The Place and Effect of Initiation
The ceremony of initiation takes place on the three higher subplanes of the mental plane, and on the three higher planes, according to the initiation. The five-pointed star, at the initiations on the mental plane, flashes out above the head of the initiate. This concerns the first initiations which are undergone in the causal vehicle. It has been said that the first two initiations take place upon the astral plane, but this is incorrect, and the statement has given rise to a misunderstanding. They are felt profoundly in connection with the astral and physical bodies and the lower mental, and affect their control. The chief effect being felt in those bodies the initiate may interpret them as having taken place on the planes concerned, as the vividness of the effect and the stimulation of the first two initiations work out largely in the astral body. But it must ever be remembered that the major initiations are taken in the causal body or – dissociated from that body – on the buddhic plane or atmic plane. At the final two initiations which set a man free from the three worlds, and enable him to function in the body of vitality of the Logos and wield that force, the initiate becomes the five-pointed star and it descends upon him, merges in him, and he is seen at its very center. This descent is brought about by the action of the Initiator, wielding the Rod of Power, and puts a man in touch with the center in the Body of the Planetary Logos of which he is a part, and this consciously. The two initiations called the sixth and seventh take place on the buddhic and atmic planes; the five-pointed star “blazes forth from within Itself,” as the esoteric phrase has it, and becomes the seven-pointed star; it descends upon the man and he enters within the flame.
Again, the four initiations, prior to that of the adept, mark respectively the attainment of certain proportions of atomic matter in the bodies – for instance, at the first initiation one-fourth atomic matter, at the second one-half atomic matter, at the third three-quarters atomic matter, and so on to the completion. Since buddhi is the unifying principle (or the welder of all) , at the fifth initiation the adept lets the lower vehicles go, and stands in his buddhic sheath. He creates thence his body of manifestation.
Each initiation gives more control on the rays, if one may so express it, although this does not adequately convey the idea. Words so often mislead. At the fifth initiation, when the adept stands Master in the three worlds, He controls more or less (according to His line of development) the five rays that are specially manifesting at the time He takes the initiation. At the sixth initiation, if He takes the higher degree, He gains power on another ray, and at the seventh initiation He wields power on all the rays. The sixth initiation marks the point of attainment of the Christ, and brings the synthetic ray of the system under His control. We need to remember that initiation gives the initiate power on the rays, and not power over the rays, for this marks a very definite difference. Every initiate has, of course, for his primary or spiritual ray one of the three major rays, and the ray of his Monad is the one on which he at length gains power. The love ray, or the synthetic ray of the system, is the final one achieved.
Those who pass away from the earth after the fifth initiation, or those who do not become Masters in physical incarnation, take their subsequent initiations elsewhere in the system. All are in the Logoic Consciousness. One great fact to be borne in mind is, that the initiations of the planet or of the solar system are but the preparatory initiations of admission into the greater Lodge on Sirius. We have the symbolism held for us fairly well in Masonry, and in combining the Masonic method with what we are told of the steps on the Path of Holiness we get an approximate picture. Let us enlarge somewhat:
The first four initiations of the solar system correspond to the four “initiations of the Threshold,” prior to the first cosmic initiation. The fifth initiation corresponds to the first cosmic initiation, that of “entered apprentice” in Masonry; and makes a Master an “entered apprentice” of the Lodge on Sirius. The sixth initiation is analogous to the second degree in Masonry, whilst the seventh initiation makes the Adept a Master Mason of the Brotherhood on Sirius.
A Master, therefore, is one who has taken the seventh planetary initiation, the fifth solar initiation, and the first Sirian or cosmic initiation.