Qualifications for Initiation

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.

Facing Danger

The Candidate must be fearless in the face of unexpected or dangerous things and events from the four elements.

  1. Fire

    The Candidate must pass through fire without fear of being burned. We see presentiments of this in firewalks, for example.

  2. Water

    This may involve swimming through rough seas or rivers.

  3. Air

    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.

  4. Earth

    The Candidate enters a dark and narrow subterranean tunnel or an unknown cave.

Mystical Fear

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.

Astral Visions

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.

Further Reading
“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

26 thoughts on “Qualifications for Initiation

  1. @Cologero, i don’t believe i said or i did not intend to imply that lust begun in the body although I’m not sure if you refer to the physical body or extensions of the physical , Personally at present, i believe that the seed of lust is stimulated from archetypal/dream influences, and i think this arrives both in the conscious mind and in the heart awareness (which may qualify as an energetic body ) . If the lust is then naturally actualised in synchro with external relating through the heart , it is good , if it is isolated and intensified from the mind ,out of synch with external relating , becomes more a ghost in the imagination , it can get bad . But i hear what you say that i am on the wrong path here in regard to the crux of the passage where the lust phenomena is seen as a test passable by transcendence and detachment which are the relevant factors.

  2. Mr Fraser, lust begins in the mind, not the body. There can be lust at any age. I may suggest that you are on the wrong path and need to rethink some things. It is not the quantity or variety of inputs, but rather transcendence and detachment that count.

  3. White rabbit , good comments on that link , Eosos ….my point is that lust never stops unless your body starts to deteriorate OR you consciously liberate yourself from desire with various techniques. Freedom is not having everything you want but not wanting things you “need”.
    It’s easier said than done I guess………………..nice observation on freedom, and certainly easier said than done i can relate, on lust never stops, and even the original stirrer statement of this comments (which i know in context is part of a larger learned protocol, but taking this statement for exploration purposes) , “suppress sexual desire even when its fulfilment is made possible” , it seems that there is in history this presumed condition of lust and a willed or disciplined resistance of that lust through simple denial or transmutation , but in those 3 conditions of yes, no or transforming the lust, it is assumed that this lust is a universal comparable quantity that is repetitive in its nature. And i beg to differ because lust and its fulfilment is an area of experiential phenomena that can vary dramatically , and a person only knows and judges it by their very own experiential history of it , which can be a total misrepresentation to another persons , therefore in order for people to use this term as a rule or guideline, then first of all, a rational report and exposition of direct experiences of lust and its fullfilments would have to be made by several very honest people and put forth for comparison . Yes i know there are quite a lot of old writings in these areas but are there any that go into the very dynamic properties of this lust ? and because they have not, any commentary on it can only be taken as a guideline from great minds of the past , but in no way can this be taken as an absolute guideline of the present where people and conditions in society and psychic consciousness have changed dramatically , i have invented a new word term for the variant power and depth of lust = Intensuality, it can be seen where i derived this term from , made sense to me , and i believe many people out there have very little experience of the activation of intensuality and then its fulfilment if in line with certain ethical parameters of the selfs involved . There is a huge unknown field here because of the power of dogmatic attitudes and the other handicap that modern people are slaves to the clock which in itself is a guard dog that prevents the arousal and activation of intensuality in a soul

  4. Alistair, my point is that lust never stops unless your body starts to deteriorate OR you consciously liberate yourself from desire with various techniques. Freedom is not having everything you want but not wanting things you “need”.

    It’s easier said than done I guess.

