Phoenix Pagan Pride Day 2016

October 29th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

The House of Adocentyn is pleased to announce that it will perform the opening ritual for Phoenix Pagan Pride Day on Saturday, November 5th, 2016 at 10 am. Additionally, the House will have a booth at the event where interested students may obtain information on the Ordo Astrum Sophiae or purchase select publications relevant to the Ogdoadic Tradition. The House of Adocentyn believes strongly in supporting the local Phoenix occult community, continuing a tradition extending back to the original Aurum Solis under Melita Denning and Obsorne Phillips who were active participants in the Llewellyn Gnosticon festivals held in the Twin Cities in the 1970’s.

Though the OAS remains a private magical order, with initiation by invitation only, this event offers an opportunity for local interaction and outer manifestation within the greater occult community.


November 30th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Here is a wonderful story that Vivian Godfrey and Leon Barcynski (Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips) wrote many years ago, though it has remained unpublished save for a brief period when it was available from in 2002. It is a valuable and entertaining study in working with god-forces and is here reproduced by permission of the copyright holder.


Denning & Phillips

Copyright © 2002 by Osborne Phillips

Most of Ralph Rymer’s hobbies were unusual. One of them was virtually unique. To collect experiences of a particular kind, rather than material objects, is not in itself strange. Many men who have travelled to any extent, have collected experiences of the food, or the drink, or the women of the various lands they have visited; while the spectator’s passion for his favourite sport or entertainment is frequently rooted similarly in the impulse of the collector. Ralph Rymer’s interest was on a different level from any of these. He collected experiences of divinity.

» Read the rest of this entry «

The Ogdoadic Journal, Issue 5, Now Available

July 21st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

The OAS is pleased to announce the publication of the fifth issue of The Ogdoadic Journal of the Western Mysteries:

The Ogdoadic Journal Issue 5

The focus of this issue is Praxis, specifically as it pertains to the Lesser Mysteries of the Ogdoadic Tradition. Constituting complete presentations of the foundation rites with new audio recordings, photographs, and extensive commentary, this Journal builds upon and supplements Mysteria Magica and other works by Denning and Phillips. And, in the true spirit of our Order’s commitment to fostering and expanding the Ogdoadic Tradition, this edition also includes innovative material never before published. It is our sincere hope that this issue in particular, and The Ogdoadic Journal in general, will inform and inspire all students of the Mysteries.

Denning & Phillips on the Guyana Massacre

April 21st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

This past week marked the 20th anniversary of the Waco massacre. The following editorial was published in the March/April 1979 issue of Gnostica magazine. In it, Denning and Phillips discuss the events of Jonestown from an occult perspective. Their comments could equally apply to Waco, and perhaps to some extent the tragic events in Boston this week as well.


The Guyana Massacre by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips

from Gnostica no. 50 (vol. 7 no. 1), March/April 1979: Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul.

The mysteries, horrors and problems of the Guyana massacre having been brought out and sorted, more or less, into public categories, a number of people have set out to tell other people how they ought to react and, after that, what they ought to think about it. Meg Greenfield, in Newsweek (December 4), sums up a number of the political and religious “lessons” that right-wing political and “anticlerical” religious writers have drawn from the tragedy, and assesses them collectively as self-preserving and self-justifying shock-absorbers; her bottom line is that the real lesson of Jonestown is that for every human psyche “the jungle is only a few yards away.” That, in her view, is evidently the way people ought to look at it.

The irony of it is, that all this lesson-drawing, moral-making activity misses the only real lesson to be drawn from the whole ghastly affair, and that is, that people have to learn to do their own thinking, and need to be emotionally as well as intellectually and economically enabled to do so. Men and women need, in fact, to have the opportunity to mature inwardly as well as outwardly into complete men and women. Churches, parties, orders, any organizations which invite people to join for their spiritual good or their material benefit, should be judged by this criterion: are they genuinely helping their members towards ultimate independence, even of the organization itself, or do they seek to keep them in subjection, as many do, to life’s end, and even were that possible, into eternity?

To say this, however, is not to say everyone ought at once to think like this. To expect that, would be rather along the lines of the action of Richard McCoy, who told the Jonestown residents whom he interviewed that if they chose to leave, a car was waiting to take them away. None accepted, because none were in an emotional condition which would have enabled them to accept. They would have needed more psychological help than McCoy could have given them in that interview, either as a matter of human possibility or within the legal framework of the diplomatic task he was undertaking. Besides, psychology can only help people overcome irrational fears, not well-founded rational ones.

