Self Initiation, a few points

Since I enjoyed jotting down my take on astral initiation, I thought I’d do the same with ‘self-initiation’. 🙂 Here I am specifically talking about Golden Dawn and RR et AC initiations. Other MOTO posts touching on this topic are:

Of course in any analysis of personal experiences, such as initiation, we have to take care not to invalidate people’s experiences.

After all, all inner experiences are valid and can, if we follow them with honesty and altruistic motivations, lead us to learning more about ourselves and the universe.

That said, it is perfectly fine to critique and offer differing opinions from the outside, even if they may upset the apple cart a bit. I have just read a good example of this in Yours Very Truly, selected letters of Gareth Knight (Skylight Press, 2010).

In a letter to Vivienne Jones, Gareth refers to an article concerned with spiritual pathology he wrote for Psychology and the Spiritual Traditions (Element, 1990). This article seems to have made a few folk come up and short and re-examine their own assumptions and the origins of their received material and intuitions. Gareth wisely states,

…it is no small achievement to realise how badly one has performed as a human being – it shows a glimmer of clear sightedness and the beginning of practical spiritual wisdom.

We all need a dose this now and then. 🙂 Anyway, onward…

There are a number of misconceptions surrounding magical initiation. One of the most pernicious, and all the more so for its subtlety, is the idea that initiation somehow makes one different from other people – more advanced, one of the elite – an attitude that is in complete contrast to the actual purpose of initiation. Initiation means simply ‘to begin’. The late W.E. Butler, an adept in a Western Magical tradition stemming from the Golden Dawn, believed we should not say we are ‘initiates’ (noun), but rather ‘initiate’ (verb), to indicate that we are all, no matter our experience, continually beginning our spiritual unfoldment. In the Golden Dawn this is the beginning of a new mode of awareness, where we no longer walk in the sleep of everyday life but are alive to our own inner divinity and the call of God.

In a very real sense all initiations are self initiations. It is the self of the initiate that is being changed, and it is the self that has to assent to the initiation and the spiritual and/or the fraternal gifts it offers. If the initiate is closed, immature or has base motivations, the best ceremonial initiation in the world will not affect them directly. They will remain closed. Whereas an open, dedicated person at home waving some incense around and calling on the divine powers in a self composed ritual will be affected more. I would more likely class them as an initiate than a Neophyte who has gone through the motions but not open to unfoldment and service. Our motivations are the key here.  I do not expect the first degree Wiccan, who confessed to Maxine Sanders he was only there because he liked the look of her tits, would be much of an initiate.

Now that said, the Golden Dawn Z docs, from memory do make the bold claim that the initiate, once entering the process, will be moved to the Light whether they will it or not.  This is because the Golden Dawn initiation ceremonies, like all effective magical traditions, work on the subtle selves of the initiate. When correctly performed the blessings of a ceremonial initiation will be linked to the subtle selves of a ‘closed’ initiate. So even though the initiation does not ‘take’ immediately, when the initiate becomes open within themselves the initiation becomes active. Nifty, huh 🙂

There are many aspects to a full Golden Dawn initiation, as shown for example in this post, Currents and Templates of Transformation within the Golden Dawn Neophyte Ceremony. So with all of these points and all the various functions of initiation in mind, fraternal belonging, energetic transformation, linking to egregores etc, etc, can a person perform a ceremony at home that will initiate them into the Golden Dawn as Neophyte or the later grades? Overall, I would have to say ‘no’, though we can achieve the same results over a longer magical process. Let me explain.

OK, first off, self initiation can never initiate us into a particular physical temple or Order in the same way a physical initiation into the temple or Order does. The presence of physical initiator is a particular form of magical action, as shown in our  last post, Astral Initiation. Physical initiatory action cannot be replaced by astral work, and self initiation is necessarily astrally based since we physically cannot be the initiator and initiate at the same time.

Also, within the Golden Dawn the initiations are extremely complex magical actions. They rest upon and require clear and empowered connections to particular magical currents and a level of technical skill far in advance of a newcomer to the grade. Put simply, if someone had the skill to initiate themselves into the Neophyte Grade with its complex formula and impact of twenty two godforms etc, all within a single self-initiation ceremony, they would not need to be initiated. Think about it – a person has to take the place of an entire Order and supporting Inner Order and perform several magical actions on all levels, simultaneously. No easy call.

