“Initiation is life lived intesely, with love and rectitude”
–Samael Aun Weor
Initiation means to enter into another way of being, to engage in an internal transformation that begins something entirely new.
Samael Aun Weor outlines the map of the initiatic path in his books The Major Mysteries, The Three Mountains, The Perfect Matrimony, and The Initiatic Path in the Arcanum of Tarot and Kabbalah, among others.
Although this path is different for each individual, there are certain characteristics that are universally shared. The path is walked with a genuine spiritual yearning and by applying keys that gradually transform a normal existence into an esoteric one.
The initiatic process is revealed to the consciousness of the spiritual aspirant through dreams, in meditations, and by revelation. Depending on the psychology of the aspirant, the path may be veiled or obscured, so that their faith is strengthened as they walk in darkness for a time.
The initiatic process may be accomplished in a single lifetime, or take many lifetimes; the aspirant may not even remember their previous triumphs and failures along the path.
The Minor Mysteries
The Minor Mysteries are the first part of the path, sometimes called the Probationary Path. In the Minor Mysteries the aspirant develops a relationship with that part of the Being called the Divine Mother in all of her aspects.
The aspirant is challenged by tests and trials in order to purify the Four Elements within themselves physically and psychologically. The purifications mean letting go of attachments, dissolving anger and fear, and adapting to the changes of life. The aspirant learns about the sacredness of sexuality: how to treasure and also to wield this immensely powerful force.
In the Minor Mysteries the aspirant overcomes betrayals and humiliations with love intact for their fellow human. The worthy aspirant, with the correct circumstances and by a special grace, enters into the door of the Major Mysteries, and begins the ascent of the Three Mountains of Initiation.
The Major Mysteries
The Major Mysteries entail great sacrifices and arduous work, always done with love of God and humankind.
Through the Seven Major Mysteries the fire of the Kundalini is restored within each vertebrae, once as fire, and again as light.
From the tiny spark of Essence the cathedral of the soul is built. As the selfish egoic nature completely dies, the full expression of the Being becomes manifest on Earth.
The great suffering and efforts of the labors of Hercules and the trials of Saint Job are lived out for the initiate, all in preparation for the ultimate sacrifice for humanity in imitation of Christ.
A man who was striving to overcome his weaknesses asked Nuri one day, “How shall I ever be able to arrive at union with God?”
Nuri replied, “For this you must cross seven oceans of light and seven of fire [the Major Mysteries], and travel a very long road [the Initiatic Path].
When you have crossed these twice seven oceans, a fish [the Christ] will draw you to him, such a fish that when he breathes he draws into this breast the first and the last.
This marvelous fish has neither head nor tail; he holds himself in the middle of the ocean, quiet and detached; he sweeps away the two worlds, and he draws to himself all creatures without exception.”
-Abu al-Hassan al-Nuri (Sufi saint)
This is an unfathomably profound work, and this article is merely an introduction to the idea. For more information please visit a Gnostic Center, or study the books of Samael Aun Weor.
Listen to a talk on the Probationary Path and the Minor Mysteries from Gnostic Waves.