Want to Take Initiation?

Advice for Candidates

A few things to keep in mind if you are seeking initiation with Sword and Serpent Oasis:

Sword and Serpent Oasis is a chartered initiatory body of Ordo Templi Orientis (The Order of Oriental Templars, or OTO) serving the Dayton and Cincinnati areas. Thelema celebrates personal freedom and discovery of individual will balanced by discipline, fraternity and love. “Thelema” is the Greek word meaning “will”. In 1904, Aleister Crowley (1875 – 1947) received The Book of the Law (Liber XXXI) , which became the cornerstone of his magical philosophy of Thelema which is central to the OTO system.

Sword and Serpent Oasis offers initiation rich in esoteric symbolism and ritual drama as a catalyst for one’s personal development. Our initiation system follows the structure of many mystery schools of the past. Initiation teaches lessons through the process of physically going through the ceremony, and represents a beginning —- the beginning of setting out on the path of self-discovery and unity with the divine (however you define it). Find out more at the United States Grand Lodge website.

The Minerval Degree (0°) is an introductory Initiate degree in which the aspirant is considered an “honored guest” of O.T.O. rather than a full member. The Minerval degree is designed to allow the aspirant to decide whether or not to pursue full membership, and to allow potential sponsors the opportunity to decide whether to support the aspirant’s application for full membership. Minervals may begin preliminary novitiate training under an E.G.C. Bishop towards ultimate ordination to the Diaconate and/or Priesthood in Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, but they are not eligible for ordination or for service as an officer of a Local Body.

This breakdown summarizes the first four degrees of the OTO system:

        • Minerval: Incarnation

        • First Degree: Birth

        • Second Degree: Life

        • Third Degree: Death

Qualifications for Initiation

Membership (initiation) to the opening degrees of the OTO (Minerval – Fourth Degree) are open to all who are “free, of full age, and good report.” In plain English:

  • not incarcerated and able to make and keep a binding oath;

  • age 18 or over;

  • never previously been initiated into OTO

  • able to find two OTO members of the First Degree or higher who are willing to sponsor you.

Sponsorship entails coming to some events and getting to know the members and vice versa, and deciding whether this path is for you. Check out the Sword and Serpent Oasis website for our calendar of open events. Most are also posted on our Facebook page.

Applying for Initiation

There is an application that must be filled out prior to the initiation. If you are interested in receiving a Minerval application and/or sponsorship, it’s your job to do the asking. Obviously, if this is a path you choose to pursue, you must take responsibility for your development. We’re a friendly, approachable bunch; and most of us like to get to know somebody before signing his or her app. There is a minimum of 30 days after your application is received before the initiation can take place. It generally takes a couple months to schedule your initiation.

Attend an event for an application; electronic applications are not available.

Please note that it is NOT a requirement to initiate into OTO to attend our open meetings and events. We’re happy to have folks who just enjoy their status as our guests, attend our events and spend time with us.

Initiation Dues and Fees

Sword and Serpent, as a chartered Oasis, performs initiations in the Man of Earth degrees from Minerval through III°. Individual candidates are responsible for securing sponsors and submitting paperwork for the initiation application along with payment for the initiation. Ordo Templi Orientis is a dues collecting organization and each degree requires payment of initiation dues and fees. The fees for initiation at Sword and Serpent are as follows:

  • Minerval (0°) initiation – $133

  • I° initiation – $133

  • II° initiation – $156

  • III° initiation – $220

  • IV/PI initiation – $418

Any member seeking to initiate at Sword and Serpent, or any other body, must be dues current with USGL; if they are not dues current with USGL, they must become dues current prior to initiation (see “USGL Dues” below).

In addition, members of I° and above who are either affiliated with Sword and Serpent, or currently unaffiliated and local to Sword and Serpent, must be local dues current with Sword and Serpent in order to take initiation with Sword and Serpent. Members affiliated with other local bodies may initiate at Sword and Serpent if they are dues current with USGL. These same requirements also apply for those wishing to perform as Initiators or Officers at initiations conducted at Sword and Serpent.

Payment for initiation must be completed prior to the initiation taking place, or the initiation will not be performed; there are no exceptions to this rule. Payment for initiation can be made up to and including the date of initiation, though additional time is required for payment by check (see “Payment Methods” below).

If you have any other questions, please ask swordandserpent.contact@oto-usa.org