In addition a crucial component of the GD outer grades is the redeemed or higher consciousness within the physical presence of the Hierophant. This simply cannot be replaced by visualising the associated godforms, because the real flesh and blood initiator represents physically on the material plane what the initiate can become. This is one of the reasons why in the GD only Adepts may initiate, and why choice of initiator is very important. The higher consciousness within the human body is essential, even if that body is clothed astrally as Osiris. If we associate the higher Tipharethic consciousness to Christ Jesus, as is common, then the blessings of the interior Godforms can be linked with the name YHShVH. However, this alone is incomplete and the blessings only earthed with the presence of the name YHVShH, as shown in the Rose Cross ritual. The physical presence of an Adept as Hierophant fulfils the YHVShH function and grounds the full blessings into the real, everyday life of the initiate.

Finally, and most importantly, ceremonial initiations always require passivity on behalf of the initiate. The western lodge tradition over the centuries developed many ways to induce this passivity, from sensory deprivation to scaring the bejesus out of the poor sod being initiated. While this passivity becomes a little less in the deeper grades of some traditions, it is still a requirement. The initiate is literally acted upon by the officers and spiritual forces invited and invoked. The same effects simply cannot occur if we, in an act of self initiation, were to call the forces and seek to act on ourselves. The very act of invocation would alter our subtle bodies and we could not receive the various complexly created structures and energies the initiation is designed to instil in the same way, the way the initiation designed them to be received.

Theoretically it would be possible to magically consecrate a vast number of talismans prior to a self initiation ceremony, one for each Godform, tool, banner etc. Then during the self initiation ceremony we could move around and be mostly astrally and mentally passive, simply uncovering the talismans to call them into action etc. However, even if we were capable of such magical finesse (and still wishing to be initiated), there is still no way around the fact that we would be physically and etherically active. The passivity required for magical initiation is as important on these planes as much as the higher planes. To deny this is to partially deny the sacrament of the body, as I talked about in the last post on Astral Initiation.

If we as solo magicians wish to engage with the initiatory method of the Golden Dawn, and there are very good reasons for doing so, we need to find ways of affecting our subtle bodies in the same manner as the initiation ceremonies themselves. During initiation we receive a gift of many hundreds of hours of inner and spiritual work on behalf of the initiating team. It is these hours of effort and spiritual work, combined with the blessings of inner plane beings, that all come together into a coherent whole that will (hopefully) change the initiate. We simply cannot hope to achieve this by ourselves in a single ceremony, no matter how good we are at visualising various officers or Godforms around us.

The way forward is to analyse exactly what each initiation does and what changes it produces. Once we are clear of these we can then design a curriculum of magical practice designed to produce these changes within us. We may need to use different magical processes than those found in the initiation ceremonies, but provided the end result is the same there will be no difficulty. In short we can design an initiatory process that will, over a period of time, change our various subtle bodies and our psyche and result in us effectively being initiated into whatever grade we are working with. I have included detail instructions on this method in the much belated By Names and Images 🙂

It should be pointed out however, that our analysis of the grades needs to be done thoroughly and personally. We should not blindly take anyone else’s approach, not least of all because many of the published accounts are woefully inadequate. For example, even calling the GD grades from Zelator to Philosophus ‘elemental grades’ betrays a limited elemental bias that can rob us of exploring the other depths within these incredibly rich ceremonies. The outcome of such a bias can be seen in Donald Michael Kraig’s Modern Magick or Israel Regardie assuming several hundred performances of the Opening by Watchtower was equivalent to these grades.

Finally, I think we need to honestly recognise that ceremonial initiation is a gift from an Order to an initiate but one most of us involved in the Western esoteric traditions may never receive and will have to learn to live without. This is simply because of the lack of sensible, accessible and properly functioning magical Orders within the West today. However, it is quite possible to create your own Order rather than waiting for one to appear or bemoaning the lack. To this end I sincerely recommend John Michael Greer’s Inside a Magical Lodge and Nick Farrell’s Gathering the Magic: Creating 21st Century Esoteric Groups. Seriously, forming a magical Order is not out of the question and may not only be spiritually fulfilling, but will also provide a much needed service. Think about it. Do it.