Evidence indicates that the people who turned down opportunities to leave, at the least feared to do so because, having already made over all their worldly goods to the Temple, they would be arriving destitute to make a fresh start in a culture from which they had separated themselves; and at the most, they feared they would be killed outright – as, in fact, they might have been, to judge by the murderous attack on the Leo Ryan departure.

The Larger Implications

In the larger context of human behaviour, this should remind us that it is useless to expect people to set out, even in spirit, from what they conceive to be the “safe” milieu, unless either their views as to the safe area and the dangerous area become reversed, or their fears about the venture are legitimately calmed. For instance, a lot of direct-thinking people would dislike the idea of being involved in activities, however innocent and aspiration, which they couldn’t discuss with family, friends or workmates for fear of causing religious shock or being considered a “nut,” or so forth. If workmates hear of it, furthermore, it may ultimately cause job loss; not, of course, that “the boss” would fire anyone for being an occultist or whatever, but we all make mistakes sometimes, and “the boss” might be more prompt to take the action he was entitled to with regard to a member of his staff who held way-out ideas anyhow, than he would in the case of a nice totally-accountable church member who made a similar mistake. Fear. That particular fear, of course, frequently comes to an end when the anxious person either resolves on a prudent silence until he hears with surprise of a few other people’s affiliations, or, better still, he feels he is so far into his chosen subject as to be able to give sane and adequate answers that will enable him to hold up his head with any critic.

No progress towards spiritual maturity is possible without freedom from major grounds of fear. That is another reason to support the increasing feeling of “the Aquarian spirit,” and why Occult bodies offering teachings of any kind should come out from the curtains of traditional secrecy, and allow all who are interested an intelligible picture of what the teachings are about, what method they follow and where they lead. People who wish to deepen their understanding of Life are entitled to be given, and to be enabled to pass on, a worthwhile account of these matters.

William F. Buckley

William F. Buckley, in the St. Paul Dispatch of December 1, described the Guyana massacre as “the ultimate rebuke” to our civilization, that so many people chose to die with Jim Jones rather than to accept the alternatives offered by normal life. It is to be doubted profoundly whether any of those who died in the massacre ever once had the chance to see the matter as a clear-cut choice of that kind. They had been led away from reality step by step, by a leader who was himself progressively losing touch with reality. Paranoia is not chosen, it is a tragedy even when it involves only the one person. In this case, by a chain of circumstance, some of which could necessitate going back into past centuries to change, the protagonist was able to involve his followers intimately in his personal drama, departure from reality, and ruin, by professing a religion with strong theocratic and paternalist tendencies, by selecting followers who in some cases were made dependent by sickness or other misfortune, but in many cases were present largely because of their non-aggressiveness and capacity for hard work, and by being able to take them to a land sufficiently accessible, but left in a primitive condition by a succession of colonizing powers.

The concatenation of circumstances, with attendant elements of force, fraud and blackmail, certainly does not point to the deliberate rejection of civilization by the victims which William Buckley suggests, since they evidently believed they were leaving San Francisco simply to gain a greater good, which only the event itself proved to be illusory. Nor was the psychic disintegration of Jim Jones under the triple pressure of sickness, power and drugs, a simple example of that jungle “only a few yards away” from every human psyche which Meg Greenfield brings to our notice. On examination, it looks rather as if these tragic people were caught in a terrible conjunction of built-in hazards, a kind of “geological fault” in our cultural structure. Buckley is right when he says “there is no role here for the state,” meaning that the causal conditions cannot be put right by legislation. He quotes Montesquiei, who wrote of such episodes that “the whole passes between man and God.” As we would put it, it relates to the tension between lower self and higher self.

Robespierre wrote that there could be no true government by the will of the people until the people knew their True Will. That puts any hopes of real democracy some way ahead of us yet. But it does bring out a social aspect of our role as Occultists, which is often overlooked, that is, to help people understand their own nature, do their own thinking, keep their primal loyalty toward the Divine Flame within. No religious or political leader worthy of leadership could desire better followers than that.


