By Frater Serpentis Satori 9=2
2 Jan 02 Sun in Cap;Moon in Virgo
Traditions are united by their common symbols in their majick. Merely practicing with a Tradition’s symbols makes one a member, but not an Initiate. It is a difference in understanding, but also responsibility- akin to celebrating the Celtic Year Wheel in its purely Exoteric sense, rather than having each days meaning revealed.
It has become unfortunately common in the last century to self-initiate, and claiming membership in a Tradition without the guidance and responsibility inherent in its initiations. This has led to the violation of The Mysteries of those Traditions, and greater numbers of uneven and imbalanced people on the path. Not only does this make actual Initiates and their struggles seem less valid but also it has propagated some of the worst behavior in both groups.
Those who are not initiated, many never would choose to be, even if they could find a body lax enough to accept their attitudes. Some claim they are too independent for Traditions and Lodges; Others do not have the focus or humility to serve anything greater than their own needs for self-promotion and ego-gratification. The true vice is when such people, who never had been members of any group, attempt to claim authority and begin their own Orders.
Because even Initiations into The Left-hand Path, carry responsibilities and obligations to other members, the group and Tradition. Right Hand Path, and Middle Path groups also impose Ethical and Path Standards, and often Cosmological or Theological as well. But in every case, the same has been asked of everyone else in the group, to maintain the like-minded nature of Initiatory Societies.
These ideals are often The Oaths of Initiation, and can range from simple prohibitions against certain activities the group finds distasteful, to more visionary and transformative. The most basic are simple ritual explanations of group etiquette, from “kind relations” or “wearing the clothes of the country” to “never turn your back on your brother”. Some relate to gods or symbols central to the Society. The most majickal though, are either impositions of action or cosmology, The Oath of the Abyss being the best known of these.
Then there comes the Ritual drama, and its play of symbols that both introduces these elements to the Candidate, and brings them into the Traditional Cosmos. This is what separates the Initiate from the dabbler, surrendering to a total vision of occult reality- often for ever. The progression of the Mysteries slowly reveals greater understanding and interrelationships between the symbols. This does keep each grade or degree an entirely different understanding than its’ preceding Universe.
So for those without passwords and degrees, consider: both your freedom and the group’s history, karma, and present activities before joining any occult group. For ones who do Seek and are both serious and devoted, when given the choice between study and Initiation, go into The Mysteries if one may dare.