  1. Michael · January 6, 2011

    Speaking of Names and Images… any word on the release date? 😉

  2. Samuel · January 7, 2011

    Interesting take on Self-Initiation. There are some points I agree on, others not so much.

    You definitely hit on that no Self-Initiation can make you part of a Temple, Lodge, Order, Group, and I generally agree with that. Placing the much needed “link” into the sphere of sensation of the Candidate requires that “link” to be physically passed from the Initiator to the Candidate via touch.

    Oddly though, there are much respected Orders and Groups that do use SI for some of their initiations. I can think of at least one Martinist Order for example, yet all their “higher” initiations are all Physical.

    Being “passive” on the part of the Candidate is certainly a factor, and one that is difficult to achieve while performing an SI.

    That being said, I do not think that just one SI into a grade of say the GD will suffice for a person to grasp all there is in the subtleties of the grade energy. Putting oneself through the SI of a grade should be done multiple times, in my opinion, in addition to ACTUALLY doing the work of the grade. Additionally, making the appropriate officer tools, Altar, Pillars, diagrams, Admission Badges, etc. goes a long way to helping the Candidate connect to the energies of a grade and/or current.

    The Candidate for SI also MUST meditate and fully integrate into their sphere of sensation the appropriate symbols and energies of the grade. This very difficult is a person does not know what those symbols are, but it can be done – slowly and over a longer period of time.

    The biggest point is that the person doing the SI route, MUST do the Work. PERIOD. There is not getting around that. Just waking up and setting up a ritual space and waving your hands and incense is not going to initiate you into anything.

    It is intent, as you mentioned. No person who approaches the Work, regardless of tradition, without the proper respect, intent, and committment to do the Work, will advance far, or for that matter actually receive anything from any Initiation.

    SI is a doorway – a way to bring someone to current (hopefully). They must do the actual work. It is difficult work, but work nonetheless which can be rewarding.

    SI, in my opinion follows along the same lines as forming a magical lodge from scratch. The difference here is that it is only one person, not several. Ultimately, the magical lodge started from scratch MUST put themselves through the various initiations – and there is no connected Initiator within that group or tradition to pass on the link to that group. They must forge that link for themselves. The SI student must do the exact same thing.

    Things like performance of the Opening by the Watchtower 1000 times does not take the place of any form of initiation, Self or Physical. The person must, and I strongly emphasize, MUST do the work from the beginning. Start with the Basics and then slowly progress through the grade material – they can even eventually actually do the work of an Adeptus Minor and at some point their Higher Genius will recognise them as an Adept, just not part of the RR et AC or of any other Order or group.

    SI work is more than any of the Founders of the GD ever did with the system. It is extremely unlikely that Westcott, Woodman, or Mathers ever put themselves through any initiation, either as a group or solo. They simply claimed the Grade of 7=4 and went on about the business of getting other people involved with their Order.

    That of course does not invalidate what Westcott and company accomplished.

    I’ll stop here before this post turns into a blog of its own.

    In LVX,

  3. Peregrin · January 7, 2011

    Hi – no word on release date for BNAI yet 😦 Complain to Thoth!

    @Samuel – thank you very much for your comments here. I am unsure where we disagree much. I think your comments are very accurate: work, integrating symbols within our sphere, move slowly, forging a link with the eternal egregore – all essential processes.

    Thanks 🙂

  4. neognostica · January 7, 2011

    Very nice article on initiation. Even from a solitary perspective I really agree with most of the content. Thank you.

    The one consideration that has me pondering,

    You wrote: If we associate the higher Tipharethic consciousness to Christ Jesus, as is common, then the blessings of the interior Godforms can be linked with the name YHShVH. However, this alone is incomplete and the blessings only earthed with the presence of the name YHVShH, as shown in the Rose Cross ritual. The physical presence of an Adept as Hierophant fulfils the YHVShH function and grounds the full blessings into the real, everyday life of the initiate…………………………………

    reply: That is very nice, mabey a little Piscean era thinking though.

