Find trust in an initiating order

Information and advice for those new to the Occult.

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Frater Anon
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Find trust in an initiating order

Post by Frater Anon »

Hi,

First of all, thank you for this site! Its a great resource and I feel very happy to have found it. I dont know anyone involved in these studies and I have a lot of questions about certain issues. Ive been studying shamanism for the last ten years. I have now broken off that path and been drawn into the studies of the hermetic arts. I broke off from my shamanic path because it became intolerable to be a part of the group I worked with. I also saw a lot of really bad practice, including sexual abuse, conflicts around money and power. The holy trinity for the ego to get caught up in. I realize that being a person of knowledge and power doesnt equate to being a spiritual person. Also, there was a lack of a body of systematic learning. As I see it now, the basics werent covered.

So, im now in the situation where im looking for a way to evolve using the western esoteric traditions. Ive been looking for orders that can initiate me into the mysteries, but find , based on my previous experiences, that Im very reserved about the groups. Ive started working on self-initiation, but feel there is a lot to be gained by doing physical initiations. It would be great to have a curriculum with someone to oversee the progress and also someone to correct me as I go along. Ive looked at several possibilities and some seem more promising than others. Im a bit apprehensive because I dont want to be caught up in another persons ego agenda and thereforE would appreciate some insights as I have nothing to go on. Ive been googling a lot, but most of the info is pretty biased and also the GD war going on between certain individuals isnt so attractive either. Im looking for an order with high integrity, that isnt new age, that is sincere about benefiting humanity and life and can help in the evolution of my soul.

Ive looked at Nick Farrells MOAA and im curious what others feel about that as I get a good feeling. Pat Zalewskis Order of the golden Dawn also is promising, but pretty expensive and I need to go to Canada for each initiation. The Ciceros HOGD also is promising, but membership is only by invitation. The last one Ive found and am a bit dubious, but open to is Golden Dawn Collegium Spiritu Sancti. If anyone could give me some pointers and suggestions in regards to these, I would be very greatful. If none of these, or others, doesnt meet the criteria I will continue with the self initiation process.

All the best(and then some),
Frater Anon

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Urscumug
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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by Urscumug »

Hello, do you know this group originating from the north?
http://www.dragonrouge.net/

I know nothing about them, so this is no recommendation!

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by Frater Anon »

Havent heard of them before. Dont think they are the group for me ;)

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

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Frater Anon wrote: So, im now in the situation where im looking for a way to evolve using the western esoteric traditions. Ive been looking for orders that can initiate me into the mysteries, but find , based on my previous experiences, that Im very reserved about the groups. Ive started working on self-initiation, but feel there is a lot to be gained by doing physical initiations. It would be great to have a curriculum with someone to oversee the progress and also someone to correct me as I go along. Ive looked at several possibilities and some seem more promising than others. Im a bit apprehensive because I dont want to be caught up in another persons ego agenda and thereforE would appreciate some insights as I have nothing to go on. Ive been googling a lot, but most of the info is pretty biased and also the GD war going on between certain individuals isnt so attractive either. Im looking for an order with high integrity, that isnt new age, that is sincere about benefiting humanity and life and can help in the evolution of my soul.
My suggestion would be to contact any group you are interested in by email, and ask them specific questions about their aims, the initiation process, and the benefits they offer to members of the order. Also finding their web pages, any forums they run, and even Facebook pages they sponsor might prove helpful. You will find out pretty quickly if the order is just someone elses 'ego agenda' this way, along with how cohesive the order is, and how much group interaction actually occurs.
Frater Anon wrote: Ive looked at Nick Farrells MOAA and im curious what others feel about that as I get a good feeling. Pat Zalewskis Order of the golden Dawn also is promising, but pretty expensive and I need to go to Canada for each initiation. The Ciceros HOGD also is promising, but membership is only by invitation. The last one Ive found and am a bit dubious, but open to is Golden Dawn Collegium Spiritu Sancti. If anyone could give me some pointers and suggestions in regards to these, I would be very greatful. If none of these, or others, doesnt meet the criteria I will continue with the self initiation process.
I'm sorry, but I don't know enough about Hermetic orders to make any helpful contribution. I would suggest that you do extensive research before you decide to join an order, especially one that will cost you money to do so. I'm currently considering whether to join the IOT myself, so understand your dilemma.

