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The Salient Points of the

The Great Work, for the Neophyte, is defined as, “to obtain control of the nature and powers of my own being.”

“Neophyte” generally means any beginner, novice, tyro, or new convert. The English “Neophyte” derives from the Greek neophytus, “new plant.” The official A.'.A.'. commentary on the grade name in Liber 185 says: “Let him be mindful that the word Neophyte is no idle term, but that in many a subtle way the new nature will stir within him, when he knoweth it not.”

INTERPRETATION: To borrow a phrase from alchemy, the Neophyte Grade marks a “volatilizing of the fixed,” an intentional stirring into instability of a relatively inert “first matter,” as a necessary stage of its transformation.


Let any Probationer who has accomplished his task to the satisfaction of the A.'.A.'. be instructed in the proper course of procedure: which is:- Let him read through this note of his office, and sign it, paying the sum of One Guinea for Liber VII which will be given him on his initiation, and One Guinea for this Portfolio of Class D publications, B-G. Let him obtain the robe of a Neophyte, and entrust the same to the care of his Neophyte.
He shall choose a new motto with deep forethought and intense solemnity, as expressing the clearer consciousness of his Aspiration which the year’s Probation has given him.
Let him make an appointment with his Neophyte at the pleasure of the latter for the ceremony of Initiation. (Liber 185)

The “Portfolio of Class D publications” refers to Liber 185, the Task and Oath papers for each grade from Neophyte through Adeptus Minor. The robe of a Neophyte is a black Tau robe, hooded, and totally unadorned with no other symbols or insignia. Regarding "the ceremony of his initiation,"

When the sun shall next enter the sign under which he hath been received, his initiation may be granted unto him. He shall keep himself free from all other engagements for one whole week from that date. (Liber 185)

Let him make an appointment with his Neophyte at the pleasure of the latter for the ceremony of Initiation. (Liber 185)

At the end of the Probation he passes Ritual DCLXXI which constitutes him a Neophyte. (Liber XIII)

Ritual DCLXXI is the temple ceremony Liber T’raa (ThROA). The ritual, including its preparation, requires seven days.


The duties of a Neophyte are in Malkuth, in which is Kether.
Therefore he still tries many paths, yet always with the idea of the One Path. (Aleister Crowley)
He shall apply himself to understand the nature of his Initiation. (Liber 185)

INTERPRETATION: At its simplest, this means that the Neophyte is to do what every aspirant to self-knowledge and spiritual progress is encouraged to do; namely to witness, and seek to understand, the actual process, the patterns, the road signs of her particular journey. However, the Neophyte, as well, is to study and practice the actual Neophyte Initiation ceremony and, especially, the Neophyte Formula which underlays it.

The Equinox of the Gods is the term used to describe the Beginning of a New Aeon, or a New Magical Formula. It should be celebrated at every Equinox, in the manner known to Neophytes of the A.'.A.'.. (The Master Therion)

One specialized application of the Neophyte Formula which is specifically referred to the Neophyte is the Feast of the Equinox.

The Ceremony of the Feast of the Equinox serves two purposes. First, it is a ritual by which each initiate magically can unite her consciousness with that of the Sun, and attune himself or herself thereby to a new magical current inaugurated twice annually, at the commencement of spring and autumn. Second, by this same ceremony is derived a Word which quintessentializes the nature of the magick current prevailing for the six months following. Those who are at least Neophytes are entitled to receive the Word from the Chancellor, Praemonstrator or Orator. (It is also communicated at his discretion to any person working under his direct supervision by any member of the Third Order.)


. . . he shall study and practice Liber O in all its branches. (Liber 185)
Examination in Liber O, caps. I-IV, Theoretical and Practical. (Liber XIII)

Both theoretical knowledge and practical skill are to be examined. Examination on these points is designed by the supervising Zelator.


Furthermore, he shall construct the magic Pantacle, according to the instruction in Liber A. (Liber 185)
Further, he builds up the magic Pantacle. (Liber XIII)

The Pantacle is the magical implement attributed to the element of Earth. As such, it is the characteristic implement of the Neophyte.

One additional level of this “building up of the Pantacle” is found in Liber 185:

He shall in every way fortify his body according to the advice of his Zelator,
for that the ordeal of advancement is no light one.

(Malkuth & The Path of Tav)

He shall pass the four tests called the Powers of the Sphinx. (Liber 185)
Examination in The Four Powers of the Sphinx. Practical. Four tests are set. (Liber XIII)

To Know, To Will, To Dare, and To Keep Silent: these are the Four Powers of the Sphinx.

As quoted above, the Neophyte is given four distinct practical tests in these Four Powers of the Sphinx. These tests are designed by the Neophyte’s Zelator. Unpublished instructions clarify the basic form of these examinations.

(The Path of Tav)

Neophyte. - Has to acquire perfect control of the Astral Plane. (One Star in Sight)
He will further be examined in his power of Journeying in the Spirit Vision. (Liber 185)
TAV - The Formulation of the Body of Light. Liber O. (Liber Viarum Viae)

The essential instructions for this method are given in Liber O, Caps. V-VI. Liber O makes clear that the training from its earlier chapters “should be completely mastered before the dangerous Methods of Chapter V and VI are attempted.”

(The Paths of Shin & Qoph)

...he shall begin to study Liber H and some one commonly accepted method of divination. (Liber 185)

“Liber H” is Liber CCCXLI, more fully identified as Liber HHH. These assignments are attributed to the Paths of Shin and Qoph, respectively. As such, they later form part of the Work of the Zelator and Practicus.


He shall commit to memory a chapter of Liber VII. (Liber 185)

Liber VII is Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli, Adumbratio Kabbalae Aegyptiorum, “The Book of Wine (or, of the god Liber), or The Book of Lapis Lazuli, Outline of Egyptian Qabalah.”

Beside all this, shall perform any tasks that his Zelator in the name of the A.'.A.'.
and by its authority may see fit to lay upon him. (Liber 185)


Click here for a complete annotated listed of the Neophyte Syllabus.


According to Liber 185, “any Neophyte who has accomplished his task to the satisfaction of the A.'.A.'.” is to be prepared for advancement to Zelator.

The Neophyte Grade lasts at least eight months. The earliest date of advancement is, “When the sun shall next enter the sign 240 degrees to that under which he hath been received” (Liber 185). To prepare for this, the Neophyte is instructed to deliver a copy of the Magical Record of the Neophyte period to the supervising Zelator, and, at that time, to recite the chosen chapter of Liber VII. This is to occur one month before the completion of the Neophyte period.

The Neophyte is to remain free from all other engagements for four days, which is the length of the Zelator advancement process.

Click to Advance to Zelator.

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