Introduction to Hermetic Theurgy

This three-part class teaches a core set of practices found within the western Hermetic tradition, sometimes called the 'yoga of the West.' These practices have many applications: energy healing of self and others, increasing your personal vitality and level of awareness, out-of-body projection, energizing sacred space, and many others. Their greatest value, however, is that they are the first steps on a path that can awaken you to the presence of your higher, divine Genius, sometimes called the Holy Guardian Angel. Please note that you will get the greatest benefit from this class if you practice the techniques at home, between sessions.

Course materials

Students learn about the root concepts underlying theurgic practice as taught by the Academy. Both the theory of theurgy within Hermeticism and its practice are briefly discussed in order to provide a context for the core methods taught in this course.

The term "athanor" refers to the furnace used by an alchemist to purify the First Matter and transform it through heat into the Stone of the Wise. Here we use this term to describe the methods by which the theurgist establishes sacred space and extends the aura, preparatory to further work.

Having established the athanor of the Art, the theurgist must now apply "heat" in order to begin transforming the First Matter. These techniques, from the basic Circulation of the Light to the more advanced Godform work, are used to create an excited state in the subtle bodies of the magician, liberating energy and making it available for personal development.

In the Western tradition, a primary goal of many schools is to establish a continuity in awareness at all levels of the human psyche, in order to train the intuition and make the theurgist fully aware of her purpose for being. In the Golden Dawn school, one of the ways this is done is to separate a portion of the subtle body/bodies, energize that portion, and re-absorb it. This is meant to plant a seed deep within the self that will, in time, create deep and lasting change in the psyche and increase the theurgist's level of awareness until, eventually, a connection is established between all functioning parts.

Having become skilled in the separation of a portion of awareness, the theurgist must seek to expand that awareness, opening it up to subtle influences from the deepest Self that lies at the core of Being. The techniques listed here expand awareness in a variety of ways.

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