    This is not meant to be a spoiler for all the reasons why self-initiation wont work, could work, or whatever; but in the current age (my opinion), the “Heh-final” is first, right next to the fires of Yod.

    Could this Aquarian condition effect the non-initiate? Possibly changing the whole scenario as we know it?

    An open mind to intiation in the current age seems tha best bet.

    Thanks for an awesome article.

    Alucinare Concordia Veritate et LVX Deo Volente

  5. Peregrin · January 7, 2011

    Neognostica – thanks for the comments. Interesting ideas. I will ponder them soon, when I am home. Very interesting. 🙂

  6. Arcad · January 7, 2011

    Care Peregrin,

    Well, sometimes S.I. is the only way one has in order to start the Great Work. Obviously it is a very difficult way and as Simon says, the essential key is to do the work. That means not once or now and then but continuously. This is even more important since you do not have any support by a temple or other brothers around you – or at least not in the same way like in a Lodge or Order. I am lucky so far having found some great brothers from various paths who are willing to help, explain, be there if there are questions (specifically I need to thank GH Fr. S.R, VH Fr. A.I.T and of course yourself, who have helped me a lot by posting on your blogs or being available to answer questions, giving hints or providing links etc). Still, I can see that the whole S.I. and solitary working Is not a real substitute for physical initiation and working with the support of a real Order or Lodge. You say that a way may be to find a personalized way to S.I. (if I may say so) and to do the work. That is very important and I believe this may be a reason why so many solitary practitioners include other systems into their work, like Bardonian, Pagan rituals and the like. Not that Members of Orders or other groups would not do that but I believe there is a difference.
    The question of being passive is a very interesting one. Actually I never thought about it this way and doing so now, I say I see the point. However, sometimes one has to go with the next best option until there comes a better more suitable one.

    Peace and LIght,


  7. David Griffin · January 8, 2011

    @ Sam

    This is an interesting argument that you present for self-initiation. As I mention in my article on the Golden Dawn’s Tree Order system:
    the outer order is indeed “symbolical” and the second and third orders comprise two different types of “operative” orders. You raise an interesting and valid point in for “symbolical” orders like the Golden Dawn’s first order and Blue Lodge freemasonry. In such orders, spiritual teachings are communicated primarily through symbols presented in the rituals, memorization of texts including important symbology, study of grade materials, etc.
    Your argument breaks down, however, in so far that the Golden Dawn is not merely a symbolical order, but also an operative one.

    The Golden Dawn has always been, at least beginning with the Second Order, and operative order that teaches the practice of ritual magic. This magic has the spiritual function of awakening certain forces in the energetic body of the candidate and the strengthening thereof. Therefore, since the Golden Dawn is a system of energetic evolution through ritual magic, it is not enough to merely meditate upon symbols, etc.

    Any attempt at self-initiatioin must therefore include not only study of the relevant knowledge lectures, meditation upon symbols presented in rituals, etc. To have any fundamental spiritual value, is absolutely must also include an extremely thorough discipline of the practice of ritual magic. Each of the elemental, planetary, and zodiacal forces must be awakened and balanced in the magician’s sphere of sensation. This is, in fact, the primary function of the GD magical system.

    Even with this, however, can not replace the value of good initiation at the hands of a well trained Hierophant rooted in a solid magical lineage. Some have objected, saying “what lineage?”, based Ellic Howe’s argument that the GD was founded on an alleged forgery.

    In the HOGD/AO, we stand firmly rooted in esoteric lineages (not all Golden Dawn) that extend back to Hierophants of Egypt. I state this here not to assert that “our order is better than yours” and certainly not to derail this discussion to the contentious and thorny issue of the difficulty to provide historical proof of unbroken esoteric lineages. What really matters, at the end of the day, is that initiation is both authentic and effective in facilitating energetic evolution.

