On the First Three Initiations

Initiation and the Three Methods

What follows is an exploration of some of the lesser-known aspects of the path of self-mastery, called by some, the Path of Initiation.

Before diving in, let us remember that there has developed through the ages three methods that assure the seeker of eventual success on the path: Service, Meditation, and Study. While all three can and should be given attention in every lifetime, we tend to be drawn to focusing primarily on one and then the next as we pass through each of the first three Initiations.

Selfless Service grows out of the spirit of Goodwill, is a genuine way to help make the world a better place, assists us to put our own struggles in right proportion, and is an expression of Love at the physical level.

Deep Meditation grows out of a desire for Unification with all that is, it creates the pool of stillness, mirroring the ocean of deep still Love, and is an essential practice to gain control over the little self. Later, we are drawn more toward Engaged Meditation as we learn the value of emotional control.

Esoteric Study is essential to develop the mind, to foster detachment and dispassion, to pave the way to expansion at the mental level, and ultimately, to conscious connection with the Soul, which dwells in the abstract subplanes of the mental plane. Before this higher stage of the path, any sort of mental training is useful for development of the mind.

“With the establishment of these practices in the life of a seeker, there occurs a steady reorientation from the material to the spiritual plane of reality. As the individual’s identity shifts from that of a human personality with a soul, to that of a soul incarnate in a human vehicle with a higher intention, the spiritual aspirant is gradually transformed into a disciple. The purpose of incarnation is increasingly understood as an opportunity to balance the scales of karma and contribute to the evolution of our planetary Life.”1

It goes without saying that one must exercise due care in choosing What service, What type of meditation practice, and What one studies, as not all focuses lead one directly to Self-Mastery and the Door of Initiation. There are many ways to get lost on The Path of Love and Light, or even get lured into the Dark Path!

The passing of each Initiation brings an expansion of consciousness, and with each expansion we are gifted with both greater perception and facility, and with them, greater responsibility. Therefore, each expansion brings a stronger need for more Service, greater commitment to Meditation, and deeper Study.

As if this is not difficult enough… one of the greatest challenges is the paradoxical balancing act that we must perform while on the path… focusing on ourselves to gain control and then mastery, without becoming self-focused!

Let us dive in…….

Brief Notes on the 1st Initiation

The passing of the 1st Initiation means we have a decent amount of Control over our body, our instincts, our appetites, our sex drive, and our habits – a good Control of our physical self. The 75% pass doesn’t afford us Mastery of our form, but we are aware and consciously choosing to align our Livingness to higher spiritual or Heart Based Values – higher morals and ethics. We are no longer driven or controlled by sensory gratification and physical comforts as our primary motivators in life. We have released a great degree of self-focus, in favour of selflessness, and an altruistic concern for the welfare of other people and other lifeforms.

One of the unfortunate side effects of our modern superficial world and the rise of materialistic science, is that many people have gotten so engrossed in their body consciousness that they have lost touch with all inner perceptions, our vast connectedness, and are now seeking non-physical experiences to shatter the grip of their dense consciousness – and they are seeking in ways that are truly dangerous! Ways that open them to negative entities in the etheric subplanes of the physical plane, and worse still, to potential possession by Low-Level Beings in the astral plane. And with these forced openings (foolishly labelled “awakenings” by many) comes a greater empowerment of the person’s lower nature, and not their Hearts, making the mastering of the Personality all that much harder – in this life, and likely for several following.

While the shift from a purely physical identity is important in the journey of the Soul, it only affords us rudimentary detachment and Control of our Personality, as our emotions or desires still largely control us and all we choose. “I like this, I want more of it; I dislike that, I want less of it.”

Brief Notes on the 2nd Initiation

“The purification process that occurs between the first and second and initiations brings the soul increasingly further into the foreground of consciousness. The dross of personality that masks the soul is removed over time by the requisite passage through “battlefields” and “burning-grounds” – crucibles of spiritual learning intended to sublimate emotional desires, dispel glamours and illusions, and annihilate personal ambitions. Near the end of this cycle comes a series of tests and trials designed to prove whether the personality is free of self-interest and worldly temptations. When these tests are passed the second portal opens. At this point, the disciple is of genuine use to the spiritual hierarchy.”2

With the 2nd Initiation we have now gained Control of our emotions and desires. To achieve this, we have learned how to find the Golden Middle Way, the point of equilibrium that allows us to balance the pairs of opposites – that is, to still or stop the pendulum of the emotions, from ever-swinging from one intense feeling state to its equal and opposite state. We have achieved a great degree of stability, detachment, and desirelessness.

