Initiation begun and broken, initiation done ineffective and initiation denied have one phenomenon in common, the rise of the Fools of Mercury. With this term I do have in mind the beginning of the arcana major of the tarot, known as the fool, as I have in mind the virtue of Mercury as a go between, bridge, linguist, falsifier and turncoat as much as his capacity of guiding the psychopomps and being the ruler of the intellect. We also know that Mercury tends to be “bad with bad and good with good” as stated by the astrologer William Lilly in his Christian Astrology. The air of the charlatans are readily available to embrace the ‘Fools of Mercury’, but before going to that direction let us take these matters step by step by step and start with an initiation being received and then broken.
Simplified we can say there are two factors that are in play; the personal and the collective. We need to address some varieties of this situation to illustrate the differences so we can arrive at the quintessence. Let us say you have been admitted to some Masonic Brotherhood. The criteria for entering is that you are a person in good standing, a good man who seeks to be better, and this intent is presented to a group of elders who will accept or deny your application. Let us say you are accepted and you take on initiation and becomes a Master Mason. After this you walk on into the Blue Lodge and at some point in your journey you decide it is enough. You generate doubts and seek answers and take your leave.
The way you leave is important, but so is the investment in the brotherhood you had until this day. For some pilgrims the realization of a different route emerging in a given journey turns into a rebellion towards what brought you to this crossroad of decision. We all heard the stories of people coming to the realization that the path they had been walking turned out to be a lie, it be Masonry, Scientology or Jehovah’s Witnesses.
And yes, I am lumping these denominations together as points on a triangle of extremes, because for the pilgrim the feeling tend to be the same no matter denomination that was falsified. The pilgrim seeks to strike down the ‘order’, ‘group’, whatever name give to the brotherhood in question because it was a misguider.
In such situations we can scapegoat or we can accept, what is what it is no matter our interpretation or desire to guilt ride people or a given sodality. What is is a realization of a journey’s end. In this we can turn back in anger or we can walk onward in courage, realizing that the courage of solitude is a veil for strength and Self realization. Then we have of course the people that cling to the degree given and perpetuate this as a personal achievement, which is only partly right, because the degree achieved is something adorned by the brotherhood the work hidden within the award is and will always be yours.
Then we have these people who jump into the world with a degree achieved and seek to start a personal vision born from realizing the error in the path marked by a degree, to perpetuate something broken. This can be a good thing or bad thing, just like Mercury can be good or bad, it all depends on the aspects it is making in the world. For instance, being an elder in a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and then realizing it is all hogwash, and you turn against what you deemed false is in truth a waste of time and the foolish spirits of Mercury will at some point give you a crown or a fools hat. It is just bad use of a personal realization.
But in this field we have those individuals that actually received and integrated what was given; the gift of the many became a personal vision with a tendency to spread out in the world. This is a form of fire we can call ‘virtue’. It can be inherited, it can be taken and it can be gifted. It is the moment when a spiritual gift is lodged within you, a power rising from genuine initiation, that is yours to hold, and not the property of those who gave it to you. I find in this the concept of the gift, something given to you from another. A gift is something you own and it cannot be called back, it is given to you for you to do with it what you want. The power passed in effective and true initiation is a gift – and it is yours – if you perpetuate or disgrace it in the way you continue it – will always be about your attitude towards this gift. It can be kept, perpetuated, passed on as much as it can be lost.
Effective initiation leaves a gift and being gifted means that something is passed on that makes it possible to pass on a certain legacy rooted in this gift. But if the gift received has been subject for toil and terror, wind and storms with those who gave you the gift, it has been effectively spread to the eight corners of the world and you need to assess in honesty what you have left.
But let us speak of the ineffective initiation. An ineffective initiation is revealed in its capacity of not changing anything or not breaking anything. It is words and acts void of force behind the intent. When this happens the pilgrim can realize the error or activate the realm of fantasy and mirage, because in truth we are here speaking of matters under social and often profane control, where the initiation is not really giving anything, but is rather a ceremony for entrance into a closed group. This can be as simple as sealing a deal as the whiskey glasses are giving its crystal sound and an agreement is in place as it can be about being led into a bonfire and swear some words in the auspicious of some obscure deity. To be admitted to a brotherhood or a group, is like being counted in to a deal, and agreement. And this is fine, but it is not initiation, it is at most a field where initiation can take place, which is an important distinction. The field of possibility is not the flash of enlightenment.
