Note: From time to time, I have been asked about how to go about forming an order. But the desired answer is always about what books to read, or what principles to adhere to. Rather, the purpose of an order is to gain dominion over oneself, and thence over the world. The subtle rules the dense.
Fear is the only darkness.
The Candidate for Initiation must demonstrate fearlessness, freedom from lust and finally loyalty and the ability to be silent. The details of these tests were always kept secret. But when outsiders learned bits and pieces of them, they would come to outlandish conclusions. For example, there are many misconceptions about the initiation rites of the Templars based on rumours and partial knowledge.
The Candidate must be fearless in the face of unexpected or dangerous things and events from the four elements.
The Candidate must pass through fire without fear of being burned. We see presentiments of this in firewalks, for example.
This may involve swimming through rough seas or rivers.
The Candidate stands unsupported on perhaps a square meter platform, while looking down from a great height. Precipices or ship’s masts were used. Perhaps nowadays, there are suitable buildings or other man-made structures.
The Candidate enters a dark and narrow subterranean tunnel or an unknown cave.
This test would include solitary nocturnal visits to cemeteries or haunted houses. We still see this in the practices of the Chodpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Candidate is made to confront terrifying and hideous astral visions, inducing fear and temptations. We see something similar in the story of St Anthony of the Desert, whose visions would frighten neighboring monks away from his cave.
Lust and Passion
The Candidate must be able to suppress sexual desire, even when its fulfillment is made possible. We see an example of such a test in Miguel Serrano’s Nos. Even in Sex Magick and Tibetan Tantra, the element of lust and pleasure must be separated from any sex act.
Since the cohesion of any initiatory group requires mutual trust, the Candidate must demonstrate his ability to fulfill a confidential order or instruction, to maintain silence about a secret, and to not betray someone else’s personal intention. He must do this of his own free will, as his failure would incur no punishment (other than refusal of initiation). He would be subject to temptations to fail this test.
“Opening the Dragon Gate”, by Chen Kaiguo and Zheng Shunchao
“Shaman of Tibet”, by Heather Hughes-Calero
“Transcendental Magic”, by Eliphas Levi
“The Tarot”, by Mouni Sadhu