The Golden Dawn Philosophus grade is an initiatory grade in the Golden Dawn, represented by the seventh sephirah of Netzach on the Tree of Life. The grade is symbolized by the number , the planet Venus and the element of fire. The three symbolic paths leading to Philosophus are associated with the watery sign of Pisces, the airy sign of Aquarius, and the planet Mars.
Philosophus is a Greek for "lover of wisdom" and is the initiation grade wherein the mystic learns about one's self and deconstructs his or her perceptions to be receptive to new ones.
Philosophus Ritual Edit
The initiation ritual for the Philosophus Grade is a mythological play about the Fall of the Kings of Edom, a battle between good and evil discussed in the Biblical book of Genesis. It also takes influences from the story of Yahweh conquering the seas and rivers, rooted in an ancient Babylonian story called Enuma Elish.
The ritual begins by consecrating the space with fire, the aspirant proving his or her knowledge of the Practicus grade and then taking the Philosophus oath. The aspirant walks the ritualistic path the 29th Path of Qoph between the Malkuth and Netzach sephiroth. The aspirant then meets Osiris, Horus, and Isis who symbolize water and three phases of time. At the end of the path, the aspirant studies the tarot card The Moon.
The aspirant then leanrs the mysteris of the 28th Path of Tzaddi between Yesod and Netzach meeting Isis, Nephthys and Hathor. He or she is then initiated under the Celestial Water and learns intuition, awareness, meditation and imagination. The aspirant is then shown the tarot card The Star.
Next the aspirant walks the 27th Path of Peh between the sphers of Hod and Netzach. This is a drama representing the death of the Kings of Edom and discusses the destruction of old in favor for the new symbolizing ritualistic deconstruction of the aspirant. At the end of the path, the aspirant studies the tarot card The Tower.
At this point in the ritual, the aspirant is initiated into the temple of Netzach and learns the symbolism of the Garden of Eden After the Fall.