    I raise the importance of esoteric lineage here merely to illustrate – from a purely technical viewpoint – the limitation of any attempt at self-initiaiton. Initiation awakens and harnesses the power of the vital, creative energies of the human body. Initiation in an unbroken esoteric lineage exponentially accelerates and magnifies this process; transmitting thousands of years of energetic evolution from Hierophants to their apprentices.

    From the point of view of energetic evolution, the Self-Initiaite on the other hand, must of necessity start from scratch and attempt to reinvent the energetic wheel. Sure, it is possible to reinvent the wheel, but why not simply drive a car instead?

    – David Griffin

  8. Samuel · January 8, 2011

    @ Peregrin,

    I agree. We do have some difference of opinion, but overall more similarities that differences. Afterall, the differences are what make horse races and life interesting.

    In LVX,

  9. Samuel · January 8, 2011

    @ David Griffin,

    Your position is well known in relation to SI, and I think mine is as well.

    That being said… I do not think that SI takes the place of a physical initiation in a temple with qualified officers.

    There are people, for whatever reason though, that cannot or do not wish to belong to a temple; to go through the woes and drama that so often plague temples (or any esoteric group for that matter), but who want to do the work in a similar vein and to be connected to the overall GD current as it were. These people have few options, but to do the Work as solitary practioners, without much support. At least those that are willing to do the Work as given to them in an SI environment and curriculum can and do benefit from that.

    Ideally, there would be qualified temples and officers for those temples in every city. Sadly, that is not the case. Until that is the case though, SI is a valid option for those unable to work with the system in any way otherwise.

    As to the issue of esoteric lineage – no one claimed that a person whom SI’d through the GD grades in a particular fashion had esoteric lineage of any kind to draw upon or to pass along. They are on their own in that regards.

    Ultimately, you and I will just have to agree to disagree on the issue of Self-Initiation and its value and uses.

    In LVX,

  10. neognostica · January 9, 2011

    Its obvious that a general argument on self-initiation could go round-and-round. Its about like watching Nascar; “go-left”.

    What is so nice about Peregrin’s essay, is that it highlights the differences in Initiations in different systems, and acknowledges that each Initiation process will have its own benifits, regardless of the process.

    We all know members from the aspect of the public that we call “Vulgar”, who walk-the-walk of the Initiate, yet they are not.

    There are so many forms of Initiation that we would be presumptious to think that our-own method is the only way to a higher developmental level.

    I think that a stance of support would be better for all of us.

    For example: I can help you through a self-initiation program of Theurgy combined with Tarot. Another member mentions a Ceicero book. Frater Les, or Sinicerus Renatus could help us in a traditional GD Initiation. Its obvious Mr. Peregrin could direct us in multiple methods of Initiation. Sideshow Bob even wants to help.

    None of these should be meant to replace the other, and all sould be recognized as a method of gaining a higher developmental level and probably a better spirituallity.

    It is my opinion that Peregrin’s essay charges us all with a different standard. Comparing apples to oranges; then flaming, will no longer cut-it.

    Alucinare Concordia Veritate et LVX Deo Volente

  11. David Griffin · January 9, 2011

    @ Sam

    You wrote:

    “Ultimately, you and I will just have to agree to disagree on the issue of Self-Initiation and its value and uses.”

    I fear that here you are partly mistaken. On the question of Self-Initiation, you and i in reality appear to agree on far more than we disagree!

    We agree, for example, that it is not really a satisfactory substitute for physical initiation in a temple, but that it does have a value for independent practitioners. We also agree that, to the credit of the SI proponents, they do not tend to misrepresent it the way the Astral-only proponents then do.

    Moreover, although I do not expect you to admit this in public, I strongly suspect that you secretly also agree with me that the systematic and repeated invocation of the elemental, planetary, and zodiacal forces as a complement to meditation on symbols, etc., dramatically increase the effectiveness of any attempt at self-initiation.

    Thus, I must sincerely question if you and I are not merely so accustomed to disagreeing with one another, that it is sometimes is difficult to recognize the similarities in our actual, philosophical positions. Indeed, this appears to presently be the case.


  12. Peregrin · January 9, 2011

    Care Fr Arcad,

    I agree…we start where we are, when we can and with what tools we have. That and an altruistic intention will take us farther than a good temple initiation without starting the work or with personal based motivations.

