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.

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.

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.

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.

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).