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2.2 Philosophy: Initiation




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This article is from the Temple of Set FAQ, by balfaq@xeper.org.

2.2 Philosophy: Initiation

- What do those necklaces and medallions mean?

The Temple of Set is an initiatory organization, dedicated to the
initiation and growth of its members.

That dedication to initiation, to the philosophy of Xeper, and to Set,
is represented by our primary symbol, the Pentagram of Set (a point-down
pentagram within a circle). To help our members identify each other so
we can work together, and to help them identify which level of
initiation has been achieved by each other, we wear this symbol on
different colored medallions, normally worn on necklaces of some kind,
at formal gatherings.

There are six levels of initiation recognized within the Temple of Set,
each with its specific color medallion.

- The first degree member wears a white medallion. This is a period of
trial membership, in which the member begins to explore our
philosophies, our practices, and our society. The member can decide
whether our organization is one which will help the member's
personal growth, and if not he is welcome to leave at any time, with
our good wishes. Likewise, during this period we determine whether
the member will function well within our society, will benefit from
our activity, and will eventually be able to help others in the
organization with their personal growth. If not, then their
membership is terminated, hopefully with no hard feelings. We title
this degree "Setian," which is also the generic name for all of our
members. The term stands for all who pursue their self deification
while in contact with the philosophical and magical stream of the
Temple.

- The second degree wears a red medallion. This is a member who has
completed the trial membership and has been found to be compatible
with and a valued contributor to the Temple of Set, just as we have
been found to be useful to the member's own growth. More, through
hard work the individual has opened him- or herself to the forces of
Becoming within the body-soul complex. This is a place of great
excitement and achievement. We Recognize our Adepts by the quality
of their adventures and projects. This is where we differ form most
occult schools that would award degrees based on knowledge and
memory feats. These members are free to work with our philosophies
and to participate in our activities to the fullest. More members
are in the second degree than any other level of initiation. We
title this degree "Adept," declaring them able to pursue any and all
goals applicable to their personal growth.

- The third degree wears a black medallion. This is a member who not
only has shown all of the qualities of an advanced second degree
member, but who has also been chosen by Set to serve in his
priesthood. This member has demonstrated abilities in working with
and representing Set and the Temple of Set. We title this degree
"Priest." Another way of putting this: the Third Degree Setian has
become Resonate with the Work of Set. He or she is directly
empowered by Set and charged him to expand the Setian experience --
this includes everything form running the Temple, which belongs to
its Priesthood, to a variety of scholarly, artistic, or (obviously)
magical endeavors to increase the Setian mindscape. Third Degrees
can represent the Temple in most matters. If you have any questions
concerning the Temple of Set (the organization, our activities,
beliefs, or members), these members are the best qualified to answer
your questions.

- The fourth degree wears a blue medallion. The Fourth Degree Setian
is the founder of a school of thought in the Temple, which may
effect the general philosophical and magical actions of mankind as
well. These schools of thought are called Orders. Some such as the
Order of the Vampyre or the Order of the Trapezoid are well known
beyond the boundaries of the Temple walls, while others have lower
profiles. The job of the Fourth Degree is the discovery and
articulation of communicable methods of Initiation. The Orders bear
the same relationship to the Temple as departments do to a
University. They are places for the Adept to specialize in pursuit
of the specialized tools for their personal achievement.

- The fifth wears a purple medallion. The sixth wears a gold
medallion. The distinctions between these grades of initiation are
very meaningful within the Temple of Set, but for most purposes you
can consider them as variations upon the fourth degree.

Why do you turn the pentagram upside down?

or as flagg@tiac.net stated on alt.pagan on Jan 10, 1996, and I
responded:

ft> I know some satanists would like to THINK they are pagan, but if
this is the case, why the need to desacrate the Pentagram as they
did the Cross? I know the pentagram is not central to all pagan
beliefs, but there is still no need for this. All pagan faiths that
I know of respect the symbols of other religions.

Agreed. So why do you turn the holy and glorious Pentagram wrong side
up? It's a symbol of dynamic balance, resting actively on one point. Why
do you have to turn it over with its all-important balance point
pointing meaninglessly up into the air?

There is additional discussion of initiation and the Temple's degree system
in the REF document.



 

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