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by Ramscha »

The IOT has facilities and members in many countries all over the globe. Though it is not particularly focused on hermetics it has a bunch of members who are indeed experienced in this field and through the mentoring programm or meetings knowledge is shared.

The OTO might also be a good adress for you.
My suggestion would be to contact any group you are interested in by email, and ask them specific questions about their aims, the initiation process, and the benefits they offer to members of the order. Also finding their web pages, any forums they run, and even Facebook pages they sponsor might prove helpful. You will find out pretty quickly if the order is just someone elses 'ego agenda' this way, along with how cohesive the order is, and how much group interaction actually occurs.
Very good point, always do a good background research before you even consider joining any groups.

Ramscha
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RoseRed
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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by RoseRed »

I broke off from my shamanic path because it became intolerable to be a part of the group I worked with. I also saw a lot of really bad practice, including sexual abuse, conflicts around money and power. The holy trinity for the ego to get caught up in. I realize that being a person of knowledge and power doesnt equate to being a spiritual person. Also, there was a lack of a body of systematic learning. As I see it now, the basics werent covered.
I've never been a part of a local and/or physical group - initiated or not. From some of the horror stories I've heard, unfortunately, this seems to be quite common.

I am and have friends that are shamanic practitioners. The way we practice - it's not really a group thing. Would you mind sharing what it was like to be a part of such a group before you realized all of the bs that was going on?
When my wings get tired I grab my broom.

Frater Anon
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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by Frater Anon »

RoseRed wrote:
I broke off from my shamanic path because it became intolerable to be a part of the group I worked with. I also saw a lot of really bad practice, including sexual abuse, conflicts around money and power. The holy trinity for the ego to get caught up in. I realize that being a person of knowledge and power doesnt equate to being a spiritual person. Also, there was a lack of a body of systematic learning. As I see it now, the basics werent covered.
I've never been a part of a local and/or physical group - initiated or not. From some of the horror stories I've heard, unfortunately, this seems to be quite common.

I am and have friends that are shamanic practitioners. The way we practice - it's not really a group thing. Would you mind sharing what it was like to be a part of such a group before you realized all of the bs that was going on?
We worked together, travelling around Europe doing healing ceremonies. We worked with plant medicine, Ayahuasca. We also met up after each trip around europe to work together and strengthen our bonds and come together. We were supposed to be working in unison, with equal voices and supporting eachother. In practice it was one person calling the shots, manipulating, lying and didnt actually care about the people we were supposed to help. We had a group come down to our place in Peru. There I could really see what was going on and I got scared for the safety of the people. I ended up leaving because the person in charge didnt listen to me about the dangers concerning the people there. After I left, I heard that two people ended up with psychosis, one of them could also have died from malnutrition. He came home and was imidiatly commited to a hospital, fed intravenously and put on anti psychotic medication. He weighed 37.5kg when he cane home. The hospital told his family that he could have died if he had come one week later. The other person disappeared in Madrid and nobody has heard anything from him since. These kind of stories are not unusual in the shamanic circles in Peru. Thats why I lost faith. I trust the plants, but not the people who work with the plants.

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RoseRed
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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by RoseRed »

I've been seriously considering going down to Peru for an Aya Ceremony trip.

This is the first time that I'm hearing about the dangers and adverse consequences to such. I appreciate the information.
When my wings get tired I grab my broom.

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by Frater Anon »

If you still are considering, be very careful who you do it with. There have been several deaths, woman who have been raped and many are practicing black magic. At my first masters place there has been three deaths that i know of. He just changed the name of the center and nothing happend. I personally know woman who have blacked out in ceremony woken up another place without clothes. When I was working in Europe there came alot of people who had been to Peru. Many of them had a lot of dark energies inside who had been put there by black magicians. You never know who is who. Its very normal down there and everybody is at war with everybody. One time there was a major attack in the ceremonies and people where possesed.it was like something out of a horror movie. It went on for days and people started falling over unconcious during the day time as well screaming for the devil and other demons. Crazy stuff and one of the contributing reasons as to why i left shamanism.

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by the_spiral »

One of my best friends has a horror story related to the ayahuasca scene in Peru.