The Poetry of Ernest Page

March 7th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

As it did in 2002, in 1957 the Aurum Solis underwent a schism. In the ’50s this split was due to the popularity of Masonic-style rituals such as those typified by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Those in favor of adopting a more Masonic approach to ritual left the Aurum Solis to form the Hermetic Order of the Sacred Word, or Ordo Sacri Verbi (OSV). In 1959 a remarkable man by the name of Ernest Page became the Warden of the OSV.

Ernest Page

Ernest Page, ca. 1960

Ernest Page would also become a mentor to a young Leon Barcynski (Osborne Phillips) before his death in 1966, but ever since he was a young man he had a passion for poetry. One of his poems is published in The Magical Philosophy, while another has been presented by the Astrum Sophia in issue 4 of the Ogdoadic Journal. Within the archives of the Astrum Sophia are contained some of his additional works, including the simply titled XIV Poems and a rare, delicately hand-bound booklet of poetry from Page’s involvement with a group of British poets known as The Saturdays (donated to the OAS by the last surviving member of the group). A favorite pastime of The Saturdays was to compose poems on a theme within the short span of 15 minutes. Here is one of those poems:

The Bridge by Ernest Page

Seeker of faery gold, what has set fire to your eyes?
– A bridge of colours seven, and I ride to Paradise.
Seeker, the bridge is faery, and bears neither steed nor men
– I ride seven years and a day, for I will cross it, and can.
Seeker, your vision is true, and your high-held heart is wise,
But you must walk under the bridge if you would find Paradise.

22nd May 1946

Ernest was also the subject of a poem himself, composed by his contemporary, A.C. Jacobs. His Collected Poems & Selected Translations (Menard Press: 1996) provides the context for this poem: “This description fits the astrologer Ernest Page who frequented the Soho coffee houses in the 1950s, and charged three shillings and sixpence for a consultation.”

The Astrologer by Arthur Jacobs

His flat and battered notebook
Is like grey parchment with symbols
Scrawled in its dust out of Babylon.

He will set, for three and sixpence,
Round your magic hour of birth
The stars that in their movements

Tell him the secrets your appearance
Chose for itself. He is no crank,
But a true survival from an ancient

Art that promises trends, not detailed
Incident. Consult him at your peril:
For whether or not his assured vision

Excites the protest of your intellect,
Past and future turn before his gaze,
Mortality lies naked beneath his fingertips.

Local Events

August 16th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

In order to better facilitate communications for local events, such as the ongoing Semitalia series of Qabalistic Pathworkings, the House of Adocentyn has created a Facebook presence:

This periphery is intended solely as a method of communication for public announcements: the House of Adocentyn, like the greater Ordo Astrum Sophiae, is a private organization. Membership therein is by invitation only, either spontaneously extended or arising from an application.

The Semitalia: free public Pathworkings

June 24th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The House of Adocentyn is pleased to announce the public performance of The Semitalia (“the Footpaths”), the series of Qabalistic Pathworkings up to the Sephirah of Tiphareth. These sessions will be hosted by Alpha Book Center, the oldest occult shop in Phoenix, AZ.

In the Ogdoadic Tradition, these pathworkings are guided journeys through the symbolism of a particular Path on the Tree of Life, taking the participants from one Sphere to another and activating the corresponding magical states of consciousness thereby. This series of pathworkings is derived from the book, Magical States of Consciousness by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips (which will be reprinted by Llewellyn in August 2012).

Gateway of the 32nd PathThe first session (Sunday, 7/8/2012) will be a working of the 32nd Path – the first step that all initiates take on the Serpent-Path, the Way of Return. This path is under the dominance of Saturn, and thus is the meeting place with the powerful “Guardian of the Threshold.” Concluding in the Temple of the Moon, the participants share in a symbolic experience of the eternal truths which may be gained through the changeful illusions of the astral world.

If you have already worked these paths in other traditions, you are welcome to come and experience the Ogdoadic system of guided meditations through the Lower Paths; in truth, all of us interact with Paths of the Tree continually throughout the course of our lives no matter how many times we may formally “work” through them. However, no prior experience with ritual magick, Qabalah, or meditation is necessary. The class is free and open to persons of all backgrounds and experience levels.

The Working of the 32nd Path: Sunday, July 8th, 2012: 3:00-4:30 pm

Alpha Book Center: 4532 N 7th St.; 602-253-1223

Email with questions.