And here we find the one holding the gift, the one losing the gift and the one who never received any gift.
And again we find Mercury drawing closer with his crowns and fool hats asking you, ‘what are you perpetuating’? The answer to this question is yours. And the same question will present itself to the one who was denied initiation but is still full of desire towards something. In denial at the gate he or she is making a thought form of something felt and believed. It will most often be a reconstruction biased by the same desire, an appropriation of hot will and in a few instances it will be the product of a prophetic vinculum. But considering the prophetic impulse, it will always be born form a sense of Self knowledge and certainty in concord with spirit. A genuine continuation of something broken or gifted will always be given forward in the spirit of humility, light and generosity seeing truth in the way truth seeks to veil herself as yet another journey within and beneath.
These ‘prophets of the Gift’ and men and women ‘crowned by Mercury’ are rare and are always marked by some form of humbleness in possessing the virtue. This small percentage is what makes me attempt keeping an open mind and try to hold back judgment and judging, because of this possibility that enables a pilgrim to be a beacon and a torch, inside or outside a given denomination. This in itself is a complex matter related more to the succession of a lineage than initiation itself, so I will leave this thread only commented upon and verify the rare possibility of virtue broken can still reside and be perpetuated, although most people do tend to lose this given initiatic virtue in the misplaced rebellion against those who passed the virtue on.
I tend to make my assumptions based on the ‘scent’ of postulates and claims; because if we do pay close attention to the scent of words as it present a given landscape the impostor will betray his or her own words. This olfactory sense is developed as years are passing by in the field of deception and truth, false claims, virtue lost, self deception and direct lies makes part of this field. It is a scent of words that stirs intuition over time this sense will become more and more refined and truthful as it will point out when hogwash is happening.
In this field we find a crossroad. Should we allow the charlatans to be or should we voice against them? This is not an easy decision, and sometimes the abuse is of such calibre that the fraud must be put to an end - but I believe that for the most part we should allow the charlatans to commit their well deserved suicide as we stay at the shore of the river witnessing their corpses flowing by, because what is in error will annihilate itself by the very same error. The misguiders serve as contrast to the true guides and at the end of the day, the liar and deceiver affirms the presence of good people and worthy guides of virtue. So, to take a stand against what you are not is in all ways and sentiments a complicated calculation that should be avoided, because whether you are with it or against it doesn’t matter, the energetic involvement is what matters, not its quality. Only a brother/sister is the keeper of his sister/brother and in this we speak of true initiation and the protection of the real gift. This is not what we speak of here, but of the pretenders to the gift, charlatans of succession, the failed ones, it be by error, denial, banishment, lie or deception.
So I would say, quite simply, if you feel a calling to something that is in existence and you don’t find it or they don’t welcome you, the calling was not real. If you make a reconstruction upon something that is but was denied for you or you didn’t found what you were looking for - and instead of acceptance make castles of smoke and air, you insist on making fantasy from a closed door and in doing this you are wasting life, time and energy in a useless pursuit looking towards your desire, ignoring your Need.
In celebrating ego at the closed or broken door you do run the risk of becoming a charlatan or a pretender. A charlatan is someone who says he or she has something she or he doesn't have (a lie) or is someone who misguides in the succession of this (abuse) or deceives by selfish motives; they be about fame, power, and complexes of inferiority or sex. Then we of course have those that are ruled by desire and sentiments to affirm their false legacy. It all ends in retrograde. So what you have you should hold and pretending to be what you are not will eventually come back to you as a shit storm from Hell. So, be good and be true, this is always the left and right foot on the path of conquering Self. Make the journey but let wisdom and discernment be the waymarks on the path.
Hold what you have, and when you meet kin, be open with what you have and what you lack. In this way you can renounce falsity and hold on to virtue. In holding on to virtue, you can perpetuate what is secure and true and make strange flowers flow from your gift, but be true, so your flowers are not lizards of the mind and ghosts of the soul and do not only walk the walk and talk the talk, but make the flowers talk to you and the beasts walk at your side, at least in this humble effort of dedication and work dignity can still be kept in the truth of Nature’s embrace.