New SOL Practical Course on the Mystical Qabalah is Available for Study

The New SOL Practical Course on the Mystical Qabalah is now open for registration.

The course is designed for new students that want to study with our school.

The course is taught online by Dr. Steven Critchley our Director of Studies.

Click on our sigil below to visit the course registration page:

Posted in Event Announcement, Messages From Steven, News

New SOL Online Course for Graduates Available Now

A new course for SOL Graduates is available now called Medicine for the Soul, Working with the Etheric Eidolon of the Tree of Life.

Anyone who has completed W.E. Butler’s Practical Course on the Mystical Qabalah or Dolores Ashcroft Nowicki’s Pilgrim, Seeker, Priest, Course can study it.

A New SOL Practical Course Practical Course on the Mystical Qabalah will be available from the Vernal Equinox this year, designed for new students.

All courses are guided and presented by Dr Steven Critchley, Director of Studies, SOL.

See our courses page on this website for further details.

Posted in News

Honouring A Special Teacher:

After 24 years of supervising SOL students, Heather Goodhand retires (at 80 years of age)

Heather Goodhand has been an exemplary SOL member, supervisor and Lodge Magus for many years, and in that time, she has helped around 75 students to study with the SOL, and many of Heather’s students have completed courses.

In the past five years, since I became Director of Studies in 2018, Heather has continued to work with students in the school, helping them to complete courses, and she has been a great support whilst we have been in a state of transition and revising our courses before we re-open to new students.

On behalf of the SOL, I would like to thank Heather for her hard work in the school and for being such a vital part of our community. I know that although Heather has retired from supervising she continues to work in the egregore of our school prayerfully and with wisdom.

Thank you Heather, and bright blessings to you in the next phase of your work,


Dr Steven Critchley

Director of Studies, SOL.

Words from The Magus of SOL Lodge of the White Dove (Founded by Heather Goodhand and Friends)

Occasionally, we have the good fortune to cross paths with a person who encourages us to learn and grow in ways we had not anticipated.  Upon joining the SOL School in 2001, Dolores wrote a very welcoming letter to me with the following key sentence: “…I have placed you with Heather Goodhand as your tutor, she is very knowledgeable and helpful.”

That sounded promising, but new spiritual beginnings are sometimes akin to knocking on an unknown door in the rain, a bit unsure if this is the right house and wondering if you got the directions right? In this case, there was no need for concern.  When Heather opened the tutorial door to my studies, it felt like being invited into a book-lined room smelling faintly of frankincense and being told to make myself at home by the fire. 

Of course, that didn’t mean one would not be held to task as needed.  In her first hand-written letter to me (we made good use of the Postal Service then!) she said: “… I hope that you enjoy working on the [Butler] course and that it will open up many avenues for you to explore.  …However, it is important to follow it correctly. You be surprised to find that a lot students think that they know better!”

So, no messing around then! Heather was true to her word and kept me on track with deep understanding, pointed questions, extra reading suggestions and patience.  Being a slow learner, it took me 9 years to complete the course, but in that time Heather also became a companion as well as a supervisor.  She encouraged me to attend SOL workshops, and introduced my wife, Eugenie, and I to Morag Cameron, Magus of the first Scottish Lodge, Lodge Bride and Caer Aengus its outer court.  In 2004, when Heather was asked by Dolores to found a second Scottish Lodge, she invited us and others to help bring Lodge of the White Dove into being.  Both Lodge Bride and Lodge of the White Dove are still meeting today. 

Prompted by her always curious mind, Heather has also written a number of books on the Tarot, Initiation, the Qabalah and related subjects.  As noted in the guest Foreword for The Tower of the Three Grails, A Journey of Initiation, “…She’s got an innate ability to see and draw out the latent talents in people by encouraging and challenging her students and others who come within her sphere, and these traits are reflected in her writings.”

As for being a volunteer SOL Supervisor since 1999, Heather has directly helped a great number of students  along the paths of the Butler course, the New Course and the Second Degree course.  It used to surprise me how often a new SOL acquaintance would say, “Heather was my supervisor.”

For this work over 24 years (in this lifetime), her companions, friends and the entire SOL community express a sincere and heartfelt Thank You to a remarkable woman, a way-shower to so many, a true daughter of the Opener of the Ways. 

With Love,  David Riggle.