And I'm completely on the same page as you. I've been involved in yogic and tantric communities for over a decade and have witnessed more flim flam, snake oil, fake gurus, brainwashing and mental/sexual abuse than I care to think about, both in Indian and Western contexts. All of this has made me extremely gun-shy about initiation and occult orders in general. And it's difficult because I'm now working in a current (vodou) which requires initiation to go deeper, but I've heard of too many fake initiation schemes in Haiti already. I could work in the American voodoo tradition which doesn't require initiation, but there are plenty of con artists there too and even less guidance to separate truth from bullshit. It's an unavoidable problem in every spiritual community because humans are innately petty and greedy and ego-driven, even (especially?) the ones who claim to be enlightened. Hell, look at the Catholic church—all that holiness and sanctimony covering up the mass rape of children!

My only feeling on this is that if you stay faithful and devoted and TRUST YOUR INTUITION above all else, you will eventually be led to people who can bring you into true initiation. If you are seeking a genuine relationship with the deities and spirits on your path and you're willing put in the work to get there, I have faith they'll take notice and send the resources you need your way. I honestly do believe they're watching and they care about us or I wouldn't be on this lonely path to begin with.
"Follow the path of the radiant life force as she flashes upward like lightning through your body." - Vijanabhairava Tantra

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by MAZOHIR »

1st, I would agree that intuition is a clear guide to initiatic material.

The history of the HOGD has been, and still is rife with ego problems, and pretenders to the "throne" so to speak.

The following from David Griffin, Imperator of the HOGD international:
"Regardie, in his life, only had four students. These were Cris Monnastre, William Kennedy, Larry Epperson (Adam Forrest), and Alan Miller (Christopher Hyatt).
Israel Regardie knew that he had no authority to initiate or grant a charter to anyone and honestly admitted this on numerous occasions....... To begin with, Regardie was never even initiated in the Golden Dawn but rather only in the schismatic Stella Matutina, founded by former Golden Dawn Adept turned rogue, R.W. Felkin. Moreover, Regardie was never granted dispensation to initiate anyone by the G.H. Chiefs of the Stella Matutina and certainly had no authority to grant any sort of charter or even to consecrate a Vault of the Adepti.

Fully aware of these facts, Israel Regardie nonetheless did consecrate a Vault of the Adepti in 1982 in order to initiate his student, Cris Monnastre, into the Adeptus Minor (5=6) grade. "

Yet, we have the following from the same document by Griffin:
"From 1992-1994, Cris Monnastre regularly initiated and advanced David Griffin into each of the Grades of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn at the Alpha et Omega II temple in Los Angeles, then into the Portal and Adeptus Minor grades of the R.R. et A.C.
In 1994, Cris Monnastre was involved in a schism. Griffin sided with Monnastre and became Imperator Ordinis of the Monnastre's Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In 1998, Cris Monnastre retired from the Golden Dawn, leaving Griffin in charge. "

So, is David Griffin not correctly "initiated" into the HOGD, according to his own admission?

Then there are offshoots of Waites' group, which edited out all MAGIA from the original GD.

Chic and Tabatha Cicero also have a HOGD temple, but they too came from Regardie.

Then there is the Fraternitas LVX Occulta, FLO, stemming from BOTA, and it's "steward, Dr PAUL CLARK" from the esoteric material developed by Dr Paul Foster Case, who was also initiated into the HOGD, but later was expelled by Moina Mathers. He claimed in his writings ( many of which can be found for FREE on SCRIBD.COM) that he had contacted the 3rd Order Adepts, particularly Count Saint Germain, if I remember correctly, upon which he developed BOTA and the FLO. They do not include any Enochian working in their cirriculum ( Case considered it subtly dangerous), but do retain Astrology, Tarot, MAGIA, Alchemy and the other Western Esoteric Teachings.

And, you mentioned Nick Farrell and his GD group, who is very candid and forthcoming about anything that someone wishes to ask him. He was born as a "double Leo, with Sun in Leo exactly rising at sunrise, on the day of his birth. Maybe that's also why I feel good about Nick Farrell.

SAMAEL AUN WEOR has extensive groups all over Latin America and the US who teach a system of GNOSTICISM, which also includes Astrology, MAGIA, Tarot, and Alchemy, but seems to focus on occult sexual dangers overly, IMO.