For those of us who live in materially abundant countries, we have gotten Control over our Personal Ambitions and the Desire to Acquire! We now choose to live lightly on the earth, having had a degree of Ahimsa or Harmlessness awaken and replace some of our obsessive self-focus – we feel connection to all life, and therefore, are motivated to reduce the harm we cause.

And with this shift in our inner alignment or constitution, we have largely freed ourselves from Fear and Hate – their gross forms definitely, and we are now making good progress on their subtle forms. We have cultivated the lower reflection of the Clear Cold Reason or Wisdom of the Heart. And along with this, we have awakened to the value of dispassionate compassion, and are actively seeking to embody it.

On the Shift from 2nd to 3rd Initiations

With the 2nd Initiation, particularly in this Age, one must master Mental-Emotions, which are the emotions that have the appearance of thinking but are still inherently emotional reactions, and reactions to reactions, and are the potency behind glamour during the 5th root race.

Once our 2nd Initiation 75% pass is achieved, we next move to the mind direct, and the first aspect we usually encounter is Emotional Thinking – the higher reflection of the Mental-Emotions we have just gotten a degree of Control over. This is now actual Thought, but is emotional, irrational, and lacking in deductive reasoning and grounded wisdom.

This is a Most Dangerous Stage for the disciple, as Thought is a creative principle, and hence, is very powerful compared to the energies we wield during the purely emotional stage. The disciple is suddenly handling greater force, and largely with an uncontrolled directing tool, or mind. The risk of wrong thinking and being swept up in believing their thoughts are true, right, and reliable is great – but it is likely none of these three things the disciple will at first experience! Like with all new breakthroughs, when we initially get full access to something, we must first learn how it works and how to use it well, and hence, during this stage, trial and much error is the norm.

Pride, Self-Judgement, and Suffering

The disciple, in passing the most difficult initiation, the second, can easily slip, consciously or unconsciously, into pride in themselves and their recent accomplishment. But now is not the time to rest on one’s laurels, as the mind direct is a very different ballgame and an entirely new landscape to explore and master. Most of the methods used in achieving the emotional pass will not work at this new level, therefore, Much Humility and genuine openness to external guidance is required – wisely chosen.

During this time of transition one can also set themselves up for deeper suffering through believing “I should no longer fall victim to my emotions”. But this is not true, and as such, harsh self-judgement can follow when we inevitably find ourselves, once again, emotionally compromised.

We must remember that passing the 1st and 2nd only gives us physical and emotional Control, not Mastery. Mastery is not possible until the passing of the 3rd, as a Controlled and then Mastered Mind is essential to fully Master form and feeling!

To open the way to Control of the Mind, we must “still the emotions”, just as we needed to “relax the body” and all its senses in the earlier stage. Stillness in the feeling and desire nature is an essential prerequisite to allow us to “quiet the mind.” And a quiet mind is essential to allow the intuition to reach our conscious perception without distortion, which is the means to Control and then Master the mind, and hence open the way to learn the Soul’s Purpose for the current incarnation.

From Control to Mastery

To pass the 2nd Initiation we had to gain Control over our Hate, Fear, and Personal Ambition – just as we had to gain right relationship to, and Control over, Money, Sex, and Physical Comfort during the 1st Initiation.

However, to pass the 3rd, not only must we gain Control over Cruelty, Pride, and Separativeness, but we must now completely Master these qualities as well as Mastering the remaining 25% of the 1st and 2nd. It is essential to keep in mind that the remaining un-mastered parts of our physical and emotional natures always contain, what is for us, the darkest, most potent, and difficult physical and emotional qualities within us. This is one reason why the 3rd Initiation is considered the first True Initiation, and the 1st and 2nd are merely Preparatory Initiations. It is also why the 3rd is described as a great battle resulting in the true Dark Night of the Soul!

