Consent and aftercare instead of surprise and social pressure in initiation

“Somehow we’ve developed the idea that an initiation has to be a surprise to be effective. We shouldn’t know what’s going to happen before it does. But why? We might blame the Eleusinian Mysteries. Candidates were sworn not to reveal what they learned to anyone who had not participated in the mysteries. These secrets (“things were said, things were shown, things were done”) were revelations leading to a joyful certainty. The revelation of a mystery lands with awe. It seems inevitable, as if we have always known it. Mysteries expose us to the luminousness of the sacred.” “Surprise on the other hand is something that’s done to the candidate without warning. These kinds of actions are very rarely pleasant or welcome. Some initiatory surprises are actively harmful to the magick. Processing the aftermath of a violent surprise can actively interfere with assimilating the energy of the initiation.” “Springing a request for a commitment on someone in an initiation, especially one of those higher degree initiations that have been years in the making, exerts a social pressure very much like a marriage proposal. It’s hard to say “wait let me think about this” in the middle of the ceremony.” “For Masonic-style organizations including Gardnerian and Alexandrian Witchcraft, the Golden Dawn, and the Ordo Templi Orientis, there are no secret oaths or initiations, they have all been published.” “In none of these cases was I asked for my consent or cared for after the event.” —Surprise and Consent in Initiation

Hermetic Library Omniun Consent and Aftercare Instead of Surprise and Social Pressure in Initiation 18may2023