    People who get up and perform full self initiation rites and initiatory work (such as what is outlined in By Names and Images) are to be lauded and celebrated. This is no easy road, on our own.

    My first GD lodge stopped working in 1987 when the Imperator went back to the UK. I continued on on various forms and had some Sydney contacts etc. Fifteen years later I bump into several of the temple officers in a recently formed Gnostic-GD group. And they tell me that they did nothing for 15 years, just waited for another group/leader to come around!! And this included the former Hierophant. I would consider anyone who had spent those 15 years initiating themselves up the grades with all the work and unfoldment it requires, including 5=6, more of an Adept than that former Hierophant who sat on his bum.

    OK…, rant over…thanks 🙂

  13. frateraene · January 11, 2011


    Speaking from experience, I spent much of my earlier GD life doing an SI, based on my own work in the system and then later using the Cicero book. I did this out of necessity (the city, heck, the state where I lived had no GD temples). Later on, this helped me to find others in my current city who were interested in creating a new GD temple that is still going strong.

    I wouldn’t change my SI experiences, but also would not change the wonderful learning and experiences of my Temple either.

    Thanks for the great post!

  14. Samuel · January 11, 2011

    @ David,

    No, I do not think that you and I are just “accustomed to disagreeing”. I do disagree with you on various points. WE simply do not see eye-to-eye.

    I will say this publicly, I do not think that doing invocation work related to the Zodiac or Planets should be used in any Outer Order work, especially for Self-Initiation. As for doing Elemental invocation – that would be logical when one were Self-Initiating through the Zelator – Philosophus grades. So I do not agree that the extra work for Zodiacal or Planetary Forces needs to be worked on while a person works through Self-Initiating through the Outer Grades. They should be worked later as a person if further refining themselves by working through the Inner Order material.

    As for working systematically with the symbolism of any grade, that is what one should do. Period. This is whether being physically initiated or working SI. Common sense and good teaching/learning experience dictates this.

    In LVX,

  15. Ed Cavanaugh (neognostica) · January 11, 2011


    YOU WROTE: I do not think that doing invocation work related to the Zodiac or Planets should be used in any Outer Order work, especially for Self-Initiation. As for doing Elemental invocation – that would be logical when one were Self-Initiating through the Zelator – Philosophus grades. So I do not agree that the extra work for Zodiacal or Planetary Forces needs to be worked on while a person works through Self-Initiating through the Outer Grades.

    REPLY: I totally disagree. In my opinion the elemental grades or invocations are the most dangerous for a solitary practioneer. After each invocation the aspirant is left in a out-of-balance condition where a hierophant or teacher is imperitive to help direct the student out of the dark. This elemental-emotional-psycological imbalance is why most solitary practioneers seem so “whacked”.

    And disagree-ing more: the planetary and astrological forces ARE THE HIEROPHANT, and can lead the solitary practioneer to a stable psycological-emotional platform, and yes; some form of self-initiation.

    Without Theurgy any form of self-initiation is armchair-dreaming.

    Alucinare Concordia Veritate et LVX Deo Volente

  16. Samuel · January 12, 2011

    @ Ed Cavanaugh,

    I tend to disagree with you on the point of the Elemental Invocations. Yes, they can be unbalancing, but there are tools in place to equilibrate the Elements within the Sphere of Sensation of practioner. Now whether or not the solitary practioner actually utilizes these tools is their choice.

    I will agree that it can be extremely difficult for the solitary person to see that they are imbalanced elementally, as objectively observating the self is very difficult in the best of situations.

    As to Theurgy: At no point did I say that Theurgy was not to be used by someone doing Self-Initiation into a system. Actually, I would suggest that most of the SI material that I have seen is rather heavy in Theurgy.

    Therefor, in my opinion, it is not “armchair-dreaming” as you so eloquently put it. You are of course entitled to your beliefs.

    In LVX,

  17. David Griffin · January 12, 2011

    @ Sam

    There is merit to what you say. It is logical to first invoke the Elements, then the Planets, then the Zodiac, beginning here on Earth, then reaching out through the solar system to the stars.