Surely, M P Hall had a group, or groups, working his own System of Initiation, but, unless Art Kunkin was his direct student, I don't know of anyone who represents his vast Teachings. There used to be a group called THE SIX DAY SCHOOL, in the Valley of the Moon in Sonoma County, California, that claimed derivation from M P Hall, but I can't find anything online about them now.

Then there is PONs or the PHILOSOPHERS OF NATURE, that came highly recommended to me from John Woolsey who had worked directly under Frater Albertus on aspects of Alchemy, mineral and plant......maybe more. Check them out.

There is also SOL, Servants of the Light, with Delores Ashcroft Nowiki, and also the remnants of Dion Fortunes group, the Fraternity of the Inner Light, or, FIL. Their writings along with others from their respective Fraternities are recommended reading by the FLO when seeking initiation into the Fraternitus LVX OCCULTA.

Christopher Lyam Thomas wrote a complete Guide to self-initiation, available online that seems very well-written and clearly explains step-by-step what an individual must do to obtain the GD grades, without having to deal with travelling to initiations, or dealing with over-inflated egos ( which has always been a problem in the HOGD). If, through self-initiation, one actually makes contact to 3rd Order Adepts, then true initiation will have occurred. Of course, one must be very critical and skeptical of that aspect especially, when working any system of initiation.

I recommend going to all of their websites and checking out what they have written there, the types of material they recommend to read, especially for initiation into the threshold or before actually initiated into the 1st degree of their system. Also, I suggest you read THE SWORD OF WISDOM by Ithell Colquehoun. Read all preliminary material about the HOGD (and there's a ream of it) available for FREE at such sites as SCRIBD.COM, by such authors as Regardie, Lois Culling, Elic Howe, R A Gilbert, even maybe Crowleys' CONFESSIONS too. Many of the HOGD sites also have papers you can read about the history of the GD, and other work that will be of import and interest to you.

zei gezunt...........
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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

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Many thanks for the suggestions and replies! Glad to have found a site with a lot of knowledgable people [pray] All is being taken into consideration. I actually have Christopher Lyam Thomas book and find it good. But Im worried about not having anyone who can voich for the process. Its. VEry easy to think you have connection, but in reality its not authentic. The ego plays many tricks. This is one of the main reasons I want to join an order. I found the SRC's organization very appealing. They dont have one chief, but a council that is elected for a period of three years. Also, they stress that the order is not for financial gain and that nobody gets paid for doing service in the order. They also have a policy not to get involved in the defamation of other orders or brethren. I find all of this very attractive. They are also the only order Ive come across that have a temple in my city.

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

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I agree totally. Delusion abounds when it comes to individuals involved in Occult pursuits. And, also, to be entered into an Order that really has 3rd level Order contacts, is very very helpful. But, self initiation CAN be accomplished, within bounds. There are others who, no doubt, disagree with my view on this. Nick Farrell feels that real HOGD initiation cannot be accomplished without entrance into a true Order of Adepts, that must have 3rd Order contacts.

I feel that Nick Farrell of the Aurora Aurea and Dr Paul Clark, current steward of the Fraternitas LVX Occulta or FLO, represent the best of the HOGD systems. Most of the fragmented HOGD systems being operated currently, recommend reading by OTHER HOGD Temple leaders, and that is possibly a good thing. The SOL and the FIL seem to be often performing the task of peripheral Oredr instruction, while other HOGD offshoots seem much more Inner Order and powerful in terms of advanced Initiation.

I also think that you seem aware, intelligent, well grounded and experienced enough to trust your rational mind, instinct and intuition regarding the correct Order to seek Initiation FOR YOU.

One last suggestion is that self-initiation can be assisted by individuals on this forum, Nick Farrells' forums and blogs, maybe Christopher Lyam Thomas has a contact email online that would be of service, and Aaron Leitch ( sp?), Steven Ash, and various others in the esoteric community will and can give advice regarding self-initiation through the HOGD system, and many well-known HOGD system advocates approve of it, if it obtains 3rd Order contact.

