About Helios

Helios, its lineage, the team behind it,  FAQ's
and What Our Students Say

What is the Helios School?

Helios is a modern day Mystery School providing the only magical and esoteric training to fully address emotional, mental and spiritual development, integrating the ancient spiritual wisdom of the West with the latest psychological techniques from Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).

The purpose of “Helios” is to create training in the Western Mysteries that truly enables students to create fulfilling and magical lives for themselves and those they love. To enable students to identify their purpose in life and to live that purpose as fully as possible.

The vision of the founders of the Helios School of Esoteric Science is to create initiates who are worthy of that term. Who truly bless the Earth upon which they walk, who honour the sacred Mysteries of Egypt and who carry the Torch of the Mysteries on to the next generation of spiritual seekers.

The History of Helios

The Helios School was originally founded as The Academy of the Opened Ways in 2009 by Andy Cooper and Lynn Robinson.

Andy had first conceived the idea of creating a new Mystery School in 1998 during a conversation with Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, the (now retired) Director of Studies of the Servants of the Light, with whom Andy had studied for over 15 years. He felt that the ancient teaching needed a new, modern and refreshing method of presentation, incorporating everything that is good from the traditional ways plus new approaches from the personal development and corporate learning worlds.

It was to be another ten years of study, research and hard work before the school finally started to take shape. During this time Andy Completed his Ph.D in Esoteric Studies with the American Pacific University in Honolulu, Hawaii. His research was into creating a new training in the Western Mystery tradition based on using the NLP behavioural modelling techniques developed by Robert Dilts to model famous, currently living practising magicians and to elicit the values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours that enable them to be effective magicians. Having done this, Andy created a training programming using key concepts from NLP and hypnosis to install these values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours into his students. This is the core research that informed the design of the current helios First Degree Training.

In mid 2008 the Academy of the Opened Ways was created with the blessings of Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, the Head of the Servants of the Light school and it received a charter signed by Dolores formally acknowledging the Academy of the Opened ways as a daughter school of the Servants of the Light.

The First Degree Training was launched in early 2009. Between 2009 and 2012 we incorporated all of the feedback from the initial group of students, restructured and expanded the original training, added in the core Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) personal development content and re-launched it for a wider audience. In acknowledgement of the restructured and redesigned training and with promptings from the inner plane contacts of the school, we renamed The Academy of the Opened Ways the Helios School of Esoteric Science.

Helios was the original name of the mail order esoteric book service that first launched the “Helios Course” in the early 1960’s. The Helios Course soon outgrew its roots in the Helios book service and evolved into the Servants of the Light School of Occult Science (SOL) in 1974. So by taking the Helios name (with the blessings of both the original founders of the Helios Book Service and the SOL) we are implicitly acknowledging (and honouring) our origins in the early 1960’s through the pioneering work done by Gareth Knight and Ernest Butler, the original authors of the Helios Course.

At Helios we are always incorporating feedback from students in our training content. Hence in 2015 we decided it was time to refresh and restructure the training content and make it available to a wider audience through a much improved delivery infrastructure. Web technology has moved on considerably since the first Helios website was launched in 2012, and we are now able to offer the suite of Helios training through a web-based learning management system, creating a significantly enhanced learning experience. More details can be found on our training pages.

Once again, in 2024, we have revised our training content and, on the advice of our “inner plane contacts”, refocused the training to train and initiate Priests and Priestesses in the Egyptian Tradition. We are very proud of our new First Degree Programme “Keepers of the Flame” which has been jointly written by Andy Cooper and fellow Third Degree Initiate, Lynn Robinson.

We retain the “Opened Ways” name and original logo that you can see here for the inner order of the school which students are admitted to upon completion of the Second Degree training and receiving initiation into the Second Degree of the school.

