apply to 1=10 (Sphere of the Elements), now called Neophyte; and the Zelator A.M. formula for 2=9 (beginning the planetary sequence), now called Zelator. Having gotten it going that way, put a 0=0 in place that specifically gives pretty much the entirety of the 10 through 4=7 material in the aspirant's hands and says "Get to know this before you seriously start - you're on probationQ"

BTW, the Probationer doesn't have to master Liber O, just be familiar with it. The actual tests in it occur in 1=10, which is quite specifically doing work at the level of 5=6 in the old form of the Order.

Switching to personal opinion...

I delight that the founders of the A.'.A.'. made all the material available, and gave people who were ready the chance to jump right in.

I think that they grossly over-estimated the average person - thought everyone would have the same kind of "drop everything, this is all that matters in every waking hour of my life" orientation as they, therefore the system would, in most cases, fail. Crowley discovered this within a few short years and put a Student phase before Probationer. In a sense, he then spent the rest of his life toying with one or another way to get most people ready to be Probationer.

We have a few such "onramp" avenues of our own - being very liberaly with everything pre-Probationer, and sticking to the formal system from Probationer on.
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Re: Problems with Liber O Curriculum?

Postby jmiller » Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:53 am

Heru wrote:It would be helpful if someone with greater experince could provide a suggested rate of progression through the material in Liber O.

And not just a suggested rate, but also a suggested order. Or perhaps we just need to do lots of studying to figure out the deal with these rituals in order to understand their functions in relation to one another, rather than just jump right in and doing them willy nilly, like I've heard so many people suggest we do.
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Re: Problems with Liber O Curriculum?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue Apr 25, 2006 10:11 am

sasha wrote:
Heru wrote:It would be helpful if someone with greater experince could provide a suggested rate of progression through the material in Liber O.

And not just a suggested rate, but also a suggested order. Or perhaps we just need to do lots of studying to figure out the deal with these rituals in order to understand their functions in relation to one another, rather than just jump right in and doing them willy nilly, like I've heard so many people suggest we do.

I would say: Pick a specific, formal curriculum - of a specific Order or other formal training program - and commit yourself to it. Carry it out exactly.

There are several ways what you ask could be carried out. They would vary with the individual, and with the sense of how fast they wanted to proceed, their immediate and medium-term goals, etc. (Most of that personal stuff would be reflected in the choice the aspirant would make of an Order or other training system.) For example, in Temple of Thelema one would take on this material over the course of more than half a dozen degrees - in A.'.A.'. it would be introduced in a preliminary survey stage, and then mastered in a single grade. Each is appropriate for people committed to the respective system.
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Postby BlackSun9 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:05 pm

Perhaps one of the reasons that Liber O as pushed as it is comes from the first practical requirement for engaging in the practice, namely

Before entering upon any of these practices, the student should be in good health, and have attained a fair mastery of Asana, Pranayama and Dharana.


Most people do not approach the practice of Liber O with these preliminary skills in place and as such have to gain them along the way.
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Postby jmiller » Thu Apr 27, 2006 6:49 pm

BlackSun9 wrote:Most people do not approach the practice of Liber O with these preliminary skills in place and as such have to gain them along the way.


Great answer. Coincidentally, the new Thelema Coast to Coast episode that came out today discussed this. The guest, Keith418 comment on the relationship between Liber E, Liber A, and Liber O. Phonetically, you get IAO, which, according to him, indicates something about the order in which you should approach these. And, of course, we see Liber O listed last.

Anyway... interesting coincidence.

By the way... John Crow, the host of TCTC, really wants an AA muckety muck on the show for an interview. I thought there might be one or two around here.
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