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Initiation Roles

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan,alt.religion.wicca,alt.magick
From: (mordred)
Subject: Re: Initiation Roles (Was Re: ETHICS: Fence-Straddlers)
Date: 6 Mar 1995 15:03:24 -0800

Kali Yuga 49950306 (Felis Uncia) quotes me and writes:
|> can 'drawing personal lines' be a discipline/tool all in itself.

|Well, how about it Tyagi?  

I'll repost something from a while back in another thread.

| many Pagan groups a tendency to define the psychological 
|'barriers' that will be encountered before the candidate begins 
|the initiation ritual (whether directly before it commences, or 
|subtly over a preceeding period of time). 

I've also noticed this.

|...I've failed to determine if this is in an attempt to create a 
|more commonly shared frame of reference for the initiates, or simply 
|to make the process more convenient for the initiators.  

I suspect both, differing by group and culture.

|I wonder if this is true within the 'Ceremonial' groups as well....

It is true to some extent from my experience, though I note that
even though some individuals within OTO would 1) consider their oaths
to bind them from mentioning specifics of initiation rites, they would
nonetheless 2) hint at things in such ways or even provide details
when knowing I would not tell on them and 3) (once asked) abide my 
request that they not discuss ritual elements in my presence and warn 
me when they will be discussing such things.  Some folx just can't keep 
their traps shut, though most are considerate about this issue.  I
realize I'm a weird bird to want to 'remain innocent'.

|>...wherever an initiate ...feels a need for a boundary then I will 
|>respect that as I'm able.  ...Within the kraft of wizardry, as I under-
|>stand it, each initiation is likely to be different and therefore there
|>is no problem with stopping and starting according to the needs of the
|>particular initiate provided that this does not violate the initiator.

|Unfortunately, I've known several folk who considered themselves 
|'initiators' who considered even a small inconvenience a violation.  

That is their prerogative.  When we involve ourselves with people we get
to deal with their peculiarities.  If they have extensive boundaries
such that it is easy for them to feel violated, then we get to decide
how we shall interact with it, by acceding or trespassing their imagined
boundaries as we so perceive.

|At what point, then can we say a initiate's needs are excessive/unacceptible?

As an initiator, I think each interaction determines the limitations.  The
needs of the initiator, the demands of the initiate and the specifics of
the past all factor together.  Ultimately in both cases one's boundaries
are one's own to determine, though they shall not always be supported by
social custom or by law.

|...the terms 'Psychic Vampire' and 'PsiVamp' are likely overused these days. 

Like the devolution of many terms, these are taken to mean 'those who ask
something of me which I feel I cannot give' rather than some specific type
of individual who never compensates.

|...It seems rather common for newbies/seekers to wander about looking for 
|someone who'll 'give' them either spiritual or magic(k)al knowledge, ...

Who can blame them?  They are conditioned by an academic environment in
which students are treated as glasses to be filled.  Having been in these
types of relationships, is it any wonder they thereafter seek out pitchers
to pour forth their spiritual needs?

|...Once having chosen their 'teacher', this sort often engages in some 
|of the most outrageous ego-stroking and apple-polishing, convinced that 
|their chosen teacher possesses the 'keys' to spiritual or magic(k)al 
|enlightenment/mastery, and will decant this to them, like vintage brandy, 
|if only they can either be flattered enough, or persuaded of the 
|student's 'worthiness'.  

I've had this type approach me in precisely this way.  I felt very
uncomfortable with the relationship and after mentioning that I did not
like it and they continued, I set about making extreme comments, taking
advantage of their fanaticism by specifically requesting they address me
as an equal, and disputing all the notions they had about me and the
subject matter they appeared to support.  Usually this broke the relation-
ship and/or their adulation.

|I've been told by some who were on the receiving end of all this that 
|it can be somewhat difficult to resist.

I suppose it could be for those who have never felt appreciated for their
works.  I've been lucky in that regard I guess and so it was more of a
nuisance than an enticement.  In fact I consider it a trap I would rather 
find some way to defuse/avoid than I do some sort of valuable platform.  
I'd rather speak authoritatively from a position of a group not knowing who
or what I am (as when I participated in a Unitarian Universalist sermon)
than among those whom I know well.  The latter I prefer to engage in an
informal and jovial atmosphere of quiet contemplation punctuated by
reflective insights.

|...At what point do the hoops you put 'em through cease to be 'lessons' 
|or 'learning experiences' and simply become hoops to be jumped through?  

This is why I have such difficulty accepting such predesignated roles.
Without the roles I have no need to design 'hoops' or 'lessons'.  We
find the lessons in our very interaction, the hoops are compromises we
make and ask for in order to continue our relationship.

|Tailoring the course of hoops to meet the needs of the individual can 
|be far more time and labour intensive, but is definitely my preferred 
|method in cases where the 'student' insists upon being put through hoops.  ;)

I'm really evil when it comes to people who want the 'student' role and ask
me to design things like this.  I typically craft something very repulsive
and offer it up, hoping that the role-play will disintegrate.  Usually I
prefer to merely revert at that point to collegiality.

|>Personally I prefer to leave all those roles blurry, presuming myself as
|>much initiate as initiator, chela as guru, patient as doctor.  In this
|>way I develop a true *friendship*, a connection which outlasts any sort
|>of temporary activities we may engage.  After all, today's 'apprentice'
|>may be tomorrow's 'Sorceror Supreme'.  Presuming defined roles to begin
|>with tends to post obstacles to such meteoric development, especially
|>when my teacher-ego gets in the way.

|Sounds like a good approach.  Has it ever backfired?  

I'm not sure how to apply the term 'backfired' here, but it *does* have
its perils, as does any undefined relationship.  I've had people attempt
to 'become my instructor' or 'become my initiatrix', trying to 'show me
the Truth'.  I've had people attempt to take advantage of a particularly
suggestive moment in rite to try to weave a spell binding me to them
forever.  I've had people attempt to hypnotically infuse suggestions in
order to 'teach me something' and play games of domination/submission.

So far I've come through these things rather well, in each case using
active disbelief as my guard (ask josh about that one) or accepting the
roles on a temporary (and ephemeral) basis in order to find out what
they needed to learn in assuming them (sort of like a sociologist or
psychiatrist 'playing along'), depending upon how vulnerable I felt.

|'Sorceror Supreme'?  Ahhh....  So *you're* the one who taught JMG 
|everything he knows  >;)

We each have the ability to become the Sorceror Supreme or Prophet of
the Aeon within our universe.  Those who play at it may be doing very
important workings for themselves if they have sufficient scepticism
and self-reflective powers to avoid delusions of grandeur.  Far be it
from me to presume that someone is not what they claim to be, though I
may have my doubts.

|What, no 'mordred'?

See post-header.  'Mordred' is merely my cybername.  I don't use it
beyond this realm.

|>The trees demonstrate their wisdom.  The clouds move without moving.

|But are they happy Tyagi?  Are they content?  Then again, do they need to be?

I do not see the trees or clouds struggling to become something which they
are not.  If this is contentedness, then certainly they are 'happy' by this

tyagi nagasiva

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