YOU must be sure that you have the commitment, the time, the space, appropriate INTENT, the MONEY (books and various magical implements can become very expensive), the necessary mental, emotional, and psychological factors to enter and progress in this type of development.
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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

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I really appreciate you all for taking the time to answer my enquieries. Its not something that i take for granted. To take the step towards adepthood is not something i take lightly. Its been a yearning for many years to be on a true path towards what ever is hidden from plain view. Ive been searching and investing a lot of time, energy and money to find something that will help me in my evolution. Ive also sacrificed a lot. Thats why im very careful when deciding about what order to join. I feel i dont want to go into a direction, again, where i end up feeling cheated and drained. Im sure these experiences have been valuable, but i dont want to go down that road again. I want to dedicate myself now and i dont want to spend time on ego driven leaders.

As for the question about having the physical, emotional and mental requirements for commencing, i feel im ready, but now i have some issues. Im hoping and trusting that the work will clear that out. What are the required factors and what is an appropriate intent? For me its about being a humble servant, strengthen my inner light, experience the divine and becoming a beacon of light for others. I hope and pray i have enough experience to do this without falling into the many pitfalls on this path. I dont want to end up like many of the so-called spiritual leaders i have encountered. Thats also one of the reasons i want to be in a proper order, so to be checked when i start to wander in the wrong direction. But, if the order idea is unattainable, I will take the path of self initiation. And if that is whats in the cards, im very glad to have found all of you and this forum:)

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MAZOHIR
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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by MAZOHIR »

I used to live in Los Angeles, and met M P Hall, Dr Paul Clark of the FLO, a number of people in the OTO and the AA, Scottish Rite Masonic leaders, individuals involved in Frater Albertus' Alchemical work, Steven Heller Gnostic Society, Cris Monastre (GD) and others involved deeply in the esoteric pursuits.


I felt very good about Dr Paul Clark, present Steward of the FLO. Virtually ego-less and very kind.

I also feel good about Nick Farrell, and he too is amazingly ego-less. If I lived close to either of any of their Temples, I would certainly choose to be Initiated with real Temple members and Initiations. Certainly better than being very alone on the path.
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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

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Is it not a good idea to avoid "working"/"experimenting" with other occultists? The friends of today can become the enemies of tomorrow, after all. And these arts have a great rule and side effect; when other people learn you practice them, harm is going to come at you.

When i had been a university student, i was in the company of certain people (boys and girls) that were a coven working on enchating, goetia and demonology (solomonic grimoires). Even though i was considered to be a friend and treated them all nicely, they did some of their "work" on me without me knowing either that, or their "interests" in such arts. I had some tough years of misfortunes and ugly mishaps, until i finally learned of the existence of "real magic" and stuff. I found all info i wanted, identified their ways, i follow my own paradigm, but their taint is still not gone entirely.

And if someone who knows you gets word you are dealing into "magic", this is always only bad. Ridicule at best. Consequences of various types (as per the warnings of the art itself), in the middle. And there is worse, of course, there is always worse...

Besides, established orders incorporate a certain combination of arts. You cannot choose yourself and combine. Plus in most of them you are being checked and surveyed upon, you need to pay a form of subscription and most probably, attend all of their meetings. If you want something done right, do it yourself.

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

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Bluebeard wrote:Is it not a good idea to avoid "working"/"experimenting" with other occultists? The friends of today can become the enemies of tomorrow, after all. And these arts have a great rule and side effect; when other people learn you practice them, harm is going to come at you.
Depends on the people in the group. I have plenty of 'enemies' in the occult world, along with plenty of 'friends'. For the most part my enemies and I simply ignore one another - the occult world is big enough for two people to exist side by side and stay out of each others business. Could you please expand on what you mean when you say 'And these arts have a great rule and side effect; when other people learn you practice them, harm is going to come at you'?
Bluebeard wrote: When i had been a university student, i was in the company of certain people (boys and girls) that were a coven working on enchating, goetia and demonology (solomonic grimoires). Even though i was considered to be a friend and treated them all nicely, they did some of their "work" on me without me knowing either that, or their "interests" in such arts. I had some tough years of misfortunes and ugly mishaps, until i finally learned of the existence of "real magic" and stuff. I found all info i wanted, identified their ways, i follow my own paradigm, but their taint is still not gone entirely.
Sounds awesome. Good on you for taking the time to learn about such things so you could enrich your life and free yourself from the magick of others. [thumbup]
Bluebeard wrote: And if someone who knows you gets word you are dealing into "magic", this is always only bad. Ridicule at best. Consequences of various types (as per the warnings of the art itself), in the middle. And there is worse, of course, there is always worse...
Theres an interesting thread regarding this: Occult is not your Daily life saver!
Bluebeard wrote: Besides, established orders incorporate a certain combination of arts. You cannot choose yourself and combine. Plus in most of them you are being checked and surveyed upon, you need to pay a form of subscription and most probably, attend all of their meetings. If you want something done right, do it yourself.
Depends on the order. This definitely applies to the more formal orders, but there are plenty of orders who enjoy constructive feedback, and ask their members for input into the running of the order as a whole. [grin]

