Magical Orders – Is This A Club You Want To Join?
Magical Orders also require initiators, though personal lineage may be less important. A teacher in a magical order will be able to tell you where they were initiated, when they achieved milestones that permitted them to rise within the organization, their current level within the organization, and – sometimes – which branch of the organization.
Groups like the OTO have splintered into factions, over the years, with several groups all claiming to be the “real” one. It may take a fair amount of research to discover which lineage and group is the best choice for you. Magical orders that have split will often have VERY VERY strong opinions as to which is the valid lineage, and members will tell you at great length why theirs is the one that should be considered the true one. Listen to what they say. Maybe they’re right. Maybe they’re wrong. But you’ll absolutely learn things from what they say about their organization.
Magical orders usually require at least one basic initiation before they begin instruction. They may be(and often are) unwilling or unable to discuss their practices in detail, because these are considered secrets available only to members of the group. Their magical system may not be available to non-initiates, as well as other information.
This doesn’t mean people should just assume a magical order is a good place to be simply because it has history, or because there’s people in it that you respect. There is always information about legitimate magical orders available to prospective initiates.
Knowing what you’re getting into when you join the order is absolutely vital.
Things to learn:
- What’s the goal of the group?
- How is progress measured?
- Who decides if I’m achieving my goals, and how?
- What’s required for progression?
- How closely am I bound to the group?
- What is my obligation to the group, or to fellow members?
- How much power do the people “above” me hold over me?
- Am I connected by oaths to people I’m not familiar with, or don’t know?
- Am I required to provide aid, assistance, or anything else to fellow members of the group?
- Are there dues or financial obligations?
- If there is a conflict with a fellow group member, or with my teacher/initiator, how is it handled?
- Am I forced to keep conflicts, arguments, or problems from other members?
The secrecy inside magical orders can hide a multitude of sins.
Predators, abusers, and narcissists can use the shroud of secrecy to prevent potential students from learning about their history. The oaths and traditions of the order may make members feel obligated to hide the bad behavior of their fellow members from non-initiates.