Monthly Archives: December 2014

Our Approach to Ritual and the Great Work

Our temple was founded, in part, on the principle of “if you’re going to do something, do it right!” That doesn’t mean that we necessarily have all of the right answers to everything, in fact far from it, but it does mean that we strive for excellence in the work that we do, and we take our magical work seriously. Why else would you even call it a “Great Work”? Does that mean we don’t have fun? Quite the contrary; our ritual practices, social gatherings and casual meetings are typically fun events, where we enjoy each other’s company with laughter, jokes and fellowship. However, when we are about the Great Work, whether in Temple meetings, performing initiations or doing other ritual work, there is a solemnity and focus to what we do.

We consider performing an initiation to not only be an honor, but also to be a solemn event, and one which we take very seriously. A candidate has presented themselves to us seeking initiation into the Western Mysteries and our Temple, and in that process has also entrusted us with guiding at least a portion of their personal spiritual growth and path. This is truly an honor, and a huge responsibility! The least we can do for them in return, is to perform a ceremony in which they are affected spiritually and energetically, and makes them say “Wow, thank you for such an amazing initiation!” Let’s be honest, it would be difficult to focus on the energies of the 0=0, affect the candidate’s sphere of sensation or prevent the evil persona from obsessing the Ruach of a candidate, if we’re tripping over one another, cracking jokes and making funny voices. To do so is not only a disservice to the Candidate, but should be an embarrassment to anyone who claims to be a Magician.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have the occasional ‘laughter breakdown’, and as you can see from some of our blog posts, we definitely enjoy our April Fool’s Day posts in relation to the Golden Dawn (yes, we are working on more regular and informative posts, we lost our blog and unfortunately most of our previous posts, however we had backups of the April Fool’s Day ones). There have been cases during ritual, when someone makes either an obvious mistake in their movement or in what they say, and everyone snickers or laughs. This sort of thing is inevitable whenever you get a large group of people together. Laugh at it, and move on! However, that does not give free license for a Ceremony or a Ritual to become a breeding ground for comedy. When we do have those breakdowns, we laugh about it (note that the spirits and angels are most likely laughing with us at that point), take a moment to regain our composure, and move on with the solemn work. If you plan on doing otherwise, you may as well just grab a wand, wave it about and call yourself Harry Potter, because the end result and effects would be about the same.