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

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Clockwork_Ghost wrote:
Bluebeard wrote:Is it not a good idea to avoid "working"/"experimenting" with other occultists? The friends of today can become the enemies of tomorrow, after all. And these arts have a great rule and side effect; when other people learn you practice them, harm is going to come at you.
Depends on the people in the group. I have plenty of 'enemies' in the occult world, along with plenty of 'friends'. For the most part my enemies and I simply ignore one another - the occult world is big enough for two people to exist side by side and stay out of each others business. Could you please expand on what you mean when you say 'And these arts have a great rule and side effect; when other people learn you practice them, harm is going to come at you'?
Bluebeard wrote: When i had been a university student, i was in the company of certain people (boys and girls) that were a coven working on enchating, goetia and demonology (solomonic grimoires). Even though i was considered to be a friend and treated them all nicely, they did some of their "work" on me without me knowing either that, or their "interests" in such arts. I had some tough years of misfortunes and ugly mishaps, until i finally learned of the existence of "real magic" and stuff. I found all info i wanted, identified their ways, i follow my own paradigm, but their taint is still not gone entirely.
Sounds awesome. Good on you for taking the time to learn about such things so you could enrich your life and free yourself from the magick of others. [thumbup]
Bluebeard wrote: And if someone who knows you gets word you are dealing into "magic", this is always only bad. Ridicule at best. Consequences of various types (as per the warnings of the art itself), in the middle. And there is worse, of course, there is always worse...
Theres an interesting thread regarding this: Occult is not your Daily life saver!
Bluebeard wrote: Besides, established orders incorporate a certain combination of arts. You cannot choose yourself and combine. Plus in most of them you are being checked and surveyed upon, you need to pay a form of subscription and most probably, attend all of their meetings. If you want something done right, do it yourself.
Depends on the order. This definitely applies to the more formal orders, but there are plenty of orders who enjoy constructive feedback, and ask their members for input into the running of the order as a whole. [grin]
Many books on magic, especially those with formulae and experiments within, warn in the foreword; "Do not let OTHERS KNOW about your WORK on the art". It's just that simple. The less people they know about it, the better you are, with the less chance of harm finding you, from exposure. Of course, i did not mean it with the "Inquisistion" notion, as today such things do not exist, but you CAN be HARMED, if you are not being secretive and do not keep those things strictly to your own self.

Honestly, i would prefer i would never knew about those things. "Ignorance is bliss", as christians, and me as a former christian, used to believe. But the occult arts are not that bad, i suppose, even the left hand ones. Especially when you compare them against SIMPLE, ORDINARY people, and the crimes/atrocities they daily commit, without even the slightest problem with consciousness...

And of course... Occult sciences can push you deeper in sh*t than actually help you get out of. That is why you must be careful what you choose to believe in, and most importantly, practice.

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by Cybernetic_Jazz »

I have to agree that, just based on Nick Farrell's writing and knowledge MOAA seems like it would be an awesome choice. Another gentleman who also gets a lot of his thoughts out there these days on Blogtalk Radio (ie. Hermetic Hour) also makes OTA/Temple of Astarte sound good as well.

