There are probably more myths about Initiation than about any other aspect of Occult endeavour. Naturally the subject arouses strong feeling and one’s views change as one progresses. This, incidentally, illustrates the problem confronted by any non-Adept writing about Occult subjects: what I say now represents the sum of my belief and knowledge on this subject at this time. Having recently winced at the errors in an article I wrote five years ago, perhaps I shall look back at this and admit I made mistakes here too. Still, it would not be a good thing if no-one but Adepts wrote articles. For all of us struggling along the road to Adepthood, the inter-action is a valid aid to progress. I may have stuck my neck out more times than Anne Boleyn but – mistakes and all – here I to again.


The dictionary defines “initiate” as “admit (person) especially with introductory rites or forms, into society etc”. The general view of initiation is that the applicant makes his/her vows to the group which he/she wishes to join and to the deity which that group worships; in return for those promises, the applicant is admitted to membership of that group.


So, in this general view, there are three parties involved: the applicant, the group and the deity. The form which this first initiation takes varies widely, but the same tripartite arrangement applies in principle in all cases, even when the neophyte is unable to contact a suitable group and therefore undertakes self-initiation into his selected Path.


The second initiation comes when one has realised that there is no external deity, that the gods exist within one’s own subconscious, as aspects of self. At the second initiation, there are only two participants, the initiate and the Adept who is his/her teacher.


I believe that the third initiation involves only one person, the initiate, and the vows are to self only, for this is the entry into Adepthood. In other words, the Crossing of the Abyss, where one truly stands alone.


Maybe someday I shall be able to report back and state whether my views on the third initiation were correct.



From the Dark Lily Journal No 7, Society of Dark Lily (London 1988).