Once the epic challenge of Mastering and Integrating the Personality is complete, the first part of the journey to the 3rd, we then embark on the true Herculean Task: as an Empowered Personality, we must completely and utterly Surrender to the Soul – resulting in what is termed Soul Fusion.

It is like a cosmic joke that we must first work for lifetimes to create a profoundly potent Integrated Personality, only to have it surrender to the Soul. And with each great Age, an Integrated Personality is ever more powerful, with an even stronger instinct to self-preservation. Therefore, the battle at the 3rd becomes harder for all with each passing century. But this is simply the nature of evolution.

From the Gross to the Subtle

During the many lifetimes before we are at the stage of approaching the 3rd Initiation, each of the abovementioned nine qualities appear in very coarse, ugly, and powerful attitudes and behaviours within a person. However, for an Older Soul (or young Initiate) they are usually far more subtle, as the gross versions will have been dealt with in preceding lifetimes.

Due to these qualities now only remaining within us in subtle ways, we often find ourselves lacking sufficient objectivity and detached self-observation to be able to see how they are at play within our psyches, which is why it is known that a true teacher or quality external guidance is essential to make proper progress towards the 3rd and during the latter part of the Initiation Path in general.

At the 3rd Initiation “Having demonstrated that the misuse of power is no longer possible, the disciple becomes a full-fledged “initiate” of the spiritual kingdom, gaining access to spiritual will. […]
At this third or “transfiguration” initiation, “the personality is irradiated by the full light of the soul”. The inner light of the soul illumines the outer mask of the persona and becomes the directing force of the life. The personality’s threefold vehicle – body, emotions, and mind – is consecrated to fulfilling the soul’s task in the world. […]
From this point onward, the soul increasingly becomes an embodiment of divinity on Earth – less human than divine.”3

The Nine Qualities, Nine-Headed Hydra, and Initiation

The 3 sets of 3 qualities I am linking to each of the first Three Initiations are a reference to the Labours of Hercules, who wades into the swamp of life and raises the Nine-Headed Hydra out of the swamp and above himself, to cut it off from its power source, which then means he has Mastered all 9 Qualities.

To summarise in table form…

The 3 Heads of the Hydra related to each Initiation are as follows:
The 1st Initiation: Money, Sex, Physical Comfort
The 2nd Initiation: Hate, Fear, Personal Ambition
The 3rd Initiation: Cruelty, Pride, Separativeness

It is also worth noting that within each grouping of three, each Head or Quality relates to one of the Three Rays of Aspect, and hence, if we know whether our Soul and Monad are within the First (Sushumna), Second (Pingala), or Third (Ida) Ray Department, we can see which 3 Heads and Qualities will most require our attention.

The 3 Heads for each Ray Department (in order of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Initiations) are:
First Ray: Money, Hate, then Cruelty
Second Ray: Sex, Fear, then Pride
Third Ray: Physical Comfort, Personal Ambition, then Separativeness

NOTE: We must each deal with All 9 Heads, but the quality within each Initiation which will likely prove the most potent and difficult, will be the Head related to our Ray of Aspect.

If you would like to explore within which Ray Department your Soul may be, please see my Gem Post: The Three Ray Departments

Onwards and Upwards

As I have mentioned in previous posts, we must control and then master something with a greater force or higher source. Therefore, we gain control over our physical body using directed desire; we gain control of our emotions using the focused concrete mind or thought; and ultimately, we gain control over the lower mind and entire Personality through the Light, Love, and Power of the Soul within the realms of the abstract mind. And thus, it is towards the Soul and Higher Group or Unity Consciousness we must ever aspire and strive.

In the way of offering Tools for Transformation, let me simply suggest the re-reading of this article, an honest self-assessment, and a redoubling of your efforts to relaxing the body, stilling the emotions, quietening the mind, awakening the Heart, and a stronger commitment to the three methods of Selfless Service, Engaged Meditation, and Esoteric Study.

It is my hope that you have found some value in the above, as the topic of Initiation is vast, and I have offered but a brief glimpse into some of the lesser-known aspects.

In Light and Sight
Azure Seer


  1. When The Soul Awakens by Nancy Seifer and Martin Vieweg, Pg. 187
  2. Ibid. Pg. 187
  3. Ibid. Pgs. 187-188

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