Servants of the Light (SOL)
The Servants of the Light is a contemporary ritual magic
group founded by William E. Butler (1898–1978) in early
1965. Butler had studied with Dion Fortune and the Society
of the Inner Light, which he founded and had gone on to establish
his own direct contact with the higher magical planes.
In the years following Dion Fortune’s death, Butler wrote several
basic magical textbooks, several of which became quite popular
in occult circles for their clarity and readability Magic Its
Ritual, Power, and Work (1952), The Magician His Training and
Work (1959), and Apprenticed to Magic (1962).
In 1965, along with fellow society member Gareth Knight,
he left the society and founded the Helios Book Service and a
new correspondence course of study in magic, the Helios
Course, similar to that taught by Dion Fortune. In 1972, Knight
departed and the following year founded a new magical group.
Butler continued to offer the Helios Course, which evolved into
the curriculum of the Servants of the Light School of Occult
Science. He was joined in this endeavor by Michael and Delores
Ashcroft-Nowicki. Together they built the school into an
international training instrument with students in more than
20 countries.
Delores Ashcroft-Nowicki eventually came into direct contact
with the same inner plane teacher that Butler had contacted.
She decided to dedicate her life to the service of this inner
plane adept. She was appointed to succeed Butler as the director
of studies for the school and Michael was named the
school’s guardian. In the decades since assuming leadership of
the school, as the school has expanded, Delores AshcroftNowicki
has emerged as a teacher in her own right and has authored
a number of books, both beginning and advanced.
The Servants of the Light offers a 50-lesson correspondence
course in magic (with each lesson taking approximately one
month). The content of the course is drawn from the Kabbalah,
the tarot, and the Arthurian myths. It supplies a basic understanding
of the esoteric tradition and the fundamentals of magical
practice. Students study in their own home but are assigned
a personal teacher to whom they may direct questions and from
whom they can receive guidance. The school is not sectarian
and teaches a system of magic that is compatible with a variety
of religious backgrounds.
As of the beginning of the new millennium, the school reports
some 2,600 students in 23 countries. Contact may be
made through the international headquarters at P.O. Box 215,
St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, Great Britain JE4 9SD. An
Internet site is found at
Ashcroft-Nowicki, Delores. First Steps in Ritual. Wellingsborough,
Northamptonshire, UK Aquarian Press, 1982.
———. The Tree of Ecstasy. Wellingsborough, Northamptonshire,
UK Aquarian Press, 1991.
Butler, William E. Apprenticed to Magic. London Aquarian
Press, 1962.
———. The Magician His Training and Work. London
Aquarian Press, 1959.
Servants of the Light.
May 16, 2000.