Several of Heather’s books are still available for purchase through Datura Press.  These include In the Footsteps of the Fool, The 13th Knight, The Tower of the Tree Grails and Journey Through the Sacred Flame.

Posted in News

Salon of the Western Mysteries Presentation, on Iamblichus and Theurgy with Steven Critchley.

Sunday 13th August

Iamblichus of Chalcis (c. 245 – c.325 CE) was a Neoplatonic philosopher who was also an initiate of Egyptian temple and mystery school teachings of the Graeco-Roman world in the third-fourth centuries of the Common Era. 
Theurgy literally means “God-work” or Divine-work and Iamblichus teachings about harmonising and working with Divine presence and power in pagan priestly mysteries had a huge impact on the western understanding of mysticism and magic. 
In the salon talk and discussion we will be exploring aspects of Iamblichus’ teachings on theurgy that have influenced modern magical ideas and associated ritual or ceremonial practices. We will also consider theurgy in the wider context of Neoplatonism and Orphic mystery school teachings, referring to other philosophers, priests and mages such as Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Porphyry and Proclus and key texts used by the Neoplatonists such as the Chaldean Oracles. 
Iamblichus presented beautiful and powerful teachings about the soul and mystical prayer which will be considered in some depth.
Steven will discuss Theurgy in terms of practical personal experience as well as in ancient philosophical or religious contexts. 

All Salons are Hosted by RJ Stewart & Anastacia
with Featured Guest Presenters

Price for Salon: $39.00 via PayPal to  

Checks may be mailed (in advance) to RJ Stewart, PO Box 239 Berkeley Springs, WV 25411. No refunds on any Salon(s) pre-payment.

To Register: email directly via webpage of The Salon of the Western Mysteries.

Registration Deadline is the Friday before the Sunday Salon.

All GoToMeeting links are sent out by 5pm the Saturday before each Sunday Salon to registered and prepaid attendees.

Posted in Messages From Steven, News

The Gareth Knight Conference

Steven Critchley is giving a talk at this year’s Gareth Knight Conference in Glastonbury, hosted by the Gareth Knight Group, on Saturday 25th March.

Click on the image above for further details.



Posted in News

Announcing Tarot of Eternal Being Tarot Deck by Ann Stoker (SOL) and Tarot and the Cube of Space by Oderic (SOL)

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new tarot deck and book produced by two long-standing members of the SOL that also volunteer as supervisors in the SOL school.

The Cube of Space by Oderic (SOL)

 Tarot of Eternal Being – Tarot deck by Ann Stoker (SOL)

10 years in the making, an entirely new Tarot deck and interpretation, considered by reference to the Cube of Space, as revealed in the Book of Formation, Sepher Yetzirah (committed to writing c. 3rd/4th century CE). In the several thousands of years that the esoteric principles of the Tarot Keys have been in formation, it is only in the last 100 years that the fully-fledged revelation of the Cube of Space has been made manifest. 

At last, the Tarot of Eternal Being and the Cube of Space offer access into the truly magical consciousness. While the glyph of the Tree of Life sets down the innumerable correspondences of Hermetic Qabalah, it is the Cube of Space that gives them order, definition, context and cohesion.

Tarot of Eternal Being deck £50. Tarot and the Cube of Space book £50. Discount of 20% when purchased together £80. 


Posted in News

In Memoriam – Elizabeth Anderton-Fox

We are sad to announce that Elizabeth Anderton-Fox has died recently following a stay in hospital.

Many SOL Students owe a great deal to Elizabeth Anderton-Fox, who worked as a senior supervisor in the SOL School for decades.

She and her husband, John Fox, became involved in the school in the 1980s and early 1990s, attending workshops held by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, and they also studied the SOL Practical Course on the Mystical Qabalah by W.E. Butler. Both John and Elizabeth worked as SOL supervisors for many years.

John and Elizabeth taught workshops through their organisation called Sirius, and both taught alongside Dolores Ashcroft Nowicki on several occasions and were dear friends of Dolores’.

Dolores and Elizabeth successfully taught a series of workshops together in the UK, and the USA called Ritual with Purpose that ran for many years.

Both Elizabeth and John were involved in SOL Lodges too, particularly Lodge Sothis in Manchester; they were both involved in AMORC, the founding and organisation of the British Martinist Order, and The Order Militia Crucifera Evangelica (OMCE) too and were dedicated Rosicrucians.