  5. Alistair: I don’t have any personal experiences to relate, but this may be what you’re looking for: http://www.gornahoor.net/?p=1082

  6. @eosos, good points which i concur with in reality , but on the “corrosive waters” … does all indulgence of desire , fulfilment of lust etc lead into the same cyclic rotation of a fall which i believe it does when excessed or especially as an end in itself , but the question is , for someone that does not indulge for indulgence sake or someone that does not fulfil a lust , which requires a specific evolution of consciousness so that desires and lusts are to a degree evolvable from their base states , but then you have to have a tangible means of “evolving” them , so that you do not indulge a desire for a desires sake or fulfil a lust for a lust sake, but it would be an error to suppose that every persons desire or lust is to the same degree and depth , which is why its a very difficult subject to speculate on from theories and i think requires more reality experience exchanges to further understandings , but with a metaphysical take on proceedings . Now i know for sure that if i met a female that invoked desire or lust in me and on that initial meeting , a go button was given (excuse the crude terms ) then that would be a powerful intercourse experience, but i also know that if the go button was not given , then i engaged with the female on more occasions over a period of time , and the desire and lust pot was still being stirred , then i also know that if the go button given at a later date then that could lead to an even greater experience , because the first example operated on initial energies aroused, and the second example operated with an erotic consciousness feedback loop whereby the erotic consciousness mind was allowed to invest itself into proceedings through a duration of speculations which was not afforded in the first meeting. This could also work against someone who had not developed a positive erotica and whom were plagued with doubts so their experience would decline after a duration to fear about it . These are just some of the ideas that then contradict the sword between them ritual that MDN also mentions, the point being how can someone be sure they have reached the summit of lustiness or desire dynamics in order to believe they are now ready to “resist” in such a ritual . So should these supposed rituals be taken more as symbolic educational guidelines rather than as literal , and that anyone who actually does them has missed the point completely … even with the sword there between them………I’m trying to stimulate some creative lateral thinking on it and what you think ?

  7. @ Alistair Fraser
    Indulge your desires but don’t let them bother you and you shouldn’t be a slave to them. More is to be gained and more is at stake than fulfilment of lust which is only temporary. It comes again, even if you satisfy it. Just like hunger. I think these are the “corrosive waters”.

  8. I am aware that there is a series of disciplines that all knit together but this one was isolated at he moment to try and extract more meaningful feedback from others from reality experience “The Candidate must be able to suppress sexual desire, even when its fulfillment is made possible.”
    I know there are 2 females i have had reality contacts with , and if the green go button was activated with any of them, there is absolutely nothing i could do to stop myself , that is the power that one is up against, it can be separated into the enchanting aura they emit to you, and equally how you are open in a certain manner to immerse fully into its attraction even although you know ….there probably be troubles ahead for sure , but needs must in a most primal manner because equally in that moment of possibility , if you have thought about carefully enough, another powerfully convincing argument can be made to take the go pill , because that moment may never come again, and the possibilities that may develop from that moments go button activity are heavenly or slavery or both in equal cyclic measures, and so it goes on , to say no in the presence of such immense temptation can only happen if you have somehow already defused the argument for the go button, but the question then is , what are your reasonings ……and everyone will have different reasonings, and if they are open to debate , they may be open to change their reasonings , which may mean that to resist is not only because of an act of will , but also because you just have not heard or experienced the more tempting go button reasonings

  9. @ white rabbit – can you extend your observation ……”Or as the Will overcomes privation and the transcendent I begins to command the body.” and if you can give example of reality experience as much as is articulable , then that would be even of greater benefits , because then, it will have your signature of personal authority , and i should feel some of that in your description , even although it may not be an absolute move i can simulate , but in this area of great speculations, understandably because its an area of consciousness control that few are aware off , any form of real experiential successful transitions from a lower state of repetitiveness sexual lustiness into a superior state of meditated or calculated containment and growth , bearing in mind also that as one gets older, it probably will become more attainable due to a diary of experience in the lustiness sector which may serve to separate the higher experiences from the lower order of habitual falls

  10. “attempt to resist the move to physical action , try and transmute its activation to a higher plane …..good luck with that option …probably easier as one gets older”

    Or as the Will overcomes privation and the transcendent I begins to command the body.