The Helios Team

Dr. Andy Cooper

Andy is a Third Degree Initiate of the Western Mystery Tradition and the Director of Studies of the Helios School of Esoteric Science. He personally trained for many years with Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, the (now retired) Director of Studies of the Servants of the Light School of Occult Science (SOL). His lineage comes from Dion Fortune, the founder of the Society of the Inner Light, through Ernest Butler, the founder of the Servants of the Light and Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, its current Director of Studies. Andy holds a Ph.D in Esoteric Studies and is a certified trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a Reiki Master, a Certified Biddy Tarot “Trusted Tarot Advisor” and an initiate of the Huna tradition of ancient Hawaii. Andy currently lives and works in on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Lynn Robinson

Lynn is a Master Trainer of NLP, an initiate of the Hawaiian Huna Tradition, a Reiki Master and a Third Degree Initiate of the Western Mystery Tradition. Based in Vancouver, Canada, she runs her own training and consultancy company, specialising in leadership training, sales training, personal development, coaching and Neuro Linguistic Programming. Lynn works with both corporate clients and individuals. Lynn co-wrote the First Degree “Keepers of the Flame” Programme with Andy, and co-presents the programme with Andy.

Lynn and Andy have worked together and trained together corporately for many years presenting sales training and personal development training to companies in the US and the UK.

Dr. Uwe Kreis

Uwe is a Master Practitioner of NLP, a Reiki Master, an initiate of the Hawaiian Huna Tradition and a Second Degree Initiate of the Western Mystery Tradition. A university lecturer in Vancouver, Canada, Uwe holds a Ph.D in organic chemistry and is an expert in aromatherapy. He has blended the Helios Oil that is available for students to purchase and his input on the training materials and reviewing content has been invaluable.

Edward Griffin

Ed is an extremely experienced occultist over 30 years of experience in Theosophy, Eastern Mysticism and the Western Mystery Tradition. he is a Second degree Initiate of Helios, and is currently co-writing the Second Degree “Journey of Ra” initiatory programme with Andy. Ed lives and works in Los Angeles.

What are the Mysteries?

The traditional established religions typically offer a view of the world that people are flawed in some way and in order to redeem themselves they have to follow the path offered by the one or other of the mainstream religions. The only way to salvation is through the priest and the church that acts as an intermediary between the individual and god. This outward, public approach to spiritual development is known as exoteric.

Esoteric spirituality is closely tied to the idea of perfecting ourselves through our own inner work so that we can transcend our ordinary mundane states of being and to reach god in this lifetime, rather than afterwards! In other words, we all have the potential and the capacity to become our own priest or priestess.

This inner work and the teaching and processes used for esoteric spiritual growth have been largely hidden from public view, but lie at the heart of both the mainstream religions and the so-called “Mystery Traditions” of the ancient world. Sufism in Islam, Qabalah in Judaism and Gnostic Christianity all represent the esoteric side of the mainstream exoteric religions of the West. All of these traditions evolved from the earlier ancient Mystery Religions of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece.

It is these ancient “Mystery Teachings” from Egypt, Greece and early Israel that form the basis of what has become known as the Western Mystery Tradition, and is what we teach here in the Helios School of Esoteric Science.

What is NLP?

NLP stands for “Neuro Linguistic Programming” and it is a complete system of emotional and mental development and psychotherapy that was originally developed in the 1970’s in California by Richard Bandler and John Grinder.The name derives from the fact that neurology (the brain), language and how we do things and process information (strategies and sequences) are the key components of human subjective experience. In fact the original subtitle that Bandler and Grinder gave to NLP was “The study of human subjective experience.”

The neurological system regulates how our body functions, language determines how we interface and communicate with other people and our programming determines the kinds of beliefs we create. Neuro-Linguistic Programming describes the fundamental dynamics between mind (neuro) and language (linguistic) and how their relationship affects our body and behaviour (programming).

The founders of the Helios School are all NLP trained. For us it is the most effective, usable and powerful set of personal development tools that we have found to date. It is the perfect complement to magical training. It is true to say that for each of the founding initiates of Helios, not one of us would have been able to lead the kind of lives we lead, have the kind of relationships we have and the spiritual experiences we have had if we had not had the powerful tools of NLP to help us along the way.

This is why we are so committed to it as a system of emotional and mental development: not from some academic interest but from our own, real-life personal experience over the last twenty or so years. This is a tried and tested system that we know is effective, simple and safe.

