What is the Friary?
The Friary is a modern Western Mystery School, sponsored by the Apostolic Johannite Church. Our curriculum deals with the Magickal Arts, focusing on a centuries old Gnostic system, but encompassing all esoteric systems, East and West.
Is the Friary some kind of church?
No. We are a school. The Friary is sponsored by the Apostolic Johannite Church, and while many members of the Friary do enjoy affiliation and participation in the AJC, it is by no means a requirement- nor does it offer special benefit, for Friary membership.
What are your aims?
The aim of the Friary is to help in spreading the esoteric knowledge in an ethical way, regardless of religion, sex, nationality, race, age, or social status.
What is the College of Seven?
Executive authority in the Temple is held by the College of Seven, the High Priests of the Sacred Flame. The Grandmaster of the Friary, along with being a Bishop of the AJC, is always chosen from among the ranks of the College of Seven.
What is the Sacred Flame?
That special Divine Fire that ensouls the magician and allows him or her to increase their state of Being, while moving always closer to the Will of the Divine.
What is the Apostolic Johannite Church?
The Apostolic Johannite Church is a Gnostic, esoteric and Apostolic Catholic Church.
The AJC encourages intellectual and religious freedom and holds the individual conscience in high respect. You’ll find love, acceptance, and fellowship within the AJC, whether you believe in the literal exposition of the scriptures or you accept an allegorical spiritual interpretation.
What do you mean by Apostolic?
Apostolicity is the mark by which the Church of today is recognized as identical with the Church founded by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles. It is of great importance because it is the surest indication of the true Church of Christ.
Either the word “Christian” or “Apostolic”, might be used to express the identity between the Church of today and the primitive Church. The term “Apostolic” is preferred because it indicates a correlation between Christ and the Apostles, showing the relation of the Church both to Christ, the founder, and to the Apostles, upon whom He founded it.
“Apostle” is one sent, sent by authority of Jesus Christ to continue His Mission upon earth, especially a member of the original band of teachers known as the Twelve Apostles. Therefore the Church is called Apostolic, because it was founded by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles, ours more specifically, upon the Apostle John, called by Christ “the Beloved.”
You use “Gnostic” a lot- what does that mean?
Gnostic relates to “Gnosis” – ‘transcendent, liberating and experiential knowledge of spiritual truth’ and that salvation is obtained via its apprehension. Gnosis exists both within the current of mainstream religious belief and systems and beyond its confines, expressing itself primarily in myth and symbol rather than doctrine and dogma. Gnostics stress mysticism, personal responsibility and practical philosophy.
What do you mean by “magick?”
Magick is the causing of change to occur in the subjective universe in accordance with the Will. This change in the subjective universe will cause a similar and proportionate change in the objective universe.
Examine this definition. A deliberate effort is made to alter one’s subjective frame of reference, so that a thing that used to be conceptualized one way is now conceptualized in another. A distasteful situation may be adjusted to produce a favorable outcome; a live enemy may be adjusted to be thwarted or nonexistent; a desire of any sort may be realized.
Is there any difference between the terms “Magick,” “Esoteric,” and the “Occult?”
The Definition of Magick is above, the others:
Esoteric- Designed for, and understood by, the specially initiated alone; not communicated, or not intelligible, to the general populous; private; interior; — said of the private and more recondite instructions and doctrines of philosophers. Opposed to exoteric.
Occult- Of, relating to, or dealing with supernatural influences, agencies, or phenomena. Beyond the realm of human comprehension; inscrutable. Available only to the initiate; secret. Hidden from view; concealed.
Is there a school building somewhere?
Many members are geographically distant from one another. This necessitates an organizational design geared more towards services to the individual than to localized groups. Recognizing the value and fellowship of a seminar environment, however, the Friary provides for “Lodges.” Lodges are often geographically localized, but some are “correspondence” Lodges with global membership and interaction. While each Lodge is under the trust and responsibility of a II°+ Sentinel, they are emphatically not “leader/follower congregations,” but rather cooperative and interactive forums for individual Initiates.
Isn’t occultism black magic?
The technology of magic is neutral. It is the intention of the operator that determines whether the magic is “black” or “white” (which is to say, “harmful” or “beneficial”). For this reason, occult schools have carefully screened their candidates throughout the ages, and have taught their Initiates to develop the highest in personal ethical standards.
Are you affiliated with any other organizations?
The Friary is sponsored by the Apostolic Johannite Church. Other than this, the Friary is affiliated with no other organization- though we do hold dear our mutual friendships and relationships with other groups and Orders.
Do you have to be a Christian to be a member of the Friary?
There are many paths to the Light, and we respect them all. One of the first things an occultist has to learn is tolerance and understanding of other religions. While the Friary does focus on Esoteric Christianity, and use a great deal of Christian terminology and symbolism, we count ourselves fortunate to have Wiccans, Christians, Shamans, Buddhists, Hermeticists, Alchemists, Hindus and many others among our members.
Is your material available in any other languages?
At this time, the Friary material is available only in the English language.
How much does membership cost?
The Friary charges no Initiation fees.
Lodges may, at the discretion of the Sentinel and the approval of the membership, have their own membership dues to help alleviate the cost of group gatherings.
Do I have to meditate for hours on end?
The Friary does encourage regular meditation, for both Initiatory and health reasons, but the length of time and regularity is determined by the Initiate. No one will force you to do anything.
Of course, this means that in order to be a successful Initiate, you must possess a drive, discipline, and self-motivation, because… no one will force you to do anything.
You will succeed or fail on your own efforts and merits.
Do I have to travel anywhere to follow your courses?
Degree Initiations must be given in person, and this does, at times, require travel- either on the part of the Candidate or the Initiator. To see if there is an Initiator within your area, please contact the Grand Lodge.
Am I free to leave the school whenever I wish?
Yes. You can leave the Friary at any point in your studies and for any reason. You do not have to state your reasons for leaving. We will not try to stop you from leaving us; neither will we hang on to you in any way, since we recognize that each individual has his or her own path to follow. Should you find that our particular school is not what you are looking for, we will be happy to recommend other schools if you so wish.
How long will it take me to complete the First Degree Initiate material?
Each Initiate of the Friary may confer any Initiator degree the one the currently hold (for example, any II* may confer the I*, and any III* may confer either the II*, or the I*), and the Friary does not dictate to whom, or when these Initiations must be given. Therefore, to answer the question, we must say “it depends.”
The time it takes you to complete the First Degree material will depend completely upon you, and the discretion and discernment of the Initiator.