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To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.thelema,alt.magick,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage,alt.wicca,alt.religion.wicca
From: SChevalier (
Subject: Initiation
Date: 24 Jul 1999 02:22:12 -0700


Disclaimer:  all views herein are just Mine, and are drawn from
experience with O.T.O. initiation (both giving and receiving).  I have
never taken outward initiation from other initiatory systems, though in
the case of the A.'.A.'. I may one day elect to rectify that situation.

Fiona Dearest wroteth:
>>>What do you think the purpose of initiation is?

The "purpose" (in My view) is to magickally plant and catalyze a "seed"
experience which is intended to grow into increasing gnosis, inner
realization, awareness and insight.  When it is done successfully, your
candidates will be calling, emailing, or pulling you aside at meetings
to say things like, "I have GOT to talk to you about the stuff that's
been happening with me ever since I took my (whatever) degree ..."  

>>>Why don't you think that identical initiation patterns/ritual will
>>>work for everyone that applies for them?

I'm still undecided about My own view on this.  I lean toward perceiving
that they *do* work, though every individual will have his/her own
unique slant of perception on precisely *what* is whatever degree
"working out in their lives".  I like this broad aspect of the
initiatory experience:  there are enough focused points and cohesive
substance in a degree to produce some across-the-board touchstones of
similarity, yet enough openness for any degree to tailor itself to the
individual's experience as well.  So everyone's initiation into, say,
II* in O.T.O. is both the same, and yet different for each unique Star
even though the same ritual was used.

>>>What do you think is the essence of initiation then?

I view initiation in a couple ways.  One is as a catalyzing experience
which, through a combination of factors present in the initiatory
process itself, sets off a "chain reaction" which interfaces with the
candidate's existing paradigm(s) in such a way as to simultaneously
expand, focus and clarify his/her perception of experiences past,
present and yet to come.  Another way I view initiation is like
downloading a "zipped" (PC users) or "bin-hexed" (Mac users) file of
gnosis that is gradually unpacked, opened, read, and put to use in the
timespan which follows.

>>>And what is the purpose of any symbolism thrown into initiation

I see symbolism itself as a vital and indispensible "mapping tool" of
the magickal, mystical realms of gnosis.  In this respect, individual
symbols and individual applications of "universal" symbols are important
to the unfolding of an individual's path in life and his/her journey
thereon.  Shared symbolism within a community, however, and shared
agreement upon at least the functional basis of that symbolism for at
least the time the community interacts, is part of the magick that takes
place to create community bonding, and to make each individual's
experience of the Mysteries uniquely richer and sweeter by adding the
transcendent experience in a shared context.  Shared symbolism provides
a common-interface paradigm wherein we can discuss our experiences and
perceptions with one another with at least a reasonable expectation of
understanding what each other is talking about from within our own
internal (and widely differing!) "worlds" of individual perception and
assigned meaning/significance.

I know some people don't put much stock in the mysteries of shared
community.  Some view it suspiciously as a potential tool for "herd
making" and prefer to go it alone (or so they imagine -- IMO you only
TRULY "go it alone" when you live on fully owned-outright land with your
own electrical generator, water supply, livestock, and crops with no
paycheck and no helping hands for all that and sew all your own clothes
and build all your own tools and toys, not to mention cure all your own
ailments, fill all your own cavities, and fuck yourself with a vibrator
you built!)  I, obviously, do not share that view, and think some have
done the exquisite mystery of community a disservice thereby to their
own loss, but that's another story for another day.

>>>I am also interested in whether people's opinions of the *purpose* of
>>>initiation is different after the event to what it was before. 

For Me, *after* the event was when I first had ANY opinions on its
purpose(s).  Before that, it was just a mystery to Me, and I never even
thought about whether it had a "purpose" cuz I didn't even know what
"it" was.  I think when I went into it I had some vague notion of
notifying the universe that I was "here" and Knew I was here (or was
*ready* to know WHY and WHAT FOR!!).  I also had the perception that I
had been "led" to that point by the Entity I perceived to be "guiding"
Me at that time in My life, as some indication from Him that I was
"ready" for what that experience would bring into My life and Work, and
had proven to Him My "worthiness".  Of course, for Me, "before the
event" was eleven years ago, and I perceived *everything* quite
differently then from the way I do now.  Still, plus ca change, plus ces
la meme chose (excuse the lack of cedillas )

>>>I feel that I am overlooking something a bit obvious but of course
>>>I'm not sure what yet.

Not knowing your views on the subject, I don't know if I would assess
you as overlooking anything or not, let alone what that thing would be.
What are your views on it, your answers to the Q's you posed?

Thanks for "initiating" an interesting thread of discussion!

93 93/93
also From: Shedona Chevalier 

M. M. asked:

>>>One question:  Here:
>there are enough focused points and cohesive
>substance in a degree to produce some across-the-board touchstones of
you appear to be saying that the similarities are the genuine quality

Considering the rest of your post, I'm not sure that's what you meant.
What did you mean when you called the across-the-board similarities the
touchstones?  I would have thought that every lesson learned by an
individual through initiation would be a touchstone, at least for that
individual.  >>>

No, that's not what I meant.  I was simply pointing out that there were
those two aspects in initiation, one being the personal or inner and the
other being those shared things that form a "common ground" for folks of
any particular degree to discuss their personal and inner unfoldings in
the language of the particular symbolism and context of that degree,
using that as a basis.  I wasn't holding the one as having more quality
or value than the other.  The inward touchstones definitely present
themselves as more "key" to the individual; the common context can be
utilized (if one wills to do so) to provide a framework of
objectification thereof, or a point of projection for the inward.  It
can be amazing (and sometimes amusing) to see what people project from
within upon the external source of their initiation!

93 93/93

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