This is why we have weaved the NLP emotional clearing processes and many other tools into the magical training curriculum of the Helios School.

What is Magic?

Magic is both an art and a science. It is probably the oldest science although its true history is lost in the mists of time. We can certainly trace magical practice back to the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. The ancient Egyptians themselves said that their lineage goes back to the lost continent of Atlantis, an ancient high civilisation that had, at its peak, perfected the art and science of magic and used it for the betterment of its citizens. In later times of Atlantis, the priests who practised magic became corrupted with their power and eventually Atlantis sunk beneath the waves in a series of great cataclysms.

Magic is the ability to use the power of our mind, linked to the unseen powers of the inner worlds, to create changes in physical, manifested reality. It is the study and the exploration of the “unseen realms,” those parts of creation that are not manifested in physical reality and are now starting to be identified by modern quantum physics and cosmology. From a spiritual/magical perspective these “unseen” or “inner” realms are accessible through the focused use of the creative imagination and this is a key part of the Mystery School teaching. These changes can of be any form – healing, manifesting things, attracting people, changing the weather, etc.

This is what we offer within the Helios School of Esoteric Science. Combining ancient spiritual wisdom with modern psychological approaches, we provide a truly holistic approach to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual development.

What is Initiation?

Initiation is a much-misunderstood process, and it is very important that within the Helios School our students fully understand the meaning and the purpose of initiation. It is different within “Helios”and its parent, withdrawn order (The Fraternitatis Alexandrae) than it is within many other magical orders.

The magical rite of initiation is held to be one of the most ancient of rites, and marks the psychological crossing of a threshold into new territories, knowledge and abilities.

The first thing to say is that initiation is NOT a badge of honour or progress. It is not awarded simply because a student has reached a certain point in the course. It is an outward recognition of the inward emotional, mental and spiritual development that a student has achieved. It is truly an outward sign of an inner grace bestowed.

So where does this “inner grace” come from? This is a state of being, a subtle yet detectable energy shift within an individual that indicates that this person is ready for initiation. The processes that lead up to and “initiate” this shift of energy are subtle, but they are the result of sustained and dedicated personal and spiritual development work.

Within “Helios” we believe that initiation is a sign of a true Adept of the Mysteries – someone who is technically skilled at magical practice, has a high level of mental, emotional and spiritual development AND who is demonstrably able to apply this knowledge and skills within their daily life. It is not enough to be an “armchair occultist!” We strongly encourage students to apply their knowledge and skills towards enhancing the quality of their everyday lives and the lives of those people around them. This is really what a magical life is all about. After all, if we cannot use what we learn to enhance our experience of living daily on the Earth plane, what are we here for?

Initiation is a gradual process of emotional, mental and spiritual development leading to subtle energy shifts which, when noticed, indicate that you are ready for this level of development to be formally recognised through a magical ritual of initiation. This ritual is different depending upon the level of degree that is being conferred: First, Second or Third.

The actual rite of initiation is designed to raise the level of vibration of the subtle energy bodies of a person. If a person is not adequately prepared for this process, the results can cause previously unresolved emotional issues to surface and require healing. This is not necessarily a comfortable process! This is why we focus so much on preparation through emotional clearing and mental development as part of the training and preparation towards initiation.

With most schools of the Western Mysteries there are three degrees of initiation: First, Second and Third. They are given different names in the different strands of the Mysteries, but for now we will simply use these titles. The esoteric and spiritual meaning and implications of these three degrees of initiation are examined in detail throughout the training we offer.

Here's what our students say:

Infinite possibilities...

"It’s difficult to put into words and might seem merely mental but I felt a strange opening of ‘infinite possibilities’ it felt like almost anything would be possible…."


The Netherlands

An indefinable quality...

"First, may I congratulate you, Andy, on the presentation and ‘feel’ of the material! Modern, efficient and yet there is that indefinable quality that links it to its far beginnings."


United Kingdom

Increased energy levels...

"As my ability to focus my mind & relax during my meditations grows so has my energy levels throughout the day while I work."


United States

An incredible journey

“So far this has been an incredible journey, I honour myself for walking it and honour you Andy for being part of making it possible. Thank you.”



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