I'm presently in BOTA - seems like almost anything I read whether it's been Gareth Knight's Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism and now Robert Wang in his Qabalistic Tarot - everyone seems to speak exceptionally highly of Paul Foster Case and a lot of what I keep hearing inspires a great deal of confidence that I'm at least doing a very smart thing in planning to follow through with their lesson plan. The one thing I'm still trying to figure out though - does Fraternity of the Hidden Light try to take the same material and go to the depths and intensity of A.'.A.'. with it? That seems to be the impression that I get but like I said I don't know a whole lot about Paul Clark's order beyond that it's a BOTA splinter.

I'm also presently in AMORC and looking forward to embarking further on my temple degrees and hopefully, perhaps when I pass my ninth, I'll also take a few years for the Traditional Martinist Order. Martinism is something that I've been intensely curious about, all kinds of hints get alluded to regarding its depths and while I get that TMO will probably be a very light version of it indeed I'd still find it fascinating to learn more about Pasqually, LCdSM, and Papus's system.

Like you though I'm not sure where I'll end up. Lately I've been enjoying the occasional read and reread of Liber A Vel Legis and Liber 65 just because....it's hard to explain... it seems like Crowley really touched on something and the best I can put it in words is that it feels like he was doing his best to integrate the sphere of Geburah and the destroyer aspect of the holy quaternity of the Godhead in a balanced way with the others; something badly needed when so many metaphysical systems push piety to the point of imbalance. His poetry in that context seems to be in and of itself a lava soap intended to scrub off vestiges of a western person's knee-jerk revulsions to the topic of destruction and to get us to take a more integrated look at both destruction and God. Would I go Thelemic? I have no idea, for me like a lot of people it's push-pull and I think I'd really want to be considerably farther along my esoteric path - enough so, if I decided to join OTO or A.'.A.'., to know exactly why I wanted to do it and that it was what I needed.

Keep doing your research though - we've all highlighted a lot of wonderful options. If you're looking for something that allows for a lot of autonomy BOTA and AMORC are great, GD and Bardon have good self-initiation books as well (albeit with Bardon the supplements help). Other than that good luck and good magic! :)
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Eremita
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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by Eremita »

Hi there Cybernetic Jazz. I wanted to ask you, and I'm sure I won't be derailing the original topic in doing so, a little more about your experiences with AMORC and BOTA.

These groups operate as a sort of correspondence course, correct? You pay an annual fee and in return they mail you reading material and exercises every month (or so)?

If I'm not mistaken, you've been in both of these groups for a while; how do you feel their respective systems have helped you? Is the material of AMORC similar to BOTA, or different enough that joining both has been valuable? Do you feel that what these groups offer for the fees charged is sufficient for your personal development?

OK, that's a lot of questions. Haha! Cheers and big love. [happy]

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by Cybernetic_Jazz »

Lol, funny you should ask - I'm in a position right now where I'm at the cusp of really getting through what I might consider the neophyte work, and in this case it's not so much magic as such so much as information load with a few suggested exercises and meditations.

BOTA is $18 a month; I'm in the process of finishing Tarot Fundamentals, the course where you color your cards, and there's about two weeks spent with each card. Monographs are weekly, delivered by mail, and you're allowed to join pronaos at a local group once you get through 'Induction to Tarot' which is an eleven monograph overview of the 22 majors before you start on the more extended course. I do attend a group somewhat near me - all very nice people and I enjoy working ritual with them when I can. If you've read any of Paul Foster Case or Ann Davies writings you'll get a good idea of the tone and tenor for the monographs. So far the courses have been written by PFC, the next set - Developing Supersensory Powers - will be the first course developed by Ann Davies. I'd consider my BOTA work and membership indispensable; partly that I realize just how much Paul delivers on the details but also the inspirations of the things he has to say and really the message of hope regarding human destiny and the soul have carried me a long way in terms of internal healing which is, for a me, a mandatory process to really get this off the ground. After a hard day at work there've been plenty of monographs that have been a transcendental experience just in how much I felt like I needed their message right then and there.

Unfortunately still being more in the information-load phase of the work I don't know how much I can comment on the results. I do feel certain things changing within me, a greater sense of peace for sure and my visualization capabilities seem to be changing, however it's still at the start and I'm not sure how far it will go or how fast. Some daily meditations have been alluded to, such as with the Cube of Space and Pattern on the Trestleboard - I've enlarged both to suit my needs with respect to adding visual data to them. With the tarot courses you are recommended to meditate on the cards, 5 minutes in the first course, 5 minutes twice daily with the second. I'm sure there will be a lot more meditation coming up, particularly in my next course, and the one I'm still chomping at the bit to get to which may be a few years off still is 32 Paths of Wisdom - I'm really looking forward to the Qabalah they have to offer.


