The Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn is divided into three orders. The First and Outer Order and school of the Golden Dawn is further divided into five grades:
The circle around the numeral represents the degree of spirit and the square represents the degree of material inclination. As you see, as an initiate progresses through the grades they become more spiritual and less bound by the material.
Between the First and the Second Orders is the probationary grade of Portal, the grade of Spirit, which answers neither to the First nor Second Order. The Second Order, which governs the First, is comprised of three basic grades:
The Third Order, which governs the Second Order is comprised of three grades:
The grades of the Third Order are reserved for beings the nature of which Mathers was never certain. Though he believed them to human, he believed the possessed "terrible superhuman powers," and rarely saw them in physical form.