  11. I can speak on the other ones too, but at this moment i choose this one. “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.” I will of course simplify it down to a few statements. You can deny / suppress / repress the notion of sexual lust , you can ride it as it occurs or in a more measured discipline of occasional action , or you can be aware of it as it happens but attempt to resist the move to physical action , try and transmute its activation to a higher plane …..good luck with that option …probably easier as one gets older . The thing is , the more attention you give to the metaphysical possibilities of sexual intercourse , the more profound and potentially powerful it can become depending on the females you encounter, intimate and so-far, maybe always non-intimate ones , the latter type can create the greatest growth of evolution of the subject matter at hand. I am talking from absolute experience on the base state areas as i once went through a period of complete celibacy for 3 years , it was really a day to day thing which i stretched to 3 years because i had fitness and work disciplines at the time which ate up a lot of free time and kept my temptation times lower . But during that 3 years , i can inform you that i had hyper-lucid erotic dreams what they (the psycho-babblers) classify crudely as “wet dreams ‘ which resulted in a depth of psychic and then physical orgasm which was profound in its nature because it was only in that moment as it ended in the crude title event that one awoke , a level of ecstatic experience that then haunts you in awake time as it becomes the benchmark for all following and potential sexual encounters and as such, it can be seen as a handicap or a distillation process for choice of potential partner . Now what i have temporary classed this experience as in the past times, is a mystical encounter in the dream world that did leave its signature through the erotic sensor or sensibility , i even thought at the time that i had earned it through the 3 years of celibacy which included no self-help , but to be fair this was not a first experience into that realm , as a young child i remember being erotically aroused by an older females naked wrist and arm as she rolled her sleeve up , when showing me her horses. i must have been around 7 , it was before physical arousal , then every time i thought of her after that , it gave me a nice feeling , not tangible though at the time, then the next stage after that was when i was around 10 and i suddenly decided to climb a lamp post dragging myself up it, when i got to the top i suddenly got this incredible beautiful feeling in the loins area, again it was not an erection , but a sensation down there , i got the message that this would one day be important and soon forgot it , next stage was about 12 in an english class, we had this very sexy female teacher who wore these brown tights with a skirt above knee level , i was sitting at a desk where i had a perfect view of her legs under the desk and we were given some essay to attempt or something , but i was locked on to her legs and got aroused this time physical, but it was an eerie silent time in class as everyone was working quietly , as i was captivated by her legs, she moved them a little almost as if she was aware of my attentions, i then instinctively started pulling in my stomach in a cyclic motion which i retrospectively realised was a form of internal erection , i had to be very quiet and careful , and during this time the teacher moved her legs just a little more in exposure almost like she was responding to my secret hopes, pretty soon i had actually brought myself to the endgame on that arousal , nuff said , to toilet after etc, but again this was another profound experience beyond what is classed as standard procedures, i see all of these experiences as powerful influencers to my adult life , what is r eally strange right now as i write this , i can hear my neighbour groaning as she has sex with her partner , and i mean loud as the soundproofing is really good in the walls, but back to the point of lust control , some later date ,

  12. Actually that was a badly chosen translation in my comment as it is from a retelling of the story. This one should be more true to the source.

    “When they had not gone very far, Bodvar halted and said, ‘Good sense comes late to fools, and so it comes to me now. I suspect that we have not behaved very wisely in rejecting what we should have accepted. We may have denied ourselves victory.’”

  13. In Hrolf Kraki’s Saga, the god is disguising himself as a farmer and offers the traveling king a sword, a shield and an armour that the king turns down.

    “But they had gone barely a mile, enough for the mist to lift in their heads, when Bjarki stopped. The rest did likewise. Dim in twilight, he told them: ‘Too late do the unwise come to understanding. So it is with me. I have a feeling we did not behave very sagely when we said no to that we ought to have said yes to. We may have bidden victory go from us.'”

    Saying no is at least better than the apathy of not using the will at all, and the good news is that a recognized mistake is redeemable as well as a learning experience.

