The Process of Initiations
Our spiritual paths are constantly changing to reflect a new understanding or our needs at the time. As a matter-of-fact I contend that it’s practically impossible to not change on a regular basis (spiritually-speaking). It’s also difficult to remain in a magickal stalemate if you’re actually doing the work and practicing.
For those of you who know me, you know that I don’t often talk about my magickal work online. Usually because it’s personal or I’m in the midst of something and I just haven’t sorted my thoughts. None of it is really secret. I don’t believe in magickal secrets.
I will happily answer most any question someone poses to me about my magickal practice or my spirituality unless it’s so personal that I feel uncomfortable answering. Or if it requires me to break an oath of my Order. I mention oaths for good reason. Read on to learn more.
Yes, I realize some Daemonolatry practitioners (including folks who claim to be generational) choose to keep their journals private or only share selected parts with people and not the whole thing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s secret. Sometimes that stuff isn’t shared for personal reasons. I, for example, don’t the contents of my early journals with anyone outside my group because they’re absolutely embarrassing. Teenagers write some pretty silly things in their first magickal journals. It is what it is. However – I do tend to draw a lot from my more recent journals when writing books. So basically I am sharing my information freely (information worth sharing anyway).
Today I’m going to tell you a little bit about the magickal journey I’ve been on these past few years because it’s important to me and I think it will provide readers with some insight into me as a magician, as a person, and as a writer.
While yes, I have taken Oaths to keep certain rituals sacred and within my order, I will happily discuss what these rituals were for, how they manifested and I have no problem sharing “similar” rituals with people simply because I don’t think the ritual itself is what manifests results, but rather the intent behind it and the skill of the magician to manifest the desired result. You can get that with a mimic and that’s why I included the Caspiel mimic in Infernal Colopatiron.
If you do want the *exact* ritual instructions you would have to gain an invitation to join my order and work through the grades like everyone else. That is the purpose of the oaths. Not to keep information from others (because I’ll happily share the information necessary without breaking any Oaths), but to put the magician through a series of steps and tests from initiation to initiation, grade to grade, and to hold those rituals sacred within the Order itself. We all emerge the other end of such rituals differently anyway. If I saw someone with a need for a ritual that I had promised to keep sacred, I would simply write my own version of that ritual and give it to the person in need, telling them to modify it in a way that best suits them and their work. So rest assured there are no secrets here, nor am I an Oath breaker. I simply don’t believe in magickal secrets. I also firmly believe that only those who understand would know whether or not they had use for a particular ritual anyway. If they didn’t, clearly the ritual wouldn’t work for them. So if I ever talk about something you find interesting, feel free to ask specific, pointed questions. I encourage it. It’s the general questions that annoy me. That’s why I write certain books — so I don’t have to continually repeat myself. I hate repeating myself.
All of that said – back in December of 2008, I began working toward becoming a more learned, disciplined, and practiced magus. This began with working toward a magicians grade in my Order. The first ritual one must complete after taking a basic Order Initiation is the Path of Ptah – the becoming as the creator. This is an interesting step in a magician’s growth simply because it requires one to change how one views the self. You must, male or female, come to acknowledge yourself as a creative force. A person who gives birth. I contend this is often easier for women than men since we are often conditioned from birth to perform nurturing, caregiving tasks and are often pelted with baby dolls so we can hone our child rearing skills early on. It is, for many females, always expected of us that at some point we will give birth. Clearly males aren’t usually conditioned in the same way.
I took two years with this rite. I actually performed the ritual twice. The first time I focused on the end result. The second time I focused on the process. Yes, I realize that’s ass-backwards, but it took doing the ritual the first time to realize I hadn’t really relished in the process of becoming nearly as much as I’d concentrated on what the end result of that becoming manifested.
It’s funny because the high priest of my Order seemed genuinely surprised to find someone who was willing to take two years to prepare and perform a grade rite twice. Evidently most people give it a month or two prep, then they just do the ritual and move on to the next initiation. What can I say? My parents always told me that anything worth doing was worth doing to the best of your ability the first time. I took my time and I got a great deal out of that rite. I am in no hurry to sprint through the grades just to stroke my ego. I’m in this for the self-edification and I didn’t want to cheat myself. Still don’t.
I took almost another year to prepare for my LoKIR (Lord of Khemenu Initiatory Rite). It’s basically a magician’s initiation and introduction to Thoth. I am now at a crossroads. I can choose to take the path of the seer, or the path of the walker. I have to choose my next course of study carefully because this is where I’ll be for at least another year or two. I am seriously considering the path of the walker since I’ve been doing so much work with gate opening and necromancy as of late. Like with anything, however, I want to be sure. If anything I’ve learned that Thoth is both a strict and patient teacher. When it comes to magick, I’ve become patient out of necessity. Sometimes we need to just sit and listen to the divine and let our hearts and intuition guide us.
Right now Anpu, Eurynomous, Bune, and Murmur are strong with me. I can feel Seshat and Delepitoré stand aside (for now) as Thoth oversees my education. I always feel the warmth of Leviathan’s encouragement. I have decided I will make the decision before the weekend is up.
For context, for the hard polytheists out there, I’m a panentheist (I have, in recent years, rejected the pantheist label simply because it’s too small) and I’m soft poly, but then if you’re reading this you know this about me, or you should. It does mean that I’m prone to pantheon mixing and if that offends anyone, I am sorry to hear it. But it works for me and I have yet to have a Daemonic force beat me up over it. I am also not offended by the term God or any of the names of God, or Christian magick of any kind, since I’m secure in my own beliefs about such things. Basically I don’t feel threatened by Abrahamic belief systems since I don’t believe in, or buy into, their mythos, and I know where all of their shit comes from. This means I will freely work with Angels as simply another form of Divine Intelligence. Daemon/Daimon (both roots of the word Demon) means Divine Intelligence or Replete With Wisdom, and the longer I work with spirits the more I realize while there may be different types of Divine Intelligence, some bigger than others, they’re all still Daimons/Daemons. A rose by any other name… 😉 Feel free to disagree.