The grade structure of the Golden Dawn supposedly allows for a grade entitled Magister Templi, also known by the enumeration 8=3, which corresponds to the Qabalistic Sephirah of Binah. However much controversy surrounds this and other grades of the Golden Dawn system. The controversy mainly concerns whether the grade in fact exists for ordinary humans, and if it does, whether it actually means anything or not.

Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero have stated simply that the grade cannot be attained by living adepts[1]. There is evidence, though, that the original members of the Golden Dawn, MacGregor Mathers included, believed in the existence of discarnate Magistri Templi. For example, in 1896, Florence Farr claimed to come into contact with an "Egyptian Adept" whom she believed - and Mathers confirmed - was equivalent in rank to an 8=3.[2]

Patrick Zalewski has stated that the Stella Matutina had rituals for the grades of Magister Templi and Magus, but at the same time expressed doubt that these grades were anything other than "Temple grades."[3] Christine Stoddard, a former chief of the Stella Matutina who later turned against it, wrote that the higher grades were increasingly conferred with the candidate in an altered state of consciousness.[4]

It is known that A E Waite composed rituals for grades above that of Adeptus Exemptus for the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross: however, confusingly, he called his 8=3 grade "Magus."[5]

However, there is at least one modern GD order which claims that is has the authentic rituals and teachings of the grades of Magister Templi, Magus and Ipsissimus.[6]


  1. Cicero, C, Cicero, S T, 2003, The Essential Golden Dawn, Llewellyn, St Paul's.
  2. p32, Farr, F, Kuntz, D (ed), 1996, The Enochian Experiments of the Golden Dawn, Holmes Publishing Group, Edmonds WA.
  3. Zalewski, P, 1988, Secret Inner Order Rituals of the Golden Dawn, Falcon Press, Phoenix AZ
  4. "Inquire Within" (C M Stoddard), 1930, Light Bearers of Darkness.
  5. Morike, N, 2006, The Holy Order of the Golden Dawn (sic)
  6. Ruggiu, J P, Tereschenko, N, (n.d.), Mathers and the Secret Chiefs