  14. Max:

    I largely agree with what you have to say. Life itself is the grand trial which can lead to ‘natural’ initiations if you only have the eyes to see, the proper understanding and will. The problem is that most of our contemporaries are entirely blind to this dimension of life, unlike the Man of Tradition, whom, as Evola would have said it, saw everything in this world as a symbol reflecting something profound – or, if you will, as shadows or reflections of higher eternal principles. One internal change that must accompany the person’s liberation from the prison cell that is the modern mind, is to re-establish that higher awareness of what life truly is in a higher sense – to see the subtle forces and principles that permeate the world and which are at work within one’s own being. You open your eyes to new, subtler dimensions of life that are ignored, suppressed by the gross material and mechanical outlook typical of the modern mind. If one, as a modern man, does not actively seek to tune onto such currents and attain experience of subtler states of being – a sort of awareness that is necessary for initiations to occur – then one will in all likelihood go through all of life unaware of these things. Hence most people will not naturally experience initiations if they do not make a decision to actively aim for it, like an arrow reaching its target. While the kind of tests or trials that Cologero describes in his post do not in themselves constitute THE thing, they represent a conscious and deliberate attempt at dramatization, which, if experienced with sincerity and right intention can help bring about at least a small shift in consciousness and awareness, making it easier for the aspiring modern candidate for initiation to enter a path and look at the world with new eyes.

  15. I do not see why an initiatory test would have to be separated from the life that we live otherwise. It is not like two separate lives where one is an initiate in one but not in the other, so trials and temptations could naturally take place anywhere and whenever the least expected. Regarding astral visions i think those will also happen quite naturally after a certain awakening to subtler environmental influences have taken place.

    Often we hear about initiations in the past where the initiate had first to descend into darkness in order to ascend again, however I do think that there is quite enough darkness around us as it is in this moment of time.

  16. Interesting thoughts, Olavsson. Re the last test, how about something along these lines: The Test.

    Or, as you point out, it could be understood on a higher level. E.g., this from Gnosis, Vol 1, Chapter IX, Section (2):

    In the same way that on the physical plane the woman bears the fruit of love through her pregnancy, brings it into the world, nourishes it, and educates it, on the
    moral plane it is the man who conceives the inspired idea or, fertilized by the woman, develops it inside him, and lastly brings it into the world in the form of some work, or more generally in the form of a creation.

  17. Assuming that these tests even correspond to external, physical circumstances, and do not exclusively describe internal events in metaphorical or symbolic language (although I am aware that the tests are meant to inspire inner processes in the candidate for initiation), most of them seem quite straight forward, insofar as the arrangements themselves wouldn’t be especially complicated to order.

    The trial of Air made me think of Julius Evola’s essays about mountaineering, some of which are collected in the book ‘Meditations on the Peaks: Mountain Climbing as a Metaphor for the Spiritual Quest’ (Eng. edition Inner Traditions 1998).

    To overcome one’s fear of great heights and the risk of injury in the trial of Air, mountain climbing would be a more powerful and effective experience than walking to the top of tall buildings and the like, I am quite certain. But this takes some preparation, as you can’t go straight to ascending the Matterhorn without some physical training and experience. This is actually one of my goals, and it would be excellent to be in touch with other traditionalists and spiritual seekers who are also interested in such adventures as a means to test oneself.

    When it comes to the Astral Visions test, it gets at once more complicated. How would such experiences be brought about? Hallucinogenics/entheogenics such as DMT? There might be some objections to be raised against that, depending on one’s approach to the matter, and I can see a few problems myself, but I don’t have any other idea of how vivid “astral-like” experiences could be brought about at command for an initiatory test.

    I’m even uncertain of how one would go on about arranging the test for mastery of lust and passion. I can easily imagine how one would test oneself in daily, private life to resist problematic temptations of that nature, but how would one arrange such a test for somebody else in the context of a group? Get a woman to volunteer and try to seduce someone?

