Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

A.'.A.'. is the one true and invisible Order which has operated under various names and guises throughout history to guide the spiritual evolution of humanity. The goals of the A.'.A.'. are those which have motivated spiritual exploration and religious inquiry throughout human history. Its methods are those of science; its aims are those of religion.

It is the Arcanum Arcanorum, and the Holy of Holies wherein the Sacred Ark rests inviolate. Every legitimate magical order, mystery school, religion, or other agency disseminating some portion of Wisdom or Light is or has been but an Outer Vehicle of this Inner Fellowship of Light. "All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little..." (Liber Legis, I:56).

This is the highest and purest meaning of A.'.A.'..

More commonly, however, we use the name A.'.A.'. to mean not only this Invisible and Eternal Order, but a particular outer structure, or terrestrial incarnation of the Interior School, which came into being, beginning in 1906 C.E., at the hands of two Adepts named Aleister Crowley and George Cecil Jones. This Order survives today through various authentic lineages which can be traced back to these two Adepts.

LINEAGES OF THE A.'.A.'.

Since the death of Aleister Crowley in 1947 there have been no universal Chiefs of the A.'.A.'.. Karl Germer (S.'.H.'. Frater Saturnus, 8=3), was the senior living A.'.A.'. member at Crowley's death, and many turned to him for guidance; but he never took up the mantle of governance of the Order. After Germer's death, no single person emerged visibly as a central guiding figure.

Yet the Order itself has continued, according to its original plan whereby a member of sufficient Grade may admit others to the chain.

Various lineages have survived. Claims are periodically encountered that one individual or another is an authentic link to A.'.A.'.. Some of these claims are quite real; some are honest mistakes; and some are fraudulent. It is not our present purpose to play arbiter to these claims, to upraise one or knock down another. It is a universal truth of Initiation that each student, at each step along the way, gets the teacher he or she "deserves," based on the real maturity and needs of the soul; and that while sometimes spiritual growth is fostered by finding the BEST teacher, at other times it is best fostered by lessons of discrimination taught in the School of Hard Knocks.

In this matter we give but one sage piece of advice: "By their fruits shall ye know them!" The Works of the Adept, the fruits of his or her garden, are the signs of his or her attainment.

ADMISSION AS A PROBATIONER

From its beginning, the A.'.A.'. philosophy supported the admission of any interested person soever into the instruction and practice of Scientific Illuminism. In other words — in the earliest years — anyone at all could write to the A.'.A.'. and request an interview with a Neophyte who (all things proceeding agreeably to the applicant) would admit the individual as a Probationer (0=0 Grade) forthwith.

Unfortunately, this complete "open door" policy resulted in a very high percentage of failures. By early 1912 it was found necessary to make a change in the admission requirements. It was thus ordered "that every person wishing to become a Probationer of A.'.A.'. must first pass three months as a Student of the Mysteries." A specific study and testing curriculum was established for this Student period.

However, although Aleister Crowley inaugurated this Studentship in 1912, and gave examination in it as late as 1945 (about two and a half years before his death), there is little evidence that he paid much attention to it, in that form, during the intervening 33 years. Instead, he tried numerous ways of preparing people to undertake the Probationer Grade of A.'.A.'.. He moved from one approach to the next, apparently adapting each to the needs of a particular student as best he could.

Many years ago, this same approach was adopted by the Soror Estai lineage. While each applicant is required to pass through a formal Student period, many avenues are accepted for accomplishing this. (For clarity, we should mention that beginning with Probationer, the administration of the A.'.A.'. Grades is strictly by the criteria established by Aleister Crowley and George Cecil Jones. It is only in the Student, or preparatory, stage that such broad variation is practiced.)

Any sincere aspirant seeking to affiliate with the A.'.A.'. as a Probationer may write:

Cancellarius, A.'.A.'.

Seal of the A.'.A.'.

Love is the law, love under will.

 

LINK: http://www.thelema.org/aa/

ASTRUM ARGENTEUM (AA) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick...
From: 333 (nigris) <nagasiva@luckymojo.com>
Subject: [t93] AA FAQ
Date: 10/20/00


QUESTION: What is the A.'.A.'.?

ANSWER:

  • key terms (for use in search-engines):(nouns)
    astrum argenteum, astrum argentium, astron argon,
    order of the silver star, A.'.A.'., A:.A:., S.'.S.'., S.S.;
    [less often A\A\, AA, A.A., A.:A.:, or S:.S:.]
    (names/pseudonyms)
    george cecil jones, frater d.d.s., volo noscere, gnoscere;
    aleister crowley, v.v.v.v.v.;
    karl germer, saturnus

  • related terms:(names/pseudonyms/orgs)
    secret chiefs, great white brotherhood
    jane wolfe, estai, phyllis seckler, meral, college of thelema;
    james eschelman, temple of thelema, tot;
    marcelo motta, james daniel gunther,
    william breeze, martin starr,
    ordo templi orientis, o.t.o., oto; ray eales, h.o.o.r.;
    william barden, oto foundation; g.m. kelly,
    gregory von seewald, paul joseph rovelli,
    euclydes lacerda almeida, frater thor,
    society ordo templi orientis, s.o.t.o., soto;
    david cherubim, aurora aureae, thelemic golden dawn, t.g.d., tgd;
    helen parsons smith, grimaud; ordo argenteum astrum;
    boboroshi, tokus


quotes found in a search on some of the above key terms which are pertinent to answering the question follow