The Tabor Formulation

June 23rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

In the late ’70s and early ’80s Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips (Vivian and Leon Barcynski) wrote a number of “Practical Guides” for Llewellyn Publications. Targeting a much different audience than their seminal Magical Philosophy, these texts have largely been forgotten by modern occultists – perhaps with the exception of their exceedingly popular Guide to Astral Projection. These books are clearly a product of a time when magick, self-help, and the paranormal converged under the vague banner of “New Age,” and as such are mostly written in a style that is largely inaccessible or unappealing to modern occultists. Nonetheless, each Practical Guide contains a few kernels of wisdom and enough keen initiatic insight to justify the rest of the read. One such gem from their Practical Guide to the Development of Psychic Powers is the “Tabor Formulation.”

Transfiguration_by_Feofan_Grek_from_Spaso-Preobrazhensky_Cathedral_in_Pereslavl-Zalessky_(15th_c,_Tretyakov_gallery)The Tabor Formulation is a very simple meditation technique with roots in the monastic practices of the Hesychasts. The name derives from Mount Tabor, the Biblical site of Christ’s Transfiguration. This thus also refers to the theology of St. Gregory of Palamas, who taught that the light seen by the apostles on Mount Tabor was the “Uncreated Light” of God, and that this was the same spiritual phenomenon produced by the practices of Hesychasm. Denning and Phillips, in the Jan/Feb 1979 issue of Gnostica touch on the significance of Hesychastic practice with regard to the development of the doctrines of the subtle bodies in Western Esotericism:

In the thirteenth century, some monks in a Greek monastery were using a method of rhythmic breathing, so devised that they could utter the name of Jesus with every breath. They had, in fact, a mantram, and a system of breathing. Then one of the senior monks, who perhaps knew a little more than he said, began advising novices to add to this procedure the practice of fixing their gaze on the middle of their body. The results were most interesting, for having followed this exercise for some time, the monks began to perceive a distinct luminosity proceeding, it seemed, out of their physical bodies. When they made this known, as they seem to have done after about half a century, another monk called Barlaam, who came from Calabria, at once began making fun of them, calling the omphalo-psychoi, that is, men whose souls were in their navels. That was not the end of the matter, because another monk, this time belonging to Mount Athos, took sides with the ridiculed mystics and declared that the light they could see was none other than the light of the spiritual body, the light described as having been witnessed in the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. This monk from Athos was a considerable scholar: his name was Gregory Palamas and he later became Archbishop of Thessalonica; his opinions were in due course confirmed by the Orthodox Church. But we need not be surprised that the Hesychasts, as they came to be called, saw such a radiance when we recall that the Navel Centre is associated with the solar plexus.

The Tabor Formulation, then, is a redacted interpretation of the practice of Hesychasts. Instead of the Jesus Prayer, the practitioner may choose their own mantrams as relevant to their current program of practice. Here is the full formula as given in Psychic Powers:

Stage One: Simple Breathing – Lower your gaze, fixing it upon your navel or a point in that region. Breathe in an even, gentle manner as deeply as you can without strain. If your mind wanders, as soon as you notice bring it back gently but firmly to your breathing.

Stage Two: Awareness of the Light – Entering into the second stage of the meditation, on an in-breath be aware of a nebulous radiation of golden light, which is also a radiation of love, from just below your sternum; it seems to form a luminous cloud about midway between your navel (at which you continue to gaze down) and your chin.

You don’t have to do anything about that light. Simply be aware of it, of being illuminated by it, of being loved by it. Accept that awareness; don’t think about it, don’t even try to aspire to it. Just keep on being conscious of it, and of your breathing.

Stage Three: Silent Utterance – Retaining awareness of your breathing and of the light, silently “utter” mantrams – phrases or single words – which you feel to be suited to your meditation: formulate each word distinctly in your mind, but with no vocalization or movement of the mouth. You will need two mantrams to use together, one for the in-breath and one for the out-breath. Their chief purpose is to express in brief compass something of your essential relationship with the Cosmos. It is to affirm your bond of oneness with the Cosmos: that bond in which you are sustained by the beneficence of the Whole, at the same time participating actively in the Whole. You are a living and purposing component of it, giving forth again with blessing that which you receive.