  18. Pickman: My tendency is to view these test as relatively incorruptible: no amount of “infiltration” can alter them, as the “Trials of the Sphynx” (and all trials above the Sphynx) are not “ceremonies”–but, “real” internal events, corresponding with the elements, occurring in the Initiate’s life, post “Rite”. Initiation either does establish an actual spiritual link with a super-human “center” and hierarchy which “synergistically”, shall we say, generates living trials that induce the desired changes in an individual seeking Knowledge, preparing him for it–or, Initiation (virtual, actual, or any type we might imagine) is nothing but profane philosophy creatively depicted–and thus, of no real utility.

  19. Currently:
    Perhaps later, He and his Valkyries (now won over[man]):

    An Imperium is born by Divine Conception, and it’s antithesis (yet the soil for the seed to grow in) is done by Divine Abortion. http://www.gornahoor.net/?p=4425

    General Law is training Him now, the Evil Iron Prison Empire (as mentioned by Logres) will have no choice but to crown Him, do they not worship the Prince of this World?
    Thesis (Good news, doctrine, Evangelium) ? Antithesis (Evil Iron Prison Empire) ? Synthesis (Imperium of Man, was he not the Son of Man?)

  20. Dame Frances Yates, renowned scholar of English proto-science alchemy and mysticism, recounts the history of an architecture-based “art of memory” handed down from Simonides of Ceos to Greek and Roman orators, through Thomas Aquinas and Dominican monks, to Renaissance Italians Giulio Camillo and Giordano Bruno, to eventually influence the logical method of Descartes and the monadic metaphysics of Leibniz during the Enlightenment. Explicating Bruno, Yates says that, “(i)n ‘your primordial nature,’ the archetypal images exist in a confused chaos; the magic memory draws them out of chaos and restores their order, gives back to man his divine powers.”

  21. This is the one I meant to post, but god works in mysterious ways: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXeVgEs4sOo

    From the previously mentioned realization you will easily see that Modernity is a scam and traditionalism a symptom of it. He is here, of course, as in any universe (do not believe in history lest it be His-story), but nothing has pushed him hard enough yet for the final countdown to begin. He is not enthroned and crowned in his zone (center, seat), but when he so much as gets close none can escape his glory.

    Most peoples have been heart injuring disappointments even when he was a child, since stupidity is boring. So why would one become a Savior if there are none worth saving?

  22. Hah you men! One of the most important realizations is that nothing ever dies except for death. Being en-lightened, i[g]nitiated is this knowledge. Pickman what you say is like something from one who believes in the illusion of time and history. But, That is not dead which can eternal lie. Yet with strange aeons even death may die.
    This resolves the quite unnoticed dilemma of how many saints, sages, ascetics, and warriors have become immortal, and avatars are born immortal, yet no one is here. If there have walked thousands of initiated, or twice-born, beings on this earth, i.e. immortals, where are they now? They are in their own (uni)verses of this omniverse, my fellow co-dreamers. Mind over matter they say, and the matter bends according to your Will.
    This report is not based on the following video (as it came to us just now synchromystically) but might help you fellows correlate:

  23. I get the feeling again with this category of rhetoric that all of the above could be achieved by a cunning business like competitive person if they knew in advance of what the goal to be achieved was. This is why organizations with solid systems get infiltrated and destroyed time and again. Nothing has lasted time, absolutely nothing. So even Gornahoor has not figured that one out. In essence we should be asking ourselves what spiritual tests of men are beyond mere corruption?

  24. Beautiful.

  25. This is not a topic for a comments section, Lemonheadz. By ordering one’s life first, perhaps through prayer, concentration and meditation, the rest will follow. That particular test is not for a “beginner”; that is why preparation is necessary.

  26. “The Candidate must be able to suppress sexual desire, even when its fulfillment is made possible.”

    Are there techniques to help with this or must a beginner simply not act on his desires?

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