Servants of the Light is a modern-day Western Mystery School which teaches the esoteric sciences through correspondence, practically and theoretically, with reference to the Western Esoteric Tradition and the Mystical Qabalah. These sciences, which in their true form constitute the Yoga of the West, have previously been ‘occult’ (which means “hidden”), but nowadays they can be taught in a more open fashion. The term “Yoga” simply means Union and the esoteric traditions of the West point to ways in which union with the Divine within might be attained, in this context the “Yoga of the West” does not have anything to do with adopting body postures as taught in popular yoga classes or in the Vedic systems.
For nearly fifty years now the Servants of the Light School, founded by W.E. Butler, has taught thousands of students from many nations under the leadership of our present Director of Studies, Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki.
Dolores travels thousands of miles every year lecturing and leading workshops as well as working with our Lodges. Dolores is currently creating a new SOL Main Course which leading students are already studying successfully. It is the goal of the SOL to teach the Western Mystery Tradition to all who wish to learn, both as a school and an esoteric order, into the future.
The Servants of the Light School began as the Helios Course in 1964 when Gareth Knight and John Hall appointed W.E. Butler as Director of Studies of a course they had already begun, with six lessons already written. Ernest Butler added another 44 lessons to the Helios Course and then in 1973/1974 it became The Servants of the Light Correspondence Course that has 50 Lessons. On May 13th 1974 by W E Butler registered the name “Servants of the Light” as a business name and the name under which we operate was also registered officially on the British channel island of Jersey where the SOL has been based since 1976.
W.E. Butler received his training in Dion Fortune’s Fraternity of Inner Light, which in turn stemmed from The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He was also trained by the psychic Robert King who was also one of the early bishops of the Liberal Catholic Church (which values theosophical and mystical Christian teachings as well as respecting the wisdom found in all world religions). W.E. Butler was an ordained Liberal Catholic Priest and served as Director of Studies until he retired from the position in 1975, he died in 1978, when he was succeeded by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, third-generation psychic, mediator, author, lecturer and workshop facilitator.
The purpose of the SOL is to assist in spreading esoteric knowledge in an ethical manner to all who want to receive it, regardless of religious denomination, gender, nationality, race, age, social position or income. All who desire to do so should be able to study the Mysteries, the true inner spiritual heritage of the West.
SOL is not affiliated to any political or religious organizations. Neither is the SOL affiliated with any other organization on the earth-plane.
The School is volunteer-run. There are no offices and no hired staff, and not even the Director of Studies or the Supervisors get paid for the work they do. All students pay is a low cost per correspondence course lesson to support the running of the course. You will also need to get one or two text-books. No other costs are involved. There is no membership fee.
We emphasize independence and free thinking. The school is organised as a loose structure to emphasize this and in order to avoid all forms of sectarianism. Our students are expected to draw their own occult conclusions and to depend first and foremost on their own judgment.
For 50 years now, SOL now has taught thousands of students in twenty-three countries. A wide range of traditions are represented within the school both historically and contemporaneously: we count ourselves fortunate to have Wiccan witches, Pagans, Christian nuns and priests, Shamans, Hermetists, Kabbalists, Buddhists, Isis-worshippers and many others among our students. All paths to the Light are worthy of respect.
The SOL is a school. This means that our members work according to a specific curriculum. Each student has a personal tutor who guides the student and helps him or her to get the most out of their studies.
It teaches through correspondence. In other words, there is no such thing as a school building. Each student works in her or his own home, independently of other students.
Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki’s Foundation Course (13 monthly lessons plus an exam) and the New Main Course (36 monthly Lessons) is now studied by most new students.
Each lesson contains written teachings as well as exercises and meditations. The student keeps a journal of all work performed, and at the end of each lesson this journal is sent to the supervisor who assesses and comments on it.
The New Main Course is vibrant and modern and is proving successful with many students.
We still offer Ernest Butler’s original course by request to suitable applicants but the course is now very dated and out-of-touch with many modern concepts.
Butler’s First Degree Course teaches and uses the Qabalah, since it makes it possible to build bridges between different types of esoteric philosophies. It also enables the student to translate higher forms of mentation into concrete terms it also uses Tarot symbolism and the symbolism of the Arthurian myths.
The New Main Course does not use Arthurian myth but reflects the spirituality of humanity in several contexts though the Mystical Qabalah is still at its heart and the Tree of Life is central to the teachings unveiled by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki.
The aim of the studies is to balance the inner and outer selves and to give the student a comprehensive theoretical and practical understanding of the ancient Mysteries. If any psychic talents are there, the courses will stimulate them into activity and polish them. In this way the student may make his or her own inner contacts.
It is possible to combine the SOL Correspondence Courses with a modern, busy life-style. For the Butler Course, you need to reserve 30-45 minutes each day to meditate and to read the lesson material along with the relevant section of the text book. The New Course, however, requires an extra 10 hours per week of study time.
A student can leave the SOL at any point. We will not try to stop you from pursuing your own path. We can recommend other schools should you feel that your path lies elsewhere.
The SOL is what is termed a contacted School. This means that it is in direct psychic contact with the Inner Planes. This is something we rarely talk about, since it tends to distract the student from the really important issue – their own inner development. Suffice to say that the school is firmly and deeply linked to the Inner Hierarchy, where its true Directors reside.
The fact that the SOL is contacted also means that Initiation in the true sense of the word can be conferred within the structure of the school.