Denning and Phillips give examples of suitable mantrams:

On an in-breath: Light and Life fill me.

On an out-breath: I share my abundance with all.


On an in-breath: Energy.

On an out-breath: Ecstasy!

For those practitioners of the Ogdoadic system of magick, some other mantrams present themselves, such as:

On an in-breath: KNOUPHIS.

On an out-breath: AGATHODAIMON.

Tempus Sementis

March 20th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Today is the Vernal Equinox (in the Northern Hemisphere), the great sun-festival which hearkens the advent of the Tempus Sementis – “The Tide of Sowing” – the name given to the season of Spring in the Ogdoadic Tradition. Regarding the four Seasonal Tides or Tempora, Denning and Phillips write in Ch. VIII of The Sword and the Serpent:

The Seasonal Tides result from two influences: the major influence being the effect of the solar particles which bombard the earth’s odic mantle, and the minor being the stresses set up within the odic mantle by the earth’s axial inclination.

And regarding this “odic mantle”:

Strictly speaking, Od is the dynamic aspect [of Astral Light], whether manifesting as the aura of a living being, whether existing as an astral current or as a charge in a consecrated object, or whether manifesting as a physical phenomenon: the earth’s magnetic field, magnetism, electricity, etc.

Today the sun appears to move across the celestial equator from north to south, shifting the solar impact on the odic mantle from South-to-North to North-to-South. Today is the point at which the Earth’s axis begins to point toward the sun rather than away from it, and so the stresses in the odic mantle are considered “axial positive.”

Springtide is thus appropriate for Works of Commencement, and Planting – of Stimulation and New Life. Likewise is the Tempus Sementis associated with the element of Air and the principle of Pneuma, from the House of Sacrifice.

At the House of Adocentyn we will today move the Sword Iubar (“sun-beam”) from the Northwest of the Temenos – where it has stood all through the Winter as a bastion of Light against and amidst the Darkness of the Tempus Eversionis – to its place at the Southeast of the Temenos. In this single symbolic act we acknowledge the return of the Sun from the place of Darkness (a necessary darkness in which the Sun has its very birth) to the place of Light, revitalizing all the Worlds with its effulgent splendor.

May that which you sow be crowned in the harvest.

Theophanic Poesy

March 8th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The following lines from the Kitab al-Tajalliyat (or Book of Theophanies) by the great Sufi master Ibn ‘Arabi are translated by Henry Corbin in his monumental Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi (1970). As with so much of the mystical poetry arising from this milieu, the below text communicates in delicate and rapturous words something of the experience of the “Holy Guardian Angel,” as the concept has come to be known in Western Esotericism. Thanks are due to the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society for transcribing this text and making it available on their excellent website.

Listen, O dearly beloved!
I am the reality of the world, the centre of the circumference,
I am the parts and the whole.
I am the will established between Heaven and Earth,
I have created perception in you only in order to be the
object of my perception.
If then you perceive me, you perceive yourself.
But you cannot perceive me through yourself,
It is through my eyes that you see me and see yourself,
Through your eyes you cannot see me.
Dearly beloved!
I have called you so often and you have not heard me
I have shown myself to you so often and you have not
seen me.
I have made myself fragrance so often, and you have
not smelled me.
Savorous food, and you have not tasted me.
Why can you not reach me through the object you touch
Or breathe me through sweet perfumes?
Why do you not see me? Why do you not hear me?
Why? Why? Why?

For you my delights surpass all other delights.
And the pleasure I procure you surpasses all other
For you I am preferable to all other good things,
I am Beauty. I am Grace.
Love me, love me alone.
Love yourself in me, in me alone.
Attach yourself to me,
No one is more inward than I.
Others love you for their own sakes,
I love you for yourself.
And you, you flee from me.
Dearly beloved!
You cannot treat me fairly
For if you approach me,
It is because I have approached you.
I am nearer to you than yourself,
Than your soul, than your breath.
Who among creatures
Would treat you as I do?
I am jealous of you over you.
I want you to belong to no other,
Not even to yourself.
Be mine, be for me as you are in me.
Though you are not even aware of it.
Dearly beloved!
Let us go toward Union.
And if we find the road
That leads to separation,
We will destroy separation.
Let us go hand in hand.
Let us enter the presence of Truth.
Let it be our judge
And imprint its seal upon our union
For ever.