    There is also merit in following the progression of forces that were used in the original grades of the outer order, working the elements in that context.

    This is only one system, however. Another is to follow the schemata of the tree of life.

    As I said before, our positions are not really that far apart. I merely tend to think out of the box and work multiple systems.

  18. Pingback: Self Initiation, a few points (via Magic of the Ordinary) « Gitanorumano's Weblog
  19. Golden Kerub · October 22, 2011

    If everything is within you you really do not *need* an outer initiation – especially in cases where the external orders and institutions have been corrupted from within – then there is a need for direct initiation by the God/Goddess herself which negates all the negative “impact” of a solitary initiation which you guys seem to judge as mostly based out of ego or self alone. What if you guys in your orders are the ones who are unbalanced without knowing it and the solitary is create to balance YOU out? 😉

    Just another take on it.

  20. marcelgomessweden · January 24, 2013

    Reblogged this on Marcel Gomes – Sweden.

  21. Steve · April 7, 2014

    You are all now in my power zz zz wriiiiiiiiir wriiiiiiiir zzzzzzzzzzzz. so mote it be 🙂

  22. Steve · April 7, 2014

    As far as I know John, horses cant talk.Mr Ed could talk, but I’m pretty sure there was a guy hiding below the stable and some stage hand was putting peanut butter under Mr Ed’s lips to make it look like he was talking only, and even if he was really talking, he still didnt wear trousers and just crapped where he stood so his ideas on being human would ruin my new shag pile carpet, and theres no way I’m letting that big bastard ride me. If I was a horse that could talk the first thing I would say is get of my back you arrogant little son of a bitch,none of you can leave anything alone, so much so you stuff everything you have touched,look at the House of Windsor every single indigenous culture they have come into contact with has been decimated and everyone cheers and waves flags in joy at her,i wouldn’t be one of you miserable little suckers for all the lucerne in Lucerne.

  23. A.M. Pietroschek · April 26

    All I wanted was to give a short reply to a well-written article. Lets try:

    I really appreciated that you reminded of classic sources AND the need to respect that all of us consider the own experiences, values, and definitions to be sacred, paramount, or mandatory. Weird, as it may read itself, we of the ‘free democracies’ have more prejudices and social restraints than a free, tolerant society could call healthy in the proverbial light of properly applied academic sciences.

    I have always been poor, and with roots of urban shamanism included, I have never really attempted to ‘summon cash-flow’ or expect a job in occult subcultures (beyond esoteric book store, tarot card sessions or festivities of course). The closest I came to was a private investigator license with one focus on ‘occult crimes’, but I stepped back aka neglected it due health issues.

    My own reminder about ‘initiation’ is seriously focused on the fact that any practitioner will risk the own health and sanity during extended occult practice PLUS the social gravity of ending up in subcultures or harshly legal communities has long been a proven side effect which smarter adepts, magicians, witches, and satanists have learned to resist and avoid.

    My greatest criticism of your article would be the focus on theory and ‘reenactment of dished definitions & rituals’, though it is merely a practical obstacle, and not any attempt to smear-job you.

    My own latest prose on self-initiation culminated in:

    “Summary: Real Initiation is a development-process which brain, mind, and central nervous system have to run through. There are no cheats, nor fully functional short-cuts. Considering the fact that nobody begins to practice while in the womb, it is impossible to develop an adept worth entitling as such in less than ten years of training, meditation, and study. These ten years would include absolutely no distractions by one’s job, desires, family, or anything else! Henceforth a typical adept, who lives in the western democracies, requires 12 to 20 years to become an independent magus-spawn-mystic-whatever in both theory AND practical competences! Of course my chosen
    definition is above the traditional-hermetic “adeptus minor”, who is an adept in name mostly, a glorified lackey or indoctrinated follower, without any real individual advancement. One should also note that neither achievements, nor prudent book reciting, alone transform anyone into a minor adept. Logically, it is a practical and empirical self-transformation. It needs the training, study, and years of meditation to overcome the submissive-to-tradition-defined approaches. And if your life has no need for it, then it was just an esoteric-exoteric waste of time and effort!”

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