AMORC is an enjoyable group, significantly larger (BOTA is maybe 3,000 in the US usually at any given time, AMORC is a couple hundred thousand), they're usually $15 a month or, if you pay yearly, $12.50. They and BOTA do a lot deliberately to keep membership dues as low as possible, one of the ways I think AMORC is able to do it is that they have the option of getting your monographs on secured pdf which saves a lot on postage, printing, and mailing. I'm just now entering my 1st temple degree and the topic of that is physics and the material plain from the mystic perspective. The three atriums gave a really neat overview, said a lot in general about cultural evolution, philosophic and religious evolution, etc. and a lot of great and inspirational snippets from various philosophers as well as some exercises given in dealing with aura, your body's energetic polarities, visualization, etc. and I think one of the most valuable things they do is aphorism before and after study periods as well as a sort of meditative place that you build over time to be your sort of inner chapel where you touch base with the God of your heart.

The only drawback with AMORC, at least early on, is its slow moving and can seem very unexciting for those who are looking for something very intrepid off the start (BOTA on the other hand starts racking your brain pretty early on). A lot of people end up dropping before they hit the temple degrees I think largely on the pace. I think they do this purposefully - partly to keep people who are too impatient or eager out but also they've been aiming to really make something for the true 'lay-person' who has only an hour per week to engage in when it comes to study. The good news - I hear a lot of what's coming up, particularly toward the 8th and 9th temple degrees is phenomenal, I've also heard something about 30 years worth of lesson plan!? I'd consider this order almost as indispensable as BOTA - partly that I feel like it gives another angle - ie. Paul Foster Case's stuff while very powerful can seem very skeletal, procedural, and descriptive to where you feel like you'd be wanting the big picture but microscoping in with his stuff too much to get it - AMORC is almost the opposite in that it fleshes out the big picture, at least early on, and seems to give just enough detail to bring people in to the right psychological place so to speak. In that I think they both dovetail wonderfully. Also I haven't noticed any conflict as of yet.

Hope I didn't get too wordy with that or kinda go in circles without answering but I'd still say that I'm in the foothills at this point rather than scaling the mountain yet. So far though the view upward is astounding and I'm looking forward to having a lot more to say in a few years time. :)
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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

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Thank you very much for your reply, that certainly did answer my questions.

It sounds as though the material is thorough, but slow moving. I think covering only two of the Tarot cards in a whole month would actually drive me bonkers. Unless I misunderstood that part. Haha.

Nevertheless, your insights are most appreciated. :)

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

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The best aren't easy to find. They usually have a cover group to screen individuals. Based on the little you've said, I'd advise you to look into the spiritual aspects of "Nova Roma." After a time one might take an interest in you.... or not. You might want to consider that you may need them more than they need you and so they will do very little in the way of kissing your ass. Consider self cultivation first. Any so called order that goes out of its way to recruit strangers just to fill its ranks will, let's just say, not be what you're probably looking for.

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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by Cybernetic_Jazz »

Eremita wrote: It sounds as though the material is thorough, but slow moving. I think covering only two of the Tarot cards in a whole month would actually drive me bonkers. Unless I misunderstood that part. Haha.
With a monograph per week you're also asked, I think somewhere toward the beginning of tarot fundamentals, to read each monograph seven times - which means you either read it every day of the week or you just spend a week and a half to two weeks or however long seven readings takes. I like that because I consider how many profound esoteric books I've read and aside from being wowwed and gaining a little bit more working knowledge it seemed like there wasn't a whole lot of life-changing that set in; if I read those books several times to where they really inundated my subconscious it might be a different story. Of course that also means that I average probably an hour a day on my BOTA work between reading and meditation (might be closer to 40 min if you don't have your own auxiliary meditations added in).
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Re: Find trust in an initiating order

Post by Cybernetic_Jazz »

Speaking of Nick earlier he just posted this in the last month or so:
You don't have to do a thing perfect, just relentlessly.

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