In this article, I try to give a condensed idea and tabulations of the different working grades in the three Star of Azazel lodges that offer such. Most of this will likely seem confusing unless one is very much into the brotherhood working already. These are by no means things a member must know. I give them simply to add transparency and benefit to those consciously working their way deeper into the SoA Work and its system.
Together, the three Star of Azazel lodges form “the four peaks of Mount Meru,” depicted by the image of three triangles surrounding the fourth, unseen triangle. As told in Unseen Fire #1, this image is one of the permutations of the Hieroglyphic Key. Our Finnish readers may recognize this symbol from The Book of Paths, where it is used to explain the ways the brotherhood uses colour aspects.
The system of grades is the system of activated dynamism in work. Occidental people often intuitively shun hierarchies since they are all too often used as tools for oppression. At the same time, people yearn for something to do and some guidelines to follow. The balance between these two, dynamism and freedom, is one of the extremely demanding balancing points of uniting the hands. Dynamism as the form of common Work is here the emphasis of the Right Hand Path, while freedom as individual creativity is here the emphasis of the Left Hand Path.
These grades of activity are seen differently in the different mountain tops, i.e., lodges.
In lodge Lucifer, there are no grades. Yet there are different depths of dynamic immersion, similar to the system of grades, just not named thus. These depths of immersion in the Work are:
1 – Complete freedom
2 – Active attendance focusing on some or other part of the Work
3 – Governing a new group of activity in the same occult school
In lodge Salome, the system of grades is used openly. The same three depths of immersion are herein called:
1° – The grade of the Dancer (Salome)
2° – The grade of the Way through the Labyrinth (Asterion)
3° – The grade of the Shrine (Baphomet)
Either of these lodge paths can be followed, if one so chooses, to the upper Mountain of Graal. In it, a new form of grades takes place, which is even more constructed:
1° – The Mountain Path (or, for the few lonely ones: The Dragon Path under the mountain)
2° – The Temple (to seek the Severed Head of the Master)
3° – The Amphiteatre (the path through the funnel of Hell)
Any or all three can be undertaken as a Pratyeka path, without a teacher, “under the mountain,” if one so chooses, committing to the Work in solitude.
Through the Amphiteatre grade, the grade of inversion, one can reach the inner, inverted triangle, which is the Hermetic Circle. It is composed of:
4° – The Black Aspect
5° – The Red Aspect
6° – The White Aspect
7° – The Prelate Grade
The “Name” in the tabulation above is the title for the grade itself. The title of every lodge member is a brother, sister or sodalis, according to one’s own choosing. Informally, one can be called by one’s grade name (which is very different from one’s brotherhood name, which is always unique and of one’s own choosing.)
The “Aspect” is the one under which one’s work in the lodge dynamism goes, not necessarily the aspect of one’s individual emphasis. In addition to the aspect emphases given here, other factors also function. For example, the lodge’s own aspectual choice; the prologue aspect of Grey for those who have not yet undertaken any particular brotherhood working; the formal aspects (Stone, Serpent, Eye, Chalice) for those who choose to work with the exoteric rather than esoteric focus.