Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Beginning a new magical order resembles starting a business. In both cases, the basic idea behind the venture is considered and dreamed about for some time, but until a certain point, the resources aren’t there to begin.
Where a new business needs capital, an order needs to be ‘called’ into existence. That is, there has to be Something pushing it beyond just somebody’s ego, or a couple of somebodies’ egos. That Something is the equivalent of venture capital, lent to us as an investment.
Knowing what the Something is will come later. More evident in the early stages is the willingness of a minimal crew of people to join in and commit time, energy and their possibly limited cashflow to making its regalia and publicity materials, critiquing its training documents, and organising ritual space and other material-plane requirements. An order expands its members’ horizons in many ways, and a key indicator is that this volunteerism is happening on the physical level. The investment, to continue the analogy, is producing its first ‘revenue stream,’ which is the energy of the participants.
Another indicator – and a richer revenue stream – that says things are on track is that new people are willing to seek initiation, and participate in forming the group consciousness. That happened for our Temple this month, and we’re all the stronger for it. If a Something gives the push, it’s new people who provide the pull: the desire to learn, the need to understand, the aspiration to attain that has to be formed, encouraged and guided. Magical orders look like top-down organisations from the outside, but they exist to serve, and their service is expressed by helping newcomers to grow and to realise their True Wills through a series of sustained exercises delivered in a graded initiatory context. The focus always needs to be on the base, not the summit.
Those of us who founded the Temple of Our Lady of the Stars together know that there are downs as well as ups, and that we have a distance to travel before we can say that our work is truly established. Members have to learn enough over a period of years so they can, in their turn, take on leadership and teaching roles, and ensure the perpetual renewing of the initiatory path. The Golden Dawn-derived system we use is well-tried as a training ground, but every student encounters his or her own difficulties, and no two people’s journeys are the same. That might sound like a cliché, and it is, yet it’s still deeply true.
It’s just extremely gratifying to be making the journey in the company of others who believe in the possibility of self-transformation, and the spiritual evolution of the human race.
Love is the law, love under will,