1898: By chance and by circumstances [Crowley] is introduced
to George Cecil Jones. Jones in turn, introduces him 
to Samuel Liddel Mathers, chief of 
The Golden Dawn Society. 
...
1907: [Crowley] is expelled from Golden Dawn and forms his
own order, the Argentum Astrum - The Silver Star.
http://d1o204.telia.com/~u256100087/deabirli.html

In 1906 Crowley rejoined George Cecil Jones in England, where they set about the task of creating a magical order to continue where the Golden Dawn had left off. They called this order the A.'. A.'. (Astrum Argentium or Silver Star), and it became the primary vehicle for the transmission of Crowley's mystical and magical training system based on the principles of Thelema.

http://abaris.net/crowley/ 
(accessed 10/2000)

A.'.A.'. is the one true and invisible Order which has operated under various names and guises throughout history to guide the spiritual evolution of humanity. The goals of the A.'.A.'. are those which have motivated spiritual exploration and religious inquiry throughout human history. Its methods are those of science; its aims are those of religion. 

It is the Arcanum Arcanorum, and the Holy of Holies wherein the Sacred Ark rests inviolate. Every legitimate magical order, mystery school, religion, or other agency disseminating some portion of Wisdom or Light is or has been but an Outer Vehicle of this Inner Fellowship of Light. "All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little..." (Liber Legis, I:56). 

This is the highest and purest meaning of A.'.A.'. 

More commonly, however, we use the name A.'.A.'. to mean not only this Invisible and Eternal Order, but a particular outer structure, or terrestrial incarnation of the Interior School, which came into being, beginning in 1906 C.E., at the hands of two Adepts named Aleister Crowley and George Cecil Jones. This Order survives today through various authentic lineages which can be traced back to these two Adepts.

http://www.thelema.org/aa/intro.html 
(accessed 10/2000)

In the month of December the Secret Chiefs formally invited me, through G. R. Frater D.D.S., to take my place officially in the Third Order. I still felt that I was not worthy. Not till three years later did I accept the grade, and then only after having passed ceremonially through the Abyss in the fullest possible measure.

"The Confessions of Aleister Crowley", by Crowley, edited by Symonds and Grant, Hill and Wang, N.Y., U.S.A., 1969; p. 533.

The Brothers of A.'.A.'. are one with the Mother ofthe Child.(4)The Many is as adorable to the One as the One is tothe Many. This is the Love of These; creation-parturition is the Bliss of the One; coition-dissolution is the Bliss of the Many.The All, thus interwoven of These, is Bliss.Naught is beyond Bliss.The Man delights in uniting with the Woman; theWoman in parting from the Child.The Brothers of A.'.A.'. are Women: the Aspirantsto A.'.A.'. are Men.

[16] 
COMMENTARY ({Gamma})

Gimel is the High Priestess of the Tarot. This chapter gives the initiated feminine point of view; it is therefore called the Oyster, a symbol of the Yoni. In Equinox X, The Temple of Solomon the King, it is explained how Masters of the Temple, or Brothers of A.'.A.'. have changed the formula of their progress. These two formulae, Solve et Coagula, are now ex- plained, and the universe is exhibited as the interplay between these two. This also explains the statement in Liber Legis I, 28-30. 

NOTE
(4) They cause all men to worship it.


"The Book of Lies", Crowley, Chapter 3, 'THE OYSTER', pp. 15-16. http://www.luckymojo.com/crowley/333lies.txt (accessed 10/2000)

The result was that The Golden Dawn was destroyed and several fractions arose from its ashes. One such fraction was a new Order created by Crowley and George Cecil Jones in 1907 e.v., when they corporate to found an Order which were to be known as the A.'.A.'. 

The A.'.A.'. purported that it "should be free from the errors and deceits of the former one" (Liber LXI, v.20). Opposed to the former, serious training started from the very first grades and specific and rigid tests were set for each grade, to assure that no one could slip through without being competent. It is not a teaching Order, but an Order which examines each aspirant thoroughly. In 1909 they opened up by starting the publication of The Equinox volume One, an impressive series of 10 editions printed at each Equinox for a five year period. It is now regarded as the corner-stone of Crowley's works. The foundation of Crowley's teaching Magick had been cast.

http://www.solomonssecrets.com/crowley.htm 
(accessed 10/2000)

As the A.'.A.'. is not a mundane order, all lineages and all people who make the claim that they are A.'.A.'. ... are A.'.A.'.. The A.'.A.'. is simply a manifestation of the `Great White Brotherhood'. And that collective body of individuals has over the span of time, been at the heart of humanity's initiation. There is a pantheon of those Adepts who have proven themselves to belong to the august body from time immemorial. And it seems that it is left up to every generation to forge their own links with the current, with greater numbers of individuals aspiring to this with the onset of each successive generation. 

It could be argued that perhaps some of these once incarnate beings number amongst the Secret Chiefs that sanctify and edify the Order. Most certainly, there are also inner-plane contacts consistently presenting new knowledge; corresponding with humanity's present stage of evolution. And it is left to those Adepts that can knock on their door, to messenger their reception to those of our race who can already hear such murmurs in the winds. These Prophets thus become the heralds of cerebral and praeter-human delegates ministering to the congress of the human race.
LINK:  http://www.arcane-archive.org/faqs/aafaq.php

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