Now, there are a few passages in The Book that seem to do with Initiation. This starts with “the rituals shall be half known and half concealed” and continues with “Who calls us Thelemites will do no wrong, if he look but close into the word. For there are therein Three Grades. the Hermit and the Lover and the man of Earth.” I feel if all such passages are drawn together, then we would have the ultimate in Initiations.
From the 13th Æthyr: "The man of earth is the adherent. The lover giveth his life unto the work among men. The hermit giveth solitary, and giveth only of his light unto men."
There is another quote that implies that the Initiatory formula is to be changed: “Abrogate are all rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs.” So all old rituals, ordeals, words and signs are now obsolete and are to be replaced.
We cannot forget to overlook this next phrase: “Hoor in his secret name and splendour is the Lord initiating.” So if there is an Initiatory current running through things today, let us not forget that it stems from Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
I see these next passages as a guide as to what to put into Initiations: “Behold! there are three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and the lofty chosen ones in the highest. Thus ye have star & star, system & system — let not one know well the other.”
What appears to be instructions as to the kind of Initiations that could be written follows: “There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace is of silver and gold; lapis lazuli & jasper are there, and all rare scents jasmine & rose, and the emblems of death. Let him enter in turn or at once the four gates; let him stand on the floor of the palace. Will he not sink? Amn. Ho! warrior, if thy servant sink? But there are means and means.”
To the best of my knowledge Initiations that strictly follow these various hints, clues and instructions have not been written.
“The ordeals thou shalt oversee thyself, save only the blind ones. Refuse none, but thou shalt know & destroy the traitors.” An ordeal is part of an Initiation, but in two senses. (1) In an Initiation an ordeal is a little trial or test, a bit of adversity, that a Candidate goes through before having the next Grade, Degree or Title conferred upon him. (2) Once an Initiation has been scheduled, or when it gets about time for an Initiation to be scheduled, a Candidate seems to go through an ordeal in the outside world, in real life. The result is that Fate (or whoever) seems to test him, to force him to endure a challenge that will, in the end, make him a stronger better person. ... No one is to be refused, but those who join under false pretenses will be revealed and dealt with in a con-corporeal way.
“Let him come through the first ordeal & it will be to him as silver. Through the second gold. Through the third, stones of precious water. Through the fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire.” To me this is a further indicator of what the perfect Thelemic Initiations should be like, what they should contain. [quote Crowley on this one]
I would also be in favor of Initiations based on the Holy Books that are studied in each grade.
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