First Degree


As with all learning, in occultism the ideal form of tuition is the close personal supervision by a master craftsman of an apprentice or pupil, either as an individual pupil or within the structure of a group or school. Owing to the inner nature of things, a group can be doubly helpful; for a pool of inner awareness or a Group Mind can be formed, which may be tapped by the individual – any group being potentially more than the sum total of its parts.

However, a good group is hard to find and a spurious or badly run group is worse than no group at all. Also, because of the diversity of human nature, it may well be that a well-run group is not always suitable for all types of applicants. There may also be reasons of geography or physical circumstance that may well make participation of an otherwise ideal group impractical.

So, for many, the only answer is a Correspondence School – providing it is properly and responsibly run. It is a substitute, just as any correspondence course for any other skill is a substitute for the traditional apprenticeship; but if the student will work hard and stick to the self-discipline required considerable progress can be made. Indeed, the fact that it is a harder way of learning may well produce a better pupil in the end. For in the end it is the determination, persistence and innate ability of the student which determines the measure of success, and the opening up of further opportunities.

The First Degree correspondence course is the foundation of all studies and work within Servants of the Light. 

For information about the New First Degree Course, click here.

The symbol of the First Degree is the Bee, symbol of selfless service to the whole.

A newly accepted applicant is considered an Entered Novice of the First Degree. If you attend a Practical Work meeting you will be required to wear a black robe with a white cord. You may attend any SOL-only meeting for practical ritual or teaching work.

After the Novitiate of 13 lessons is completed and if the supervisor’s report recommends it, a Novice enters the Fellowship of the SOL and becomes a Frater (“brother”) or Soror (“sister”), which collectively are known as Fellows. The white cord is changed for a gold cord and you are now entitled to wear the Insignia of the School on the left breast of your robe. You may attend any First Degree seminars, meetings or group meetings, You may also become eligible for Initiation if the quality of work is kept up. On initiation the gold cord is changed for a scarlet cord.

Once either First Degree course has been completed, the student is eligible to go on to the Second Degree course, The Sacred Cord.