If I live far away from a Temple, how can I become a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn?
The answer to your question is found in a document upon which virtually the entire spiritual system of the West is based. This document is called the Emerald Tablet of Hermes. In essence it states that "the things below are a reflection of things above," and vice-versa.
Essentially, all magical operations take advantage of this principle stated in the Emerald Tablet. The magician or Qabalist raises him/herself up to the highest state possible and plants the seed in the higher world that will eventually bear fruit in the physical world.
From this Qabalistic point of view, the magician creates images in the world of Briah (Creation) under the authority of Atziluth (Emanation, the highest and most spiritual). Within a short period of time the images empowered in this more quintessential world will take on shape, form and dimension in the lower worlds of Yetzirah (Formation) and Assiah (Action).
Astral Initiation works on the same sound premise. It is not a substitute for a good, well-run physical Temple and Initiation, of which participation is required of any member seeking admittance to the second order. But then if you live in all but a handful of cities in the world and do not have the financial ability to visit a physical Temple, then Correspondence Membership and Astral Initiation is the most effective tool for the Initiation process into the Golden Dawn.
Here is what happens:
A Physical Initiation date is selected at the Grand Temple of Ptah or one of the other Temples. The candidate for Initiation into the GDCSS has already filled out an application and signed a copy of the Neophyte Oath. The application is submitted for review by the Collegium of Adepti and a representative will call the applicant for an interview. Once the candidate is interviewed, a decision can be made as to the appropriateness of the order for the applicant, as well as the appropriateness of the applicant for the order. If the applicant is accepted, he/she will be notified via email and the process begins.
The Order of the Golden Dawn maintains a beautiful and well-organized Grand Temple. Every six months new officers are selected. These officers, under the direction of the Hierophant, will now have the serious and solemn task of Initiating the candidate on an astral basis that will bear fruit in the physical world.
There are definite tell-tale signs of significance that take place the candidate's life after an Initiation. Although too numerous to elaborate on in this short article, they range from a tremendous influx of spiritual energy to resistance on the physical plane. Even a member who lives thousands of miles away will and does experience the same tell-tale signs of complete and true Initiation as his or her counterpart who is fortunate enough to live near a Temple and physically attend it. In this respect and all others, a long distance Correspondence Member is held in the same regard as a local Temple Member. There is no difference.
These priceless currents of Spiritual Light are designed to aid the candidate unto the higher and empower the candidate with Self-Mastery, which cannot be expressed in words or pictures. They can only be handed to the candidate as a valuable and precious gift through the solemn process of Initiation. In the tradition of our more ancient Fraters and Sorors of Ancient Egypt, Eleusis, the Holy of Holies and our Order, even today in the modem world does the vehicle for rising in the sacred and ancient rites of initiation in the Western Mystery Tradition continue.
The Order realizes that Physical Initiation is the preferred choice.
There are several reasons for this, including:
1. It allows the candidate to experience the energies on a first-hand conscious basis.
2. It awakens within the candidate latent potential by physically seeing and hearing the Initiation.
The Order has a policy that Astral Initiation will not be performed on any candidate within 120 miles of a physical Temple. They must attend physically. In addition, every Adeptus Minor in the Order must have gone through the Neophyte through Portal Initiations physically before undergoing the Adeptus Minor ceremony.