Fraternity and Solidarity

I started a post some time ago on the issue of Fraternity and Solidarity within magical traditions and basically ran out of steam while posting. I also just hit a writer’s block. With the recent discussions on Sincerus Renatus’ blog under: The Golden Dawn and Self-Initiation as well as a response on Arcad’s blog: here. In part this blog is my own exploration of the growing role of Self-Initiation in the WMT as well as the counter point which is the continued growth of lodge or temple work as explored on Bro. BHDH’s blog. All of those have interesting posts regarding the role of Orders/Temples and Self-Initiation.
Having originated within the sphere of personal exploration of the modern Craft paradigms my view of self-initiation remains somewhat askew. I was never one to follow that I needed to self-initiation in order to held as “valid” in the eyes of other practitioners within modern Craft, besides logically speaking there is nothing affecting my aura in the same manner as initiation may have done. Within the G.D. system its largely felt that a SI ceremony would need to be repeated several times in order to adequately affect the sphere of sensation of the candidate.
In any eventuality my own philosophy on the issue initiation is that while in an ideal circumstance one would be able to make use of a fully qualified temple officers but that the onus is always going to be on the student of the occult to persevere through the material and to make sure they keep both the theoretical and the practical work on the go. Simply put initiation alone does not an adept make. I should know! I’ve been initiated all of just over a month myself and I’m still not a ZAM!
The argument of recognition is not one that is unique to the Golden Dawn system. Initiatory Wicca has also been facing a similar argument in terms of grade advancements and titles for a while now. Ultimately a sign that someone is worth listening to is in the work they have undertaken to develop their understanding of the system and in how the proceed to contribute to its continuity. On Pat Zalewski’s group a comment by Nick Farrell and a few others sparked something in my understanding. We’re social creatures by design (biological or divine, doesn’t matter for the purposes of this conversation) and as such the idea that because one is grand high lord muckidy-muck within a temple or order matters very little within the realm of society. Society survives and thrives from social development in ideas and perspectives and as such sometimes achieving one’s True Will may involve the littlest exertion of energy as simply being the honest you may work in more ways that can be immediately perceived.
The title of this post is Fraternity and Solidarity, and herein lies the “catch22”. Sometimes the temptation to view these concepts within the context of a insular group dynamic may prove deliciously tempting (I know I’m as gulty, just remember a moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips!) since within such groups language can develop a clandestine quality as well. With the presence of online forums and groups even the solitary magician isn’t immune from the social trends of the moment. Nor should they be, its more about employing the terminology with common sense.

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