Elizabeth also worked in Co-Masonry and often attended meetings in London and elsewhere in the country in connection with that work which she loved.

Elizabeth supervised the current Director of Studies of the SOL, Dr Steven Critchley, through the Butler Course, initiated him to 1st degree in the SOL and taught him ceremonial magic techniques in Lodge Sothis of which he was a member for several years,

Please light passing candles in remembrance of Elizabeth, who dedicated her life to the Great Work in many ways and helped many on the path in the light of truth with kindness and integrity.

Elizabeth’s Funeral is being held on Thursday, 16th March, and anyone wishing to attend can contact Steven Critchley for further details.

Elizabeth requested donations be made to the British Martinist Order in leu of any floral tributes:

Donations can be made directly through bank transfer:

Account name: British  Martinist Order
Account number: 54394833
Sort Code: 05-09-89
Alternatively, donations can be made via the website at


Posted in Messages From Steven, News

Alison Downing’s Funeral

Alison’s Downing’s funeral will be on Thursday 19th Jan. @ 12.00 at the Garden of England crematorium, Sheppey way, Sittingbourne, Kent. ME9 8GZ.

SOL members may want to attend and pay their respects at the crematorium.

Please be aware, though, that the family has pre-arranged catering after the funeral for a limited number of guests who have been invited.

There is a Premier Inn & a Holiday Inn close by.

There will be a motorcycle escort for Alison to the crematorium.

Family flowers only.

Donations in memory of Alison to Wisteria Cat Rescue via William Whitmey funeral directors.

Posted in Messages From Steven, News

In Memoriam – Linda Carter-Jackson – A Message from Chris Carter-Jackson

Linda Carter-Jackson

”To those of you who knew (know) her, I am sorry to announce the passing into The Light of my dear wife Linda Carter-Jackson on Tuesday 20th December.

Linda was a force behind myself, Barry and Andy when we started the Gathering of the Lights weekends a few years ago. I remember, after a Mage meeting or was it a 2nd degree ceremony? – The mind falters – with Dolores, sitting in a curry house (Barry, Jolyon, Helene etc… may remember) we discussed a joint Lodge get together (Barry, Mo and I had already had some joint Northern Lodge meetings) and all of a sudden everyone looked at me and said – you need to ask the Boss. Linda was so enthusiastic about this idea so, when Giles Lodge was raised (I was unemployed – a rarity) at the time I received a call from D. on the morning saying she would cover my rail fare to attend. You did not disagree with her. So, Linda said I need to put the idea forward when I got a chance

Anyway, we (Dolores and I) got the train back to London next day and I summoned up the courage to propose this GOL, as it became known by to Dolores and, the dear lady agreed.

Linda was also a member of Lodge Morning Star and I can tell you she drummed it into us how important it was to enter the Lodge correctly, so everyone ended at their appropriate place before a ceremony started. That was her Masonic training coming through. Me? I was just the Magus.

Linda was a 30th Degree in Freemasonry and ruled a few Lodges of various degrees.

Dolores graciously allowed Giles to bestow the 1st degree red cord of the Initiate upon Linda even though she did not complete the SOL Course.

Friends far and wide are tuning in tomorrow  23rd at 7.00pm for a ceremony I will be undertaking so, if you see this in time and want to remember Linda please light a candle I would be most grateful. Or, if too late please light the candle.

You never leave SOL. Once you are in then it becomes a part of you.

Love and Light to you all.

Chris Carter-Jackson. Former ARC member, Supervisor and Magus of Lodge Morning Star.

Posted in News

In Memoriam – Alison Downing


20th December 2022

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I share that Alison Downing passed into the Light last night (19th December) after having a stroke from which she, sadly, did not recover.

I know that you will be as shocked and saddened by this news as I was.

Alison’s sister contacted me today and shared the sad news and asked that I share with you that Alison has died.

Many SOL students have been helped by Alison and know her as a helpful volunteer. Alison helped behind the scenes in the school as an administrator for many years.

She has been a long-standing member of the SOL for decades and worked in lodges and working groups, she worked among us as an exemplary initiate of the school.

Please light passing candles for Alison as individuals and in the SOL Lodges and may Alison’s spirit go forth shining and in peace.

We have lost a great friend and sister in our work.

Please also remember Alison’s partner Simon, friends and family in prayers at this difficult time.

Thank you,


Director of Studies, SOL.




Posted in News